Last thread hit its limit so I thought we could forge on!
No it doesn't.
Holding Riverrun does NOT mean SEEKING OUT an unnecessary battle, risking a big loss for no strategic gain (Tywin was actually trying to leave so the strategic thing would be to let him, then prevent him coming back). Edmure was told to hold Riverrun. "Initiative" has nothing to do with it - initiative actually relevant to the task of holding Riverrun would be expected of Edmure. But the Fords battle was NOT relevant to the task of holding Riverrun.
Not only is holding the fords surrounding Riverrun relevant to the order to "hold Riverrun", experience would have told Edmure it's vital.
“How could this happen?” Ser Harys Swyft moaned. “How? Even after the Whispering Wood, you had Riverrun ringed in iron, surrounded by a great host … what madness made Ser Jaime decide to split his men into three separate camps? Surely he knew how vulnerable that would leave them?”
Better than you, you chinless craven, Tyrion thought. Jaime might have lost Riverrun, but it angered him to hear his brother slandered by the likes of Swyft, a shameless lickspittle whose greatest accomplishment was marrying his equally chinless daughter to Ser Kevan, and thereby attaching himself to the Lannisters.
“I would have done the same,” his uncle responded, a good deal more calmly than Tyrion might have. “You have never seen Riverrun, Ser Harys, or you would know that Jaime had little choice in the matter. The castle is situated at the end of the point of land where the Tumblestone flows into the Red Fork of the Trident. The rivers form two sides of a triangle, and when danger threatens, the Tullys open their sluice gates upstream to create a wide moat on the third side, turning Riverrun into an island. The walls rise sheer from the water, and from their towers the defenders have a commanding view of the opposite shores for many leagues around. To cut off all the approaches, a besieger must needs place one camp north of the Tumblestone, one south of the Red Fork, and a third between the rivers, west of the moat. There is no other way, none.”
Basically, you need to surround Riverrun from all sides of the rivers that intersect it, otherwise it's not a proper siege. There is a reason Edmure and all the Riverlords (even Bracken and Blackwood) felt blocking Tywin from gaining the fords surrounding Riverrun was the right choice, regardless of what his intent was.
As for Robb, as you point out, he was not in the same place as Edmure when his plans were finalized, and sending details of his plans by raven or by rider would have been profoundly stupid as they were inside enemy territory. That is simply not a risk you take when your messages might be intercepted. Robb knew what he had told Edmure to do, and expected him to do that, not seek out personal glory because he resented taking orders from a boy. The argument Edmure should have been sent full details at that point is ludicrous.
You don't seem to be catching on here. I realise the tactical difficulties Robb had in attempting to contact Edmure, but instead you seem to be insisting Edmure was supposed to intuit a plan Robb hadn't (and couldn't) have made yet. Seriously. Robb didn't know Stannis was in the war yet. He didn't know if he'd be able to sneak into the Westerlands. He didn't know he'd win at Oxcross. If he can't have known all these things, how could he possibly have given orders with enough clarity and specificity to suit his needs?
In fact, everything we know about Robb's plans for the Westerlands prior to leaving Riverrun are contrary to what he later claims was the plan. He had hoped to win Balon Greyjoy to his side so they could take Casterly Rock. He had hoped Renly would deal with Tywin in the East (which is why Catelyn was sent to treat with him).
So there was never any component to Robb's orders for Edmure to let Tywin march back West unopposed if he tried, because it was only until later that made sense as something Robb would want Tywin to do.
What if, say, Robb lost at Oxcross, and was being chased around the Westerlands by Ser Stafford? What if Tywin heard that and made a beeline West to set up an old hammer and anvil between himself and Ser Stafford on young Robb Stark. Would Edmure be expected to sit passively behind his walls in that scenario and watch his nephew become lion food? Of course not.
Was Robb's trust in Edmure unfounded? It seems so. That turned out to be on of Robb's mistakes. But it doesn't change the fact that Edmure fucked up and is responsible for his own arrogance and stupidity. He fully deserved his scolding.
But some people are treating this thread as if the question was "who was responsible for Robb's ultimate defeat". That is an entirely different question with more complicated answers.
Well, I can only speak for myself, but I've never treated this thread as who was responsible for Robb's ultimate downfall, only who was responsible for this plan of Robb's not working. And my answer has been the same throughout; Robb himself.
No, he did not concoct the story just to worm his way out of his own mess. Edmure admits he screwed up. Blackfish says he screwed up. Everyone agrees he screwed up. So why are fan "concocting" a different version, just to villainize Robb? The world GRRM has created for us is grey. What you are trying to do here it turn Robb into a one- dimensional villain.
I don't see how Robb guilting his uncle into marrying a Frey makes Robb a villain to be honest, nor would I claim it. This seems a strawman. It might make him a bit of a hypocrite, given he fobbed off his own marriage pact, but that would make Robb the sort of grey you seem to venerate.
Robb was very good at giving people enough rope to hang themselves, then bringing up what he really wanted from them. In the very chapter we're discussing, he gets Catelyn to admit sometimes we do foolish things for love (in reference to her letting Jaime free) so she can't retort when he reveals he married Jeyne. She even goes so far as to think;
Only then came her belated remembrance. Follies done for love? He has bagged me neat as a hare in a snare. I seem to have already forgiven him . Mixed with her annoyance was a rueful admiration; the scene had been staged with the cunning worthy of a master mummer . . . or a king.
Exact same thing plays out with Edmure. Stage the scene of the failure uncle who ruined the master plan; now if only there was somehow he could make amends...