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Edmure v Robb Part 2: You'll hold what I tell you to hold!


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#1 danm_999

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:58 AM

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...



#2 Blackfish Tully

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:01 AM

 

 

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.

 

 

The difficulty in laying siege to Riverrun I feel reinforces my point that there is no way Tywin would be thinking about laying siege to Riverrun to draw Robb out of the West. Tywin would not be able to lay siege to Riverrun and still put himself in a defensible position when Robb and the Riverlords attack him . He would have his army split into three groups on different sides of the rivers so Robb and the Riverlords could attack him one group at a time. Once they turned to face Robb then Edmure could attack him in the rear.

When Jon tells Stannis how foolish it is to lay siege to the Dreadfort where the Boltons could attack them and crush them against the walls applies the same to Tywin and Riverrun.



#3 WMarshal

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:31 PM

I agree with you completely danm.



#4 Team_Rob

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:07 PM

 

The difficulty in laying siege to Riverrun I feel reinforces my point that there is no way Tywin would be thinking about laying siege to Riverrun to draw Robb out of the West. Tywin would not be able to lay siege to Riverrun and still put himself in a defensible position when Robb and the Riverlords attack him . He would have his army split into three groups on different sides of the rivers so Robb and the Riverlords could attack him one group at a time. Once they turned to face Robb then Edmure could attack him in the rear.

When Jon tells Stannis how foolish it is to lay siege to the Dreadfort where the Boltons could attack them and crush them against the walls applies the same to Tywin and Riverrun.

Exactly. There's no way Tywin would have bothered trying to lay siege to Riverrun with Robb Stark still in the field after what happened to Jaime. If anything, he would have seen that as the intended hope of Robb and that would have spurred him to ride west even more. Robb made political mistakes, but tactically he was flawless.


Edited by Team_Rob, 29 July 2014 - 10:07 PM.


#5 WMarshal

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:14 PM

Which still leaves the obvious point where Robb's plan to trap Tywin appears to be fiction. He told Edmure to guard his rear, it would make no sense for a man so high up he takes the Blackfish original position tell Cat that I it only met while Robb was entering. Robb's men were  divided among pillaging(karstark), mine sieging(umber), and cattle moving(mormont), it doesn't all look like he was planning to trap Tywin. Or actually see that he could. He took a small amount of men, around 7,000, where Tywin marched 20,000. How could he actually Tywin in his own home?

 

Robb was brilliant, but even he could no what he and could not do. Which is why he told his uncle to guard his rear.


Edited by WMarshal, 29 July 2014 - 10:14 PM.


#6 The Fallen

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:41 PM

There will never be agreement on this issue. All I know is that when Robb tells Cat he's sending her to treat with Renly and she protests that he can send Edmure, Robb himself tells her that he needs Edmure to hold Riverrun.

When Tywin leaves Harrenhal Edmure and all his men know he's marching west because Robb defeated the western host and has taken castles. (And by that time Robb must have been aware of what was happening at Storm's End. You don't need ravens to hear about such important happenings.)

Also damning are Edmure's own words about not allowing Tywin to traipse through the Riverlands without having his nose bloodied. There's nothing about guarding Robb's rear or defending his lands. It's simply vengeance. And after Robb and the Blackfish chastise him for blocking Tywin from going west his first response is to ask if Robb is the only one who can paint himself in glory. Not once does he say, "but you told me to guard your rear".

Lastly, Robb knew he had asked Edmure to hold Riverrun. So his plan if Tywin came west didn't rely on Edmure needing new instructions. It was designed so that Edmure and Roose could keep the status quo.

Robb was an honorable individual. He made a mistake when he married Jeyne Westerling and tried to make amends, even when his bannermen were advising him to kill the Freys that were with him. The conspiracy theory that an honorable Robb would concoct some story in order to guilt-trip Edmure into marrying in his stead just doesn't hold any weight.

#7 WMarshal

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:00 PM

So why Martyn tell Cat that? You think he just made that up? Edmure did want to paint himself in glory, does that some how erase a man high enough to head of scouts to tell Cat the orders?

 

And what was statue quo? Hm? Letting Tywin pass? Because Tywin marching to kill robb was going to happen, he is Tywin Lannister, so if we assume his plan was made in the West, why would he want Tywin to get past Edmure pre plan making? That is simple fool hardy.

 

Now if we assume that was always the plan, why wouldn't tell Edmure? You can say Edmure should have just figured it out, but looking at a map Robb would be trapped in the west by Tywin Lanister if he got through just assuming Edmure would figure it out is fool hardy.

 

 Because Tywin Lannister outmanned him, knew way more of the West and could easily order Lannisport to forge a new host.

 

Now you say Robb is such a honest and un tricking kid, yet ignore how he used what Cat did to sneak Jeyne in.

 

Now what do we got? A high officer who gave us the order, a plan if created before hand has to tell Edmure for he just looking at a map has to defend Robb, if created in the West Robb has no reason to begin with to want Tywin inward. And a case where he already use someone's past actions to get what he wants, in the same chapter no less.

 

Hm.



#8 The Fallen

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 01:05 AM

quote name="WMarshal" post="6076175" timestamp="1406692814"]
So why Martyn tell Cat that? You think he just made that up? Edmure did want to paint himself in glory, does that some how erase a man high enough to head of scouts to tell Cat the orders?
[/quote]

I think Martin put it in there to make this important part of the war murky and cause just this kind of confusion.
 


And what was statue quo? Hm? Letting Tywin pass? Because Tywin marching to kill robb was going to happen, he is Tywin Lannister, so if we assume his plan was made in the West, why would he want Tywin to get past Edmure pre plan making? That is simple fool hardy.

 
The status quo means for Edmure to continue following his orders to hold Riverrun. Robb's plan is clear, they meant to double-back on Tywin and block his passage back to King's Landing. It doesn't matter if Tywin knows the Westerlands because he doesn't know what Robb plans to do. You may know the interior of your home, but if you don't know that I mean to trap you in a room then I can still accomplish my goal. Same with Robb. He just needed to block Tywin long enough for King's Landing to fall.

I'm not sure where your getting that it was before the plan existed.


Now if we assume that was always the plan, why wouldn't tell Edmure? You can say Edmure should have just figured it out, but looking at a map Robb would be trapped in the west by Tywin Lanister if he got through just assuming Edmure would figure it out is fool hardy.


I don't think that was always the plan or else he would've told Edmure. What reason would he have not to trust Edmure with the plan?

And also, why did Robb go west in the first place? Just for kicks? No. He didn't want to attack Harrenhal because it would be suicide. He needed to get Tywin out of Harrenhal. So he sends Cat to try and get Renly to force Tywin out. But he can't count on that alone, so he goes west himself to force Tywin's hand. And the plan called for Edmure to hold Riverrun. Once he overruns the west he knows Tywin has to answer. But instead of risking that his plans could be intercepted he devises a plan that doesn't call on Edmure's involvement.

Even Cat doesn't worry about.Robb's safety when Tywin is trying to get to the west. And she worried constantly about Robb.


 Because Tywin Lannister outmanned him, knew way more of the West and could easily order Lannisport to forge a new host.

 
Stafford's was described as the bottom of the barrel from Lannisport. Where would this other host consist of; old women and babes at the breast? Tywin is no magician. And he has no crystal ball. He doesn't know what Robb's plans are or where Robb is going. Until he has that info he can't devise a plan.


Now you say Robb is such a honest and un tricking kid, yet ignore how he used what Cat did to sneak Jeyne in.


I'm not saying he's an honest kid, it's right in the books.

He didn't have to sneak Jeyne in, he's the king. He used Cat's actions for two reasons. To show her that their actions were inspired by love and to reiterate just how damaging releasing Jaime was.

To claim that he was deceiving his mother for nefarious reasons is ludicrous.


Now what do we got? A high officer who gave us the order, a plan if created before hand has to tell Edmure for he just looking at a map has to defend Robb, if created in the West Robb has no reason to begin with to want Tywin inward. And a case where he already use someone's past actions to get what he wants, in the same chapter no less.
Hm.


I already explained the plan and Edmure's standing orders. And Robb wanted Tywin out of Harrenhal, where Tywin's position was too strong.

What we have is Tywin moving west and even Stannis knew this. It wasn't a secret. And Edmure and his lords wanting to pay Tywin back for what he did to their territory. So Edmure brings back the men he asked Robb to allow to leave Riverrun and changes Roose's orders while removing the garrison Robb left at the Twins. Edmure even went so far as changing strategy. Did Robb give him those kinds of power? And it backfired. Especially on Edmure himself, who lost his sister, his king, his ancestral home, and his freedom.

And Robb didn't use Cat's past actions to get what he wanted. He already had his bride. He's the king, he doesn't have to answer to Cat.

#9 Game Of Thrones

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 01:12 AM

Yeah, Robb was a dick for blaming it on Edmure, who 

1. could not have known about Robb's plan that was created after the Battle of Oxcross, and which Robb refused to tell Edmure about

2. had very vague orders, defend Riverrun, and thus defended the fords that are crucial to the defence of Riverrun,

3. gets scolded by his 16-year-old nephew though he followed the orders.



#10 The Fallen

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 01:22 AM

Defending the fords may be crucial to holding Riverrun if Riverrun is actually under attack.

It's unnecessary if Tywin is just trying to head west.

Edited by The Fallen, 30 July 2014 - 01:23 AM.


#11 Game Of Thrones

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:07 AM

Defending the fords may be crucial to holding Riverrun if Riverrun is actually under attack.

It's unnecessary if Tywin is just trying to head west.

But how was Edmure supposed to know that Tywin should cross with extremely vague orders and a lack of communication from Robb?

#12 Balerion06

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:26 AM

But how was Edmure supposed to know that Tywin should cross with extremely vague orders and a lack of communication from Robb?

Because that's exactly what Tywin was trying to do. Cross.



#13 Game Of Thrones

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:32 AM

Because that's exactly what Tywin was trying to do. Cross.

Yeah, but because of Robb and BF's poor communication skills, for all Edmure knows, Tywin crossing is fatal to Robb's plan.



#14 Balerion06

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:37 AM

Yeah, but because of Robb and BF's poor communication skills, for all Edmure knows, Tywin crossing is fatal to Robb's plan.

Sure, but Edmure didn't have the resources to stop Tywin from crossing. All he could do, in his own words, was "bloody Lord Tywin's nose".



#15 Game Of Thrones

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:58 AM

Sure, but Edmure didn't have the resources to stop Tywin from crossing. All he could do, in his own words, was "bloody Lord Tywin's nose".

A weakened Tywin is better than a strong Tywin, no?



#16 I'm the Party Pooper

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:04 AM

It really sounded od to me the way in which Robb reproached Edmure Tully for taking initiative.

Robb plan clearly needed a specific strategy from Edmure and to my ears "hold the castle" does not imply I can't hold the castle AND do something more than that. But I'm an assiomatist, a logician, not a military leader and maybe I'm wrong here.

What really sounds odd to me is that this entire time Roose Bolton has been free to take any kind of suicidal initiative, and Robb was never once openly seen complaining about that.. was he not informed? or did it not sound to uhm like it was necessary to change leader?

Might be Roose had his leave to take initiative, but he handled it very badly. Edmure at least took a chance, exploited it and won. And to think that it was sufficient to be a bit more clear on the plans he had..

Another think striking me is how "ceetain" is Robb that the Mountain would have fallen in his trap and that it was certain victory for him. I mean, anything else could have gone bad, there a dozens of unpredictable and uncontrollable things that might undermine plans like this.

Sure in this book all master mind planners - all but Cersei - seem to have things follow their own predictions and plans quite smoothly.. yet, I'm grounded in real world.

#17 Balerion06

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:20 AM

A weakened Tywin is better than a strong Tywin, no?

Personally, I find that "bloodying Lord Tywin's nose" is more akin to irritating him than weakening him.



#18 Balerion06

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:24 AM

It really sounded od to me the way in which Robb reproached Edmure Tully for taking initiative.

Robb plan clearly needed a specific strategy from Edmure and to my ears "hold the castle" does not imply I can't hold the castle AND do something more than that. But I'm an assiomatist, a logician, not a military leader and maybe I'm wrong here.

What really sounds odd to me is that this entire time Roose Bolton has been free to take any kind of suicidal initiative, and Robb was never once openly seen complaining about that.. was he not informed? or did it not sound to uhm like it was necessary to change leader?

Might be Roose had his leave to take initiative, but he handled it very badly. Edmure at least took a chance, exploited it and won. And to think that it was sufficient to be a bit more clear on the plans he had..

Another think striking me is how "ceetain" is Robb that the Mountain would have fallen in his trap and that it was certain victory for him. I mean, anything else could have gone bad, there a dozens of unpredictable and uncontrollable things that might undermine plans like this.

Sure in this book all master mind planners - all but Cersei - seem to have things follow their own predictions and plans quite smoothly.. yet, I'm grounded in real world.

Roose didn't have the leave to take initiative. He was purposely sabotaging Robb's war effort by sending men out on suicide missions for little reward in the off chance of victory. For example, Robb had no idea that Roose was the one who ordered Glover to go to Duskendale.

 

And Robb's plan wasn't for the Mountain to fall into any kind of trap. That was an invention of the show.



#19 Toos

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:26 AM

It really sounded od to me the way in which Robb reproached Edmure Tully for taking initiative.

Robb plan clearly needed a specific strategy from Edmure and to my ears "hold the castle" does not imply I can't hold the castle AND do something more than that. But I'm an assiomatist, a logician, not a military leader and maybe I'm wrong here.

What really sounds odd to me is that this entire time Roose Bolton has been free to take any kind of suicidal initiative, and Robb was never once openly seen complaining about that.. was he not informed? or did it not sound to uhm like it was necessary to change leader?

Might be Roose had his leave to take initiative, but he handled it very badly. Edmure at least took a chance, exploited it and won. And to think that it was sufficient to be a bit more clear on the plans he had..

Another think striking me is how "ceetain" is Robb that the Mountain would have fallen in his trap and that it was certain victory for him. I mean, anything else could have gone bad, there a dozens of unpredictable and uncontrollable things that might undermine plans like this.

Sure in this book all master mind planners - all but Cersei - seem to have things follow their own predictions and plans quite smoothly.. yet, I'm grounded in real world.

It was Edmure who ordered Roose take Harrenhall and then Roose ordered Tallhart take Duskendale. Then Roose told Robb that Tallhart left on his own and blame everything on him.



#20 I'm the Party Pooper

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:30 AM

Roose didn't have the leave to take initiative. He was purposely sabotaging Robb's war effort by sending men out on suicide missions for little reward in the off chance of victory. For example, Robb had no idea that Roose was the one who ordered Glover to go to Duskendale.
 
And Robb's plan wasn't for the Mountain to fall into any kind of trap. That was an invention of the show.

Yeah I was pretty unsure about it, I used "might" exactly for this reason. I read the books thrice now but the exact dynamic of this part still confuses me :)

Thank you for clearing this out. Thanks to you @Toos as well :)

Edited by I'm the Party Pooper, 30 July 2014 - 04:31 AM.