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Was there a catalyst for Roose Bolton's betrayal?


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#1 Grody Brody

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:25 AM

He orders the attack on Duskendale at the end of ACOK, mere minutes after he's learned of Robb's marriage. So either he's a very quick thinker - which is possible - or he had some plans in motion from even before then.

 

On similar lines, was it a surprise to Roose when he heard that Ramsay had married Lady Hornwood?



#2 Stannis Eats No Peaches

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:43 AM

Robb screwing up was the catalyst, certainly.

#3 Ghosts Lunch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:52 AM

I actually think Theon taking Winterfell was the catalyst for him considering his options

 

As he says to Theon in ADWD, Winterfell was doomed when that happened because similar to Cersei having to do the naked walk without her regal clothes, it has smashed the Starks perception of power given their seat of power

 

Obviously later on he would find out that Ramsay committed a crime of opportunity and managed to take out Ser Rodrik and sack Winterfell which has compounded the doom of the Starks. He may have still slightly been in two minds, eg he wrote the letter condemning Ramsay as a way to hedge his bets in case Robb came back, in which case he could distance himself from Ramsay and claim he was a rogue. This would be under the assumption that Renly/Stannis would take KL

 

There was Riverrun as an alternative seat of power in a North/Riverlands Kingdom but once the Ironborn took Moat Cailin Robb was cut off from the North. Going back to the North in force would mean leaving the Riverlands completely vulnerable

 

Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling and Stannis defeat at KL was the nail in the coffin, Roose knew Robbs cause was then lost and committed fully to his deception



#4 Red Tiger

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:54 AM

Can somebody break down for me why Robb losing Winterfell is so significant? I understand it's a giant symbolic loss but what else?



#5 Ghosts Lunch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:55 AM

Robb screwing up was the catalyst, certainly.

 

Thing is, if Robb had managed to lure Tywin west and KL fell, Tywin would have likely sued for peace as the Westerlands were all they held as a means to preserve whatever they had left and rebuild. Obviously Stannis wouldn't have a Kingsguard with Jaimie in it so he would assume any peace deal may be getting his heir back

 

Ironically it is a combination of Edmures Stone Mill victory and Stannis's defeat that have played as much a part as Robbs political folly. The Freys would have likely accepted having Edmure marry Roslin if Robb had been victorious



#6 Ghosts Lunch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:03 AM

Can somebody break down for me why Robb losing Winterfell is so significant? I understand it's a giant symbolic loss but what else?

 Because Bran and Rickon supposedly died, meaning there was an heir problem given Jeyne Westerling wasn't falling pregnant. Arya was lost too and Sansa now a Lannister in name, hence he had to go as far as to name John Snow as a successor in his will

 

It's the combination of losing Winterfell and apparently his heirs together that has made Theons betrayal so devestating for the Stark/Tully cause. The lack of heirs makes Robb incredibly vulnerable.

 

Similarly when it is privately understood amongst  Northern Lords that Bran and Rickon are still alive through Wex, Roose Boltons hold is finished in all but name, even lady Dustin can't stand against it.

 

This means there was effectively only a hard-to-defend Riverlands Kingdom left while the Ironborn held Moat Cailin (the fact it's hard to defend goes some way to explaining why Harrenhall had to be made as impenetrable as it was), but his grip on the Riverlands Kingdom was undermined when he reneged on a deal to marry into a daughter of the Riverlands second house (Freys)

 

He might have lost some ground in the Riverlands but he should have retaken Winterfell immediately, politically it was super important that HE be seen to take it back, not just Ser Rodrik, it's the only way to neutralise the stain of its fall (along with smashing Pyke perhaps)

 

A similar example is for Cersei now to have the Qyborg rip apart the Faiths champion and then publicly obliterate the High Sparrow in order to wipe out the stain of her nude walk. Even if Nymeria points out he is 8ft tall, no one will object or mock her too loudly as long as there is an invincible 8ft monster next to her, the Qyborg potentially has a similar effect as a Dragon did for the Targeryans

 

This is where Vary's riddle of power lies where people perceive it to lie becomes important to understand

 

Ser Kevans thoughts in the ADWD Epilogue were interesting, he says surely Tywin would understand but Tywin would have turned the Sept of Baelor into a bloodbath sending troops in before he let them parade a Lannister Queen-Regent through the streets as they did because it smashes the prestige and image of their house, just as Tywin would have sent Tyrion to the Wall as quietly as possible rather than have the records say a Lannister was executed for Regicide. 


Edited by Ghosts Lunch, 21 July 2014 - 07:15 AM.


#7 Pigeon Pie

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:04 AM

Well, the idea could have been brewing in there long before he actually did it. He isn't exactly the most faithful of people, so it's not really an incredibly unbelievable thought the he thought, pretty early on, "Why should this boy be king in the North and me just a loyal follower, when I can be Warden of the North under the Lannisters and have an actually high and secure position?". And then Robb screwed up and he saw his chance in that, so...



#8 Red Tiger

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:06 AM

 Because Bran and Rickon supposedly died, meaning there was an heir problem given Jeyne Westerling wasn't falling pregnant. Arya was lost too and Sansa now a Lannister in name, hence he had to go as far as to name John Snow as a successor in his will

 

It's the combination of losing Winterfell and apparently his heirs together that has made Theons betrayal so devestating for the Stark/Tully cause

 

This means there was effectively only a hard-to-defend Riverlands Kingdom left while the Ironborn held Moat Cailin (the fact it's hard to defend goes some way to explaining why Harrenhall had to be made as impenetrable as it as), but his grip on the Riverlands Kingdom was undermined when he reneged on a deal to marry into a daughter of the Riverlands second house (Freys)

 

He might have lost some ground but he should have retaken Winterfell immediately

Hmmm, that makes a ton of sense. I asked because usually all people say is that Winterfell is just a symbol of power, but if you put it like this it makes sense.

 

If he had married Roslin, you think Walder would have killed him anyway?



#9 Blackfyre Gateau

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:09 AM

Can somebody break down for me why Robb losing Winterfell is so significant? I understand it's a giant symbolic loss but what else?

 

A few thoughts...

 

1. As well as being the symbolic heart of the North, Winterfell was still was playing a coordinating role in governing the North, even with Robb south. E.g. Harvest feast visits by other Lords looking to lobby the Starks (including Manderly and his fleet). Ser Rodrik going out to deal with regional crises caused by absence of Robb, Catelyn, etc also shows it was still seen as the centre of justice in North even with the adult 'Stark of Winterfell' in the South.

 

2. Winterfell is many, many miles inland. Shows the long-arm of the Iron Born. If a castle seen to be as secure as Winterfell can fall, what other Northern keeps, castle and towns could be taken? This was at a time when the Ironborn had already captured two highly strategic (and symbolically important) Castles - Deepwood Motte and Moat Cailin.

 

3. Morale destroying. House Stark's own local levies from surrounding towns and villages near to Winterfell would have been shell-shocked. Heart goes out of fighting in the South.



#10 Red Tiger

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:15 AM

Okay, this being said don't you think it's kinda poor writing how Rodrik loses Winterfell? He completely leaves Winterfell undefended when marching on Torrhen Square, he takes almost ALL the soldiers. Doesn't that kinda sound ridiculous to you?



#11 Ghosts Lunch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:17 AM

Just to add, this is

 

Hmmm, that makes a ton of sense. I asked because usually all people say is that Winterfell is just a symbol of power, but if you put it like this it makes sense.

 

If he had married Roslin, you think Walder would have killed him anyway?

Robb?

 

No I don't think Walder Frey would have killed him in that instance



#12 Loge

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:28 AM

Robb's marriage probably was quite so accidental. Sybel Spycer is a granddaughter of Maggy the Frog, who "half of Lannisport went to for love portions." Looks like she inherited the recipe. And of course she wouldn't have done it without Tywin's approval. He is their overlord after all, and the marriage would have been treason. And if Roose had been conspiring with Tywin already, he probably knew that something was going to happen.



#13 Red Tiger

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

Just to add, this is

 

Robb?

 

No I don't think Walder Frey would have killed him in that instance

Yeah I meant Robb. I know the Freys are extremely opportunistic, I keep wondering what Roose would do if Walder did not help him in killing Robb. Would Roose have Ramsay give Winterfell back to Robb? Would Robb simply have waited in the North until the Lannister/Tyrell alliance disintegrated?



#14 Ghosts Lunch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

Okay, this being said don't you think it's kinda poor writing how Rodrik loses Winterfell? He completely leaves Winterfell undefended when marching on Torrhen Square, he takes almost ALL the soldiers. Doesn't that kinda sound ridiculous to you?

 

Yeah it was quite poor military leadership from an experienced campaigner, that is to say the rear must always be protected. I guess they just didn't expect it from the Ironborn because they always raid close to the sea. This is actually correct, and it was only Theon who had been a ward there for so long he thinks like a Northman and not an Ironborn to come up with it. Nevertheless the rear must ALWAYS be protected

 

Theons mistake however was to try and hold it, he should have sacked it and left with Bran, Rickon and the two Walders as hostages in Pyke, Bran and Rickon could have been used as means to negotiate a peace/ceasefire where the Ironborn got to maintain a hold of Deepwood Motte and maybe Torrhens Square (an heir for each) and money for the Freys. Obviously the North wouldn't ever cede Moat Cailin and the Ironborn couldn't hold it indefinetely with the Crannogmen in such proximity

 

 

A few thoughts...

 

1. As well as being the symbolic heart of the North, Winterfell was still was playing a coordinating role in governing the North, even with Robb south. E.g. Harvest feast visits by other Lords looking to lobby the Starks (including Manderly and his fleet). Ser Rodrik going out to deal with regional crises caused by absence of Robb, Catelyn, etc also shows it was still seen as the centre of justice in North even with the adult 'Stark of Winterfell' in the South.

 

2. Winterfell is many, many miles inland. Shows the long-arm of the Iron Born. If a castle seen to be as secure as Winterfell can fall, what other Northern keeps, castle and towns could be taken? This was at a time when the Ironborn had already captured two highly strategic (and symbolically important) Castles - Deepwood Motte and Moat Cailin.

 

3. Morale destroying. House Stark's own local levies from surrounding towns and villages near to Winterfell would have been shell-shocked. Heart goes out of fighting in the South.

 

Some good thoughts

 

on no 3: Obviously this issue was then compounded with Karstark killing the Lannisters while under Robbs protection, causing Robb to execute him, would have destroyed moral even further and of course Catelyn loosing Jaimie would have damaged the morale of the Riverlanders because they would know they would be safe from the Lannisters for as long as they held Jaimie because even Rains of Castamere Tywin wouldn't sack Riverrun while his heir was inside

 

Some further thoughts, the book is only just getting into it, but I like the way the book is exploring the way perception plays a part in the fortunes of a given House after the death of important characters

 

eg, Ned and Robb are seen as too honourable for the sake of being successful in the Game of Thrones and they are taken down for being rather naive and the House effectively extinct. On the other hand there is Tywin Lannister who has managed to become so feared that the Ironborn opt not to attack him, the Westerlings sue for peace with him despite their daughter being made a Queen and he is considered a once in a thousands years character

 

Upon Robbs death however, the fact it involved perceived treachery along with the very powerful perception that comes with never losing a battle plays an important part in people willing to honour his memory (probably through Northern Lords working towards honouring his Will even after the northern/Riverlands Kingdom has collapsed)

 

Tywin on the other hand, the issue he faces is that his legacy starts to unravel the moment he is dead and the Lannister prestige begins to collapse

 

Then there is Ned and the Stark name overall, the conversation with the Liddle in Brans POV chapter is extremely telling, when there is a Stark in Winterfell there is peace in the land and stable, caring and honourable leadership. As we can see through Lyanna Mormont and and Wylla Manderley people are fiercely loyal to the Stark name because of what it stands for (my impression is that Jon Arryn evokes a similar resonse in the Vale)

 

Therefore the Boltons, and especially the cruel Ramsay, will never be able to consolidate their hold on the North, which is what I enjoy about the Grand Northern conspiracy, I think it is not quite as co-ordinated as suggested but we can tell from Stannis and Rooses issues in garnering loyalty that the disparate northern forces are motivated by trying to resurrect what is effectively a dead house in whatever way possible (the hill clans even pressing forward in a blizzard to rescue "Neds little girl")

 

It's somewhat ironic then that while they are slagged off for being stupid and honourable, they may be resurrected again out of the 'love' that honour has garnered even when all has been lost


Edited by Ghosts Lunch, 21 July 2014 - 07:47 AM.


#15 Red Tiger

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:47 AM

 

Yeah it was quite poor military leadership from an experienced campaigner, that is to say the rear must always be protected. I guess they just didn't expect it from the Ironborn because they always raid close to the sea. This is correct, and it was only Theon who had been a ward there for so long he thinks like a Northman and not an Ironborn to come up with it

 

Theons mistake however was to try and hold it, he should have sacked it and left with Bran, Rickon and the two Walders as hostages in Pyke, Bran and Rickon could have been used as means to negotiate a peace/ceasefire where the Ironborn got to maintain a hold of Deepwood Motte and maybe Torrhens Square (an heir for each) and money for the Freys. Obviously the North wouldn't ever cede Moat Cailin and the Ironborn couldn't hold it indefinetely with the Crannogmen in such proximity

It was E-ro who pointed it out.

 

 

A shadow baby kiling renly, the vale not helping, the ironborn invading the north in an unprecedented showing of mental retardation, Edmure stopping tywin, A boar killing robert, lysa being completely at littlefingers mercy, theon taking winterfell with 17 guys (how is this even possible), westerling girl, etc if any one of these things did not happen robb would have beat the lannisters, the tyrells would not fight to the end for them.

 

Everytime I read that post I keep thinking to myself how utterly ridiculous and indeed, contrived, it is what happens to the Northern campaign. Robb points out that he married Jeyne out of honor, but I don't think Ned would have done the same thing in his place. I think even if Ned loved Jeyne to death, he would simply marry her off to one of his bannermen or something and set aside his feelings.



#16 Ghosts Lunch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

It was E-ro who pointed it out.

 

 

 

Fair enough, I haven't read through the whole thread yet



#17 stateofdissipation

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:51 AM

He orders the attack on Duskendale at the end of ACOK, mere minutes after he's learned of Robb's marriage. So either he's a very quick thinker - which is possible - or he had some plans in motion from even before then.

 

On similar lines, was it a surprise to Roose when he heard that Ramsay had married Lady Hornwood?

"give my regards to Tywin"--- Roose 

"give my regards to Robb"----Jamie 

 

----"Jamie lannister sends his regards" Roose to Robb at the red wedding,,,,

 

Robb proved he could not keep his prisoner...

 

A Lannister always pays his debts.

 

 

Where would you send Jamie?


Edited by stateofdissipation, 21 July 2014 - 07:53 AM.


#18 Red Tiger

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:53 AM

 

Fair enough, I haven't read through the whole thread yet

What do you think's gonna happen with Roose and the Northern Conspiracy?



#19 Lord of Groans

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:03 AM

Everytime I read that post I keep thinking to myself how utterly ridiculous and indeed, contrived, it is what happens to the Northern campaign. Robb points out that he married Jeyne out of honor, but I don't think Ned would have done the same thing in his place. I think even if Ned loved Jeyne to death, he would simply marry her off to one of his bannermen or something and set aside his feelings.

 

This is so true.



#20 butterbumps!

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:04 AM

Actually, Roose orders Tallhart and Glover to go out into a Lannister trap before news of Robb's marriage comes.

 

It's the Lannister victory at Blackwater, as well as Robb's loss of Winterfell that inspires him to hedge his bets by giving Glover and Tallhart those false directives.  Roose is discussing it with the other lords in Harrenhal, and those 2 issues are the specific ones they cite as reason to abandon Robb.       Then he goes out wolf hunting.  When he gets back from the hunt, the Freys are in a tizzy because of the broken wedding pact, and leave Robb's cause (it's all in aCoK, Arya X).

 

So Blackwater and the loss of Winterfell are what inspire Roose to start hedging bets, and by the time the Freys leave the cause at the end of the chapter, he's nearly completely turned.