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Catelyn is an idiot


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#321 Imp Beyond the Wall

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:56 PM

@brashcandy -- Thanks. This is a tough room. I have been revisiting Catelyn and Catelyn related POV's lest I do her wrong by misremembering. My Kindle has been getting a work out. I love the series and I love discussing with you guys.

#322 brashcandy

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:29 PM

@brashcandy -- Thanks. This is a tough room. I have been revisiting Catelyn and Catelyn related POV's lest I do her wrong by misremembering. My Kindle has been getting a work out. I love the series and I love discussing with you guys.


From my own experience, when I re-reread Cat chapters I notice the negatives even more. Believe me, I think she's generally a good mother and was a proper wife for Ned, but her lack of sympathy for a bastard boy that never asked to be born, her continued enmity toward him even when she felt all her children might be dead/lost, and her other rash, ill-thought actions, just don't endear me to the woman.

#323 Balefont

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:02 AM

Completely understandable about Jon. I think we've reached a point where we need to agree to disagree.

ETA: though I must say, her ill-fated decisions is still laying too much blame on her. Westeros was ripe for the blowing up even without Cat's seemingly rash decisions.

Edited by Balefont, 20 February 2012 - 12:05 AM.


#324 lyvyathan

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:09 AM

Yet Catelyn's supposed pride irritates you enough to complain about just her and not other characters. How about Ned's strict moral code being the reason for the downfall of House Stark? Seems to be that's a much for grievous character flaw. Yet how often do we see thread discussing Ned's dumbassery? < whines > But at least he was honorable! </ whine>


People can gnash their teeth and get annoyed about the Cat supporters (even though I personally don't endorse any character in the series at this point) but they gotta understand, so many of the criticisms leveled at her character fall into several categories: 1) There are other characters that exhibit [insert negative trait here] resulting in a greater detriment to others, 2) She's so dour and negative all the time!, 3) Her place is at Winterfell and she should have stayed home, and 4) ZOMG she was so mean to Jon!!!


Does flinging mud at other characters make your beloved character any better?

Her antagonism towards Jon is something which repluses a lot of readers. That mean streak attitude strikes a cord with many readers. Its one thing to show your displeasure towards an adult but to show it towards a child in your household? Yeah, I don't like it.

#325 lyvyathan

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:20 AM

She did get over it. She got over it by deciding that if Ned was going to refuse to talk with her and was going to try and force her to just give in, that she wasn't going to give in. Jon was an unwelcome guest in her home, a guest that Ned invited in without consulting her, without even being willing to explain himself and why he was putting her through the ringer for a boy who could have been raised perfectly well elsewhere, who should have been raised elsewhere. Occasionally she brought the issue up again, to see if Ned noticed what a trial it was for everyone involved and would then do something about it, but he refused to do so. He refused.


Saying that a person who shows coldness to a child for 15 years - has "gotten over it" - is really very sad - by any standards.

What has the child done to deserve the animosity?

I'm a person who believes if you have a problem with your Spouse - you take it up with that Adult - NOT against the child.

I'm really bemused some Cat lovers are defending this claw and nail.

#326 Catastrophe

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:56 AM

Catelyn did take it up with Ned. She didn't treat Jon like one of her own children, but it's not like she was cruel to him. She never told him that he should leave Winterfell, even if she did suggest the idea to Ned. She snapped at him once, when her eight year old son was dying, but considering the circumstances I can forgive her.

#327 Ygrette

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:09 AM

I'm a person who believes if you have a problem with your Spouse - you take it up with that Adult - NOT against the child.


I think you fail to see that we all agree on that one. Noone here believes she should have treated Jon cruelly.

Where we differ is the question if she treated him badly at all (save this one situation where she said he should have died in place of Bran) and whether or not her lack of compassion towards Jon makes her a bad person. I don't think that one crooked relationship and a handful of emotional decisions make someone a bad person. For me, a bad person needs ill intent. I can't see ill intent in Catelyn Stark. To me, she is human and acts like a human, with all her faults and mistakes. I have made mistakes in my life and I'm not an evil creature either. Therefore, I don't feel like judging Catelyn.

Why does it infuriate you when people don't get upset about the character?

#328 Drowsey Dragon

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:55 AM

People who judge Cat so harshly seem to forget they are experiencing her life during the most tragic and desperate time ever and it hit her all at once. As a reader we only read about this one year with a few references of her past here and there. It is not credible to speculate how she treated Jon in the past and then form a negative opinion, since there is nothing to base it on beyond pure speculation or bias.

#329 Ygrette

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:58 AM

Interesting.
I am currently reading near the end of SoS and will set spoiler tags, but here's a very interesting food for thoughts for anyone who thinks Catelyn has mistreated him while Robb acted as his brother and friend:

(ASoS ~95% read)
Spoiler


When he describes the cruelty of his treatment at Winterfell he remembers the judgement of two people in specific:

1) Cat with her cold look in her eyes
2) Robb who actually yelled at him "You cannot be Lord of Winterfell, you are bastard born!"

Granted, it was during a game they were playing, but still it hurt Jon enough to remember after all those years and to hurt the guy he was actually fighting at that moment in a fit of anger.

...still think Cat mistreated him, if that is his cruelest memory of her? Do you think Robb mistreated him, because he blurted this sentence out? Just for the records, I think neither mistreated him.

Edited by Ygrette, 20 February 2012 - 07:59 AM.


#330 Drowsey Dragon

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:12 AM

Catelyn did take it up with Ned. She didn't treat Jon like one of her own children, but it's not like she was cruel to him. She never told him that he should leave Winterfell, even if she did suggest the idea to Ned. She snapped at him once, when her eight year old son was dying, but considering the circumstances I can forgive her.


I firmly believe if Ned had leveled with Cat from the start and told her everything regarding Jon, she would have treated him differently. For all the Cat haters, Ned deserves a huge share of your blame/rage.

#331 Imp Beyond the Wall

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:37 AM

From my own experience, when I re-reread Cat chapters I notice the negatives even more. Believe me, I think she's generally a good mother and was a proper wife for Ned, but her lack of sympathy for a bastard boy that never asked to be born, her continued enmity toward him even when she felt all her children might be dead/lost, and her other rash, ill-thought actions, just don't endear me to the woman.


Agreed. I also think that it is significant that on the occassions where she starts to feel emotions, like pity, she stifles it. Her mantra is "Be strong, Be strong." While I understand what is going on and why she feels sheneeds to do this and I don't think it is deliberate or pathological, I think it means something that she is systematically undermining her own humanity. Her interactions with Robb on campaign, Robb whom we know she loved, sound in some places more like "chess moves" than familial conversation. Over time she becomes more and more about the strategy and the Game of Thrones. Renly at one point cautions Randal Tarly that he is overmatched when "jousting" with Lady Stark. Tarly is no soft-hearted pussycat.

I think that Cat's fundamental tragedy is not that she loses "loved ones", it is that she starts out rather hard hearted but human, and by the end, partly through horrible circumstances but significantly through her own desire to be tough, to be strong, she has loses her humanity.

My view of her begins with Jon Snow, but it does not end with him.

#332 brashcandy

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:52 AM

Interesting.
I am currently reading near the end of SoS and will set spoiler tags, but here's a very interesting food for thoughts for anyone who thinks Catelyn has mistreated him while Robb acted as his brother and friend:

(ASoS ~95% read)

Spoiler


When he describes the cruelty of his treatment at Winterfell he remembers the judgement of two people in specific:

1) Cat with her cold look in her eyes
2) Robb who actually yelled at him "You cannot be Lord of Winterfell, you are bastard born!"

Granted, it was during a game they were playing, but still it hurt Jon enough to remember after all those years and to hurt the guy he was actually fighting at that moment in a fit of anger.

...still think Cat mistreated him, if that is his cruelest memory of her? Do you think Robb mistreated him, because he blurted this sentence out? Just for the records, I think neither mistreated him.


Ygrette, Robb was a child, and Cat had just finished making sure that he knew his bastard brother could inherit nothing. And in this case, yes I choose to understand that Robb was a child and simply said what his mother told him. He wasn't being meanspirited. Cat is an ADULT. She should rise above her petty upsets and grievances, not sink below them. When Cat defenders start judging her by adult standards, then perhaps we can have an honest conversation. A woman that chooses to abuse a young child in her household because it's more convenient than taking it out on her husband, does not meet my definition of admirable or likeable.

#333 Phat Walda

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:54 AM

Catelyn did take it up with Ned. She didn't treat Jon like one of her own children, but it's not like she was cruel to him. She never told him that he should leave Winterfell, even if she did suggest the idea to Ned. She snapped at him once, when her eight year old son was dying, but considering the circumstances I can forgive her.


Emphasis mine, I just wanted to clarify. Are you saying that she never told him to leave Winterfell before the start of the book, or that she never told him to leave for the Wall? I just wasn't clear.

#334 Ygrette

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:01 AM

Ygrette, Robb was a child, and Cat had just finished making sure that he knew his bastard brother could inherit nothing. And in this case, yes I choose to understand that Robb was a child and simply said what his mother told him. He wasn't being meanspirited.


As I said, I agree that Robb was not mistreating Jon.

Cat is an ADULT. She should rise above her petty upsets and grievances, not sink below them. When Cat defenders start judging her by adult standards, then perhaps we can have an honest conversation. A woman that chooses to abuse a young child in her household because it's more convenient than taking it out on her husband, does not meet my definition of admirable or likeable.


As I said, I would be consent with that, if she had abused him. I just don't think she did.

For all I know what Cat actually did to Jon was:
- not love him
- look at him with cold eyes
- yell at him at one rather isolated occasion, where she was in pain

I can see how this is upsetting if you're thinking and feeling in Jon's shoes, but objectively spoken, I can't see any kind of massive cruel child abuse here. I'm not saying anyone should like her, but the pattern of child abuse simply doesn't fit here. Jon was just as hurt by Robb than he was by Ned or Catelyn.

#335 The GRRumbler

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:04 AM

Ygrette, Robb was a child, and Cat had just finished making sure that he knew his bastard brother could inherit nothing. And in this case, yes I choose to understand that Robb was a child and simply said what his mother told him. He wasn't being meanspirited. Cat is an ADULT. She should rise above her petty upsets and grievances, not sink below them. When Cat defenders start judging her by adult standards, then perhaps we can have an honest conversation. A woman that chooses to abuse a young child in her household because it's more convenient than taking it out on her husband, does not meet my definition of admirable or likeable.

Oh shit, this again, she didn't chose to abuse him, she chose to be distant to him, there's a difference. And keeping her distance to him was a choise, that you may not agree but i don't think is something that can be compared to child abuse. And she did took the issue to her husband. This has also been discussed before.
Thus, the question I have is if Catelyn went out of her way to mistreat Jon in the past -- and which form this might have taken -- or if she rather tried to avoid and ignore him?

"Mistreatment" is a loaded word. Did Catelyn beat Jon bloody? No. Did she distance herself from him? Yes. Did she verbally abuse and attack him? No. (The instance in Bran's bedroom was obviously a very special case). But I am sure she was very protective of the rights of her own children, and in that sense always drew the line sharply between bastard and trueborn where issues like seating on the high table for the king's visit were at issue.
And Jon surely knew that she would have preferred to have him elsewhere.


The autor said himself, mistreatment is a loaded word.

When you choose to let go of your own bias against her and try to judge her with fairness and context, then we can have a honest conversation.

Edited by Doran II, 20 February 2012 - 09:06 AM.


#336 Phat Walda

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:05 AM

Interesting.
I am currently reading near the end of SoS and will set spoiler tags, but here's a very interesting food for thoughts for anyone who thinks Catelyn has mistreated him while Robb acted as his brother and friend:

(ASoS ~95% read)

Spoiler


When he describes the cruelty of his treatment at Winterfell he remembers the judgement of two people in specific:

1) Cat with her cold look in her eyes
2) Robb who actually yelled at him "You cannot be Lord of Winterfell, you are bastard born!"

Granted, it was during a game they were playing, but still it hurt Jon enough to remember after all those years and to hurt the guy he was actually fighting at that moment in a fit of anger.

...still think Cat mistreated him, if that is his cruelest memory of her? Do you think Robb mistreated him, because he blurted this sentence out? Just for the records, I think neither mistreated him.


I want to add one thing that Cat did, which to me, speaks volumes. When she stops Jon to tell him it "should have been him", the only reason he turns around was because he "had never heard her call him by his name before." That just makes me wonder what she DID call him. /unsure.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':unsure:' />

Edited by Phat Walda, 20 February 2012 - 09:10 AM.


#337 OnionAhaiReborn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:06 AM

(Edmure and the smallfolk)
I think she is actually worried that it's a wrong decision. I don't see the "eeew, look at all those smelly peasants" in her, but more the "uhm... is this really a good idea?"


You're right that she doesn't actively insult the peasants for being lower than her, but she does believe that they are not worthy of protection (because they will eat food and therefore be harmful to withstanding a siege) while she believing that she is worthy of protection (even though she will eat food and therefore be harmful to withstanding the siege).

As for your larger point about her being human with human mistakes. I think you are right except that when it comes to characters, I just need something to like in them, especially if I'm going to exist in their POV for several chapters. So while I can't say Catelyn is evil or guilty of any greater stupid decisions than other characters, I can say that I really dislike her attitude towards the people around her. And given that fact, barring any saving graces to make me like her, I just don't like her. And I don't see her do anything truly kind or compassionate. I see the fact that she prayed for everyone thrown out as an example of compassion and my response is: words are wind.

As for the 'Saving Private Brienne' situation: I'm going to say that this is Catelyn's finest hour, I'll give you that. It's probably her best moment in the books since she grabbed the assassin's blade. But Jaime Lannister returning to save Brienne it is not. She sees the shadow killing, she is like, 'what the hell just happened? they are going to suspect us we've got to go now. I'll give you a horse let's get going.' And good job Catelyn, I'll give her that. Sometimes she can get into action mode and be impressive in that sense. She successfully guides Brienne out of there when she is in shock. But she is running too, and if she had stayed she would have been suspected as much and possibly more than Brienne. I still haven't seen Cat go out of her way to help someone who wasn't in her family.

1) Cat with her cold look in her eyes
2) Robb who actually yelled at him "You cannot be Lord of Winterfell, you are bastard born!"

Granted, it was during a game they were playing, but still it hurt Jon enough to remember after all those years and to hurt the guy he was actually fighting at that moment in a fit of anger.

...still think Cat mistreated him, if that is his cruelest memory of her? Do you think Robb mistreated him, because he blurted this sentence out? Just for the records, I think neither mistreated him.


I do not believe this is Jon's 'worst' memory of his time in Winterfell, I think he is drawing out this one specifically because his mind is on Robb. I would say Robb is being cruel in the way that children are to one another, but they are children and they take their cues from adults. I won't lay it all at the feet of Catelyn, because EVERYONE in Westeros views bastards as inferior, but Robb is taking this from the adults around him, Catelyn included. Robb needed someone to talk to him like Maester Luwin talked to Bran and later the Walder Freys about their treatment of Hodor (I love Maester Luwin forever for his kindness about Hodor).

Edited by OnionAhaiReborn, 20 February 2012 - 09:12 AM.


#338 Imp Beyond the Wall

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:11 AM

You can't blame Robb for knowing Jon Snow's place at Winterfell. Everyone knew Jon's place. The relationships are not all the same though. Ned/Father; Robb,Bran Rickon/Brothers, Arya/Little Sister, Sansa/Half-Sister, Catelyn/Arch-Nemesis. I would say Wicked Step-Mother but Cat would prbably resent the use of the term "Step-Mother." Even though they don't have many actual pages together I think that Robb makes clear his brotherly affection and respsect for Jon. "Bastardy" was a fact of life in Westeros but no everyone felt the same about bastards. You don't get the sense that Robb, or Old Nan or Ser Rodrik for that matter, "never let him forget it."

#339 Phat Walda

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:15 AM

As for your larger point about her being human with human mistakes. I think you are right except that when it comes to characters, I just need something to like in them, especially if I'm going to exist in their POV for several chapters. So while I can't say Catelyn is evil or guilty of any greater stupid decisions than other characters, I can say that I really dislike her attitude towards the people around her. And given that fact, barring any saving graces to make me like her, I just don't like her. And I don't see her do anything truly kind or compassionate. I see the fact that she prayed for everyone thrown out as an example of compassion and my response is: words are wind.


/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' /> /agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' /> /agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' /> /wub.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':wub:' /> /bowdown.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bowdown:' />

#340 The GRRumbler

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

You can't blame Robb for knowing Jon Snow's place at Winterfell. Everyone knew Jon's place. The relationships are not all the same though. Ned/Father; Robb,Bran Rickon/Brothers, Arya/Little Sister, Sansa/Half-Sister, Catelyn/Arch-Nemesis. I would say Wicked Step-Mother but Cat would prbably resent the use of the term "Step-Mother." Even though they don't have many actual pages together I think that Robb makes clear his brotherly affection and respsect for Jon. "Bastardy" was a fact of life in Westeros but no everyone felt the same about bastards. You don't get the sense that Robb, or Old Nan or Ser Rodrik for that matter, "never let him forget it."


Thats because they were all kids and had no idea of the dangers of having a bastard in their home, the danger that this bastard may someday try to take the power from them, see the Blackfyres, Ramsay Snow, etc. Cat was the only one afraid/hostile to jon in a cold way, because she knew better than to underestimate this possibility. Ned's reason are still in the dark, if r+l=j is true it does not justifies not telling her, if is not then why the hell not raise him somewhere else, like in one of the other lords households as a fosterling?

Im not saying that Jon is a terrible person that would betray his father, im just saying that, as a lord, you have to consider that possibility.