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A different discussion about Catelyn


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#1 David Selig

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:03 AM

As the title indicates, the idea for this thread is to be different from the usual Catelyn on this board. Most of you know how these usually go - the same major incidents are argued over and over again. In order to avoid this, I want to emphasize that this isn't a thread to discuss these major issues. So please, if you want to talk about Catelyn telling Jon Snow "It should've been you", her arrest of Tyrion, the release of Jaime, her advice to Ned to go to KL, whether she was right to stay with Robb instead of going back to Winterfell, advising Robb not to send Theon to his father, her role in putting Roose in charge of the infantry of the north - don't do it here. There are hundreds of long threads on this topics, bump one or start a new one, please.

But this doesn't mean that in thread you can't criticize her or her actions, not at all. I just want us to discuss material from the books which don't get much attention. If you want to bring up something which isn't discussed much, but shows her in a negative light - go for it.

Anyway, first I want to disprove the often repeated suggestion that Catelyn only cares about herself, her own children and her husband. She shows kindness, consideration and empathy for people outside her husband and kids throughout the series. Some examples (in chronological order):

1)When she arrives in KL, she gives a bonus payment to the oarsmen of the ship and makes sure that each of one got the money and the captain didn't keep it for himself. It doesn't seem like much, sure, but how many of the high nobles in the series have shown similar consideration for the smallfolk serving them? It's a very short list.

2)On the way to the Eyrie, when some people in her party were killed in the fight against clansmen, she wanted to make sure they got a proper burial. The circumstances didn't allow it so in the end her companions convinced her to leave them unburied, but she was pretty distraught over it. In comparison Tyrion couldn't care less that his servant was killed and was left without a proper burial.

3)Despite a popular misconception, Catelyn treated Mya Stone nicely and felt genuine sympathy for her when Mya told her about her lover being a scion of major noble House. She thought Mya reminded her of Sansa.

4) Brienne - for some reason her saving Brienne doesn't get enough credit on the board, at least in my experience. Sure it's not as spectacular as Jaime and the bear, but it is just as much of a risk, maybe even more since Jaime knew he was too valuable for Steelshanks to let him die. Not only Catelyn saved Brienne's life in Renly's camp, but later on she made on effort to stop her from getting herself killed by going after Stannis. She gave Brienne some purpose

5)When she got news about Bran and Rickon's deaths, she kept it secret (apart from telling Brienne) to make sure Edmure and the rest of the people could have their celebration of their victory without being burdened by this awful news.

6)Interactions with Jeyne Westerling - Catelyn had a good reason to be angry at Jeyne, but when Jeyne came to her for advice, she treated her very well, gave her the best advice she could and was quite kind and supportive.

In more general sense, she was one of the very few nobles advocating consistently for peace instead of vengeance. But more on this later.

OK, this is enough for now. All comments, critiques, etc, are welcome.

#2 Arya kiddin'

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:11 AM

Such a nice thread. Yes it is true, her good actions get very little spotlight compared to the destructive ones. The reasons to me are pretty clear. The good actions you described have little to no repercussions, excepting maybe saving Brienne. Her actions that are more controversial ones, well they have had too great an impact on the storyline, and mostly in an adverse way.

#3 Queen of Whores

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:23 AM

It's threads like these that make me hate Stoneheart even more.

#4 Slackylc

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:27 AM

I'm always surprised that people often criticise her or say that her story is boring. She's a good mother who cared strongly for her kids, and those points you've just made prove she's also a very good person. I agree especially with your points about Brienne, I always thought what she did there was heavily understated too.

#5 Lord Flashheart

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:28 AM

It's threads like these that make me hate Stoneheart even more.



Care to elaborate?

Edited by Lord Flashheart, 23 August 2013 - 08:29 AM.


#6 Señor de la Tormenta

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:31 AM

I'm always surprised that people often criticise her or say that her story is boring. She's a good mother who cared strongly for her kids, and those points you've just made prove she's also a very good person. I agree especially with your points about Brienne, I always thought what she did there was heavily understated too.

careing for his kids does not mean being a good mother.

Edited by Mr Monopoly, 23 August 2013 - 08:32 AM.


#7 Queen of Whores

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:33 AM

Care to elaborate?


Such a kind, generous, loving woman turned into a cold, vengeance-driven physchopath. Everything we loved about the old Cat now gone.

#8 Knight Of Winter

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:33 AM

Seeing Cateyn defense thread is such a rare and welcome sight. I agree with Nymeria's Consort here - her good actions are mostly overshadowed by her bad ones (how bad they actually are is different matter) - they simply don't propel the story forward on the same scale and generally have much less consequences. Catelyn paying oarsmen or being nice to Mya Stone are nice and commendable gestures which speak much of Cat's character - but they don't influence the story in the same way e.g. freeing Jaime does.

I pretty much agree with your list. Catelyn has always stood out to me as one of more empathetic characters in the series. She's generally nice to people, good lady to her subjects and has fine moral standards. Good part of criticisms of Cat's character I've read so far on this forum simply has no actual base in the text.

#9 Ygrain

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:33 AM

Thank you for this thread, it's badly needed.

#10 Lord Flashheart

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:34 AM

Such a kind, generous, loving woman turned into a cold, vengeance-driven physchopath. Everything we loved about the old Cat now gone.


Ok, I can agree with that. I thought you were going in a different direction with that.

#11 MotherAnduin

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:39 AM

You should add the Crossroads orphanage to the list as well. Even after going through so much and being an undead zombie, Cat cares for children who are complete strangers.

#12 Pero the first of His name

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:47 AM

Case number two shows some respect and kindness but it was the wrong thing to do.
In that particular situation her respect combined with tradition and godfury was a weakness that luckily did not have grave consequences.
Only thing gained was self-satisfaction (unless we argu gods could punish them if they did not do it).

I agree with the other points though. Catelyn is a great and complex character.
I remember that one chapter whe she was in the godswood or some temple in Brittlebridge or by Storm's End when we hear a lot of her internal monologue amongst which there were her thoughts about Cersei and her care for children moved me.

#13 Slackylc

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:48 AM

careing for his kids does not mean being a good mother.


She cared for HER kids and was a good mother. She gave Robb his freedom when he needed it, and her support when he needed that instead. She spent as much time as she could with her kids as they grew up, telling them stories, making sure they were educated, never being harsh or cruel to them. Tell me how she was a bad mother?

#14 The Drunkard

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:50 AM

“Robb will set aside his crown if you and your brother will do the same,” she said, hoping it was true. She would make it true if she must; Robb would listen to her, even if his lords would not. “Let the three of you call for a Great Council, such as the realm has not seen for a hundred years. We will send to Winterfell, so Bran may tell his tale and all men may know the Lannisters for the true usurpers. Let the assembled lords of the Seven Kingdoms choose who shall rule them.”

/cheers.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cheers:' />

#15 TalalOfDorne

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

First of all, great thread. Its about time we actually have a decent discussion about one of the best characters in the series.

1)When she arrives in KL, she gives a bonus payment to the oarsmen of the ship and makes sure that each of one got the money and the captain didn't keep it for himself. It doesn't seem like much, sure, but how many of the high nobles in the series have shown similar consideration for the smallfolk serving them? It's a very short list.



I have always been surprised about how little this incident is mentioned. Its probably the first time Ive seen it mentioned in this board. I think it tells a lot about Catelyn. As you said before, it showed that she really does care about the smallfolk, and I think it shows some signs of her being shrewd when needed. And of course its one of the occasions that definitely shows her being a rather intelligent person and a good judge of character IMO.


ETA: I will contribute more to this thread when I have the time.

Edited by TalalOfDorne, 23 August 2013 - 08:59 AM.


#16 Mr Bell

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

“Robb will set aside his crown if you and your brother will do the same,” she said, hoping it was true. She would make it true if she must; Robb would listen to her, even if his lords would not. “Let the three of you call for a Great Council, such as the realm has not seen for a hundred years. We will send to Winterfell, so Bran may tell his tale and all men may know the Lannisters for the true usurpers. Let the assembled lords of the Seven Kingdoms choose who shall rule them.”

/cheers.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cheers:' />


Gah, the greatest idea ever wasted by the stubbornness of men (I love Stannis, but still, this was probably the best idea presented in the series).

Catelyn Stark, loving mother, kind person, skilled diplomat. She was the real deal /cool4.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cool4:' />

#17 Fish Swim

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:00 AM

<snip>


I have nothing to add other than that I agree with your list completely. Thank you for wanting to discuss Catelyn in a calm and reasonable manner; it is indeed needed, and a very nice change of pace from the usual Cat threads here.

#18 TalalOfDorne

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:02 AM

Oh and don't forget how she tried to comfort a depressed Lady Lynesse Hightower when she came to Winterfell.



"She remembered how young the Lady Lynesse had been, how fair, and how unhappy. One night, after several cups of wine, she had confessed to Catelyn that the north was no place for a Hightower of Oldtown. “There was a Tully of Riverrun who felt the same once,” she had answered gently, trying to console, “but in time she found much here she could love.”

Edited by TalalOfDorne, 23 August 2013 - 09:03 AM.


#19 Pero the first of His name

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:06 AM

“Robb will set aside his crown if you and your brother will do the same,” she said, hoping it was true. She would make it true if she must; Robb would listen to her, even if his lords would not. “Let the three of you call for a Great Council, such as the realm has not seen for a hundred years. We will send to Winterfell, so Bran may tell his tale and all men may know the Lannisters for the true usurpers. Let the assembled lords of the Seven Kingdoms choose who shall rule them.”


I remember when i first read this i was so excited by the idea that i completely disregarded nobody will agree and that it would not make the story go where it needed.

#20 a shadow

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:12 AM

I do not think many people dwell on it as on showing something new or positive of a character, but I liked how she tried and fought till the last second for Robb. She did not let herself get frightened to stone, even if she was tired and her strenght were exhausted.

Edit: To put it simpler and possibly better: I liked that her thoughts were not "Can I do something about this?", but "How do I go on about doing something about this?".

Edited by A Free Shadow, 23 August 2013 - 10:17 AM.