Stormking902

If Benjen never took the black would WOT5K turn out differently ?

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Basically if Benjen was around would it have helped Robb Stark win the war or at least sue for peace on better terms?

I was thinking if Benjen was around he would be second in command not Roose Bolton which would stop the Bolton treason from hapenning maybe even stop Robb from being crowned all together which we all can probably agree was the Worse move of the war. 

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Also a fact I forgot to mention is benjen would obviously be married with children so WF would have plenty of heirs after Bran and rickon went missing making it impossible for the Boltons to legally claim WF. Also the Manderlys could back Benjen and his children immediately instead of playing the game he is currently. 

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24 minutes ago, Stormking902 said:

Basically if Benjen was around would it have helped Robb Stark win the war or at least sue for peace on better terms?

I was thinking if Benjen was around he would be second in command not Roose Bolton which would stop the Bolton treason from hapenning maybe even stop Robb from being crowned all together which we all can probably agree was the Worse move of the war. 

Sorry to go a little off topic, but Robb being crowned in the north was not a bad move at all. All it did was rally the forces around him even more, what lost the north was his poorly developed politics skills.

Cutting off Lord Karstark head was nothing short of moronic, and then again not keeping his arrangement with the Frey's. He could have a wife in name, and a consort in his bed every night without any problems..Walder would not give two shits about his daughter honour as long as she was legally married to Robb.

To be more on topic, yes having another voice of reason in Benjen in his camp would not have hurt at all. Benjen would probably be more harsh with him, and explain why honour must be sacrificed for the greater good ( The north being free and getting his sister back)

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If Benjen was still around then I fancy him being a seasoned fighter or at least blooded one way or another. Ned might not have taken him to war during Robert’s rebellion but he would have certainly took some part during the Greyjoy rebellion.  That would be significant because he would know, first hand, how treacherous the Greyjoys are and he would never allow Theon to go back to Pyke. He would also be married, possibly to a Northern Lady.  Recently widowed Lady Dustin would probably be the favourite considering that the Starks are honourable and they had slighted Barbrey not once but twice. Ned will be extremely generous, possibly by giving them lands and titles, if not Barrowtown itself (assuming there’s no direct Dustin heirs are available to claim the place).  Benjen was fostered there so there will be no one better then him to rule the place.
Jon Snow would probably not join the NW and would instead go and live with Uncle Benjen. That means that when the war occur both Jon and Benjen will be involved. That’s quite significant as it shift power from the Riverlands to the North. Benjen would be regent rather than Cat and with Benjen around Robb will rely far less on the Blackfish. Benjen is also older than Robb and he knows the North more than the young wolf. They will fall in line. 
That changes things significantly. 
a-    Benjen will inspire more confidence than that of a boy. That means that he will raise a bigger force. As someone who had the potential of becoming first ranger he will understand the worth of unconventional warfare. That means he will demand Howland Reed to join the war council too. Why wouldn’t he? Reed is experienced in warfare having served Ned so well during Robert’s rebellion. Howland is fiercely royal to the Starks and the crannogmen are experts in guerrilla warfare and he is their Lord. 
b-    There will be less urgency to save Riverrun. Unlike Cat who was desperate to save her father and brother from being captured, Benjen will probably put the Northern army interest first. For example he might take the longer route instead of having to beg for passage to Walder Frey. It makes sense. Why would he trust a man who had already proved wanting during Robert’s rebellion, whose been mocked for it by the Tullys for decades and whose son live in CR?
c-    With the Northern army coming late, Edmure would be captured by the Lannisters and taken to CR. Tywin scouts would spot the Northern army from far away which means they will retreat in order to CR or to KL before the North can take them down. 
d-    There won’t be any spectacular victory this time round however I believe that Riverrun will survive the siege. That means that Hoster will probably be naming somebody else as heir and they won’t be any crowns awaiting Robb. Brynden Tully will take command of the Riverlands until Edmure is rescued or dies.
e-    With Ned dead, no great victories from the North and with so many hostages in Lannister hands, the North will tread cautiously. With Sansa and Edmure in Lannister hands, the North has a lot to lose if they continue the war. However they are at the lead of a 30k army which might double if the Vale decides to join the fray. Tywin will probably try to bring them back to the fold by offering a pardon, Edmure’s return and prestigious marriage matchups between Joffrey and Sansa and Queen Cersei with Edmure. On the other hand the Baratheon brothers will sense the North/Riverlands moments of hesitation and will try and counter, offering the North revenge and lands in exchange of them joining their cause. The war in the Riverlands will reach a standstill as the Starks allow themselves to be courted by Lannisters, Tyrells and Baratheons. Hostility will cease in the Riverlands which will allow Arya to reach her brother forces. 
f-    These moments of hesitation will cause frustration. The wolf and the Lion won’t be ripping each other throat anytime soon so he will have to act.  He’ll march to KL to try and take the city. Tywin will try and stop him. Meanwhile the crown’s offer to have the Starks at their back will grow more generous by the hour. The Lion is already outnumbered as he is without the need of the Starks backstabbing them. If Robb is shrewd he might even convince Tywin to give him the King of the North title especially if he offers to marry Myrcella with Joffrey marrying Sansa and Edmure marrying Cersei.
g-    If Renly dies, then it all will depend on Howland Reed. If he spills the beans about Jon Snow, he might even tip the balance of war to the Starks side, especially if he is some sort of proof. Surely the Tyrells would rather have Margaery marry a dragon then an incompetent king who foolishly executed a war veteran who put his father on the throne.  If Howland Reed remain silent then the Tyrells will join the war on Lannister side and the Northern armies will probably have to bend the knee.

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3 hours ago, devilish said:

If Benjen was still around then I fancy him being a seasoned fighter or at least blooded one way or another. Ned might not have taken him to war during Robert’s rebellion but he would have certainly took some part during the Greyjoy rebellion.  That would be significant because he would know, first hand, how treacherous the Greyjoys are and he would never allow Theon to go back to Pyke. He would also be married, possibly to a Northern Lady.  Recently widowed Lady Dustin would probably be the favourite considering that the Starks are honourable and they had slighted Barbrey not once but twice. Ned will be extremely generous, possibly by giving them lands and titles, if not Barrowtown itself (assuming there’s no direct Dustin heirs are available to claim the place).  Benjen was fostered there so there will be no one better then him to rule the place.
Jon Snow would probably not join the NW and would instead go and live with Uncle Benjen. That means that when the war occur both Jon and Benjen will be involved. That’s quite significant as it shift power from the Riverlands to the North. Benjen would be regent rather than Cat and with Benjen around Robb will rely far less on the Blackfish. Benjen is also older than Robb and he knows the North more than the young wolf. They will fall in line. 
That changes things significantly. 
a-    Benjen will inspire more confidence than that of a boy. That means that he will raise a bigger force. As someone who had the potential of becoming first ranger he will understand the worth of unconventional warfare. That means he will demand Howland Reed to join the war council too. Why wouldn’t he? Reed is experienced in warfare having served Ned so well during Robert’s rebellion. Howland is fiercely royal to the Starks and the crannogmen are experts in guerrilla warfare and he is their Lord. 
b-    There will be less urgency to save Riverrun. Unlike Cat who was desperate to save her father and brother from being captured, Benjen will probably put the Northern army interest first. For example he might take the longer route instead of having to beg for passage to Walder Frey. It makes sense. Why would he trust a man who had already proved wanting during Robert’s rebellion, whose been mocked for it by the Tullys for decades and whose son live in CR?
c-    With the Northern army coming late, Edmure would be captured by the Lannisters and taken to CR. Tywin scouts would spot the Northern army from far away which means they will retreat in order to CR or to KL before the North can take them down. 
d-    There won’t be any spectacular victory this time round however I believe that Riverrun will survive the siege. That means that Hoster will probably be naming somebody else as heir and they won’t be any crowns awaiting Robb. Brynden Tully will take command of the Riverlands until Edmure is rescued or dies.
e-    With Ned dead, no great victories from the North and with so many hostages in Lannister hands, the North will tread cautiously. With Sansa and Edmure in Lannister hands, the North has a lot to lose if they continue the war. However they are at the lead of a 30k army which might double if the Vale decides to join the fray. Tywin will probably try to bring them back to the fold by offering a pardon, Edmure’s return and prestigious marriage matchups between Joffrey and Sansa and Queen Cersei with Edmure. On the other hand the Baratheon brothers will sense the North/Riverlands moments of hesitation and will try and counter, offering the North revenge and lands in exchange of them joining their cause. The war in the Riverlands will reach a standstill as the Starks allow themselves to be courted by Lannisters, Tyrells and Baratheons. Hostility will cease in the Riverlands which will allow Arya to reach her brother forces. 
f-    These moments of hesitation will cause frustration. The wolf and the Lion won’t be ripping each other throat anytime soon so he will have to act.  He’ll march to KL to try and take the city. Tywin will try and stop him. Meanwhile the crown’s offer to have the Starks at their back will grow more generous by the hour. The Lion is already outnumbered as he is without the need of the Starks backstabbing them. If Robb is shrewd he might even convince Tywin to give him the King of the North title especially if he offers to marry Myrcella with Joffrey marrying Sansa and Edmure marrying Cersei.
g-    If Renly dies, then it all will depend on Howland Reed. If he spills the beans about Jon Snow, he might even tip the balance of war to the Starks side, especially if he is some sort of proof. Surely the Tyrells would rather have Margaery marry a dragon then an incompetent king who foolishly executed a war veteran who put his father on the throne.  If Howland Reed remain silent then the Tyrells will join the war on Lannister side and the Northern armies will probably have to bend the knee.

I agree on most of what you said for sure it seems Benjen taking the black cost his family everything at the moment it never made sense for him to take the black anyways considering Ned knew what it really was.......

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13 hours ago, Stormking902 said:

I agree on most of what you said for sure it seems Benjen taking the black cost his family everything at the moment it never made sense for him to take the black anyways considering Ned knew what it really was.......

As someone of noble blood Benjen would most probably not been kicked out of Winterfell. Quite contrary he be given a great job inside of it.  Medieval life was cruel with entire families being wiped out by either war or sicknesses. Even as a third son, Rickard would have invested a lot on him for the simple reason that he might rule Winterfell one day + knowledge is all he would probably own. Also leading is often a nasty business were the wrong decision can cost the house their lands and titles. Ned would need somebody trustworthy as his side and a brother is the closest he could aim to.

However the life of a younger brother isn't easy. His life shifts quickly from being an equal son of a Lord (because fathers tend to love all their children the same) to somebody who owns nothing and his future and that of his offspring belongs to their older brother. We've seen many younger brothers who found that difficult to accept such complete dominance on their lives from Brynden Tully to Stannis Baratheon right to Tygett Lannister, The temptation for Benjen to avoid all that and go into a respected order (the North respect the NW) were meritocracy rules is great.

Also unlike Cat who married a complete stranger who came home few months later with a baby, Benjen had lived his entire life with Ned. He knew that he's not the kind to father bastards so he suspected that something was odd with JS. Because of it, he might have fought Cat's hostility at the boy, which in turn, would have made him a persona non grata at Winterfell.

I still think that Ned had handled Benjen poorly. By marrying him to Lady Barbrey, he would have solved grievances with the Rills who have seen a Stark and a noble Lord being snatched away by the Stark alliances and wars.He would have also gave Benjen a purpose + he would have the unique opportunity to have JS being raised in a loving environment and away from Cat. There again, most of the things Ned did were done poorly.

 

 

  

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Roose Bolton may still have been made second in command in an attempt to keep him on side and as acknowledgement of his obvious skill in battle/war.

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Ned probably takes Robb with him to KL and leaves Benjen as castellan. This means he also takes Cat who (deep sigh) understands political intrigue alot more than Ned. So...everything changes, if the story stays the same, as in Robb is still KitN, one Blackfish-lite isn't going to change much.

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18 hours ago, The Fresh PtwP said:

Ned probably takes Robb with him to KL and leaves Benjen as castellan. This means he also takes Cat who (deep sigh) understands political intrigue alot more than Ned. So...everything changes, if the story stays the same, as in Robb is still KitN, one Blackfish-lite isn't going to change much.

Robb was still a boy when he marched his armies South. He looked like a Tully and he was surrounded by war veterans he barely knew anything about. By that time Benjen would have fought in the Greyjoy rebellion, he would be married to a noble lady whose house would probably join the fray and he would have won a couple of tournaments himself. So why on earth would Robb leave Uncle Benjen behind?

I think Benjen would be the one who takes the reigns, at least until the boy has come to age. After that he will become Robb's second in command. I do believe that Benjen would leave somebody behind to help Bran but it won't be himself. In my opinion that man would be Jon Snow.

Think about it. Jon had been trained and groomed in the same way Robb did. He knows his place but he also love his half brother dearly. Also the Starks would need all their bannermen's adulation for Ned as that would raise more troops. Taking his bastard around wouldn't do any good. 

 

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On 12/01/2017 at 11:27 AM, Cymorococh said:

Roose Bolton may still have been made second in command in an attempt to keep him on side and as acknowledgement of his obvious skill in battle/war.

Why would he? The Boltons do not share Stark blood but had never shown any signs of disloyalty. Robb chose Roose instead of the Greatjon not because he wanted or even suspected that Roose might become a turncoat but simply because the Greatjon was too fiery. With Benjen around, Robb would have the ideal no 2, ie someone whose a Stark + who is also well versed in the art of war. That makes him the ideal no 2. 

 

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1 hour ago, devilish said:

Robb was still a boy when he marched his armies South. He looked like a Tully and he was surrounded by war veterans he barely knew anything about. By that time Benjen would have fought in the Greyjoy rebellion, he would be married to a noble lady whose house would probably join the fray and he would have won a couple of tournaments himself. So why on earth would Robb leave Uncle Benjen behind?

I think Benjen would be the one who takes the reigns, at least until the boy has come to age. After that he will become Robb's second in command. I do believe that Benjen would leave somebody behind to help Bran but it won't be himself. In my opinion that man would be Jon Snow.

Think about it. Jon had been trained and groomed in the same way Robb did. He knows his place but he also love his half brother dearly. Also the Starks would need all their bannermen's adulation for Ned as that would raise more troops. Taking his bastard around wouldn't do any good. 

 

I never said Robb would leave Benjen behind. I said Ned would. Actually for all the reasons you mentioned, Robb is young and inexperienced that's why Ned left Cat to babysit. 

Robb was left because he was the only suitable Stark in Winterfell. Uncle Benjen fixes that as an older, known, reliable Stark. Freeing up Cat and Robb to go to the capital.

Now if we are assuming the story stays exactly the same yet Benjen is just around...as i said in my last post one Blackfish lite isn't going to change much. I'll grant you Benjen might be made 2nd in command, but after Blackwater Robb was done. If we are strictly talking warfare Benjen does not change the WoFK.

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On 1/12/2017 at 3:35 AM, devilish said:

As someone of noble blood Benjen would most probably not been kicked out of Winterfell. Quite contrary he be given a great job inside of it.  Medieval life was cruel with entire families being wiped out by either war or sicknesses. Even as a third son, Rickard would have invested a lot on him for the simple reason that he might rule Winterfell one day + knowledge is all he would probably own. Also leading is often a nasty business were the wrong decision can cost the house their lands and titles. Ned would need somebody trustworthy as his side and a brother is the closest he could aim to.

However the life of a younger brother isn't easy. His life shifts quickly from being an equal son of a Lord (because fathers tend to love all their children the same) to somebody who owns nothing and his future and that of his offspring belongs to their older brother. We've seen many younger brothers who found that difficult to accept such complete dominance on their lives from Brynden Tully to Stannis Baratheon right to Tygett Lannister, The temptation for Benjen to avoid all that and go into a respected order (the North respect the NW) were meritocracy rules is great.

Also unlike Cat who married a complete stranger who came home few months later with a baby, Benjen had lived his entire life with Ned. He knew that he's not the kind to father bastards so he suspected that something was odd with JS. Because of it, he might have fought Cat's hostility at the boy, which in turn, would have made him a persona non grata at Winterfell.

I still think that Ned had handled Benjen poorly. By marrying him to Lady Barbrey, he would have solved grievances with the Rills who have seen a Stark and a noble Lord being snatched away by the Stark alliances and wars.He would have also gave Benjen a purpose + he would have the unique opportunity to have JS being raised in a loving environment and away from Cat. There again, most of the things Ned did were done poorly.

 

It remains to be seen, but the writing is on the wall that the topic of The She-Wolves of Winterfell; that is, a Stark succession crisis due to too many dead Lord Starks in a short period of time and too many heirs running around, led the last 3 generations of Starks to streamline the future potential heirs to Winterfell as much as possible.  

I feel like I need to shout this from the rooftops because it's important: Strictly speaking, Ned's great-great-great grandfather was a usurper.  In brief:

Cregan Stark had 10 children:  Rickon Stark by Arra Norrey, 4 girls by Alysanne Blackwood (part of the pact of ice and fire), and 5 more by his 3rd wife Lynarra (last name not known): Jonnel, Edric, Lyanna, Barthogan, and Brandon (in that order).  

Rickon Stark was the heir apparent, but he was the Stark heir who died in Sunspear at the end of the Dance of Dragons, leaving his Manderly wife and 2 daughters, Serena and Sansa.  Presumably to ward off a succession crisis, Rickon's youngest daughter Sansa wed Rickon's oldest half brother, Jonnel, who succeeded his father and became Lord of Winterfell when Cregan died.  

Here's where it gets interesting.  Jonnel died without issue.  His next oldest brother was Edric, who married Rickon Stark's eldest daughter Serena.  This should have made Edric the undisputed Lord of Winterfell, both as Jonnel's legitimate successor and as the husband of Rickon's heir.  Rickon and Serena even had 4 kids: the twins Cregard and Torrhen, and Aragelle and Arrana, who married into Robard Cerwyn and Osric Umber, respectively, and whose decendants became the current House Cerwyn and House Umber.  

For some reason that is currently unexplained and which will surely be explained in great detail in The She Wolves of Winterfell, Edric and Serena were passed over.  The Lord of Winterfell became Edric's younger brother Barthogan, who also died without issue in the Skagosi uprising, and was followed by his younger brother Brandon Stark.  

Brandon was succeeded by his eldest son Rodwell, who married a Manderly but died without issue, so he in turn was succeeded by his brother and Brandon's only other son, Beron.  

Beron had 7 kids (all by his Royce wife): Donnor, Willam, Artos (the Implacable), Berena, Alysanne, Errold, and Rodrik (the Wandering Wolf).  His death is what set off the succession crisis (again, for reasons we don't yet know).  Presumably the heir of Serena and Edric Stark, with the presumed backing of House Cerwyn and House Umber, would have demanded Winterfell over Beron's heir.  All 4 would have had superior claims to Beron's heir, Donnor.  The descendants of Cregan's 4 Blackwood daughters may also have had some influence.  At any rate, based solely on what has been disclosed of the family tree, there's a legitimate argument to be made that, by primogeniture alone, the Greatjon actually has a superior claim to Winterfell than Ned or his children have, and Jonelle Cerwyn (whose name I didn't even know until I just looked it up) technically has a superior claim of them all!

 

I didn't mean to turn this into a Stark family tree thread.  All I was pointing out is that this confusion, I think, is what led each of Beron Stark's children to limit their progeny.  Donnor had no children, Willam had 3  (but no more than 2 were ever living at the same time), Berena, ALysanne, and Errold had no children, and Rodrik had 2 girls.  Willam succeeded his issue-less brother, and, having no living brothers himself, was painlessly succeeded by his only son Edwyle.  Edwyle in turn had only one child, Rickard, who he married to Rodrik's younger daughter.  Thus, within one generation, House Stark managed to go from a Frey-like entanglement of potential heirs to a streamlined family tree.  

Thus, I imagine that Rickard, in choosing to have 4 children, would have imparted in all of them the importance of avoiding crises of succession.  While Benjen was presumably the Stark in Winterfell during Robert's Rebellion, I assume that at the conclusion of the War, and once Ned had heirs sufficient for House Stark to survive, Benjen left for the Night's Watch to prevent any potential succession crises for future generations.

Anything having to do with Benjen being at odds with Cat is pure speculation without any evidence from the books.  It is likewise speculative to imagine 1) that Ned would have any way of knowing that Barbrey Ryswell bore him a personal grudge; 2) that Ned would be so callous as to say "hey listen, your husband died, here's his horse, and oh by the way I'm making you marry my kid brother, or 3) that Ned would have felt like he needed to solidify his relationships with the Ryswells and/or Dustins, as representatives of both accompanied him to the Tower of Joy, so their loyalty was without question.  You can be mad at Ned for plenty, but I don't see how you can be mad at Ned for that.

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On 1/11/2017 at 4:19 AM, Stormking902 said:

Basically if Benjen was around would it have helped Robb Stark win the war or at least sue for peace on better terms?

I was thinking if Benjen was around he would be second in command not Roose Bolton which would stop the Bolton treason from hapenning maybe even stop Robb from being crowned all together which we all can probably agree was the Worse move of the war. 

Not at all. He would have to go missing as a plot point so the story would continue. Maybe taken beyond the wall by wildling raiders?  

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On 13/01/2017 at 5:48 PM, The Fresh PtwP said:

I never said Robb would leave Benjen behind. I said Ned would. Actually for all the reasons you mentioned, Robb is young and inexperienced that's why Ned left Cat to babysit. 

Robb was left because he was the only suitable Stark in Winterfell. Uncle Benjen fixes that as an older, known, reliable Stark. Freeing up Cat and Robb to go to the capital.

Now if we are assuming the story stays exactly the same yet Benjen is just around...as i said in my last post one Blackfish lite isn't going to change much. I'll grant you Benjen might be made 2nd in command, but after Blackwater Robb was done. If we are strictly talking warfare Benjen does not change the WoFK.

If Ned was in command instead of Robb and Benjen was still around (not as a member of the NW) then I can see Ned leaving Robb and Cat home

a- Ned knows that war is a treacherous thing. He'll need as many loyal battle hardened people around him as possible. Benjen would make a great second in command

b- Robb is his heir and he is so green that he pisses grass. The last thing he'll want is for him to be captured or worse, killed especially since his second heir is a cripple. Winterfell is thought to be safe, so he'll keep him there as he did with Benjen many moons before

He might leave Jon Snow home too. Wars are stressful and bannermen can be sensitive especially if the wrong word is uttered by some bastard whose so green that he pisses grass. 

 

 

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On 13/01/2017 at 8:10 PM, estermonty python said:

It remains to be seen, but the writing is on the wall that the topic of The She-Wolves of Winterfell; that is, a Stark succession crisis due to too many dead Lord Starks in a short period of time and too many heirs running around, led the last 3 generations of Starks to streamline the future potential heirs to Winterfell as much as possible.  

I feel like I need to shout this from the rooftops because it's important: Strictly speaking, Ned's great-great-great grandfather was a usurper.  In brief:

Cregan Stark had 10 children:  Rickon Stark by Arra Norrey, 4 girls by Alysanne Blackwood (part of the pact of ice and fire), and 5 more by his 3rd wife Lynarra (last name not known): Jonnel, Edric, Lyanna, Barthogan, and Brandon (in that order).  

Rickon Stark was the heir apparent, but he was the Stark heir who died in Sunspear at the end of the Dance of Dragons, leaving his Manderly wife and 2 daughters, Serena and Sansa.  Presumably to ward off a succession crisis, Rickon's youngest daughter Sansa wed Rickon's oldest half brother, Jonnel, who succeeded his father and became Lord of Winterfell when Cregan died.  

Here's where it gets interesting.  Jonnel died without issue.  His next oldest brother was Edric, who married Rickon Stark's eldest daughter Serena.  This should have made Edric the undisputed Lord of Winterfell, both as Jonnel's legitimate successor and as the husband of Rickon's heir.  Rickon and Serena even had 4 kids: the twins Cregard and Torrhen, and Aragelle and Arrana, who married into Robard Cerwyn and Osric Umber, respectively, and whose decendants became the current House Cerwyn and House Umber.  

For some reason that is currently unexplained and which will surely be explained in great detail in The She Wolves of Winterfell, Edric and Serena were passed over.  The Lord of Winterfell became Edric's younger brother Barthogan, who also died without issue in the Skagosi uprising, and was followed by his younger brother Brandon Stark.  

Brandon was succeeded by his eldest son Rodwell, who married a Manderly but died without issue, so he in turn was succeeded by his brother and Brandon's only other son, Beron.  

Beron had 7 kids (all by his Royce wife): Donnor, Willam, Artos (the Implacable), Berena, Alysanne, Errold, and Rodrik (the Wandering Wolf).  His death is what set off the succession crisis (again, for reasons we don't yet know).  Presumably the heir of Serena and Edric Stark, with the presumed backing of House Cerwyn and House Umber, would have demanded Winterfell over Beron's heir.  All 4 would have had superior claims to Beron's heir, Donnor.  The descendants of Cregan's 4 Blackwood daughters may also have had some influence.  At any rate, based solely on what has been disclosed of the family tree, there's a legitimate argument to be made that, by primogeniture alone, the Greatjon actually has a superior claim to Winterfell than Ned or his children have, and Jonelle Cerwyn (whose name I didn't even know until I just looked it up) technically has a superior claim of them all!

 

I didn't mean to turn this into a Stark family tree thread.  All I was pointing out is that this confusion, I think, is what led each of Beron Stark's children to limit their progeny.  Donnor had no children, Willam had 3  (but no more than 2 were ever living at the same time), Berena, ALysanne, and Errold had no children, and Rodrik had 2 girls.  Willam succeeded his issue-less brother, and, having no living brothers himself, was painlessly succeeded by his only son Edwyle.  Edwyle in turn had only one child, Rickard, who he married to Rodrik's younger daughter.  Thus, within one generation, House Stark managed to go from a Frey-like entanglement of potential heirs to a streamlined family tree.  

Thus, I imagine that Rickard, in choosing to have 4 children, would have imparted in all of them the importance of avoiding crises of succession.  While Benjen was presumably the Stark in Winterfell during Robert's Rebellion, I assume that at the conclusion of the War, and once Ned had heirs sufficient for House Stark to survive, Benjen left for the Night's Watch to prevent any potential succession crises for future generations.

Anything having to do with Benjen being at odds with Cat is pure speculation without any evidence from the books.  It is likewise speculative to imagine 1) that Ned would have any way of knowing that Barbrey Ryswell bore him a personal grudge; 2) that Ned would be so callous as to say "hey listen, your husband died, here's his horse, and oh by the way I'm making you marry my kid brother, or 3) that Ned would have felt like he needed to solidify his relationships with the Ryswells and/or Dustins, as representatives of both accompanied him to the Tower of Joy, so their loyalty was without question.  You can be mad at Ned for plenty, but I don't see how you can be mad at Ned for that.

I never said that Benjen had an argument with Cat and he fled to the NW because of it. In matter of fact I argued about the difficult relationship many younger brothers had with their oldest brother putting people like Stannis B and the Black fish as an example. There's a million and one reason why Benjen might had moved to the NW, one of which was the one you had raised. I can raise others like for example the incredible respect the North have to the NW. There again, we can't exclude that Benjen left to the NW because he couldn't accept Cat's hostility towards the boy either.

What I do insist upon is that it was a stupid move. Ned knew very well that people can easily die prematurely. He had seen it happening with his father, his sister and his own brother. Also medieval medicine was very crude and the North is a harsh place to live. People, even among nobility, died like flies. Having his brother around could surely help especially if he died prematurely. Benjen's adventure with the NW could wait (Jeor Mormont and Brynden Rivers joined the NW at quite an old age and still made it to the top) and surely the Starks could spare an extra plate for him

Regarding Lady Dustin, I know its crude and insensitive but believe it or not if Ned offered (not forced upon her) his brother and heir to marriage to her after she was made widowed, then that would have been seen as an act of great kindness and respect. Its crazy I know, but that's how medieval etiquette worked

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by devilish

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2 hours ago, devilish said:

If Ned was in command instead of Robb and Benjen was still around (not as a member of the NW) then I can see Ned leaving Robb and Cat home

a- Ned knows that war is a treacherous thing. He'll need as many loyal battle hardened people around him as possible. Benjen would make a great second in command

b- Robb is his heir and he is so green that he pisses grass. The last thing he'll want is for him to be captured or worse, killed especially since his second heir is a cripple. Winterfell is thought to be safe, so he'll keep him there as he did with Benjen many moons before

He might leave Jon Snow home too. Wars are stressful and bannermen can be sensitive especially if the wrong word is uttered by some bastard whose so green that he pisses grass. 

 

 

A.) They were going to Kings Landing not to war. Aside from that I mostly agree...How "battle hardened" is Benjen anyway? 

B.) As i mentioned they were heading to KL, where an unmarried Robb is alot more valuable then Benjen. So if anybody would be getting left its Uncle Ben.

Without Benjen as 1st Ranger, Jon Snow is probably still sulking around Winterfell.

In my scenario if the story stayed the same it would be up to Benjen to lead the whole force not just be second in command. I think Robb and Cat in KL change the game though. Cat has a tad more political insight than Ned, and Robb is heir and unmarried, the Tyrells are interested in Winterfell evidenced through the Sansa/Willas plot. Robb/Marge is definitely a possibility.

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14 hours ago, The Fresh PtwP said:

A.) They were going to Kings Landing not to war. Aside from that I mostly agree...How "battle hardened" is Benjen anyway? 

B.) As i mentioned they were heading to KL, where an unmarried Robb is alot more valuable then Benjen. So if anybody would be getting left its Uncle Ben.

Without Benjen as 1st Ranger, Jon Snow is probably still sulking around Winterfell.

In my scenario if the story stayed the same it would be up to Benjen to lead the whole force not just be second in command. I think Robb and Cat in KL change the game though. Cat has a tad more political insight than Ned, and Robb is heir and unmarried, the Tyrells are interested in Winterfell evidenced through the Sansa/Willas plot. Robb/Marge is definitely a possibility.

A- Surely by that time Ned would have taken him to the Greyjoy rebellion + as a non main branch Stark he would probably be put in bigger risk then Ned or his sons (ex against the wildlings)

B- I don't understand your timeline. Are you suggesting prior to Robert's death (ie when Ned was made hand of the king)?. Even in that case I can see Ned leaving Robb behind with Benjen. First of all because Robb need to start learning how to rule Winterfell (and with Ned forced to be Robert's bitch who can do that better then alongside Benjen?). Secondly he's not needed at KL. Ned can marry him off to somebody without him being present in the courting process.

If Benjen was still around as Winterfell's castellan then rest assured that he would be regent not Cat. 

 

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On 1/15/2017 at 9:40 AM, devilish said:

What I do insist upon is that it was a stupid move. Ned knew very well that people can easily die prematurely. He had seen it happening with his father, his sister and his own brother. Also medieval medicine was very crude and the North is a harsh place to live. People, even among nobility, died like flies. Having his brother around could surely help especially if he died prematurely. Benjen's adventure with the NW could wait (Jeor Mormont and Brynden Rivers joined the NW at quite an old age and still made it to the top) and surely the Starks could spare an extra plate for him

Regarding Lady Dustin, I know its crude and insensitive but believe it or not if Ned offered (not forced upon her) his brother and heir to marriage to her after she was made widowed, then that would have been seen as an act of great kindness and respect. Its crazy I know, but that's how medieval etiquette worked

I thought Benjen asked to join the Night's Watch and Ned acquiesced to his wishes.  I do agree it wasn't particularly forward-thinking for Ned to have allowed him to do it, as at the time he would have been second-in-line, with no guarantee the infant Robb would survive.  Then again, real life history and Westerosi history is full of stories of a brother seizing control over an infant son, so it's probable that Benjen (and Ned) wanted to avoid a potential succession crisis from that perspective.  This strikes me as fairly likely, because it has all the characteristics of a Stark decision: noble, honorable, kind, and completely lacking in foresight or political strategy.  Once Ned had 5 legitimate kids and a bastard, sure, but the timing of it is odd at best and dumb at worst, I agree.

  I'm afraid I can't get behind your Lady Dustin logic, though.  Robb would have been born by the time Ned returned with Willam's horse, so Benjen wouldn't have been the heir anymore.  Marrying Benjen to a powerful northern vassal house would increase the likelihood of a succession crisis immeasurably, ESPECIALLY considering Ned's kid (and future kids) was/were half-Tully.  If Benjen had legitimate children with a wife from a Northern house, that's just asking for a ton of trouble a generation from now, when there could be a line of Starks with full Northern blood prime to challenge the half-southron Starks of Ned's line.  You only have to look back a few generations to the passing over of Edric Stark to know that the North was not above rejecting an older brother in favor of the line and lineage of a younger brother.  In that respect, I can see where marrying Benjen to anyone would be a legitimate political risk.

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1 hour ago, estermonty python said:

I thought Benjen asked to join the Night's Watch and Ned acquiesced to his wishes.  I do agree it wasn't particularly forward-thinking for Ned to have allowed him to do it, as at the time he would have been second-in-line, with no guarantee the infant Robb would survive.  Then again, real life history and Westerosi history is full of stories of a brother seizing control over an infant son, so it's probable that Benjen (and Ned) wanted to avoid a potential succession crisis from that perspective.  This strikes me as fairly likely, because it has all the characteristics of a Stark decision: noble, honorable, kind, and completely lacking in foresight or political strategy.  Once Ned had 5 legitimate kids and a bastard, sure, but the timing of it is odd at best and dumb at worst, I agree.

  I'm afraid I can't get behind your Lady Dustin logic, though.  Robb would have been born by the time Ned returned with Willam's horse, so Benjen wouldn't have been the heir anymore.  Marrying Benjen to a powerful northern vassal house would increase the likelihood of a succession crisis immeasurably, ESPECIALLY considering Ned's kid (and future kids) was/were half-Tully.  If Benjen had legitimate children with a wife from a Northern house, that's just asking for a ton of trouble a generation from now, when there could be a line of Starks with full Northern blood prime to challenge the half-southron Starks of Ned's line.  You only have to look back a few generations to the passing over of Edric Stark to know that the North was not above rejecting an older brother in favor of the line and lineage of a younger brother.  In that respect, I can see where marrying Benjen to anyone would be a legitimate political risk.

I don't think that Benjen would have ever raised a finger against his brother. If he did, he would be crushed immediately irrespective on whether he had support from the Rills or not. Ned was loved throughout most of the North. He had support from both the King and the Tullys. A rebellion would have seen the Tullys and the crown join the fray whom in turn would drag the Vale, the Lannister and possibly anyone who was eager to kiss the kings arse (ex Tyrells)

As said the medieval times were wierd with women thought to be too sensitive and weak to rule.As a widow Lady Barbrey was vulnerable both from influence within her castle and from the outside. People would be salivating at that castle and lands of hers. We all know what happened to Lady Donella Hornwood and Lady Shella Whent. 

By marrying a Stark she would have been protected. No one would dare touching a hair to Benjen as that would have to fight against 2/3 of Westeros. That's an act of kindness and great respect especially towards a widowed lady whose growing old. 

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11 hours ago, devilish said:

A- Surely by that time Ned would have taken him to the Greyjoy rebellion + as a non main branch Stark he would probably be put in bigger risk then Ned or his sons (ex against the wildlings)

B- I don't understand your timeline. Are you suggesting prior to Robert's death (ie when Ned was made hand of the king)?. Even in that case I can see Ned leaving Robb behind with Benjen. First of all because Robb need to start learning how to rule Winterfell (and with Ned forced to be Robert's bitch who can do that better then alongside Benjen?). Secondly he's not needed at KL. Ned can marry him off to somebody without him being present in the courting process.

If Benjen was still around as Winterfell's castellan then rest assured that he would be regent not Cat. 

 

A.) Agreed, although the wildlings are a bit of a stretch they have to cross a ton of land to even get to Winterfell. Osha's band seems a rare/lucky bunch.

B.) My timeline is the beginning of the story as Benjen would be there per OP's question. His reasoning for leaving Cat and Robb is there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Benjen solves that problem...he may leave Robb because of the bad blood between Robb and Joff, however.

If Benjen is castellan he definitely takes Cat to KL.

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