40 Thousand Skeletons

Cat is definitely the heir named in Robb's will

351 posts in this topic

I recently posted this response in a thread about Robb's heir, and it was pretty fucking brilliant if I do say so myself ;). But everyone has ignored it so far, obviously because they want to suffer from delusions and not find out who Robb named as his heir simply by reading this fantastic explanation! So I have started my own thread for everyone to talk about what a genius I am, and revel in the knowledge that Cat is the heir named in Robb's will. :cheers: Enjoy.

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"I left my wife at Riverrun. I want my mother elsewhere. If you keep all your treasures in one purse, you only make it easier for those who would rob you. After the wedding, you shall go to Seagard, that is my royal command." Robb stood, and as quick as that, her fate was settled. He picked up a sheet of parchment. "One more matter. Lord Balon has left chaos in his wake, we hope. I would not do the same. Yet I have no son as yet, my brothers Bran and Rickon are dead, and my sister is wed to a Lannister. I've thought long and hard about who might follow me. I command you now as my true and loyal lords to fix your seals to this document as witnesses to my decision."

A king indeed, Catelyn thought, defeated. She could only hope that the trap he'd planned for Moat Cailin worked as well as the one in which he'd just caught her.

So... Robb successfully caught Cat in a trap. What?! A trap?? Yes!! :D A TRAP!!

What was this trap? Let's rewind to earlier in the chapter, to their discussion of Robb's heir. Upon arriving at Oldstones on their way to the Twins, Robb goes off on his own (offscreen) and Cat finds him standing over the grave of King Tristifer IV Mudd. The exchange starts with Robb possibly feigning ignorance about the locale:

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It was there that Catelyn found Robb, standing somber in the gathering dusk with only Grey Wind beside him. The rain had stopped for once, and he was bareheaded. "Does this castle have a name?" he asked quietly, when she came up to him.

"Oldstones, all the smallfolk called it when I was a girl, but no doubt it had some other name when it was still a hall of kings." She had camped here once with her father, on their way to Seagard. Petyr was with us too...

Really Robb? You don't know what castle you're at? You haven't known for days what castle you would be arriving at on your slow march to the Twins? You haven't been looking at a map every single day to chart the progress of your army and be ready for an attack? Maybe... But I think Robb is probably feigning ignorance here, and it continues, when Robb... springs the trap! This seemingly innocuous question gets the ball rolling:

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Robb studied the sepulcher. "Whose grave is this?"

"Here lies Tristifer, the Fourth of His Name, King of the Rivers and the Hills." Her father had told her his story once. "He ruled from the Trident to the Neck, thousands of years before Jenny and her prince, in the days when the kingdoms of the First Men were falling one after the other before the onslaught of the Andals. The Hammer of Justice, they called him. He fought a hundred battles and won nine-and-ninety, or so the singers say, and when he raised this castle it was the strongest in Westeros." She put a hand on her son's shoulder. "He died in his hundredth battle, when seven Andal kings joined forces against him. The fifth Tristifer was not his equal, and soon the kingdom was lost, and then the castle, and last of all the line. With Tristifer the Fifth died House Mudd, that had ruled the riverlands for a thousand years before the Andals came."

"His heir failed him." Robb ran a hand over the rough weathered stone. "I had hoped to leave Jeyne with child... we tried often enough, but I'm not certain..."

"It does not always happen the first time." Though it did with you. "Nor even the hundredth. You are very young."

"Young, and a king," he said. "A king must have an heir. If I should die in my next battle, the kingdom must not die with me. By law Sansa is next in line of succession, so Winterfell and the north would pass to her." His mouth tightened. "To her, and her lord husband. Tyrion Lannister. I cannot allow that. I will not allow that. That dwarf must never have the north."

"No," Catelyn agreed. "You must name another heir, until such time as Jeyne gives you a son." She considered a moment. "Your father's father had no siblings, but his father had a sister who married a younger son of Lord Raymar Royce, of the junior branch. They had three daughters, all of whom wed Vale lordlings. A Waynwood and a Corbray, for certain. The youngest . . . it might have been a Templeton, but . . ."

"Mother." There was a sharpness in Robb's tone. "You forget. My father had four sons."

She had not forgotten; she had not wanted to look at it, yet there it was. "A Snow is not a Stark."

"Jon's more a Stark than some lordlings from the Vale who have never so much as set eyes on Winterfell."

And then they argue about the Night's Watch and bastards and the Blackfyres and precedent for a minute, and then we get to the ending of their heated conversation, Cat confronting the realities of Arya being dead and Robb being in charge:

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"So you pray. Have you considered your sisters? What of their rights? I agree that the north must not be permitted to pass to the Imp, but what of Arya? By law, she comes after Sansa... your own sister, trueborn..."

"...and dead. No one has seen or heard of Arya since they cut Father's head off. Why do you lie to yourself? Arya's gone, the same as Bran and Rickon, and they'll kill Sansa too once the dwarf gets a child from her. Jon is the only brother that remains to me. Should I die without issue, I want him to succeed me as King in the North. I had hoped you would support my choice."

"I cannot," she said. "In all else, Robb. In everything. But not in this... this folly. Do not ask it."

"I don't have to. I'm the king." Robb turned and walked off, Grey Wind bounding down from the tomb and loping after him.

The conversation ends with Robb basically telling Cat, I can name Jon if I want to, I am the King, and you have failed to name a reasonable alternative heir.

So let's back up and quickly re-analyze what just happened assuming that Robb knew what castle he was standing in and whose grave he was next to, as well as the fact that King Tristifer IV was failed by his heir. He could have easily asked someone for this info if he didn't know it already. Here we go:

  • Robb first initiated the private conversation in that particular locale by wandering off on his own, effectively luring Cat there.
  • Then when Cat arrives, Robb asks what castle they are in and whose grave he is standing over, fully knowing that Cat will tell him it is King Tristifer IV, a king who according to legend was failed by his heir.
  • And then Robb immediately follows it up by saying His heir failed him, and starts lamenting the fact that Jeyne is not yet pregnant, his obviously planned response.
  • Then he talks about how Tyrion is now in a position to claim Winterfell, something that only recently happened (about 3 weeks prior to this conversation), prompting Cat to start listing off all the most viable heirs. Of course, Robb already knows that he can dismiss any of the closest relatives Cat can name on the basis they are not from Winterfell or even the North, and so he does and says that Jon is the only solution.
  • As a last resort, Cat brings up the matter of Arya, and Robb declares Arya to be dead and Cat to be delusional.
  • Finally, Cat says she cannot support naming Jon heir, and Robb says he doesn't need her support, he can do what he wants.

Of course, the statement that Robb doesn't need to ask for Cat's support is a bit disingenuous, because although he doesn't need her support to choose any other person in the world, he does need Cat's support to name Cat as his heir. You obviously can't force someone to rule your kingdom for you after you're dead. So ironically, in direct contrast with that statement from Robb, their whole conversation was just a clever trap specifically to get Cat's support.

And now, if we take another look at the quote from the signing of the will, everything makes perfect sense. The only other person Robb could possibly name as heir who meets his criteria is Cat. Cat wouldn't have gone along with this decision willingly, but Robb makes it clear through their not-so-spontaneous conversation over the grave of King Tristifer that the only other viable choice in Robb's mind is Jon Snow, a "folly" which Cat, as she vehemently stated, cannot support. Cat has been quite effectively trapped into supporting Robb's choice of Cat as heir. And so to end the chapter, Robb first commands that his new heir be sent to Seagard after the wedding to be kept safe, and then he has his lords sign a document declaring Cat his heir.

Nice trap Robb! You caught a Cat, just like Arya does! I bet that your trap at Moat Cailin would have in fact worked just as well, had you survived to pull it off.

TADA! :rofl: 

As for the whole "missing Arya" thing (everyone in the other thread was discussing how Arya is "conspicuously left out" of Robb's line regarding his heir). Have you guys considered that Robb may have simply been reiterating the recent events that changed the line of succession and thus lead to him needing to name an heir? Arya went missing and Jon went to the Wall like 10+ months earlier and neither of those changed who the heir was because Bran was the heir the whole time. But the deaths of Bran and Rickon were only about 3 months earlier, and the marriage of Sansa to Tyrion only happened days earlier, and those events actually directly change who the heir is. And until those recent events transpired, Robb would not have "left chaos in his wake" like Balon, because Bran was obviously still the heir. So you could simply interpret Robb's words to mean: Hey guys, now that my heir Bran is dead, and the 2 people directly in line after him are dead/married to Tyrion, I am naming a new heir. I didn't bother to mention Jon or Arya just now, because we had already written them off as candidates a while ago.

Other random points:

  • He was hoping to get his wife pregnant, and Cat becoming regent would be the best way to protect his future child, the regency being an aspect often left out of discussion about Robb's heir.
  • Regardless of who was "really" the "best" choice, in Robb's mind Cat was the best choice. Robb wanted WF and the north to be controlled by someone loyal to House Stark. Cat is definitely the most loyal person out of anyone, and she maintains control of the Riverlands if she is regent, AND she is guaranteed to act in the best interest of Robb's child. Additionally, Robb's heir has to be politically practical, and Cat is the only person who would maintain the political status quo in the North. If you name someone like Wyman Manderly as a regent you are both handing him huge power while at the same time pissing off all his rivals.
  • Unlike Jon and other northerners, Cat as heir/regent can maintain the Stark-Tully alliance.
  • Cat ends up with Robb's crown.
  • Jon is in the Night's Watch, and many northerners would have viewed him as an oath breaker in addition to being a bastard.
  • Any explanation that names a person other than Cat as heir inherently fails to explain what the "trap" is that Cat referred to at the end of the chapter.

TL;DR: It was Cat, you stupid :P. Cat said that Robb trapped her just like Arya traps cats, and that trap was making her agree to being Robb's heir. Any other answer is fucking ridiculous  :dunce: :P:D

 

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Hilarious! 

This adds to the story how? Rather than taking away? 

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1 hour ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

TL;DR: It was Cat, you stupid :P. Cat said that Robb trapped her just like Arya traps cats, and that trap was making her agree to being Robb's heir. Any other answer is fucking ridiculous  :dunce: :P:D

 

that foil is mighty shiny 

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Sorry but this is nonsense. Cat is not a Stark by blood, she cannot be Robb's heir. An heir's purpose is to continue the bloodline. With all the other legitimate Starks presumed dead, Jon Snow is all the Stark blood that is left. That's why Robb chooses him.

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At least you tried to explain what role is left for Catelyn in the story so that she needed to be resurrected.

I yet haven't found a good explanation for that.

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Have to agree with the general idee here. Saying he will name Jon as his heir and then naming Jon as his heir, is no trap. 

Issues with night watch vows aside, cat is the most sensible choice to name as heir/future regent.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Catelyn’s use of “trap” has been nagging at me for some time. At first I thought she was referring to her unwilling stay at Seagard, but that doesn’t really fit either. Cat as heir herself doesn’t work as she’s not a Stark, and while she was essential to Robb’s success early on, after Jaime’s release and her emotional state, she really not up to the task. I came up with my own idea for why Catelyn feels trapped by Robb’s will, yet not angry about it. She's part of the package deal, but not the heir herself.

ASOS Catelyn V:

Jason Mallister rose to offer Catelyn his seat. His hair had almost as much white in it as brown, but the Lord of Seagard was still a handsome man; tall and lean, with a chiseled clean-shaven face, high cheekbones, and fierce blue-grey eyes. "Lady Stark, it is ever a pleasure. I bring good tidings, I hope."

"Your part is to stay safe. Our journey through the Neck will be dangerous, and naught but battle awaits us in the north. But Lord Mallister has kindly offered to keep you safe at Seagard until the war is done. You will be comfortable there, I know."

"Seagard will be brightened by your presence, Lady Catelyn," said Lord Jason Mallister.

"You would make me a prisoner," she said.

 

"I left my wife at Riverrun. I want my mother elsewhere. If you keep all your treasures in one purse, you only make it easier for those who would rob you. After the wedding, you shall go to Seagard, that is my royal command." Robb stood, and as quick as that, her fate was settled. He picked up a sheet of parchment. "One more matter. Lord Balon has left chaos in his wake, we hope. I would not do the same. Yet I have no son as yet, my brothers Bran and Rickon are dead, and my sister is wed to a Lannister. I've thought long and hard about who might follow me. I command you now as my true and loyal lords to fix your seals to this document as witnesses to my decision."

A king indeed, Catelyn thought, defeated. She could only hope that the trap he'd planned for Moat Cailin worked as well as the one in which he'd just caught her.

Two points make me think that Catelyn’s feeling of being trapped doesn’t refer to her stay at Seagard.

1. She refers to herself as “just caught” in a trap. She already knew that she was going to Seagard.

2. When she found out about Seagard, she feels a prisoner. But there is no trap here as traps imply an element of surprise and subterfuge. Robb was very direct about Seaguard.

I think that Catelyn learned something new in Robb’s will. Whatever it is, she is neither angry nor happy about it. When Cat disagrees about something, she’s very vocal about it. So I think that it’s something that she agrees with but does not like.

Bringing up some random plot points which I think point to what Catelyn may have learned here:

· Catelyn’s advise to Robb was very sound, but her grief for her children is overriding her judgement (Jaime). She is no longer respected as a leader, though some do sympathize.

· Cat’s mothering of Robb is starting to become problematic and a liability.

· Cat remarks that she’d like more children by Ned and believes she can have more children.

· Cat was ambitious. She wanted her blood (Sansa) to be queen, and also her blood to inherit Winterfell.

· She was concerned that Jon’s descendants would one day challenge the Tully-Starks for Winterfell. Given Westeros’ history, I think she has a point here.

· Cat was also concerned that Jon not having Tully blood would hurt any alliance with Riverrun and the Vale. As long as the Lannisters are in power, I don’t see Riverrun and the Vale as enthusiastic supporters of the Iron Throne, but should the Lannisters fall, then Jon’s not having Tully blood may weaken the alliance enough for Riverrun and the Vale to rejoin the Iron Throne depending on the occupant. I agree with her here as to Jon’s not having Tully blood weakens the alliance under certain conditions.

· Cat is a widow. She’s also beautiful and young enough to have more children. No doubt some of Robb’s subjects have been asking for her hand. A marriage to the childless King’s mother still of child-bearing age with a shortage of heirs is very valuable. Jason Mallister is mentioned often here and he’s offered to guest Catelyn. He’s also a widower and a Tully bannerman, so a very suitable match. Cat remarrying would remove her from Robb’s sphere and also give her more children, hopefully distracting her from her unhappiness and allowing some healing in time.

So what could have happened in Robb’s will that Cat would agree with but not like, and also leave her not angry? She got what she wanted in a way she didn’t want.

Should Jon become King, he is betrothed to Catelyn’s eldest daughter by her second marriage.  By having Cat stay at Seaguard, Robb was setting Cat up for remarriage, but probably not forcing her hand specifically when it comes to Jason. By putting it in the will that Jon would have to marry a future daughter of Cat, Cat would feel “trapped” by the obligation (essentially an order) to remarry and have more children. If Jon married a Tully-Mallister, Cat’s line would still inherit Winterfell even though Jon was King. Jon’s and Catelyn’s lines would never war if they were joined. Also, the Tully-Stark alliance would remain intact through the Tully-Mallisters, and might even be strengthened by including another Riverlands house.

 

Edited by Lollygag

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2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Sorry but this is nonsense. Cat is not a Stark by blood, she cannot be Robb's heir. An heir's purpose is to continue the bloodline. With all the other legitimate Starks presumed dead, Jon Snow is all the Stark blood that is left. That's why Robb chooses him.

He could have easily written a will that said if he dies and Jeyne was pregnant (or his child was born), Cat is regent. The entire point of the chapter is that Robb trapped Cat by threatening to choose Jon and then not choosing Jon. Threatening to choose Jon and then going with Jon is not a trap at all. Did you even read the OP? Or did you just call it nonsense based on the title?

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4 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

that foil is mighty shiny 

A solid argument as always :bowdown:

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@Lollygag

You are suggesting that Jon is named as heir and also has to wait like 20 years to marry Cat's hypothetical eldest daughter from a new marriage?

I doubt it.

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24 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

He could have easily written a will that said if he dies and Jeyne was pregnant (or his child was born), Cat is regent. The entire point of the chapter is that Robb trapped Cat by threatening to choose Jon and then not choosing Jon. Threatening to choose Jon and then going with Jon is not a trap at all. Did you even read the OP? Or did you just call it nonsense based on the title?

A regent is not an heir, and it is heir we are talking about here. Also, why exactly would he need to trap Cat into becoming a regent?

The trap, as I see it, is what he says to the lords but what applies to Cat, as well: if they are true and loyal, they will obey.

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57 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

A regent is not an heir, and it is heir we are talking about here. Also, why exactly would he need to trap Cat into becoming a regent?

The trap, as I see it, is what he says to the lords but what applies to Cat, as well: if they are true and loyal, they will obey.

Well, I actually do think he named her his heir and not just regent. But the main point is that he trapped Cat into being his successor to lead his new kingdom. And he needed to trap her because otherwise she would have said no, and it is impossible to force someone to be your heir, because they get all your power the moment you die and can immediately abdicate. Cat needed to accept that the only alternative to herself was Jon.

You are basically saying that Robb's royal command qualifies as a "trap". Sorry, but that feels like a total cop out and it disregards any reasonable interpretation of that last line:

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She could only hope that the trap he'd planned for Moat Cailin worked as well as the one in which he'd just caught her.

Robb caught Cat in a trap, and we clearly witnessed it happen in their conversation earlier in that chapter.

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7 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Robb caught Cat in a trap, and we clearly witnessed it happen in their conversation earlier in that chapter.

Yes we witnessed how Robb set the trap. We witnessed in this chapter how he told Catelyn that he wanted to name Jon his heir. And all her arguments couldn't convice him otherwise. He contered them all. And even Cat thinks that he was set on this.,And when he actually presented the will to his bannermen Cat couldn't protest anymore. So this was a trap. He named the person as his heir whom she never wanted as his successsor. And she couldn't do anything about it, because she then would appear disloyal to her son and king. An argumet about it in front of the bannermen would undermine Robb's authority. So she had to remain silent and accept Robb's decision.

I actually think that Robb had decided about his will and his heir way before the conversation with Catelyn - maybe even in Riverrun. And the conversation with Cat was solely to inform her about his decision. This because out of courtey and also that she couldn't argue against it in front of his bannermen.

In regard why Catelyn would make a bad heir I can only agree with Ygrain's post.

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The thing is Robb was the King of the North and the Trident. Wouldn't the heir need to be like Robb? Meaning both Stark/Tully -Northern/Riverlands? So if Cat's blood excludes her from the Kingdom of the North wouldn't Jon's blood exclude him as the King of the Riverlands? 

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8 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

TL;DR: It was Cat, you stupid :P. Cat said that Robb trapped her just like Arya traps cats, and that trap was making her agree to being Robb's heir. Any other answer is fucking ridiculous  :dunce: :P:D

Well, at least you indicate with the emoticons that it's a joke theory, otherwise you pretend to be serious.

Intriguing, by the way, that Robb would do such daring, shocking, unprecedented move as naming his mother (no relation to House Stark) as heir to Winterfell, essentially disowning a 8000-years-old dynasty (his own dynasty), and Cat... never comments. Never reflects on that. Never comes back to the issue for her entire life. Which, granted, consists of a single chapter, nevertheless - not a single thought? Huh. And neither anyone else does comment. Not Umber, not Glover, not Mormont Ever. Completely unfazed, all of them.

But, by all means, let's focus on the really important part, which is, what could constitute a "trap" - which is all the proof you need. ;)

15 minutes ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

The thing is Robb was the King of the North and the Trident. Wouldn't the heir need to be like Robb? Meaning both Stark/Tully -Northern/Riverlands? So if Cat's blood excludes her from the Kingdom of the North wouldn't Jon's blood exclude him as the King of the Riverlands? 

I don't see, why. Tully would still be Lord of Riverrun. Robb didn't inherit the land thank to his blood, he accepted an oath of fealty from another lord. Blood relation is not a prerequisite there, although it could be a facilitating factor. (Or it could be an obstacle - see: Stan & Renly, the comedic duo).

Sure, when he's succeeded by someone without that Riverrun blood in his veins, it could, maybe, lead to questioning the oath (as sometimes happens: “Why shouldn’t we rule ourselves again? It was the dragons we married, and the dragons are all dead!”). But it doesn't, in itself, disqualify non-Tully Starks.

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Nope, she isn't.

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6 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

@Lollygag

You are suggesting that Jon is named as heir and also has to wait like 20 years to marry Cat's hypothetical eldest daughter from a new marriage?

I doubt it.

More like 15 or so years from the point of Cat's second marriage. Keep in mind that Robb wasn't truly expecting to die soon and the point was really to hold the alliance together if Jon is named King. Not ideal, no, but it would be the only thing that they had to work with. He's not kin to anyone in the Riverlands or the Vale and Ned's and Cat's marriage is the basis of the their alliance. This is something which should have been addressed in the will in some capacity especially given that the Riverlands is the buffer between the Iron Throne and the North.

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5 hours ago, Wylla Manderly said:

Yes we witnessed how Robb set the trap. We witnessed in this chapter how he told Catelyn that he wanted to name Jon his heir. And all her arguments couldn't convice him otherwise. He contered them all. And even Cat thinks that he was set on this.,And when he actually presented the will to his bannermen Cat couldn't protest anymore. So this was a trap. He named the person as his heir whom she never wanted as his successsor. And she couldn't do anything about it, because she then would appear disloyal to her son and king. An argumet about it in front of the bannermen would undermine Robb's authority. So she had to remain silent and accept Robb's decision.

I actually think that Robb had decided about his will and his heir way before the conversation with Catelyn - maybe even in Riverrun. And the conversation with Cat was solely to inform her about his decision. This because out of courtey and also that she couldn't argue against it in front of his bannermen.

I'm not really following how Catelyn would characterize this as a trap given this was all something she should have expected as normal procedure.

When one writes a will, you have witnesses sign to verify its legitimacy. And after the will is finalized, changing it becomes difficult. Cat knew that this is how it all would happen. Robb was also completely open about naming Jon. No trap there.

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

A solid argument as always :bowdown:

Thank you, and while you are digging this hole deeper, let me quote a more rational response  

7 hours ago, Ygrain said:

A regent is not an heir, and it is heir we are talking about here. Also, why exactly would he need to trap Cat into becoming a regent?

The trap, as I see it, is what he says to the lords but what applies to Cat, as well: if they are true and loyal, they will obey.

Here you go 

Edited by Dorian Martell's son

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