40 Thousand Skeletons

Cat is definitely the heir named in Robb's will

395 posts in this topic

8 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.

I agree. Also, he baits Cat into admitting that he needs to name an heir and then uses logic to beat her emotional suggestions. Proving that she still serves her family over Robb's crown. She is trapped between her acknowledgement that an heir must be named and her inability to suggest anyone more suitable to the role than Jon.

1 hour ago, Lollygag said:

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.

This is getting more fan fictional, but odds are if he put anything like this into the will it would either be that Jon can be king but must either: (a) marry a daughter of Cat if she had one by x date (setting up Arya) or (b) marry a Frey or (c) marry a daughter of Robb's uncle edmure. For the record I doubt it is any of them. That's  dumb stipulation and one Jon could overrule during his years as king leading up to.

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The trap was that Robb got Cat to say "You must name another heir, until such time as Jeyne gives you a son." He managed to manoeuvre the discussion so Cat herself suggested that someone outside of the line of succession be adopted into it forestalling any future complaint that it is a bad idea - once she had done that the obvious candidate was Jon. Her protestations that the only heir named should be Arya were totally undermined by her own previous statement. At best Arya was going to be the first heir with Jon as likely backup, for they did not expect her to be found.

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1 minute ago, The Bastards Giant Friend said:

I agree. Also, he baits Cat into admitting that he needs to name an heir and then uses logic to beat her emotional suggestions. Proving that she still serves her family over Robb's crown. She is trapped between her acknowledgement that an heir must be named and her inability to suggest anyone more suitable to the role than Jon.

Just beat me to it.

 

1 minute ago, The Bastards Giant Friend said:

This is getting more fan fictional, but odds are if he put anything like this into the will it would either be that Jon can be king but must either: (a) marry a daughter of Cat if she had one by x date (setting up Arya) or (b) marry a Frey or (c) marry a daughter of Robb's uncle edmure. For the record I doubt it is any of them. That's  dumb stipulation and one Jon could overrule during his years as king leading up to.

Somewhat reminiscent of Rohanne Webber's plight in the Sworn Sword. So there would be some precedent.

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32 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

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.

Of course it is a trap. Jon was probably the last person Catelyn wanted to be named heir. So when she and Robb talked about in private she made other propositions (cousins in the Vale,..) and made arguments against it. But Robb was not convinced by her and even became angry. And Cat herself felt defeated. And when it came to the signing of the will, she couldn't do anything about it and had to play along. So this was a trap for her. Robb made sure she wouldn't argue against him in front of his bannermen even though she didn't support his decision.

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3 minutes ago, The Bastards Giant Friend said:

This is getting more fan fictional, but odds are if he put anything like this into the will it would either be that Jon can be king but must either: (a) marry a daughter of Cat if she had one by x date (setting up Arya) or (b) marry a Frey or (c) marry a daughter of Robb's uncle edmure. For the record I doubt it is any of them. That's  dumb stipulation and one Jon could overrule during his years as king leading up to.

I actually agree. Its basis isn't strong, and I actually really dislike this idea for a number of reason. It's just the only one I can come up with which is consistent with the context of the books (Cat wanting more kids, Jason Mallister, Robb being burdened by Cat, the problems stemming from Jon not being a Tully). I'd love a better idea. Jon can overrule it, but Robb is counting on Jon making the right decision for circumstances Robb can't foresee. Again, the point is to hold the alliance which is especially important given that the Starks don't even hold Winterfell at the moment.

Cat compares the trap (trick) to Robb's plan for Moat Cailin. So whatever happened, I do think there was a trap/trick and that it has to be in the same vein, somehow, with what Robb's doing in Moat Cailin.

"There are ways through the Neck that are not on any map, Uncle. Ways known only to the crannogmen—narrow trails between the bogs, and wet roads through the reeds that only boats can follow." He turned to his two messengers. "Tell Howland Reed that he is to send guides to me, two days after I have started up the causeway. To the center battle, where my own standard flies. Three hosts will leave the Twins, but only two will reach Moat Cailin. Mine own battle will melt away into the Neck, to reemerge on the Fever. If we move swiftly once my uncle's wed, we can all be in position by year's end. We will fall upon the Moat from three sides on the first day of the new century, as the ironmen are waking with hammers beating at their heads from the mead they'll quaff the night before."

 

 

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I have considered this theory before and it is intriguing, but it has difficulties, most of which have already been said.

The fact that Lady Stoneheart doesn't wear the crown despite having it kind of hints that she wasn't named the heir. I suspect her current goal (other than killing Freys) is to get a hold of Jeyne Westerling in the hope she will have a male child and then crown him before someone tries to crown Jon).

George RR Martin did once imply we don't really know what is in the will and therefore it is likely to have an effect different to what was presented to the reader. My best guess (but it is just a guess) is that the will neither declares Jon his heir, nor explicitly makes him a Stark, but instead merely legitimises him. Whilst Robb would have thought that this would make Jon a Stark (and therefore is heir), given his actual parents it would have made him a Targaryen (assuming he wasn't legitimate already).

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12 hours 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?

No. The trap is that he makes her say she'll support him in anything but "this" (naming Jon heir). He then tells her he doesn't need her support, which he doesn't. And then, he names Jon and tells her she is to go to Seaguard, which she really doesn't want to. But she had just told him that she'd support him in anything but naming Jon. That's the trap she's referring to, and that's why she thinks something along the lines of, "a king indeed". It was a hand very well played by Robb. 

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7 hours ago, Lollygag said:

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.

MAYBE 15 years... if Cat gets pregnant shortly after the will is signed and then has a daughter as her first child. What if she waited 1 more year to re-marry, had 2 more sons and then her next eldest daughter? That would put it past 20 years and was certainly an obvious possibility. The point is that it is not politically practical to tell your new heir that he may need to wait 20 years or more to start having children/heirs of his own. Who would be Jon's heir until then? Nobody? You are back in the same situation, with everyone dangerously plotting what to do if Jon is killed. Marriages and children are extremely valuable political capital, and you are suggesting that Robb would basically kneecap Jon's reign by taking this political capital away from him for the next 2 decades.

6 hours ago, Lollygag said:

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.

100% agreed, and well articulated

12 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.

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

As Lollygag said above, Robb telling Cat he is going to pick Jon and then picking Jon in no way constitutes a "trap". That's just being king.

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I agree with other posters here that it seems Jon is the best one for Rob to chose. Either way, Jon is going to be king with Danaerys, so I am not sure Rob's decree will mean much in the end. It is going to happen. 

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11 hours ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

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

It is not a joke theory. I was joking about how arrogant I am and what a genius I must be, because obviously this theory has a chance of being wrong, as all theories do until the next books come out. But I was being serious about the rest of it.

11 hours ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

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.

Yes, it was a daring, shocking, and unprecedented move as you say. Robb was in an unprecedented situation. And as you pointed out, Cat dies shortly afterward, so it is absolutely believable that she didn't think about it for the remainder of her life.

And yes, in that super short period of time when they are at the Twins, no one else comments on the matter. However, there was exactly one thing that happened in between Cat's conversation with Robb and the big meeting in the tent: Maege and Dacey Mormont talked to Cat about strong women in positions of power, the she-bears of Bear Island. But most importantly, again, it is a super short period of time after the will is signed before all those people are either dead or off screen, so the fact that they didn't discuss it isn't really evidence at all. They definitely didn't talk about Jon being the new heir. Wouldn't Cat think about that terrible folly in her internal monologue if indeed Jon was named heir, by your own logic?

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9 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Nope, she isn't.

:bowdown:

You obviously are smarter than me. I should give up.

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6 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

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

Here you go 

Since I already responded to the rational response you quote, I'll just copy-paste that response for you ;) 

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:

Quote

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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3 hours ago, HoboJed said:

I have considered this theory before and it is intriguing, but it has difficulties, most of which have already been said.

The fact that Lady Stoneheart doesn't wear the crown despite having it kind of hints that she wasn't named the heir. I suspect her current goal (other than killing Freys) is to get a hold of Jeyne Westerling in the hope she will have a male child and then crown him before someone tries to crown Jon).

George RR Martin did once imply we don't really know what is in the will and therefore it is likely to have an effect different to what was presented to the reader. My best guess (but it is just a guess) is that the will neither declares Jon his heir, nor explicitly makes him a Stark, but instead merely legitimises him. Whilst Robb would have thought that this would make Jon a Stark (and therefore is heir), given his actual parents it would have made him a Targaryen (assuming he wasn't legitimate already).

I also think that Cat will try to crown Robb's child via Jeyne. And I'll concede that Cat not wearing the crown could be taken as a hint from GRRM she wasn't named heir, but on a more practical level she doesn't need to be wearing the crown at the moment, because she is just the leader if the BwB, and that is because she is a zombie (they are big zombie fans) and not because she is the heir to the North.

And I don't want to open this can of worms in this thread, but I'll just say that since Jon is the son of Brandon and Ashara, legitimizing him would make him the heir to Winterfell, or even arguably King in the North by the logic that Brandon was Ned's older brother so Jon Stark should be ahead of Robb in the line of succession. But he is still a brother of the Night's Watch, so that would be a big problem. Even if released from his vows, he would always be viewed as an oathbreaker by some people.

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5 hours ago, Wylla Manderly said:

Of course it is a trap. Jon was probably the last person Catelyn wanted to be named heir. So when she and Robb talked about in private she made other propositions (cousins in the Vale,..) and made arguments against it. But Robb was not convinced by her and even became angry. And Cat herself felt defeated. And when it came to the signing of the will, she couldn't do anything about it and had to play along. So this was a trap for her. Robb made sure she wouldn't argue against him in front of his bannermen even though she didn't support his decision.

That's not a trap at all. A trap needs to have some sort of deception component to qualify as a trap. I will even paste here the relevant definition of the word "trap" from the damn dictionary:

trap: a trick by which someone is misled into acting contrary to their interests or intentions.

So by definition, Robb must have somehow tricked Cat. And there was no trick involved if Jon was named. He threatened to name Jon his heir, and did it... no trick.

Some examples of traps:

  • placing a piece of cheese on a deadly, spring-loaded device intended to kill a mouse
  • ambushing the Rebel Alliance at the Battle of Endor
  • Robb threatening to name Jon as his heir and then not naming Jon

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6 hours ago, The Bastards Giant Friend said:

I agree. Also, he baits Cat into admitting that he needs to name an heir and then uses logic to beat her emotional suggestions. Proving that she still serves her family over Robb's crown. She is trapped between her acknowledgement that an heir must be named and her inability to suggest anyone more suitable to the role than Jon.

 

6 hours ago, Horse of Kent said:

The trap was that Robb got Cat to say "You must name another heir, until such time as Jeyne gives you a son." He managed to manoeuvre the discussion so Cat herself suggested that someone outside of the line of succession be adopted into it forestalling any future complaint that it is a bad idea - once she had done that the obvious candidate was Jon. Her protestations that the only heir named should be Arya were totally undermined by her own previous statement. At best Arya was going to be the first heir with Jon as likely backup, for they did not expect her to be found.

Bull shit. Of course he has to name a new heir. Cat clearly wasn't going to along with the idea of Tyrion claiming Winterfell, which is the context for this conversation. Sansa has just been married to Tyrion, and that prompted Robb to name a new heir in Sansa's place. There was no work or trickery or "maneuvering" to get Cat to agree to that supposition. That does not, in any way, constitute a trap.

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2 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Bull shit. Of course he has to name a new heir. Cat clearly wasn't going to along with the idea of Tyrion claiming Winterfell, which is the context for this conversation. Sansa has just been married to Tyrion, and that prompted Robb to name a new heir in Sansa's place. There was no work or trickery or "maneuvering" to get Cat to agree to that supposition. That does not, in any way, constitute a trap.

Weird that Cat then starts arguing that he shouldn't name an heir and instead should wait for Arya just moments after this non-trap.

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Just now, Horse of Kent said:

Weird that Cat then starts arguing that he shouldn't name an heir and instead should wait for Arya just moments after this non-trap.

But she only does this in desperation for him not to pick Jon, after she suggested the obvious choices of Robb's closest Stark relatives. She definitely already agreed that Sansa can no longer be the heir since she is married to Tyrion. At no point does Cat suggest that Sansa remain the heir.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

No. The trap is that he makes her say she'll support him in anything but "this" (naming Jon heir). He then tells her he doesn't need her support, which he doesn't. And then, he names Jon and tells her she is to go to Seaguard, which she really doesn't want to. But she had just told him that she'd support him in anything but naming Jon. That's the trap she's referring to, and that's why she thinks something along the lines of, "a king indeed". It was a hand very well played by Robb. 

See people, THIS is at least a logical response to my OP. Thank you kissdbyfire. But I am fairly certain you are still wrong ;) 

There are 2 pieces of information revealed to Cat at the end of the meeting/chapter. The first is that she is being sent to Seagard, and the second is the identity of Robb's heir. Let's examine Cat's reactions to both pieces of information. First, Seagard:

Quote

"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."

Is this my punishment for opposing him about Jon Snow? Or for being a woman, and worse, a mother? It took her a moment to realize that they were all watching her. They had known, she realized. Catelyn should not have been surprised. She had won no friends by freeing the Kingslayer, and more than once she had heard the Greatjon say that women had no place on a battlefield.

Her anger must have blazed across her face, because Galbart Glover spoke up before she said a word. “My lady, His Grace is wise. It’s best you do not come with us.” “Seagard will be brightened by your presence, Lady Catelyn,” said Lord Jason Mallister. “You would make me a prisoner,” she said. “An honored guest,” Lord Jason insisted. Catelyn turned to her son. “I mean no offense to Lord Jason,” she said stiffly, “but if I cannot continue on with you, I would sooner return to Riverrun.”"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.

So Cat does not yet articulate feeling trapped. She questions if it is her punishment for something. And notably, she is not even sure what the punishment is for. Is it about Jon? Her over-protective mothering? Freeing Jaime? Simply being a woman on the battlefield? She doesn't know. And it would be quite odd for Cat to declare this a "trap" when isn't sure why she is being sent to Seaguard. When she compares Robb's purported "trap" to the future trap at Moat Cailin, what exactly did Robb do that impressed her so? She certainly did not think to herself in that moment, Oh I am being sent to Seagard, and I can't complain because I promised Robb I would support him in anything he did other than naming Jon his heir. What a tactful and kingly trap I have been ensnared in!

So the news of her going to Seagard, based on her reaction there, was almost certainly not the "trap" she refers to a minute later. Now let's examine the rest of the chapter and look at her reaction to the naming of Robb's heir:

Quote

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.

Only after Robb names his heir does Cat proclaim that she has been trapped by Robb, and she hoped the trap he planned for MC worked just as well. This line makes total sense in the context of choosing Cat as the heir and very little sense otherwise.

Additionally, why did all the other lords already know that Cat was being sent to Seagard before Cat knew? Cat assumes it was because people were angry about her freeing Jaime, but this doesn't seem to be the case, and frankly the pov characters almost always assume things incorrectly. The more likely answer is that everyone knew Cat was being sent to Seagard because Robb had already discussed naming Cat his heir with them, and they agreed that Seagard would be the best place for her. Robb even alluded to Cat being the heir with the line: I left my wife at Riverrun. I want my mother elsewhere. He basically said: I left one heir at Riverrun, I want the other elsewhere.

Edited by 40 Thousand Skeletons

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6 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

“You would make me a prisoner,” she said.

 

Quote

So Cat does not yet articulate feeling trapped.

How much more articulate do you want?

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Just now, maudisdottir said:

How much more articulate do you want?

Being "prisoner" at Seagard is clearly not the trap she was referring to.

She implied that Robb successfully ensnared her in some sort of clever trap, one worthy of a king. A trap so effective, in fact, that she only hoped that Robb could replicate such success with his trap at Moat Cailin. Robb commanded her to go to Seagard. She had no choice in the matter, and there was zero trickery involved.

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