40 Thousand Skeletons

Cat is definitely the heir named in Robb's will

351 posts in this topic

No one is hearing my argument.  Grey Wind made it clear he rejected Cat!  Enough said on the subject!  :P

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On 6/8/2017 at 11:51 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

Yes. Robb's trap was having her swear her loyalty as his subject, not as his mother, and on that he ordered her away, as opposed to allowing her to be his counsel and Envoy. Also, her Safety is paramount to ensure the loyalty of the Riverlords as he heads north, after Naming Jon, the only person alive with the blood of Eddard Stark, as his Heir. That WAS the trap. 

Everything feels like a cop out after more than a half a decade between books and over 2 decades since the beginning of the series, not to mention millions of person-hours spent picking apart every last word over 5 novels. This does not make it probable, even  

Well, I'm sure we aren't going to agree, but in my mind that is simply not a trap at all. A trap by definition must involve some sort of trick (the metaphorical cheese for the metaphorical mouse, who is in this case a Cat). Robb did not trick her into swearing loyalty. He tricked her into implicitly admitting that she was the best choice to be his heir, a decision which actually required Cat's support, and thus required kingly trickery on Robb's part.

On 6/8/2017 at 10:33 PM, The Bastards Giant Friend said:

Right. He has to name an heir, that is the device that he trapped Cat with once he got her to acknowledge it. Once she agreed that he must name an heir, she could not "escape" because she could not offer any better (or, more suitable) suggestions than Jon. She was caught the moment she engaged in this conversation, which, as you have pointed out, she was tricked into (the location and questions about the tomb). She even knew it.

I'm sorry, but that simply does not qualify as a trick. Cat was 100% definitely going to agree that Robb needed to name a new heir. This was simply the first conversation they had on the subject since Sansa was married to Tyrion just a few weeks prior. That's not a damn trap. That's like if Robb said, "Mother, the sky is blue" and Cat replied, "Why yes, the sky is blue." There is no trick there. They are just agreeing out loud on obvious things. Their conversation may as well have gone: Robb said, "Mother, I don't want Tyrion to have Winterfell if I die." Cat responded, "Yes, I agree. I also do not want Tyrion to get Winterfell if you die." Not a trap.

On 6/8/2017 at 10:33 PM, The Bastards Giant Friend said:

Why doesn't it seem to be the case? Why did lord Karstark kill the two boys? Wasn't he furious that he was robbed of justice when she freed Jaime? Surely other lords were also genuinely upset with her meddling. And another thing, we never see her think/assume she is the heir in her own POV. But your entire argument is that she does think/assume this and hence she feels trapped. By your own argument, POV characters almost always assume things incorrectly. So if most assumptions are incorrect; is she feeling trapped because she assumes (incorrectly) that she is heir or is she feeling trapped because she assumes (incorrectly) that Jon was named heir and she couldn't do anything about it? Either way, are you saying her assumption that she is trapped is false? Come on, bud. :)

It doesn't seem to be the case, because we lack evidence that anyone other than Karstark was angry with her. The Greatjon was sexist and called her action a "mother's folly" when rebuffing Karstark, but he was friendly and hugged Cat. The Mormont ladies supported Cat's action, and the other lords all spoke to her "courteously". Karstark was the only person visibly angered, and that's because he specifically wanted vengeance because Jaime personally killed his sons in combat. The other lords might have been upset, or not. It was not their justice. The only person "robbed" of justice was Karstark.

And yes, most assumptions of this nature from the POV characters tend to be wrong, but what you referenced is not an assumption at all. Cat did not assume the identity of the person Robb named as his heir. She knows who Robb named because she was fucking standing right there in front of the document with the name of the heir written down for her to read. You may want to check the definition of "assume". Come on, bud. :mellow:

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14 hours ago, teej6 said:

Oh dear! We really need the next book to put an end to these tinfoil theories. If Robb's will is produced in the next books, there's no doubt in my mind that Jon was named his heir in case Jeyne did not give him a child. And the lengths people go to find a hidden meaning or clue in every little word is becoming down right rediculous. By trap, Cat meant that Robb put her in a position where she had no choice but to accept Robb's will in the matter, which was to name Jon his heir. 

I did not "go to lengths to find a hidden meaning" in anything here. The situation is very straightforward. Cat declares that she has been successfully trapped by Robb, and we clearly see the trap unfold over the course of that chapter. Your explanation, that Robb "trapped" Cat by commanding her to obey him, is ridiculous. That isn't a trap at all, because she has to obey him. He is the king, as he said.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

It has nothing to do with my intelligence, but Robb making Cat "heir" absolutely nonsensical to all he argues as reasons why he should name an heir, what type of heir he should pick, and basically would make him an utter moron. She is not a Stark blood. Her children with a second husband certainly aren't Starks. She caused the whole Karstark issue by letting Jaime go, and would not be a ruler or leader that Northerners would rally behind for her non-Stark issue by a second husband. 

You're not the first to propose this, but it still remains nonsensical from Robb's POV and arguments. Now, I can see why people stumble over the "trap" thought of Cat and wonder "What's the trap?" even though the trap has been well explained already in the thread. But the proposal that this line makes Cat the heir while that totally screams against anything that Robb would do, against any political, military and bloodline logic makes it a theory that has nothing to do with how George writes. George writes in keeping of a character, not to do a "tada here's the white rabbit I conjured out of thin air in my hat"... He doesn't do "surprise! surprise!" for surprise's sake alone. 

And exactly because this nonsensical tinfoil has been proposed by at least one person whenever there's a thread about Robb's will the past years, I'm not debating it anymore, and just saying "no". Yes, you're beating a dead long drowned horse already.

Except you are totally mischaracterizing the situation. Naming Cat as heir would be unprecedented, but not the "nonsense" you make it out to be. Frankly, I think it would be exactly in line with how GRRM writes, and I have read a number of his non-asoiaf stories so I feel that have a decent perspective on his writing.

Naming Jon as heir certainly wouldn't be a political picnic for comparison. Many people would view Jon permanently as a bastard and oathbreaker. I don't see why everyone assumes that Jon would be an infinitely better choice than Cat. So much so in fact, that people here consider any theory naming Cat heir to be tinfoil, while any theory calling Jon heir might as well be cannon. Sorry if I'm generalizing and misrepresenting what you think on the matter, but that seems to be the attitude of most people on the forum.

Edited by 40 Thousand Skeletons

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10 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

This is the only thing that makes the most narrative sense, not just logical.  Catelyn always had a fear that Jon would somehow usurp her own children's inheritance rights and most readers probably thought that was kinda irrational at the time.  It's not so irrational now is it?  It makes perfect sense why George would circle back to that idea and have Catelyn confronted with that very thing.  I don't know for sure what the will means for Jon, but I don't think his arc is about leadership that was destined, or manufactured by Rhaegar, or willed to him.  It's leadership because of his choices in spite of all those things, not because of them.  Catelyn being the heir makes no narrative sense.  It doesn't accomplish anything in the broader story.  Besides she kinda dead-ish right now, which means we're back to square one in finding an heir.  And LSH is with the BwB, Gendry, and Brienne right now.  If any Stark is going to cross her path it's most likely going to be Arya., who is relevant to especially the BwB and Gendry.  We should see Arya coming back to Westeros very soon.

I wholeheartedly disagree. I think the action of Robb naming his own mother heir in an unprecedented political move, in the context of an ultra-feminist story, fits in perfectly with the running theme of women taking power. And as you pointed out, Cat is not out of the game. She may be dead-ish, but she is walking around and commanding people. If she was named the heir and not Jon, that makes a huge difference to the narrative. What if UnCat meets up with the northern lords and commands them to do something in Robb's name as his heir? Will they disobey just because she was killed and resurrected? Or would they be even more inclined to obey her because she came back from the dead like Jesus?

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8 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:
10 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

This is the only thing that makes the most narrative sense, not just logical.  Catelyn always had a fear that Jon would somehow usurp her own children's inheritance rights and most readers probably thought that was kinda irrational at the time.  It's not so irrational now is it?  It makes perfect sense why George would circle back to that idea and have Catelyn confronted with that very thing.  I don't know for sure what the will means for Jon, but I don't think his arc is about leadership that was destined, or manufactured by Rhaegar, or willed to him.  It's leadership because of his choices in spite of all those things, not because of them.  Catelyn being the heir makes no narrative sense.  It doesn't accomplish anything in the broader story.  Besides she kinda dead-ish right now, which means we're back to square one in finding an heir.  And LSH is with the BwB, Gendry, and Brienne right now.  If any Stark is going to cross her path it's most likely going to be Arya., who is relevant to especially the BwB and Gendry.  We should see Arya coming back to Westeros very soon.

This. And that's why I don't think Jon will ever be Jon Targaryen, and not even Jon Stark. Sure, he'll help in some capacity - regent is the most likely imo. But he'll keep his name and he'll lead those who are already following him, those who are following him because of the choices he's made. 

Jon Snow, King of Winter. 

I agree. And this is one of the reasons I don't think there was any need for Jon to be named Robb's heir.

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5 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

No, you are! :fencing:

I disagree... she could feel trapped even not knowing why she's being sent to Seaguard. Not saying she did necessarily, only that it is possible to feel trapped even if you don't know everything about the situation you're in. 

I agree, the news about Seaguard is not the trap. The trap is being backed into a corner by her own words to Robb. She will do what is expected of her... Remember, Cat is nothing if not dutiful. 

A Clash of Kings - Catelyn VI 

When the last of Edmure's foot had shuffled under the portcullis, Brienne asked, "What shall we do now, my lady?"

"Our duty." Catelyn's face was drawn as she started across the yard. I have always done my duty, she thought. Perhaps that was why her lord father had always cherished her best of all his children. Her two older brothers had both died in infancy, so she had been son as well as daughter to Lord Hoster until Edmure was born. Then her mother had died and her father had told her that she must be the lady of Riverrun now, and she had done that too. And when Lord Hoster promised her to Brandon Stark, she had thanked him for making her such a splendid match. 

I gave Brandon my favor to wear, and never comforted Petyr once after he was wounded, nor bid him farewell when Father sent him off. And when Brandon was murdered and Father told me I must wed his brother, I did so gladly, though I never saw Ned's face until our wedding day. I gave my maidenhood to this solemn stranger and sent him off to his war and his king and the woman who bore him his bastard, because I always did my duty.

 

Of course! Because Robb naming his heir is what the whole thing is about. And once Robb does name Jon, she is trapped into behaving dutifully and in accord with her own words. 

But it doesn't make any sense what.so.evah! :bang:

She hopes the MC trap is as successful because the trap she fell into worked out beautifully - Robb got what he wanted. And as Robb's mum she hopes that his next trap at MC is just as effective and successful. 

I suppose I just disagree fundamentally that commanding Cat to go to Seagard in any way constitutes a trap. A trap must by definition involve trickery of some sort. In your mind, how did Robb trick Cat here? What was the metaphorical cheese used to bait Cat into the trap?

There is no trick involved in sending Cat to Seagard. She literally has zero choice in the matter, and Robb didn't even have to talk to her about it if he didn't want to. As Robb stated, he is the king, and he doesn't require Cat's support for anything. It's not a trap. You're explanation doesn't make any sense what.so.evah! :bang::P 

In my view, the trick Robb employed was getting Cat to admit that she could not name a better alternative to Jon as heir, but at the same time she could not support Robb in his "folly". Thus, when Cat is named heir, she has been effectively backed into a corner and cannot refuse to support Robb in this decision.

5 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Don't really see much of a point here... does it matter? How and why? Or do you mean, why didn't Robb discuss this with her beforehand? 

It is just odd that Robb discussed where he would be sending Cat with eveyone else and not discuss it with Cat for some reason, unless it was actually in the context of discussing the much more important matter of his new heir. Why else bother keeping it a secret from Cat?

5 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Huh? Jeyne is not Robb's heir.

true... :P I was being concise. She was, at the time, potentially carrying Robb's heir in her womb. I was referring to Robb's child, not Jeyne.

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Luddagain said:

What story are you reading. It is certainly not the Song of Ice and Fire. Recall we start the story with the ice Family - Starks and the fire family - Dany.

The who GoT stuff and the Tully alliance is a big distraction and indeed may be the actual REASON that the Others have arisen again- probably not but still possible.

There must always be a STARK at Winterfell.  Catelyn is NOT a Stark.

She cannot inherit by the laws of the IT OR the mystical rule of the Old Gods.

ONLY if she married some other vague Stark relation - eg Karstark might it even be a vague possibility.

She could of course be named regent, but after the Jaime business I doubt Robb would do that as she would not be trusted by the Northerners.

He would name his unborn child as heir.

If Robb were rational- which I think he is he would name for his unborn child three co-regents

1. Someone strong from the North but without a claim to Winterfell even indirectly - probably Great Jon or Manderley

2. Someone from his Tully side - Blackfish probably (he did not respect Edmure's judgement)

3. Someone wise who just cared for the Starks/Robb - Maester Luwin perhaps.

He would look to marry his mother off to someone whom he trusted but would also be a strong ally. Someone from the Riverlands or Vale I would think.

He might even name Arya as regent until such time as his child came of age, provided she was unmarried and lived at Winterfell.

In the even of their not being an heir he MIGHT name Arya (if found alive) provided she never married and remained a Stark. This would prevent her being used as a pawn. He would need some time limit on finding her eg by the time she has her 12th name day

However on the assumption that Arya is dead Robb would have no choice but to name Jon.

 

However we must not ignore the mystical essentials - There must always be a "Stark at Winterfell."  Who is a Stark. It must be assumed it is some sort of bloodline possibly via the male line but I suspect that it is a FEMALE line thing - or maybe a both male and female thing as it is with dragon riders.

If Robb is wise then he would naturally name Jon but if Jon were dead or not available then who.

The problem with the descendants of the daughters of Jocelyn Stark is that they are not of the North and he would not know if they were trusted, They may even be Lannisters. Indeed I am practically certain that the actual heir of Jocelyn Stark is little Walda Frey, (the unknown daughter) Harry the Heir (waynwood) or possibly horrible Courbrey. Horrible thought  - it could EVEN be Littlefinger - we do not know who is mother or grandmother or great grandmother is. For this reason I think Robb would exclude all such descendants.

He could go back through the family records I guess to find other lost Starks or Snows. There are an awful lot of missing Starks who may have had descendants. 

I rather suspect we will find many in the Company of the Rose and also in the blood lines of those beyond the wall. I will take a wild guess that Bael the Bard was a Stark descendant (this would be essential if Ygritte's tale is true and if male Starkness is essential for the blood line. Probably also Mance Raydar. 

Nope, I just checked... I am definitely reading A Song of Ice and Fire. You know, that story with Wyman Manderly, the Greatjon, House Corbray, and Mance Rayder. I don't what the fuck story you are reading with all those strange but similar sounding people :P 

Please tell me again how it is a "mystical rule of the Old Gods" that there must always be a Stark in Winterfell? Oh wait, don't bother, because I am 100% sure you can't do that. The phrase comes up exactly 4 times in the books as far as I am aware. Let's go over all 4.

First we have the origin of the phrase from AGOT Cat II:

Quote

"Yes," Ned said, in words that would brook no argument. "You must govern the north in my stead, while I run Robert's errands. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Robb is fourteen. Soon enough, he will be a man grown. He must learn to rule, and I will not be here for him. Make him part of your councils. He must be ready when his time comes."

So that's where the phrase comes from, and it is actually ambiguous whether Ned is referring to Robb Stark, his son, or Catelyn Stark, his wife who he is commanding to rule the north in his stead. And we don't know where Ned got the idea from.

Then Cat repeats the phrase to Robb in her next chapter:

Quote

"I'll go," Robb said.

"No," she told him. "Your place is here. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell." She looked at Ser Rodrik with his great white whiskers, at Maester Luwin in his grey robes, at young Greyjoy, lean and dark and impetuous. Who to send? Who would be believed? Then she knew. Catelyn struggled to push back the blankets, her bandaged fingers as stiff and unyielding as stone. She climbed out of bed. "I must go myself."

She used the phrase in front of Ser Rodrik and Luwin, and then Ser Rodrik later alludes to the phrase:

Quote

Bran had never asked to be a prince. It was knighthood he had always dreamed of; bright armor and streaming banners, lance and sword, a warhorse between his legs. Why must he waste his days listening to old men speak of things he only half understood? Because you're broken, a voice inside reminded him. A lord on his cushioned chair might be crippled—the Walders said their grandfather was so feeble he had to be carried everywhere in a litter—but not a knight on his destrier. Besides, it was his duty. "You are your brother's heir and the Stark in Winterfell," Ser Rodrik said, reminding him of how Robb used to sit with their lord father when his bannermen came to see him.

And so does Luwin:

Quote

"Yes, that's so." In the heavy ironbound chest at the foot of Bran's bed the maester found smallclothes, breeches, and tunic. "You are the Stark in Winterfell, and Robb's heir. You must look princely." Together they garbed him as befit a lord.

And that is the final time it is used. So we have 1) Ned using the phrase ambiguously, possibly referring to Cat herself as the "Stark in Winterfell", 2) Cat repeating the phrase in her next chapter to Robb in front of Ser Rodrik and Luwin, 3) Ser Rodrik repeating the phrase to Bran after Robb leaves, and 4) Luwin also repeating the phrase to Bran. The Old Gods did not come into it.

But you can ignore that rationalization if you want and take comfort in the fact that there is always a Stark in Winterfell, because there is a Stark greenseer buried in the crypts, alive, hooked into the roots of the weirwood just like Bloodraven in his cave (read the link in my signature if you want details).

Edited by 40 Thousand Skeletons

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2 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I'm sorry, but that simply does not qualify as a trick. Cat was 100% definitely going to agree that Robb needed to name a new heir. This was simply the first conversation they had on the subject since Sansa was married to Tyrion just a few weeks prior. That's not a damn trap. That's like if Robb said, "Mother, the sky is blue" and Cat replied, "Why yes, the sky is blue." There is no trick there. They are just agreeing out loud on obvious things. Their conversation may as well have gone: Robb said, "Mother, I don't want Tyrion to have Winterfell if I die." Cat responded, "Yes, I agree. I also do not want Tyrion to get Winterfell if you die." Not a trap.

You're missing the point. Of course Cat was going to agree that Robb needed to name an heir - the trap was that after both agreed so happily that the sky is blue, Robb named the one person that Cat would never have wanted to be the heir, but because she had already agreed that the sky is blue, and because she had always been "duty first", she had to suck it up and not undermine Robb's decision, no matter how much she disliked it. 

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Skeletons

4 times in the first book by four different people. This is GRRM so it is BLOODY important.

Why must there always be a Stark at Winterfell? Until you know the answer to that question you cannot sensibly rule it out.

I thought it was a pretty clear assumption that "Must be a Stark at Winterfell" was strong tradition like cutting off heads by Lord and burying the dead in the crypts with a sword and a direwolf statue.  I use the term Old Gods more generally to include all those matters that formed part of the Pact and also most of the stuff relating to the wall - and the 79 deserters etc.

GRRM is really into bloodlines etc and a Tully is a Tully not a Stark.

In any case GRRM's world is Europe in the middle ages and the one thing you can be ABSOLUTELY sure of is that wives do not inherit unless they are also in the line of descent. Even where they are regents it almost lays led to civil war and rebellion and the foreigner was hated.

Catelyn has a strong claim to inherit Riverun if Edmure dies and I suspect she may also become the rightful heir to Harrenhall too. But she has no claim whatsoever to the North.  

Of course all power comes out of the barrel of a gun or int his case spears, swords, arrow and pikes. if Catelyn led a host of many thousands, experienced in Northern warfare she just might exercise such a claim. But in the absence of such  - ho hum.

However I think it is bloody obvious and has been since GoT that Catelyn will support Sansa for the "throne" of Winterfell against Jon/Rickon. Ned's thoughts foreshadowed this and it is very very clear it will happen. The breaking of Ice into two also foreshadows such a battle. In this case Sansa will be supported by an army from the Vale and probably with Cat's assistance also many of the River lords. The North will not support them.

I suspect it will be to end that bloody ar that Bran will leave his cave and rule Winterfell passing it on to some descendent of Rickon, perhaps married to some descendant of Rickon and Jon  and Arya and Sansa - all four perhaps. Bandon is now 9/10. He rules until he is 85 (like Walder Frey and the other aged Stark. In 75 years some great and great great grand kids of our Starks can inherit.

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Posted (edited)

I feel like this will help anyone not one bit, but I’ll toss it out there anyhow. It seems like there are 2 different definitions of trap being bandied about so people aren’t connecting sometimes. Gotta love English.

trap (trăp)

1. A stratagem for catching or tricking an unwary person.

2. A confining or undesirable circumstance from which escape or relief is difficult: fell into poverty's trap.

Example:

Jaime was caught using a trap in the Whispering Wood (definition #1 using trickery or deception).

From the wiki for Whispering Wood:

Unknown to Jaime, Robb Stark has forged an alliance with House Frey of the Twins, securing him passage over the Green Fork of the Trident. Joined by additional soldiers from the Freys and House Mallister of Seagard, Robb moves on Riverrun from the north in an attempt to outflank the unsuspecting Lannister forces and relieve the besieged forces at Riverrun. Robb manages to keep his march secret, thanks to the efforts of his great uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, and his outriders, who are able to shoot down all of the Lannister ravens and any outriders screening the camps.

Jaime was also caught in a trap while held prisoner in Riverrun (definition #2 confinement with no trickery involved).

 

 

My take clarified: I disagree with the OP's conclusion that Cat is heir, but completely agree that something's up with the use of "trap". Especially given that GRRM didn't just come out and state the obvious. It's Jon by process of elimination and that Robb directly said as much, but with something else going on because naming Jon doesn't address some huge problems and whatever Robb's solution is, it's enough to placate though not please Catelyn who is obsessive when it comes to things she doesn't like even if she can't change them. I feel like it's actually GRRM with the enigmatic smile here, not Robb.

Robb’s plan for Moat Cailin is definition #1 with trickery and deception. Catelyn compares what was done to her to Robb’s Moat Cailin trap, so the trap to which Catelyn refers in regards to Robb’s will is also definition #1 with trickery and deception, not a trap as in simple confinement or imprisonment, definition #2.

"By the causeway? Against Moat Cailin?"

He gave her an enigmatic smile. "That's one way to go," he said, and she knew from his tone that he would say no more. A wise king keeps his own counsel, she reminded herself.  (Robb is constructing a trap, definition #1 with tricks and deception).

"From the south," said Robb. "But if we can attack from the north and west simultaneously, and take the ironmen in the rear while they are beating off what they think is my main thrust up the causeway, then we have a chance. Once I link up with Lord Bolton and the Freys, I will have more than twelve thousand men. I mean to divide them into three battles and start up the causeway a half-day apart. If the Greyjoys have eyes south of the Neck, they will see my whole strength rushing headlong at Moat Cailin. (Robb’s Moat Cailin plan, using a trap, definition #1 with tricks and deception)

...

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.

 

Edited by Lollygag

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3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Well, I'm sure we aren't going to agree, but in my mind that is simply not a trap at all. A trap by definition must involve some sort of trick (the metaphorical cheese for the metaphorical mouse, who is in this case a Cat).

A trap, according to merriam webster is 1) a device for taking game or other animals; especially one that holds by springing shut suddenly, 2) something by which one is caught or stopped unawares; also, a position or situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape.

A trap does not need to involve a trick. It could but it doesn't need too.

Your description of cheese in a mouse trap is not a trick, that is called bait. 

For instance, the other day my horses got out into my neighbor's pasture. I lead them back into a corral and closed the gate. The horses were therefore trapped, but there was no trick involved. 

As to your whole thread, I agree that GRRM is typically vague about how Robb goes about his heir naming. I almost think it is too fitting for him to name Jon, and I expect there might me a surprise coming. But I find it very hard, in spite of your arguments, to think that heir is Catelyn Tully.

After all, she is not a Stark. I think the Stark heir should be a Stark. The Baratheon heir should be a Baratheon, not a Lannister and that spawned a war that tore the country apart.

Quote

"Yes," Ned said, in words that would brook no argument. "You must govern the north in my stead, while I run Robert's errands. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Robb is fourteen. Soon enough, he will be a man grown. He must learn to rule, and I will not be here for him. AGOT-Catelyn II

I admit this is a vague statement, and as with many of GRRM's statements, our own perception feeds into it. I have felt like this line means Robb is the Stark in Winterfell but he needs Catelyn's guidance to teach him how to rule. I could certainly be wrong. But it doesn't make much sense for Cat to be the Stark in Winterfell.

Quote

You must be as fierce and hard as the north, Catelyn Tully. You must be a Stark for true now, like your son. AGOT-Cately IX

In this statement, Cat doesn't even think of herself as a Stark, she has to remind herself she needs to act like one. And I don't think she ever succeeds at this.

Maybe this will clear up some of the vagueness of Ned's "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell" comment ...

Quote

Ned stopped at last and lifted the oil lantern. The crypt continued on into darkness ahead of them, but beyond this point the tombs were empty and unsealed; black holes waiting for their dead, waiting for him and his children. AGOT-Eddard I

I read this plainly as there being no place for Catelyn in the crypts of Winterfell. She is not a Stark, that is not her place. This is a place for Ned, as a Stark, and his children, as Stark's. The blood is important! And Cat doesn't have Stark blood.

This is why I cannot imagine Robb naming a person who does not carry Stark blood to be his heir, unless he split his kingdom's, and therefore heirs, naming Catelyn his heir to the Riverlands and another to be his heir to the North. Time will tell, if we ever get another book, anyway.

But I say stick to your guns! We all interpret this crazy story differently, and we are bound to see things is numerously different ways, and that is what makes it all so interesting.

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5 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Naming Cat as heir would be unprecedented, but not the "nonsense" you make it out to be.

"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."
 
This is not about inheriting a box of jewelry, but a kingdom, as of old ruled by a Stark dynasty. He wants a male Stark heir, of Stark blood, of the North and of an able age.
 
Cat isn't male, isn't of Stark blood, isn't of the North. Her second husband won't be a Stark. Her children by a second marriage won't be Starks. It's the type of nonsense that only a mad woman like Cersei would consider logical.
 
And as @ravenous reader pointed out, Grey Wind backs Robb's choice for Jon.
Edited by sweetsunray

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"Yes," Ned said, in words that would brook no argument. "You must govern the north in my stead, while I run Robert's errands. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Robb is fourteen. Soon enough, he will be a man grown. He must learn to rule, and I will not be here for him. AGOT-Catelyn II

Ned is naming Cat his "regent", to groom Robb into the role of the Lord of Winterfell. Cat is here "an acting Stark", who would step aside once Robb came into his own or Ned returned. NOT an heir.

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4 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I agree. And this is one of the reasons I don't think there was any need for Jon to be named Robb's heir.

Sure. But Robb doesn't know this, and then there's the added mystery and all of us here still discussing it ~ 20 yrs on. 

3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

I suppose I just disagree fundamentally that commanding Cat to go to Seagard in any way constitutes a trap. A trap must by definition involve trickery of some sort. In your mind, how did Robb trick Cat here? What was the metaphorical cheese used to bait Cat into the trap?

No, commanding Cat to go to Seagard is not the trap. The trap is having Cat do what she said she'd do without questioning his decision in front of his bannermen and Edmure. 

3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

There is no trick involved in sending Cat to Seagard. She literally has zero choice in the matter, and Robb didn't even have to talk to her about it if he didn't want to. As Robb stated, he is the king, and he doesn't require Cat's support for anything. It's not a trap. You're explanation doesn't make any sense what.so.evah! :bang::P 

Agree, no trick there. 

3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

In my view, the trick Robb employed was getting Cat to admit that she could not name a better alternative to Jon as heir, but at the same time she could not support Robb in his "folly". Thus, when Cat is named heir, she has been effectively backed into a corner and cannot refuse to support Robb in this decision.

That's where we disagree. I think the trick is to first have this chat in private, and have Cat voice all her misgivings again in private. And when Cat says "I can't support this folly", he makes it perfectly clear that he doesn't need her support. When Robb is in the tent w/ the others, Cat acts as her King - not her son - expected her to. 

3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

It is just odd that Robb discussed where he would be sending Cat with eveyone else and not discuss it with Cat for some reason, unless it was actually in the context of discussing the much more important matter of his new heir. Why else bother keeping it a secret from Cat?

Robb probably felt Cat wouldn't be too happy with the idea, so decides to keep her in the dark about it until it's time to reveal all of his more immediate plans. 

3 hours ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

true... :P I was being concise. She was, at the time, potentially carrying Robb's heir in her womb. I was referring to Robb's child, not Jeyne.

Gotcha! 

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4 hours ago, Luddagain said:

Skeletons

4 times in the first book by four different people. This is GRRM so it is BLOODY important.

Why must there always be a Stark at Winterfell? Until you know the answer to that question you cannot sensibly rule it out.

I thought it was a pretty clear assumption that "Must be a Stark at Winterfell" was strong tradition like cutting off heads by Lord and burying the dead in the crypts with a sword and a direwolf statue.  I use the term Old Gods more generally to include all those matters that formed part of the Pact and also most of the stuff relating to the wall - and the 79 deserters etc.

GRRM is really into bloodlines etc and a Tully is a Tully not a Stark.

In any case GRRM's world is Europe in the middle ages and the one thing you can be ABSOLUTELY sure of is that wives do not inherit unless they are also in the line of descent. Even where they are regents it almost lays led to civil war and rebellion and the foreigner was hated.

Catelyn has a strong claim to inherit Riverun if Edmure dies and I suspect she may also become the rightful heir to Harrenhall too. But she has no claim whatsoever to the North.  

Of course all power comes out of the barrel of a gun or int his case spears, swords, arrow and pikes. if Catelyn led a host of many thousands, experienced in Northern warfare she just might exercise such a claim. But in the absence of such  - ho hum.

However I think it is bloody obvious and has been since GoT that Catelyn will support Sansa for the "throne" of Winterfell against Jon/Rickon. Ned's thoughts foreshadowed this and it is very very clear it will happen. The breaking of Ice into two also foreshadows such a battle. In this case Sansa will be supported by an army from the Vale and probably with Cat's assistance also many of the River lords. The North will not support them.

I suspect it will be to end that bloody ar that Bran will leave his cave and rule Winterfell passing it on to some descendent of Rickon, perhaps married to some descendant of Rickon and Jon  and Arya and Sansa - all four perhaps. Bandon is now 9/10. He rules until he is 85 (like Walder Frey and the other aged Stark. In 75 years some great and great great grand kids of our Starks can inherit.

But as I pointed out, it is said by 4 different people independently. Ned said it to Cat, and we don't know why he said it. He may have just been being practical, with no mystical origins whatsoever. And he may have been saying that Cat was the Stark in Winterfell, it is ambiguous whether he was referring to Cat or Robb. Then Cat repeated what Ned said to Robb, and Rodrik and Luwin each repeated what Cat said to Bran. The phrase does not have mysterious origins. I don't think you can assume at all that it is a strong Stark tradition, because it is just something Ned said to Cat before he left.

And if I am right, then Robb, just like Ned, would be leaving Cat to rule Winterfell and the north.

I would like to point out that Lady Hornwood, originally a Manderly, keeps Hornwood after the deaths of her husband and son.

The rest of that shit about Sansa fighting Jon based on the breaking of Ice sounds highly speculative, but sure... mayhaps. I certainly disagree that it is "bloody obvious" that Cat will support Sansa for WF against Jon/Rickon. I am definitely not going to take it as evidence that Jon was named heir in Robb's will.

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

Sure. But Robb doesn't know this, and then there's the added mystery and all of us here still discussing it ~ 20 yrs on. 

No, commanding Cat to go to Seagard is not the trap. The trap is having Cat do what she said she'd do without questioning his decision in front of his bannermen and Edmure. 

Agree, no trick there. 

That's where we disagree. I think the trick is to first have this chat in private, and have Cat voice all her misgivings again in private. And when Cat says "I can't support this folly", he makes it perfectly clear that he doesn't need her support. When Robb is in the tent w/ the others, Cat acts as her King - not her son - expected her to. 

Robb probably felt Cat wouldn't be too happy with the idea, so decides to keep her in the dark about it until it's time to reveal all of his more immediate plans. 

Gotcha! 

Aaah, I was not fully understanding you before.

OK, but if Robb's goal was to prevent Cat from questioning his decisions in front of his bannermen, he probably should have warned her about Seagard. Your statement that Robb kept Cat in the dark about Seagard because he thought she wouldn't be happy seems to go directly against your claim that Robb purposely had a conversation with Cat in private for her to privately voice her misgivings about Jon being heir, in order for Cat to support Robb's choice in front of his bannermen. This is the slightly confrontational exchange about it:

Quote

She tensed. “Do you have some part in this for me?”

“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.

Your explanation is logical, but unsatisfying. It sure wasn't a very impressive trap, not one that would cause me to think "a king indeed" to myself if I were Cat and compare it to the future trap at Moat Cailin. And I find it hard to believe he wouldn't warn Cat about Seagard if his primary goal was for her to publicly support his decisions in that meeting.

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3 hours ago, St Daga said:

A trap, according to merriam webster is 1) a device for taking game or other animals; especially one that holds by springing shut suddenly, 2) something by which one is caught or stopped unawares; also, a position or situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape.

A trap does not need to involve a trick. It could but it doesn't need too.

Your description of cheese in a mouse trap is not a trick, that is called bait. 

For instance, the other day my horses got out into my neighbor's pasture. I lead them back into a corral and closed the gate. The horses were therefore trapped, but there was no trick involved. 

As to your whole thread, I agree that GRRM is typically vague about how Robb goes about his heir naming. I almost think it is too fitting for him to name Jon, and I expect there might me a surprise coming. But I find it very hard, in spite of your arguments, to think that heir is Catelyn Tully.

After all, she is not a Stark. I think the Stark heir should be a Stark. The Baratheon heir should be a Baratheon, not a Lannister and that spawned a war that tore the country apart.

I admit this is a vague statement, and as with many of GRRM's statements, our own perception feeds into it. I have felt like this line means Robb is the Stark in Winterfell but he needs Catelyn's guidance to teach him how to rule. I could certainly be wrong. But it doesn't make much sense for Cat to be the Stark in Winterfell.

In this statement, Cat doesn't even think of herself as a Stark, she has to remind herself she needs to act like one. And I don't think she ever succeeds at this.

Maybe this will clear up some of the vagueness of Ned's "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell" comment ...

I read this plainly as there being no place for Catelyn in the crypts of Winterfell. She is not a Stark, that is not her place. This is a place for Ned, as a Stark, and his children, as Stark's. The blood is important! And Cat doesn't have Stark blood.

This is why I cannot imagine Robb naming a person who does not carry Stark blood to be his heir, unless he split his kingdom's, and therefore heirs, naming Catelyn his heir to the Riverlands and another to be his heir to the North. Time will tell, if we ever get another book, anyway.

But I say stick to your guns! We all interpret this crazy story differently, and we are bound to see things is numerously different ways, and that is what makes it all so interesting.

Yes, a physical trap doesn't need to involve trickery, but a figurative trap must generally involve a trick of some sort. Bait (such as cheese) is, by definition, a trick of sorts. You are tricking animals into thinking they are getting fed only to capture/murder them. As for your horses, you are correct that there was no trickery involved yet you still trapped them, and that's because it was a purely physical trap.

And yeah, you could argue that the Stark heir should be a Stark. But there are no Starks left. If you don't name Jon because he is a bastard in the NW, ultimately it is impossible for Winterfell to go to a Stark, so you might as well name Cat. Assuming she marries another northerner, Winterfell will be passed to someone with a nominal "amount of Stark blood", since everyone in the north surely has a bit by now.

Was Robb really supposed to force Jon on people? And then NO ONE EVER TOLD JON??!!! I know that's not what you were saying, but I think that would be the only alternative to Cat.

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3 hours ago, sweetsunray 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."
 
This is not about inheriting a box of jewelry, but a kingdom, as of old ruled by a Stark dynasty. He wants a male Stark heir, of Stark blood, of the North and of an able age.
 
Cat isn't male, isn't of Stark blood, isn't of the North. Her second husband won't be a Stark. Her children by a second marriage won't be Starks. It's the type of nonsense that only a mad woman like Cersei would consider logical.
 
And as @ravenous reader pointed out, Grey Wind backs Robb's choice for Jon.

go ahead and quote that part of the text for me that said Robb wanted a male heir

I'm sorry you only think women capable of inheriting boxes of jewelry...

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5 hours ago, Ygrain said:

You're missing the point. Of course Cat was going to agree that Robb needed to name an heir - the trap was that after both agreed so happily that the sky is blue, Robb named the one person that Cat would never have wanted to be the heir, but because she had already agreed that the sky is blue, and because she had always been "duty first", she had to suck it up and not undermine Robb's decision, no matter how much she disliked it. 

But there was no need to get her to agree that the sky was blue beforehand. She has to be duty first and obey Robb's commands. She has no power to undermine Robb's decision. That's not much of a trap in any case, certainly one I wouldn't think comparable to Robb's future tactics at Moat Cailin.

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