1northlad

Cat the Most selfish Women in all the seven Kingdoms

203 posts in this topic

So I am re-reading through the books. ( Or is truly honest im listening to them as I drive to work. But have read them before) and as much as I love the Catlyn Chapters I hate Cat herself. the chapters are good because you get to see the war through the Northern and Rivermen's eyes and it actually feels like a proper war story with troop movements discussed etc. but Cat ruins them. all she thinks about is herself!! 

Every time she has a go at Edmure for trying to re-capture Jamie, Every time she has calls the men around her stupid for not understanding her feeling on why she let Jamie free. then she has the audacity to berate Robb about his new wife. She refuses all his orders throughout the series bar going to see renly and Stannis inadvertently and fails, though not much she could do admittedly. I know she was grieving but come on. the shit she did was treason, letting the KINGSLAYER go was the most selfish thing anybody has done in this series.  

All she does is moan and hinder Robb at every turn until Roose Bolton finally does his one good deed and ends her miserable existence.

So does anybody agree with me, that Cat is Boring to read and the most selfish Woman in the books? 

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Posted (edited)

She seems to think about herself and her own personal tragedies a lot, but I think that's to expected. There are other times where other characters behave similarly, e.g. Tyrion in aDwD, who spends half his time thinking about Tywin, Tysha and "where whores go", or Daenerys with her mooning over Daario. I did find myself getting annoyed with Cat often, but I'm not sure that's totally fair.

I don't think she was much help to Robb, Even when her instincts were right - e.g. worrying about Rolph Spicer - she made the wrong call and perhaps made things worse. But I don't think it's fair to expect her to have known better, and in the end Robb made his own mistakes. The one thing I don't understand is why she barely even considered going back to Winterfell. I can see why she'd want to be there for Robb, but the idea of being there for Bran and Rickon, or genuinely helping Robb by looking after Winterfell and the North, doesn't seem to occur to her much.

Oh, and of course there's Cersei. She's much more annoying with her constant self-congratulation, arrogance and paranoia. And she and the other Lannisters ought to shut up about being lions and learn when to let the metaphor go.

Edited by Ser Petyr Parker

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Don't forget of her taking Tyrion prisoner without sufficient evidence that started the war. she's also the reason why Jon never felt at home in Winterfell, even though her reason is understandable, it's not fair to treat him that way out of jealousy of Jon's mother, i also think it's one of the reason why Jon is so eager to take the black.

But i don't hate her that i want her to die like you do, she's still quite interesting character, just with a bunch of stupid decisions.

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Cat the Most selfish Women in all the seven Kingdoms

Is Cersei from somewhere else?

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1 hour ago, Gendarrion said:

Don't forget of her taking Tyrion prisoner without sufficient evidence that started the war. she's also the reason why Jon never felt at home in Winterfell, even though her reason is understandable, it's not fair to treat him that way out of jealousy of Jon's mother, i also think it's one of the reason why Jon is so eager to take the black.

But i don't hate her that i want her to die like you do, she's still quite interesting character, just with a bunch of stupid decisions.

I hated Cat from the moment she told Jon it should have been him instead of Bran when he came to visit Bran before going to the Wall. From that moment, I just couldn't stand anything about her and thought every choice she made was the wrong one, which was perhaps me looking at it with bias due to disliking the character.

I also agree that Jon wouldn't have taken the black had she not treated him the way she did. Just imagine the benefits of having Jon alongside Robb when he went off to war, or staying back at Winterfell to look after it in Robb's stead.

Saying that, her chapters were often some of the most interesting, when you got through all her interior monologue. Being around characters like Robb, Roose, Stannis, Renly, Tyrion etc was her saving grace.

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7 minutes ago, Dofs said:

Is Cersei from somewhere else?

^ Word. Also Lysa. And to a lesser extend pretty much any highborn lady. Medieval Aristocrats simply have a mindset that is quite alien to modern sensibilities. They are used to being the centre of the universe and so they, naturally, think of themselves and their own tragedies as more important than those of others.

Some do less so, some more, but from where I stand Cat is far from one of the worst examples. I can name very few actions in the books I can't relate to on some level, and I get the feeling many people only give her such an abysmal rep because she "dared" to pick on fan favourites like Jon and Tyrion. I can't help but feel for a parent who sees their children thrust into the middle of a bloody civil war (remember, her private vision of paradise consists of nothing more than the Stark family reunited and happy together).

One aspect of her I don't like, however, is that she is quick to call out what she names "foolishness" (i.e. stupid or shortsighted behavior) in others (such as Lysa, Edmure and Renly) but she is pretty blind to her own, numerous acts of rash or foolish behavior (capturing the King's brother in law, releasing an important POW, her blind hatred for the Lannisters)

So no, Catelyn isn't the "most selfish woman in the Seven Kingdoms" she is human.

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59 minutes ago, JordanJH1993 said:

I hated Cat from the moment she told Jon it should have been him instead of Bran when he came to visit Bran before going to the Wall. From that moment, I just couldn't stand anything about her and thought every choice she made was the wrong one, which was perhaps me looking at it with bias due to disliking the character.

I also agree that Jon wouldn't have taken the black had she not treated him the way she did. Just imagine the benefits of having Jon alongside Robb when he went off to war, or staying back at Winterfell to look after it in Robb's stead.

Saying that, her chapters were often some of the most interesting, when you got through all her interior monologue. Being around characters like Robb, Roose, Stannis, Renly, Tyrion etc was her saving grace.

Thats what Im saying, love her chapters because once you get through her crap you get a real first hand account of the war from a Northern perspective. like the battle of the fords and all the troop movement. ( though that said i think Martin missed a trick in the first three books by not focusing in more detail on the war and by having it as a background noise for the characters. 

But She is boring and yes with the exception of Cersi and Lysa ( hadn't thought of her) i think she is selfish, started a war cause she didn't like someone 

 

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7 hours ago, 1northlad said:

So does anybody agree with me, that Cat is Boring to read and the most selfish Woman in the books

No.

Cersei ... 

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8 hours ago, 1northlad said:

So I am re-reading through the books. ( Or is truly honest im listening to them as I drive to work. But have read them before) and as much as I love the Catlyn Chapters I hate Cat herself. the chapters are good because you get to see the war through the Northern and Rivermen's eyes and it actually feels like a proper war story with troop movements discussed etc. but Cat ruins them. all she thinks about is herself!! 

Every time she has a go at Edmure for trying to re-capture Jamie, Every time she has calls the men around her stupid for not understanding her feeling on why she let Jamie free. then she has the audacity to berate Robb about his new wife. She refuses all his orders throughout the series bar going to see renly and Stannis inadvertently and fails, though not much she could do admittedly. I know she was grieving but come on. the shit she did was treason, letting the KINGSLAYER go was the most selfish thing anybody has done in this series.  

All she does is moan and hinder Robb at every turn until Roose Bolton finally does his one good deed and ends her miserable existence.

So does anybody agree with me, that Cat is Boring to read and the most selfish Woman in the books? 

Yes and the only character I truly hate. I just don't see one bit of good in her and it's unfathomable to me how anyone could like her. (although I know quite a few people do, I've been attacked for my views by them enough to know haha)

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I've always hated Cat, and get so annoyed that we are in the minority it seems. Obviously if my husband brought home a baby that wasn't mine, it would be inconceivably difficult but at the end of the day I think most compassionate human beings can accept the fact that this is a blameless child. Not saying she needed to love him, but even neutral indifference like she showed toward someone like Theon is worlds better than the outright cruelty she has shown to Jon on multiple occasions. 

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7 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

 

One aspect of her I don't like, however, is that she is quick to call out what she names "foolishness" (i.e. stupid or shortsighted behavior) in others (such as Lysa, Edmure and Renly) but she is pretty blind to her own, numerous acts of rash or foolish behavior (capturing the King's brother in law, releasing an important POW, her blind hatred for the Lannisters)

Agreed here.  I really disliked Cat for this, especially her thoughts on Edmure and condescension towards Robb while being blind to the folly that was arresting Tyrion and letting Jaime go.  The Jon stuff really didn't much happen on the page, so it didn't annoy me as much.

Her chapters were fantastic though - so much going on!  She was a complex character - maybe the most human one on the show because of her faults and hypocrisies.  I really appreciated her while hating her at the same time.  One of Martin's best written characters.

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

Agreed here.  I really disliked Cat for this, especially her thoughts on Edmure and condescension towards Robb while being blind to the folly that was arresting Tyrion and letting Jaime go.  The Jon stuff really didn't much happen on the page, so it didn't annoy me as much.

Her chapters were fantastic though - so much going on!  She was a complex character - maybe the most human one on the show because of her faults and hypocrisies.  I really appreciated her while hating her at the same time.  One of Martin's best written characters.

Also agree. The Season 3(?) scene with

Spoiler

Brienne where she talks about mistreating Jon and that all of this misfortune was her deserved karma is so memorable (mainly because I'm always like 'yes you deserve all of this you pos'). 

Edited by My Sun and Stars
Added spoiler tag

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2 minutes ago, My Sun and Stars said:

Also agree. The scene with Brienne where she talks about mistreating Jon and that all of this misfortune was her deserved karma is so memorable (mainly because I'm always like 'yes you deserve all of this you pos'). 

Does this scene happen in the books? I thought it was show only.  I meant to be referring to the book version of Cat.  Sometimes it is tough to keep them separate!  Lol

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5 minutes ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

Does this scene happen in the books? I thought it was show only.  I meant to be referring to the book version of Cat.  Sometimes it is tough to keep them separate!  Lol

I think you might be right! I just added a spoiler tag in case. 

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I don't really see her bad decisions as much worse than anyone else's. Littlefinger might be the only character who can actually make decisions that work out for him consistently, and then only because has no consideration whatsoever for other people. Cat, on the other hand, is nearly incapable of putting her own status or even survival first. 

A huge part of Cat's character is the mess of conflicting duties and expectations  that women face. "Family, duty, honor" is an impossible balancing act, and it shows clearly in both her and Ned. In upholding the North's honor, she sacrifices her family. In trying to protect her family she fails in her duty as Lady of Winterfell. There is no way for her or anyone to act in such mutually opposed interests. Jaime's spiel on oaths makes a similar point.

Further, I think her character, along with most every other important character who dies by the end of Storm, is meant to show the old way dying. Pure self interest is just not in the paradigm of noble ladies in the culture that we're initially ready to expect. The horrors she experiences are so far beyond what her upbringing has prepared her for that she simply cannot function when society breaks down.

This story is told in two generations precisely because the older characters are not intended to be dynamic. They are supposed to suffer for their inability to change, because it's the next generation who learns from the mistakes. 

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While I do agree that she is very judgemental, rash and can be very selfish, in her defense, she just lost her husband, thinks that she is neer going to see her two daughters again and thinks her two youngest sons are dead. She promised them that she would come back home to them, but they were "killed". This here can lead to some very depressive thoughts and we see it clearly in the book that she is grieving greatly and blames herself for, not just Bran's and Rickon's deaths, but also the start of the war (afterall, the war wouldn't have started if she didn't kidnap Tyrion for literally no reason).

Overall, while her chapters can be very overbearing and annoying to read, she is a grieving mother and wife, which explains many of her thoughts and actions. Grief makes people do things they normally wouldn't do, afterall.

Her treatment of Jon, however, that is very bad and inexcusable.

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I don't understand where people getting "selfishness" from Cat. What does she do to advance her personal interests? She is hardly able to look after her own life, and her decisions, misguided as many are, are intended almost entirely for the benefit of other people.

I can see adjectives proud, naïve, or single-minded, but not selfish. Littlefinger is selfish. King Robert is selfish. Cersei is selfish. Those people make decisions almost entirely to improve their personal comfort, power, and reputation. Cat is unconcerned with those things. 

Frankly what I see in these complaints is independence being conflated with selfishness. She makes her own decisions despite being instructed otherwise. Ned does the same thing, yet I've heard nobody complain of him being selfish for, say, altering Robert's last testament. 

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Catelyn is nowhere near the worst female character in the novels.  Cersei and Lysa are worse, and I have my doubts about Melisandre.

Her problem is that she cares too much about her family, especially her children, and that leads her to rash acts.  She also expects other people to act in ways that they don't.  She expected Lysa to be sane, and she expected Tyrion to keep his word and exchange Sansa and Arya for Jaime. (based on an inaccurate report by Cleos).

As for Jon, she is under no obligation to be nice to him.  The only cruelty was her comment "it should have been you" and even Jon considered that to be unusual for her.  Otherwise, she merely ignored him, which considering they live in a very large castle with a large staff, was probably not too difficult.  

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2 hours ago, My Sun and Stars said:

I've always hated Cat, and get so annoyed that we are in the minority it seems. Obviously if my husband brought home a baby that wasn't mine, it would be inconceivably difficult but at the end of the day I think most compassionate human beings can accept the fact that this is a blameless child. Not saying she needed to love him, but even neutral indifference like she showed toward someone like Theon is worlds better than the outright cruelty she has shown to Jon on multiple occasions. 

According to the author, indifference is exactly what she showed to Jon except for that one time when she hadn't been sleeping for days and was out of her mind with worry about Bran. There are no "multiple occasions" there's only that one, and per GRRM it was an isolated incident. I don't see why people have trouble understanding that.

Jon himself doesn't dwell on his step-mother being horrible to him.

So OP has a problem with Cat being...human?

She made mistakes. Normal.

She thinks of herself and what she wants. Normal considering that what she wants is to get her two remaining children back after having heard that Theon Greyjoy murdered her two youngest boys. Some people are naturally more self-centered than others but Cat is not being particularly surprising in being desperate to get the girls back.

She's more emotional than logical, and so are a lot of people in real life. It's her temperament, and there is only so much you can do to mitigate the weaknesses of your natural temperament, and even less you can do about those weaknesses when under constant stress.

She's not my favorite, not even in my top ten, maybe not even in my top twenty, but some of the complaints about her are pretty thin. 

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