Canon Claude

Should Robb have executed Jaime?

21 posts in this topic

Given how things turned out, would it have been better if Robb had executed Jaime in revenge for his farher’s murder? Most would certainly say that the Kingslayer would deserve death, given how the Lannisters treated his father. And killing Jaime is a crippling blow to Tywin’s legacy. The big risk of course is that Cersei would immediately take revenge on Sansa (and Arya if she was there). Plus Tywin might decide to execute his own Northern prisoners in kind, which would lead to Robb having to execute the rest of his own prisoners and reduce the war to a no-quarter given brawl that ends with one side completely reduced to dead bodies. 

But hey, it might have been better for Robb than what really happened. Or not?

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5 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

Given how things turned out, would it have been better if Robb had executed Jaime in revenge for his farher’s murder? Most would certainly say that the Kingslayer would deserve death, given how the Lannisters treated his father. And killing Jaime is a crippling blow to Tywin’s legacy. The big risk of course is that Cersei would immediately take revenge on Sansa (and Arya if she was there). Plus Tywin might decide to execute his own Northern prisoners in kind, which would lead to Robb having to execute the rest of his own prisoners and reduce the war to a no-quarter given brawl that ends with one side completely reduced to dead bodies. 

But hey, it might have been better for Robb than what really happened. Or not?

You suggest that Robb should have executed Jaime and then literally explain why that idea is awful?

Assuming you were just trying to get the conversation moving with the two opposing viewpoints, I’ll bite.

Yes, that war of attrition you described would probably happen, with prisoners vengefully being executed in cold blood rather than be kept as bargaining chips. This means that Harrion Karstark and Wyman Manderly die in the first book (though it also means several Freys die with them, so six to one half a dozen to the other). It also means that Jaime is done for, along with a dozen lords of the west (including Lord Westerling).

If it’s clear that no quarter will be given, Robb won’t bother with sending terms to King’s Landing, though he’s probably still going to send his mother and Theon on their diplomatic missions. But this time, Jaime isn’t around to give Richard Karstark any grief. So it would just be an even bloodier version of how things turn out. The Red Wedding might still happen, for all we know.

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10 minutes ago, Canon Claude said:

Given how things turned out, would it have been better if Robb had executed Jaime in revenge for his farher’s murder? Most would certainly say that the Kingslayer would deserve death, given how the Lannisters treated his father. And killing Jaime is a crippling blow to Tywin’s legacy. The big risk of course is that Cersei would immediately take revenge on Sansa (and Arya if she was there). Plus Tywin might decide to execute his own Northern prisoners in kind, which would lead to Robb having to execute the rest of his own prisoners and reduce the war to a no-quarter given brawl that ends with one side completely reduced to dead bodies. 

But hey, it might have been better for Robb than what really happened. Or not?

I'm trying to remember if Jamie was named Warden of the East during his captivity.   Either way, Jamie was an A class hostage in the war not to mention the throne and strongest army on the board.  The only person I imagine would have been worth more than Jaime was Tywin.  

Sansa was a valuable hostage, super valued after Ned's execution and she was in a lot more danger than Jamie ever was.   Jamie was the Stark's only hope of getting Sansa (and Arya) back.  I'm unsure exactly how long Jamie was imprisoned, but I think the longer he was held the more nervous Tywin and Cersei became because they both wanted him back, too.   

Jamie was freed under oath to return the Stark girls to their mother/brother/army.  He had every intention of honoring the oath.  Even Jamie was stunned to be released under the terms he received.  Was it ridiculous of Cat to let him go?  Considering Jamie's other nickname is "Oath Breaker" it was beyond stupid.  But we know the truth of this story, Jamie was going to keep his oath.   If it was in his power Sansa and Arya would have returned to Cat with Brienne and probably a full guard to ensure they got there.  He sent Brienne off to find the girls in nearly the same way, a suit of armor, a hero's sword and papers giving her the King's permission to go where she pleased. 

I don't know if the Red Wedding would have happened if Robb still had Jamie.  Considering our players, Tywin and Walder would have got to him eventually.  Robb was an Oath Breaker to one and Rebel to the other.   Short of a miracle Robb was destined to die in a horrific and unforgettable manner.  

So, No Ser, I don't see how executing Jamie could have helped Robb even remotely.  

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Keeping him a prisoner, like he intended, would have been better. However in her grieve Catelyn made a poor decision behind Robb's back that undermined his rule.

It doesn't matter if Jaime swore to return Sansa and Arya even if he fully intended to do it. He is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and doesn't have the power to guarantee the release of Sansa and Arya after he is already back in King's Landing. Joffrey, Cersei or Tywin could simply claim they never agreed to the hostage exchange. Further more in the eyes of the Crown Sansa is Tyrion's wife now and Robb is an enemy of the law. Returning her to a trader in open rebellion is something the Crown is justified in not doing, as they are justified in not giving Tyrion's wife to rebels. Jaime would have had to commit a crime against the Crown and sneaked Sansa out of King's Landing like he did with Tyrion, however he most likely wouldn't have Varys' help this time around.

Also releasing a hostage(Jaime) without consulting with the party(The Crown) that is holding your hostages(Sansa) is never a good idea. If an exchange was going to be made they should have met under a temporary banner of truce and traded Jaime for the Stark girls at the same time. 

Robb himself did not agree to any such exchange and sent men after Jaime and his party to bring him back. Jaime was never a hostage that was freely returning home, he was a prisoner who escaped his captors. 

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I don't like Cat so much, but she acted like a mother, Sansa would be dead (and Arya too if she has been there). And Robb knew that, I don't think executed Jaime would have been a great idea. And we have also to consider how the war begun ... Robb called the bannermen for war after Ned was arrested, he took Jaime prisoner and then the Lannisters executed his father .... One way or another the war was about family for Robb.

3 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

It doesn't matter if Jaime swore to return Sansa and Arya even if he fully intended to do it. He is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and doesn't have the power to guarantee the release of Sansa and Arya after he is already back in King's Landing.

It was Tyrion not Jaime.

Quote

She had laid the point of the big wench's sword against his heart and said, "Swear that you will never again take up arms against Stark nor Tully. Swear that you will compel your brother to honor his pledge to return my daughters safe and unharmed. Swear on your honor as a knight, on your honor as a Lannister, on your honor as a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard. Swear it by your sister's life, and your father's, and your son's, by the old gods and the new, and I'll send you back to your sister. Refuse, and I will have your blood." 

And

Quote

He remembered the pail Lady Catelyn had kicked over in his cell. A strange woman, to trust her girls to a man with shit for honor. Though she was trusting him as little as she dared. She is putting her hope in Tyrion, not in me. "Perhaps she is not so stupid after all," he said aloud.

 

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10 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Jamie was freed under oath to return the Stark girls to their mother/brother/army.  He had every intention of honoring the oath. 

This was the beginning of Jaime's "redemption arc." As you say, a known oathbreaker is suddenly trusted with an awesome responsibility, under oath. He had to have been thinking at some point, does Lady Cat know something about me that nobody else seems to? Then his experience with the noble Brienne of Tarth (aka "Wench") made an impression on Jaime, cynical though he'd become. Finally, the loss of his sword hand and identity. In the end, Jaime decides not to come to his sister the dowager queen's aid, but instead to go to Brienne as part of fulfilling his oath to Catelyn.

7 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

However in her grieve Catelyn made a poor decision behind Robb's back that undermined his rule.

Exactly. This led to the Karstark atrocities and the execution of Lord Karstark. Next came the Red Wedding, and the northern rebellion was over. Was Sansa worth it? We, the readers, know that only Sansa was at stake, Arya having gotten away long ago. Better intelligence should have revealed this to Robb and his then-trusted advisor, Catelyn. Would Cat have undermined Robb on a desperate attempt to save only Sansa? (I suspect so. She always liked Sansa better.)

7 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Sansa is Tyrion's wife now

No. That came well after the Battle on the Blackwater, after the Tyrells came to town.

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9 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Keeping him a prisoner, like he intended, would have been better. However in her grieve Catelyn made a poor decision behind Robb's back that undermined his rule.

It doesn't matter if Jaime swore to return Sansa and Arya even if he fully intended to do it. He is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and doesn't have the power to guarantee the release of Sansa and Arya after he is already back in King's Landing. Joffrey, Cersei or Tywin could simply claim they never agreed to the hostage exchange. Further more in the eyes of the Crown Sansa is Tyrion's wife now and Robb is an enemy of the law. Returning her to a trader in open rebellion is something the Crown is justified in not doing, as they are justified in not giving Tyrion's wife to rebels. Jaime would have had to commit a crime against the Crown and sneaked Sansa out of King's Landing like he did with Tyrion, however he most likely wouldn't have Varys' help this time around.

Also releasing a hostage(Jaime) without consulting with the party(The Crown) that is holding your hostages(Sansa) is never a good idea. If an exchange was going to be made they should have met under a temporary banner of truce and traded Jaime for the Stark girls at the same time. 

Robb himself did not agree to any such exchange and sent men after Jaime and his party to bring him back. Jaime was never a hostage that was freely returning home, he was a prisoner who escaped his captors. 

Sansa and Arya were considered of lesser value than Jamie to the Northmen in Robb's council.  That's part of how Catelyn got in so much trouble for releasing him.   Robb had a bigger idea and greater purpose for holding Jamie.   I believe (if my medias aren't screwed up) that the offer was the young Lannister cousins for Sansa and Arya.  I don't know what Robb intended to exchange for Jamie's release.   Any ideas? 

Although I agree with what you've put forth about Jamie's ability to release Sansa I think he would have found a way to do it without Cersei, Tyrion or Tywin's permission.   He essentially did the same thing when Tyrion was held prisoner after Joffrey's death.  Further, I think Tyrion would have been complicit in getting Sansa back to her family.  But it did not happen so we can't possibly know.  What I find interesting in this is that Jamie doesn't seem to care what the Crown or his family would think of this.    I wish it had happened if for no other reason than to watch Cersei's reaction!  

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No. He was a bargain chip. It might have been the right thing to do because of the crimes Jaime have commited until that point, but during war, people like him are valued.

If his head was chopped, what would become of Sansa? Or other prisoners?

And I like his chapters personally. They are one of my favourites. His behaviour after losing his sword hand and return from captivity gives me hope that his character might offer some good to a greater cause. 

I liked Robb so if Catelyn didn't cut Jaime loose, the Young Wolf might've lasted longer. But that's another story.

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

Given how things turned out, would it have been better if Robb had executed Jaime in revenge for his farher’s murder? Most would certainly say that the Kingslayer would deserve death, given how the Lannisters treated his father. And killing Jaime is a crippling blow to Tywin’s legacy. The big risk of course is that Cersei would immediately take revenge on Sansa (and Arya if she was there). Plus Tywin might decide to execute his own Northern prisoners in kind, which would lead to Robb having to execute the rest of his own prisoners and reduce the war to a no-quarter given brawl that ends with one side completely reduced to dead bodies. 

But hey, it might have been better for Robb than what really happened. Or not?

Killing Jaime would send Tywin stark raving mad.  He should keep Jaime hostage and bargain for a safe retreat to the north.  But I get your point.  How much worse could things get for Robb.  I mean he was killed and beheaded.  Greywind was killed.  His mom was killed. 

Let's take your scenario.  Robb kills Jaime.  The good:  Karstark is loyal.  Tywin kills Sansa and Arya.  Not such a great loss in military terms.  Killing Jaime might force Tywin to make a bad move.  One less Lannister in the world is a good thing.

 

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51 minutes ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

Tywin kills Sansa and Arya.

More correctly, Tywin says he killed Sansa and Arya. That leaves Sansa actually dead and Arya still missing. But only Arya and the Hound (and a few others) know this. Lady Catelyn goes stark raving mad. She's lost Ned. She's lost her little boys, Bran and Rickon. Now all of her daughters are dead, too. The family property, that she looked forward to her children ruling one day, is in the hands of the treacherous Boltons. Only her oldest, Robb, remains, and he's losing the confidence of his men after all the wrong decisions he's made recently. Catelyn is no longer giving good advice, as she's retreated into "grieving mother" mode.

It's a recipe for disaster. Admittedly, we got "disaster" the other way, too. But by not killing Jaime, we can still enjoy Sansa's ladylike chapters and get inside Jaime Lannister's pointy little head as well. Maybe it wasn't worth it...

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10 hours ago, zandru said:

No. That came well after the Battle on the Blackwater, after the Tyrells came to town.

IIRC, By the time Jaime gets to King's Landing Sansa is married to Tyrion. Was it something Catelyn foresaw happening? Probably not. However Sansa could have been married to Joffrey, Willas Tyrell  or whoever for all she knew. That was the problem with not consulting Robb or the Crown before releasing Jaime. Robb sent men after Jaime that slowed his progress to King's Landing and by the time they knew he was there Sansa was married. 

12 hours ago, Cridefea said:

One way or another the war was about family for Robb.

Then why didn't he just agree to exchange Jaime for Sansa and Arya and go back to Winterfell? It may have started as a war for family for Robb, but then it became about justice/vengeance then became about independence. Plus the Riverlands being pillaged also played a large role.

12 hours ago, Cridefea said:

It was Tyrion not Jaime.

Yet Tyrion had no idea Jaime was actually being released at the time Catelyn freed him. It was Robb who was in negations with Tyrion not Catelyn. Robb never wanted Jaime released and sent men to bring him back as his prisoner.  In the North's and Riverland's minds Jaime was an escaped prisoner. That's why Jaime did not freely travel back to King's Landing and ended up losing his hand. Also in that time Sansa was married off and became a part of another family.  That was the huge flaw in Catelyn plan that she didn't she in her grieve. How Robb would react and how the Lannisters would react to Robb hunting Jaime down after he was "released." I don't think Cersei, Tyrion nor Tywin would be happy that Jaime came back missing his sword hand. To them it would seem that Jaime barely escaped with his life. That's not exactly how a hostage exchange works.

8 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I don't know what Robb intended to exchange for Jamie's release.   Any ideas? 

I think Robb thought that, for the time being, his hands were pretty much tied when it came to Jaime. Trading him for his sisters would anger a lot of his lords, as you yourself said Jaime was seen as more valuable in war time. However killing him could cause the Lannisters to kill one of his sisters or both for all he knew, obviously he didn't want that to happen. I think he thought it was best to keep him prisoner for the time being. If as the war progressed and it didn't go in his favor he could use Jaime as a bargaining chip if needed too.

8 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

He essentially did the same thing when Tyrion was held prisoner after Joffrey's death.  Further, I think Tyrion would have been complicit in getting Sansa back to her family. 

Possibly. Though by the time he got her back to the Riverlands it may have already been to late. It would basically be the same as the Sandor/Arya situation but with Jaime/Sansa.

8 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I wish it had happened if for no other reason than to watch Cersei's reaction!  

LOL She'd probably think Jaime ran away with Sansa because he wanted her sexually. Such fury that would invoke from the Lioness. 

Edited by Ralphis Baratheon

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No.
1)Executing Jaime to avenge Ned makes no sense, since Jaime wasn't the one to kill Ned, he was nowhere near King's Landing when Lord Stark was executed.

2)Jaime was worth too much while alive. He was a golden bargain chip Robb could have used to get any number of concessions if he had managed to fight the Lannisters to a standstill.

3)Jaime's life ensures the safety of Sansa, (as far as Robb and Catelyn know) Arya and all other Northern/Riverlander prisoners.

4)Executing a noble and valuable prisoner of war because some honourless slime ball (aka Rickard Karstark) flaps his fat mouth a lot would have sent the message to all the other bannermen that Robb is a weak king who will give you whatever you want if you shout at him long and loudly enough.

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2 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

That was the problem with not consulting Robb or the Crown before releasing Jaime.

Good analysis! As are the discussions that follow. Catelyn had lapsed again into her "grief-maddened mother" mode, made worse by the slow, prolonged death of her father. The woman is politically astute and intelligent, but easily overwhelmed by feelings toward family.

2 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

4)Executing a noble and valuable prisoner of war because some honourless slime ball (aka Rickard Karstark) flaps his fat mouth a lot

Well said.

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3 hours ago, zandru said:

Catelyn had lapsed again into her "grief-maddened mother" mode, made worse by the slow, prolonged death of her father. The woman is politically astute and intelligent, but easily overwhelmed by feelings toward family.

Yeah, emotion can be the enemy of logic, especially in times of crisis and even more so when it involves loved ones. Many men and women were victims of this in the series.

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Yes

Jaime was a threat, Sansa and Ayra were already doomed. If the Lannisters captured Robb, they would’ve done the same, except they negotiate a complete surrender and a complete dismantling of the  Nothern and River armies beforehand 

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Killing Jamie would have been a bad idea and would not have accomplished anything.  Robb's biggest mistake was not letting Edmure in on his strategy to lure Tywin and Gregor into the West.  I think if his plan works, Stanis' invasion of Kings Landing is successful and Tywin would have been forced to accept any terms to ensure Jamie's safety.

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On 14/12/2017 at 0:19 PM, Ralphis Baratheon said:

LOL She'd probably think Jaime ran away with Sansa because he wanted her sexually. Such fury that would invoke from the Lioness. 

I believe she thinks something quite similar when she hears that Jaime has disappeared in the Riverlands with Brienne.

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On 14/12/2017 at 3:10 PM, zandru said:

The woman is politically astute and intelligent

Could you elaborate more on this? my own impression is that at the start of the series she has a very dim view of things and believes her husband fathering a bastard is the worst thing in the world. Additionally like her husband she seems unable to adapt to changing circumstances and puts too much faith in people's words and is shocked to hear that they have not been kept.

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