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Morrigan

[Book spoilers] They ruined Robb Stark

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It's all hindsight that somehow marrying Jeyne would cost him the war. Robb believed he could do both.

Nope, it's not a matter of hindsight. He couldn't predict the RW but you don't need to be Nostradamus to know that breaking your oath marrying a member of a family sworn to the enemy would not only hurt your image but also -at least- make you lose the Freys ( 4000 men ! ) and consequently jeopardize your cause. You don't put everything at risk because you hope to find a way to fix things when you can directly avoid the problem: help the girl AND keep you word - that is the only logical, right and honorable thing to do ....

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Ned would have married the Frey girl. He would never put a girl's honour, that he could protect in other ways, above the men who fought and died for him, his kingdom, his cause, his duty. There is nothing 'noble' in what Robb did. The Young Wolf cared about Jeyne's honor so much because she took his heart.

Nope, it's not a matter of hindsight. He couldn't predict the RW but you don't need to be Nostradamus to know that breaking your oath marrying a member of a family sworn to the enemy would not only hurt your image but also -at least- make you lose the Freys ( 4000 men ! ) and consequently jeopardize your cause. You don't put everything at risk because you hope to find a way to fix things when you can directly avoid the problem: help the girl AND keep you word - that is the only logical, right and honorable thing to do ....

Well said.

Ned kept his word and married a woman he didn't know to help the North's cause and his soldiers. Robb did the exact opposite.

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yeah, I totally agree with this thread

I used to love Robb in the books, but I don't like at all the tv version of him

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As I said, in medieval settings of Westeros it means a world of difference. Talissa is almost nothing according to their standards.

IF Talisa is actually a Maegyr, she wouldn't be almost nothing: The Maegyrs are an extremely highborn House in Volantis, pretty much royalty: Melaquo Maegyr having been reelected Triarch over and over for decades.

House Maegyr is chief of the Tiger faction in Volantis, and they pretty much owns the Volantene military: The Volantene army flies the tiger of Maegyr for their banner ;). The Volantene City Watch are called the Tiger Cloaks.

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I liked it wayyyy better in the show. I feel much more understanding for Robbs' decision. In the book, he basically shows up suddenly married to a character we don't even know or ever get to know. The motivations are far clearer in the show and the tragedy of Robb's death after being newly married will be that much sadder now that we've gotten to know him and his bride.

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I didn't have a problem with them showing his romance with Jeyne on-screen rather than off. But that isn't what they've done, now is it. They made up a totally different story instead, and it unfortunately, it just. plain. sucks even when ignoring the books. Not only that, but I would go so far as to say that it goes completely against Robb's character.

Let's summarize here. Book-Robb is a boy of 15 (full of raging hormones); he took an injury at the Crag; he heard of his brothers's deaths and is grieving. During all that he is "comforted" by a woman in a moment of understandable weakness. After that happens, he feels honour-bound to marry her. Book-Robb is the son of Ned Stark, and just like Ned, he takes oaths and hononour seriously. He would have never deliberately broken his vow to the Freys like that, and when it does happen, he feels stupid and terrible and tries his hardest to make amends.

TV-Robb: is a man grown (I assume he's supposed to be 18-20?); he is not injured; he has not learned of Bran and Rickon's deaths and is not grieving. He's not in any sort of particular trouble. He even had his mother around to remind him of his duty and his oath to the Freys. Yet he's palling around with some sexy wench and clearly states he doesn't want to marry the Frey girl. He deliberately breaks his vow and doesn't even have second thoughts about it.

What made Robb sympathetic was because he was so much like Ned, and took his oath and his honour so seriously, and he was young and naive, and he actually married Jeyne because of his Ned-like honour as a Stark. There is none, and absolutely none of that in his story with Talissa. Not only is the story contrary to the spirit of the novel, but even judged by its own merit as TV, it's bad. It's a clich├ęd Hollywood romance with little believability to it. And it takes away a lot of the tragedy of the Red Wedding since Robb pretty much has it coming. Personally the Red Wedding made me upset because of Catelyn's suffering (losing her "last" son) and death more than Robb's death, but by giving more attention to Robb, the TV series could have changed that. Well, so much for that... :(

This post has many good points, but what else got me thinking, is perhaps the producers want to detract some sympathy away from Robb. Apparently, they were warned that viewers would be lost after Ned's execution and with fans eagerly awaiting the demise of characters such as Joffrey, perhaps they feared that making Robb too tragic and too popular, more viewers would be offended or disappointed with his inevitable demise.

I think that Catelyn's constant warning in the TV show serves as some form of foreboding in the face of Robb's arrogance, but I do agree with you in principle, and I found it utterly pointless for them to have changed Robb's wife's name to Talisa either as I struggle to see what purpose that served, unless they don't want viewers confusing Jeyne Westerling with Jeyne Poole in future possible seasons.

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Putting all the other issues aside it is ridiculous that news of Winterfell doesn't come before Robb's huge mistake. It wouldn't take much time at all and is extremely relevant.

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I simply feel that the aging up of all the children has necessitated some changes in their on-screen personas. It's a little rough around the edges, but they're doing their best with a situation that was sort of forced on them. A lot of the character traits (especially of the Stark children, but also of Danaerys, Joffrey, etc.) are rooted in these little kids and teens being given way too much responsibility too early. Robb as a 15 y/o is more sympathetic to me than Robb as a "man." I feel the same way about Jon Snow. I hated TV Jon Snow at first because he seemed too whiny for his age - when I read the books, I realized why he was so angsty - he's 14! It's unfortunate, but it sounds like the producers didn't really have a choice. Especially because they couldn't show a 13 y/o Danaerys having sex for the first time with Khal Drogo. Too creepy for TV.

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I liked it wayyyy better in the show. I feel much more understanding for Robbs' decision. In the book, he basically shows up suddenly married to a character we don't even know or ever get to know. The motivations are far clearer in the show and the tragedy of Robb's death after being newly married will be that much sadder now that we've gotten to know him and his bride.

What? How were the motivations not clear? He was injured and incapacitated temporarily (so already vulnerable physically) and tended to by Jeyne and was then told of the deaths of his two younger brothers at the hands of his best friend who he himself let loose. In complete distraught, grief and vulnerability, he and Jeyne had sex. Sex out of his grief and need to be emotionally comforted in such a weak and lonely state. Robb selflessly decided to protect her honor over his and thus married her. How the hell was anything of this made not clear in the books?

Anyways, prefer the show version all you want but saying it didn't make sense in the books is quite bewildering to me. I personally preferred the book version so much more because it was far more complicated emotionally, not a painful cliche, made the Red Wedding far more tragic in my mind as well as having some irony and one of the great things about characters like Robb is their vulnerability which I found the show totally lacked.

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Having seen the show before I read the books, TVRobb was what I was used to. I find both stories of his tragic marriage equally interesting and emotionally touching.



Where I think TVRobb falls short compared to BookRobb is in what his plans are at the time he goes off to the Red Wedding. TVRobb's plan to strike at his enemy's stronghold seems, if not cliche, then a standard plotline that a TV/movie audience might anticipate and cheer for. BookRobb's plans, plus his preparations for a future where he might not survive, seemed more mature, more intelligent, and more interesting.


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My biggest objection as I watched the show was that Robb and Talisa were written as modern people. I found their dialogue pretty ridiculous.


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I tend to agree that it was completely contrived and same out of no where. You'd think he or someone else would have thought of that long ago. The really interesting twist here is that they could have made this an interesting twist. Mainly because the TV Lannisters have no gold. So what if Robb did go to the Rock and conquer it only to find that there is nothing there worth holding. It would have been another clever trick from the descendants of Lann the Clever.


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My biggest objection as I watched the show was that Robb and Talisa were written as modern people. I found their dialogue pretty ridiculous.

Having re-watched Talisa's introduction - I mostly stand by my original statement vis a vis Robb's marriage, but the peacenik dialogue they gave Talisa to spit contemptuously at Robb in that first episode is pretty bad.

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Disagree. In both book and TV show, Robb falls in love, which is natural for a young guy, and also natural for someone at war who doesn't know whether he'll be alive or dead the next day. In that sense, the Show is being true to the Books. OTOH, they do change Book Robb's commitment to honour, even making him say he's not his father. That's ok with me, because this is an adaptation, and if a change makes sense then they can and should go ahead with it. They've built up a very clear portrait of Robb in the series (or the actor playing him has) and if this particular scene isn't consistent with Book Robb, it's certainly not inconsistent with the portrayal of TV Robb so far.

I agree that he fell in love in both book and the show. I don't understand why people insist that book!Robb didn't love Jeyne, when he says so multiple times, and Catelyn never doubts it. And if he hadn't loved her, he would have been a complete idiot to marry her just because he slept with her. It's not like he needed to protect her honor when she was not pregnant, and nobody would have known that they had slept together. It's not like Faith would have come to check on her if she is still a virgin. She could have just kept her mouth shut and eventually married someone else. Robb did not need even to marry her off as some have suggested, that happens when a girl gets pregnant or gives birth and it's impossible to hide what happened. Besides, Robb himself believed he was putting Jeyne and her family in danger, as well, because they would be exposed to the wrath of the Lannisters. So, it would not have been a good solution to Jeyne either, to be put in danger and confined to a loveless marriage to a man who would resent her for screwing up his war plans, for nothing.

However, if Robb and Jeyne were in love, then it all makes emotional sense. I don't think he would have just decided to marry her if he hadn't slept with her, but since he was in love and he had slept with her, I can see why he felt it was the right thing to do.

I do, however, think that they messed up Robb and his storyline on the show. I like book Robb much more and find him more sympathetic; show Robb is boring and a bit annoying. The main differences are, IMO:

- show!Robb is not just a few years older, and looking like he's 10 years older than book!Robb, he's also written as a guy who simply does whatever he wants and doesn't worry about the consequences. I suppose they did it to make him look more of a conventional "badass" hero, but it just makes him less interesting and less sympathetic than book!Robb, who is 15, confused, in over his head, unsure if what he's doing is right, and apologetic when he talks to his mother. Now, there's nothing they could have done about Richard Madden looking his age, but they certainly could have made him more conflicted between love and duty, at the very least. Show!Robb never seemed conflicted at all.

- Book!Robb also thinks he may die and makes precautions, unlike show!Robb, who acts like he believes he's invincible. The latter actually makes the 15-year old book!Robb look more mature.

- speaking of book!Robb being apologetic and subtly manipulating his mother into forgiving him for marrying Jeyne by implying he will forgive her for releasing Jaime, because those two things were both mistakes made out of love, that's very different from show!Robb, who scolds his mother harshly, imprisons her, and then goes on to marry Talisa, basically saying "fuck it! I'm pissed at her so now going to do whatever I want!", which made him look like a jerk and a petulant idiot.

- The romance between Robb and Talisa was incredibly boring, it was like the most conventional, shallowest third rate Hollywood romance movie about two hot college kids who fall for each other immediately because they're both hawt and because she's sassy and he's badass.

- Speaking of which, both of them separately were also written like completely anachronistic characters with modern views. Robb scolding his mother for arranging the marriage with a Frey girl was ridiculous writing - as a Westerosi noble, ending up in a political, arranged marriage is what he would have always expected to be a part of his life, it's what all Westerosi nobles do. When we see characters deciding to marry for love, or rejecting marriage altogether (like Blackfish), or growing disillusioned with their fate of being married off for politics (like Sansa), or feeling resentful of having been stuck in bad arranged marriages (like Cersei or Lysa), it's a big deal, it's a huge change in their character that they only come to after a long process; no noble in Westeros starts off with the idea that they will be allowed to marry whoever they choose just because they love/want them.

Maybe they thought it would make Robb and his wife more relatable, but it only made them and their storyline less interesting and more jarring.

- As a consequence of Talisa being written as such an anachronistic modern woman, show!Robb looks like an even bigger idiot. I can see why book!Robb thought he had to marry Jeyne, and why her family, probably, would have easily convinced him he had to do it quickly. In addition, Jeyne probably wouldn't have been OK with being his mistress - even if she was up for it, her reputation would have suffered, and she wouldn't want to give birth to a bastard. But Talisa doesn't seem to care about any of that and never expresses any concern that she'd be seen as a "fallen woman", and Robb doesn't express that concern for her, either. So why does Robb need to marry her ASAP? She could have continued being his mistress throughout the war, if they were going by "Carpe Diem, we could be dead tomorrow". If he was determined to marry for love, he could have also married her after the war was won, when he had no need of the Freys so badly anymore. He would have still broken his vow to Walder Frey and looked like an ass for screwing him over (though I doubt many people would even care for him screwing over Walder Frey of all people), but he would not have lost the war and his life. But why, oh why was it so necessary to marry Talisa ASAP, while he was still in dire need of the Freys?

Oddly enough, they both made Robb anachronistically modern, and then they made him conservative for a 21st century person in that one instance: "must. marry. the woman I love and am sleeping with, ASAP". So, he does not come off as a believable Westerosi (who expects to marry for politics, no love), and he also does not come off as someone relatable to the average 21st century TV viewer (who does not think they have to immediately marry someone they're having a relationship with).

- There are other things, unrelated to Talisa, that made show!Robb annoying. I couldn't believe it when they kept having Blackfish (who was also made to be really annoying, as they turned him into a bully and a total Robb yes-man at the same time) bully Edmure by telling him "HE IS YOUR KING!" while simultaneously having Robb say that he doesn't care about the Riverlands (you know, the Riverlands that's been bleeding the most from the war), he's just fighting for the North, right to Edmure's and Blackfish's faces. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

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What? No he didn't. In this quasi-medieval setting no one would care if he slept with other woman before the wedding. Few people would care if he slept with another woman after the wedding. He'll break his vow when he marries other woman. Which, in the book, was monumental, suicidal stupidity, and TV Robb won't beat that unless he weds a literal horse.

ITA

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Y'know, it occurred to me just last night -- oh, how I wish I could get the brain to shut up when I'm trying to sleep!-- that the whole Robb-Jeyne/Talisa romance is a deconstruction and pastiche of a typical romance novel (which I don't read, as they're too predictable). In a romance novel, everything for the couple ALWAYS, ALWAYS works out perfectly, where as in ASOIAF...you know.


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Yeah your reasoning makes no sense. Book Ned was supposedly in the exact same situation and kept his marriage with Catelyn. Robb broke the vow in the book

Actually Ned was already married to Catelyn. Rob was engaged to a Frey but wasn't at that time already married

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