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SimonSez

The Stark line, diverting south

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I hope the book will at least touch on Rickard Stark's decision to marry his children to non-Northerners. I don't why, but I'm convinced Stark heard the same "Prince that was Promised" prophesy.

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He wanted his family to be more connected in the South, there is no need for Prince That Was Promised non-sense.

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He wanted his family to be more connected in the South, there is no need for Prince That Was Promised non-sense.

Agreed. Richard, for one reason or another, wasn't satisfied with the traditional Stark isolationism and wanted to have closer ties to the greater Realm.

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He was simply, as they like to put it, "expanding the brand". More marriages outside of the Northern boundaries and the likelihood goes up that you obtain more lands.

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I hope the book will at least touch on Rickard Stark's decision to marry his children to non-Northerners. I don't why, but I'm convinced Stark heard the same "Prince that was Promised" prophesy.

I think that it doesn't make sense. After all Stark kids are at some point princes and princesses (King in the North) so they didn't need any Southerner for that.

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He wanted his family to be more connected in the South, there is no need for Prince That Was Promised non-sense.

True, as Lady Dustin stated, Maester Walys gave Lord Rickard the idea of the Tully marriage, it would ensure an alliance with the only region that bordered the North.

I don't think Rickrd Stark heard of the prophecy of the PtwP, since that was a Valyrian prophecy, people at the royal court heard of it and some southerners but Northerners don't spend their time on such things as prophecies and tourneys.

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True, as Lady Dustin stated, Maester Walys gave Lord Rickard the idea of the Tully marriage, it would ensure an alliance with the only region that bordered the North.

Yes, the Tully marriage did ensure an alliance between the two families, but the fact that Ned married Catelyn doesn't mean the Stark line is moving south. According to (I don't remember exactly who) Stark, "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell". Therefore, the Eldest living male Stark would marry someone else who would become the next Lady of Winterfell. The only way for this theory to be true that the Stark line is moving south would be for a Stark daughter to marry the eldest son of another house and to become the next Lady of that castle.

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Yes, the Tully marriage did ensure an alliance between the two families, but the fact that Ned married Catelyn doesn't mean the Stark line is moving south. According to (I don't remember exactly who) Stark, "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell". Therefore, the Eldest living male Stark would marry someone else who would become the next Lady of Winterfell. The only way for this theory to be true that the Stark line is moving south would be for a Stark daughter to marry the eldest son of another house and to become the next Lady of that castle.

Like the way Rickard intended to marry Lyanna to Robert.

I've so many jumbled theories about Rickard Stark's "Southern ambitions" that if we don't get some explanation in TWoW, I'm going to burst.

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I think his ambitions were greater than people imagine. I think his ambition was to overthrow the Iron Throne and return Westeros to the Seven Kingdoms.

And the way to do this was to:

1. Foster Eddard with Jon Arryn (where Robert Baratheon would become his friend as well)

2. Marry Brandon to Catelyn Tully

3. Marry Lyanna to Robert Baratheon.

This would give him an alliance of the North, the Riverlands, the Vale and the Stormlands.

I reckon Rickard would have gone down as Rickard the Great, the King who reclaimed the North, and the destroyer of the Targaryen dynasty.

This was forestalled by Rhaegar's kidnapping of Lyanna, and the subsequent murder of Rickard and Brandon, which hastened the plans before the time was ripe.

In the end, the Rebellion still succeeded, but with the militant Rickard no longer there, the over cautious Ned Stark chose to put a new King on the Iron Throne, instead of declaring independence as Rickard initially intended.

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I think his ambitions were greater than people imagine. I think his ambition was to overthrow the Iron Throne and return Westeros to the Seven Kingdoms.

The North was practically independent anyway. Up until the time of Robert's Rebellion, there hadn't been any serious conflicts between the Starks and the Targaryens since the Conquest, so I doubt this is true.

As for the OP, Rickard Stark would have had a strong marriage alliance with his immediate southern neighbor, as well as his grandchildren being Storm Lords, and a close alliance with the Vale, the only other region that sort of borders the North. He was just pulling a Tywin and protecting his family's future interests.

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I'm pretty sure Robb Stark eats a piece of bread in ACOK. This must mean that he was the Prince that was Promised, because B R E A D spells Brince Rhat Eas AromiseD. This is an obvious clue people, and I really like the Starks so that also must mean something.

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Oh, God, I just made an account on another forum... Welp, can't be helped.

Anyway:

I think his ambitions were greater than people imagine. I think his ambition was to overthrow the Iron Throne and return Westeros to the Seven Kingdoms.

While I would like to believe Rickard never gave up on the idea of Northern independence, I still find your theory hard to believe.

As far as I can tell, it seems Rickard trusted his king. Why else would he ride south to KL alone?

Obviously his options were limited with his oldest son held hostage, but from a cynical perspective he knew he still had two other male heirs if the worst should happen.

Also, Rickard would have to count on the other lords rising in rebellion too, and that was really no sure thing even with marriage alliances.

Rickard had what would have been a perfect opportunity to call his banners and rise in rebellion without losing all sympathy from the other high lords after his daughter had (apparently) been kidnapped, his son taken captive and his entourage butchered, but he could never have planned that.

While I won't rule out that such a rebellion and division of the realm could be possible, I think Rickard was way too content submitting to the Iron Throne to risk it.

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In the end, the Rebellion still succeeded, but with the militant Rickard no longer there, the over cautious Ned Stark chose to put a new King on the Iron Throne, instead of declaring independence as Rickard initially intended.

Where is the evidence that Rickard was militant? And if he was, why didn't he call his banners the same way his grandson did in a similar situation years later?

As far as I can tell, it seems Rickard trusted his king. Why else would he ride south to KL alone?

Rickard had what would have been a perfect opportunity to call his banners and rise in rebellion...

I would like to emphasize that statement and repeat - why didn't he call his banners, like his grandson did in a similar situation? After all, Rickard was in a much better political position to do that than Robb - the Lannisters didn't have a stake in that king as they did in the next one. Aerys and Tywin were at odds and Rickard could've been reasonably certain that Casterly Rock would at least stay neutral. He could've also been reasonably sure that the Vale and the Riverlands would join him.

So when he was summoned to King's Landing, why didn't he go there like Robb intended to do - with his bannermen at his back?

I think the answer to that question is that he wasn't planning a rebellion. IMO, the marriage alliances were meant as a way to strengthen his ties with the other Kingdoms and to act as a sort of failsafe mechanism, a backup that was to protect the King's peace in case the king no longer cared for it.

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Maybe he wanted to expand his ties with other houses. If he married Lyanna to Robert, Brandon to Catelyn, and maybe Eddard to someone else, he would gain a huge amount of allies not just in the North. This can be used to maybe regain the title of King of the North ?

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Maybe he wanted to expand his ties with other houses. If he married Lyanna to Robert, Brandon to Catelyn, and maybe Eddard to someone else, he would gain a huge amount of allies not just in the North. This can be used to maybe regain the title of King of the North ?

Possibly, but how would he convince these houses to rebel against the Iron Throne? All of them have had close historical ties with the Targaryens and thus it would have made more sense from that direction to seek out the Lannisters, Arryns and Greyjoys who have either been kings or are notorious rebels.

But I think this talk is mostly people reading history backwards.

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I think the answer to that question is that he wasn't planning a rebellion. IMO, the marriage alliances were meant as a way to strengthen his ties with the other Kingdoms

Occam's Razor

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` I see no reason for Rickard Stark and the lords of houses Tully, Arryn and Baratheon to want to go to war against the Targaryens and claim independence. Aerys hadn't gone completely mad yet and as far as I can tell the Targaryens hadn't threatened or encroached on Lord Paramount's territory.

I would assume that Rickard promising Lyanna to Robert Baratheon, marrying Brandon to Cat Tully and fostering Ned with Jon Arryn came about because of the friendships he developed during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Just like Littlefinger's father was able to procure a fostering for his on with the Lord of Riverrun.

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I think his ambitions were greater than people imagine. I think his ambition was to overthrow the Iron Throne and return Westeros to the Seven Kingdoms.

If he was truly that ambitious, he would have shown up to Kings Landing with 50,000+ men. If you truly think about it he could have raised a pretty large force with the help of Robert and Jon Arryn. If Rickard wanted independence then he was just plain stupid to show up to Kings Landing alone.

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If he was truly that ambitious, he would have shown up to Kings Landing with 50,000+ men. If you truly think about it he could have raised a pretty large force with the help of Robert and Jon Arryn. If Rickard wanted independence then he was just plain stupid to show up to Kings Landing alone.

Yes, and to me it was clear all his actions indicated the exact opposite plan- he wanted the North to become a more integrated and important part of the 7K, not independent from it.

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