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redtree

Analyzing the Starks : Stupidity vs Nobility

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there is a reason the saying Death before Dishonor is so popular. Ya the Starks may have acted "stupidly" in hindsight, but hindsight is always 20/20. They did everything they did because it was the right thing to do. They paid the ultimate price, sure. But do you think if they could do it over again, they would do anything differently?

The only thing that Robb did that was completely stupid and without any bearing was leaving the North. He should of declared himself king and made Tywin go up and get him, especially after he captured Jaime. He could of sat in the North with his base of power (Winterfell) intact and held out at the Neck. This would of gave him more bargaining power as Tywin would have known going up to the North would be suicide

Not honourable to leave his allies behind to Tywin's tender mercies. He ended up going north anyway, but by then it was clear he had no other choice.

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Considering that the news spread all the way to Casterly Rock, it's virtually guaranteed that they spread through whole Riverlands, as well, including Riverrun. Do you assume only one witness from the inn raced with this piece of incredibly juicy news straight to Tywin, but everyone else for some unfathomable reasons kept their mouths firmly shut?

The news spread but how fast ? There were only 3 riverland house's knights there: Frey,Bracken and Whent. One good guess that Cat made was that most people/hedge knight will run to Casterly Rock to get gold. My guess is it did spread in Riverland but it reach CR faster

Not "Lysa too", but "wholly Lysa". Sorry, the decision was simply out of Cat's hands, so I don't get how can you judge Cat here.

It's not in cat's hands but she could do something to make a difference

One, Robb didn't declare himself king, the northmen and the riverlords did. Two, why on Earth would it be "dutiful" for him to join Stannis, if he had no idea about the twincest?

OK, how do you know what terms Walder would agree on? And is a marriage alliance really that big a price to ask for joining an open rebellion against the Iron Throne, with two Lannister armies already ravaging the Riverlands? Hell, Hoster Tully in a similar situation demanded - and got - two marriage alliances with two Great Houses.

He didn't have to accept it. Backpedaling for good? Not necessarily glorious but if it keep peace and add more chance of winning why not? Lord paramount's duty is to follow the king right, he did know about twincest later but still not care to join Westeros king Stannis

My guess is he asked for more that what he got but still it's way to much for non-paramount house. A queen and a king's good brother, too high. Hoster tully have at least 30k army in his hands so that's worth it

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Ned told Cersei that he knows

Nobility/Stupidity : 0/100

Why : Hey watch out i'm gonna stab you so keep still !! Really ned? This is one dumbass move. It's good that he wants to protect the kids, but HE KNOWS how ruthless the Lannister is but still he push that aside. HE KNOWS than Jon Arryn died because of this and he didn't learn anything from it

Really, he KNOWS that's why Jon Arryn was killed? Ehhh...

Ned went to Cersei first because the Targ kids were still playing havoc with his conscience. There was also the chance that Robert's response would result in a war with the Lannisters. Bad move but driven purely by his nobility and guilt.

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Awww, that's so darn cute. And yet I simply don't give a fuck about any of that. Robb was a king, goddammit, and he should act like one. He gave his word. The Freys fought for him, some of them died for him - how about doing right by them?

As for your rhetorical question - believe it or not, not everybody is a king leading his country in war. If Robb didn't fancy marrying for political reasons, he should've rejected Walder's terms and stayed on the wrong side of the Trident. A deal is a deal.

You may be right, but that doesn't make me wrong about Robb's motivation: he did it for love and out of a desire to do right, even though it meant breaking his kingly word to an important bannerman.

I wonder if Tywin would have agreed with you about making shameful marriage alliances to lesser houses, or if Machiavelli would have agreed with you about the importance of keeping promises. Machiavelli said "A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise" (Tywin surely would have agreed, and reasons for breaking it off with the Freys are not hard to make up: they are not high born enough, the engagement was made under compulsion, they were his bannermen and owed him passage and allegiance without anything in return, etc.). Machiavelli also said "The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present". Indisputably, the promise given to the Freys was made out of expediency, but can we describe the word broken as a necessity? No. Except...if a king's personal whims (and love is more than a whim) can be made matters of state, that increases respect for his authority. Robb allowing the Freys to force his hand in order to cross the Green Fork...that was necessity. But once the bridge was crossed, there is a reason to break that promise and that is because no king should allow himself to be humiliated, to allow people to think one of his bannermen got one over on him. Robb needed to punish the Freys. His mistake was not to punish them enough. His further mistake was to apologize, allow himself to be humiliated even more, and put himself in their hands.

To quote Machiavelli again, "If an injury has to be done to a man, it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared". Robb needed to put the Freys in their place. Breaking his promise to them publically was one way to do it, but more needed to be done to ensure there would be no retaliation. Robb could and should have done something more to keep the Freys down. Taking hostages and making sure his garrison stayed in the Twins (not Robb's fault that the garrison was removed) go without saying. But in itself, that would not have been enough. What Robb should have done, was march into the Twins under pretext of apologizing to Walder, and then just slaughter the lot of them.

That would have been the intelligent thing to do. Instead he chose to do the noble but stupid thing, trusting in Walder, apologizing to Walder. Going to the Twins to apologize - that was the truly 100/0 move. Marrying Jeyne Westerling was noble too, but only stupid because of the lack of follow through.

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It's sort of cute that FerociousVeldtRoarer, and so many others, think keeping one's word is 'acting like a king'. Any student of the history of kings, and states generally, knows the opposite is true.


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