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Rickard Stark's Southron Ambitions

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His southron ambitions were more akin of finally buying a winter palace in the summer Isles, but the Maesters make it appear as if Stark wanted to rebel


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IMO, Rickard's "Southron Ambitions" were the Maesters using the Great Lords to their own ends. Lady Dustin tells us as much.

Before Aegon's conquest, who ruled the Seven Kingdoms? Some may say that is a trick question because there were no seven kingdoms. But I say in the absence of a unified ruler, the maesters ruled Westeros. They controlled the means of communication between the great lords, sat in on their counsels, raised their children and generally had their fingers in all the pies.

IMO, the maesters have been trying to end the unification of Westeros since it began. First, they killed off all the dragons (the animals), next they fomented rebellion to kill off the human dragons. The goal was to again separate westeros into multiple kingdoms so that the maesters could again be the most influential organization in the land.

They suggested the Tully marriage to Lord Rickard that appears to be a major lynchpin in the mounting alliance against the Targs. And obviously it worked via Robert's Rebellion.

What kind of influence did they have before that they lack now? It seems to me that they're still influential. I don't see what kind of larger agenda they could have.

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That's an 8/9 year age gap, if Rickard was desperate I don't think he'd care. It's around the same gap as Margaery/Tommen after all. But it says a lot that there's no mention of him trying to get a Targaryen marriage.

If he had offered them Lyanna someone would have mentioned it, just like they mentioned Tywin wanting Rhaegar for Cersei. Also him and Brandon wouldn't have reacted so angrily if a Targaryen marriage was something they wanted.

Rickard's Southern ambition was to increase the North's power down South, he wasn't trying to take the throne or make one of his kids king/queen. That argument has no substance.

I don't think he was desperate, just ambitious.

Well everyone who would have known about it is dead, so who would have mentioned it. Rickard was more subtle than Tywin and wouldn't have assumed the king would agree to the idea, so he would have approached it delicately and likely with no one but the king and himself in the room if possible. That way if he's successful it's a fantastic triumph and if he's not, no one knows about it so he and his family lose nothing.

That next part is wrong though. Offering a marriage when the girl is too young for it is one thing, having her kidnapped after she's been promised to someone else is another. Second, Rickard did not react the same way Brandon did. Third, there's no reason Brandon would have thought Rhaegar intended to marry his sister, so to him it looked like she was abducted and ruined because some arrogant prince had the hots for her. That was the kind of thing that could destroy her life. Even if there was some kind of attempt by Rickard to betroth Lyanna to Rhaegar, Brandon wouldn't have to know about it, and if he did know that she'd been offered and the king turned her down there is even less reason to think the prince would marry her.

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Silly me, I must have missed that part about Robert proposing that match, could you please tell me were that's at? Which book was that again?



In the multiple reading that I've gone through never heard that Robert proposed the match between him and Lyanna not her father.

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Silly me, I must have missed that part about Robert proposing that match, could you please tell me were that's at? Which book was that again?

In the multiple reading that I've gone through never heard that Robert proposed the match between him and Lyanna not her father.

Whoever proposed it, Jon Arryn brokered it because Robert had no parents and was Arryn was his foster father.

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Once again silly me where does it say that Jon brokered the deal? Robert may have been fostered in the Vale, but I don't remember reading anywhere that he had the right or means to make a marriage pact for Robert as he's a lord in his own right.



His parents die what shortly before he goes to the Vale correct and he was a child when they died. Making Robert a child lord. Not to mention that Robert and Ned were what 18 when Harrenhal happened and 20 when Lyanna died she was 16.



Jon can council, guide or help Robert but he cant make a match for him, he's a lord in his own right. So whom he marries is more on him.



I still don't remember where it said that so.... Please don't mention Robert Arryn because the situation is different. If Petyr hadn't killed his mother, Lysa would have ruled the Eeryie for Robert and made his match for him. Both of Roberts parents are dead and King Bob could have made his own pact, but it doesn't say that in the books if it does please point it out.


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Silly me, I must have missed that part about Robert proposing that match, could you please tell me were that's at? Which book was that again?

In the multiple reading that I've gone through never heard that Robert proposed the match between him and Lyanna not her father.

It's in the app, I think. He asked Ned and he took the proposal to his father.

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It is a misplaced assumption that everyone always wants the throne of the seven kingdoms. I absolutely dispute that assumption.

:agree:

Does it look like Robert wanted to be king?

Has there been any mention of Rickard wanting the throne?

Pre Robert's Rebellion people were waiting for Aerys to kick the bucket so that their Silver Prince could become king.

This idea that Rickard wanted the throne makes no sense whatsoever, all his actions show anything but that.

If he wanted the throne so badly he would:

A) at least attempt a Lyanna/Viserys betrothal

B ) not react so angrily over Lyanna's abduction

C) Get Brandon betrothed to someone who has closer links to the royal family

All I saw was Rickard wanting to assert the North down South by making important marriages. That's something been done for years

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I don't remember Rickard being mad about Lyanna's abduction I thought that was Brandon that went to KL.

I know that he might have been a little upset that Brandon just placed himself into the hands a crazy man, whom is know to be unpredictable on his best day.

You are forgetting something that is critical, Powerplays and moves for the throne that is the nature of the beast. That is what noble men and women did back then, everything was for the advancement of the family. Everything was to ensure the family for the next generation. No one should be happy with staying with what they started off with. Noblemen wanted to make good matches for their daughters so that it's called social climbing. A merchant's son or daughter that marries up in the world the next generation is expected to move or advance the family further.

Marrying Lyanna to Bob was doing just that and if it placed his grandchildren on the throne then so be it. OR with the dragons dead, he very well could have wanted Northern independence again with some of their other allies.

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Again, it bothers me here that you leave no room for different actors in the game to have totally different goals. Not everyone works by the same motivations. Just because a family is a noble house does not mean they give a shit about who rules, as long as they and their people are safe and prosperous.

I do, however, suspect that Rickard might be the baby that was in the belly of the pregnant woman in Bran's vision, meaning his mother wanted a son to avenge her for something or other. We don't know who she was though, so that doesn't help all that much.

If we work from that conjecture, Rickard's attempts to make alliances might, possibly have been about some kind of revenge.

What I don't see is Rickard making any sort of grab for the throne.

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Why else would Rickard Stark marry his daughter to a man that was 4 in line for the throne. Remove the king, Rheagar, and Visenys as Aegon wouldn't have been born when they made these plans.

By this time Duskendale and it's damage had already happen.

Tywin, Hosteen, Arryn, Baelish and Blackfish and more were fighting down in the Stepstones for the final Blackfyre rebellion.

It seems when you add in the fact that Hosteen was planning to marry Blackfish to a Hightower, which is at least half of the Reach's powerbase and more than likely one of the Iron Throne's main powerbase. Take that away and well...it's a game of dominoes.

If the goal wasn't to overthrow to throne then it was to cede from the realm.

The only thing that makes sense if that Rickard was gathering swords and alliances to topple the IT.

An alliance between the Rock, Stone, River,North and a split power base of the Reach and Dorne. The throne is almost theirs.

Jamie was suppose to marry Lysa Tully, Starks other ally. Ned falling for Dayne was the best thing that could have happened to this alliance. They could have married and that splits the alliegance of the Dornish the other powerbase of House Targ. Leaving them only the crownlands and what ever force they can gather from a civil war torn reach and dorne.

That's the only outcome I can gather. That's why Rheagar held the tourney of Harrenhal. He must have heard some of the plot, Whent is uncle to Cat and good brother to Hosteen. He must have gotten some word of the plot holds the tourney. From there crowning Lyanna is served two fold. It tells the conspiritors that he's on to them but that him marrying Lyanna could be a viable solution. Support him and he will take the throne from his father, make your sister a queen and the realm need not bleed.

With Lyanna Queen, she can name the honors that she wants bestowed upon her family. This might also be part of her motivation to run with Rheagar. To prevent bloodshed and Rhe's family not falling she runs with him.

That's what I argued up this thread. I don't argue Rickard wanted to overthrow the Iron Throne. I argue that Arryn and Tully conspired with him to do so. The proof that he did want that? Simple. Since bigamy existed in the history of the Targaryen dynasty and we suspect Rheagar wanted to marry Lyanna, why didn't he just make an offer to Rickard? If Rickard just wanted to make Lyanna queen that would have been a dream come true. Instead, Lyanna fled/was abducted by Rhaegar. Why? Because she knew and/or Rhaegar knew Rickard would have said no. Why? Because that would mean Lyanna would have been a Targaryen queen and that's what the conspiracy did not want to achieve. Targaryens had no dragons, so they were as vulnerable as anyone else. Tully and Arryn seized the opportunity and talked Rickard into their game. The point that Rickard may have wanted a different approach towards the NW stands, but he would have achieved that if Lyanna was married to Rhaegar. So… no. Down with the Targs, up with their cousins.

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You are forgetting something that is critical, Powerplays and moves for the throne that is the nature of the beast. That is what noble men and women did back then, everything was for the advancement of the family.

Everything was to ensure the family for the next generation

Not everyone was interested in the throne, the only one whose shown an actual want for marrying their daughter to Rhaegar was Tywin.

Rickard was advancing his family lineage the same way every other lord did; he married his children to other noble houses.

Marrying Lyanna to Bob was doing just that and if it placed his grandchildren on the throne then so be it.

Robert's Rebellion wasn't planned, the only planned coup was against Aerys. So in a normal line of succession it would have been:

1) Aerys

2) Rhaegar

3) Aegon

4) Any other sons Rhaegar may have

5) Viserys

6) His sons

7) And then Robert

It's a bit like Prince Andrew; he's 5th in line for the throne but no one actually thinks he'll become king.

Rickard wanted Lyanna to be Lady Baratheon, there's no evidence to assume that he saw Robert as a means of getting the throne.

OR with the dragons dead, he very well could have wanted Northern independence again with some of their other allies.

Again there's nothing to prove this is true; the North bent the knee to the Targs and only became independent because of factors almost two decades later. The Baratheons wouldn't support the North breaking away, neither would the Tullys.

Rickard wanted to strengthen Northern ties to the South, if it was independence he was after he'd marry Brandon, Ned, Lyanna and Benjen to Northern houses in order to unite them.

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The Targaryens were not as popular as people seem to think they were. Also, It was the dragons and the fear of them that put them in power and when they died, it was a matter of time before the dynasty died too.


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I'm not trying to leave no room for other motivations. But as a studier of that time period I have a realistic grasp of they type of power plays were made and most of the motivations were made for the advancement of one's family. I'm also following a pattern that GRRM has set for us. Robb was to marry a frey for her father's swords, Ned married Tully for her swords, Joff married the slut of highgarden for her swords, Renly married the same maid for her swords, Again Tommen does the same thing. Sansa is engaged possibly to Heir the Harry for his swords to win back her birthright. That's just this generation. Myrcella same thing what I'm saying is not that unrealistic not when you follow the pattern. Another thing that all of these marriages have in common they were made for politics and to secure a throne or a lordship.

I want you to really just look at the marriages that were suppose to be made and when they were made, then look at what those marriages could do to the realm if war broke out. Stop thinking about this in a modern terms and think about this if this was different countries were getting together. Normally these different countries wouldn't marry outside their region but when it's time for war, that's a time for alliances to be made and the easiest way to seal an alliance is through marriage. Think about this as if it really was a game and the name of the game is set yourself up for the win. That is why GRRM invent the game of Cyvvse because it models Chess. There is a reason its a game of kings. It teaches you how you and those around you think. Think of the piece of the info you have as pieces to be moved on the board.

Look at it this way remember when they were talking about the Lion and Direwolf teaming up to defeat the Kraken and it was only until the Dragon intervened that the fighting stopped. More than likely to seal that deal they married. When one of the Stark kings gave the wolf's den to his bastard after the Ironborn had been thrown out. To seal the peace they married and created house GreyStark. Marriage, alliances and these types of politics go hand in hand. Do you want me to start naming monarchs that married to seal an alliance for swords? Mary Queen of Scot married the Daphne of France so that France would protect Scotland from the English. Francis I of France marries Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire sister because they were at war in Italy going after Naples, Francis gets captured and spend the next 2 years as Charles most honored guest. As part of his release he had to marry the sister and renounce his claim to Naples. What about Mary I of England marries Philip of Spain and he thinks that she's going to give not only a large amount of her treasury but also her navy. You know how well that worked out for Queen Mary? She bankrupted the Treasury and lost the last English holding in France, territory that her father had gone to war for. In TPATQ one of the hightower queen's son's went to house Baratheon to secure his swords through marriage even though his father swore those same swords to the princess.

Brandon Stark was to marry Catelyn Tully. Ned marries her instead because it's a brother's duty but also because he needs the swords.

Yet if the marriage had gone off and Rickard wanted a strong fall back position along the trident Riverrun is the castle that you want on your side and not against you because the only way to really know that your going to win is by siege. Not to mention the tactical advantage that it gives you. For starters it sits between the Tumblestone which goes all the way to the Crag and Ashmark. Meaning that if the rock isn't on your side and you have the long ship theoretically you could sail into the West and by pass the Golden tooth completely. The Red Folk to the South can take you quite far in to the Trident and even reach the Crownlands from there all by small longships or pole boats. Adding speed to your movements West to East of Westeros. Even if you don't use the rivers, you have them to act as a road block north and south of the castle. Keep a small roving party on either banks of the river one at Pink Maiden to help scout and keep and eye on anyone coming up from the Reach.

Then there are the Stormlands, you could send an army all the way up to the Kingswoods with out anyone know that you had marched on KL. OR you march that army south and keep the Dornishmen pinned up in the Dorne.

By having a marriage to the Lord Paramour on your side sending your levies down become a lot simpler as Frey is a)fighting with a strong alliance base and it's in his best interest because an army coming down from the Neck and another coming up from Riverrun, might not bode well for Late Lord Walder Frey. B)The Twin's makes a nice position for your rearguard or reserves to sit as they can link up with any armies coming down for the mountain of the Vale. No to mention that it sits on where all three major branches of the Trident meets.

Then look at this Jamie was 15 when he took the cloak, Rheagar had been married for what 2 or 3 years by this time, so the thought of marrying Cersi to him was off the table as well. Tywin has spent time with Hosteen, Blackfish and many others at the Stepstones.

By the time Jamie had taken the White Tywin was foaming at the mouth. But the fact that even before Tywin was not happy about being Hand of the king. He definitely would have been willing to enter into an alliance with Hosteen and company if it involved Aerys. These two men might have been fond of each other at one point but once Aerys denied him about the marriage the gloves were off.

With a marriage between those two, they now have the arms of house lannister and a vast war chest that can match Aerys, whom left the coffers overflowing with gold. As the kings own hand he would have to have some idea of where the money was going and what the treasury looked like.

You also have the Lannister fleet to oppose the Ironborn if they decided to fight for the crown. If not then send the fleet down to Oldtown. The Arbor and the lannister fleet can engage the Hightowers so they can't send help north as they have to defend their own shores. From OldTown take, Brightwater Keep and lay siege to Highgarden. That removes the Reach all together from the fight. This is the dominioe affect. One marriage affect the other into the next into the next. By controlling the straights that's causing a natural choke point. Making it impossible for enemy ships to send reforcements by sea, but also its going to damage the economy and slow everything in the realm. Also by holding Highgarden and the rose roads KL is going to starve.

So unless the Sea Snake and it's ships come to KL and resupply them, I would close the gullet, using the fleet out of the Vale. Send men from Stormland to lay siege to the capital.

When these plans were being made Aegon wasn't even thought about so like I said Robert was 4 in line. Aerys, Rheagar and Visenys. These plans were going into place even before the Tourney at Harrenhal. So Aegon wouldn't be a factor as he wasn't in his mother's belly yet.

I think this is an empass because I understand what your saying. There isn't textual evidence that he wanted to topple the throne. Yet given evidence given in the books on how marriage alliance are generally made and why when its out side of that particular region that it's generally to seal an alliance or a peace.

Not to mention that just the thought of these marriage and what they could do to the realm should be enough to bring the king to the table and get him willing to talk.

From these different positions this major fighting block could make the realm bleed. ANd at the end of the day you would still lose.

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I agree with you that alliances are useful, necessary, and often about securing swords or at least preventing said swords from being used against you.

Most of your post just above this I am quite fine with.

I am simply disputing that securing these alliances was offensive rather than defensive. I dispute that it was about CLIMBING the power hierarchy, rather than simply securing the positions they each already held.

After the Dance, the Seven Kingdoms were left without dragons, which was the entire basis for their having a common ruler in the first place. Without the threat of dragons, they were looking for ways to secure peace amongst themselves. Basis for common cause.

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post 55

I agree with every word in terms of how one should deduce these books. Great post. The only thing I disagree on is that Rickard was the main mastermind behind the conspiracy. Imho it was Jon Arryn aided by Hoster Tully while Rickard's "southern ambition" was used by the two to lure him into the game of thrones.

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I'm sorry but this has been busing in my brain since last night and I can't shake it.

Ned and Dayne is another thing that helps this alliance.

Yronwood would have just lost their lord and father to the poisoned blade of the red Viper. When Quenton was born we learn that he was sent to yronwood because he was the only coin that he would except.

Yet when these alliances were being made he wasn't born, so the Martells are short on some coin and the Viper was overseas in exile.

Ned marries Dayne that would split the dornish power base. The Yronwoods are the second most powerful house in Dorne and commanded a good percentage of their swords, then there this the fact they rode 3 times with the bittersteel's against the realm. How much you bet the promise of setting right what Nymeria set wrong and place the lordship in their hands. Same principle. The daynes have the added advantage of having a woman in one of the co conspiritors and one that would be riding with the crown prince. Their house would serve they could play both sides and whomever won can't really fault house Dayne for it's loyalties. Use the Starfell, High Hermiage and Yronwood forces to besiege Sunspear and Stormland troops to engage the dornish in the marshes. That's keeping most of their forces pinned up in Sunspear or in the Marshes.

Then there is Ned being raised in the Vale and Jon not having an heir. Ned Stark was related to half of the nobility of the Vale by blood not marriage.

Waynwood, Tempolton, Redfort and Junior Branch of house Royce. Those are some powerful family to have in the Vale indeed.

I don't know how well this idea is going to be received but when these plans were being hashed out, Jon might have been toying with the idea of making Ned his heir.

No one wants the uncouth Arryns on the throne and by not leaving a decent heir it would be in fighting within these powerful factions in the Vale. As an appeasement to the Nobility Arryn could have raise Ned to the lordship because of his being related to most of the nobility. It's like Jon Snow and the election at the Wall. He was an appeasement vote for the two major parties involved with the election. He meets the requirements that both parties were lacking in the other. The Vale nobility may have Arryn blood but because of that blood infighting might have broken out. Name Ned on the other hand and they may have been okay with it.

Then think about this before you say no. Most of the nobility of the Vale was chomping at the bit to join the war and fight on the side of Robb.

They could have wanted to join Renly or Stannis both wanted to remove Lannister from power and they would have gotten the blood they craved for Jon's death. Yet they didn't they wanted to join Robb. The son of the man that was raised as their possible lord until which every lady Arryn had the male that dies at the battle of the bells.

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