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Agent 326

Who did Robb name as his heir?

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On 6/6/2017 at 0:31 PM, kissdbyfire said:

When Robb is talking to Mormont, Mallister, Glover, the Greatjon, and Edmure (am I forgetting anyone?), the fact that he doesn't mention Arya at all is extremely conspicuous imo. Of course, it could be just a silly mistake, Martin simply forgot to add her name. But I don't think so... this is not the gender of a horse, it's much more important, plot wise.

I can see what you are getting at but it doesn't have to be a mistake by GRRM or have any special conspicuous hidden meaning imo. Robb, in character, may have simply omitted her name for the sake of the conversation and not wanting to get into a lengthy explanation about how she is probably dead but may be alive, so he doesn't mention her.

Sansa was brought up because it was her marriage to Tyrion that made Robb take action on a will. Bran and Rickon are believed (not merely presumed) to be dead.

If you were GRRM and you were writing a scene with Jon being named as heir, would you make Robb bring up Arya when addressing his lords? I just think it would have been unnecessarily wordy.

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17 hours ago, DutchArya said:

I completely agree! Not only appeasing Cat but it could also explain why LSH is so actively looking for Arya in later books. I don't think it will interfere with Jon's being named the heir either. 

I think she is looking for Sansa.

7 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Under this limitation the answer is yes, he could have named Jon his heir.  No regards for the consequences.  He just made the choice.  You are correct in that Robb could have chosen Jon.  He could have done better and named Hodor who was slightly more capable.

Right Hodor... certainly could have saved the North. Jon has the capacity provided he actually takes it.

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You guys are all so silly. It was clearly Cat. :P 

First I will re-paste the most relevant quote again:

Quote

"I left my wife at Riverrun. I want my mother elsewhere. If you keep all your treasures in one purse, you only make it easier for those who would rob you. After the wedding, you shall go to Seagard, that is my royal command." Robb stood, and as quick as that, her fate was settled. He picked up a sheet of parchment. "One more matter. Lord Balon has left chaos in his wake, we hope. I would not do the same. Yet I have no son as yet, my brothers Bran and Rickon are dead, and my sister is wed to a Lannister. I've thought long and hard about who might follow me. I command you now as my true and loyal lords to fix your seals to this document as witnesses to my decision."

A king indeed, Catelyn thought, defeated. She could only hope that the trap he'd planned for Moat Cailin worked as well as the one in which he'd just caught her.

So... Robb successfully caught Cat in a trap. What?! A trap?? Yes!! :D A TRAP!!

What was this trap? Let's rewind to earlier in the chapter, to their discussion of Robb's heir. Upon arriving at Oldstones on their way to the Twins, Robb goes off on his own (offscreen) and Cat finds him standing over the grave of King Tristifer IV Mudd. The exchange starts with Robb possibly feigning ignorance about the locale:

Quote

It was there that Catelyn found Robb, standing somber in the gathering dusk with only Grey Wind beside him. The rain had stopped for once, and he was bareheaded. "Does this castle have a name?" he asked quietly, when she came up to him.

"Oldstones, all the smallfolk called it when I was a girl, but no doubt it had some other name when it was still a hall of kings." She had camped here once with her father, on their way to Seagard. Petyr was with us too...

Really Robb? You don't know what castle you're at? You haven't known for days what castle you would be arriving at on your slow march to the Twins? You haven't been looking at a map every single day to chart the progress of your army and be ready for an attack? Maybe... But I think Robb is probably feigning ignorance here, and it continues, when Robb... springs the trap! This seemingly innocuous question gets the ball rolling:

Quote

Robb studied the sepulcher. "Whose grave is this?"

"Here lies Tristifer, the Fourth of His Name, King of the Rivers and the Hills." Her father had told her his story once. "He ruled from the Trident to the Neck, thousands of years before Jenny and her prince, in the days when the kingdoms of the First Men were falling one after the other before the onslaught of the Andals. The Hammer of Justice, they called him. He fought a hundred battles and won nine-and-ninety, or so the singers say, and when he raised this castle it was the strongest in Westeros." She put a hand on her son's shoulder. "He died in his hundredth battle, when seven Andal kings joined forces against him. The fifth Tristifer was not his equal, and soon the kingdom was lost, and then the castle, and last of all the line. With Tristifer the Fifth died House Mudd, that had ruled the riverlands for a thousand years before the Andals came."

"His heir failed him." Robb ran a hand over the rough weathered stone. "I had hoped to leave Jeyne with child... we tried often enough, but I'm not certain..."

"It does not always happen the first time." Though it did with you. "Nor even the hundredth. You are very young."

"Young, and a king," he said. "A king must have an heir. If I should die in my next battle, the kingdom must not die with me. By law Sansa is next in line of succession, so Winterfell and the north would pass to her." His mouth tightened. "To her, and her lord husband. Tyrion Lannister. I cannot allow that. I will not allow that. That dwarf must never have the north."

"No," Catelyn agreed. "You must name another heir, until such time as Jeyne gives you a son." She considered a moment. "Your father's father had no siblings, but his father had a sister who married a younger son of Lord Raymar Royce, of the junior branch. They had three daughters, all of whom wed Vale lordlings. A Waynwood and a Corbray, for certain. The youngest . . . it might have been a Templeton, but . . ."

"Mother." There was a sharpness in Robb's tone. "You forget. My father had four sons."

She had not forgotten; she had not wanted to look at it, yet there it was. "A Snow is not a Stark."

"Jon's more a Stark than some lordlings from the Vale who have never so much as set eyes on Winterfell."

And then they argue about the Night's Watch and bastards and the Blackfyres and precedent for a minute, and then we get to the ending of their heated conversation, Cat confronting the realities of Arya being dead and Robb being in charge:

Quote

"So you pray. Have you considered your sisters? What of their rights? I agree that the north must not be permitted to pass to the Imp, but what of Arya? By law, she comes after Sansa... your own sister, trueborn..."

"...and dead. No one has seen or heard of Arya since they cut Father's head off. Why do you lie to yourself? Arya's gone, the same as Bran and Rickon, and they'll kill Sansa too once the dwarf gets a child from her. Jon is the only brother that remains to me. Should I die without issue, I want him to succeed me as King in the North. I had hoped you would support my choice."

"I cannot," she said. "In all else, Robb. In everything. But not in this... this folly. Do not ask it."

"I don't have to. I'm the king." Robb turned and walked off, Grey Wind bounding down from the tomb and loping after him.

The conversation ends with Robb basically telling Cat, I can name Jon if I want to, I am the King, and you have failed to name a reasonable alternative heir.

So let's back up and quickly re-analyze what just happened assuming that Robb knew what castle he was standing in and whose grave he was next to, as well as the fact that King Tristifer IV was failed by his heir. He could have easily asked someone for this info if he didn't know it already. Robb first initiated the private conversation in that particular locale by wandering off on his own, effectively luring Cat there. Then when Cat arrives, Robb asks what castle they are in and whose grave he is standing over, fully knowing that Cat will tell him it is King Tristifer IV, a king who according to legend was failed by his heir. And then Robb immediately follows it up by saying His heir failed him, and starts lamenting the fact that Jeyne is not yet pregnant, his obviously planned response. Then he talks about how Tyrion is now in a position to claim Winterfell, something that only recently happened (about 3 weeks prior to this conversation), prompting Cat to start listing off all the most viable heirs. Of course, Robb already knows that he can dismiss any of the closest relatives Cat can name on the basis they are not from Winterfell or even the North, and so he does and says that Jon is the only solution. As a last resort, Cat brings up the matter of Arya, and Robb declares Arya to be dead and Cat to be delusional. Finally, Cat says she cannot support naming Jon heir, and Robb says he doesn't need her support, he can do what he wants.

And now, if we take another look at the quote from the signing of the will, everything makes perfect sense. The only other person Robb could possibly name as heir who meets his criteria is Cat. Cat wouldn't have gone along with this decision willingly, but Robb makes it clear through their not-so-spontaneous conversation over the grave of King Tristifer that the only other viable choice in Robb's mind is Jon Snow, a "folly" which Cat, as she vehemently stated, cannot support. So Cat has been quite effectively trapped into supporting Robb's choice of Cat as heir. And so to end the chapter, Robb first commands that his new heir be sent to Seaguard after the wedding to be kept safe, and then he has his lords sign a document declaring Cat his heir.

Nice trap Robb! You caught a Cat, just like Arya does! I bet that your trap at Moat Cailin would have in fact worked just as well, had you survived to pull it off.

TADA! :rofl: 

As for the whole "missing Arya" thing. Have you guys considered that Robb may have simply been reiterating the recent events that changed the line of succession and thus lead to him needing to name an heir? Arya went missing and Jon went to the Wall like 10+ months earlier and neither of those changed who the heir was because Bran was the heir the whole time. But the deaths of Bran and Rickon were only about 3 months earlier, and the marriage of Sansa to Tyrion only happened days earlier, and those events actually directly change who the heir is. And until those recent events transpired, Robb would not have "left chaos in his wake" like Balon, because Bran was obviously still the heir. So you could simply interpret Robb's words to mean: Hey guys, now that my heir Bran is dead, and the 2 people directly in line after him are dead/married to Tyrion, I am naming a new heir. I didn't bother to mention Jon or Arya just now, because we had already written them off as candidates a while ago.

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5 hours ago, Makk said:

I can see what you are getting at but it doesn't have to be a mistake by GRRM or have any special conspicuous hidden meaning imo. Robb, in character, may have simply omitted her name for the sake of the conversation and not wanting to get into a lengthy explanation about how she is probably dead but may be alive, so he doesn't mention her.

Sansa was brought up because it was her marriage to Tyrion that made Robb take action on a will. Bran and Rickon are believed (not merely presumed) to be dead.

If you were GRRM and you were writing a scene with Jon being named as heir, would you make Robb bring up Arya when addressing his lords? I just think it would have been unnecessarily wordy.

I would actually. And I don't think it would be unnecessarily wordy... I just find the omission very, very odd. 

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6 hours ago, Makk said:

If you were GRRM and you were writing a scene with Jon being named as heir, would you make Robb bring up Arya when addressing his lords? I just think it would have been unnecessarily wordy.

We have Cat directly arguing for Arya's rights as an heir. If she were not lost or presumed dead as Robb explained - she would be heir to Winterfell. An impostor eventually uses her claim to take Winterfell. So why would you think it's "unnecessary"? You don't think that's important to mention? It's odd because we know Robb's thoughts on Arya yet he fails to mention her when he lists his dead siblings. This is left ambiguous on purpose by George and as the Will is going to play a role in Winds - we shall hopefully get some clarity then.

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6 hours ago, Lord Wraith said:

I think she is looking for Sansa.

She is looking for Arya. That's why she moved the BWB to the Saltpans (that's where Arya was last seen) and the whole time Brienne was actually on Arya's trail and closer to finding her. 

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10 hours ago, DutchArya said:

We have Cat directly arguing for Arya's rights as an heir. If she were not lost or presumed dead as Robb explained - she would be heir to Winterfell. An impostor eventually uses her claim to take Winterfell. So why would you think it's "unnecessary"? You don't think that's important to mention? It's odd because we know Robb's thoughts on Arya yet he fails to mention her when he lists his dead siblings. This is left ambiguous on purpose by George and as the Will is going to play a role in Winds - we shall hopefully get some clarity then.

Catelyn argues directly when she is alone with Robb (she doesn't say a word when Robb is talking to his lords) largely because she doesn't* like Jon, and Robb dismisses it instantly. Before that she is quite happy to suggest distant cousins residing in the Vale showing that she doesn't consider it likely Arya is alive either. It's unnecessary because everyone present knows she was with her father in Kings landing and hasn't been heard from since. Robb is issuing an edict, he absolutely should not be vague or act indecisively. Saying Arya is presumed dead just brings doubt as to whether she is.

 

*At the time, I actually think she will honor Robbs will and be the one to resurrect him.

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5 hours ago, Makk said:

Catelyn argues directly when she is alone with Robb (she doesn't say a word when Robb is talking to his lords) largely because she doesn't* like Jon, and Robb dismisses it instantly. Before that she is quite happy to suggest distant cousins residing in the Vale showing that she doesn't consider it likely Arya is alive either. It's unnecessary because everyone present knows she was with her father in Kings landing and hasn't been heard from since. Robb is issuing an edict, he absolutely should not be vague or act indecisively. Saying Arya is presumed dead just brings doubt as to whether she is.

 

*At the time, I actually think she will honor Robbs will and be the one to resurrect him.

My take on Cat suggesting the distant Vale cousins is that it comes more from not wanting Jon under any circumstance rather than believing Arya is dead. She knows there's no point pushing for Arya b/c she knows Robb will never name Arya his heir (b/c she's missing and presumed dead) but that doesn't mean she doesn't hope Arya is alive. 

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16 hours ago, DutchArya said:

She is looking for Arya. That's why she moved the BWB to the Saltpans (that's where Arya was last seen) and the whole time Brienne was actually on Arya's trail and closer to finding her. 

That actually makes a lot of sense. I still think she will end up attempting to crown Sansa. I feel the Sansa storyline is headed to the Riverlands but that is a discussion for another time.

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4 hours ago, Lord Wraith said:

That actually makes a lot of sense. I still think she will end up attempting to crown Sansa. I feel the Sansa storyline is headed to the Riverlands but that is a discussion for another time.

Are you going to explain why? There are just too many reasons why that won't happen. 

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10 hours ago, Makk said:

Catelyn argues directly when she is alone with Robb (she doesn't say a word when Robb is talking to his lords) largely because she doesn't* like Jon, and Robb dismisses it instantly. Before that she is quite happy to suggest distant cousins residing in the Vale showing that she doesn't consider it likely Arya is alive either. It's unnecessary because everyone present knows she was with her father in Kings landing and hasn't been heard from since. Robb is issuing an edict, he absolutely should not be vague or act indecisively. Saying Arya is presumed dead just brings doubt as to whether she is.

 

*At the time, I actually think she will honor Robbs will and be the one to resurrect him.

To add to the excellent point @kissdbyfire made...

Robb told Cat to not have any hope and that Arya is dead. He should have mentioned her name among his dead siblings if that is still the opinion he holds. The fact that he didn't suggests something has changed. You said earlier that it wasn't "important" to include one of the heirs of Winterfell. If she is found alive, that would be preferred but he clearly doesn't think so in the conversation with Cat. Yet it seems something has changed since then.

 

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On 6/6/2017 at 9:15 AM, Widowmaker 811 said:

Sorry Julia, but Robb does not have the right authority to make a bastard legit.  Robb was a rebel hoping to make the north independent from the rest of the kingdom.  He failed.  Thus, he never had the right to make such a change.  Would he try?  Did he try?  Perhaps, but his decree is worth no more than the booger Arya picked from her nose and snacked on.  And likely didn't last even as long. 

[   This is Arya after that snack -> :P     ]

Let us say the people supporting Robb and liked him believed he had that right because they believed they had the right to take lands away from the kingdom.  It doesn't mean it's legal.  The fact that king appointed Roose as the new Warden of the North tells you that they consider the north part of the kingdom.  Robb's decree holds no value.  Robb even lost the north!!!!! To the Ironborn.  So he was trying to make independent a land that he had no control over.  Add to this, Jon was already a sworn brother of the Night's Watch.  Very well, to oathbreakers like Robb and Jon those oaths mean nothing.  However, there are better people out there who believe oaths should be honored and they will not let Jon off so easily. 

:D

That just grossed me out.  Hahaha.

 

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Robb's will could have contained provisions for the possibility of Bran, Sansa, Rickon, and Arya living.  It doesn't have to be simple and directly naming one person as the heir.  He could have included conditions such as "I, Robb Stark being of troubled mind and weak body hereby leave Winterfell to my trueborn son with Jeyne Westerling Stark.  Bran will inherit if I die without a trueborn child.  In the event that Bran and Rickon are dead, Winterfell will pass to Arya.  If she is dead and none of the dogs in the kennel are left to inherit, only then do I bequeath Winterfell to my bastard brother Jon Snow"

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In Robb's camp Bran and Rickon being dead is considered a cold indisputable fact. Hence there wouldn't be any provisions for them being alive in Robb's testament, just as there weren't any for Ned being still alive, or Grandpa Rickard.

(And in the books, "natural son" is a polite synonym for "bastard").

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1 minute ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

In Robb's camp Bran and Rickon being dead is considered a cold indisputable fact. Hence there wouldn't be any provisions for them being alive in Robb's testament, just as there weren't any for Ned being still alive, or Grandpa Rickard.

(And in the books, "natural son" is a polite synonym for "bastard").

A well constructed will takes into consideration every possibility.

 

Robb's will could have contained provisions for the possibility of Bran, Sansa, Rickon, and Arya living.  It doesn't have to be simple and directly naming one person as the heir.  He could have included conditions such as "I, Robb Stark being of troubled mind and weak body hereby leave Winterfell to my trueborn son with Jeyne Westerling Stark.  Bran will inherit if I die without a trueborn child.  In the event that Bran and Rickon are dead, Winterfell will pass to Arya.  If she is dead and none of the dogs in the kennel are left to inherit, only then do I bequeath Winterfell to my bastard brother Jon Snow"

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Edmure is a better choice.  That would consolidate the north and the riverlands into one kingdom.  How can you have two kingdoms.  Edmure believed Robb was his king.  It only makes sense to pass the lands to Edmure so the realm will become one.  The riverlands would never accept a bastard deserter to lord over them.  The north is far likelier to accept a Tully as their lord than Jon to be accepted in the riverlands.

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The "trap" was she was going to have to support Jon whether she liked it or not! No the will wouldn't put Bran or Rickon in because they were BELIEVED dead! Not just possibly dead. Cat as heir makes no sense because her judgment is Impaired in the eyes of all the North! (Not unjustly either.) Edmire...is a fool. Robb was right, they wouldn't follow some distant cousin. While some provision for Arya could be made if she turned up alive free & not married to an enemy, it was unlikely. He owld put her after Jon anyway. Sansa was married to tyrian, he had written her off. Jon is the only candidate that makes sense.

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On 6/6/2017 at 10:39 PM, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

So... Robb successfully caught Cat in a trap. What?! A trap?? Yes!! :D A TRAP!!

 

On 6/6/2017 at 10:39 PM, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

So Cat has been quite effectively trapped into supporting Robb's choice of Cat as heir. And so to end the chapter, Robb first commands that his new heir be sent to Seaguard after the wedding to be kept safe, and then he has his lords sign a document declaring Cat his heir.

This is some interesting brainstorming you have here. If Robb was just naming an heir to the Riverlands, then maybe he would pick a Tully, but it's hard to say if most of the bannerman in the Riverlands would follow a woman. Honestly, Edmure makes more sense than Cat. If Robb is still claiming his kingdom includes the North (which he has effectively lost all hold on) than Catelyn makes no sense. Catelyn has no Stark blood and probably very few northern supporters from the northern families. What loyalty does the North have to Catelyn Tully, except she is a widow of their beloved (mostly) Ned?

Naming Cat his heir makes no sense; it could be considered Robb's worst decision and he has made a few bad ones. If Robb named the woman who kidnapped Tyrion Lannister, which poured some gasoline on the fire of the feud between House Lannister and Stark, then she lost Tyrion, which put Ned and the North in a terrible position, and then, finally, she released Jaime Lannister to free her daughters, when she effectively told Rickard Karstark she didn't care about his grief over his sons death when compared to the possible release of her daughters as well as giving away Robb's best bargaining chip. Nope! And the heads of northern households stood around and allowed Robb to do this? They would pull that crown off his head faster than they placed it there. I am not even sure Robb would be ridiculous enough to let Catelyn act as regent for any child he might have with Jeyne.

Now, Jon as heir makes sense for the North. Ned raised Jon as his son at Winterfell, same as Robb, Whether Robb really has the power to get Jon released from his Night's Watch vows in the largest hurdle. It's an oath swore for life, and one wonders how many in the North would react to Jon going back on his vows. But these are troubling times ... so maybe.

Jon doesn't make any sense for the Riverlands, and that is really the only kingdom Robb has control of now, and as judging by what happens at the Red Wedding, he doesn't even have all of the Riverlands supporting him. So what could tie Jon to the riverlands?  A marriage? But to who?

For a moment, I am going to play along with your wild speculation here and say that maybe Robb thought Jon could wed Catelyn, and their heirs could rule this kingdom that Robb was ruling, The North and The Riverlands! It only seems plausible in a very small way to me because both Jon and Catelyn would HATE this! I HATE this idea also! And GRRM likes to do HATEFUL things to his characters and his readers, so ... As awful as it seems, Cat is probably only 35ish, and could definitely have more children. This is so awful to think of, I speculate GRRM could do something so horrible to us, and to Jon and Cat! We know Catelyn would do her duty ... maybe! Jon, I am not so sure of. Thank the gods that Catelyn is dead and the stone-hearted zombie (who cannot procreate, I hope) is walking the Riverlands!

But I don't think that Robb named Cat his heir in any way, shape or form. But Arya is an interesting possibility. So, at one point Robb claims that Bran and Rickon and Arya are dead, and Sansa is married to a Lannister, so she is better than dead as far as succession in the North goes. But later in the story, as other readers have pointed out, Robb doesn't report that Arya is dead.

Maybe Robb does think there is a chance that Arya is still alive? If he names Arya his heir, at least to the Riverlands, and Jon his heir to the North, he has two siblings that the people of their respective regions would follow, and Jon and Arya would work together. I see no conflict between them. They could rule in conjunction with each other. There is that whole exchange between Jon and Arya in AGOT about bastards getting the swords and daughters getting the arms that hints at some possible conclusion for Jon and Arya as partners! I myself suspect it will be through marriage but maybe not!

**TINFOIL ALERT** Here comes my own tinfoil, and it's a biggish hat, like sombrero sized. What if Robb has sensed through Grey Wind, who senses through Nymeria that Arya is still alive? I have often wondered about the dreams these kids and wolves share. At one point, we get Jon dreaming through Ghost and he knows about Shaggydog and Nymeria, and also can't sense Summer (maybe because of the wall?)  Granted Jon doesn't seem aware of his siblings, only his siblings wolves, but who know's what kind of connection and dreams that Robb could have shared with Grey Wind? What if because Grey Wind and Nymeria are both relatively close to one another in the Riverlands, that they can sense more about each other? (I am taking my tinfoil sombrero off now!) I will admit this seems unlikely, because Arya doesn't seem to dream of Robb or Greywind through Nymeria, but it's very slightly possible. But how would Robb ever get to Arya, even if he suspected she could be alive. There are holes in every theory!

More possible than Cat being named Robb's heir, in my opinion.

I do appreciate fresh ideas though (it seems like I seen a similar idea it in a video a while back) about Cat as Robb's heir! 

I will say that I have often thought that Robb's hints about naming Jon as his heir are too obvious and then the whole idea becomes very vague in the story, which makes me suspicious of GRRM's intent. Just a very little bit of me doubts that Jon was Robb's choice. That is why I won't be surprised if Robb didn't name Jon, and if he didn't name Jon, then the only plausible person would be Arya!

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On 6/7/2017 at 0:06 PM, DutchArya said:

We have Cat directly arguing for Arya's rights as an heir. If she were not lost or presumed dead as Robb explained - she would be heir to Winterfell. An impostor eventually uses her claim to take Winterfell. So why would you think it's "unnecessary"? You don't think that's important to mention? It's odd because we know Robb's thoughts on Arya yet he fails to mention her when he lists his dead siblings. This is left ambiguous on purpose by George and as the Will is going to play a role in Winds - we shall hopefully get some clarity then.

Good points, @DutchArya

When, oh, when will WOW be published?

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7 hours ago, Holley 4 Barrel said:

Edmure is a better choice.  That would consolidate the north and the riverlands into one kingdom.  How can you have two kingdoms.  Edmure believed Robb was his king.  It only makes sense to pass the lands to Edmure so the realm will become one.  The riverlands would never accept a bastard deserter to lord over them.  The north is far likelier to accept a Tully as their lord than Jon to be accepted in the riverlands.

No, it isn't. Edmure, married to a Frey (remember the Red Wedding?), ruling the North? Sorry, but the Queen of Thorns is more likely to be accepted by the North than Edmure. 

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