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Graydon Hicks

what robb could have done better?

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8 minutes ago, Graydon Hicks said:

what if robb had decided to play cautious in his campaign, rather than start gambling on sending his forces into the westerlands, by refortifying the castles in the riverlands?

He'd have been beat without betraying the Freys directly, which means they'd just stab him in the back and Tywin and co would destroy (or let kneel) the KotN and said forces once he was stuck south of the Twins

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Just now, Universal Sword Donor said:

He'd have been beat without betraying the Freys directly, which means they'd just stab him in the back and Tywin and co would destroy (or let kneel) the KotN and said forces once he was stuck south of the Twins

so you think that walder frey would have betrayed robb, no matter if robb had held to his bargain?

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Just now, Graydon Hicks said:

so you think that walder frey would have betrayed robb, no matter if robb had held to his bargain?

Once the Tyrells joined with Tywin, there was really no avenue for Robb to win and keep the RLs. GRRM has said that the Freys were basically looking for a pre-text to leave and we can see a lot of defeatism from the Freys at Harrenhal post BW. Robb just gave Walder an air tight to break allegiance (but not wholesale slaughter) with him.

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ok. but what if we threw in robb trying to forge alliances with the vale. say he played the defensive game in the riverlands, the sent persistance envoys to the eryie? i know he wasnt very politically astute, and its likely one of the things that got him killed in the end, but i dont think many northerners are, they seem to prefer to stay out of the Game in the south.

or at least waited til tywin fell back to KL, then struck after him, pinning the lannisters against the walls of the capital? cut into the lions while tywin was engaging stannis at the mud gate.

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As to the Starks being the oldest Great House - true. But does it really matter - eight versus two or three thousand years? IMO that's "forever" for everybody concerned. In same vein three hundred years of Tully/Tyrell/Baratheon  is "yesterday", however.

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18 hours ago, UnFit Finlay said:

I don't really blame him for Theon either, really. He wanted Balon as an ally and released an important hostage as a show of goodwill. That's a pretty logical move really. If he'd gone the other way and did the whole "Do as I command or I'll execute your son" thing then he'd have to be prepared to follow through on his threat, and I don't believe he had it in him to kill Theon. Not at that point anyway.

Actually Robb did nothing wrong with Theon.  Balon was planning on attacking the North well before he got Theon back.  He's already called all his levies (fleet levies, I guess) by the time Theon arrives.  And given his attitude towards Theon IOTL when he arrives on Pyke, it's pretty obvious he already considered his son dead to him and was expecting him to be executed when he launched his attack on the North.

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On 6/18/2017 at 5:04 PM, shekiagi said:

he should have send catelyn to the iron islands instead of Theon, but he's biggest mistake was to give R.Bolton command of his army in this he ignored the dark history between the Starks and the Boltons which was bit obvious since the only time that a bolton was given a command of the north army by a stark was during the battle of northern east coast against the Andals invasion and that was the only time.      

And what would the Iron Islanders have done to Catelyn?

 

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51 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

Actually Robb did nothing wrong with Theon.  Balon was planning on attacking the North well before he got Theon back.  He's already called all his levies (fleet levies, I guess) by the time Theon arrives.  And given his attitude towards Theon IOTL when he arrives on Pyke, it's pretty obvious he already considered his son dead to him and was expecting him to be executed when he launched his attack on the North.

Theon was the one who led the attack on WF. Without him it takes *far* longer for any other castles to fall. Roderick managed to get 2000 men to WF. He could have held off the Iron Fleet sitting at MC, especially if Ramsay hadn't had the chance to keep raiding Hornwood lands. He'd have had to fight the IB at some point.

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1 minute ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Theon was the one who led the attack on WF. Without him it takes *far* longer for any other castles to fall. Roderick managed to get 2000 men to WF. He could have held off the Iron Fleet sitting at MC, especially if Ramsay hadn't had the chance to keep raiding Hornwood lands. He'd have had to fight the IB at some point.

A great number of longships, fifty or sixty at the least, stood out to sea or lay beached on the pebbled shore to the north. Some of the sails bore devices from the other islands; the blood moon of Wynch, Lord Goodbrother’s banded black warhorn, Harlaw’s silver scythe.

Balon has already called his banners when Theon arrives.  Which means he was attacking anyway, regardless of any offer Theon brings.

And Winterfell was the last castle to fall.  Everything else fell first, it's why Theon could take Winterfell, because Ser Rodrik was off retaking the other castles with Winterfell's garrison.

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19 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

A great number of longships, fifty or sixty at the least, stood out to sea or lay beached on the pebbled shore to the north. Some of the sails bore devices from the other islands; the blood moon of Wynch, Lord Goodbrother’s banded black warhorn, Harlaw’s silver scythe.

Balon has already called his banners when Theon arrives.  Which means he was attacking anyway, regardless of any offer Theon brings.

And Winterfell was the last castle to fall.  Everything else fell first, it's why Theon could take Winterfell, because Ser Rodrik was off retaking the other castles with Winterfell's garrison.

Everything was a 200 man* garrison against the full might of the Iron Fleet and wooden motte and bailey. Balon left most his back in case the Lannisters or Reach were going to attack. He literally sends 20 ships to attack the rest of Westeros. His goal was to ally with the throne and get plenty of land. He was never going to be able to take the entirety of the North.

Rodrik carrying the idiot ball definitely helped but Theon was the one who told Dagmer to besiege Torrhen's Square. Asha sat at Deepwood Motte and had this to say to Theon about fighting on land:

“The old castellan broke his shield wall, yes,” Asha said calmly. “What did you expect? This Ser Rodrik knows the land intimately, as the Cleftjaw does not, and many of the northmen were mounted. The ironborn lack the discipline to stand a charge of armored horse.”

“Your prize will be the doom of you. Krakens rise from the sea, Theon, or did you forget that during your years among the wolves? Our strength is in our longships. My wooden pisspot sits close enough to the sea for supplies and fresh men to reach me whenever they are needful. But Winterfell is hundreds of leagues inland, ringed by woods, hills, and hostile holdfasts and castles. And every man in a thousand leagues is your enemy now, make no mistake”

So if they have to be close to the sea, that gives them Deepwood Motte and *maybe* Torrhen's Square. Barrowton and the Rills (where it is) are near a river but they also seem to have most of their forces and commanders left behind (every Ryswell adult and Harwood Sout). 

*assuming Robb garrisoned it like his father advised

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I doubt Robb had very good chances to win since Tyrells sided with Lannisters. But:

  • He should have tried to repair (as much as possible) Moat Cailyn and Winterfell's defences,
  • He, Catelyn, Edmure, Blackfish should get married to gain alliances. Catelyn should be sent to Winterfell to serve as Queen Regent.
  • Robb should have made a northern Small Council. Being a king doesn't mean only winning wars but also ruling the realm.
  • He should have chosen a side (Lannisters or Stannis) or remain neutral.
  • Theon should be kept at his side.

 

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How do some posters believe that the starks are poor or looked down on by the rest of the kingdoms. If anything the books have explicitly told us how revered the starks are.They are one of the most noble families in westeros to the point that I can guarantee the lynesse Hightower situation who married jorah mormont and resided on bear island would have been completely different if say she married a robb stark and resided in winterfell(obviously this is not feasible it was a example).

From what I have seen in all my reading of the woiaf that it's not like the real world was where it was a huge deal to build a castle. I believe especially in the current era where ned was lord of winterfell and Robert was king that ned could have restored moat cailin and ceded it to someone(one of his sons) very easily and trouble free with not only Roberts blessing but I bet he would have expanded the lands of the new lordship too.

At this point in the worlds history we don't hear or see anyone building a castle but we do see people refortifying castles and expanding them with no problems or issues. 

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2 hours ago, LordScattergood10 said:

How do some posters believe that the starks are poor or looked down on by the rest of the kingdoms. If anything the books have explicitly told us how revered the starks are.They are one of the most noble families in westeros to the point that I can guarantee the lynesse Hightower situation who married jorah mormont and resided on bear island would have been completely different if say she married a robb stark and resided in winterfell(obviously this is not feasible it was a example).

From what I have seen in all my reading of the woiaf that it's not like the real world was where it was a huge deal to build a castle. I believe especially in the current era where ned was lord of winterfell and Robert was king that ned could have restored moat cailin and ceded it to someone(one of his sons) very easily and trouble free with not only Roberts blessing but I bet he would have expanded the lands of the new lordship too.

At this point in the worlds history we don't hear or see anyone building a castle but we do see people refortifying castles and expanding them with no problems or issues. 

actually, most of the kingdom does seem to hold the starks in high regard, but not the northerners in general. remember that the vast majority of the rest of the realm is made up of andals, living in relatively close proximity to KL, in relatively comfortable climates. the northerners are these First Men primitives, still worshiping trees, in what most of the south consider, even though few have ever gone farther north than the neck, a barren, frozen wasteland. but the starks, the highly rank house paramount, very old, and very honorable lords of the all the north, are well known and respected, but they are likely the only house in the north, with maybe the manderlys, that is well known south of the neck.

i think that by the time of Robert being king, it might have been less of ned fearing robert might throw a fit over the starks rebuild an old, infamous, and very valuable fort on the one land path into the norht, but that the lannisters, who the starks have never trusted since the rebellion, would raise hue and cry and make life generally difficult. we've seen how cersie views the north as a whole, including the starks, as barbarians, even if tywin doesnt share that particular view. but it would have been easy for cersie to go to many of the nobles in court, many of them lannisters her family flooded KL with after she married robert, and gave them commands, commands they would obey as lannisters, to do something about the starks current architectural projects. 

and i think one thong that really makes the south, and lannisters in general, nervous about the starks is just how independent the north really is, compared to the rest of the realm. they didnt get conquered in war the same way nearly everyone else was, they never converted to the worship of the Seven, and they dont play the game like everyone south of the neck. there nothing about them that really rings as sophisticated to cersie or the lannisters, and without that sophistication, they not sure how to deal with them. 

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some have commented on how the reach siding with the lannisters would have spelled robbs defeat either way, so i fell i must ask, what if robb had sent an envoy to them first? yes, wait til renly had died, but what if he had sent someone to highgarden immediately after? the tyrells seems to be opportunists, sliding to who ever offered the better deal, so what if robb had managed to speak to them before the lannisters offered to marry joffrey to margery?

maybe offer a deal where they help robb beat the lannisters, and in return he helps to support whoever they want to put on the Damned Chair of Crazy Talk? with the implication that the north remains free of the throne, and the state of the riverlands at least up for negotion. maybe this is just me hoping deep down that robb could have managed to wed margery instead of a backstabbing frey, so im sorry about that, but i happen to like margery.

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20 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Everything was a 200 man* garrison against the full might of the Iron Fleet and wooden motte and bailey. Balon left most his back in case the Lannisters or Reach were going to attack. He literally sends 20 ships to attack the rest of Westeros. His goal was to ally with the throne and get plenty of land. He was never going to be able to take the entirety of the North.

Actually, it's Deepwood Motte. Torrhen's Square (besieged) and Moat Cailin.  So they take literally 2 of the only 3 major settlements on the western seaboard, and lay siege to the third.

And very few castles are garrisoned with more than a few hundred men.  That's the point of a castle; it's a defensive multiplier.

Quote

Rodrik carrying the idiot ball definitely helped but Theon was the one who told Dagmer to besiege Torrhen's Square. Asha sat at Deepwood Motte and had this to say to Theon about fighting on land:

Wait, why is Rodrik an idiot?  The ironborn never raid far from the shore, as Asha herself admits, and Theon is only able to take the castle because he has intimate knowledge of it.  His whole plan relies on the Boltons being able to betray the Starks, which he has no idea about.  Otherwise Rodrik retakes Winterfell with ease and everything goes back to normal, relatively speaking.

The point being, there is no significant action or fighting between the ironborn and Northerners after the taking of Winterfell, until Roose comes north and Stannis south.  To say that the Fall of Winterfell had ANY impact on the rest of the ironborn campaign is completely, utterly ignorant of the timeline.  Theon taking Winterfell is only important because it allows the Boltons to betray the Starks.

So lets say again; Robb releasing Theon didn't cause the ironborn attack, that was coming anyway.  Perhaps it stops Winterfell from falling, which has a significant but ultimately meaningless impact on the war.  Robb loses as soon as Edmure bars Tywin from returning to the Westerlands, because Robb is fighting specifically against a pro-Lannister regime.

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11 hours ago, Graydon Hicks said:

and i think one thong that really makes the south, and lannisters in general, nervous about the starks is just how independent the north really is, compared to the rest of the realm. they didnt get conquered in war the same way nearly everyone else was, they never converted to the worship of the Seven, and they dont play the game like everyone south of the neck. there nothing about them that really rings as sophisticated to cersie or the lannisters, and without that sophistication, they not sure how to deal with them. 

Well, most of the South wasn't conquered by the Andals either.  The Westerlands and the Reach resisted the Andals for a few generations, and then assimilated them into the pre-existing First Men culture, so there are still ruling First Men Houses.  The only place "conquered" by the Andals was the Vale, which is one of the reasons they have a dispossessed underclass in the mountain clans, who are First Men driven off their lands thousands of years previously.

And to reiterate what earlier posters have said; the Starks don't rebuild Moat Cailin because there is no reason to do so, and it is highly expensive.  It's a keep without lands to support it (being in a swamp), which are already "owned" by the crannogmen.  The Starks are likely very wealthy, according to the standards of Westerosi nobility (maybe not like the other Lords Paramount or super rich Reach lords like the Hightowers and Redwynes), but that isn't necessarily a ton of disposable income.  They have higher needs in terms of provisioning for winter than other Lords.  They clearly support the Watch to an unusual extent, as do many other Northern Houses.  Rebuilding and garrisoning Moat Cailin is extremely expensive and serves no purpose; the castle as it stands is apparently capable of repelling just about any conventional army thrown at it (i.e. not dragons), and besides which, there has been no invasion of the North in 300 years and no reason to expect one; almost every war that has taken place since the Targaryen conquest was a civil war fought close to Kings Landing, an invasion of Dorne, or a Blackfrye invasion, which again will happen near Kings Landing.

The real question is why the Starks have no navy to guard their coast against the ironborn, who have been a far more consistent threat than anyone in the Riverlands.

some have commented on how the reach siding with the lannisters would have spelled robbs defeat either way, so i fell i must ask, what if robb had sent an envoy to them first? yes, wait til renly had died, but what if he had sent someone to highgarden immediately after? the tyrells seems to be opportunists, sliding to who ever offered the better deal, so what if robb had managed to speak to them before the lannisters offered to marry joffrey to margery?

maybe offer a deal where they help robb beat the lannisters, and in return he helps to support whoever they want to put on the Damned Chair of Crazy Talk? with the implication that the north remains free of the throne, and the state of the riverlands at least up for negotion. maybe this is just me hoping deep down that robb could have managed to wed margery instead of a backstabbing frey, so im sorry about that, but i happen to like margery.

Well, he did.  Catelyn goes to meet Renly.  Afterwards... how is he supposed to get someone to Bitterbridge (which is where the Tyrells are)?  All that territory is controlled by the Lannisters.

And why do the Tyrells take that offer?  They get a kingdom missing half its area and a lot of population and production.  Robb cannot abandon the Riverlands, he has a feudal duty to those vassals now.  And why is Mace wedding Margaery, the summation of all his royal hopes, to a king who will not be part of the realm Mace is in?  It makes no sense.  There is really no scenario in which Robb weds Margaery except the full breakup of the realm into its constituent parts, and even then it won't happen.  The Tyrells only rule because of Targaryen/Baratheon support; their vassals will revolt to claim the Gardener throne if the Reach secedes, because they have better claims.  Mace wants influence within the kingdom to support his position and enrich his family.  Only someone holding the Iron Throne (for which Robb has no claim or desire) has anything with which to tempt Mace.  Yes, he's totally opportunistic in looking for this, but not stupid.  The Tyrells have nothing against the Lannisters, unlike... basically everyone else in the realm.  So there is never going to be anything motivating them to side with anyone else.

 

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His two biggest mistakes were:

1.  Sending Theon to treat with Balon Greyjoy.  He should've listened to Cat and sent someone else.....possibly Jason Mallister or Cat herself.  Then Theon wouldn't have taken Winterfell, which in turn means Ramsay would've never been able to take Winterfell by treachery like he did.  If there were still a legit number of fighting northmen active above the Neck then they could've attacked Moat Cailin from the north while Robb came up the causeway.  The Reeds would've been able to join the fray and the ironborn would've been pushed out of Moat Cailin with nothing really to show for it.  They would've never been able to hold it.

2.  Not telling Edmure what he and the Blackfish intended for Tywin when they invaded the west.  If Edmure doesn't hold Tywin up at the Battle of the Stone Mill then Tywin never hears about Stannis sailing to Kings Landing and he doesn't get there in time to save the city.  Kings Landing falls, Cersei and her children are executed, and Tywin stands alone in the west.  I have no doubt that at that point Robb could've been convinced to put aside his crown in order to make common cause with Stannis to destroy House Lannister for good.

Breaking his marriage contract with Walder Frey was obviously a mistake, but the war still could've easily been won if he would've handled the two above situations differently.

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43 minutes ago, acwill07 said:

His two biggest mistakes were:

1.  Sending Theon to treat with Balon Greyjoy.  He should've listened to Cat and sent someone else.....possibly Jason Mallister or Cat herself.  Then Theon wouldn't have taken Winterfell, which in turn means Ramsay would've never been able to take Winterfell by treachery like he did.  If there were still a legit number of fighting northmen active above the Neck then they could've attacked Moat Cailin from the north while Robb came up the causeway.  The Reeds would've been able to join the fray and the ironborn would've been pushed out of Moat Cailin with nothing really to show for it.  They would've never been able to hold it.

Wait, why not?  Ramsay can still take Winterfell if he wants.  Robb is going to have to go home at some point no matter what to deal with the ironborn, and Theon is not the cause of their attack.  The assault on Winterfell makes the situation more dire, but isn't the problem, just a symptom of it.

44 minutes ago, acwill07 said:

2.  Not telling Edmure what he and the Blackfish intended for Tywin when they invaded the west.  If Edmure doesn't hold Tywin up at the Battle of the Stone Mill then Tywin never hears about Stannis sailing to Kings Landing and he doesn't get there in time to save the city.  Kings Landing falls, Cersei and her children are executed, and Tywin stands alone in the west.  I have no doubt that at that point Robb could've been convinced to put aside his crown in order to make common cause with Stannis to destroy House Lannister for good.

He commands Edmure to hold Riverrun.  Edmure exceeds his orders.  Robb shouldn't need to tell Edmure what his plans are (because who knows who is listening), he gave him a command and that command was disobeyed.

Can Edmure do whatever he wants as long as Riverrun doesn't fall?  If he attacks Kings Landing and loses his army, would you blame him then?  He exceeded his orders in express defiance of Robb's command and that was that.

47 minutes ago, acwill07 said:

Breaking his marriage contract with Walder Frey was obviously a mistake, but the war still could've easily been won if he would've handled the two above situations differently.

I agree.  Plus, Walder was already planning to betray Robb anyway (or setting himself up to have the possibility to do so), so it wouldn't have mattered.

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On 6/29/2017 at 2:20 PM, cpg2016 said:

Wait, why not?  Ramsay can still take Winterfell if he wants.  Robb is going to have to go home at some point no matter what to deal with the ironborn, and Theon is not the cause of their attack.  The assault on Winterfell makes the situation more dire, but isn't the problem, just a symptom of it.

 

I'll tell you why not.  The only reason Ramsay was able to take Winterfell is because Theon already held it.  This caused Sir Rodrik to rally as many fighting Northmen as he could find and try to take it back.  Ramsay only succeeds in taking it because of this.....Theon is desperate and let's him in thinking he is an ally.  Sure, the Ironborn would've still attacked certain castles in the North like Torrhens Square and Deepwood, but Robb lost the war when Winterfell was lost to him.

It's also a possibility that Balon Greyjoy wouldn't have attacked the North at all as long as Robb Stark was keeping Balon's only son close to him.  We know Balon is a heartless guy, but if Theon hadn't returned to Pyke a lot of stuff probably would've happened differently.

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1 hour ago, acwill07 said:

I'll tell you why not.  The only reason Ramsay was able to take Winterfell is because Theon already held it.  This caused Sir Rodrik to rally as many fighting Northmen as he could find and try to take it back.  Ramsay only succeeds in taking it because of this.....Theon is desperate and let's him in thinking he is an ally.  Sure, the Ironborn would've still attacked certain castles in the North like Torrhens Square and Deepwood, but Robb lost the war when Winterfell was lost to him.

You are mistaking the course of events.  Ser Rodrik rallies all those men to retake the castles in the west that have been taking by Victarion and Asha.  Theon takes Winterfell because Ser Rodrik took the whole garrison, plus many other men presumably, since a few hundred men can't execute a siege, and so he walks into an essentially defenseless castle.  Before Theon does anything there are no men present (or very, very few) inside Winterfell.

 

1 hour ago, acwill07 said:

It's also a possibility that Balon Greyjoy wouldn't have attacked the North at all as long as Robb Stark was keeping Balon's only son close to him.  We know Balon is a heartless guy, but if Theon hadn't returned to Pyke a lot of stuff probably would've happened differently.

We know for a fact this isn't true, because when Theon arrives in Pyke as Robb's envoy, he sees and comments that Balon has already called his banners and that many of his vassals are at anchor in the harbor.  He had given Theon up for dead (as he barely even acknowledges him as a son when he does return) long before.

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