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Varysblackfyre321

Did Robb act better than Tywin conducting the war?

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I decided to start this thread off the critism of other users that doing so in the obvious troll thread "Freys should be respected"  wasn't the place to have such a discussion.

I feel the overall North's conduct during the war doesn't really get examined much. 

Note: I'm not simply talking about besting Tywin in the battlefield: but did wage it more ethically than Tywin in your mind.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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For me it depends on where you lay blame for some things. Are the actions of every man in their service, whether acting under orders or not, the fault of the man leading them? If so then no, Robb did not act better than Tywin. 

If we are only laying blame on them for the things they actually did, ordered be done, &/or approved of then yes, Robb did act better than Tywin. 

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Robb was young, unwed, leading the aggressive faction, followed by soldiers fighting in strange regions for them. And besides his base army was smaller than his enemy'. I don't think he did bad at all. 

Reading his run south gave me an impression of tragicness. I felt he was bound to lose. The Red Wedding was predictable, but overkill. It's not like Oberyn's death which actually gave me a surprise since he had the advantage and played the cards to set out the scene.

 I don't think many readers actually thought that Robb had a real chance of winning the war. Cat's POVs for me made that even more clear: she set out for us to see how fragile and fading Robb's endeavour was. He was over his own possibilities.

With this in mind, I think he did quite good; but Tywin is a proven commander, was fighting near his own turf, knew very well his commanders, was keen on playing dirty if it gave him an advantage. There's a lot of valid talk about strategy but the strong point for me is that Robb's case was opposite in many ways: he was just an unexperienced kid forced to take action to deffend his people. And in the end, he failed in everything.

Edited by King Merrett I Frey

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Yes in terms of conduct Robb did act better than Tywin. For one very simple reason: Tywin very deliberately set his worst men loose on the country with orders to burn and pillage. Robb did not.

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24 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Yes in terms of conduct Robb did act better than Tywin. For one very simple reason: Tywin very deliberately set his worst men loose on the country with orders to burn and pillage. Robb did not.

And rape, because Tywin knew exactly what he was unleashing when he sent the Mountain to raid the Riverlands. Then there's the RW... So yeah, Robb did in fact conduct his campaign much more honourably than Tywin. 

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1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I decided to start this thread off the critism of other users that doing so in the obvious troll thread "Freys should be respected"  wasn't the place to have such a discussion.

I feel the overall North's conduct during the war doesn't really get examined much. 

Note: I'm not simply talking about besting Tywin in the battlefield: but did wage it more ethically than Tywin in your mind.

I think this is a very broad question and will be incredibly difficult to answer or discuss without be narrowed down. 

Namely, what do you mean by ethically?

Do you mean following a knightly code, the will of the gods, or abiding by modern ethical standards. Or is all fair in War? Is it the results which matter (ie. did they take care of the men/woman under their command/rule)?

But I do think the parallels between Rob and Tywin are interesting...

Tywin sends the mountain to pillage the riverlands, but Rob pillages the Westerlands with his own army.

Robb breaks his word with the Freys and Tywin plots to see guestright broken.

Robb’s men killed child prisoners, where Tywin is notoriously responsible for sending the men who killed Rhaegar’s children.

Tywin condemns his own son to death, and Rob executes his relative, Lord Karstark.

Both rely on threats of violence and rutnhless “justice” to enforce their will and their lordship over vassals.

Quote

 

Robb told him he was welcome to do so. "And when we are done with the Lannisters," he promised, scratching Grey Wind behind the ear, "we will march back north, root you out of your keep, and hang you for an oathbreaker."

 

Both left a huge question as to their successor upon their death.

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Catelyn naps Tyrion.  Tywin responds by sending Gregor to terrorize Catelyn's family.

Cersei arrests Ned.  Robb responds by going to war. 

There are a lot of similarities there.  They are more alike than not.  It's hard to judge. 

Robb thinks its ethical to execute Karstark for killing pows.  Tywin thinks it's acceptable to break guest rights to make a quick end to the war. 

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2 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Tywin sends the mountain to pillage the riverlands, but Rob pillages the Westerlands with his own army

The difference being, Robb didn't pillage the Westerlands with his army. Men in his service pillaged, a tragic but common happening in all wars by soldiers from all sides.

Tywin gave explicit orders to the Mountain, charging him with the task of pillaging, raping, and burning down the villages of the commoners.

Quote

Robb breaks his word with the Freys and Tywin plots to see guestright broken.

The difference being, Robb made a mistake. Sure, he is wholly responsible for his mistake, and it can be argued that he didn't care about the repercussions, as he obviously didn't want to marry Walder's daughter. The point being, he didn't willfully break his word, with the intent to insult Walder, it was an unfortunate repercussion of his foolish indifference to upholding a promise he was coerced into by a man he did not respect.

Tywin deliberately went out of his way to commit what is considered to be one of the worst and vilest crimes one can commit in the Seven Kingdoms.

Quote

Robb’s men killed child prisoners, where Tywin is notoriously responsible for sending the men who killed Rhaegar’s children.

Against Robb's will, and these men were deemed treasonous criminals by Robb.

Again, Tywin orders this appalling act, and is explicitly responsible for this happening.

---

Honestly, I'm not sure how the topic of this thread is even a debatable issue. The answer is quite clearly spelled out by the author.

Edited by Blackwater Revenant

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4 minutes ago, Blackwater Revenant said:

Honestly, I'm not sure how the topic of this thread is even a debatable issue. The answer is quite clearly spelled out by the author.

That's it in a nutshell. All wars are horrible, and all sides in every war commit horrible and heinous acts. But there is really no comparison between Robb and Tywin. 

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44 minutes ago, Blackwater Revenant said:

The difference being, Robb didn't pillage the Westerlands with his army. Men in his service pillaged, a tragic but common happening in all wars by soldiers from all sides.

I’m not sure this is true and even if it was I guess the difference is intent vs lack of control? Maybe even naïveté? Not sure which is better... either way it is part of war. It seems to me Rob set out to pillage the Westerlands and looted himself a woman while there.

Quote

Tywin gave explicit orders to the Mountain, charging him with the task of pillaging, raping, and burning down the villages of the commoners.

Red War!

Quote

The difference being, Robb made a mistake. Sure, he is wholly responsible for his mistake, and it can be argued that he didn't care about the repercussions, as he obviously didn't want to marry Walder's daughter. The point being, he didn't willfully break his word, with the intent to insult Walder, it was an unfortunate repercussion of his foolish indifference to upholding a promise he was coerced into by a man he did not respect.

He intentionally married a woman after sleeping with her, breaking his word... we can romanticize it, but not justify it. It was the act of a boy not a good or ethical king.

Quote

Tywin deliberately went out of his way to commit what is considered to be one of the worst and vilest crimes one can commit in the Seven Kingdoms.

Also, he won a war with minimal risk to his own men... I find this is much easier to justify. It’s not noble, but ethical? Maybe.

Quote

Against Robb's will, and these men were deemed treasonous criminals by Robb.

Yes they were, but only because he protected his treasonous mother for sentimental reasons... he used a double standard.

Quote

Again, Tywin orders this appalling act, and is explicitly responsible for this happening.

Say what you will about Tywin, he’s consistent in his ruthless pursuit of victory

Quote

Honestly, I'm not sure how the topic of this thread is even a debatable issue. The answer is quite clearly spelled out by the author.

As clear as tax policy.

If you mean do I like Rob more than Tywin? of course... is he more honorable? definitely... but better and more ethical leader? I think that’s up for debate.

And they’re both better than Catlyn...

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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2 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

That's it in a nutshell. All wars are horrible, and all sides in every war commit horrible and heinous acts. But there is really no comparison between Tywin and Robb

Meh, I do see some. Both recognize the potential of monsters Robb tried to use the Ironborn and took under his wing the brave companion(yes Roose hired them but they're barbarity wasn't unknown) who are equal if not slightly worse to his advantage and both are known for using barbaric acts to terrorize their enemy. Did he tell them explicitly to commit such acts? No. But Tywin doesn't have to tell Tywin to torture people for information, he simply has to say get me information and Gregore would do so in the way Tywin knows he would use.  Both really see the common people being decimated for their Tywin sends the Moutain out to do what he does, and Robb was very willing to allow Gregore to rape and pillage Edmure's people for strategic gain chastize Edmure for ruining his plan. 

And sacrifice them for pride's sake.  the war practically over by the RW but would still trudge even it kills thousands more because he has to exact vegence or die trying. 

Honestly, he acted as ethically given his context. 

But not that better than Tywin excluding the RW

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@LiveFirstDieLater, couple of things... 

I don't think Tywin was ethical. I mean, I don't think that was his reasoning, only a suitable excuse he found. Happens to be factually correct - minimal loss - but ethics or being ethical or "making a tough decision for the greater good" aren't his true motivations imo.

Also, Cat released a PoW, whereas Karstark murdered two unarmed kids who were PoW.  IMO there's a world of difference. 

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1 minute ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Meh, I do see some. Both recognize the potential of monsters Robb tried to use the Ironborn and took under his wing the brave companion(yes Roose hired them but they're barbarity wasn't unknown) who are equal if not slightly worse to his advantage and both are known for using barbaric acts to terrorize their enemy. Did he tell them explicitly to commit such acts? No. But Tywin doesn't have to tell Tywin to torture people for information, he simply has to say get me information and Gregore would do so in the way Tywin knows he would use.  Both really see the common people being decimated for their Tywin sends the Moutain out to do what he does, and Robb was very willing to allow Gregore to rape and pillage Edmure's people for strategic gain chastize Edmure for ruining his plan. 

And sacrifice them for pride's sake.  the war practically over by the RW but would still trudge even it kills thousands more because he has to exact vegence or die trying. 

Honestly, he acted as ethically given his context. 

But not that better than Tywin excluding the RW

Roose? You mean that guy who plotted the RW w/ Tywin and Walder, and shoved a knife in his liege lord? Ramsay's daddy? That Roose? Okay then... :lol:

 

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21 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

@LiveFirstDieLater, couple of things... 

I don't think Tywin was ethical. I mean, I don't think that was his reasoning, only a suitable excuse he found. Happens to be factually correct - minimal loss - but ethics or being ethical or "making a tough decision for the greater good" aren't his true motivations imo.

Also, Cat released a PoW, whereas Karstark murdered two unarmed kids who were PoW.  IMO there's a world of difference. 

Cat started the war by imprissoning a man for a crime he didn’t commit. She blamed a boy for being born a bastard. Committed treason by releasing a POW, resulting in open revolt. And the list goes on... and then she comes back from the dead to blame everyone but herself!

Now I’m not trying to defend every action by Tywin either, but as far as wars go, ethics are a hard question. And it’s not totally unreasonable to see the ruthless guy who wins quickly as more ethical than the gallant noble fool.

We never get Rob or Tywin’s PoV, so I think it’s fair to debate their motives... if you think intent is even a critical part of morality or ethics.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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28 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I’m not sure this is true

I'm not sure what makes you question this. Is there something from the text I don't recall?

28 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

He intentionally married a woman after sleeping with her, breaking his word... we can romanticize it, but not justify it. It was the act of a boy not a good or ethical king.

True, I can't argue with that.

28 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Also, he won a war with minimal risk to his own men... I find this is much easier to justify. It’s not noble, but ethical? Maybe.

Yes they were, but only because he protected his treasonous mother for sentimental reasons... he used a double standard.

I can't agree here. I think @kissdbyfire 's response covers my thoughts on this aptly.

 

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18 minutes ago, Blackwater Revenant said:

I'm not sure what makes you question this. Is there something from the text I don't recall?

 
Quote

"Why . . . there were other castles . . . gold, cattle . . ."

"You think we stayed for plunder?" Robb was incredulous. "Uncle, I wanted Lord Tywin to come west."

 

Rob tries to draw out Tywin just like Tywin tries to draw out Ned but on a larger scale.

 
Quote

True, I can't argue with that.

I can't agree here. I think @kissdbyfire 's response covers my thoughts on this aptly.

 

For the record, I know I’m being difficult, and contrarian, but I think it’s an interesting comparison and a difficult question... so cheers to all and a happy new year!

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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6 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Rob tries to draw out Tywin just like Tywin tries to draw out Ned but on a larger scale.

Ah OK. I'll have to review that chapter when I get home before taking a definitive stance on this issue. But if I recall correctly, Robb is taking advantage of the unfortunate atrocities that are a reality in war, he's not the root cause of said atrocities, as was Tywin.

I guess the question is, whether being complacent to these types of acts is as immoral as willfully causing them?

6 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

For the record, I know I’m being difficult, and contrarian, but I think it’s an interesting comparison and a difficult question

Heh, if you're being difficult, I would be hard pressed to to find an adjective strong enough to describe many others on these forums. ;)

6 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

so cheers to all and a happy new year!

Right back at you. :cheers:

Edited by Blackwater Revenant

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