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Varysblackfyre321

If not Jon who?

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There really wasn't anyone else other than Jon at that point. The Northern Houses would more likely fall into chaos arguing who among them can claim the closest blood to the Starks. Moreover, as Cat pointed out, there are claimants in the Vale also -- so, the North could have looked forward to both a massive succession crisis that would draw in major houses in the Vale as well!

Jon Snow is a recognised natural son of Eddard Stark, raised at Winterfell alongside the current King in the North and now legitimised as Jon Stark by the King.

As to whether he could be freed from the Night's Watch, as we have never had any indication it has been done before, I don't think it would be all that much of an issue. Cooperation between the Lords of Winterfell and the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch has always been important, hence, why they were attempting to broker that deal to resettle the Gift by ensuring the taxes would be paid to Castle Black rather than Winterfell. Given that Stannis had wanted to free Jon from the Night's Watch, legitimise him and make him the new Lord of Winterfell, it can't be impossible.  Oaths and vows aside, I really, really wouldn't put it by the Night's Watch to "release" Jon from his vows in return for supplies, men and possibly those taxes for those new lords that could still be settled on the Gift. Essentially, "buy" Jon off of them.

Honestly, the hardest part would be getting Mr Inferiority Complex himself to go back on his vows. 

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Regarding Robb's decision and the Night's Watch:

I find it hard to believe that in 8000 years of history it has never happened that the Watch released a noble family's son from his vow in order to give back the family the last surviving son and save the noble house from extinction. For any lord, the survival of his name and his family (bloodline) is extremely important. All noble families seem to have this goal as an important priority. It must have happened before that a noble family was on the brink of extinction, but there was a third or fourth son still alive in the Night's Watch.

Wouldn't the Watch understand the need to release the son in exchange for some compensation in this special situation? The Watch would probably want to keep the goodwill of noble families in the North, and it has always been important to have their general support and to have men in the Night's Watch coming from noble families. Now and then giving up the one who has become the last surviving potential male heir of the family would probably do less harm than refusing the request and losing future noble recruits, as lords would probably think twice before letting their third or fourth sons take the black if they had a precedent where the Watch refused the request of another lord in dire need of an heir.

Besides, it is not an option that could open the door to oathbreaking right, left, and centre, since the circumstances are very special, and it is not the decision of the young man in question: Either the (head of the) family will make this request to the NW (willing to pay compensation) or the son in question will not be released.

That is exactly the situation in which Robb makes the decision to call back from the NW his only surviving (potential) male heir, who is a Stark by blood, upbringing and allegiance and can be made a Stark in name as well. It is probably not the first time such a need has arisen in the history of the North, and I guess all other lords know what their own priority would be if they had to face a similar dilemma.

Edited by Julia H.

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4 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

A Karstark is possible and much more socially, legally, and politically acceptable than Jon.  The Starks have to know that they need to bring the Karstarks back in the fold.  

This can have interesting possibilities since Karstark lands may end up with a Thenn.  It's a scandal in the making but if Stannis, Jon, and Roose are no longer in the picture the north could end up in the hands of the barbarians.  

 

Not much more acceptable at the moment. King Robb executed Rickard for treason. He knew he couldn't go there.

Besides, Karstarks are distant relatives to Starks. Jon is more acceptable, and while I agree it has quite some obstacles, he will become a King in the North.

 

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Creating a lord of the north as king, unless he is a stark with the blood of the king of winter, will cause civil war throughout the north. All lords will feel equally deserving of kingship, and also Karstarks are very distant bastard cousins of the Starks, while Jon is a son of the newest dead lord of Winterfell. 

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At Tristifer's tomb, in conversation with Cat, Robb seems sure there is some precedent for releasing Jon from his vows.He thinks exchanging 100 men for Jon should be accepatable. That this particular solution comes to mind may signal that a similar trade off has been made before. As they continue to argue, Cat allows that there would be more precedent for legitimising Jon ... but she doesn't claim there is no precedent for releasing him. (Of course she vows to oppose Robb in naming Jon, anyway.)

Off page, George says there have been cases of men being released, though rarely.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1127

And it's not only the strenghth of Jon's Stark blood that counts for Robb (though that makes him far more suitable than any distant cousin), but Robb knows he can absolutely trust that Jon would never harm, nor usurp any child Robb may leave behind.

Edited by bemused

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6 hours ago, Julia H. said:

that in 8000 years of history it has never happened that the Watch released a noble family's son from his vow in order to give back the family the last surviving son and save the noble house from extinction. For any lord, the survival of his name and his family (bloodline) is extremely important. All noble families seem to have this goal as an important priority. It must have happened before that a noble family was on the brink of extinction, but there was a third or fourth son still alive in the Night's Watch.

 I don't think if it wasn't one of the major houses of the north who was threatening to go under maybe even the Starks themselves, that someone from a noble family or connections to one would be released. The NW seems to be the way powers in the north could neutralizes a person both politically and militarily so they'd of course want this thing to not have any sort of technicality that can allow their opponents to come back. Also it makes it so that 3rd or fourth sons have an alternative to having to murder their elder or conspire against their older brothers to get some glory. Even if it benifits them sort long term they'll be hurt far more than it was worth  So I can find such concept of them having not done this  feasible. But maybe it is not the case. The records of the NW are extremely murky the father you go back to such an extent the numbers of LCs for it is in question. 

 

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40 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 So I can find such concept of them having not done this  feasible. But maybe it is not the case. The records of the NW are extremely murky the father you go back to such an extent the numbers of LCs for it is in question. 

Yet in the text (as per my post above) Robb and even Cat seem to have an awareness that such a case ,or cases have been known to occur in the past.

And George's very general confirmation .. http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1127  .. to a fairly specific question probably hints at an example yet to be revealed.

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11 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

But while the dismissal of a Kingsguard by the king can fall into a legal grey area, the dismal of a brother from the NW cannot, the high command of the watch or lord commander can't just release a brother from his oaths, they don't have that authority.

We don't know this to be the case. It may be unlikely for men who have been sentenced to the watch for a crime, but for men like Jon, who volunteered, it may be much less unlikely. Cersei seems sure she can send men to the NW to do her bidding and bring them back at will. 

Edited by bemused

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Probably Jon... Or he named Benjen Stark his heir on the condition he marry a daughter of the Riverlands. With Ned dead Catelyn agreed to a Benjen betrothal. That way their children will be as close as possible to having Robb's exact Stark/Tully blood. More importantly though, it will mean that Cat was betrothed to all of Rickard Stark's sons at one point, I feel like thats really important for some reason.

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5 hours ago, bemused said:

We don't know this to be the case. It may be unlikely for men who have been sentenced to the watch for a crime, but for men like Jon, who volunteered, it may be much less unlikely. Cersei seems sure she can send men to the NW to do her bidding and bring them back at will. 

Every brother volunteered. No one can be automatically sent to the watch as the punishment, it can only really be offered as an out of a punishment.

Robb is using Barristan's dismal as precedent and neither he or Cat really hint of knowing other precedents.

But you make a valid point.

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8 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 I don't think if it wasn't one of the major houses of the north who was threatening to go under maybe even the Starks themselves, that someone from a noble family or connections to one would be released.

I agree that it is more likely that this exception would be made for the sake of a major house. Whether it's only for the Starks themselves ... I wouldn't be surprised if the Karstarks, Umbers, Boltons or the Mormonts could also ask for a similar favour. In any case, right now it's House Stark, the most likely House to be able to negotiate the deal, which wants to get back a son from the NW.

8 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

The NW seems to be the way powers in the north could neutralizes a person both politically and militarily so they'd of course want this thing to not have any sort of technicality that can allow their opponents to come back. Also it makes it so that 3rd or fourth sons have an alternative to having to murder their elder or conspire against their older brothers to get some glory. Even if it benifits them sort long term they'll be hurt far more than it was worth  

 

Whose opponents? I think the deal would be possible if the person did not have to go to the Wall to avoid punishment but chose to take the black completely voluntarily, as did Jon. In some cases, a boy may be forced to join by the head of his House, as Sam was forced by his father. Would that father / uncle / whoever / change his mind about the boy after losing all other possible heirs and would he ask the NW to release him? Who knows? It would still be at the discretion of the person in charge in the family to call back the son in question - if the boy was considered a troublemaker and not suitable to continue the family, then that was it. I'm not suggesting that anyone was automatically released by the Watch or that families absolutely had to call back the last surviving son.

Besides, the extinction of the family is not a "technicality". I'm speaking about an extreme situtation where there is no other direct family member alive to continue the family. (If the chosen heir is a distant cousin or someone who is related to the family by marriage, then the family in question will still become extinct, as another family will inherit their castle and estate and title.) In Westeros, one of the major duties of a lord is to ensure the continuation of his family and to secure an heir to inherit his lands and his castle. Third and fourth sons leave the family because the family estate can't be divided, so they need to have some other occupation. But with wars and epidemics, bad winters and the possibility of major accidents (like a fire), large families can be wiped out within a short time, and that could be a moment when the current head of the family - who still has it as his duty to find an heir - legitimizes a surviving bastard son, tries to locate a sellsword son in Essos or perhaps calls back a son from the NW (and let's face it, finding a son on the Wall is easier than finding one who is travelling far and wide, serving various lords) rather than leave everything to a distant cousin or brother-in-law with a different name.  

I don't see how the release of a last surviving family member would hurt the NW - the precedent would apply to a well-defined situaton only, which would apply to a boy now and then - perhaps there would be more cases after a major war, but not enough to seriously affect the number of the black brothers, especially if they received some compensation. On the other hand, it would strengthen the ties between the noble houses and the Watch, as the families could be sure that in a similar situation they could get their sons back; whereas if they knew it was impossible, they might want to find some alternative opportunities for their third and fourth sons. In other words, this alternative would remain open to third or fourth sons better if lords knew that the decision could be changed for the sake of the family's survival, which is a major concern for noble houses in this society.  

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Every brother volunteered. No one can be automatically sent to the watch as the punishment, it can only really be offered as an out of a punishment.

Robb is using Barristan's dismal as precedent and neither he or Cat really hint of knowing other precedents.

But you make a valid point.

Well, there is a difference between different volunteers then. Let's say if the boy in question volunteered to go to the Wall in order to avoid punishment, the option of being released for the survival of the family may not be possible - because if he was released, he would have to accept the original punishment, which would probably be death, so it would be no good for the family. Those who did not face punishment before joining the NW would still be a different case. 

It is true that no precedents are mentioned in the book. However, Robb had his will signed by a number of lords, and none of them objected to the contents of the will - to me that seems to indicate that they thought it was feasible. The only person who brought up the NW as a problem was Catelyn, who did not have the education of a Northern lord and who had strong personal objections to Jon, as we know. 

It isn't exactly spelt out for us, but there are a number of facts that make the existence of precedents likely:

- the paramount importance attached to the continuation of noble families and to having an heir everywhere in Westeros

- the rather high mortality rate among young people and the existence of various circumstances (wars, etc.) that may easily endanger a family's survival

- 8000 years of history with very little changes in the organization of society (what can possibly happen that has not happened before?)

- Robb considered the idea feasible, and he also seemed to know that he would be expected to pay ample compensation

- we know that Robb had studied history and the culture of the North, with special focus on what a Lord of Winterfell had to know

- the lords who signed Robb's will did not protest

- the NW offers or at least used to offer an honourable occupation (if not exactly glory) for the third and fourth sons of noble families, so it logically makes sense that when the extra son becomes the only son, the Watch will understand the family's need to get him back (in exchange for generous compensation) 

- a general need for cooperation and good relations between the major (Northern) houses and the NW.

Edited by Julia H.

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10 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Whose opponents

The Stark's, the Stark's  more loyal vassals. In the wo5k basically show the exact situation where a Stark could use the NW to his advantage;with Robb being able to retain both the Karstark support and sense of honor by giving lord Karstark the option.

 

15 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

I don't see how the release of a last surviving family member would hurt the NW - the precedent would apply to a well-defined situaton only, which would apply to a boy now and then - perhaps there would be more cases after a major war, but not enough to seriously affect the number of the black brothers, especially if they received some compensation

It destroys the idea of a person being completely pacified and is a slippery slope create this exception, what's to stop the watch or the north for moving the goalpost making more exceptions. 

 

21 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

not enough to seriously affect the number of the black brothers, especially if they received some compensation. On the other hand, it would strengthen the ties between the noble houses and the Watch, as the families could be sure that in a similar situation they could get their sons back; whereas if they knew it was

Yeah for the majority it won't put much a dent but for its leadership yes, the high command currently is largely made of people sent there with the intention of making them no longer a threat. If they can get out of their others monarchs aren't going to send their enemies who've the unique skills the watch looks for. 

26 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Besides, the extinction of the family is not a "technicality". I'm speaking about an extreme situtation where there is no other direct family member alive to continue the family. (If the chosen heir is a distant cousin

The oaths make very clear they for shake any allegiance to their family, it is simply not their obligation. I mean how many family's do you imagine the common born are in threat of going extinct?  The watch shows obvious favoritism to the nobles as it is releasing them from the vows they each swore w

 

ould greatly increase tension.

Also Robb wasn't really faced with extinction. He could have bent the knee and spared his life and his son's Sansa pressumbaly would sire a son, yes these things aren't appealing to Robb but still he's not asking for Jon to be released from his vows because his family would certainly die off without. 

37 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

ell, there is a difference between different volunteers then. Let's say if the boy in question volunteered to go to the Wall in order to avoid punishment, the option of being released for the survival of the family may not be possible - because if he was released, he would have to accept the original punishment, which would probably be death, so it would be no good for the family. Those who did not face punishment before joining the NW would still be a different case. 

Completely disagree. If anything those who'd been threatened with something else had they not joined the watch once pardoned from their crime(as they would be before being released), should have greater consideration for being released than a man who'd sighned up with no major external pressures.

 

41 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

However, Robb had his will signed by a number of lords, and none of them objected to the contents of the will - to me that seems to indicate that they thought it was feasible. The only person who brought up the NW as a problem was Catelyn, who did not have the education of a Northern lord and who had strong personal objections to Jon, as we know. 

 two lords witnessed in Robb's army and one of them was his very beloved family friend, of course they'd go along with it and even if they had any objection they would have they know Robb would ignore so why bring them up?

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39 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 two lords witnessed in Robb's army and one of them was his very beloved family friend, of course they'd go along with it and even if they had any objection they would have they know Robb would ignore so why bring them up?

Five: Umber, Mormont, Glover, Mallister and Edmure. 

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24 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

The Stark's, the Stark's  more loyal vassals. In the wo5k basically show the exact situation where a Stark could use the NW to his advantage;with Robb being able to retain both the Karstark support and sense of honor by giving lord Karstark the option.

 

I confess I don't see what your argument is here.

25 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

It destroys the idea of a person being completely pacified and is a slippery slope create this exception, what's to stop the watch or the north for moving the goalpost making more exceptions. 

That's true, but I don't think there would be a great demand for moving the goalpost - there is usually a reason why the son is sent to the Watch, getting him back into the family would usually be problematic, so why would the families ask for it unless it is to prevent the worst? On the other hand, the existence of exceptions is part of human nature. The rules in theory may be absolute, not allowing for any exception, but it's highly unlikely that practice will always follow those rules - especially for thousands of years!  The NW would be a very exceptional phenomenon if it truly never allowed for any exceptions. 

35 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Yeah for the majority it won't put much a dent but for its leadership yes, the high command currently is largely made of people sent there with the intention of making them no longer a threat. If they can get out of their others monarchs aren't going to send their enemies who've the unique skills the watch looks for. 

The oaths make very clear they for shake any allegiance to their family, it is simply not their obligation. I mean how many family's do you imagine the common born are in threat of going extinct?  The watch shows obvious favoritism to the nobles as it is releasing them from the vows they each swore w

 

ould greatly increase tension.

I suppose if the man in question is considered to be an enemy of the current king, and the king has real political influence, then the man will not be released. I'm pretty sure if there are precedents for the release of a man from the NW on the grounds that he is the last surviving male member of an important family, it is equally likely that there are precedents for such a request being refused. In this case, as always, a lot would depend on the interest and influence of various parties involved. 

Yes, the Watch shows obvious favouritism towards important noble families if they release their sons but not the sons of common families. The Watch shows obvious favouritism towards the sons of noble families in other ways as well - that's about the first thing we learn about the Watch in the Prologue of the first book. Also, why do you think Bowen Marsh and others object to Satin being promoted to the Lord Commander's steward? Because the Watch is an equal opportunity institution? Well, it's not. What is more, it doesn't even surprise the common folk in the Watch, because that's the situation in the whole society. No one cares when a common family becomes extinct. It is only a concern of the nobility. There are many other things that can create tension among various members of the NW, the occasional release of a scion of an important family for a reason generally considered important and in exchange for compensation that may benefit the whole Watch is one of the least significant ones. 

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Also Robb wasn't really faced with extinction. He could have bent the knee and spared his life and his son's Sansa pressumbaly would sire a son, yes these things aren't appealing to Robb but still he's not asking for Jon to be released from his vows because his family would certainly die off without. 

Robb didn't have a son. The whole question of inheritance was relevant in case he died childless. He obviously wanted his son to inherit after him, he chose Jon as his heir apparent only while he had no children. 

Sansa at this point was a Lannister by marriage. Her children by Tyrion would be Lannisters. That doesn't count as the continuation of House Stark. More importantly, Sansa was married to the enemy, and Robb decided to disinherit her - it was his right as the head of the family. No lord in that world would voluntarily leave his title and estate to a family he is at war with. Once Sansa was disinherited, she did not count when it came to inheritance. That's the point of disinheriting someone.

It is not a question of what was appealing to Robb. He was a king and he had to provide an heir for his country. 

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Completely disagree. If anything those who'd been threatened with something else had they not joined the watch once pardoned from their crime(as they would be before being released), should have greater consideration for being released than a man who'd sighned up with no major external pressures.

 

Well, that's your personal opinion. Mine happens to be different. We don't know what the people of Westeros would think of that. Would they really think that, in an exceptional situation, someone who ended up on the Wall as a result of criminal activity should sooner be released than someone who joined for completely honourable reasons? 

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

 two lords witnessed in Robb's army and one of them was his very beloved family friend, of course they'd go along with it and even if they had any objection they would have they know Robb would ignore so why bring them up?

Maybe to warn a dear friend that what he was planning would not work? Robb gave a speech in which he emphasized that he wanted to create an unambiguous situation in case he died childless. His lords seemed to accept his choice without objections. It was war, Robb was their king, and a king needs an heir, in wartime even more than in peace. I don't find it surprising that they agreed that this was the time to make an exception - not in order to show favouritism towards a single member of the NW (who may or may not want to be released) but in the interest of their whole country, the North. 

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53 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

confess I don't see what your argument is here.

You asked whose opponents would be sent to the watch. I gave you the answer the monarchy's and their most loyal lords. 

 

53 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

I suppose if the man in question is considered to be an enemy of the current king, and the king has real political influence, then the man will not be released

If the idea of the watch neutralizing them isn't iron clad why would they give the option to go to the watch in the first place.

53 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Robb didn't have a son. The whole question of inheritance was relevant in case he died childless. He obviously wanted his son to inherit after him, he chose Jon as his heir apparent only while he had no children. 

Still could bend the knee to avoid that risk and his wife had become pregnant, so yes he had viable alternatives.

 

53 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

someone who ended up on the Wall as a result of criminal activity should sooner be released than someone who joined for completely honourable reasons? 

Why should someone who was are tasked with either  death(let's say generous and say he had refused to the king) mutilation be shown less consideration for being released than someone who hadn't? You can make a case the former didn't have really any real viable option but to say yes but for the latter the man knew the requirements for the job and said accepted, he did not say unless x scenario happened, he said for life and is now skirting his duty he absolutely wanted and said he was ready for because it's now become inconvient.

 

53 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Maybe to warn a dear friend that what he was planning would not work? Robb gave a speech in which he emphasized that he wanted to create an unambiguous situation in case he died childless.

Or they figured even if it wasn't legal Jon was their bet as well and thought Jon's plan was plausible? Like honestly, those rare instances were not the basis for Robb's plan so it appears even he doesn't know about them, it's doudtful these guys do hell 

 

Jon himself never gives idea he's aware of such a thing to have happened when he's asked by Stannis to leave the brotherhood

 

53 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

the Watch in the Prologue of the first book. Also, why do you think Bowen Marsh and others object to Satin being promoted to the Lord Commander's steward? Because the Watch is an equal opportunity institution? Well, it's not

I didn't said it was l said it'd dramatically increase tensions because theyStill they at the very least try to give basic facade of equality, hence the election of LC(which will always be of the upper crust of society), but allowing an elite to violate his oaths to go to his family is too far.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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36 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

You asked whose opponents would be sent to the watch. I gave you the answer the monarchy's and their most loyal lords. 

Fine. I still don't see the relevance to the main point of our discussion, but it's probably not important.

37 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

If the idea of the watch neutralizing them isn't iron clad why would they give the option to go to the watch in the first place.

Because it's still the best option there is? Supposing they don't want to kill them, of course. Once again, the principle that those who ended up on the Wall as an alternative punishment (for example, for treason) cannot be released would take care of this problem.

41 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Still could bend the knee to avoid that risk and his wife had become pregnant, so yes he had viable alternatives.

Which book are you talking about? As far as Robb knew and as far as we know now, Robb's wife did not become pregnant. That was precisely the problem that worried him.

Bending the knee might (perhaps) solve a family problem (though I think Cersei and Tywin would prefer to put an end to the Starks once and for all, if not openly then secretly; besides it would have been very difficult to trust the promises of the Lannisters after what happened to Eddard), but it certainly wouldn't solve the problem of Robb's country. Northerners chose independence and Robb was elected King in an independent North. It was his duty to preserve this independence. 

43 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Why should someone who was are tasked with either  death(let's say generous and say he had refused to the king) mutilation be shown less consideration for being released than someone who hadn't? You can make a case the former didn't have really any real viable option but to say yes but for the latter the man knew the requirements for the job and said accepted, he did not say unless x scenario happened, he said for life and is now skirting his duty he absolutely wanted and said he was ready for because it's now become inconvient.

 

Why should they? For security reasons. You keep complaining that releasing a man in the (relatively rare) case that a major house is threatened with extinction would undermine the function of the Watch as a safe deposit of men who represent danger to the ruling king. Well, the solution is easy. Those who went there to avoid punishment will have to stay there, no matter what.

Someone who joined the NW voluntarily probably doesn't represent any security risk to society, that's why his release could be seen as more acceptable, and it wouldn't undermine the Watch as a convenient place to get rid of criminals.. Fairness towards the individual doesn't come into it at all, the whole idea is not about the individual. On a side note though, are you really sure that there could only be two reasons why someone would take the black - either to avoid punishment or because the person absolutely wanted  that life and that vow? How about those who were forced by economic need or by their older family members (who got rid of a possible burden in this way)? 

I'm not talking about someone's choice becoming "inconvenient" (which would mean, for example, that he finds it too cold on the Wall or falls in love with a girl and wants to get married), I'm talking about a need that is seen as having primary importance in this society. It would not be the NW member who could ask to be released (because his vow had suddenly become "inconvenient"). It would be the head of his House claiming him back so he could perform a different duty.

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Or they figured even if it wasn't legal Jon was their bet as well and thought Jon's plan was plausible? Like honestly, those rare instances were not the basis for Robb's plan so it appears even he doesn't know about them, it's doudtful these guys do hell 

Jon's plan???

But yes, it is also possible that they simply agreed with Robb that Jon was the best option, and that securing the future of the North was a good enough reason to bend a rule for. They may not have known of any precedents. But it is still likely that a similar situation has occurred before. Given the fact that quite a few families have survived over hundreds and even thousands of years in the same place where their distant ancestors lived, it is likely that lords have always gone to great lengths to preserve their bloodlines and their names. 

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Jon himself never gives idea he's aware of such a thing to have happened when he's asked by Stannis to leave the brotherhood

No, Jon doesn't. Given his guilt about even having desired to be a legitimate Stark, it is understandable. Besides, Stannis making him Lord Stark in exchange for Jon denying his father's gods is a totally different situation. I'm sure the idea that Robb legitimized him and chose him to be his heir would have made a different impression on him. 

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I didn't said it was l said it'd dramatically increase tensions because theyStill they at the very least try to give basic facade of equality, hence the election of LC(which will always be of the upper crust of society), but allowing an elite to violate his oaths to go to his family is too far.

Dramatically? I don't think so. It wouldn't happen regularly, only occasionally, and when it happens, it is likely to happen after a major crisis, like after a war or a major epidemic. It is not necessarily the time when the average peasant boy would want to move back home from the NW - the old farm may not exist any more, and in the Watch he finds relative security. At the same time, the average criminal knows why he is there and why he couldn't leave. If the Watch is given compensation, for example, a large amount of food during a harsh winter or more weapons during a war, they may not mind it very much that a lord's son has left them. In addition, the new lord might show more goodwill towards the Watch than his fathers did because of his experience with the black brothers. Different outcomes are possible if such a thing happens. The black brothers would get over this sort of injustice as they get over other kinds of injustice, and if they don't, well, their contentment is not the first priority in Westeros. 

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2 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Because it's still the best option there is? Supposing they don't want to kill them, of course. Once again, the principle that those who ended up on the Wall as an alternative punishment (for example, for treason) cannot be released would take care of this problem.

Not necessarily. They can be detained indefinitely, the NW however is a more appealing alternative.

n doesn't. Given his guilt about even having desired to be a legitimate Stark, it is understandable. Besides, Stannis making him Lord Stark in exchange for Jon denying his father's gods is a totally different situation. I'm sure the idea that Robb legitimized him and chose him to be his heir would have made a different impression on

 

I withdraw my citation of Jon's ignorance  to prove my point. He isnt the resident NW historian, hell he honestly came into the NW not even knowing just who make up the bulk of its membership. There really is no reason for him to have known of such cases..

2 hours ago, Julia H. said:

But yes, it is also possible that they simply agreed with Robb that Jon was the best option, and that securing the future of the North was a good enough reason to bend a rule for. They may not have known of any precedents. But it is still likely that a similar situation has occurred before. Given the fact that quite a few families have survived over hundreds and even thousands of years in the same place where their distant ancestors lived, it is likely that lords have always gone to great lengths to preserve their bloodlines and their names. 

We know such things have occurred before, sure. Truth be told I don't even think Robb cared much for precedent, he was going to name Jon his heir no matter what.

 

2 hours ago, Julia H. said:

t talking about someone's choice becoming "inconvenient" (which would mean, for example, that he finds it too cold on the Wall or falls in love with a girl and wants to get married), I'm talking about a need that is seen as having primary importance in this society. It would not be the NW member who could ask to be released (because his vow had suddenly become "inconvenient"). It would be the head of his House claiming him back so he could perform a different duty.

4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

If a house dies out, its responsibilities and land can simply be delegated by the king to another. The problem that could come from a house going extinct coul

 

2 hours ago, Julia H. said:

ramatically? I don't think so. It wouldn't happen regularly, only occasionally, and when it happens, it is likely to happen after a major crisis, like after a war or a major epidemic. It is not necessarily the time when the average peasant boy would want to move back home from the NW - the old farm may not exist any more, and in the Watch he finds relative security. At the same time, the average criminal knows why he is there and why he couldn't leave. If the Watch is given compensation, for example, a large amount of food during a harsh winter or more weapons during a war, they may not mind it very much that a lord's son has left them. In addition, the new lord might show more goodwill towards the Watch than his fathers did because of his experience with the black brothers. Different outcomes are possible if such a thing happens. The black brothers would get over this sort of injustice as they get over other kinds of injustice, and if they don't, well, their contentment is not the first priority in Westeros. 

You make a persuasive case. I'll have to truly think this over before responding to it. I have to say I appreciate the discussion

 

2 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Which book are you talking about? As far as Robb knew and as far as we know now, Robb's wife did not become pregnant. That was precisely the problem that wor

Meant could* 

 

2 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Bending the knee might (perhaps) solve a family problem (though I think Cersei and Tywin would prefer to put an end to the Starks once and for all, if not openly then secretly; besides it would have been very difficult to trust the promises of the Lannisters after what happened to Eddard), but it certainly wouldn't solve the problem of Robb's country. Northerners chose independence and Robb was elected King in an independent North. It was his duty to preserve this independence. 

It's his duty to do what it is best for his people, the lords who chose him to fight this ego-centric and revenge fueled war may have their pride hurt just as the last stark king Submitted to the dragon Robb could have submitted to the lion, at this point nearly all hope of actually winning this war was lost

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I feel this thread may come across as me trying to lambast Robb just because Robb to some having seen my other thoughts regarding the Starks and those involved with them. That's not really my intent. I made this thread because I had previously defended Catelyn's Stark protest of Robb, but thinking of her reasoning I've come to realize it was faulty while Robb is not perfect I don't think he made the wrong call in naming Jon as his heir. I was simply trying to see if there really was in any justification for Catelyn's worry of choosing Jon out of anyone.

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