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Sourjapes

Narrative Wise, Did Robb Need to be a King?

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Robb was the KitN though. He didn't have the support of a town or city, he had the support from the entire North and Riverlands. That is quite a hefty chunk of real estate. They stopped paying taxes to Kings Landing and had begun minting their own coin (Manderly in ACoK), they had their own Army and Navy (building a fleet, again Manderly in ACoK).

As Varys says, "Power lies where people believe it lies." or something along that line. :)

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4 minutes ago, ResidentHi11 said:

Robb was the KitN though. He didn't have the support of a town or city, he had the support from the entire North and Riverlands. That is quite a hefty chunk of real estate. They stopped paying taxes to Kings Landing and had begun minting their own coin (Manderly in ACoK), they had their own Army and Navy (building a fleet, again Manderly in ACoK).

As Varys says, "Power lies where people believe it lies." or something along that line. :)

What they believe doesn't make a difference because they cannot make him king of lands that belongs to the iron throne.  Now, what they can do is to migrate to the other side of the wall, eradicate the free folk, and then declare Robb Stark the king-beyond-the-wall.  Or they can do what others have already alluded to, win their War for Independence first, and then they can choose him as their king.  

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21 hours ago, Sourjapes said:

Think about it. Why not just have Robb declare for Stannis as his father did. He then coordinates his campaign with Stannis, planning to draw Tywin west and leave King's Landing exposed. He meets Jeyne Westerling and breaks his vow to Walder Frey. He loses the Karstarks and Edmure goofs up his strategy, keeping Tywin in the Riverlands. Thus Stannis' assault on Kings Landing fails and a while after that Robb and his army are slaughtered at the Red Wedding.

Narrative wise I see the only thing changing being that once Stannis goes North he has an easier time rallying Northerners to his cause since Robb had declared for him. I don't think it would tip the scales that much though since most of the Stark loyalists have few men anyway and the River Lords are totally defeated and subjugated.

Upon close examination, Robb was summoned to King's Landing.  Instead of coming unarmed, he chose to call his banners and ride south.  The Lannisters executes Ned, after he admits to treason.  Robb decided it's no longer just about the Riverlands but he has to avenge dad.  It was no longer a family feud between the Lannisters and the Starks.  We need to understand the distinction, because Robb vs. Tywin is a family feud.  Robb vs. Joffrey is rebellion.  Avenging dad meant taking down the king.  A victory by Robb Stark will lead to an independent north.  Why in hell would Stannis agree to let Robb carve out 40% of the kingdom's land mass?  It's unreasonable.  

Can a team of Robb and Stannis win against the Lannisters?  If it were just against the Lannisters, yes.  But let's think about how the other kingdoms would feel about Stannis on the throne.  They already don't like it.  They will like it even less if Robb Stark carves out half of the kingdom and claim it for his own.  I still see the Tyrells aligning with the Lannisters in this hypothetical scenario.  It seems to me, the richer parts of the kingdom are not keen to separate while the poorer parts like the north want independence.   

 

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44 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

What they believe doesn't make a difference because they cannot make him king of lands that belongs to the iron throne.  Now, what they can do is to migrate to the other side of the wall, eradicate the free folk, and then declare Robb Stark the king-beyond-the-wall.  Or they can do what others have already alluded to, win their War for Independence first, and then they can choose him as their king.  

This is a bit of semantics surely? Nations "declare" themselves independent all the time, then fight for it, and if they win they become independent in fact as well as in name. Similarly, in Westros, people "declare" themselves king, then fight for it, and if they win they are actually king.

Was Robb king when he was crowned, or not at all because he lost? It depends whether you believed him to be king or not. His supporters called him king, other kings' supporters didn't.

Any argument beyond that, I'm afraid, comes across a little bit obtuse. 

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On 3/19/2018 at 2:55 PM, Sourjapes said:

Think about it. Why not just have Robb declare for Stannis as his father did. He then coordinates his campaign with Stannis, planning to draw Tywin west and leave King's Landing exposed. He meets Jeyne Westerling and breaks his vow to Walder Frey. He loses the Karstarks and Edmure goofs up his strategy, keeping Tywin in the Riverlands. Thus Stannis' assault on Kings Landing fails and a while after that Robb and his army are slaughtered at the Red Wedding.

Narrative wise I see the only thing changing being that once Stannis goes North he has an easier time rallying Northerners to his cause since Robb had declared for him. I don't think it would tip the scales that much though since most of the Stark loyalists have few men anyway and the River Lords are totally defeated and subjugated.

1. Eddard declared for Joffrey before dying, not Stannis.

2. Robb doesn't have any that Stannis is the rightful heir, as far as everyone is concerned, Joffrey is legit.

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I'm under the impression Robb himself would have never declared himself king if Greatjon(the treasonous dishonorable thrill seeker he is), hadn't put the boy on the spot with his talk of how the north should be independent due to their unique culture and to the fact the Targayens are gone.  

His initial aims were to overthrow Joffery and place Tommen on the throne.

He did not wish to violate the line of succession so he was hesitant to ally with Stannis(who has no proof for any of his claims regarding the illlegitimacy of the children of Cersi), or Renly.

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Well, Robb did not go South to become King, he went to relieve the Riverlands and force the Lannisters to free his Father and Sisters. That's it. After stuff happened, his Bannermen got angry and proclaimed him King, he really should have refused but he did not for whatever reason. We weren't in his head. He was toast after that, literally nobody who would end up on the Iron Throne would support that shit.

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29 minutes ago, Whitering said:

After stuff happened, his Bannermen got angry and proclaimed him King, he really should have refused but he did not for whatever reason.

I agree, but how could he have refused the "offer" made by this bunch of stubborn loudmouths? It would have been taken for a mark of weakness, a lack of scale and scope, etc.

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Using his booming voice, NO, we must support the Rightful King Stannis, as per the treaty made by King Torrhen and our obligation to House Baratheon or something, but he did not. He didn't really find his backbone until they named him King.

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14 minutes ago, Nowy Tends said:

I agree, but how could he have refused the "offer" made by this bunch of stubborn loudmouths? It would have been taken for a mark of weakness, a lack of scale and scope, etc.

Yes, the action would be viewed of being weak by at least some of his bannerman. Odds are there'd be noble Northmen that would bitterly mutter on how he'd passed stayed true the iron throne. But, would he lose the north  by doing so? I don't know. Upon pondrance Ive come to the feeling GreatJon's proposal could have been seen as a better revenge for Robb; the lanisters took his father perhaps now he's taking two kingdoms in turn. 

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4 minutes ago, Whitering said:

Using his booming voice, NO, we must support the Rightful King Stannis, as per the treaty made by King Torrhen and our obligation to House Baratheon or something, but he did not. He didn't really find his backbone until they named him King.

Stannis is just an evil uncle trying to steal his nephew's throne for all Robb knows.

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59 minutes ago, Nowy Tends said:

I agree, but how could he have refused the "offer" made by this bunch of stubborn loudmouths? It would have been taken for a mark of weakness, a lack of scale and scope, etc.

He was able to tell the same people 'no' when they offered to support Stannis, Renly and even Joffrey. That chapter had many examples of Robb being able to tell the people in that room no. 

And it is not like there was even that many Northern Lords present.

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Setting aside the very good question of whether Robb was actually a king or not, let's address the question of why he would allow the Greatjon to even go on that speech.  Robb took his men away from their wives and children.  Some were homesick and want to go back home.  He was going to go along with whatever strengthen their loyalties to him.  So if they want to make him king, he would go along with it.  The bannermen were caught up in the moment.  It was emotional rather than logical.  

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On 19/03/2018 at 6:55 PM, Sourjapes said:

Think about it. Why not just have Robb declare for Stannis as his father did. He then coordinates his campaign with Stannis, planning to draw Tywin west and leave King's Landing exposed. He meets Jeyne Westerling and breaks his vow to Walder Frey. He loses the Karstarks and Edmure goofs up his strategy, keeping Tywin in the Riverlands. Thus Stannis' assault on Kings Landing fails and a while after that Robb and his army are slaughtered at the Red Wedding.

Narrative wise I see the only thing changing being that once Stannis goes North he has an easier time rallying Northerners to his cause since Robb had declared for him. I don't think it would tip the scales that much though since most of the Stark loyalists have few men anyway and the River Lords are totally defeated and subjugated.

From Robb's perspective, he'd have gone from asking his men to fight for him to asking them to fight for Stannis, who as far as he was aware was not the rightful King. Fighting for justice is one thing but fighting to put the wrong man on the Throne? Robert at least had the appeal that he was raised with Ned and promised to Lyanna, before Rhaegar "kidnapped" her but Stannis?

Secondly, it would've been a massive change to Stannis' story. The guy believes he is the rightful King and the promised saviour of the realm and the fact that no one recognises his claim is what makes him take desperate measures and come close to true evil. Would he have turned to dark frigging magic if the North backed his claim? Or would it have emboldened him to try and win without it?

It would also change Stannis current situation. The whole point is that he's fighting for people who turned on him, just because it's the right thing to do. It wouldn't be the same if he's just fighting for his subjects.

Oh, and then there's the knock on effect of Theon, whose desire to be "Prince of Winterfell" played a huge part in his actions and even Walder: Edmure was a poor substitute for a King but a Lord Paramount? I'd also question whether Robb would lose the Karstarks? A lot of crucial decisions would've been made by Stannis, not Robb and I really don't see him sparing Jaime.

Hell, would Robb have even been in a position to be honey-potted by the Westerlings? Stannis had hardly any troops pre-Shadow Baby and he might well have figured hooking up with his only significant allies and taking command was the best option.

So, yes, I think it would've changed everything.

On 19/03/2018 at 10:09 PM, Allardyce said:

They have to win their independence and the Iron Throne has to surrender and recognize their independence before they can be independent.  You're putting the cart before the horse if you think Robb was the king of the north.  If we're being very generous, Robb was at best, a candidate.  He was nominated before he lost.  He tried and he did not succeed.  It's that simple.

That's not what the books say. If GRRM refers to him as The King in the North in the appendix then I'm good with that.

I'm not sure where you're getting those rules from either.

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Declaring Robb the King in the North was one thing, but declaring him the King of the North and King of the Trident was a death sentence. The Riverlands are simply to hard to defend with the armies he had left at that point. Robb would have needed the Vale and Iron Born to join his cause just to have a chance. Though even if he wasn't declared King by the North and Riverlands he most likely would have still been compelled to keep fighting for his Tully family, so maybe he was screwed either way.

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3 hours ago, UnFit Finlay said:

That's not what the books say. If GRRM refers to him as The King in the North in the appendix then I'm good with that.

GRRM also called Viserys the Beggar King and considered him king.  By your logic, Robert was no king.   

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In my opinion, Robb was not a king.  But for the sake of this debate, let us say that the north was temporarily its own kingdom and had the right to make a king.  Does it matter?  Hell no.  Because Robb and the North got their asses handed to them by the Lannisters (with help from the Freys, Bolton, and others).  I know why this is a hotly debated topic.  It's because of that supposed damn letter that probably legitimized Jon and gave him Winterfell.  I for one believe that letter is worth less than a used Kleenex.  Robb's will is worthless.  Roose Bolton won't respect Robb's wish.  The Lannisters sure as hell won't.  The north is not independent.  Robb's will has no legality no matter how those idiots who supported Robb feel.  

Robb is not Ned and Stannis is not Robert.  They're not best friends.  Just because Ned and Robert were friends does not make Robb and Stannis friends.  Stannis is the unbending type.  Robb can't be trusted to keep his word.  They could have done well as a team because it may encourage Lyssa to join in.  Stark, Baratheon, Tully, and Arryn vs. Lannister, Tyrell, and Greyjoy.  It's an even match.  Dorne will sit this one out. 

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On 3/19/2018 at 5:04 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

why do you want to rewrite the story? 

I enjoy thinking of ways it could have been done differently. Most especially in light of GRRM's  choice to greatly expand the story after "A Storm of Swords", though that's not really what this is. It was just an idle thought that ocurred to me. Others made an argument about it being necessary because it is ironic since Ned declared for Stannis.However in my opinion that doesn't really make sense because there is no pay-off for that; Robb wasn't killed by Stannis. Maybe if he'd been slain by a shadow I would believe that but it appears clear to me that his fate was sealed by events and choices far beyond anything Stannis did aside from lose at the Blackwater.

On 3/19/2018 at 8:54 PM, chrisdaw said:

Yes Robb needed to be king so he could make a will leaving the North to Jon, so Jon can legitimately be KITN, that is the whole point and pay off. Stannis declaring so late and thus Robb not declaring for him is an unnatural plot contrivance, perhaps the biggest in the story, and it was done because Jon, King of Winter, is coming.

Hmm, that's not a bad point, assuming Jon will be King of the North, anyway. I don't really see why that would be a political necessity though I see the dramatic appeal. Personally, if I were a northman, I'd just want an end to the fighting. Winter is come, let the wars wait until spring. If it ever comes.

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17 hours ago, Unacosamedarisa said:

Another narrative reason, is that by being declared King in the North, and accepting the title, Robb is put in opposition to Stannis... Stannis won't accept Robb trying to "steal half his Kingdom", and thus no alliance can be made between the two factions. Catelyn, I think, puts this on the page around the time she meets Stannis and Renly for the parley... She realises that, should Stannis defeat the Lannisters with his newfound strength and secure King's Landing, he would come for Robb after that. 

Also, the King's Blood and leeches that Stannis burned really wouldn't have had the same poetry to it if the 3 "targets" weren't all Kings. 

And there's the whole burden of being a King thing that Robb goes through. Along with the idea that, unlike the other Kings who declare themselves King and expect their rightful support, Robb is declared King by his vassals... He never intended to make himself a King, but once he's pushed into that position, he tries to do his best in it. 

Finally, "the War of the Four Kings and the Rebelling Lord Paramount" doesn't have a good ring to it. 

Your first paragraph is pointless because Stannis doesn't win and nothing Robb's army does winds up having any benefit for Stannis. He fails to draw Tywin into the west anyway. I too appreciated the difficult diplomatic situation but I question if that was the best way to do it. In hindsight, maybe it would have been a bigger punch to the gut if Robb made the natural alliance with Stannis and then after that roughly the seem events play out as I outlined in my beginning post. The leeches? Who cares? It had little affect unless you are very superstitious. Joffrey, Balon, Robb, they each died of very explainable causes that were the natural result of the choices they made, the lives they'd lived. You could cut that entire leech scene out of the story, I say.

 

Being a king is hard and so is being a lord paramount during war time where you have to fight on multiple fronts and everything you love is at risk. As for the name of the war, "The War of Four Kings" sounds just fine.

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2 hours ago, Sourjapes said:

Hmm, that's not a bad point, assuming Jon will be King of the North, anyway. I don't really see why that would be a political necessity though I see the dramatic appeal. Personally, if I were a northman, I'd just want an end to the fighting. Winter is come, let the wars wait until spring. If it ever comes.

The North will not be able to beat the Others by themselves, they will need the south, and if the south won't voluntarily come to their aid (which they won't), then someone is going to have to go down there and force them to, literally, defeat them by force and sit a king on the IT that will do the job. Contrary to Mormont's line, who sits the IT when the Others come is very important, because it must be someone willing and able to unite and motivate the realm against the Others.

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