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Chancho

Did Edmure save Robb's Life?

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14 hours ago, Chancho said:

It's not like everyone was feeling like hearing Edmure version of the story, Catelyn was on his ass about every little thing he did, Robb and Brynden were so conviced he blow everything that couldn't even hear he talk...

If Edmure's goal was to save Robb then why would Cat give him grief about attacking Tywin  ? Wouldn't he just say "i'm going to attack Tywin to save Robb and the Blackfish" That never came up in the conversation so there is no reason to believe that it was even on Edmure's radar . They had a long conversation about a lot of subjects and protecting Robb never came up . 

"He is making for the west, to defend his own lands. If we close our gates and shelter behind the walls, we can watch him pass with safety."
"This is Tully land," Edmure declared. "If Tywin Lannister thinks to cross it unbloodied, I mean to teach him a hard lesson."
The same lesson you taught his son? Her brother could be stubborn as river rock when his pride was touched, but neither of them was likely to forget how Ser Jaime had cut Edmure's host to bloody pieces the last time he had offered battle. "We have nothing to gain and everything to lose by meeting Lord Tywin in the field," Catelyn said tactfully.
"The yard is not the place to discuss my battle plans."
When all my strength is marshaled, I should have eight thousand foot and three thousand horse," Edmure said.
"Which means Lord Tywin will have near twice your numbers."
"Robb's won his battles against worse odds," Edmure replied, "and I have a plan. You've forgotten Roose Bolton. Lord Tywin defeated him on the Green Fork, but failed to pursue. When Lord Tywin went to Harrenhal, Bolton took the ruby ford and the crossroads. He has ten thousand men. I've sent word to Helman Tallhart to join him with the garrison Robb left at the Twins—"
"Edmure, Robb left those men to hold the Twins and make certain Lord Walder keeps faith with us."
"He has," Edmure said stubbornly. "The Freys fought bravely in the Whispering Wood, and old Ser Stevron died at Oxcross, we hear. Ser Ryman and Black Walder and the rest are with Robb in the west, Martyn has been of great service scouting, and Ser Perwyn helped see you safe to Renly. Gods be good, how much more can we ask of them? Robb's betrothed to one of Lord Walder's daughters, and Roose Bolton wed another, I hear. And haven't you taken two of his grandsons to be fostered at Winterfell?"
"A ward can easily become a hostage, if need be." She had not known that Ser Stevron was dead, nor of Bolton's marriage.
"If we're two hostages to the good, all the more reason Lord Walder dare not play us false. Bolton needs Frey's men, and Ser Helman's as well. I've commanded him to retake Harrenhal."
Yes, but once the castle falls, Lord Tywin will have no safe retreat. My own levies will defend the fords of Red Fork against his crossing. If he attacks across the river, he'll end as Rhaegar did when he tried to cross the Trident. If he holds back, he'll be caught between Riverrun and Harrenhal, and when Robb returns from the west we can finish him for good and all."

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Just now, Blackfish Tully said:

If Edmure's goal was to save Robb then why would Cat give him grief about attacking Tywin  ? Wouldn't he just say "i'm going to attack Tywin to save Robb and the Blackfish"

When does any character in the books talk like that? 

At Riverrun we are told that Edmure was supposed to guard Robb's rear.

"Would that it were. My brother commands in Riverrun?"
"Yes, my lady. His Grace left Ser Edmure to hold Riverrun and guard his rear."
Gods grant him the strength to do so, Catelyn thought. And the wisdom as well. 
 
This is pretty much what he was trying to do. 

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5 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Not once he got injured at the Crag it was not. War is unpredictable and nether Robb or the Blackfish knew when, or even if, Tywin would come West. Nor did he realize he would be bedridden and out of action taking the Crag around the same time as Tywin was heading West. He was incredibly lucky that Edmure stopped him when he did, just as Tywin was. Edmure did them both a favor. 

If Tywin would not have been stopped by Edmure then Robb would have not needed to take the Crag and would not have been injured . The only reason that Robb was taking Westerland Castles was to force Tywin west . 

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8 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

When does any character in the books talk like that? 

At Riverrun we are told that Edmure was supposed to guard Robb's rear.

"Would that it were. My brother commands in Riverrun?"
"Yes, my lady. His Grace left Ser Edmure to hold Riverrun and guard his rear."
Gods grant him the strength to do so, Catelyn thought. And the wisdom as well. 
 
This is pretty much what he was trying to do. 

those orders are for when Robb was initially attacking the Westerlands and was would have been vulnerable to an attack from Stafford and an attack from the rear but after the overwhelming victory at Oxcross Robb did not need defending from the rear and those orders did not apply . Edmure and Cat had a full conversation right before the battle of the Fords so if Edmure's goal was to protect Robb why not simply say that especially since he is talking to Robb's mother ? they had a full conversation about Edmure's plans but protecting Robb never even was hinted in that conversation ? how is that possible if protecting Robb is the goal? 

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Edmure definitely acted in the belief that what he was doing fit Robb's command and was in the best interests of Robb and his nascent kingdom. 

Robb could indeed have ended up dead if Tywin came to grips with him, regardless of his grand plan. Anyone who believes they have a fool-proof plan of action, or who believes they are immortal, is fooling themselves. The best laid plans of mice and men, etc. 

Edited by Ran

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Just now, Blackfish Tully said:

If Tywin would not have been stopped by Edmure then Robb would have not needed to take the Crag and would not have been injured .

 

Robb was taking the Crag around the same time as Tywin was heading West. Days before the battle against Tywin Cat asks where Robb is

"Save Cortnay Penrose," Catelyn murmured. She had never met the man, yet she grieved to hear of his passing. "Robb should know of this at once," she said. "Do we know where he is?"

"At last word he was marching toward the Crag, the seat of House Westerling," said Maester Vyman.-  A Clash of Kings - Catelyn VI

and after the battle news reaches Riverrun that Robb has already taken the Crag

 Even the servants were gone. She had given them leave to join the celebration.
The walls of the keep were thick, yet even so, they could hear the muffled sounds of revelry from the yard outside. Ser Desmond had brought twenty casks up from the cellars, and the smallfolk were celebrating Edmure's imminent return and Robb's conquest of the Crag by hoisting horns of nut-brown ale. A Clash of Kings - Catelyn VII
 
Both battles took place around the same time. Now Robb did not know he was going to get injured and be put out of action taking the Crag but that is what happened. He was lucky that Edmure intervened as even before his injury he was already at a disadvantage against Tywin. 
Just now, Blackfish Tully said:

 

The only reason that Robb was taking Westerland Castles was to force Tywin west . 

Exactly, so there is zero reason to do so if he has a) heard that Tywin is already heading West or that b) Tywin has been stopped from coming West. 

12 minutes ago, Blackfish Tully said:

those orders are for when Robb was initially attacking the Westerlands

Robb only gave one set of orders. He never changed them and rightly or wrongly there were many at Riverrun under the impression that they were supposed to be guarding Robb's rear. In actual fact the Riverrun forces were not the only ones under this impression as Theon assumes the plan was to take the West before Tywin could react

"By now Robb is at the Golden Tooth," Theon said. "Once it falls, he'll be through the hills in a day. Lord Tywin's host is at Harrenhal, cut off from the west....and Lannisport, which means the city will be undefended when we descend on it by sea. If the gods are with us, even Casterly Rock itself may fall before the Lannisters so much as realize that we are upon them."

Obviously there seems to have been confusion in what was supposed to happen, but Riverrun believed they were supposed to be guarding Robb's rear; Edmure, Mallister, Blacwood and Bracken all believed they were doing the right thing. That does not mean that Robb was wrong when he claimed that he ordered Edmure to do nothing just that he was not as clear as he thought he was being. 15 year old commanders in their first war are learning as they go.

 

12 minutes ago, Blackfish Tully said:

and was would have been vulnerable to an attack from Stafford and an attack from the rear but after the overwhelming victory at Oxcross Robb did not need defending from the rear and those orders did not apply .

according to who? Robb's victory at Oxcross had happened some time before Cat is told about guarding Robb's rear. 

12 minutes ago, Blackfish Tully said:

 

Edmure and Cat had a full conversation right before the battle of the Fords so if Edmure's goal was to protect Robb why not simply say that especially since he is talking to Robb's mother ?

Because we had already been told that Edmure was supposed to guarding Robb's rear and Edmure has multiple reasons why he would choose to fight Tywin when he has a military advantage over him. 

I'm not claiming that was the only reason he took on Tywin or even the most important one, but it was indeed a factor. 

12 minutes ago, Blackfish Tully said:

 

they had a full conversation about Edmure's plans but protecting Robb never even was hinted in that conversation ? how is that possible if protecting Robb is the goal? 

the reader was already told about it on the previous page. I'm guessing GRRM had faith that he would not have to repeat himself. 

Plus Edmure truly believes that his plan will win the war.

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42 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

 

Robb only gave one set of orders. He never changed them and rightly or wrongly there were many at Riverrun under the impression that they were supposed to be guarding Robb's rear. In actual fact the Riverrun forces were not the only ones under this impression as Theon assumes the plan was to take the West before Tywin could react

 

then why does Edmure not simply say this to Cat ? he goes through a whole conversation with her about his plans and why he's attacking Tywin and he never once even hints at the fact he's protecting Robb's rear . And if protecting Robb was the orders then why would Cat just tell him to let Tywin pass unmolested ?

"He is making for the west, to defend his own lands. If we close our gates and shelter behind the walls, we can watch him pass with safety."

Robb is her oldest son and she never mentions that Edmure needs to stop Tywin to protect him and even tells Edmure to let him pass . How does that make any sense if Edmure orders were to protect Robb's rear ? You are confusing orders that were given several months earlier with what was happening in the present time . After Oxcross the order to protect Robb's rear were no long valid because if they were Edmure would have mentioned them . 

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Just now, Blackfish Tully said:

then why does Edmure not simply say this to Cat ?

If Cat cared about Robb so much, you could say, why didn't _she_ raise the point that Robb needed to be protected?

Obviously, Cat is a bad mother and cares more about Riverrun and Edmure than she does about her own son.

...

The easiest explanation is simply that it didn't come up because it's clear to Edmure that Catelyn has already decided she's against it, so he has to defend his plan on its merits of success vs. its potential benefits.

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What becomes of Tywin after Stannis has seized King's Landing? Why would he battle Robb?

Robb's 6k cavalry is a more mobille force than Tywin's army, it is Robb who would choose where and when the battle will took place, after Stannis takes KL, he doesn't need to give battle to Tywin, he can just march back to Riverrun with the loot through the goat track that he used before.

Even if the battle happens and the lannisters wins they still will have to face Stannis, Tywin can't afford a pyrrhic victory, and when the Blackfish tells us that the northems took a great defensive position and that they could make Tywin pay a good price if he atacks, I tend to belive in him.

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16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

What becomes of Tywin after Stannis has seized King's Landing?

How is that an issue in this hypothetical? 

And given that the Tyrells were on their way to Kings Landing it is likely that their much larger force would have defeated Stanis. 

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Why would he battle Robb?

The guy who had killed his cousin Stafford and was raiding his lands? I should think that would be pretty obvious. 

 Even ignoring the above given that Tywin had made enemies of the Riverlords it would not be in his best interests to allow Robb to flee without battle, it makes logical sense to dismantle an enemy while he was vulnerable rather than allow him to return to his base and grow stronger or worse still join Stannis. 

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Robb's 6k cavalry is a more mobille force than Tywin's army,

Not really. Tywin's force has 7,500 mounted men. That is not including any reinforcements he would pick up in the West. 

On top of that Tywin's men are going to have a greater knowledge of the terrain, he is going to have an easier time getting supplies from his vassals and we know that Robb had to sneak past the Golden Tooth, the quickest route is not always going to be available to him in enemy territory. 

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

it is Robb who would choose where and when the battle will took place,

Robb was injured at the Crag. 

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

after Stannis takes KL,

if. 

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

he doesn't need to give battle to Tywin,

he does not really get to pick that. I'm not claiming that battle is a certainty but much like Robb was unable to predict that he would get injured at the Crag he would not be able to predict what would happen when he is outnumbered in enemy territory. 

the same would apply in the North if Tywin and an army of 6k was against Robb and 20k plus whatever reserves he had at home. the odds would be firmly with the home side

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

he can just march back to Riverrun with the loot through the goat track that he used before.

that is the same direction that Tywin's host was coming. It would be insane for him to charge on that host. How does he make it to that track before Tywin gets into the West given that he is already on the westerlands coast when Tywin was heading West. 

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Even if the battle happens and the lannisters wins they still will have to face Stannis,

do they? we don't know that.

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Tywin can't afford a pyrrhic victory,

he also can't afford to allow a small army to leave and grow significantly larger once its back in the Riverlands. Medieval commanders would rather take out their enemy piecemeal rather than allow them to get stronger. 

16 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

and when the Blackfish tells us that the northems took a great defensive position and that they could make Tywin pay a good price if he atacks, I tend to belive in him.

he says they planned to. but that makes little sense as the only way that is possible is knowing the land better than the home side and knowing what the home side know about their own lands

It is a huge gamble banking on outsmarting the home side in their own lands. 

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2 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

How is that an issue in this hypothetical? 

And given that the Tyrells were on their way to Kings Landing it is likely that their much larger force would have defeated Stanis. 

I don't necessary disagree on this, but this is Mace we are talking about. The guy that keep most of his strenght sieging a skeleton crew garrison in SE while Rhaegar fought the decisive battle at the trident.

The reinforcements of KL only arrived at the nickle of time, if Mace waits a single day more for Tywin he would not be able to save King's Landing.

2 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

he says they planned to. but that makes little sense as the only way that is possible is knowing the land better than the home side and knowing what the home side know about their own lands

 It is a huge gamble banking on outsmarting the home side in their own lands. 

Tywin made the same choice when he choose to stay at Harenhall. He was outnumbered by Robb and Riverlords, he had less cavalry, he was in a foreing land cut of from the west and we are still told that Harenhall was a strong defensive position and that marching against him there would be foolish. The same thing applies here, if the blackfish tell us that they would be ready I belive in him, numbers can be deal with if the terrain is in their favor.

 

2 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

Not really. Tywin's force has 7,500 mounted men. That is not including any reinforcements he would pick up in the West. 

 On top of that Tywin's men are going to have a greater knowledge of the terrain, he is going to have an easier time getting supplies from his vassals and we know that Robb had to sneak past the Golden Tooth, the quickest route is not always going to be available to him in enemy territory. 

Robb was able to take a goat track that no one knew was there, just because it is Tywin domain does not means he knows everything, and if Tywin split his forces and risk battle with his 7.5k against 6k from Robb his is giving up his biggest advantage, these numbers are too close and if Robb wins it is game over. I doubt he would risk it, this suits Jaime, not Tywin.

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Did Edmure save Robb's life? Obviously not, since he's dead. That's how GRRM wrote it.

I don't usually like too much "what-iffery" about a fictional work. Because things are how they are because the author wrote it that way. "What-iffery" is more interesting (and a hell of a lot more complex) if applied to real life.

What if Napoleon/Confederates/Nazis had won are the favourite topics around the alt-history communities. Or what if this or that princess had married this or that prince, at the soap-opera end. The best alt-history I've seen is, what if a genetic mutation in a tubular plant native to Australia had enabled agriculture and then metal-working, native nation and empire building to develop in Australia before first European contact. It even changes European history as we know it, very fascinating.

There's the "butterfly effect". A butterfly flaffing its wings in the Amazon can move enough air particles, cumulatively, to cause a fierce storm in northern Europe; or one small change can have lots of reprecussions all over the world.

Like I said, I don't usually like what-iffery about a fictional work, but I'll bite this time.

Edmure obeys his King, Robb, and merely holds Riverrun, lets Tywin's forces pass back west. Blackfish explained the plan. Lead them a merry chase until maybe getting them to a position advantageous to Robb. 

This "butterflies" two things. Firstly, Tywin's Lannister forces won't get to King's Landing on time, so Stannis might actually win the Battle of the Blackwater, capture King's Landing and Cersei and Joffrey, even Tyrion, declare the truth, that the children are incest abomination bastards. Tywin is bogged in the West, Jaime is a prisoner at Riverrun, Cersei, Joffrey and Tyrion at KL. Stannis acceeds to the throne as Robert's rightful heir. The only way Tywin can hope to save his "legacy", his children and grandchilden (Joff in KL, Tommen at Rosby and Myrcella in Dorne) is to bend the knee.

Secondly, maybe Robb is too busy in the field, so he won't marry the Westerling girl, but Roslin Frey (sorry, Edmure, but Robb will pick the only pretty Frey girl, haha!), old Walder Frey will be happy, no Red Wedding...

OK, so you can see why "what-iffery" about fictional work is not fruitful. It wouldn't be the same story. It'd be a lot shorter. Probably pretty boring, too. Enlivened by some household accounts.

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6 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

I don't necessary disagree on this, but this is Mace we are talking about.

Mace is boastful and has little substance behind him, but I don't know where the fandom has got this idea that he is a coward or even particularly pragmatic. He's actually quite quick to move

  • he backs Renly to be king at Highgarden before Stannis, Robb or Balon. The first major player to actually commit true treason. This is pretty dynamic, a more cautious lord would have bided his time, weighed up his options. 
  • when Stannis sends envoys to make a deal with the remaining army the Tyrells could choose to join, stay neutral but instead are far more decisive and actively start killing and imprisoning potential Stannis loyalists. 
  • instead of sticking around and stalling in the Reach we see the Tyrells quickly agree to Littlefinger's offer and quickly get to the Blackwater, hundreds of miles from Bitterbridge, which is incredibly fortunate given Stannis also got there way ahead of his presumed schedule. 
  • upon hearing that Storm's End and the Stormlands is being attacked Mace is quick to respond, doing so without his more competent sons and his ace Tarly

Mace has proven himself in the books to be a pretty decisive character. Whether he is actually a competent leader or merely benefiting from a superior supporting cast is another matter, but there are no indications that he is hesitant in his decision making.

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The guy that keep most of his strenght sieging a skeleton crew garrison in SE while Rhaegar fought the decisive battle at the trident.

What exactly was he supposed to do? Both Jaime and Barristan are POV's, one was with Rhaegar (who outnumbered the rebels by 5k) and the other with Aerys and neither make any mention that Mace had refused to help.  The royals not requesting more men is on them, not Mace.

GRRM makes it clear just how important Robert's capital was

GRRM: "sieges were a crucial part of medieval warfare. Storm's End was not geographically strategic, but it was the base of Robert's power, as important to House Baratheon as Winterfell was to the Starks. If it had fallen, Robert would have lost his home and his lands... and two of his brothers would have been hostages in enemy hands. All important chips. Also the fall of Storm's End might have convinced many of the storm lords supporting him that the time had come to bend the knee. So the castle was hardly unimportant. Tyrell had a sizeable host, but some of his strength was with Rhaegar, certainly."

We only have to look at the fall of Winterfell to see the ramifications of a leader losing his capital has. His role could have won the war. 

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The reinforcements of KL only arrived at the nickle of time,

Of course they only just arrived, the knowledge everyone had was that Stannis would be delayed at Storm's End. It is a miracle that the Reach host made it to the Riverlands as quickly as they did. This is not a case of them stalling but them actually moving pretty damn quickly considering they left after they had heard that Stannis had already left. This must have been a pretty quick forced march

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if Mace waits a single day more for Tywin he would not be able to save King's Landing.

Well not quite. Stannis had not yet taken either the walls of kings landing and would still need to take the Red Keep. While her certainly would have done both had no help came at all it is a bit premature to say that the Crown's forces only arrived in the nick of time. The vast majority of the troops under Tyrion were still alive in the aftermath.

It should also be noted that Mace was not just waiting around, his host were building barges that were needed to cross the Blackwater.  There are three separate Reach parties

  1. the messengers have ridden from Bitterbridge to find Tywin and alert him of Stannis' movements
  2. a host with Rowan and Tarly, which I'm presuming was the Reach cavalry since they have opted to travel around the Blackwater
  3. the larger host with their barges at Tumbler's Falls 

Now when you take into consideration that Mace had killed Stannis' loyalists, then chose to march his 50-70k army hundreds of miles from Bitterbridge to the Riverlands this strongly suggests he was going to strike. On top of that his own mother backs this up

 If truth be told, even our claim to Highgarden is a bit dodgy, just as those dreadful Florents are always whining. 'What does it matter?' you ask, and of course it doesn't, except to oafs like my son. The thought that one day he may see his grandson with his arse on the Iron Throne makes Mace puff up like . . . now, what do you call it?.... We should have stayed well out of all this bloody foolishness if you ask me, but once the cow's been milked there's no squirting the cream back up her udder. After Lord Puff Fish put that crown on Renly's head, we were into the pudding up to our knees, so here we are to see things through. And what do you say to that, Sansa?"

 

Now until the author confirms it one way or the other we will never know for certain, but the weight of evidence is in favor of the Tyrells, who heavily outnumber Stannis and don't actually need Tywin's force, of taking on Stannis. 

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Tywin made the same choice when he choose to stay at Harenhall.

yes, something that I have been more than clear about. 

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 He was outnumbered by Robb and Riverlords, he had less cavalry,

roughly the same cavalry and had Tywin gotten really desperate and summoned the forces from Kings Landing (mirroring the foolishness in the Dance of the Dragons) would have roughly the same overall force as Robb and the Riverlords

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he was in a foreing land cut of from the west and we are still told that Harenhall was a strong defensive position and that marching against him there would be foolish. The same thing applies here,

except it does not. Harrenhall is one of the mightiest castles in the realm and when properly garrisoned can stand up to anyone. the Crag, where the injured Robb was, is not a fraction as strong. 

If you are instead referring to the vague spot of land that the Blackfish may or may not have found (it is really unclear if he had) then you are even more wrong. A castle is far more secure and dependable than a plot of land. 

More importantly it is incredibly risky as the Blackfish is gambling that he would know the surrounding land better than the people who have lived there for thousands of years. Now to be clear, I am not claiming that no such blind spot lands in the Westerlands exists, they likely do, but the Blackfish could not possibly no which territories the Westerland troops are familiar with and which they are not. It is a giant gamble. 

The frustrating thing is that if it was Tywin and 6k in the North (or any other region) facing a home side of  over 20k no one, not even the biggest Tywin fanboy, would be backing a Tywin victory. It would be idiotic to do so as the odds would be greatly against him. 

To hammer home just how important home terrain is let us take a look at one of the most experienced commanders in the series, Stannis, who we have been told has a great knowledge about the realm. It takes Jon to point out the great folly it would be for Stannis to attack the Dreadfort and just how vulnerable he would be. The home side is always going to have the advantage when it comes to knowing the land better. 

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if the blackfish tell us that they would be ready I belive in him, numbers can be deal with if the terrain is in their favor.

Common sense dictates that the Riverlander who has spent the last 15 years of his life living in the Vale is not going to know the Westerlands better than the people who live there. 

Not that the Blackfish's plan even matters, Robb was injured at the Crag. He was bedridden. 

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Robb was able to take a goat track that no one knew was there,

Robb didnt even know it was there. He traveled to the West on a whim and was lucky enough that his pet wolf found a pathway that got him past the heavily fortified Golden Tooth while not alerting the Westerland nobles he was in their land. This is the very definition of a longshot, planning military strategy on a series of longshots is pure folly. 

Now as this is a fantasy series the author intervening on behalf of Robb is more than possible, he could summon a giant tsunami in the shape of a direwolf that decimates Tywin and his force. More than possible, but this discussion is about the reality of Robb's situation and the odds were heavily against him. 

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just because it is Tywin domain does not means he knows everything,

I have been quite clear that it does not mean this, but it is impossible for the Blackfish to be able to know exactly which territories the Westerland contingent have blind spots. 

Hoping that he, an outsider leading an army of outsiders in a largely populated land, would have a greater knowledge of the land better than the home side is a huge gamble. hoping that none of his movements had been noted by any remaining westelanders also falls into the gamble category.  To reiterate, I don't presume Robb and his northern lords know every inch of the north, but if they had a 20k army against a 6k foreign army I would strongly back them to win, that they would be less likely to be surprised in their own lands; the odds would be hugely in their favor. 

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and if Tywin split his forces and risk battle with his 7.5k against 6k from Robb his is giving up his biggest advantage, these numbers are too close

they are not that close as the Westerlands is Tywin's home, he has the advantage of being able to order castle garrisons to harry Robb's force, to set up blocks, to do the things that Jon pointed out what would happen to Stannis if he choose to attack the Dreadfort. 

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and if Robb wins it is game over.

Sure, no one has claimed otherwise. What has been pointed out is that the odds were not in Robb's favor. And to reiterate, give the same circumstances to any other region and the home side would be the clear favorite to win. This discussion is only taking place because Robb, before he died, seemed to be the fantasy hero of the series and fantasy heroes in stories beat the odds. 

 

Edited by Bernie Mac

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

have been quite clear that it does not mean this, but it is impossible for the Blackfish to be able to know exactly which territories the Westerland contingent have blind spots. 

 Hoping that he, an outsider leading an army of outsiders in a largely populated land, would no the land better than his home side is a huge gamble. To reiterate, I don't presume Robb and his northern lords no every inch of the north, but if they had a 20k army against a 6k foreign army I would strongly back them to win; the odds would be hugely in their favor

No it's not.

Blackfish is the best scout in the series, if he says that the terrain prepared for that would hold I tend to belive him. Robb was able to ambush Stafford in his own camp.

Just because it's in the westerlands does not mean Tywin has advantage. Jaime won battles in the riverlands against the riverlords and Edmure, Orys beat the Durrandal in the stormlands, Robb won his battles in the westerlands, Stannis beat the wildling at the wall and soo on.

We planned to run Lord Tywin a merry chase up and down the coast, then slip behind him to take up a strong defensive position athwart the gold road, at a place my scouts had found where the ground would have been greatly in our favor. If he had come at us there, he would have paid a grievous price. But if he did not attack, he would have been trapped in the west, a thousand leagues from where he needed to be."

Blackfish tells us cleary that the position was strong, the only thing not clear is if Tywin would even risk to atack it, and this says a lot about how strong the position is.

 

Edited by Arthur Peres
my argument was wrong and i realized it.

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Blackfish doesn't knows that area better that ADDAM MARBRAND who is seen by everyone who has a POV from the west as the "go to" scout and in every sense of the world is a LOCAL, grew up there and know that lands for his whole life... Ashmark and surroundings are his domain.

And again, moutains everywhere and also enemies castle to block movement... This dog running after the tail strategy won't work there for long at all.

Edited by Chancho

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1 hour ago, Chancho said:

Blackfish doesn't knows that area better that ADDAM MARBRAND who is seen by everyone who has a POV from the west as the "go to" scout and in every sense of the world is a LOCAL, grew up there and know that lands for his whole life... Ashmark and surroundings are his domain.

And again, moutains everywhere and also enemies castle to block movement... This dog running after the tail strategy won't work there for long at all.

Montains and hills ain't a problem if you have the higher ground and narrow places will help fight bigger numbers if anything. Robb also took several castles in the westerlands, I doubt the place choose for battle would be surrounded by hostile castles.

We don't know if the place choose for battle is close to Ashemark,  "athwart the gold road" is pretty vague, where did you got this info?

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1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

No it's not.

Sorry, what is not?

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

Blackfish is the best scout in the series,

Well first of all military scouting does not work like that. the greatest military scout in the Balkans is not going to be on the same level if he is dropped in the middle of China or the Sudan. Being the best scout in one place does not automatically make the you the best everywhere on the planet, even in the modern age were you can bridge a lot of gaps with the internet that is simply not going to be the case, there are just far too many variables involved. Actually go to a marine websites and talk to actual Reconnaissance Battalion marines about this, they will give you a qualified answer on this, they will inform you that they use local guides, that they don't presume no matter how well trained they are that they will automatically be as good in other countries.  Now add in the medieval age factor and it is a hundred times as hard of being able to transfer the knowledge. e.g. if you stuck the Blackfish in Stannis' army in ADWD he is going to be taking direction from Benjicot Branch and the other northern scouts provided by the Glovers as they are going to be more knowledgeable than the Blackfish or Stannis' blackfish equivalent. 

Remember Westeros is a continent, full of realms that still has large gaps in their knowledge about each other, for example Dorne's closest neighbors are under the impression that their populace is around twice what it is, even Jon can't give an accurate estimate on how many men the Mountain Clans can raise. Expecting the Blackfish to be an expert on the terrain, populace and rivers, roads and pathways of the Westerlands is an impossible task. 

And still you are missing the biggest factor in this discussion, even if the Blackfish was the greatest expert on the lands of the Lannisters and their vassals, even if he knew more than all of them that still does not change the fact that without telepathy, without the ability to know exactly what blind spots the Westerlanders have on their own lands he is gambling that he knows more about a random piece of land than they do. This is the very definition of a long shot. 

Secondly, and this should be made very clear, where is it claimed he is the best. Don't get me wrong, he is incredibly competent, but nowhere is it claimed he is superior to all others.  In fact the Blackfish's superiority in his homeland the Riverlands (supported by the Freys, notably Martyn Rivers who takes over the Blackfish's command when he heads West) against the invading foreign Westerland army. This supports my argument. The home side is always going to have the advantage in knowledge on its own region. 

 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

if he says that the terrain prepared for that would hold I tend to belive him.

Basic common sense of the subject matter disagrees with him. Unless he is either a psychic or telepathic, preferably both, he could not possibly know what gaps the home side have. 

I have no problem with the idea of there existing a perfect plot of land existing, where this plan is ultimately flawed is it relies on the Blackfish

  1. hoping that the Westerland forces are unaware of the positives and negatives of the terrain
  2. that there is not some kind of monkey wrench that he has overlooked in the short time he has had to locate this winning position
  3. that none of the local populace have not been reporting his movements

this entire plan is flawed, let me make clear that while the chances are against the Blackfish's plan that does not make it impossible, just a long shot

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Robb was able to ambush Stafford in his own camp.

well yeah, we are told exactly why

  • "Cousin," Ser Brynden corrected. "Brother to Lord Tywin's late wife, so twice related. An old man and a bit of a dullard, but he has a son, Ser Daven, who is more formidable."
    "Then let us hope it is the father and not the son who takes this army into the field."
Stafford is a lightweight, the common curse that nepotism had in the middle ages. 
 
  • "How did the king ever take the Tooth?" Ser Perwyn Frey asked his bastard brother. "That's a hard strong keep, and it commands the hill road."
    "He never took it. He slipped around it in the night. It's said the direwolf showed him the way, that Grey Wind of his. The beast sniffed out a goat track that wound down a defile and up along beneath a ridge, a crooked and stony way, yet wide enough for men riding single file. The Lannisters in their watchtowers got not so much a glimpse of them." 
Stafford was not aware that Robb was in the West, his magical direwolf, not the Blackfish, got him clear into a realm he otherwise would not have been able to enter
 
  • Lannister snorted. "Sorcery is the sauce fools spoon over failure to hide the flavor of their own incompetence. My mutton-headed uncle had not even troubled to post sentries, it would seem. His host was raw—apprentice boys, miners, fieldhands, fisherfolk, the sweepings of Lannisport. The only mystery is how your brother reached him. Our forces still hold the stronghold at the Golden Tooth, and they swear he did not pass."

Back to Stafford who stupidly does even post his own scouts. Gross incompetence on his part. But none of this is down to the Blackfish being the best scout in the Westerlands, it is down to a magical pet, an incompetent commander and the lack of any scouts used as no one was aware Robb was able to break into the West in secret. 

Finally it should be noted that Tywin's attitude to scouting is not as laissez faire as his son or non existent like his cousin.  Marbrand is a notable scout who is able to sound the alarm on the approaching Northern army before the battle of the Green fork

  • Groggy, he sat up and threw back the blanket. The horns called through the night, wild and urgent, a cry that said hurry hurry hurry. He heard shouts, the clatter of spears, the whicker of horses, though nothing yet that spoke to him of fighting. "My lord father's trumpets," he said. "Battle assembly. 

and becomes even more vigilant when he hears of Jaime's defeat

  •  He is a wary man, and we made him warier on the Green Fork. He will be slow to give pursuit. So … on the morrow, we make for Harrenhal. Kevan, I want Ser Addam's outriders to screen our movements. Give him as many men as he requires, and send them out in groups of four. I will have no vanishings." ..

Now as good as Addam is described I'd still assume that his knowledge on the riverlands is going to be inferior to the Blackfish as that is just common sense. 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

Just because it's in the westerlands does not mean Tywin has advantage.

Of course it does. You are just ignoring common sense now.  With all things being equal the side with the greater knowledge of the land as well as the support of the local populace will have the advantage. 

Unfortunately for Robb all things are not equal, on top of being an invader in a foreign land he is also vastly outnumbered and even has less cavalry. The odds are against him. 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Jaime won battles in the riverlands against the riverlords

the first battle was at the golden tooth, this is located in the westerlands. 

the second battle seems to have been a larger Westerland force against the Riverland force at Riverrun. 

not once have i claimed the only factor was who had the home advantage, the fact that Tywin had other advantages played a part. i was more than clear with you on this in my previous reply. 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

and Edmure, Orys beat the Durrandal in the stormlands,

Well yeah, he had the westeros equivalent of a nuclear weapon on his side. Do I really need to explain what the advantage Meraxes had in that battle? 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Robb won his battles in the westerlands,

yes, against an unknown amount of raw levies (Robb's may actually have been the larger host) with an incompetent leader who decided to abandon common sense and post his own scouts. 

Genunine question, do you not see the difference between Stafford's host and Tywin's? 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Stannis beat the wildling at the wall and soo on.

Once again, a poorly defended camp with no scouts  and even more vulnerable as it was littered with women, children and animals

"Soon they were among the tents. It was the usual wildling camp; a sprawling jumble of cookfires and piss pits, children and goats wandering freely, sheep bleating among the trees, horse hides pegged up to dry. There was no plan to it, no order, no defenses. But there were men and women and animals everywhere.
Many ignored him, but for every one who went about his business there were ten who stopped to stare; children squatting by the fires, old women in dog carts, cave dwellers with painted faces, raiders with claws and snakes and severed heads painted on their shields, all turned to have a look."
 
But I'm not sure where you are going with this? I have faith that given enough time you will eventually find an example were a significantly smaller invading army beat a the military of a region if not slightly more militarily advanced than at the very least on the same level. But as I have already pointed out, winning was not an impossibility for Robb just that the odds were not in his favor, that doing so was a long shot. 

 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

Blackfish tells us cleary that the position was strong,

What is he supposed to say? He is going to look like a bit of a dick if he blames Edmure for the Crowns victory on the battle of blackwater and is then pragmatic about his chances. 

1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

the only thing not clear is if Tywin would even risk to atack it, and this says a lot about how strong the position is.

what position? how can the blackfish be certain that he knows more about this phantom position than Tywin or any of his subordinates do? 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

Montains and hills ain't a problem if you have the higher ground and narrow places will help fight bigger numbers if anything. Robb also took several castles in the westerlands, I doubt the place choose for battle would be surrounded by hostile castles.

We don't know if the place choose for battle is close to Ashemark,  "athwart the gold road" is pretty vague, where did you got this info?

Well the first part is because you keep saying they will make tywin chase, again there is not room with mountains and such and moving by the roads he will bump with the already mentioned castles... It's a army 6000 Strong and horses, not 10 people, if he try to pass trought the mountains he will have to make a line and everyting is going be terrible slow, terrible for running, specially in circles...

They move by oxcross, than take ashmark and after the crag. This gives a average location, they have to get back through the same road because of the geography and time, so the place is somewhere there, all very close to ashmark, where the road goes close by, ashmark is between the Golden tooth and the crag, north oxcross and the road.

I still thinks if Tywin passes they will meet, number's and home advantage in favor of Tywin, it's not a wrap, but i don't like Robb chances at that moment... And if he is bedridden like Bernie describe, he will be a sitting duck and it's a bit worst even... All this despite tywin probably losing hold of the throne, cersei and tyrion.

Edited by Chancho
Grammar

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9 hours ago, Chancho said:

 

And again, moutains everywhere and also enemies castle to block movement... This dog running after the tail strategy won't work there for long at all.

why would the enemy castles be blocking their movement ? do these castles move ? I'm pretty sure when Robb and his 6K men would be moving through the Westerlands the soldiers in the castles are going to stay in their castles and watch them pass by. 

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5 hours ago, Chancho said:

Well the first part is because you keep saying they will make tywin chase, again there is not room with mountains and such and moving by the roads he will bump with the already mentioned castles... It's a army 6000 Strong and horses, not 10 people, if he try to pass trought the mountains he will have to make a line and everyting is going be terrible slow, terrible for running, specially in circles...

They move by oxcross, than take ashmark and after the crag. This gives a average location, they have to get back through the same road because of the geography and time, so the place is somewhere there, all very close to ashmark, where the road goes close by, ashmark is between the Golden tooth and the crag, north oxcross and the road.

I still thinks if Tywin passes they will meet, number's and home advantage in favor of Tywin, it's not a wrap, but i don't like Robb chances at that moment... And if he is bedridden like Bernie describe, he will be a sitting duck and it's a bit worst even... All this despite tywin probably losing hold of the throne, cersei and tyrion.

i think you are severely underestimating how big the Westrelands are . Robb and his men would have no trouble moving around and as long as they stayed in front of Tywin's force they would be fine . Time is on their side so they would only have to fight if they found a place that was to their advantage . Tywin would be the one who would be desperate to give battle and that may force him to make a mistake . 

 

7 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

What is he supposed to say? He is going to look like a bit of a dick if he blames Edmure for the Crowns victory on the battle of blackwater and is then pragmatic about his chances. 

 

what little we know of Blackfish seems to indicate that he is a pretty no nonsense guy so i'm pretty sure he would only say something if he believed it . Whether the plan would work or not is anybodies guess but he has as much experience in warfare as any man in Westeros . 

 

7 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

what position? how can the blackfish be certain that he knows more about this phantom position than Tywin or any of his subordinates do? 

 

 

the Westerlands are a pretty big place , i doubt that any of the Westerland lords have been to each part of it or remember every place the have been . Blackfish was specifically looking for a good spot for an ambush and once he found that spot he would have spent a lot of time scouting it out searching for the strengths and weaknesses of that spot . How much time has any of the Western Lords spent in that particular spot checking it's strengths and weakness for an ambush? When is the last time Tywin or Marbrand was at that position? Also if Blackfish is wrong and the ambush does not work then they just keep moving , every day Tywin is in the West is another day Stannis can take Kings Landing. 

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