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Robb council in Riverrun - who had the best ideas

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35 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

The King in the North plan was going to work, if Robb could just have kept his agreement with the Freys. Shame.

Regardless of what he did about his agreement with Freys, he was doomed. North was taken, Stannis was defeated, and it was matter before joined forces of Rock and Garden would smash him. 

Also, Walder would betray him anyway, though he wouldn't pull RW.

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1 minute ago, Kandrax said:

Regardless of what he did about his agreement with Freys, he was doomed. North was taken, Stannis was defeated, and it was matter before joined forces of Rock and Garden would smash him. 

Also, Walder would betray him anyway, though he wouldn't pull RW.

I feel like he was strong enough to take back the North - even if that is where it ended. The Ironborn had a weak hold at best.

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8 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

I feel like he was strong enough to take back the North - even if that is where it ended. The Ironborn had a weak hold at best.

Maybe, if Walder doesn't decide to turn to Tywin and close his gates.

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7 minutes ago, Kandrax said:

Maybe, if Walder doesn't decide to turn to Tywin and close his gates.

Merrett: He shamed us, the whole realm was laughing, we had to cleanse the stain on our honor. . . Not murder. It was vengeance, we had a right to our vengeance. It was war.

Merrett Frey to Lem Lemoncloak. ASOS, Epilogue.

This passage says to me that Walder would never have committed the wedding had Robb not betrayed him first. Silly Robb.

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3 hours ago, thi4f said:

I've reread penultimate chapter of AGOT (Catelyn XI), notable for seeing Edmure & Hoster Tully for the first time and proclaiming Robb Stark "King in the North".

Most readers agree that Robb's crowning turned out to be a bad decision. In my opinion that was the right moment to reset their goals, discuss the matter with Northern lords and proceed with agreed upon strategy. Crowning Robb only antagonized potential allies and did nothing to achieve Stark's objectives, but I digress.

 In this chapter we have multiple ideas on "what is our next step" after Green Fork, Whispering Wood and Battle of the Camps. My question is: who had the most beneficial ideas (for Northern/Riverlands cause)? Here is a brief list, going from my memory:

  • attacking Casterly Rock with tempo (Marq Piper)
  • cutting off Tywin supply lines from Westerlands, resting troops at the same time (Jason Mallister)
  •  going after Tywin in Harrenhal to "get the job done", ordering Roose Bolton's army to help (Tytos Blackwood)
  •  pay tribute to Renly Baratheon in hopes of creating unbeatable alliance, going south to join his armies (Jonos Bracken)
  •  making a decision only after winner between Renly & Joffrey is known, negotating temporary ceasefire with Tywin (Stevron Frey
  •  making peace with Tywin, exchanging girls for Jaime, coming back North to mourn and prepare (Catelyn Tully)

These are the main options, but if you wish, you can vote for allying with Stannis (Robb Stark and Maege Mormont reminded everyone that Stannis comes before Renly) or you can join the KING IN THE NORTH! chants (Greatjon Umber and Rickard Karstark).

Not all these plans are mutually exclusive so you can come up with your own variation, too. I'm not making a poll, but I'd love to hear your arguments :)

I would choose Marq Piper.

This is what Robb did later, invading the Westerlands destroying the army of Stafford, but acting right after that he is not too weak to siege Lannisport or Casterly Rock, he can openly challenge Tywin in the field and also the Riverlords do not take heavy damage fighting the Lannisters own their own because Edmure pressured to let them defend their lands.

Is also a much higher blow to Tywin's prestige if you can actually siege and take CR. And acting imideatly after beating the Lannisters might be enough to show Balon how weak defended the Westerlands are.

Do not declare KITN, let Tywin Renly and Stannis fight for KL, if any of the baratheon brothers win bend the knee. If Tywin came to battle keep him busy until someone takes KL.

Bracken propose is also a good one. Is the safer bet. but knowing that Renly will get shadow baby later on just put them openly to be betrayed by the Tyrells when LF comes.

Stevron propose is pretty much impossible to work, no one there agreed with that, and it could also mean letting Tywin win the war, and swallowing their pride, also, with knowloge of future this would be bad once the Tyrells join the Lannister camp.

Tytos Blackwood has the worst idea, since it means doing what Tywin's want.

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27 minutes ago, thi4f said:

What about other military options, not alliances?

Well, like I suggested before. Try to capture Tywin at Harrenhal. Sure it was the biggest castle in Westeros but now it's the biggest ruin, so maybe a frontal assault is more likely to succeed than the suicide mission storming a castle tended to be in medieval times.

It could be done quickly leaving less of an opening for Lannister forces to exploit.

If they can capture Tywin the River-Norths would have a crazy strong hand in negotiations.

That said it would be a huge risk as they could be caught between forces from Harrenhal and King's Landing.

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8 minutes ago, Legitimate_Bastard said:

This passage says to me that Walder would never have committed the wedding had Robb not betrayed him first.

Ehh I would disagree for two reasons: 1 That's not directly from Walder and he would be the one to make the call. Not Merrett.

2 If Walder wanted to lock down the alliance with Robb he could have demanded a marriage right away, like Hoster did with Ned and Cat. I think he was leaving himself some wiggle room to ditch the Starks if things got out of hand.

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5 minutes ago, Targaryen Restoration said:

Can they really leave the Tullys behind to face Tywin alone?  

I don't see how they could. It would ruin House Stark's reputation for years.

Marriage pacts are supposed to be the most solid form of alliance in Westerosi society so leaving your kin to the not so tender mercies of Tywin Lannister would be a huge taboo.

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Just now, Ylath's Snout said:

I don't see how they could. It would ruin House Stark's reputation for years.

Marriage pacts are supposed to be the most solid form of alliance in Westerosi society so leaving your kin to the not so tender mercies of Tywin Lannister would be a huge taboo.

So maybe what the Freys were proposing was the smart move.  The side that won is not going to be unscathed.  He may be willing to negotiate.

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Just now, Targaryen Restoration said:

So maybe what the Freys were proposing was the smart move.  The side that won is not going to be unscathed.  He may be willing to negotiate.

"Smart" and "Can get your Northern and Riverland lord to agree with" are not the same.

Whatever some Tywin-fans may say his actions in the Riverlands are wildly out of proportion to the kidnapping of Tyrion. Add to that the execution of Ned and the North/River lords agreeing with making peace with Tywin and Joffrey just won't happen.

How do you, as a new Lord Paramount not even 20 years old, convince a bunch of lords to give up on a war that's going well with nothing to show for it?

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51 minutes ago, Ylath's Snout said:

Well, like I suggested before. Try to capture Tywin at Harrenhal. Sure it was the biggest castle in Westeros but now it's the biggest ruin, so maybe a frontal assault is more likely to succeed than the suicide mission storming a castle tended to be in medieval times.

 It could be done quickly leaving less of an opening for Lannister forces to exploit.

If they can capture Tywin the River-Norths would have a crazy strong hand in negotiations.

That said it would be a huge risk as they could be caught between forces from Harrenhal and King's Landing.

Blackfish was very much against this. He let's clear that marching on Harenhall is what Tywin wants.

Marq Piper had the best idea, if they put CR under siege they will force Tywin out of HH and they can face him in the field with numerical superiority.

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1 minute ago, Arthur Peres said:

Blackfish was very much against this. He let's clear that marching on Harenhall is what Tywin wants.

Well sure, there is that but the plan isn't without merritt as Tywin is risking death or capture. Maybe Robb could use his wolf dreams to finagle another victory like he did in the Whispering Woods?

4 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Marq Piper had the best idea, if they put CR under siege they will force Tywin out of HH and they can face him in the field with numerical superiority.

Not really, Tywin would know that Casterly Rock would take years to risk falling to a siege. So he could take his time moping up Robb's forces in the Riverlands and then cut him.

Supplying a siege of the Rock with lords loyal to Tywin harrying your forces at every turn is a set-up for disaster. Robb would be left stranded deep in hostile territory unless he took every castle in the Westerlands and I don't think he could do that. It'd be one thing if they had a navy to resupply them but Brandon the Burner ruined that apperley irreplaceable Northern navy years ago.

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2 minutes ago, Ylath's Snout said:

Not really, Tywin would know that Casterly Rock would take years to risk falling to a siege. So he could take his time moping up Robb's forces in the Riverlands and then cut him.

Supplying a siege of the Rock with lords loyal to Tywin harrying your forces at every turn is a set-up for disaster. Robb would be left stranded deep in hostile territory unless he took every castle in the Westerlands and I don't think he could do that. It'd be one thing if they had a navy to resupply them but Brandon the Burner ruined that apperley irreplaceable Northern navy years ago.

Robb's forces wouldn't be scattered around, because the Riverlords are not spread like Edmure wanted. They are together with Robb in the west, If he could draw Tywin to the Westerlands with 6k imagine what he could do with at the very least 20k, and not having Edmure there to stop him.

Also the Riverlands still have Roose and his 10k to defend then. Tywin is not that free.

10 minutes ago, Ylath's Snout said:

Well sure, there is that but the plan isn't without merritt as Tywin is risking death or capture. Maybe Robb could use his wolf dreams to finagle another victory like he did in the Whispering Woods?

Grey wind can help a lot setting up ambushes like the WW or Oxcross, but in battle he is just a good moral boost. Tywin is safe in HH, even if he is beaten he can always withdraw safe to HH. They have to lure him out of there, sieging CR does that.

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Robb's rebellion was still strong at this point in the timeline.  Jonos Bracken's idea could work if Robb was willing to give up his chances of ever becoming king.  He would have to kneel to Renly first before a pact can be made.  Renly might ask for hostages to guarantee Stark compliance.  Catelyn is a good hostage for the purpose.  

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Just now, Arthur Peres said:

They are together with Robb in the west, If he could draw Tywin to the Westerlands with 6k imagine what he could do with at the very least 20k, and not having Edmure there to stop him.

That's assuming Tywin couldn't levy more troops from the Westerland lords to defend their homeland. I really don't think Tywin empired the Westerlands of ever single able bodied soldier to punish the Riverlands. I have a hard time believing the numerical advantage would stay in the Robb's favor. Especially considering that the Rock isn't liable to fall for years so Tywin can take his time scrounging up all the troops he can while Robb's army evaporates from the attrition of besieging the Rock.

7 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Also the Riverlands still have Roose and his 10k to defend then. Tywin is not that free.

Trusting Roose...

Sure Robb wouldn't know for sure that Lord Bolton would betray him but it seems to be a common axiom that the second most power House in a realm is the most dangerous to the ruling House.

10 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Tywin is safe in HH, even if he is beaten he can always withdraw safe to HH. They have to lure him out of there, sieging CR does that.

I don't see how laying siege to a infamously impregnable mountain/castle deep in hostile territory is better than attacking Harrenhal in the Riverlands.

Tywin would be in no rush to break Robb's siege as he would know the Rock can hold for a long time and the Westerland Lords seems pretty loyal so he wouldn't have to worry about mass defections.

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Just now, Ylath's Snout said:

That's assuming Tywin couldn't levy more troops from the Westerland lords to defend their homeland. I really don't think Tywin empired the Westerlands of ever single able bodied soldier to punish the Riverlands. I have a hard time believing the numerical advantage would stay in the Robb's favor. Especially considering that the Rock isn't liable to fall for years so Tywin can take his time scrounging up all the troops he can while Robb's army evaporates from the attrition of besieging the Rock.

In Tywin's army we already see signs of rable:

"the vanguard was made up of the sweepings of the west: mounted archers in leather jerkins, a swarming mass of undisciplined freeriders and sellswords, fieldhands on plow horses armed with scythes and their fathers’ rusted swords, half-trained boys from the stews of Lannisport. . ."

Tyrion description of Stafford's army is not very powerfull either.

"His host was raw—apprentice boys, miners, field hands, fisherfolk, the sweepings of Lannisport."

I doubt Tywin could draw any signifcant reinforcements in the west.

Once Robb draw Tywin out of HH, he had the superiority in numbers and in quality. Also Robb does not need to stay only in CR, if he realizes he can't take it, he can always pillage the lands around and capture other castles like he did in canon. How much damage could he make?

10 minutes ago, Ylath's Snout said:

Trusting Roose...

Sure Robb wouldn't know for sure that Lord Bolton would betray him but it seems to be a common axiom that the second most power House in a realm is the most dangerous to the ruling House.

Good point, but he is the best man to defend the land, he plays safe and diferent from Edmure he won't spread his army trying to defend every smallfolk. If Robb raises hell in the west, is Tywin that looks weak and Roose will have no reason to jump ship. Just his presence would be enough for Tywin know that he can't jus rampage the Riverlands freely like Robb did in the West.

14 minutes ago, Ylath's Snout said:

I don't see how laying siege to a infamously impregnable mountain/castle deep in hostile territory is better than attacking Harrenhal in the Riverlands.

 Tywin would be in no rush to break Robb's siege as he would know the Rock can hold for a long time and the Westerland Lords seems pretty loyal so he wouldn't have to worry about mass defections.

In HH Tywin can retreat back to the castle and stay safe. If the fight happens in the West Robb can even choose the field where it will happen. Tywin rushed back to the Westerlands after Robb early sucess in the canon, I don't see him ignoring his own castle under treat.

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8 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

I would choose Marq Piper.

 

There are a whole host of reasons this would be dumb.

Casterly Rock has never been taken by storm or siege. No castle in the Seven Kingdoms is larger, richer, or better defended. Legends says that Visenya Targaryen, upon seeing it, thanked the gods that King Loren rode forth to face her brother Aegon on the Field of Fire, for if he had remained within the Rock, even dragonflame would not have daunted him.

Now considering Robb did not have the manpower to take the Twins, expecting him to be able to take a stronger castle with his smaller army is just folly. 

You are also allowing hindsight to shape your opinion, at Riverrun Robb had no idea that he'd find a secret entrance into the West, he would have needed to take the Golden Tooth first,

"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. 

which even if successful brings casualties to Robb's army as well as alerting the Westerlands and the dolt Stafford to Robb's presence in the West. 

Then of course there is the idea of Robb stripping the Riverlands of its army, allowing the companies Tywin has sent out to reave to take far more than they were able to when there was still 11,000 Riverland soldiers available. Giving  up the Riverlands is too much of a risk in the hope of catching a break and taking a castle that had never been taken. 

 

Lastly Robb's whole reason for going West was that he did not want to be trapped in between two armies. him taking the  Riverland army allows that to happen either at the Golden Tooth or Casterly Rock. Edmure is stationed at Riverrun to guard Robb's rear. 

 

Edited by Bernie Mac

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5 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

Also Robb does not need to stay only in CR, if he realizes he can't take it, he can always pillage the lands around and capture other castles like he did in canon. How much damage could he make?

Yes well that is different from just focusing on the Rock. That's was what I was objecting too.

5 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

I doubt Tywin could draw any signifcant reinforcements in the west.

Maybe but it seems like plenty of lords in the North had some left in the tank for when Stannis turned up. Why wouldn't the same be true, especially if Robb goes ham with the "Burninating the countryside, burninating the peasants and the thatch roofed cottages"-strat?

5 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

If Robb raises hell in the west, is Tywin that looks weak and Roose will have no reason to jump ship.

Well, it is hard to say how things will turn out but Roose heel-turning on Robb is always a possibility because at that point House Bolton is pretty close to extinction what with mister "I cut of your pee pee" being a Snow at that point. So Roose doesn't have a lot to lose by making some wild moves.

5 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

I don't see him ignoring his own castle under treat.

I think you really are misjudging what would constitute a threat to the Rock. The castle is huge with plenty of space to store supplies for years of being cut of. Robb lacks the supply-lines for a protracted siege so his army would have to spread itself thin looking for supplely leaving it vulnerable to get overwhelmed and taken out by local lords.

Robb would need some wonder weapon like dragons or a huge catch of Wildfire that would threaten to end the siege quick for Tywin to really feel the need to quickly end things.

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