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DMC

The Karstark Probrem

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I apologize to begin with.  This question is based on rewatching Voldemort.  But unfortunately I have to admit I'm not entirely sure how Robb dealt with the Karstark betrayal in the books?  Because to me, there seems to be a really easy solution.  So you have to execute him to show you're badass, ok.  But that doesn't mean you have to give away all his men.  Retain another Karstark hostage, right?  I know the only one still alive at that point before Alys was Harrion, but, ok, acquire Harrion.  Is this as simple of a political solution as I think it is or am I missing something?

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

I apologize to begin with.  This question is based on rewatching Voldemort.  But unfortunately I have to admit I'm not entirely sure how Robb dealt with the Karstark betrayal in the books?  Because to me, there seems to be a really easy solution.  So you have to execute him to show you're badass, ok.  But that doesn't mean you have to give away all his men.  Retain another Karstark hostage, right?  I know the only one still alive at that point before Alys was Harrion, but, ok, acquire Harrion.  Is this as simple of a political solution as I think it is or am I missing something?

Harrion was already a hostage of the Lannisters I believe, and all other valuable people with the Karstark name where in the North. 

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Harrion was under Bolton's command at the time, I'm pretty sure.  And the latter used him in the Duskendale gambit.

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4 hours ago, DMC said:

I apologize to begin with.  This question is based on rewatching Voldemort.  But unfortunately I have to admit I'm not entirely sure how Robb dealt with the Karstark betrayal in the books?  Because to me, there seems to be a really easy solution.  So you have to execute him to show you're badass, ok.  But that doesn't mean you have to give away all his men.  Retain another Karstark hostage, right?  I know the only one still alive at that point before Alys was Harrion, but, ok, acquire Harrion.  Is this as simple of a political solution as I think it is or am I missing something?

You are missing something.  Holding a Karstark hostage is not going to keep them fighting.  They will only look for ways to take Robb from behind.  Robb messed up when he killed Karstark.  You never want to alienate your own support.  Robb had this naive concept of his honor.  What it was was pride.  Robb himself broke an oath and expected to get away with it.  He should have forgiven Rickard Karstark.  

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30 minutes ago, 867-5309 said:

He should have forgiven Rickard Karstark.  

I agree with your points about Robb being naive, however I don't think forgiving him is at all the way to go. Karstark disobeyed Robb when he went out of his way to kill hostages. There needs to be consequences for this - otherwise it would set a precedent for people to walk all over Robb and disregard or straight up refuse his orders.

Keeping Karstark as a hostage may cause unrest between Karstark men, but they would have had no choice but to obey until the war is over. 

Robb broke an oath and there should be (and were) consequences, yet it's not up to his bannermen to call him up on that.

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8 hours ago, DMC said:

Harrion was under Bolton's command at the time, I'm pretty sure.  And the latter used him in the Duskendale gambit.

Harrion got captured at the Battle of Duskendale, and I thought that the battle took place before Rickard's execution. Could be wrong though. 

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On 2/17/2019 at 1:31 PM, Euron III Greyjoy said:

Harrion got captured at the Battle of Duskendale, and I thought that the battle took place before Rickard's execution. Could be wrong though. 

Roose Bolton sends Harrion Kastark and the Northern arny at Duskendale at the end of ACOK. Rickard Karstark's betrayal and execution takes place much later.

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13 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

He should’ve sent him to the wall and be done with it.

Yes. I agree. Would have been honorable and retained the Karstark host.

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On 2/17/2019 at 1:26 AM, 867-5309 said:

Holding a Karstark hostage is not going to keep them fighting.  They will only look for ways to take Robb from behind.  Robb messed up when he killed Karstark.  You never want to alienate your own support.  Robb had this naive concept of his honor.  What it was was pride.  Robb himself broke an oath and expected to get away with it.  He should have forgiven Rickard Karstark.  

This logic is flawed in three ways:  (1) first and foremost, ultimately the author decides whether a hostage will keep one's men fighting, and this one has gone back and forth on that quite a bit; (2) the Karstark levies don't have much to go home to, and there's a risk abandoning so far away from home; and (3) ... 

Spoiler

we know for Theon's chapter TWOW that Stannis expects the Karstark men with him at the time to hold faith in spite of him either killing or planning to kill their top commanders, including Arnolf.  This does not suggest they have any higher "concept of honor" at all.  And while they be the older men, who are the men down at the Riverlands supposed to have gotten their values and training from?

 

On 2/18/2019 at 2:15 AM, Corvo the Crow said:

He should’ve sent him to the wall and be done with it.

Would that have sufficed though?  Better to have Harrion in your pocket, no?

On 2/18/2019 at 10:50 AM, The hairy bear said:

Roose Bolton sends Harrion Kastark and the Northern arny at Duskendale at the end of ACOK. Rickard Karstark's betrayal and execution takes place much later.

Looking at it, yeah that's almost true.  Wouldn't say much later, but certainly enough to make no difference.  /thread.

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Holding a Karstark hostage is just a terrible idea for someone in so weak a position as dumbass Robb..  That's not how to treat bannermen who followed the stinky Stark ass down south to rescue a man who for all the kingdom knows is guilty of treason.  Ooopps, well, maybe Robb would do something this stupid.  After all, he betrayed his most valuable ally.  

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On 2/18/2019 at 3:27 PM, Legitimate_Bastard said:

Yes. I agree. Would have been honorable and retained the Karstark host.

Would it have??

 

7 minutes ago, 867-5309 said:

Holding a Karstark hostage is just a terrible idea for someone in so weak a position as dumbass Robb..  That's not how to treat bannermen who followed the stinky Stark ass down south to rescue a man who for all the kingdom knows is guilty of treason.  Ooopps, well, maybe Robb would do something this stupid.  After all, he betrayed his most valuable ally.  

What is your alternative when Lord Rickard is brought before Robb?

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5 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

What is your alternative when Lord Rickard is brought before Robb?

Robb messed up worse than Karstark.  He broke his sworn oaths to an important ally.  Which is worse than anything Karstark did.  Robb really hurt his cause and endangered the lives of his bannermen.  Robb didn't flog himself for his own stupidity.  He should have forgiven Karstark.  

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22 minutes ago, 867-5309 said:

Robb messed up worse than Karstark.  He broke his sworn oaths to an important ally.  Which is worse than anything Karstark did.  Robb really hurt his cause and endangered the lives of his bannermen.  Robb didn't flog himself for his own stupidity.  He should have forgiven Karstark.  

I think that the Karstarks were lost regardless. At least unless Harrion/Arnolf/another family member took firm charge of the family. 

 

Not executing Rickard to say have men for the Red wedding sounds nice. However, Karkstark men were already sent out to hunt for Jamie. Additionally, there were Karstarks in the Bolton camp at the Red Wedding.

 

Failing to punish Karstark would show that Robb did not have control over his bannermen and lacked honor for letting noble prisoners under his protection be killed without justice. 

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17 hours ago, nyser1 said:

Would it have??

I think there was a good chance. I think whoever the new Lord of the Karhold was would have wanted to please his liege lord. 

The NW option seems the best of both worlds. Punishment and retention of honor.

Of course it's just an opinion.

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19 hours ago, 867-5309 said:

Robb messed up worse than Karstark.  He broke his sworn oaths to an important ally.  Which is worse than anything Karstark did.  Robb really hurt his cause and endangered the lives of his bannermen.  Robb didn't flog himself for his own stupidity.  He should have forgiven Karstark.   

Karstark's actions were worse than Robb's. Robb dishonored a critical, peevish ally No surgarcoating that is very bad. Karstark, however, killed defenseless prisoners and set a disturbing trend for noble captives in enemy hands. That's brutal for anyone who currently has relatives imprisoned by the Lannisters (at varying points post ASOS Rickard himself, the Umbers, Manderly, the Glovers, Robb himself (his heir!!), and possibly a few others I am missing).

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20 hours ago, 867-5309 said:

Robb messed up worse than Karstark.  He broke his sworn oaths to an important ally.  Which is worse than anything Karstark did.  Robb really hurt his cause and endangered the lives of his bannermen.  Robb didn't flog himself for his own stupidity.  He should have forgiven Karstark.  

I'll have to check, but I'm pretty sure the thinking was that Karstark had to die for killing Lannister hostages so that the Lannisters don't start killing hostages of their own, ie, Sansa.

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