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Canon Claude

If Robb had declared for Stannis, what would have changed?

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Let's assume that Robb had been more assertive after the death of Ned Stark and his victories against the Lannisters at Riverrun. Say he decides to do the honourable thing and side with Stannis, even against Renly and Joffrey and whatnot. What do he and Stannis do differently? 

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If Robb declares for Stannis, so do Edmure and Hoster Tully. That means two regions of Westeros declare for Stannis. This undermines Melisandre’s authority and credibility, since she predicted that nobody would ally with him. This means he might keep her a bit more at arm’s length and trust Davos a bit more.

As for what Stannis does with his new allies, it’s tough to say. Stannis could still besiege Storm’s End, but he has more than 20,000 troops in the Riverlands now, and the majority of the Lannister strength is occupied there. Maybe Stannis tells Robb to keep Tywin preoccupied while he blockades King’s Landing? Things could go the same as before, with Stannis undermining Renly and taking his forces before going back to King’s Landing.

Robb would probably keep Theon at his side during all this, so Winterfell is never taken. The Hornwood crisis still occurs but with Ramsay in Winterfell’s dungeon, his threat is neutralized. Roose Bolton won’t have as much of an opportunity to betray Robb, and Walder Frey will have no reason to turn on him. Maybe Robb and Stannis still lose, but they certainly put up a much better fight than before. Plus Bran and Rickon live to send Northern reinforcements to the Wall against Mance Rayder. Maybe Bran manages to go north with them and slips out to find the 3 eyed raven without Winterfell needing to be burned.

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Stannis will ask Robb to send him Jaime and he'll get executed a day before they besiege King's Landing, I also think it's unlikely for Robb to attack Westerlands this time, he'll wait until Stannis gets his army at Storm's End and they'll assault King's Landing together, Robb will agree on this since he have to save his sisters, the outcome of the battle will determine everything, but I believe Robb and Stannis lose to Tywin the day Tyrells decided to declare Joffrey.


 

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Nothing, Robb was already doing all he could possibly do to help Stannis yet Stannis still couldn't get the win. 

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3 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

Let's assume that Robb had been more assertive after the death of Ned Stark and his victories against the Lannisters at Riverrun. Say he decides to do the honourable thing and side with Stannis, even against Renly and Joffrey and whatnot. What do he and Stannis do differently? 

Nothing. Robb would still get killed at the red wedding to make the story work as written. 

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Maybe. 

Stannis still needs Edric Storm to press his claim (legally) that Joffrey and co weren't Robert's children. So he still needs to go to Storm's End and thus will have the confrontation with Renly, nothing changes there - the Tyrells head back to the Reach while several Reach Houses and the Stormlands fight with Stannis.

Now here comes the maybes:

Is there a united strategy between Robb and Stannis. Robb's objective in the books is to hit the Westerlands, draw Tywin across the Tumblestone and eventually cut him off with forces from Riverrun. Now that got messed up because of Edmure and Robb's lack of communication but would that change if they are working with Stannis? Keeping Tywin away from King's Landing would be the main objective of Robb's forces so drawing him west with an invasion of the Westerlands and also eliminating the army forming at Oxcross would be a good way of doing that. However Tywin could do what he did in the books ... get the deal with the Tyrell's done and head down towards King's Landing to defeat Stannis. 

So Robb might have had to be more aggressive and march on Tywin's army in the Riverlands in order to prevent him from getting back to King's Landing, means the forces from the loss at Riverrun and the new army from Oxcross might have gotten into action and pressed Robb from two different directions. 

As for outright supporting Stannis, well depending on when they did so it might have had an impact on the other kingdoms. If the Riverlands and the North are both behind Stannis then that could cause some of the more reluctant Lords in the Reach and Stormlands to council caution to Renly. Renly most likely doesn't listen but on the off chance that he does then it's the Reach, the Stormlands, Dragonstone, the North and the Riverlands vs the Crownlands and the Westerlands. At that point does Dorne jump in to get a crack at the Lannisters? If they do then the Reach moves towards the southern Riverlands, Stannis lands near Duskendale and takes it and King's Landing is surrounded and cut off completely. 

Of course that would involve Renly, Robb, Mace Tyrell and Stannis all acting like rational adults -- so not much of a chance.  

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3 hours ago, Gendarrion said:

Stannis will ask Robb to send him Jaime and he'll get executed a day before they besiege King's Landing, I also think it's unlikely for Robb to attack Westerlands this time, he'll wait until Stannis gets his army at Storm's End and they'll assault King's Landing together, Robb will agree on this since he have to save his sisters, the outcome of the battle will determine everything, but I believe Robb and Stannis lose to Tywin the day Tyrells decided to declare Joffrey.


 

But I am not sure Renly would still die (at least not the way and the when), which means the Tyrell's ally with him and there is ultimately a better chance that the Baratheon brothers first eliminate their common enemy in the Lannisters before turning on each other. 

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Good question.

First of all, I don't think it would undermine Mel's credibility, because if the North and the Riverlands declare for Stannis, she probably would have seen that in the fire.  Unless of course you believe Mel is a charlatan (I don't).

How could this have happened?  Well Ned was planning to send Fat Tom to Stannis at Dragonstone, before Fat Tom got killed.  What if Ned had sent him, or someone else from his household to Stannis, and then that person made it North and told Robb that Ned was planning to declare for Stannis?

What could have been different?  A lot.  First, I wouldn't expect the Northern army and Stannis to coordinate, because Stannis didn't like Ned, and would probably look down on his son as well.  

Second, Brienne would probably be dead if Catelyn never went to negotiate with Renly.

Third, it's probably true that Theon would never be sent to the Iron Islands if this was Stannis' war, not Robb's.  The Ironborn would probably still attack the North, and the question is, would Robb use his hostage?  My guess is his bannermen would demand he executes Theon, but I simply can't see Robb doing that, which would create division in his camp.  And I also agree that he most likely wouldn't have gone to the Westerlands, which means he doesn't break his oath to the Freys.  My guess is that even if the Northern and Riverlands army had attacked KL with Stannis, the Tyrell/Lannister army would have been too strong for them, and they would have still lost the war, especially if Robb's bannermen would mad at him for allowing the Ironborn to raid the North, and him not killing Theon.  It wouldn't surprise me if some Northern bannermen kill Theon and then Robb is forced to execute them, which would further divide his army.

What happens after the war is lost?  It depends on whether Robb survives the battle.  If he doesn't, Bran becomes Lord of Winterfell, and he's probably convinced by Maester Luwin to bend the knee to Joffrey.  If Jojen convinces him to go North of the Wall to meet the 3ER, he leaves Rickon behind to rule, with the help of Rodrik Cassel and Maester Luwin.

Ramsay Snow who was at the time in the Winterfell dungeons is offered a deal to die or go to the Wall, and he chooses the latter, but probably escapes before he gets there.

Arya probably meets Robb at Harrenhal if he actually goes to KL.

So many things could be different.  I would have to write my own book if this was the case.

 

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not much.

The support of the North and Riverlands, give Stannis some prestige and strenght that he can show off to the stormlords. With this he might sway some stormlords to his cause since he has the better claim against Renly.

Stannis still need to take Edric to prove that Joffrey is a bastard. He still has to take Storm's End, he still end up facing Renly.

Maybe Robb does not send Theon to Balon and this stop the events of the RW but Stannis still loses Blackwater.

Stannis might not go to rescue the wall, since he has a new army in the riverlands and without the RW the fight does not stop.

 

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On 5/13/2019 at 5:04 PM, Canon Claude said:

Let's assume that Robb had been more assertive after the death of Ned Stark and his victories against the Lannisters at Riverrun. Say he decides to do the honourable thing and side with Stannis, even against Renly and Joffrey and whatnot. What do he and Stannis do differently? 

I question whether it's the honorable thing to do.  First, they have no proof against Joffrey.  Just a belief.  Do you rebel against your lawful ruler on the basis of shaky evidence?  It's irresponsible.  Second, the northmen wanted out of the kingdom.  They don't want to fight for Stannis.  They want independence, which in itself is wrong. 

A combined force of Robb and Stannis would have been tough to beat.  But Stannis is not going to let Robb walk off with half of the kingdom, even if it's the least-desirable part.  The North has the lowest value but it's still a big territory.

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:49 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

Nothing. Robb would still get killed at the red wedding to make the story work as written. 

Now the reason they'd betray him would be something like "you send our troops to die in blackwater bay and then tried to fuck a commoner, die you scum". Something of that sort.

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It won't work in the long term.  Robb Stark will break his word to Stannis over something or someone.  Stannis won't serve him any kinder than Lord Walder did.  Robb will break his oath to Stannis and he will burn for it. 

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I imagine this would have leveled the playing field when it came to the Stannis vs. Renly showdown, since Stannis + The North and Riverlands vs. Renly + The Stormlands and the Reach for sure would have been a fairer fight. Perhaps since the odds wouldn't have been stacked high in Renlys favor, he would have accepted Stannis' offer to be made his heir? And maybe Stannis would be less likely to have made the Shadow Baby? Idk.

But alas it couldn't have happened this way because if Stannis, Robb and Renly all allied as against the Lannisters, as awesome as it would have been the series would have been over with ACoK.

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11 hours ago, RenlyIsNotRight said:

I imagine this would have leveled the playing field when it came to the Stannis vs. Renly showdown, since Stannis + The North and Riverlands vs. Renly + The Stormlands and the Reach for sure would have been a fairer fight. Perhaps since the odds wouldn't have been stacked high in Renlys favor, he would have accepted Stannis' offer to be made his heir? And maybe Stannis would be less likely to have made the Shadow Baby? Idk.

 

I don't think Renly would take Stannis offer anyway.

Even with the back up of Robb and Edmure, they're still on the trident and can't help Stannis while Tywin sits on Harenhall, and I doubt Mace would take Stannis for his king.

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On 5/13/2019 at 8:18 PM, Minsc said:

Nothing, Robb was already doing all he could possibly do to help Stannis yet Stannis still couldn't get the win. 

This is true.

At the beginning of Storm, the Tyrell-Lannister machine is the most powerful political machine in Westeros. Even with Robb and Edmure's help, Stannis couldn't take Storm's End and defeat Renly without Melisandre's shadowbinding.

And the Stark-Tully-Baratheon alliance can't do anything with Dorne because the Martells have already made a marriage alliance with the Lannisters.

Maybe if Lysa Arryn joined the Stark-Tully-Baratheon-Arryn coalition, things would have been better.

Maybe.

The Ironborn were still going to attack the North.

The Red Wedding and the dissent among Robb's bannermen almost assuredly still would have happened. It just would have happened later for different reasons.

The Hornwood crisis and Roose Bolton's actions in Clash already meant that there would be a Bolton betrayal. The Freys are scum anyways and Tywin writing Walder Frey a letter would've gotten Walder Frey to switch sides anyways; the broken betrothal was just an excuse.

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On 5/13/2019 at 10:04 PM, Canon Claude said:

Let's assume that Robb had been more assertive after the death of Ned Stark and his victories against the Lannisters at Riverrun. Say he decides to do the honourable thing and side with Stannis, even against Renly and Joffrey and whatnot. What do he and Stannis do differently? 

I reject the premise that backing Stannis was an honourable choice for Robb to make whilst he was at Riverrun. Robb did not at that time know that Stannis intended to press a claim to throne, Cat only learnt that Stannis was claiming the throne, and of the incest, when she was in Renly's camp. That was after Robb would have already have moved west. (Recall, Stannis sent his ravens in the prologue of ACoK, after he had already received a letter announcing Robb's crowning which happened late AGoT).

 

Regardless, if the timings had been different I am not sure the military strategy would have played out very differently. Let's suppose that Stannis had sent his proclamations earlier, and that letter arrived at Riverrun before word of Ned's death. Robb would have declared for Stannis, but been too far away from Stannis for immediate conference so would still have been acting as an independent military commander. His logic for moving west would still have been the same, to engage against the Lannisters without falling into the trap of facing Tywins forces at Harrenhal.

 

In the books as they are Tywin was between two enemies in Robb and Renly's and has to choose who to engage first, that would not have been changed if Stannis and Robb had been formally allied. It is possible that if Stannis and Robb had been corresponding then Stannis would have delayed his attack on KL until after Tywin was trapped in the west, but as they would have been sending ravens across great distances they might still have not gotten the timing correct - Robb and Edmure were allied and there was still misunderstanding between the two of them.

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