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Northmen slaughtering civilians

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I get them going after the Lannister army, even after they were unarmed, given all the bad blood between them and the North.

But the butchering of the civilians?  Just chalk it up to the horrors of war?  Just seemed...odd, especially since Jon couldn't restrain them. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Skills said:

But the butchering of the civilians?  Just chalk it up to the horrors of war?

Exactly. The horrors of war. Men turning into beasts. Very, very well depicted.

Do you know how many modern soldiers become rapists or murderers in the context of battle? Both killing and seeing all the horrors around you leads to degradation of moral principles and losing proper behaviour.

11 hours ago, Skills said:

especially since Jon couldn't restrain them

They showed us that he saves a woman from being raped. He tries to do the right even in battle. He cannot care for every casualty, though.

The Northerners are not saints anyway. War is the same everywhere.

Edited by Kajjo

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Both books and show do not hide that the Northmen are as bad as anyone without proper leadership, in fact throughout the war of 5 Kings in the novels we hear of only 2 men who keep their soldiers in hand, Randyll Tarly and Stannis Baratheon

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Well, we have actually seen the most moral man in the universe burn armies, kill a family member, a former lover, threaten more family members, bully people and beat a man to death with a shield. This was back when the show wasn’t black and white. 

So I suppose the northmen’s behavior is either a reference to the early seasons or the early season were foreshadowing for the northmen’s behavior. Whichever end of the circular reasoning we grasp it, it does make all the sense, creatively. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, FitzChivalry Fartseer said:

Both books and show do not hide that the Northmen are as bad as anyone without proper leadership, in fact throughout the war of 5 Kings in the novels we hear of only 2 men who keep their soldiers in hand, Randyll Tarly and Stannis Baratheon

Yeah, and possibly Robb could also do that, considering that Tywin said Robb was keeping his men in good order and they never find any chance to ambush them directly so they needed something like Red Wedding to get rid of them once and for all; 

Spoiler

“It was to be an arrow, at Edmure Tully’s wedding feast. The boy was too wary in the field. He kept his men in good order, and surrounded himself with outriders and bodyguards.”
“So Lord Walder slew him under his own roof, at his own table?” Tyrion made a fist. “What of Lady Catelyn?”
“Slain as well, Id say. A pair of wolfskins. Frey had intended to keep her captive, but perhaps something went awry.”
“So much for guest right.”
“The blood is on Walder Frey’s hands, not mine.”
“Walder Frey is a peevish old man who lives to fondle his young wife and brood over all the slights he’s suffered. I have no doubt he hatched this ugly chicken, but he would never have dared such a thing without a promise of protection.”
“I suppose you would have spared the boy and told Lord Frey you had no need of his allegiance? That would have driven the old fool right back into Stark’s arms and won you another year of war. Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner.” When Tyrion had no reply to that, his father continued. “The price was cheap by any measure. The crown shall grant Riverrun to Ser Emmon Frey once the Blackfish yields. Lancel and Daven must marry Frey girls, joy is to wed one of Lord Walder’s natural sons when she’s old enough, and Roose Bolton becomes Warden of the North and takes home Arya Stark.”

But I guess Robb didn't want to restrain his men when it comes to that especially when they invaded the some parts in Westerlands and there was already a bad blood between the Northmen and the Lannisters.

Even then, I doubt anyone could stop that carnage in KL when they started the fight in KL, especially Jon couldn't do anything when Grey Worm attacked the Lannisters and the other Unsullied and Dothraki followed him, at some point even Jon had to kill Lannisters in order to protect himself since some of them attacked him in that chaos, there was no way to stop it, and Jon couldn't do anything there, he wasn't the supreme commander, he couldn't control the Unsullied and Dothraki, especially after Dany continued to burn the city and Lannisters naturally panicked in that situation and attacked them for self defense.

Also there are soldiers from the Vale in the sack of KL as well, not only the Northmen.

Edited by Erkan12

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11 hours ago, Skills said:

I get them going after the Lannister army, even after they were unarmed, given all the bad blood between them and the North.

But the butchering of the civilians?  Just chalk it up to the horrors of war?  Just seemed...odd, especially since Jon couldn't restrain them. 

Almost every foot soldier in Westeros does that when they find the chance, not every foot soldier is a noblemen or knight.

It depends on the commander, and Jon couldn't stop them when Dany continued to burn the city and Grey Worm continued to attack.

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Posted (edited)

It's a subversion of our expectations, and for once it's a pretty good one.

All this time the northerners has been depicted as "the good guys" (mostly) and the lannisters as "the bad guys" (mostly).
Before the slaughter battle of Kings Landing began, the vast majority of the audience was rooting for Jon and Daenerys side and their army. Finally, after 7 seasons, we had a northern army outside KL (but no Robb Stark), set on attacking and capturing the city.

Then when the battle was over, the northerners turned out to be just as cruel like everyone else if given the opportunity. 
 

Edited by MinscS2

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It was very realistic. Everyone was pent up, the city was breached... Basically as long as there were city fortresses, this happened, to varying extent. If the assault was quick and easy, there usually was less of it than in a major assault with a lot of casualties (Wellington's assault on Ahmednuggur in India, where city fell to 3-4 regiments within an hour and order was restored fairly quickly, vs. assault on Badajoz where several divisions took part and suffered horrible losses in the breaches and where it took days to restore order). 

 

Here, however, the troops were not homogenous and not disciplined. And when their tactical commander signalled slaughter of the surrendering soldiers... Everything went to hell in a handbasket.

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It doesn't really seem all that far fetched to me. The Lannister army did the same thing at the end of Robert's Rebellion. I doubt Tywin ordered his army to kill the innocent people, or to rape women and children. 

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Of course the northern army did this.  Every city that has ever been sacked has been this way.  They even do it to themselves like Ramsay's sacking of Winterfell.  I think Sandor or Ray called it bloodlust or something along those lines during the whole "Broken Men" speech.  As soon as the unsullied attacked Jon had no chance of keeping command.  They marched 1000 leagues for the battle and were ready to unleash fury on their southron foes.

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Posted (edited)

As much as the rest of the episode was a bit gratuitous in some ways. The Northmen killing or raping civilians was something I didn't have a problem with.
The moment you have an army you will get at least a portion of soldiers who are in it for the rape and plunder or who just like inflicting pain. That has been true for every army, everywhere to every time.
And even with decent, everyday people the high stress and constant mortal danger of war, or even a single battle, can "flip a switch" inside their head, causing them to admit atrocities they would have never been able to. Humanity wasn't made for war as it has invented it. Nothing in nature comes even close to it.

Just imagine being a Northern farmer in KL, Greyworm has just goaded the Lannisters into counter-attacking, there's screaming and flailing people everywhere and the crazy whitehaired chick is riding on her huge-ass Dragon, constantly roasting streets full of random people. Would you be able to distinguish who's foe or innocent?

In Blackwater it's made clear that not even Stannis, who's as strict as anybody can be about proper conduct could have prevented his army from ravaging the city, what chance did Jon and Davos have, especially since their forces included Dothraki and a crazy mass-murderer on a dragon?

And remember, part of why Daenerys wanted the Unsullied was because they are so disciplined and their behaviour is so modified that they would not cause unnecessary suffering among civilians.
 

Edited by Orphalesion

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1 hour ago, Erkan12 said:

It depends on the commander, and Jon couldn't stop them when Dany continued to burn the city and Grey Worm continued to attack.

To be fair, Grey Worm was commander of the Unsullied and he literally threw the first spear. The Dothraki are bloodthirsty barbarians, who hardly speak the common tongue. And Jon had literally seconds between the first dead Lannister and the two armies (Lannisters on the one side, Unsullied, Dothraki and Northmen on the other side) meating in battle. There was nothing he could do to stop that. And of course the Lannisters will pick up weapons when they were attacked. Thats pure instinct.

Even Stannis or Randyl Tarly wouldn't be able to handle the situation differently (with a spear throwing commander of the Unsullied and undisciplined Dothraki in line).

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It was annoying because it felt like something Northernmen shouldn't do. But they are just like everyone else when it comes to war, just killing to kill.

What's really annoying is the show keeps telling us how the men respect Jon, see him as king (maybe not anymore), how they will follow him no matter what, so on and so forth. Then when he gives them orders, eh screw that Jon Snow guy. More Jon Snow being a bad leader.

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1 hour ago, Haskelltier said:

To be fair, Grey Worm was commander of the Unsullied and he literally threw the first spear. The Dothraki are bloodthirsty barbarians, who hardly speak the common tongue. And Jon had literally seconds between the first dead Lannister and the two armies (Lannisters on the one side, Unsullied, Dothraki and Northmen on the other side) meating in battle. There was nothing he could do to stop that. And of course the Lannisters will pick up weapons when they were attacked. Thats pure instinct.

Even Stannis or Randyl Tarly wouldn't be able to handle the situation differently (with a spear throwing commander of the Unsullied and undisciplined Dothraki in line).

I think Daenerys told Grey Worm to go berserker. "You'll know when" or whatever that line was. They planned this, and he was following her orders.

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"There's a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand", Ser Jorah.

He was not quite as accurate right after that, though.

I get Grey Worm was angry, heart broken and bitter. But, he needs to get his head removed in the last episode. Attacking men that have surrendered is a grave sin and he did it on purpose to start the slaughter.

I hated the episode like almost all of them for years, but that was actually a well done scene, in my opinion.

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23 minutes ago, Ice Queen said:

I think Daenerys told Grey Worm to go berserker. "You'll know when" or whatever that line was. They planned this, and he was following her orders.

Honestly, I think Grey Worm was totally into it not just following orders. 

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7 minutes ago, Minsc said:

Honestly, I think Grey Worm was totally into it not just following orders. 

Oh, I agree with that. But I do think she told him to do it and his response was, "With pleasure!"

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