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RYShh

Who really won the WotFK?

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Perhaps it's really confusing in terms of when it did really end, and who won the conflict in the end. Lannisters needed to team up with Tyrells and they needed to give a Queen to them otherwise they couldn't deal with Robb Stark and Stannis at the same time, and the Battle of Blackwater was a decisive victory for Lannisters-Tyrells alliance and Stannis is broken as a result and went to the Wall, later the Red Wedding followed, however Joffrey died shortly after in the Purple Wedding (and they blamed Robb's sister Sansa Stark for that, though it was LF and Olenna) and then Tywin Lannister followed Joffrey in death due to Tyrion where he kills his own father due to the trial for Joffrey's murder. While Balon's invasion to the North comes to its end when the Northmen returns, and they loses the lands they took, and winterfell and then moat cailin in the end. As well as broken Stannis loses at the North and dies, while Sansa escapes from the Boltons. Then Lannisters and Tyrells alliance come to its end and they struggled to keep the power in the capital due to their own problems with the High Sparrow. Which helped the Starks to take back the North from the Boltons, and as a conclusion of the Battle of Bastards they choose Robb's and Sansa's brother Jon as their king, and KitN arises once again.

Robb's main goal was killing Joffrey and the independence of the North, as he says;

''Robb: One victory does not make us conquerors. Did we free my father? Did we rescue my sisters from the queen? Did we free the North from those who want us on our knees? This war is far from over.'' (S01E09)

''Freys: As restitution for this betrayal, he demands Harrenhal and all its attendant lands. Edmure: - I don't think that's-- - Robb: We are fighting for the North. Harrenhal is not in the North. '' (S03E06)

Joffrey died and now the North is free, Jon and Sansa finished the job that Robb started it. So from that point of view, the North took what they wanted in WotFK. And Sansa can acknowledge that Robb's and Jon's kingships were actually legal, and they can be referred as KitN in all chronicles and court records. As she says to Jon ''Jon: The North is free, thanks to you'' , ''Sansa: But they lost their king.'' (S08E06)

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The "War of the Five Kings" was not finally resolved and no one really won this war. All five contestants are dead: Robb, Renly, Stannis, Jeoffrey, Balon Greyjoy.

The WotFK was essentially the mixture of a throne succession war (Renly, Stannis, Jeoffrey) and other interests like (a) for the Starks the revenge for Ned Stark, and (b) the grasp for the North by Balon Greyjoy.

Robb won several batlles, but was killed in the Red Wedding. This somehow ended the WotFK for the Starks. Even if we were to count the battle of the bastards as part of the WotFK, Jon did not reach or even try to grasp the Iron throne. No winner in the throne war, but winner in the North war as in (b).

Renly was murdered by Stannis and clearly lost the war.

Stannis war killed in battle and exited the WotFK. No successor.

Balon Greyjoy was killed, neither Yara nor Euron did not enter the war, No immediate succession.

Jeoffrey was killed but the Lannister-Baratheons kept the throne. So technincally, they won. Tommen was formal winner. 

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As I see it, the whole point of the War of the Five Kings is that nobody won, and Westeros lost. From a dramatic point of view, it's the just the prelude to the invasion of the Others, with the purpose of transmuting the futility of wasting the lives and resources in fruitless in-fighting that will be sorely needed in the coming struggle for survival.

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Like the Wars of the Roses, there didn't appear to be any winner. One side won militarily, there would be an extended time of peace, and the losing side would rise back up again. And we could argue until we're blue in the face when these two conflicts came to a definitive end, the Wars of the Roses more so since England didn't have the Others to worry about. Show Melisandre may have foreshadowed the deaths of all five kings when she said, "This War of Five Kings means nothing." Book Melisandre warned that other pretenders would rise up in response to Stannis begrudgingly offering to those Northmen and Ironborn who would kneel to him. As was the case with the Dance of the Dragons (also happening on the eve of a devastating winter), no one truly won the War of the Five Kings, but entirety of the Realm lost.

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The fact that this discussion is still ongoing only provides more evidence to GRRM'S well known stance that in war no one truly wins.

The realm looses and weakens regardless of who claims to 'win'.

Especially in Westeros, as Winter comes, with the added risk of all those dead people, no longer present to fight the Others and well available to become wights.

People in power, with power, will find reasons to make war upon each other, more or less justified, more or less selfish, but in the end the 'whole', or in show!Varys' favorite catchphrase 'the realm' suffers and looses anyway.

(Which for a character that invested on pitching kings at eachother is pretty damn stupid, if not simply dishonest).

Who won? Who cares? 

The question to ask and answer from these stories is 'who looses?' and the answer will always be 'everyone'.

 

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In the Game of Thrones, you die. Nobody wins. Cersei is wrong with her assessment. One could argue that the Others win. 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, RYShh said:

Which helped the Starks to take back the North from the Boltons, and as a conclusion of the Battle of Bastards they choose Robb's and Sansa's brother Jon as their king, and KitN arises once again....Joffrey died and now the North is free, Jon and Sansa finished the job that Robb started it. So from that point of view, the North took what they wanted in WotFK. And Sansa can acknowledge that Robb's and Jon's kingships were actually legal, and they can be referred as KitN in all chronicles and court records. As she says to Jon ''Jon: The North is free, thanks to you'' , ''Sansa: But they lost their king.'' (S08E06)

I think this is an interesting post and good question you bring up. The popular opinion seems to be that right after RW, with hegemony shifting to Bolton, Frey, Lannister, Tyrell world order, and the Vale and Dorne kept in line by marriage alliances , that the war ended in Royalist victory. 

However, I personally feel that this is merely one side getting an upper hand, not that the war is over. For example, at the time of RW (the supposed end of Wot5K), Stannis still had 4000 men, which he later made into 10,000 with IB loan before losing it all. Thus, just cause someone is down and out does not mean the war is over. 

So from a retrospective Northern loyalist legal perspective, Bran inherited the moment Robb and Talisa died, with Rickon, Sansa, Arya as line of succession. I don't think Robb managed to officially legitimize Jon, so he's not in the line as of then. Thus, sovereignty was preserved through Bran. As long as the blood line is preserved and unbent, the conflict is not over. 

Thus, I feel that Battle of Bastards was a continuation of the Wot5K, with the Northern Lords council afterwards revoking Robb's line and giving KitN to Jon. Before anyone wonders how an inferior could revoke the power of a superior, know that the North subscribes to Popular Kingship and not standard Kingship. That's why it's called King in the North and not King of the North. Likewise, this the same reason the Monarch of Belgium is officially King of the Belgians and not King of Belgium (the territory). The King in the North is a King among the Northmen so long as he maintains confidence of the Lords.

Thus, from a Northern legal perspective, as soon as Jon retook Winterfell and received his crown by acclamation, the North won the Wot5K as they achieved all objectives:

1) North regains territorial control with Bolton Wardens defeated. 

2) No longer bound to the iron throne with the extinction of House Baratheon of KL after death of Tommen without heir. 

The only other potential winner of Wot5K would be Iron islands as they were unsubdued. However, their legal situation got very complicated with Euron, who was lawfully elected but appears to sort of bend a knee to Cersei.  

However, Jon later bent the knee to Dany, which basically meant that Northern victory lasted only between BoB and the Boat. That's why everyone was so angry when Jon came home. Afterwards, what Sansa got was a new deal from Bran, and her crown a new creation.

Nevertheless, for the matter of the Wot5K by itself, it was a Northern victory, as Stannis, Renly and Joffrey's line were made extinct, while Euron chose to follow Cersei.

Also, there might be a shrewd reason why Yara didn't press for what the North got during the Great Council. With the North out of the 7K, they are out of the Kings Peace. That means after Bran dies (or during his reign if his hold turns out to be weak), the Iron Born could reave the Northern coast as a foreign country and nobody in Kings Landing would technically need to care. With Northern armies so depleted, Sansa's has a long annoying road ahead imo. 

Edited by Br16

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