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Tywin Manderly

Appropriate Punishment for Catelyn

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35 minutes ago, Wolf's Bane said:

It's not a question of subjective morality.  It's complete bullcrap to claim Rickard Karstark was more serious.  It's a question of how much damage it did to their cause.  Catelyn released Jaime Kingslayer.  Rickard killed two POWs.  Catelyn did more harm.  The two squires are nothing and of low strategic value.  

Who says they have to be punished according to who hurt their cause more? I've never heard that as a guide line for punishment. Typically the punishment has to fit the crime. Since the crimes are very different there is absolutely no way the punishment should be the same. Catelyn freed someone, Karstark killed people. How can killing people not hold a bigger punishment than freeing someone? 

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1 hour ago, Wolf's Bane said:

It's not a question of subjective morality.  It's complete bullcrap to claim Rickard Karstark was more serious.  It's a question of how much damage it did to their cause.  Catelyn released Jaime Kingslayer.  Rickard killed two POWs.  Catelyn did more harm.  The two squires are nothing and of low strategic value.  

Karstark murdered two peers that were under his king's control and hospitality, killing his king's men in order to do it, as a way to communicate his dissatisfaction with his king, then said that his king wouldn't dare do anything to him about it, because his king was at war and needed his soldiers- sprinkling his words with some sophistry to pad them.

To have the perspective you just presented you're either being willfully blind (possible, people come to conclusions they like and then back-fill, and sometimes the conclusions they like to have not much material available to fill much in at all) or politically inept (again possible, it isn't necessarily conventional to believe that political authority has no overwhelmingly significant external wellspring. You're going to have to take it on faith that if Rob lets Karstark act and then affirm that act by verbal proclamation when challenged on that action that as a King Rob can be freely ignored, Rob can be ignored.).

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8 hours ago, SeanF said:

Karstark was guilty of murdering prisoners, to whom his king had given protection, however, and is only a very distant relative.

Not just the prisoners, Karstark and his group also killed the men guarding the prisoners.

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4 hours ago, Wolf's Bane said:

It's not a question of subjective morality.  It's complete bullcrap to claim Rickard Karstark was more serious.  It's a question of how much damage it did to their cause.  Catelyn released Jaime Kingslayer.  Rickard killed two POWs.  Catelyn did more harm.  The two squires are nothing and of low strategic value.  

Erhm... there's nothing subjective about it. 

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18 hours ago, SeanF said:

Karstark was guilty of murdering prisoners, to whom his king had given protection, however, and is only a very distant relative.

Yeah, I know. So his mother should act with impunity? I think a Tully head weighs about the same as a Karstark one. And kin is kin.

The Karstark betrayal cost Rob some hostages. Cat's betrayal cost him the war. And undermined his rule. 

I suppose the sensible idea would be to have her confined to RR and leave her there. But it's always bothered me that Rob would kill a sworn bannerman (distant relative or no) and do absolutely nothing with Cat when what Cat did cost them more. 

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2 hours ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

I suppose the sensible idea would be to have her confined to RR and leave her there. But it's always bothered me that Rob would kill a sworn bannerman (distant relative or no) and do absolutely nothing with Cat when what Cat did cost them more. 

Catelyn got a pass because Robb felt guity and semi-ashamed about marrying Jeyne Westerling. In addition was she clever enough to act submissively when being brought before Robb. It also helped that some time had passed between her releasing Jaime and Robb's arrival at Rivverun. 

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5 hours ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

Yeah, I know. So his mother should act with impunity? I think a Tully head weighs about the same as a Karstark one. And kin is kin.

The Karstark betrayal cost Rob some hostages. Cat's betrayal cost him the war. And undermined his rule. 

I suppose the sensible idea would be to have her confined to RR and leave her there. But it's always bothered me that Rob would kill a sworn bannerman (distant relative or no) and do absolutely nothing with Cat when what Cat did cost them more. 

Catelyn releasing Jaime didn't cost him the war. Robb going back on his word to marry a Frey cost him the war. 

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6 hours ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

Yeah, I know. So his mother should act with impunity? I think a Tully head weighs about the same as a Karstark one. And kin is kin.

The Karstark betrayal cost Rob some hostages. Cat's betrayal cost him the war. And undermined his rule. 

I suppose the sensible idea would be to have her confined to RR and leave her there. But it's always bothered me that Rob would kill a sworn bannerman (distant relative or no) and do absolutely nothing with Cat when what Cat did cost them more. 

Murdering people to whom your liege Lord has given protection is a massive no no in a feudal setting.  You're making your liege Lord a liar in the eyes of the world, and spitting on his honour.  Death is the only punishment that fits.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, illrede said:

The stumbling block was the loss of the Karstark men for doing the subsequent fairly obvious, conventional, and just thing.

Only one disagreement here- The Karstark men had already left before Robb decided judgment. After pronouncing judgment on Karstark's men (not yet on Karstark himself), Robb retreats to a private room with Catelyn and Brynden, where he discovers that Karstark had already ordered his men to abandon Robb and search for Jaime at the same time he led the group to kill the prisoners (and their jailers). Even had Robb spared Karstark, those forces were gone anyway.

 

“Lord Umber,” said Robb, “this one was only the watcher. Hang him last, so he may watch the others die. Mother, Uncle, with me, if you please.” 

and when in private:

The Blackfish shut the door. “The Karstarks are gone.”

“All?” Was it anger or despair that thickened Robb’s voice like that? Even Catelyn was not certain.

“All the fighting men,” Ser Brynden replied. “A few camp followers and serving men were left with their wounded. We questioned as many as we needed, to be certain of the truth. They started leaving at nightfall, stealing off in ones and twos at first, and then in larger groups. The wounded men and servants were told to keep the campfires lit so no one would know they’d gone, but once the rains began it didn’t matter…They’ve scattered, hunting. Lord Karstark has sworn to give the hand of his maiden daughter to any man highborn or low who brings him the head of the Kingslayer.”

Edited by Lluewhyn

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It is the King's prerogative to decide what happens (albeit a King of a new Northern dominated kingdom so not Iron Throne laws mind you). She is the mother of the King (who just turned 16). He also is under the belief that he has virtually no family left & tossed a betrothal out the window. I'm going to go by Robb's book decision.

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On 8/14/2019 at 1:34 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

You have identified one of the important choices for a leader.  Catelyn is guilty of treason.  How Robb can kill Karstark and let mom get off lightly is proof of poor ruling.  This theme is repeated again at the wall when Jon Snow kills Slynt and later lets a worse criminal off the blocks.  The Starks are poor at handling situations when it gets personal.  Robb and Jon stink  as leaders.

:agree:

Inconsistency, partiality, and emotions are the enemies of justice.  These two fools brought their followers to ruin. 

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33 minutes ago, Damsel in Distress said:

:agree:

Inconsistency, partiality, and emotions are the enemies of justice.  These two fools brought their followers to ruin. 

As was pointed out upthread, Karstark also murdered Robb's own soldiers.  Of course he must die for that.

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Posted (edited)

It is obvious that Karstark's crime deserved a much greater punishment than Catelyn's. Some things that should be stressed in this topic:

  • Catelyn freed Jaime the night she knew about the murders of Bran and Rickon. It was a situation where it was easy to concede that there was a temporary emotional or psychological distress. Meanwhile, Rickard's murders were premeditated, and his sons had been killed months ago.
  • For better or for worse (well, it's for worse) Westeros is a misogynist society. That means that Rickard is seen as a person who is fully responsible for his actions, while Catelyn's actions can be waved away as the over-emotional response of a grieving woman who didn't know what was doing. (The Greatjon says: “It was a mother’s folly. Women are made that way.”)
  • The reaction of the culprits were diametrically opposed. Catelyn submits himself to the king, and says "If my heart led me into folly, I would gladly make whatever amends I can to Lord Karstark and yourself.” Rickard is defiant, insults and belittles Robb, and says: “In war you kill your enemies. Didn’t your father teach you that, boy?
  • Rickard's murder of the Lannisters prisoners put in mortal danger all the Northern prisoners that the Lannisters had, including his own son Harrion, Wylis Manderly, lord Cerwyn, Donnel Locke and several Freys. If the Lannisters think that Robb is condoning the killing of hostages, all those men are as good as dead. It was vital that Robb sent a resounding message making clear that he didn't tolerate this, and that the rules of war regarding the fair treatment of noble prisoners still applied.

Also, it's also inaccurate to suggest that Catelyn was not punished. After she releases the Kingslayer, he spents some weeks if not months confined in her chambers. And after Edmure's wedding, she was supposed to be cut off from Robb's inner circle and sent to a forced retirement at Seagard. From ASOS:

"Mother. (...) Our journey through the Neck will be dangerous, and naught but battle awaits us in the north. But Lord Mallister has kindly offered to keep you safe at Seagard until the war is done. You will be comfortable there, I know.”(...)
“Seagard will be brightened by your presence, Lady Catelyn,” said Lord Jason Mallister.
“You would make me a prisoner,” she said.
“An honored guest,” Lord Jason insisted.“
Catelyn turned to her son. “I mean no offense to Lord Jason,” she said stiffly, “but if I cannot continue on with you, I would sooner return to Riverrun.”
“I left my wife at Riverrun. I want my mother elsewhere. (...) After the wedding, you shall go to Seagard, that is my royal command.”

She was basically sent to exile in a remote castle, alone, detached from her remaining family and from any political influence. It's very harsh, specially for someone like Cat. It's not explicitly said, but that's obviously a punishment for freeing Jaime.

Edited by The hairy bear

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On 8/15/2019 at 12:25 PM, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Catelyn releasing Jaime didn't cost him the war. Robb going back on his word to marry a Frey cost him the war. 

Some would argue that the red wedding never would have taken place if Jaime had remained prisoner.  I think the point here is the inability of the Stark boys to be impartial.  It is a fatal flaw for someone who wants to lead.  

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2 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

Some would argue that the red wedding never would have taken place if Jaime had remained prisoner.  I think the point here is the inability of the Stark boys to be impartial.  It is a fatal flaw for someone who wants to lead.  

I can't think of any possible way Jaime remaining captive would have avoided the RW? Walder was angry Robb went back on his word to marry a Frey = the RW. Jaime doesn't play a part in that act. 

In fact I think there are some situations where the RW would have happened even if Robb kept his word because Walder is tricksy like that. heh

But that is a discussion for another time. 

I disagree wholeheartedly that the Stark boys have been partial in their roles as leaders. I think it's the people arguing that Cat should have lost her head that are being partial. 

To be impartial means to look at the entire picture & not just part of it. To make an unbiased decision. Let's take a look at the whole picture. When discussing a crime it's helpful to take into consideration the crime, motive, & any remorse the criminal may or may not have. 

Catelyn:

Crime - releasing a prisoner against the command of her king

Motive: Grief - after losing 2 sons (she believes) she released a prisoner to regain her daughters 

Remorseful? Yes

Karstark:

Crime: murdering prisoners (plural) along with guards against the command of his king

Motive: Revenge after losing his own sons wishes to pay the Lannisters back in kind but carries out his revenge on people that had nothing to do with the death of his sons. 

Remorseful? No

See the difference? To suggest that these two crimes deserve the same punishment is being very partial.  Different crimes = different punishments. 

You wouldn't sentence someone to death for slapping someone anymore than you would sentence someone to probation for torturing someone. Robb is not the Queen of Hearts screaming "Off with their heads!" At every slight nor should he be. 

I can't see Jon, Bran or Rickon doing something like murdering innocent people but if they did I think Robb would have been left with no choice but to exact the same punishment he did on Karstark. 

Likewise, if any person outside of his family released Jaime I would assume the punishment would be similar to Catelyn's.

Now if you want to argue that Karstark's punishment was too harsh or that Catelyn's was too lenient, I think there are logical arguments for that. But to say they deserved the same punishment is absurd. 

 

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1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

can't think of any possible way Jaime remaining captive would have avoided the RW?

Ditto.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Walder was angry Robb went back on his word to marry a Frey = the RW. Jaime doesn't play a part in that act. 

In fact I think there are some situations where the RW would have happened even if Robb kept his word because Walder is tricksy like that. heh

The hubris and pride of Tywin Lannister would never ever have allowed for Robb to get away with capturing Jaime. Jaime later is released, and what? Tywin doesn’t strike me as a “forgive and forget” kinda person. And Robb did pose a relative threat to the crown. won some battles angsinst the Lannisters, and captured Tywin’s golden boy, and Tywin sees all of that as personal insults and insults against his house. Maybe he feels people are not as respectful towards him anymore, and hey nothing like a lil Rains of Catamere II The Mission to remind people that House Lannister is as strong as it ever was under his rule. 

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It occurred to me some time ago that GRRM wants us to compare Catelyn taking Tyrion prisoner at the inn at the crossroads to the Defiance of Duskendale, where Lord Darklyn lured King Aerys into a trap and then held him prisoner. There are major differences, to be sure, but enough similarities that I could see that the parallel was intentional.

But it had not crossed my mind that the freeing of Jaime might also be part of the parallel.

Tyrion is freed because of the trial by combat, won by Bronn over Ser Vardis Egen, who is crushed by a falling statue of Alyssa Arryn. In this scenario, Bronn fulfills the roll played by Ser Barristan Selmy in liberating King Aerys. Lysa says to him, "Ser Vardis Egen, you were ever my lord husband's good right hand. You shall be our champion." So there is the loss of a right hand involved in this combat.

Jaime is freed because Catelyn decides it is worth taking the first step in a gesture of peace with the Lannisters. She trust's Tyrion's word that he would swap her daughters for Jaime's safe return. Brienne fulfills the roll of Ser Barristan, delivering Jaime back to King's Landing but he loses his right hand (his kingslayer hand) along the way.

I think GRRM wants us to compare/contrast both Lysa and Catelyn to Lady Darklyn. She is one of those dark foreign beauties who is stereotyped in Westeros as an evil seductress: people blame her for influencing her husband in taking the king hostage. Her female organs are mutilated and she is drawn and quartered, as I recall.

Lysa and Catelyn both suffer horrible "deaths" after tangling with the Lannister hostages: Lysa will be pushed out of the Moon Door by her first and only love. Major betrayal.

There is a third "kidnapping" before Catelyn's death: she takes the Frey fool, Jinglebell (whose real name is Aegon) and slits his throat when the Freys kill Robb. This scenario is all about double-crosses, broken promises and betrayal upon betrayal.

You could make a case that Catelyn did suffer a punishment similar to the horrors inflicted on Lady Darklyn, even though Tyrion and Jaime were freed. It was only when Jinglebell died that she was put to death. After death, she continues to suffer the fate of Alyssa Arryn: mourning the deaths of her family forever and ever. Even the "Stoneheart" title is an allusion to the broken statue at the Eyrie.

Follow-up thoughts:

1) I suspect there are things about Ser Barristan and about his successful rescue of Aerys that we have not been told. Just how was that fantastic rescue mission so successful?

2) Lysa is killed by Petyr Baelish; Catelyn is killed by Raymund Frey, a son of Lord Walder Frey through his Amarei Crakehall marriage. Are we supposed to compare Baelish and Raymund? I'm not sure what the parallel is, but I would guess there might be one. Right now, I think it is hidden in our lack of knowledge about the true motives of Petyr Baelish throughout this Game of Thrones saga. Maybe we will know more if and when those motives are revealed.

Fwiw, the Crakehalls are Lannister bannermen, and descendants of this Frey marriage tend to ally with the Lannisters. (Raymund has children named Tywin, Cersei and Jaime; Gatehouse Ami will marry cousin Lancel.) So this could be a symbolic "revenge by the Lannisters" death for Catelyn. I guess we don't need Raymund's pedigree to reach that insight, except the link might underscore the motive as the hostage situations for Tyrion and Jaime, not Robb's crowning of himself.

The Crakehall sigil is a boar, and a boar or boar meat are present at the deaths of kings: Robert and Robb, for sure. I believe boar meat may have been served at the tourney feast before Renly's death as well. Like Robert, Catelyn is killed by a "boar".

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On 8/15/2019 at 6:59 PM, SeanF said:

Murdering people to whom your liege Lord has given protection is a massive no no in a feudal setting.  You're making your liege Lord a liar in the eyes of the world, and spitting on his honour.  Death is the only punishment that fits.

Ok. Agreed. So back to the OP, what is the appropriate punishment for Cat? 

Karstak made his King a liar and so he paid with his head.
Catelyn receives.... :dunno:

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On 8/15/2019 at 5:25 PM, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Catelyn releasing Jaime didn't cost him the war. Robb going back on his word to marry a Frey cost him the war. 

Do you honestly believe that the RW would of played out the way it did if JL was rotting in a dungeon in RR? 


That would of been an even trade. The heir to Casterly Rock in exchange for the heir to the North. Alas... Tywin and co were free to do as they pleased with almost no fear of retribution. 

The capture of JL was the biggest and most significant win for the North. And Catelyn undid it all. There were a number of reasons which served to weaken Rob's cause. And shunning the Frey girl was one of them. But Catelyn giving away Tywin's only weakness left Rob with nothing but a prayer. It's like spending your last bit of money on a lotto scratch-card. 

I understand they both made a mess. I understand that there is love and respect between them. I'm not insinuating that Rob should of just lopped her head off, willy-nilly. But nothing? King's and queens often change their mind. Making new rules and breaking old ones.  It is a luxury not afforded to anyone else. It is for him to command and others to obey. And his intentions re JL were clear.  

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On 8/15/2019 at 2:51 PM, Tywin Manderly said:

Catelyn got a pass because Robb felt guity and semi-ashamed about marrying Jeyne Westerling. In addition was she clever enough to act submissively when being brought before Robb. It also helped that some time had passed between her releasing Jaime and Robb's arrival at Rivverun. 

Good point. I suppose he had time to ruminate on things and so could not of acted in haste. 

I'm just stuck on how he didn't choose to act like a king. And instead acted as Catelyn's boy. 

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