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Angel Eyes

Why does Balon Greyjoy want to attack the North?

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I don't quite understand why Balon Greyjoy wanted to attack the North and blames Ned Stark for his sons' deaths. Ned wasn't even present when Rodrik was killed; If I was Balon I'd attack Seagard because Jason Mallister was the one who killed Rodrik. Honestly, the North caused him less suffering than the Baratheons did.

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35 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

I don't quite understand why Balon Greyjoy wanted to attack the North and blames Ned Stark for his sons' deaths. Ned wasn't even present when Rodrik was killed; If I was Balon I'd attack Seagard because Jason Mallister was the one who killed Rodrik. Honestly, the North caused him less suffering than the Baratheons did.

Because he is Balon. In other words: not the sharpest knife in the box, and a bit of an idiot actually. The North is too vast by a country mile for the Ironborn to hold. If he had half a brain, he would have made common cause with Robb.

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5 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

I don't quite understand why Balon Greyjoy wanted to attack the North and blames Ned Stark for his sons' deaths. Ned wasn't even present when Rodrik was killed; If I was Balon I'd attack Seagard because Jason Mallister was the one who killed Rodrik. Honestly, the North caused him less suffering than the Baratheons did.

Balon wanted freedom.  He didn't need a reason.  He wanted to bring back the old way of life for the Iron born.  For that he needed to make the islands independent from the rest of the realm. 

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Posted (edited)

The north was left undefended and is in some disarray by the time the ironborn land in the north because of Ramsay. Ned's death and Robb leaving for war left a bit of a power vacuum. The Stark in Winterfell is a 9 year old boy. 

There's the Hornwood marriage, Manderly taking the castle, Manderly men fighting Bolton men. The resources are stretched pretty thin, Rodrik Cassel is trying to put out fires as best as he can. Those are not things that Balon would necessarily know, so at the end of the day, I think it comes down to geography.

If Seagard is attacked, men can be sent there to throw the ironborn back into the sea. Seagard isn't isolated the way the north is. 

The north can't be taken from the south because of Moat Cailin. And the north doesn't have a fleet and neither do the riverlands for that matter where they can have everyone hop on ships to carry them back to the north through White Harbor. 

Strategically, it sort of makes sense to go after that territory, but Balon was a total idiot if he thought he'd be able to hold it. 

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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Balon hate going strong still

Is it idiotic to own more land then Harren?

2 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

The north was left undefended and is in some disarray by the time the ironborn land in the north because of Ramsay. Ned's death and Robb leaving for war left a bit of a power vacuum. The Stark in Winterfell is a 9 year old boy. 

There's the Hornwood marriage, Manderly taking the castle, Manderly men fighting Bolton men. The resources are stretched pretty thin, Rodrik Cassel is trying to put out fires as best as he can. Those are not things that Balon would necessarily know, so at the end of the day, I think it comes down to geography.

If Seagard is attacked, men can be sent there to throw the ironborn back into the sea. Seagard isn't isolated the way the north is. 

The north can't be taken from the south because of Moat Cailin. And the north doesn't have a fleet and neither do the riverlands for that matter where they can have everyone hop on ships to carry them back to the north through White Harbor. 

Strategically, it sort of makes sense to go after that territory, but Balon was a total idiot if he thought he'd be able to hold it. 

Why? You just explained the reasons why Balon would be able to hold the territory.

The only reason they didn't is because he was murdered by a faceless man so his brother abandoned his post to go back to court. Later his brainwashed son lied to the garrison and convinced them to stand down. The fact that Balon didn't foresee these events shouldn't give him the title of idiot

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2 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

The north was left undefended and is in some disarray by the time the ironborn land in the north because of Ramsay. Ned's death and Robb leaving for war left a bit of a power vacuum. The Stark in Winterfell is a 9 year old boy. 

 

The same can be said about the Westerlands, Tywin draw even more of his forces away, and was cut out of his lands by Robb as Kevan tell us.

“Jaime has left us in a bad way. Roose Bolton and the remnants of his host are north of us. Our enemies hold the Twins and Moat Cailin. Robb Stark sits to the west, so we cannot retreat to Lannisport and the Rock unless we choose to give battle."

And Balon did not know of Ramsey making everything a mess, and even this only brought him some time. Balon never had any chance of taking the north... after all the events of Ramsey, Manderlys and Robb bringing his army south, Tywin said this about the IB:

“Balon Greyjoy thinks in terms of plunder, not rule. Let him enjoy an autumn crown and suffer a northern winter. He will give his subjects no cause to love him. Come spring, the northmen will have had a bellyful of krakens"

 

3 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

If Seagard is attacked, men can be sent there to throw the ironborn back into the sea. Seagard isn't isolated the way the north is. 

 

During the Greyjoy Rebellion Jason Mallister alone was capable of driving them out.

Irony or not the only sucess Balon enjoyed during his revolt was against Tywin, and now he seems to fear him.

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3 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

Sort of strange that Balon didn’t send anyone to take cape kraken and bear island. These lands he could’ve held for a long while. 

Balon was never logical with his plans, reason is not something the man knew.

When he start to explain his strategy he ignores the only person in the room that lived in the north and knows the place and the people much better than anyone else (Theon).

When Theon pulled out a miracolous move by taking Winterfell instead of send reinforces or praise him, he prayed that he died.

And there still he plea for Tywin's when he is trying to break free from Tywin's grandson.

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Ned was the one who stole his heir. His two elder sons dying in battle is something that Balon could stomach. It's the risk that comes with being a reaver. But kidnapping his only remaining son and taking away from him to be raised away from the iron culture in the green lands is needlessly cruel, in his view.

Theon was taken by Ned when he was ten, and at the beginning of AGOT, nine years later, he was still a hostage. His own heir was someone alien to his own culture, that he couldn't rely on. I can see how Balon would grow to hate Ned for this.

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6 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

Balon was never logical with his plans, reason is not something the man knew.

When he start to explain his strategy he ignores the only person in the room that lived in the north and knows the place and the people much better than anyone else (Theon).

When Theon pulled out a miracolous move by taking Winterfell instead of send reinforces or praise him, he prayed that he died.

And there still he plea for Tywin's when he is trying to break free from Tywin's grandson.

Out of all the Greyjoy’s that rebelled against the Iron Throne. He is definitely the worst one. At least the Red kraken and the last reaver were able to gain some major spoils and glory from their rebellions. 
Even Theon as King of Iron islands would’ve done a better job. 

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7 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

Balon hate going strong still

Is it idiotic to own more land then Harren?

Why? You just explained the reasons why Balon would be able to hold the territory.

The only reason they didn't is because he was murdered by a faceless man so his brother abandoned his post to go back to court. Later his brainwashed son lied to the garrison and convinced them to stand down. The fact that Balon didn't foresee these events shouldn't give him the title of idiot

Theon saved Balons campaign. His capture of winterfell and Ramsey’s attack on Rodriks army is what prevented winterfell from retaliating and retaking the lands of the north. 
Balons plan was doom to fail. He wanted to conquer and hold lands that have never been conquered by an outsider. Had Winterfell not fallen we would’ve seen how long Balons campaign would’ve lasted.

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8 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

Balon hate going strong still

Is it idiotic to own more land then Harren?

Why? You just explained the reasons why Balon would be able to hold the territory.

The only reason they didn't is because he was murdered by a faceless man so his brother abandoned his post to go back to court. Later his brainwashed son lied to the garrison and convinced them to stand down. The fact that Balon didn't foresee these events shouldn't give him the title of idiot

Balon  couldn't hold the North, the only reason why the North didn't expell him was because of its  own infernal dessuinion with the Hornwood affair and  Bolton betrayal but sooner or later the Northeners would kick their asses out of the North.

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8 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

Is it idiotic to own more land then Harren?

Absolutely.

1) The land is poorer in the North than in the Riverlands

2) The size of the North means his garrisons would have to be too thinly spread or too localised

3) The Hoares took the Riverlands from The Storm King, so they had the locals all bending the knee and joining the cause. Balon was trying to take the North from Northmen

4) Harren held the Riverlands, which are perfect for rapid movement by boat, which Ironmen are good at. Balon took the North, which is slow going even if you have horses, which Ironmen are NOT good at.

5) Harren was a Sevener (of sorts...) holding Sevener lands (mostly). Balon was a Drowned God's man, taking land from the Old Gods.

 

Basically, everything the Black Line got right, Balon got wrong. Yeah, sure Balon might have (tried to capture) more land than Harren. But ask yourself, is it better to have a ton of sand, or an ounce of gold?

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21 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

I don't quite understand why Balon Greyjoy wanted to attack the North

Balon is pretty clear on the why;

"Casterly Rock is too strong, and Lord Tywin too cunning by half. Aye, we might take Lannisport, but we should never keep it. No. I hunger for a different plum . . . not so juicy sweet, to be sure, yet it hangs there ripe and undefended."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Lord Balon rode over him. "The lords are gone south with the pup. Those who remained behind are the cravens, old men, and green boys. They will yield or fall, one by one. Winterfell may defy us for a year, but what of it? The rest shall be ours, forest and field and hall, and we shall make the folk our thralls and salt wives."

 

It is not that complicated, the North has no Navy the Westerlands does, the North's army was over a thousand miles away from the North while Tywin was not too far away, the Westerlands capital was far more secure than the Northern capital, the North could be defended from Southern land attack via Moat Cailin while the Westerlands has multiple entrances into its realm and just as importantly Tywin was a known threat whereas Robb was a teenager.

 

These are all pragmatic reasons why the Ironborn, loosely modelled on the Vikings, would attack the North. Predators will always pick a smaller, weaker target over a stronger one as there is a bigger chance of success.

 

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5 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

Theon saved Balons campaign. His capture of winterfell and Ramsey’s attack on Rodriks army is what prevented winterfell from retaliating and retaking the lands of the north. 

Theon solidified his fathers campaign, but even without him The North was firmly in the hands of iron born.

Rodriks army was small, and he wasnt a great commander anyway. Not even able to eradicate Dagmer

5 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

Balons plan was doom to fail. He wanted to conquer and hold lands that have never been conquered by an outsider. Had Winterfell not fallen we would’ve seen how long Balons campaign would’ve lasted.

Not sure what that has to do with anything, just because something has never been done does not make it an impossibility

5 hours ago, frenin said:

Balon  couldn't hold the North, the only reason why the North didn't expell him was because of its  own infernal dessuinion with the Hornwood affair and  Bolton betrayal but sooner or later the Northeners would kick their asses out of the North.

Also the Frey betrayal, and the Lannisters Baratheons and Tyrells all war on Stark. The Norths got more enemies then their ironborn overlords

5 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

Absolutely.

1) The land is poorer in the North than in the Riverlands

2) The size of the North means his garrisons would have to be too thinly spread or too localised

3) The Hoares took the Riverlands from The Storm King, so they had the locals all bending the knee and joining the cause. Balon was trying to take the North from Northmen

4) Harren held the Riverlands, which are perfect for rapid movement by boat, which Ironmen are good at. Balon took the North, which is slow going even if you have horses, which Ironmen are NOT good at.

5) Harren was a Sevener (of sorts...) holding Sevener lands (mostly). Balon was a Drowned God's man, taking land from the Old Gods.

 

Basically, everything the Black Line got right, Balon got wrong. Yeah, sure Balon might have (tried to capture) more land than Harren. But ask yourself, is it better to have a ton of sand, or an ounce of gold?

1. Poorer then Riverlands? Like Darry? Lol the Riverlands is in a worse state now then when Aemond one eye was flying about. Im pretty sure the Riverlands is in a worse state then the vastness of northern forests. Probably even worse then Dorne, the weakest and poorest kingdom

2. Just put em all in Moat Cailan, like Starks been doing for thousands of years.

3. So what? The Targs took it from Northmen too. And northren culture is grimey, very anti smallfolk and sexist. In Ironborn the children of Thralls can captain their own ship.

4. True, trading your strength for weakness is always a very risky move. 

5. So what? None of these gods are realy anyway. (Well, maybe... Lol)

 

Stark land is not a ton of sand, its a ton of trees. Which is way more valuable for a medieval marine centered fighting force

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5 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Not sure what that has to do with anything, just because something has never been done does not make it an impossibility

Balon  couldn't hold a territory as vast as the North anyway.

 

6 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Also the Frey betrayal, and the Lannisters Baratheons and Tyrells all war on Stark. The Norths got more enemies then their ironborn overlords

I'm talking only about the affairs in the North, even with Robb in the south, the North could and  would repel the Iroborns but the North own internal  affairs prevented them from that.

 

 

8 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

2. Just put em all in Moat Cailan, like Starks been doing for thousands of years.

Moat Cailin  is not the only way to the North and  it's incredibly weak against attacks from the North, so that would be suicidal, if an army land in White Harbor or the coast is also suicidal.

 

 

11 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

3. So what? The Targs took it from Northmen too. And northren culture is grimey, very anti smallfolk and sexist. In Ironborn the children of Thralls can captain their own ship.

The Targs had dragons.

 

12 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

5. So what? None of these gods are realy anyway. (Well, maybe... Lol)

There is a reason why no Andal  invader ever conquered the North.

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