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James Steller

Shouldn’t Robb have been betrothed at least?

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I get that Ned is protective towards his children and likes to keep them close, but he’s also the Warden of the North. He must be aware of his own possible mortality. Robb is 14 at the start of the books, and there was no shortage of available daughters who would have made worthy matches. One of Manderly’s granddaughters, Umber’s got daughters apparently, the Blackwoods in the Riverlands had a daughter who would have suited,  there’s even one of Mormont’s daughters, if we’re going there. I get that Robb needed to be single so that the Frey storyline could happen, but what would the in-universe explanation be?

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Is betrothal at young age something of the North too? Or is it specifically Andal? By Alys Karstark and Barbrey Dustin, we learn girls sometime try to seduce the Stark heir. Not their father proposing. Maybe it is more the usage in the North to let the children choose their partner. Lyanna also was rebel to marry Robert.

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1 hour ago, Lady Winter Rose said:

you meant to say what exactly?

Rickard had planned to marry her to Robert. And she disagreed. Maybe it was her wolf thing. Maybe she thought she had the right to refuse the choice of her father. Maybe something more common in FM culture than for the Andals.

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3 hours ago, BalerionTheCat said:

Is betrothal at young age something of the North too? Or is it specifically Andal? By Alys Karstark and Barbrey Dustin, we learn girls sometime try to seduce the Stark heir. Not their father proposing. Maybe it is more the usage in the North to let the children choose their partner. Lyanna also was rebel to marry Robert.

That could explain why Ned was unmarried or not betrothed by the time of Robert's Rebellion.

 

1 hour ago, BalerionTheCat said:

Rickard had planned to marry her to Robert. And she disagreed. Maybe it was her wolf thing. Maybe she thought she had the right to refuse the choice of her father. Maybe something more common in FM culture than for the Andals.

I always wonder if that was a mistake on Rickard's part since she really could have wound up like Cersei and why he chose Robert, given that there were at least two heirs to kingdoms that were much physically closer to the North: Elbert Arryn and Jaime Lannister.

 

Brandon on the other hand was betrothed by the time he was Robb's age.

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4 hours ago, James Steller said:

I get that Ned is protective towards his children and likes to keep them close, but he’s also the Warden of the North. He must be aware of his own possible mortality. Robb is 14 at the start of the books, and there was no shortage of available daughters who would have made worthy matches. One of Manderly’s granddaughters, Umber’s got daughters apparently, the Blackwoods in the Riverlands had a daughter who would have suited,  there’s even one of Mormont’s daughters, if we’re going there. I get that Robb needed to be single so that the Frey storyline could happen, but what would the in-universe explanation be?

Is Ned any better than Lysa Arryn?

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

I always wonder if that was a mistake on Rickard's part since she really could have wound up like Cersei

Cersei was a monster long before she married Robert. Lyanna would have been different. Don't know if she could have made a better king of Robert. Maybe she would have ruled in his place like Cersei did. Somehow.

1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

and Jaime Lannister

Lysa Arryn was to marry Jaime at some point.

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1 minute ago, BalerionTheCat said:

Cersei was a monster long before she married Robert. Lyanna would have been different. Don't know if she could have made a better king of Robert. Maybe she would have ruled in his place like Cersei did. Somehow.

Lysa Arryn was to marry Jaime at some point.

That's what I'm not sure of. Was anyone good for Robert? It definitely wasn't Cersei.

Was Lysa supposed to marry Jaime before or after Lyanna's betrothal to Robert was set in place?

 

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

That's what I'm not sure of.

Cersei killed her friend at 10. Because she wanted to marry Jaime.

1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

Was Lysa supposed to marry Jaime before or after Lyanna's betrothal to Robert was set in place?

It was when Jaime was named to the Kingsguard. One of Cersei plots.

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Just now, BalerionTheCat said:

Cersei killed her friend at 10. Because she wanted to marry Jaime.

What I mean is "would any other noblewoman been able to put up with Robert?"

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6 hours ago, James Steller said:

I get that Ned is protective towards his children and likes to keep them close, but he’s also the Warden of the North. He must be aware of his own possible mortality. Robb is 14 at the start of the books, and there was no shortage of available daughters who would have made worthy matches. One of Manderly’s granddaughters, Umber’s got daughters apparently, the Blackwoods in the Riverlands had a daughter who would have suited,  there’s even one of Mormont’s daughters, if we’re going there. I get that Robb needed to be single so that the Frey storyline could happen, but what would the in-universe explanation be?

Time wasn't pressing for the family because it had three sons.  The succession was assured.  A southron like Cat might prefer her son to marry a rich family in the south.  Mothers have too high opinions of their son's social value and a plan to marry a Tyrell might be on her mind. 

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Building upon others' answers, Cat mentions herself that she is still of childbearing age.

 

It is slightly odd but I think it was likely to officially happen around the time the story begins. However, the story was intentionally designed for him not to be betrothed, otherwise the whole Frey factor does not exist.

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I think Ned had a few problems with being a Lord and the fact after the rebellion his whole family had died (he had Robb from a wife he had known for two weeks and was supposed to marry his brother, Jon and then ben who joined the night's watch suspiciously quickly). He didn't have any plans for any of his kids and even Jon goes to the wall(or gets an "Ok" anyway) because he doesn't know what else to do with him. He's had 14 years to consider something and he doesn't consider anything past the first suggestion. Sansa being married to joffrey was just because Robert said so.

 

The whole "promise me" thing haunts him. If it was "protect X" then you can bet he went over the top and sheltered his children way too much. He could do so though because not everyone expects a betrothal that young. Not with someone like Robb who would have been the prize anyway. We see lots of people married off young, but a lot of the more powerful family heir's like edmure, arianne, renly etc who are older and nobody is asking why they aren't married.

Edited by DarkLord

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2 hours ago, DarkLord said:

We see lots of people married off young, but a lot of the more powerful family heir's like edmure, arianne, renly etc who are older and nobody is asking why they aren't married.

I kinda understand why Arianne and Renly weren’t married. One was being held back for the prospect of becoming queen whilst the other was a pillow biter. Robert probably didn’t care if Renly got married.

But Edmure is the odd one out. I wouldn’t expect someone like Hoster Tully to not marry his only son and heir. Edmure was around 25 years old at the start of the series. If Edmure died, it meant that Robb would’ve inherited Riverrun. 

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3 hours ago, DarkLord said:

I think Ned had a few problems with being a Lord and the fact after the rebellion his whole family had died (he had Robb from a wife he had known for two weeks and was supposed to marry his brother, Jon and then ben who joined the night's watch suspiciously quickly). He didn't have any plans for any of his kids and even Jon goes to the wall(or gets an "Ok" anyway) because he doesn't know what else to do with him. He's had 14 years to consider something and he doesn't consider anything past the first suggestion. Sansa being married to joffrey was just because Robert said so.

 

The whole "promise me" thing haunts him. If it was "protect X" then you can bet he went over the top and sheltered his children way too much. He could do so though because not everyone expects a betrothal that young. Not with someone like Robb who would have been the prize anyway. We see lots of people married off young, but a lot of the more powerful family heir's like edmure, arianne, renly etc who are older and nobody is asking why they aren't married.

So is Ned any better than Lysa Arryn?

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23 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

What I mean is "would any other noblewoman been able to put up with Robert?"

Lynesse Hightower comes to mind.

She seems to be superficial enough to be a concubine rather than the wife of the chief of Lys, she  was a daughter of a powerful and rich family and she wanted a luxurious lifestyle that Robert seems to enjoy since he pretty much bankrupt the kingdom in parties and tournament, she lost interest in Jorah because his defeat at tournaments and Robert was a legendary warrior in his lifestyle, she is described as pretty and she seems to be able to plot enough to treat the wife of the chief os Lys, she could prevent a plotter like Renly, and she is not at the do list of Jaime.

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More than anything, I think Ned wasn't going to deal with it until his hand was forced because of what happened to him and his sibs.

Narratively, GRRM has avoided hard and fast rules and protocols in his world-building to allow for more dynamic and personal character choices. Watching a character grapple with a hard choice on their own is interesting. Watching a character try to hash out what the rules are of his/her society so that they can be followed properly is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

But there are a few things to keep in mind. We've seen it happen a lot of times that sometimes sketchy situations arise which can be resolved with a marriage. There's a possible major advantage in keeping your kids free in these cases. Particularly your heir.

Also, Jon being Rhaegar's kid makes the marriages of the other Stark kids very tricky, especially if he didn't go into the NW and his secret gets out. The books state that Ned is surprised that Jon wanted to go into the NW, so he wasn't considering this. Since Jon was raised at WF with the other Starks as his sibs therefore ensuring a very close relationship with Rhaegar's son, this makes any Stark/Southerner match look like a move on the IT to the still-paranoid Robert, even it wasn't intended that way at all.

Edited by Lollygag

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On 10/13/2019 at 9:02 PM, Angel Eyes said:

What I mean is "would any other noblewoman been able to put up with Robert?"

Maybe Robert would have been happy with Lyanna one or 2 year. Then (likely) he would have gone whoring again. I suppose some would pay this price to be queen. Cersei did, somewhat. When she didn't kill the bastards and sent the woman to slavers.  But not Lyanna style I suppose.

Ambitious and ready to sacrifice things, like Olenna and Margaery Tyrell would have, I believe.

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On 10/13/2019 at 10:02 AM, BalerionTheCat said:

Is betrothal at young age something of the North too? Or is it specifically Andal? By Alys Karstark and Barbrey Dustin, we learn girls sometime try to seduce the Stark heir. Not their father proposing. Maybe it is more the usage in the North to let the children choose their partner. Lyanna also was rebel to marry Robert.

I agree.

I've always been under the presumption that the Northmen give their children more agency when it comes to choosing a spouse. Rickard Stark was the exception and Eddard's marriage to Catelyn made Lord Rickard's exception a trend.

53 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

So is Ned any better than Lysa Arryn?

In this case? No, he is not. Robb, Jon and Sansa were all sheltered and completely unprepared.

1 hour ago, The Young Maester said:

I kinda understand why Arianne and Renly weren’t married. One was being held back for the prospect of becoming queen whilst the other was a pillow biter. Robert probably didn’t care if Renly got married.

But Edmure is the odd one out. I wouldn’t expect someone like Hoster Tully to not marry his only son and heir. Edmure was around 25 years old at the start of the series. If Edmure died, it meant that Robb would’ve inherited Riverrun. 

No, if Edmure died, Catelyn would've been the first to inherit Riverrun. Hoster probably wouldn't have felt too torn up about that seeing as Catelyn was his favorite and she was his heir for years. A lot of people in the Riverlands still remember Catelyn as the heir to Riverrun.

21 hours ago, nyser1 said:

Building upon others' answers, Cat mentions herself that she is still of childbearing age.

 

It is slightly odd but I think it was likely to officially happen around the time the story begins. However, the story was intentionally designed for him not to be betrothed, otherwise the whole Frey factor does not exist.

Exactly, Ned and Cat both seriously consider having more children. Ned is actually looking forward to it.

 

On 10/13/2019 at 2:32 PM, Arthur Peres said:

Robb was 14, Edmure, Renly, Tyrion and Oberyn are much older and neither of them is betrothed either.

Oberyn is not the heir to Dorne. He is a second son and so has much more freedom. Knowing the Martell brothers, there was probably had an agreement between them.

Edmure had multiple suitors. Hoster just found them unsuitable (the women of House Frey), unavailable (Arianne Martell). Margaery Tyrell would've been a great match

Renly is gay. Plus, Robert is a fool so he likely gave no real thought as to the future of Storm's End. He probably thought that if Renly failed to produce an heir (male or female), he'd just pass it on to Tommen.

Tyrion is...well, a hard sell. It'd be hard to find Tyrion a wife that isn't a upjumped gold-digger.

23 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

What I mean is "would any other noblewoman been able to put up with Robert?"

Yes.

Yes being that these other noblewomen would've been sensible enough to have Robert's children.

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