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The Wolves

Robb’s War Was The Most Just Of Them All.

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2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Stories tilt in favor of the underdogs who defend themselves in the face of conquistadors. See: Rebels v. the Empire

But the South is not conquistadors to the North. They have been one kingdom for three centuries now. For the vast majority of that time peace, prosperity.

The North going to war with the South has been disastrous for the Northern people. It is about to get worse with a Wildling/Other invasion and a disastrous winter that will bring famine and death.

I seriously doubt many Northern smallfolk are happy that Robb went to war and allowed his realm to suffer.

2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

They don't want the South's decadence, they see it as unnecessary and frivolous. 

Again, this is not really true and entirely subjective. To the average Northern smallfolk member the Northern nobility are decadent and frivolous.

 

2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Their cultural practice is also being ruled by a Stark, local to Winterfell.

Not for the last three centuries. For the last three centuries they've been fine with being ruled by a Targ/Baratheon.

 

2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The North never integrated to the South

What? They were never made to. They were given autonomy to continue how they wanted. This is hardly the tyranny you were suggesting.

2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

 

and people have a right to choose a more local ruler if they want.

But they did not choose. Robb and a handful of Northern nobles made the decision.

 

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2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

How do you know this? One person, the Greatjon, said this. We have no idea if his opinion was a popular one or he was an extremist.

There has been no indications in the Fire and Blood or the History of Ice and Fire that the Northern people wanted independence. That the average Northerner cared two figs that they were governed from Winterfell or Kings Landing.

That is really not true. Not in its 300 years existence.

Why? What makes it a great cause in the books?

I get why Braveheart is a great film and a great cause by proxy. The English were raping and pillaging the Scots, they were forcing their language on them and wiping away Scottish culture, while over taxing them.

Why is it a great cause in Westeros?

More so for the Ironborn than the North. The Ironborn were actually forced to change their way of life, the Ironborn were actually suffering under the new Targaryen rule.

The North itself does not seem to have suffered. Where is the tyranny?

Plenty of people. Barcelona is a great example right now, a region split between remainders and separatists. Remaining is not sexy to the outside world so their story is often ignored while their homes and economy suffer for a cause they do not want. Northern Ireland is another, with a large population who want to stay British.

The American Civil War is the obvious answer though. Don't tell me you were routing for the South to secede?

It’s a great cause because the Lannisters are monsters and the people were not safe to be ruled by them. 
 

Robb, Riverlands, Ironborn, smallfolk and whoever else had every right to want to be ruled by their own lords. I’m all for Westeros breaking into 9 kingdoms being ruled by whoever. I don’t see anything great with them becoming one kingdom anyways. 
 

Correct me if I’m wrong but the Ironborn were forced to stop killing, raping, plundering, and stealing. They suffered under the Targaryens because they didn’t want to stop doing all the bad things when they could have found better ways for food and resources. 

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5 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

How do you know this? One person, the Greatjon, said this. We have no idea if his opinion was a popular one or he was an extremist.

There has been no indications in the Fire and Blood or the History of Ice and Fire that the Northern people wanted independence. That the average Northerner cared two figs that they were governed from Winterfell or Kings Landing.

That is really not true. Not in its 300 years existence.

Why? What makes it a great cause in the books?

I get why Braveheart is a great film and a great cause by proxy. The English were raping and pillaging the Scots, they were forcing their language on them and wiping away Scottish culture, while over taxing them.

Why is it a great cause in Westeros?

More so for the Ironborn than the North. The Ironborn were actually forced to change their way of life, the Ironborn were actually suffering under the new Targaryen rule.

The North itself does not seem to have suffered. Where is the tyranny?

Plenty of people. Barcelona is a great example right now, a region split between remainders and separatists. Remaining is not sexy to the outside world so their story is often ignored while their homes and economy suffer for a cause they do not want. Northern Ireland is another, with a large population who want to stay British.

The American Civil War is the obvious answer though. Don't tell me you were routing for the South to secede?

Scotland was in any case an independent country that Edward I wanted to conquer.

Northern independence is more like having the Bishop of Durham, Earl of Northumberland, and Earl of Westmoreland announcing the revival of the Kingdom of Northumbria. They would have got short shrift.

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3 minutes ago, The Wolves said:

The North has always been fine without the South. For thousands of years before the Targaryens came 300yrs ago the North fought them all and won. They were the only region that was never conquered by the Andals. 
 

They fought the Ironborn for years and years and took back their land. They fought invaders from the sea, Andals and Ironborn alike and won. They can build ships fast because they have access to vast amounts of wood.  
 

Why do you consider the North so backwards? It’s a harsh vast land that doesn’t have the resources that the Reach or the Riverlands have. They get the worst of winter. They have resources like fur and wood to trade. They have music and tourneys but why should they care about silks and jewels when they have to prepare for deadly winters and fight Wildlings and rebellion? 
 

When has the South benefited the North besides giving them food that one time that we know of? And attacking anywhere in the North during winter is stupid. 

1) The North resisted the South because when the Andals came they took all the good land for themselves and then turned to infighting rather than pursuing a unified campaign of conquest against the relatively poor land of the North. It had nothing to do with some mystical ability of the North to be invincible against foreign conquest.

You will recall that Dorne has a similar reputation for being 'unconquerable', but that didn't stop Nymeria and her cohorts from doing it. All it would take would be a relatively clever Andal warlord going to someone like Roose Bolton and saying "Hey, I'm going to invade. How about you marry my daughter and we'll team up together and get rid of those starks. You can be Red Kings again and take all the land you can conquer".

2) They fought the Ironborn for years when the Ironborn have no strength at land warfare. They turned back the Andals a handful of times before the Andals fell to infighting and stopped trying.

And no, they can't build ships 'fast' because that requires more than wood. It requires labor, which the North is short of because it is underpopulated.

3) I consider the North backwards because it is. The North is a third the size of Westeros. There is no reason to expect that it would not have significant mineral resources to extract and use to further develop itself.

A forward thinking North would plan ahead. It would look for ways to improve crop yields (four field rotation > two field rotation, glass gardens). They would build undertowns in every village on the Mole Town model to keep warm and safe during winter. They'd venture into their mountains and mine gold and silver and jewels and use them to pay for canals to get their timber and other goods to market. They would also take some of that wealth to equip an army decently and build a sizeable navy and then actively campaign against the Wildlings and Ironborn to crush their raids and put any would-be Kings-Beyond-The-Wall or Kings of the Iron Islands to the sword.

None of this happens because the Northmen are too bound by traditionalism to think outside the box and leverage what they have.

4) You don't have to attack in the North during winter, you simply have to burn a coastal city. Winter becomes a matter of attrition when you're trying to maintain siege lines, but a naval raid that is doesn't intend to actually hold land doesn't run into that issue.

And the South benefited the North when they put an end to widespread Ironborn reaving. The Ironborn had to go do their stealing and raping in Essos because the power of the Iron Throne made it risky to violate the law and raid in Westeros.

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2 minutes ago, The Wolves said:

It’s a great cause because the Lannisters are monsters and the people were not safe to be ruled by them. 
 

Robb, Riverlands, Ironborn, smallfolk and whoever else had every right to want to be ruled by their own lords. I’m all for Westeros breaking into 9 kingdoms being ruled by whoever. I don’t see anything great with them becoming one kingdom anyways. 
 

Correct me if I’m wrong but the Ironborn were forced to stop killing, raping, plundering, and stealing. They suffered under the Targaryens because they didn’t want to stop doing all the bad things when they could have found better ways for food and resources. 

Are you seriously suggesting it was a bad thing that the Targaryens told the Ironborn to stop raping and killing people? And you're saying these people, who want to rape and kill other people freely, ought to have the right to rule themselves and do exactly that?

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The case for Northern independence would make sense if Aegon I had imposed Southern lords on its people and/or made its people follow the Faith.  As it is, the North had huge autonomy under the Starks, and could call upon food aid and military assistance from Kings Landing.  That's the best of all worlds.

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7 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Not for the last three centuries. For the last three centuries they've been fine with being ruled by a Targ/Baratheon.

9 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

The North going to war with the South has been disastrous for the Northern people. It is about to get worse with a Wildling/Other invasion and a disastrous winter that will bring famine and death.

The North wanting independence isn't the big "mistake" in the story  - it's Joffrey beheading Ned Stark. This is one of the few times the author has commented on the plot.

The IT pushed them into a tipping point. Killing Cat and Robb is icing on the cake. They aren't going back now.

10 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

 I seriously doubt many Northern smallfolk are happy that Robb went to war and allowed his realm to suffer.

We don't really see anything from the Northern smallfolk. The author spends more time showing the lords' reactions though. We're not reading about the tyranny of people suffering under Evil Robb Stark. 

13 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Again, this is not really true and entirely subjective. To the average Northern smallfolk member the Northern nobility are decadent and frivolous.

What? Where is evidence of that.

13 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Not for the last three centuries. For the last three centuries they've been fine with being ruled by a Targ/Baratheon.

When the dragons were around, they didn't dare resist. That's not exactly "being fine," it's just going along with coercion . 

14 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

What? They were never made to. They were given autonomy to continue how they wanted. This is hardly the tyranny you were suggesting.

Autonomy except for their government - that's tyranny. Plenty of empires conquered lands and let them keep their religion and their language, they just had to pay tribute to their new king. It still doesn't mean they aren't empires and it isn't tyranny. 

All of this is moot any way. Post-Robb's war, all the North has to do is wait for the Targaryens to destroy themselves, shrug, and install a new king. Bye lizards!

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3 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The North wanting independence isn't the big "mistake" in the story  - it's Joffrey beheading Ned Stark. This is one of the few times the author has commented on the plot.

The IT pushed them into a tipping point. Killing Cat and Robb is icing on the cake. They aren't going back now.

We don't really see anything from the Northern smallfolk. The author spends more time showing the lords' reactions though. We're not reading about the tyranny of people suffering under Evil Robb Stark. 

What? Where is evidence of that.

When the dragons were around, they didn't dare resist. That's not exactly "being fine," it's just going along with coercion . 

Autonomy except for their government - that's tyranny. Plenty of empires conquered lands and let them keep their religion and their language, they just had to pay tribute to their new king. It still doesn't mean they aren't empires and it isn't tyranny. 

All of this is moot any way. Post-Robb's war, all the North has to do is wait for the Targaryens to destroy themselves, shrug, and install a new king. Bye lizards!

The author's point is that the real threat is North of the Wall, and that the War of the Five Kings was trivial.  Hence, the vision of the five rat like men ravaging the woman in the HOTU.  The Targaryens don't rule, and the Greatjon's own point was that they don't owe fealty to anyone else, now the Targaryens have gone.  

And, plenty of Northmen support Stannis or Roose Bolton, neither of whom is pro-independence.

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1 minute ago, SeanF said:

The author's point is that the real threat is North of the Wall, and that the War of the Five Kings was trivial.  Hence, the vision of the five rat like men ravaging the woman in the HOTU.  The Targaryens don't rule, and the Greatjon's own point was that they don't owe fealty to anyone else, now the Targaryens have gone.  

And, plenty of Northmen support Stannis or Roose Bolton, neither of whom is pro-independence.

No, he said what's going on in King's Landing is trivial, stuff like who is going to sit on the small council. The Lannisters are just trying to rule like the Targaryens without dragons, that's why they are basically the same in the North's eyes. 

The Iron Throne is a symbol of conquest and dominance, the North is simply saying - not of us. Dorne and the North will probably switch places this time since the similarities between them are noted in the WoIaF.

The story isn't leaning in favor of Stannis or Roose, who are temporary place holders for the remaining Starks to rule their own kingdom again. You're supposed to feel catharsis about the remaining Starks bouncing back, in their family's memory. You're not supposed to forget Robb, Cat, Ned, Brandon, and Rickard and you're not supposed to nod in approval when a Targaryen or a Lannister wants everyone to shrug those deaths off, just so they can be king/queen over 7 kingdoms again. 

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16 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

No, he said what's going on in King's Landing is trivial, stuff like who is going to sit on the small council. The Lannisters are just trying to rule like the Targaryens without dragons, that's why they are basically the same in the North's eyes. 

The Iron Throne is a symbol of conquest and dominance, the North is simply saying - not of us. Dorne and the North will probably switch places this time since the similarities between them are noted in the WoIaF.

The story isn't leaning in favor of Stannis or Roose, who are temporary place holders for the remaining Starks to rule their own kingdom again. You're supposed to feel catharsis about the remaining Starks bouncing back, in their family's memory. You're not supposed to forget Robb, Cat, Ned, Brandon, and Rickard and you're not supposed to nod in approval when a Targaryen or a Lannister wants everyone to shrug those deaths off, just so they can be king/queen over 7 kingdoms again. 

But neither Ned nor Cat ever wanted an independent North.  (Cat's misgivings were proved entirely right).  Obviously people are rooting for the Starks to punish the Boltons and Freys and regain their castle, but Northern independence is an issue that matters to about twenty nobles and no one else.

As was pointed out upthread, there's an assumption that people want to secede from bigger states whereas plenty of referenda in real life show that just is not the case.

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4 minutes ago, SeanF said:

But neither Ned nor Cat ever wanted an independent North.  (Cat's misgivings were proved entirely right).  Obviously people are rooting for the Starks to punish the Boltons and Freys and regain their castle, but Northern independence is an issue that matters to about twenty nobles and no one else.

Cat and Ned would want to make sure their family is safe. Sometimes, kneeling means safety, other times, pushing back means safety because it's a long-term protection against crazy fucking conquerors. The story isn't ending with the Northerners kneeling to Lannisters or Targaryens in a triumphant moment, they'll just be kicked dogs. 

How Wylla Manderly is written is really all you need to know. You weren't supposed to be like, BITCH shut UP about ROBB and the NORTH :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Cat and Ned would want to make sure their family is safe. Sometimes, kneeling means safety, other times, pushing back means safety because it's a long-term protection against crazy fucking conquerors. The story isn't ending with the Northerners kneeling to Lannisters or Targaryens in a triumphant moment, they'll just be kicked dogs. 

How Wylla Manderly is written is really all you need to know. You weren't supposed to be like, BITCH shut UP about ROBB and the NORTH :rolleyes:

The Starks may end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms, like the Stuarts.   

Insofar as we get the point of view of the Northern  masses, they want revenge for the Red Wedding and to rescue the Ned's daughter.  They don't see themselves as a conquered race. 

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

The Starks may end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms, like the Stuarts.   

Insofar as we get the point of view of the Northern  masses, they want revenge for the Red Wedding and to rescue the Ned's daughter.  They don't see themselves as a conquered race. 

They probably see Ned, Catelyn, and Robb as martyrs. Most independence movements have those. Whoever wants to rule the North can sit and stew about the love people have for the Starks. 

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6 hours ago, The Wolves said:

It’s a great cause because the Lannisters are monsters and the people were not safe to be ruled by them. 

That is a bad argument for multiple reasons

  1. The Lannisters never ruled. Robb and the Northmen, when they declared independence, did so against Joffrey Baratheon.
  2. Robb rebelling had nothing to do with Joffrey's last name and everything to do with him arresting then executing his father.
  3. No one in the North was hurt by Lannisters when Robb rebelled. It's people were more than safe.
  4. Robb did not care about the people. His own Northmen were pillaging from the Riverland smallfolk, setting up rape camps at Harrenhhal as well as raping other Riverland smallfolk.
  5. More people suffered in the North after Robb rebelled than ever did under 'Lannister' rule.

So not only is it a bad argument for the reasons above, but Robb never pretends that is the reason he rebelled. You are making an argument that has nothing to do with Robb's own motivation. I know you are familiar enough with the series to understand that.

6 hours ago, The Wolves said:

Robb, Riverlands, Ironborn, smallfolk and whoever else had every right to want to be ruled by their own lords.

Sure. At the same point the smallfolk had a 'right' not be to ruled at all.

Though I have to ask, what does this have to do with anything I have said?

6 hours ago, The Wolves said:

I’m all for Westeros breaking into 9 kingdoms being ruled by whoever. I don’t see anything great with them becoming one kingdom anyways.

Why just 9 kingoms? Why not a thousand?

Though it needs to be restated, what does this have to do with my comment or your original argument? You seem to be going off on a tangent.

6 hours ago, The Wolves said:

Correct me if I’m wrong but the Ironborn were forced to stop killing, raping, plundering, and stealing.

Yes. Did you not read what I said? I made the point that the Ironborn's way of life was changed, the Northern people less so.

They have more incentive to rebel than the North, and GRRM is consistent with this in his histories as we hear of multiple independence wars from the Ironborn in the three centuries of Westeros. The North it has never been an issue until a drunk Greatjon suggested it to a handful of other Northern nobles.

6 hours ago, The Wolves said:

 

They suffered under the Targaryens because they didn’t want to stop doing all the bad things when they could have found better ways for food and resources. 

Yes. The Ironborn way of life was drastically changed. I made that point. The Ironborn have more reasons to rebel than the North.

The only significant change the Crown has enforced on the North is the rule that their nobles not be allowed to rape women when they are married. The Greatjon wanting independence is not for the smallfolk, it is so he and the other Northern nobles can get back to raping the smallfolk with no repercussions for them.

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10 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

You could say Stannis had the most just cause. Seeing as how he is the rightful king by the current succession laws of the Baratheon regime. 

12 hours ago, The Jingo said:

If Robb was thinking of his people above all then he would have kneeled to Stannis after Ned was executed and Stannis proclaimed himself.

That's probably what Eddard would have asked him to do if he had had the chance. But it's not that easy.

We cannot forget that Robb didn't know that Cersei's kids weren't Robert's. Ned couldn't communicate his findings, and had no access to Malleon's lineage book. And while Stannis sent those letters after Robert's death, he had no way of knowing that the accusations were truthful. For the time and way the letters were sent, it seemed to many that it was just opportunism. For all Robb knew, Joffrey was Robert's trueborn heir.

 

8 hours ago, The Jingo said:

Independence gives the Starks a crown. But it also means a return to the days when the Ironborn could reave them with impunity because the North lacks strength at sea and no one else will defend them. It means that their religion and culture is no longer protected against the Faith of the Seven or Andals in search of new lands for their second sons. It means a a decline in general prosperity as a result of trade barriers and variant coinage. It means the loss of protection against pirates and slavers from the East that no longer have the fear the royal fleet. It means that when the winters are hard and food is scarce and a King-Beyond-The-Wall marches on Winterfell, they can't expect the Reach to feed them or Southron swords to march North and reinforce them.

You make a lot of predictions here that, frankly, are wild speculations at best. Plenty of countries in the real world gained independence and were improved for it.

You also paint the period where the North was under Targaryen rule much better than I feel it's fair. We know that in this period the North suffered episodes of famine, attacks from the Ironborn reavers, multiple raid from Kings-Beyond-The-Wall and even an invasion attempt... IIRC a Southron army was never sent to help them, and there's a single instance of a Targ king sending them food during Winter. You also seem to argue that their culture is protected, but at least we know that they no longer speak the tongue of the First Men (at least the ruling class).

We can't really assess how much weight the motives behind the Northern independence had, or how much support the idea had among the population. George just didn't gave the enough word-building for that. We don't know about the taxing system in Westeros, and how much burden the North has to carry. We don't know which rights the North had that were taken away with the Conquest. Therfore, I don't think it's reasonable to say that the Northern independence cause was groundless. We just can't know.

7 hours ago, The Jingo said:

The story of the First Men is perpetual retreat in the face of the Andal invasion.

The North was already a kingdom when the Andals came. They've kept their borders for many millennia. All the Andal kings that tried to attack Moat Cailin were defeated. That was the Southern border of the North, and they never retreated.

The kingdom of the North has been standing much longer than any of the Andal kingdoms (and any other nation on our real world).

7 hours ago, The Jingo said:

B] Further, the argument here is that the Iron Throne would  allow for trade with the North to occur. It's predicated on the assumption that the North could secede and then go its own way, trading with the Southern Kingdom and basically enjoying all the benefits of the union without paying the taxes and supporting the general political order of it. Prior to the unification the North could do this by playing one king off against the other, trading with the Reach when the Vale was closed, or trading with the Riverlands when they were at war with the Vale, or so on.

Real world countries have been continuously trading between them. Including with countries that have seceded from them.

Commerce works because it benefits both parts. If some winter the North needs food and the South could do with some wood, the North does not need "to play one king off against the other". It's a straightforward trade that shouldn't take much to close.

7 hours ago, The Jingo said:

But when the South is united under an Iron Throne that wants to reconquer the North, the long term position is untenable. All the South has to do is wait until winter comes and then launch an assault on White Harbor and sack it. The North lacks both strength at sea and developed trading ports outside of White Harbor, and once White Harbor is destroyed they can no longer reliably import food from Essos. With trade to the south overland already banned, they'd very quickly starve.

That argument is valid for any of the Free Cities, isn't it? The position of Pentosis untenable because if the Iron Throne decides to conquer it they are defenseless. And still, they are still free. And Dorne remained "Unbent", and only joined the Iron Throne when they wanted and under favorable circumstances.

6 hours ago, SeanF said:

It meant nothing to the Northern Smallfolk, who were never consulted about it, except to increase their risk of dying in times of famine and war.

We don't know if the Northern independence meant nothing or not to the smallfolk, so we can't say. But we know that they weren't consulted either when Torrhen Stark decided to bent the knee to the Conqueror.

6 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

But the South is not conquistadors to the North.

The Iron Throne conquered the North. This is a hard fact.

6 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

They have been one kingdom for three centuries now. For the vast majority of that time peace, prosperity.

Plenty of lands have gained their independence after more than three centuries of domination.

I would also challenge the assertion that for most of the time it was a time of peace and prosperity. There's hardly a single generation in those 300 years of Targaryen rule that hasn't suffered war. Some of them, such as the Conquest, the Dance, or the Wot5K itself, have probably caused much more casualties than most of the pre-Targ wars.

6 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

To the average Northern smallfolk member the Northern nobility are decadent and frivolous.

We have no basis to support that.

 

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6 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The North wanting independence isn't the big "mistake" in the story

There can be more than one mistake, right?

And I thought GRRM was pretty consistent on the 'big mistake' in the series. It was all the nobles playing the Game of Thrones while ignoring the threat from beyond the Wall.

I don't speak for GRRM, but I am pretty sure the biggest threat to the North is the White Walkers, it was never about being ruled from Kings Landing.

 

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  - it's Joffrey beheading Ned Stark. This is one of the few times the author has commented on the plot.

He has? Can you quote him on this being the 'big mistake' and that Northern independence was not a mistake or are you editorializing GRRM's own words?

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The IT pushed them into a tipping point. Killing Cat and Robb is icing on the cake. They aren't going back now.

They literally went back as soon as Cat and Robb were killed.

Robb is not some Jesus like figure. He's just another Stark ruler, one whose rule was for less than a year. In the eyes of the North he is not going to be significant. He is not going to be a legitimate reason why the North will never become part of Westeros again.

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We don't really see anything from the Northern smallfolk.

We do a little. The clan member Bran runs into on his way to the Wall talks of how things are much worse for the Northern people as a result of Robb's war.

"It was different when there was a Stark in Winterfell. But the old wolf's dead and young one's gone south to play the game of thrones, and all that's left us is the ghosts."

The smallfolk, who Robb left undefended, are not going to have a high opinion of his war. The slaughtered people of Winterfell are not in the Northern equivalent of the afterlife grateful for Robb's action

 

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The author spends more time showing the lords' reactions though. We're not reading about the tyranny of people suffering under Evil Robb Stark. 

You are making a strawman argument. Can you quote from my replies in this thread were I have said or suggested that Robb was more tyrannical than the Crown?

Which people in the North were living under tyranny of the Crown? Establish that.

We do however know from Jon that the Northern people were not exactly thrilled with what happened as a result of Robb's war.

The north rode with Robb, bled with him, died for him. They have supped on grief and death, and now you come to offer them another serving. Do you blame them if they hang back? Forgive me, Your Grace, but some will look at you and see only another doomed pretender."

It is also telling that at the Red Wedding half of Robb's army, the half that had no say about him becoming King, overthrew him and his army. That does not speak of unanimous support for him.

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What? Where is evidence of that.

Where is the evidence they are not?

Nobility, in pretty much every region, have a higher quality of life and more frivolity than the people they serve.  This is true throughout the middle ages.

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When the dragons were around, they didn't dare resist. That's not exactly "being fine," it's just going along with coercion . 

Dragons have not been around for 150 years.

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Autonomy except for their government - that's tyranny.

No, it really is not. At least not on the basis of this discussion. Are you arguing that the people of Winrfell and the surrounding regions were asked if they wanted to be ruled by the Starks?

Please be consistent, the North is not a democracy. The Starks murdered and subjugated their people just like the Crown did. In fact we know of more Northern Houses wiped out of existence than we do of Houses from any other region.

We also know that Robb Stark threatened to murder the Greatjon if he did not obey his orders, that Dustin only sent men with Robb out of fear. There is as much evidence for the Starks ruling through Tyranny over the Nothern people as there is the Targs/Baratheons.

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Plenty of empires conquered lands and let them keep their religion and their language, they just had to pay tribute to their new king. It still doesn't mean they aren't empires and it isn't tyranny. 

Same goes for the Starks and their vassals, right?

You think the Red Kings, Barrow Kings and Marsh Kings wanted to be ruled by the Starks?

 

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6 hours ago, The Wolves said:

It’s a great cause because the Lannisters are monsters and the people were not safe to be ruled by them. 

It's a sympathetic cause on an individual basis, when speaking of Stark vs Lannister but the cause certainly didn't seem to help the northern Lords or small folk. Even if Robb had won the war I don't think it would have been worth it to the small folk. 

Clearly the Starks weren't safe with the Lannisters but the rest of the North really have no reason to believe they aren't safe under the Lannisters. Or at least any more or less safe than under anyone else. 

6 hours ago, The Wolves said:

Robb, Riverlands, Ironborn, smallfolk and whoever else had every right to want to be ruled by their own lords. I’m all for Westeros breaking into 9 kingdoms being ruled by whoever. I don’t see anything great with them becoming one kingdom anyways.

Sure, they have the right to want whatever they please but it doesn't make it best for all involved. Prior to becoming one Kingdom there were constant wars & battles & after the conquest that drastically lowered. I'm not advocating for a feudal society or for any one to be ruled by a King/Queen, tyrant or no. But it does appear the realm as a whole benefit from joining. 

6 hours ago, The Jingo said:

Are you seriously suggesting it was a bad thing that the Targaryens told the Ironborn to stop raping and killing people? And you're saying these people, who want to rape and kill other people freely, ought to have the right to rule themselves and do exactly that?

It's sticky isn't it? One the one hand I could never argue that it is bad to stop a people from raping & killing people. On the other it's reminiscent of the US & their wars to "better" other countries - which isn't great either & hasn't appeared to work. Maybe the ends justify the means but I think when we start talking about who should or shouldn't have the right to rule themselves we walk into territory that isn't black & white or clear cut. Why should I or you get to say who gets to rule themselves & who doesn't ya know? Just to be clear, again, I'm all for stopping someone from raping & murdering people, I just don't know what the right way is to go about it. 

6 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The North wanting independence isn't the big "mistake" in the story  - it's Joffrey beheading Ned Stark. This is one of the few times the author has commented on the plot.

Sure, but both can be true right? It can be true that Joff beheading Ned was a big mistake, killing Robb & Cat were icing on the cake AND that the rebellion was disastrous for the Northern people. 

 

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28 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

That's probably what Eddard would have asked him to do if he had had the chance. But it's not that easy.

We cannot forget that Robb didn't know that Cersei's kids weren't Robert's. Ned couldn't communicate his findings, and had no access to Malleon's lineage book. And while Stannis sent those letters after Robert's death, he had no way of knowing that the accusations were truthful. For the time and way the letters were sent, it seemed to many that it was just opportunism. For all Robb knew, Joffrey was Robert's trueborn heir.

 

You make a lot of predictions here that, frankly, are wild speculations at best. Plenty of countries in the real world gained independence and were improved for it.

You also paint the period where the North was under Targaryen rule much better than I feel it's fair. We know that in this period the North suffered episodes of famine, attacks from the Ironborn reavers, multiple raid from Kings-Beyond-The-Wall and even an invasion attempt... IIRC a Southron army was never sent to help them, and there's a single instance of a Targ king sending them food during Winter. You also seem to argue that their culture is protected, but at least we know that they no longer speak the tongue of the First Men (at least the ruling class).

We can't really assess how much weight the motives behind the Northern independence had, or how much support the idea had among the population. George just didn't gave the enough word-building for that. We don't know about the taxing system in Westeros, and how much burden the North has to carry. We don't know which rights the North had that were taken away with the Conquest. Therfore, I don't think it's reasonable to say that the Northern independence cause was groundless. We just can't know.

The North was already a kingdom when the Andals came. They've kept their borders for many millennia. All the Andal kings that tried to attack Moat Cailin were defeated. That was the Southern border of the North, and they never retreated.

The kingdom of the North has been standing much longer than any of the Andal kingdoms (and any other nation on our real world).

Real world countries have been continuously trading between them. Including with countries that have seceded from them.

Commerce works because it benefits both parts. If some winter the North needs food and the South could do with some wood, the North does not need "to play one king off against the other". It's a straightforward trade that shouldn't take much to close.

That argument is valid for any of the Free Cities, isn't it? The position of Pentosis untenable because if the Iron Throne decides to conquer it they are defenseless. And still, they are still free. And Dorne remained "Unbent", and only joined the Iron Throne when they wanted and under favorable circumstances.

We don't know if the Northern independence meant nothing or not to the smallfolk, so we can't say. But we know that they weren't consulted either when Torrhen Stark decided to bent the knee to the Conqueror.

The Iron Throne conquered the North. This is a hard fact.

Plenty of lands have gained their independence after more than three centuries of domination.

I would also challenge the assertion that for most of the time it was a time of peace and prosperity. There's hardly a single generation in those 300 years of Targaryen rule that hasn't suffered war. Some of them, such as the Conquest, the Dance, or the Wot5K itself, have probably caused much more casualties than most of the pre-Targ wars.

We have no basis to support that.

 

I think they'll just go along with what their lords tell them. 

Northern independence does not seem to me to be an objectively good thing, in the way that independence for a colony generally is a good thing.  It's more like Brexit or Scottish independence or Catalan independence - there are pros and cons to it.  Is it best to go it alone, or be a part of a bigger entity, with the same rights as the other parts of that bigger entity?

To me, the unification of the Seven Kingdoms is a bit like the way the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united into England by Alfred and his successors (obviously massively speeded up).  They ceased being kingdoms, but the same lords and social structures remained in place. They just had a different overlord, as the King of Wessex, became the King of England.

Of course, one sympathises with Robb Stark at an individual level, because he and his mother are sympathetic characters, and the "King in the North" passage is pretty fist-pumping.  But, the consequence of seeking Northern independence was that thousands of people died for no really pressing reason.  

Edited by SeanF

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5 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

The Iron Throne conquered the North. This is a hard fact.

The Starks also conquered the North. That is also a hard fact. The Starks are no more/less Tyrannical than the Iron Throne. Do people really not get this?

5 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Plenty of lands have gained their independence after more than three centuries of domination.

Sure. That is not what I said though. I pointed out that, as far as we know

  • there were no rebellions before this from the North, suggesting they were fine with the Status Quo
  • that the people of the North, as well as the majority of the nobles, were not consulted on Independence

OP has framed this as some kind of independence movement that was done to protect the people, other people have argued against this. That this was never Robb's intentions. You get that, right? Not trying to be condescending or patronizing, you clearly are a well informed person on this forum, but answering this might save many, many pointless back and forth between the two of us.

5 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

I would also challenge the assertion that for most of the time it was a time of peace and prosperity.

From what we know it was, at least as much as it can be for the Northern people pre Industrial revolution. Their climate is always going to offer hardships of a sort, but at the same time GRRM goes into detail how the realm benefited from the Iron Throne.

5 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

There's hardly a single generation in those 300 years of Targaryen rule that hasn't suffered war.

I hate to do this, but nowhere did I claim there was Utopia in the realm. Pointing out that there were wars in the last three centures does not invalidate anything that I have said.

5 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Some of them, such as the Conquest, the Dance, or the Wot5K itself, have probably caused much more casualties than most of the pre-Targ wars.

Don't think that is true. The Vale North war that is described by GRRM was more bloody than anything we have seen. As was the Ironborn-Westerland war described in the World of Ice and Fire.

We only have to look at the Wall's population. The lack of Watch members seems to suggest that there are far less wars now than before.

5 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

We have no basis to support that.

We have our own middle ages.

But, again lets not get down the semantics argument. Do you Hairy Bear think that the Northern people, the ones who starve every winter and have to go 'hunting' to spare their families have the same luxuries as the Northern nobility? Or are you just disagreeing for the sake of it?

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7 hours ago, The Wolves said:

Stannis’ cause was not just. He wanted power. And the Baratheon reign was built on the murder of babies and stealing the throne from the rightful rulers(The Targaryens)Plus he stood by and knowingly let his King and brothers be murdered to claim the ugly chair. 

Usurpers or pretenders, call it what you will. 
Stannis isn’t the best of people. But when you compare him to the other pretender kings. He definitely had the most legal or just cause. 

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