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Alyn Oakenfist

Ned treated Jon really badly

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I had the thought that one of the reasons Lyanna was so against marrying Robert, was his bastard Mya Stone.  I wondered if Ned in making Jon a bastard is not punishing Lyanna.  Ned may Have been guilted into the promise to protect Jon by Lyanna.  But Ned may have had that small satisfaction in hurting Lyanna the same way Lyanna hurt Ned, the rest of the Starks, and Robert by not doing what he considered her duty.

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Ned secured infant/baby Jon as soon as he practically could and brought him to WF where he not only kept him safe but raised him as part of his family.  He really could not have done more to protect Jon's true identity by laying such a convincingly false trail at some cost to his own reputation and of course to his and Catelyn's relationship.

No one suspects he is a a Targaryen bastard or potentially semi-legitimate heir due to potential polygamy on Rhaegar's part which keeps him safe from an unstable Taregaryen-hating Robert's vengefulness; any realpolitik decisions to remove an inconvenient alternative to the newly established Barratheon dynasty which is notably short on legitimacy; and free from any political ploys to seat him on the Iron Throne as a child and rule through him by unscrupulous Lords tempted to try a power grab.

Ned raises him to lead and command, exactly as he does Robb, and though he is sent off to the NW for plot reasons both Mormont and Maester Aemon are quick to spot his potential and his rapidly accelerated rise to a leadership role confirms this quickly enough.

He's a bastard so he'll never get to marry or inherit lands and in the North a career in a leadership role in the NW is not such a terrible thing.  For those thinking it is, remember that the prologue to AGOT starts with Waymar Royce, a third son from an influential and powerful noble house in the Vale voluntarily turning up to pursue a career (i.e. lifetime in the NW).

Catelyn precipitated it and Jon was unusually young but it's not that different to what Waymar Royce or Ned's own brother, Benjen Stark, chose  themselves.

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On 10/9/2020 at 4:04 AM, Alyn Oakenfist said:

So a lot of people have a problem with Cat for how she treated Jon. But think about it, she thought him the bastard son of her husband, with a woman she didn't know and he was being paraded in front of him. So why Cat was a bit of a bitch to Jon, I can't really blame him. Who I can blame however, is Ned. So... 

There is a contemporary mind set here. 

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- First off he pisses a bit on his sisters memory by going along with the lie that it was kidnapping, when it so obviously wasn't (might have been something wrong there after Brandon's death, but no way it was kidnapping). Nice honor you got there Ned. 

1. The people are dead, and angering what was thought to the instigator of a rebellion would not do anyone any good. Lyanna is dead, she doesn't care. Neither does Rhaegar, because he too is dead. This concept of moral justice were everyone has their due is just not feasible or desirable.   

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- Then he takes the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and makes him a bastard. Sure he's treated better then most bastards, but he's still looked down upon. Ned might have promised to keep him safe, but not to keep him happy or respected. 

2. There are two types of respected. As a human and as an authority figure. You conflate the two. Ned did the best for Jon he could, treating him as his own son. His own children looked at him like a brother. Sure he was not beloved by everyone in the castle, but that is a small price to pay. People are not so weak as you make them out to be, and neither was Jon. As for his birth rights, Robert had the throne. Should Ned have started a war that would get the boy killed, or forced him into a position of power he never wanted? Yes from our perspective of modern justice wealth and power are the greatest equalizers in the world, but giving the boy a life of peace and safety is the most Ned could ever do for him. At least now a knife wouldn't be at his back. 

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- Furthermore, he refuses to tell the boy the truth, letting him suffer wondering who his mom was. Again nice honor you got there Ned. 

3. What was he suppose to say? You are not my son and instead are the blood of the dragon, the kind the king would want dead? He gives him peace of mind and takes him in as his own. Again power and wealth are not the only keys of justice, and depriving someone of their right does not equate to injustice (though today it would).  

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- He also refuses to tell his wife the truth, instead letting her hate the boy, for no reason other then his lies. 

4. The more people who know, the greater threat the boy is. He did everyone a favor, and he tried to convince Catelyn to love him like a son. Her failings are her own.  

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- He continues to support a fat oaf of a King, who can't be bothered to rule, who claims he loved his sister but has made whoring a sport and who revels at dead children and tries to kill some more. 

5.  Ned doesn't know all that. What he does know is the realm is at peace, and KL has recovered from the sack by Tywin. He helped in a rebellion, it is too late for him to throw his lot in with some else. That is the concept of loyalty. Money balances were not a thing in the middle ages, nations always borrowed money to bolster the economy. And the Dany situation was brought up after Ned became hand, and the dead children during the sack already made Ned angry. He kept Jon a secret from the king for his own reasons, and he admits to Cersei he had made many mistakes in his life. He did the best with what he had. 

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- All the while he has the rightful King of Westeros by his side and keeps on that he's a bastard. Now is he protecting Jon, or is he protecting the fat leech, and the second coming of Aerys the second in the form of his heir. 

6. Is this one even serious? You think he is protecting Robert's claim by keeping Jon secret? Maybe he should have sent Jon to the wall earlier rather than trying to convince him not to go. The world is complicated and once you find yourself down a certain path you can't back out. And why would he? To start another war for no reason? Would all that death and suffering be noble? 

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- Even more then that, when he learns the truth, he keeps on about how Stannis is the rightful King... Is he really Ned? 

7. Yeah, because of right of conquest. Where did the right of Aegon the conqueror come from? Also Jon joined the watch so he has no claim anymore. 

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- But the worst part is the Watch. Ned actively encourages Jon to join the Nights Watch. 

8. No he doesn't, he lets him join rather than chaining him to Winterfell. 

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- He purposefully withholds the truth of how much of a shithole the Watch is, knowing that is Jon knew he wouldn't in a million years join.   

- He is perfectly content to let the child of his sister and the rightful King of Westeros to rot at the Wall, miserable and childless. 

9. Jon knows what the watch is as well as Ned. Benjen knows better than both. Is it a life of luxury? No. But Jon finds a new family there. Today we consider a lack of material wealth tyranny, but what about Jon? Do you think making him a king, a dead one more likely than not, is better than finding a new life serving at the wall? 

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Really honorable of him, what can I say

 

I really think you're way off with this post. Not only do you apply modern notions of justice to a medieval setting, you also apply narrative dissonance. Jon is the main character (well among the main characters) so he deserves to be on top. But what if Kevan came to power and helped Tommen rule wisely and well? 

Would you say Jon is the rightful heir and stomp your feet? The problem with readers is that they only see goodness through the eyes of total victory. In fact the hero must not only win, but everyone else must know they have won. It is self gratifying sure, but its not a good character study. 

With that being said if this was just you play devils advocate to start a discussion, fair is fair.   

Edited by butterweedstrover

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On 10/9/2020 at 5:27 AM, Thandros said:

Maybe but he blew his one army virtually to dust before the battle of the bells. He's also shown dubious strategic judgement at times like moving so far west which resulted in the battle of ashford where he seems to have been caught off guard by the Tyrells suggesting his scouting was horrible. A great warrior and Charismatic leader maybe but no great general. HE seems to have relied on his allies to actually win the battles for him.

Not really. Tyrion describes that battle as indecisive. Chances are that he managed to retreat in good order, unlike Jaime at the Whispering Wood.

“Tyrell's reputation rested on one indecisive victory over Robert Baratheon at Ashford, in a battle largely won by Lord Tarly's van before the main host had even arrived.”

The context of that scene, implies that it wasn’t just his cavalry charging peasant levies and that being outnumbered wasn’t his only disadvantage in those battles.

"That will bring you to the Dreadfort," said Jon, "but unless your host can outmarch a raven or a line of beacon fires, the castle will know of your approach. It will be an easy thing for Ramsay Bolton to cut off your retreat and leave you far from the Wall, without food or refuge, surrounded by your foes."

His scouting seemed to be pretty good actually, since he managed to get word of the movements of the loyalist armies in the Stormlands, seize Summerhall before them and defeat them in detail. He was also probably a capable logistician since he was famous for his midnight rides and forced marches. Not infamous. Lord Grandison was with him at the Trident, so it’s unlikely that his army was destroyed.

He really does have the best record in Westeros.

To answer to the OP, Ned was a great uncle. He risked his marriage, his friendships and his life all to protect his innocent nephew.

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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19 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Not really. Tyrion describes that battle as indecisive. Chances are that he managed to retreat in good order, unlike Jaime at the Whispering Wood.

“Tyrell's reputation rested on one indecisive victory over Robert Baratheon at Ashford, in a battle largely won by Lord Tarly's van before the main host had even arrived.”

 

I've noted this before but indecisive simply means the outcome wasn't decisive. It means they failed to destroy his army or kill or capture Robert. Everything else is up in the air. But if Mace Tyrell is trying to build a military reputation on it the actual battle must have by itself been a fairly convincing victory. A good chunk of Robert's army was smashed and he was forced to withdraw northwards with all speed. He may not have lost most of his army at Ashford but by Stoney Sept he had so few men left he had to hide and send his army away to avoid battle.

 

20 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

The context of that scene, implies that it wasn’t just his cavalry charging peasant levies and that being outnumbered wasn’t his only disadvantage in those battles.

"That will bring you to the Dreadfort," said Jon, "but unless your host can outmarch a raven or a line of beacon fires, the castle will know of your approach. It will be an easy thing for Ramsay Bolton to cut off your retreat and leave you far from the Wall, without food or refuge, surrounded by your foes."

Perhaps but the only source for any of these 'battles' is Stannis while he trying to convince both his commanders and Jon of a reckless plan to try and take the Dreadfort which he abandons the moment a better plan is presented. Even if Robert did win a couple of small battles at poor odds Stannis clearly knows that isn't something that can be done this time and doesn't force the issue.

20 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

His scouting seemed to be pretty good actually, since he managed to get word of the movements of the loyalist armies in the Stormlands, seize Summerhall before them and defeat them in detail. He was also probably a capable logistician since he was famous for his midnight rides and forced marches. Not infamous. Lord Grandison was with him at the Trident, so it’s unlikely that his army was destroyed.

There is a great difference between knowing how your enemies move around Lands that belong to you and have loyal knights and lords who could make reports on enemy movements to you and hostile lands where it applies. For all we know the only reason Robert found out about the loyalists gathering at Summerhall was a message was intercepted or a Baratheon loyalist in one of their castles heard about it and reported it. Nothing necessarily to suggest any capable scouting.

Also the ability to move an army fast doesn't say anything about logistics. Good Logistics can make it easier to move an army quickly but is by no means a requirement. It's just as likely Robert moved quickly by motivating his men and encouraging them using charisma to move armies rather than organized supply lines to allow an army to move quickly. Given how much RObert hated counting coppers I think the idea he was goodat Logistics is kind of silly.

20 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

He really does have the best record in Westeros.

Faint praise. Given that aside from the Rebellion and the Greyjoy revolt there hadn't been a war in Westeros for almost forty years and all the leaders of that war are long dead by the start of the books. Well having the best record doesn't mean much.

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4 hours ago, Thandros said:

I've noted this before but indecisive simply means the outcome wasn't decisive. It means they failed to destroy his army or kill or capture Robert. Everything else is up in the air. But if Mace Tyrell is trying to build a military reputation on it the actual battle must have by itself been a fairly convincing victory. A good chunk of Robert's army was smashed and he was forced to withdraw northwards with all speed. He may not have lost most of his army at Ashford but by Stoney Sept he had so few men left he had to hide and send his army away to avoid battle.

Perhaps but the only source for any of these 'battles' is Stannis while he trying to convince both his commanders and Jon of a reckless plan to try and take the Dreadfort which he abandons the moment a better plan is presented. Even if Robert did win a couple of small battles at poor odds Stannis clearly knows that isn't something that can be done this time and doesn't force the issue.

There is a great difference between knowing how your enemies move around Lands that belong to you and have loyal knights and lords who could make reports on enemy movements to you and hostile lands where it applies. For all we know the only reason Robert found out about the loyalists gathering at Summerhall was a message was intercepted or a Baratheon loyalist in one of their castles heard about it and reported it. Nothing necessarily to suggest any capable scouting.

Also the ability to move an army fast doesn't say anything about logistics. Good Logistics can make it easier to move an army quickly but is by no means a requirement. It's just as likely Robert moved quickly by motivating his men and encouraging them using charisma to move armies rather than organized supply lines to allow an army to move quickly. Given how much RObert hated counting coppers I think the idea he was goodat Logistics is kind of silly.

Faint praise. Given that aside from the Rebellion and the Greyjoy revolt there hadn't been a war in Westeros for almost forty years and all the leaders of that war are long dead by the start of the books. Well having the best record doesn't mean much.

We don’t know that his army was smashed at Ashford and given that it’s described as indecisive, the chances are that his army wasn’t smashed. There are also battles that we haven’t heard of during Roberts Rebellion according to George. I doubt that he, “sent his army away.” And we know that there were Stormlords with him at the Trident. Robert being alone at the Stoney Sept seems to have become part of the mythology, but it seems unlikely to me.

“The Targaryens had lost a number of battles (and had also won some), but they weren't really losing the war until the Trident and the Sack of King's Landing.“

You call it reckless, but the whole context of those scenes is that Jon and his commanders wanted Stannis to be more like Robert.

“Even ruined, Winterfell itself would confer a considerable advantage on whoever held it. Robert Baratheon would have seen that at once and moved swiftly to secure the castle, with the forced marches and midnight rides for which he had been famous. Would his brother be as bold? Not likely. Stannis was a deliberate commander, and his host was a half-digested stew of clansmen, southron knights, king's men and queen's men, salted with a few northern lords. He should move on Winterfell swiftly, or not at all, Jon thought. It was not his place to advise the king, but...”

That was Jon and later we get this from Stannis war council.

Then Ser Richard Horpe, the knight with the ravaged face and the death’s-head moths on his surcoat, turned to Stannis and said, “Your Grace, your brother-“

The king cut him off. “We all know what Robert would do. Robert would gallop up to the gates of Winterfell alone, break them with his warhammer, and ride through the rubble to slay Roose Bolton with his left hand and the Bastard with his right.” Stannis rose to his feet. “I am not Robert. But we will march, and we will free Winterfell...or die in the attempt.”

“An army marches on its stomach.” - Napoleon

Almost all nobles hate counting coppers. Charisma is important, but it’s not everything. Obviously he wouldn’t be involved in the nitty gritty of every part of his campaign, but that’s not unusual. No general in history has been wholly responsible for his success. The very nature of commanding armies demands a bit of delegation, because a single man can’t micromanage every unit. This is obvious. What’s important is that he managed to succesfully move his troops at a quick pace repeatedly to achieve tactical surprises against his enemies according to Jon. Likewise, at Summerhall he gets word of the movements of royalist forces in the Stormlands and defeats them before they can unite against him. During Robbs campaign, he left the stunting to Brynden and others. They gathered information for him and he made use of that information to great effect at the Whispering Wood, the Battle of the Camps and at Oxcross. The fact that he personally didn’t do the scouting isn’t a mark against him. There’s a reason that they’re called generals. And seeing as we never hear about Roberts army suffering from a lack of food or supplies, it seems that he was doing pretty well.

its fine if you think that’s silly. I personally think that it’s silly to believe that when Stannis mentions Robert winning battles at worse odds, he’s talking about cavalry charges against poorly armed peasant levies. Stannis defeated 100k Wildlings at far worse odds than 5 to 1. If that’s what he was talking about, why would he mention Roberts victories instead of his own?

Eddard, Tywin, Kevan, Barristan, Stannis, Hoster, Barristan, Jaime, Mace, Randall, Paxter, Balon, Euron, Victarion, Aemon etc.. I don’t know where you got the idea that they were all dead, but you’re incorrect.

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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4 hours ago, Thandros said:

Faint praise. Given that aside from the Rebellion and the Greyjoy revolt there hadn't been a war in Westeros for almost forty years and all the leaders of that war are long dead by the start of the books. Well having the best record doesn't mean much.

Yeah I think Robert winning battles has to do with his sheer charisma inspiring men to fight for him against all odds, I mean that's basically what a forced march is, it takes endurance and Robert is what inspired these men to continue on. When Stannis describes Robert's battlefield methods he basically just says he would charge in and kill everyone. Many characters all him stupid so are we really supposed to see him as this great tactician/strategist? Don't think so.

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57 minutes ago, R2D said:

Yeah I think Robert winning battles has to do with his sheer charisma inspiring men to fight for him against all odds, I mean that's basically what a forced march is, it takes endurance and Robert is what inspired these men to continue on. When Stannis describes Robert's battlefield methods he basically just says he would charge in and kill everyone. Many characters all him stupid so are we really supposed to see him as this great tactician/strategist? Don't think so.

The scene that you’re referring to had Stannis cut off one of his leading advisors before he can tell him to be more like Robert. Jon also says that Stannis needs to be more like Robert. In the end, he admits that he needs to be more like Robert. Charisma only gets you so far in battle and he did have it, but Robert received the same military education that every other aristocratic man gets Westeros.

“If Lord Tywin attempts to interfere with the king's justice, he will have Robert to answer to. The only thing His Grace enjoys more than huntingis making war on lords who defy him.” - Eddard Stark

“If Renly had done his duty by his brother, we would have smashed Lord Tywin. A victory even Robert could be proud of.” - Stannis Baratheon

The old knight read the pact slowly. “If Robert had known of this, he would have smashed Sunspear as he once smashed Pyke, and claimed the heads of Prince Doran and the Red Viper… and like as not, the head of this Dornish princess too.” - Barristan Selmy

So when Stannis says that Robert won battles at odds worse than 5 to 1, you think that he just charged in and shouted, “Robert smash” and that was enough? How is it possible that he didn’t end up getting captured like Jaime at the Whispering Wood or disfigured like Jaime? We’ve already seen brave warriors skilled in personal combat suffer significant defeats. This isn’t a setting where one man being personally great at arms is going to lead to an constant military success unless they know what they’re doing in a command tent as well as on the frontlines. To be honest, this seems like a bit of a wish. Robert being a capable general is pretty well founded in the story.

Even fighting and hunting takes a bit of thinking to it. Gregor tried to blind Oberyn before striking. Bronn fights a heavily armoured Ser Vardis and waits until he tires out. Robert would goad boars and then strike with one savage thrust before they get to him. Robert has great success as a hunter, a warrior and a commander. It’s not just because he was personally charismatic, big and strong.

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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6 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

We don’t know that his army was smashed at Ashford and given that it’s described as indecisive, the chances are that his army wasn’t smashed. There are also battles that we haven’t heard of during Roberts Rebellion according to George. I doubt that he, “sent his army away.” And we know that there were Stormlords with him at the Trident. Robert being alone at the Stoney Sept seems to have become part of the mythology, but it seems unlikely to me.

“The Targaryens had lost a number of battles (and had also won some), but they weren't really losing the war until the Trident and the Sack of King's Landing.“

You call it reckless, but the whole context of those scenes is that Jon and his commanders wanted Stannis to be more like Robert.

“Even ruined, Winterfell itself would confer a considerable advantage on whoever held it. Robert Baratheon would have seen that at once and moved swiftly to secure the castle, with the forced marches and midnight rides for which he had been famous. Would his brother be as bold? Not likely. Stannis was a deliberate commander, and his host was a half-digested stew of clansmen, southron knights, king's men and queen's men, salted with a few northern lords. He should move on Winterfell swiftly, or not at all, Jon thought. It was not his place to advise the king, but...”

That was Jon and later we get this from Stannis war council.

Then Ser Richard Horpe, the knight with the ravaged face and the death’s-head moths on his surcoat, turned to Stannis and said, “Your Grace, your brother-“

The king cut him off. “We all know what Robert would do. Robert would gallop up to the gates of Winterfell alone, break them with his warhammer, and ride through the rubble to slay Roose Bolton with his left hand and the Bastard with his right.” Stannis rose to his feet. “I am not Robert. But we will march, and we will free Winterfell...or die in the attempt.”

The idea that Robert has an army of several thousand hiding in Stoney Sept is laughable. The town probably only has a few thousand inhabitants at full population trying to hide an army as big as the town would quickly have his men exposed. There were both Stormlanders and Riverlanders in Connington's army. If any of Robert's lords or knights were hiding there and got found we'd have some reference to it. instead we have talk of Robert being moved from hiding place to hiding place suggesting he was either virtually alone or had a small rentinue with him. Maybe he'd sent the rest of his men to get help rather than them simply not being there.

As for Stannis should be more like Robert I think Stannis knows they're kidding themselves. Robert as he suggests has become this almost mythological figure of mighty power who could do what Stannis says. Stannis knows that isn't him and trying to be Robert won't get him anywhere. Jon mostly grew up with inaccurate tales of the Demon of the Trident. The knights of Stannis' army have probably not much greater personal knowledge of Robert than similar stories. Stannis probably knows Robert better than any of them and knows there thoughts of Robert are highly mythologized rather than accurate representations of what Robert was capable of.

6 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

“An army marches on its stomach.” - Napoleon

Almost all nobles hate counting coppers. Charisma is important, but it’s not everything. Obviously he wouldn’t be involved in the nitty gritty of every part of his campaign, but that’s not unusual. No general in history has been wholly responsible for his success. The very nature of commanding armies demands a bit of delegation, because a single man can’t micromanage every unit. This is obvious. What’s important is that he managed to succesfully move his troops at a quick pace repeatedly to achieve tactical surprises against his enemies according to Jon. Likewise, at Summerhall he gets word of the movements of royalist forces in the Stormlands and defeats them before they can unite against him. During Robbs campaign, he left the stunting to Brynden and others. They gathered information for him and he made use of that information to great effect at the Whispering Wood, the Battle of the Camps and at Oxcross. The fact that he personally didn’t do the scouting isn’t a mark against him. There’s a reason that they’re called generals. And seeing as we never hear about Roberts army suffering from a lack of food or supplies, it seems that he was doing pretty well.

its fine if you think that’s silly. I personally think that it’s silly to believe that when Stannis mentions Robert winning battles at worse odds, he’s talking about cavalry charges against poorly armed peasant levies. Stannis defeated 100k Wildlings at far worse odds than 5 to 1. If that’s what he was talking about, why would he mention Roberts victories instead of his own?

Jon again hardly a reliable source on Robert. Most of what he's heard would be stories from Ned about Robert rather than perhaps purely factual events. The reason we don't hear about Robert's army lacking supplies. Logistics at this point seems to mostly consist of stealing what ever you need of the local smallfolk. Crossing the Reach Robert probably had plenty of small villages whose first harvest of the year he could loot to keep his army fed. That doesn't require logistical talent.

As for Stannis three reasons. One he didn't face 100k wildings he faced perhaps half of that in fighters. Remember Stannis captures a thousand wildings and thinks he can get three hundred fighting men off them minus any spearwives. Also Stannis only fought a portion of the Wildling host the section around Mance other parts of the Wildling host he probably never fought before they fled. Second as mentioned before Robert has a larger than life reputation that Stannis might want to exploit to help convince his men. Thirdly unlike Robert Stannis isn't a braggart. He probably wouldn't want to exaggerate his achievements and knows that the Bolton army is a very different beast than the Wildlings so instead chooses to reference some unknown battle of Robert's which might be more comparable.

6 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Eddard, Tywin, Kevan, Barristan, Stannis, Hoster, Barristan, Jaime, Mace, Randall, Paxter, Balon, Euron, Victarion, Aemon etc.. I don’t know where you got the idea that they were all dead, but you’re incorrect.

Ambiguous syntax might not have helped but none of them were leaders during the war of the Nine Penny Kings. Hoster, Tywin,Kevan and Barristan all took part. Tywin in the Royal retinue, Kevan squiring to lord Roger Reyne, Hoster in some unknown capacity but probably not a leader and Barristan won his fame for killing Maelys not leading men.

Let's look at this from a different point of view. How much military experience any of these leaders actually have.

Eddard led Northmen during the Rebellion and Greyjoy war. No more than Robert.

Tywin one battle pre canon he led. A near run thing that saw him almost defeated by a force a third his size exhausted from an all night march.

Kevan led some 500 men to supress bandits.

Barristan hed organize the remnants of Connington's army other than that more renowned as a warrior and knight than commander.

Stannis defended Storm's end and defeated Victarion at sea.

Hoster held command during the Rebellion and Greyjoy Rebellion same as Eddard roughly.

Jaime no military experience at book start.

Mace and Randall the battle of Ashford for both of them. Randyll won it and Mace has been claiming credit ever since.

Paxter an admiral not a general. Worked with Stannis during the Greyjoy Rebellion.

Balon maybe led some raids in his youth but no further military command beyond perhaps strategic command during the Greyjoy Rebellion

Euron a cunning schemer and planner not noted to have led any fleets except perhaps raiding fleets.

Victarion led the Iron fleet to humiliating defeat at Fair Isle.

Aemon? You mean Maester Aemon. He's never led an army or possibly even fought in his life.

As I was saying all the leaders from earlier wars than Robert's Rebellion are long gone. None of them have long respected military careers just some experience from a few short wars. Robert may have the best military record but it's not a long one.

4 hours ago, Lee-Sensei said:

The scene that you’re referring to had Stannis cut off one of his leading advisors before he can tell him to be more like Robert. Jon also says that Stannis needs to be more like Robert. In the end, he admits that he needs to be more like Robert. Charisma only gets you so far in battle and he did have it, but Robert received the same military education that every other aristocratic man gets Westeros.

“If Lord Tywin attempts to interfere with the king's justice, he will have Robert to answer to. The only thing His Grace enjoys more than huntingis making war on lords who defy him.” - Eddard Stark

“If Renly had done his duty by his brother, we would have smashed Lord Tywin. A victory even Robert could be proud of.” - Stannis Baratheon

The old knight read the pact slowly. “If Robert had known of this, he would have smashed Sunspear as he once smashed Pyke, and claimed the heads of Prince Doran and the Red Viper… and like as not, the head of this Dornish princess too.” - Barristan Selmy

So when Stannis says that Robert won battles at odds worse than 5 to 1, you think that he just charged in and shouted, “Robert smash” and that was enough? How is it possible that he didn’t end up getting captured like Jaime at the Whispering Wood or disfigured like Jaime? We’ve already seen brave warriors skilled in personal combat suffer significant defeats. This isn’t a setting where one man being personally great at arms is going to lead to an constant military success unless they know what they’re doing in a command tent as well as on the frontlines. To be honest, this seems like a bit of a wish. Robert being a capable general is pretty well founded in the story.

Even fighting and hunting takes a bit of thinking to it. Gregor tried to blind Oberyn before striking. Bronn fights a heavily armoured Ser Vardis and waits until he tires out. Robert would goad boars and then strike with one savage thrust before they get to him. Robert has great success as a hunter, a warrior and a commander. It’s not just because he was personally charismatic, big and strong.

Military education in westeros is probably mostly the standard squireship to knight except in the north with some extra instruction on how to lead men in battle for lords. There's no formal military education as one might put it. 

The thing is Robert leading a charge is exactly about the limits of military leadership a general could exert in this period. Either that or like Tywin sitting at the back with reserves and directing them to the critical point. There's no capacity for formal coordinated maneuvers or tactical operations beyond a limited level. Robert by leading a massive successful cavalry charge could win a battle by breaking an enemy flank and coming down on their rear. In fact at the Trident Robert basically won the battle by charging forward going Robert Smash and killing Rhaegar. Jamie Lannister was stuck in a trap by a superior force and correctly saw his only opportunity for victory was to mass whatever he could and charge straight at Robb to kill him and win the war there and then and Robb like an idiot gave him the perfect opportunity to do so. There may well be an art form to killing but it's very different to generalship. Robert when faced with five to one odds may have opportunistically charged the enemy commander and swiftly killed him and scattered the rest of his forces. Robert is definitely smarter than he acts in the book but he's no tactical genius. He's got the best military record as a commander because to be honest most people have pretty short lists of battles they commanded forces and Robert's might just be a little longer than anyone elses.

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1 hour ago, Thandros said:

The reason we don't hear about Robert's army lacking supplies. Logistics at this point seems to mostly consist of stealing what ever you need of the local smallfolk. Crossing the Reach Robert probably had plenty of small villages whose first harvest of the year he could loot to keep his army fed. That doesn't require logistical talent.

To further your point Catelyn also says Robert would have just rushed at his enemies and leave his supply lines behind, and it was Eddard who tempered his boldness with caution.

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56 minutes ago, Thandros said:

The idea that Robert has an army of several thousand hiding in Stoney Sept is laughable. The town probably only has a few thousand inhabitants at full population trying to hide an army as big as the town would quickly have his men exposed. There were both Stormlanders and Riverlanders in Connington's army. If any of Robert's lords or knights were hiding there and got found we'd have some reference to it. instead we have talk of Robert being moved from hiding place to hiding place suggesting he was either virtually alone or had a small rentinue with him. Maybe he'd sent the rest of his men to get help rather than them simply not being there.

As for Stannis should be more like Robert I think Stannis knows they're kidding themselves. Robert as he suggests has become this almost mythological figure of mighty power who could do what Stannis says. Stannis knows that isn't him and trying to be Robert won't get him anywhere. Jon mostly grew up with inaccurate tales of the Demon of the Trident. The knights of Stannis' army have probably not much greater personal knowledge of Robert than similar stories. Stannis probably knows Robert better than any of them and knows there thoughts of Robert are highly mythologized rather than accurate representations of what Robert was capable of.

Jon again hardly a reliable source on Robert. Most of what he's heard would be stories from Ned about Robert rather than perhaps purely factual events. The reason we don't hear about Robert's army lacking supplies. Logistics at this point seems to mostly consist of stealing what ever you need of the local smallfolk. Crossing the Reach Robert probably had plenty of small villages whose first harvest of the year he could loot to keep his army fed. That doesn't require logistical talent.

As for Stannis three reasons. One he didn't face 100k wildings he faced perhaps half of that in fighters. Remember Stannis captures a thousand wildings and thinks he can get three hundred fighting men off them minus any spearwives. Also Stannis only fought a portion of the Wildling host the section around Mance other parts of the Wildling host he probably never fought before they fled. Second as mentioned before Robert has a larger than life reputation that Stannis might want to exploit to help convince his men. Thirdly unlike Robert Stannis isn't a braggart. He probably wouldn't want to exaggerate his achievements and knows that the Bolton army is a very different beast than the Wildlings so instead chooses to reference some unknown battle of Robert's which might be more comparable.

Ambiguous syntax might not have helped but none of them were leaders during the war of the Nine Penny Kings. Hoster, Tywin,Kevan and Barristan all took part. Tywin in the Royal retinue, Kevan squiring to lord Roger Reyne, Hoster in some unknown capacity but probably not a leader and Barristan won his fame for killing Maelys not leading men.

Let's look at this from a different point of view. How much military experience any of these leaders actually have.

Eddard led Northmen during the Rebellion and Greyjoy war. No more than Robert.

Tywin one battle pre canon he led. A near run thing that saw him almost defeated by a force a third his size exhausted from an all night march.

Kevan led some 500 men to supress bandits.

Barristan hed organize the remnants of Connington's army other than that more renowned as a warrior and knight than commander.

Stannis defended Storm's end and defeated Victarion at sea.

Hoster held command during the Rebellion and Greyjoy Rebellion same as Eddard roughly.

Jaime no military experience at book start.

Mace and Randall the battle of Ashford for both of them. Randyll won it and Mace has been claiming credit ever since.

Paxter an admiral not a general. Worked with Stannis during the Greyjoy Rebellion.

Balon maybe led some raids in his youth but no further military command beyond perhaps strategic command during the Greyjoy Rebellion

Euron a cunning schemer and planner not noted to have led any fleets except perhaps raiding fleets.

Victarion led the Iron fleet to humiliating defeat at Fair Isle.

Aemon? You mean Maester Aemon. He's never led an army or possibly even fought in his life.

As I was saying all the leaders from earlier wars than Robert's Rebellion are long gone. None of them have long respected military careers just some experience from a few short wars. Robert may have the best military record but it's not a long one.

Military education in westeros is probably mostly the standard squireship to knight except in the north with some extra instruction on how to lead men in battle for lords. There's no formal military education as one might put it. 

The thing is Robert leading a charge is exactly about the limits of military leadership a general could exert in this period. Either that or like Tywin sitting at the back with reserves and directing them to the critical point. There's no capacity for formal coordinated maneuvers or tactical operations beyond a limited level. Robert by leading a massive successful cavalry charge could win a battle by breaking an enemy flank and coming down on their rear. In fact at the Trident Robert basically won the battle by charging forward going Robert Smash and killing Rhaegar. Jamie Lannister was stuck in a trap by a superior force and correctly saw his only opportunity for victory was to mass whatever he could and charge straight at Robb to kill him and win the war there and then and Robb like an idiot gave him the perfect opportunity to do so. There may well be an art form to killing but it's very different to generalship. Robert when faced with five to one odds may have opportunistically charged the enemy commander and swiftly killed him and scattered the rest of his forces. Robert is definitely smarter than he acts in the book but he's no tactical genius. He's got the best military record as a commander because to be honest most people have pretty short lists of battles they commanded forces and Robert's might just be a little longer than anyone elses.

1) I’m assuming that you have a source for the population of that Town. The idea that Robert “sent his army away” seems absurd to me, but to each their own.

2) And this is exactly what I’m talking about. Your beliefs about Robert seem to be more about what you want to be the truth, rather than what’s actually happened in the story as it was written by George. Ned has no reason to lie to Jon about Roberts achievements. And many of the people that are with Stannis now knew him personally. Richard was a candidate for his Kingsguard and Justin Massey was his squire. They’re not the only people that hype him up either. Stannis does it too as I’ve already proven. That part where Stannis he would have crushed the Lannisters if Renly had joined them and that it would have been a victory that Robert could be proud of was said in private. So was this, actually.

"R'hllor chooses queerly, then." The king grimaced, as if he'd tasted something foul. "Why me, and not my brothers? Renly and his peach. In my dreams I see the juice running from his mouth, the blood from his throat. If he had done his duty by his brother, we would have smashed Lord Tywin. A victory even Robert could be proud of. Robert..." His teeth ground side to side. "He is in my dreams as well. Laughing. Drinking. Boasting. Those were the things he was best at. Those, and fighting. I never bested him at anything. The Lord of Light should have made Robert his champion. Why me?"

3) Feeding off the land is a egitimate method of keeping an army fed on the move.

4) Honestly, it sounds like your stretching. I’ll acknowledge that 100,000 Is a bit of an exaggeration.  But he was facing an overwhelmingly superior army numerically. Stannis does have a reputation as a commander all his own and he later boasts about the victory when he talks to Theon. He could have easily just mentioned his victory, instead of Roberts victory. Also, not a braggart like Robert?

“I defeated your uncle Victarion and his Iron Fleet off Fair Isle, the first time your father crowned himself. I held Storm's End against the power of the Reach for a year, and took Dragonstone from the Targaryens. I smashed Mance Rayder at the Wall, though he had twenty times my numbers.”

5) I meant Aeron. Most of these people are considered seasoned battle commanders, but if you don’t count them your position is more understandable. Remember that we don’t know about every battle of Roberts Rebellion or the Greyjoy Rebellion.

6) I think that your simplifying it at least a bit. A good commander needs to be able to motivate soldiers, command respect, manage supplies, they need to make use of geography, they need to surround themselves with scouts and outriders. We’ve already seen that it’s more complicated than that by following various characters from Robb, Jaime, Tyrion, Theon, Stannis etc..

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4 minutes ago, R2D said:

To further your point Catelyn also says Robert would have just rushed at his enemies and leave his supply lines behind, and it was Eddard who tempered his boldness with caution.

Was Eddard at the Battle of Summerhall too?

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1 minute ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Was Eddard at the Battle of Summerhall too?

He was in his own lands, he wasn't going to starve duh. Additionally it was over in a day and we don't even know the size and composition of his armies.

Robert is known for fighting and "smashing" armies, that's it.

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12 minutes ago, R2D said:

He was in his own lands, he wasn't going to starve duh. Additionally it was over in a day and we don't even know the size and composition of his armies.

Robert is known for fighting and "smashing" armies, that's it.

Do you know of any time that he did starve?

We know quite a bit more than that. We know that he was charismatic, he was capable of moving his armies quickly to surprise his enemies, he could win people over to his side and that he won most of his battles, more than one occasion, winning against odds worse than 5 to 1. Ned didn’t say smash either. He said Robert loves “making wars” on Lords that defy him.

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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4 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Do you know of any time that he did starve?

We know quite a bit more than that. We know that he was charismatic, he was capable of moving his armies quickly to surprise his enemies, he could win people over to his side and that he won most of his battles. On more than one occasion, winning against odds worse than 5 to 1. Ned didn’t say smash either. He said Robert loves “making wars” on Lords that defy him.

We know what Catelyn says he would do if Ned wasn't there. I'll quote your own quotes back at you.

“If Renly had done his duty by his brother, we would have smashed Lord Tywin. A victory even Robert could be proud of.” - Stannis Baratheon

The old knight read the pact slowly. “If Robert had known of this, he would have smashed Sunspear as he once smashed Pyke, and claimed the heads of Prince Doran and the Red Viper… and like as not, the head of this Dornish princess too.” - Barristan Selmy

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20 minutes ago, R2D said:

We know what Catelyn says he would do if Ned wasn't there. I'll quote your own quotes back at you.

“If Renly had done his duty by his brother, we would have smashed Lord Tywin. A victory even Robert could be proud of.” - Stannis Baratheon

The old knight read the pact slowly. “If Robert had known of this, he would have smashed Sunspear as he once smashed Pyke, and claimed the heads of Prince Doran and the Red Viper… and like as not, the head of this Dornish princess too.” - Barristan Selmy

Then quote it all back.

“If Lord Tywin attempts to interfere with the king's justice, he will have Robert to answer to. The only thing His Grace enjoys more than huntingis making war on lords who defy him.” - Eddard Stark

Then quote it all back. Stannis and Barristan are talking about smashing armies, by the way. They’re not talking about single combat. But to simplify things, it doesn’t matter that Robert is famous for the speed with which he can move his troops, it doesn’t matter that he’d defeated armies that outnumbered him over 5 to 1, it doesn’t matter that at Summerhall he defeated three armies in detail and it doesn’t matter that his only known defeat was an indecisive one at Ashford.

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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28 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

Then quote it all back.

“If Lord Tywin attempts to interfere with the king's justice, he will have Robert to answer to. The only thing His Grace enjoys more than huntingis making war on lords who defy him.” - Eddard Stark

Then quote it all back. Stannis and Barristan are talking about smashing armies, by the way. They’re not talking about single combat. But to simplify things, it doesn’t matter that Robert is famous for the speed with which he can move his troops, it doesn’t matter that he’d defeated armies that outnumbered him over 5 to 1, it doesn’t matter that at Summerhall he defeated three armies in detail and it doesn’t matter that his only known defeat was an indecisive one at Ashford.

Yeah it really doesn't matter unless we know more about these battles. 

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11 minutes ago, R2D said:

Yeah it really doesn't matter unless we know more about these battles. 

We know that Robert got information about the movements of loyalists in the Stormlands, beat them to Summerhall and then defeated them in turn before they could combine their forces. Is that really not enough to say that he was competent? You touted Ned’s skills, even though we don’t know much about his battles either and I’d say much less.

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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6 minutes ago, Lee-Sensei said:

We know that Robert got information about the movements of loyalists in the Stormlands, beat them to Summerhall and then defeated them in turn before they could combine their forces. You touted Ned’s skills, even though we don’t know much about his battles either. Arguably less.

For all we know a lord or a soldier in the loyalists' retinue told him. It's pretty hard to gather armies without people catching wind of it. For all we know he went "ROBERT SMASH" and went into the thick of battle, captured/killed the commanders and their men bent the knee or fled. I didn't tout Ned's skills, I was showing there is evidence Robert was not great at logistics.

Edited by R2D

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33 minutes ago, R2D said:

For all we know a lord or a soldier in the loyalists' retinue told him. It's pretty hard to gather armies without people catching wind of it. For all we know he went "ROBERT SMASH" and went into the thick of battle, captured/killed the commanders and their men bent the knee or fled. I didn't tout Ned's skills, I was showing there is evidence Robert was not great at logistics.

You’re really reaching. We’re told that he secured the castle before they arrived after getting wind of their movements and beat them before they could unite their forces and move against him. It’s called defeat in detail. Look it up.

You basically want us to ignore all of the evidence from the books that indicates that he was capable, even though he’s had mostly successes, even when he was gratuitously outnumbered and his abilities as a commander are constantly being touted.

“Even ruined, Winterfell itself would confer a considerable advantage on whoever held it. Robert Baratheon would have seen that at once and moved swiftly to to secure the castle with the forced marches and midnight rides for which he had been famous.”

Robert would have seen it at once. Can you explain how this portrays Robert as a poor commander? If he was incompetent, shouldn’t he be infamous for his midnight rides and forced marches instead of famous?

Edited by Lee-Sensei

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