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Alyn Oakenfist

Catelyn's A+ parenting

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So a lot of people focus on Jon's relation with Cat, which frankly to me is pretty bland and uninteresting. They just ignored each other, and there is little thought about the other. However, what most people overlook is Catelyn's relation to his other siblings, and boy does it make anything she did to Jon seem the act of a loving adult by comparison. (disclaimer I'm not saying she's an abusive parent or anything like that, but she is a really bad parent). So...

- she actively pushes for Sansa to be betrothed to Joffrey, even though it's clear they know something is off about him. No investigation, no "let's find out more so we can decide". She just wants her to marry him, her happiness be damned. Good start.

- next up she seems to have a mission in life to make Arya behave like a lady, because if there's anything the Stark family history shows is that the solution to rebellious girls is to put the screw on them until they snap. Ned by contrast is smart enough (tbf after Lyanna he'd have to be moron otherwise) to realize that the best solution to Arya is to let her have her escape valves, and not to try and forcefully mold her into something that she isn't.

- I'd like to give a mention here (though Ned is equally if not more so to blame here) 

- After the gang departs Winterfell, Catelyn decides to sit around and watch paint dry besides Brandon, instead of helping her son take on the buttload of responsibilities he has, or be there for her scared and confused youngest son. Now don't start screaming at me, but having had first hand experience (though by God I wish I'd never had) this is the exact behavior of a Munchhausen by proxy mother. I'm not saying she has it, nor that she hurt Bran, but the attitude of doing very visible but completely useless support action for your kid, while being generally neglectful and toxic, that is just spot on.

- From then on, until the Inn Cat only interacts with Ned and does things in a pretty smart manner, especially for her kids. How out of character. But at the Inn, she goes back in character by kidnaping Tyrion. Now both myself and everybody else have outlined just how monumentally, mind bogglingly stupid that was, but I'd make one extra mention here. Catelyn believes (not without merit) that the Lannisters have harmed one of her children. So instead of seeking justice through the King, who she knows loves Ned, and which would shield her, she decides to go rogue and kidnap Tyrion. All while Sansa and Arya are in King's Landing, alongside all those Lannisters she believes want to harm her kids. But in the end the reason she went to the Vale, putting Ned, Sansa and Arya in danger (and that's not a figure of speech, she directly leads to Ned's maiming), was because she didn't have proof, because she acted on her feelings, wants and need to lash out, instead of putting the safety of her children first.

- Further on, there is the remark that she would send Robb home if it weren't for how bad it would look. Catelyn, who do you think you are, he's the acting lord of Winterfell. He's not a dwarf for you to kidnap, he's the man you take your orders from.

- From there on, her behavior relating to her children does stabilize for most of ACOK and ASOS, even putting the safety of her children first when she pleads with Robb to make peace and bring the girls home. Wow. However there are 3 more major events that speak a lot about who Catelyn is as a parent.

- Her trying to snub Jon is putting Robb's cause in danger for her pettiness. An heirless King is way more likely to be assasinated, rather then one with a strong heir who the would be assassins know could exact vengeance. And guess what that's exactly what happens. The Freys and Boltons pull out the Red Wedding and with there being no heir, they face no repercussions. In her "advice" she puts her petty jealousy in front of Robb's immediate needs.

- Then there is her releasing Jaime. Now she tells herself, and most importantly everybody else that she did this for the girls, but in fact she directly put Sansa and Robb in danger. Them having Jaime was the thing preventing Joffrey and the Lannisters from harming Sansa (well not completely, but well enough). Her releasing Jaime is the direct reason for Sansa's marriage to Tyrion, cause had the Lannisters done it before Jaime would have found himself missing a cock. Had Tyrion not been an actually decent human being, as opposed to what she thought, then Catelyn would have been the direct reason for her daughter getting raped. Not only that, it removed Robb's strongest piece, and was one of the many reasons for the Red Wedding. Through her actions she didn't protect anyone, she put her remaining children in harm's way. But you know what she did do? She put on the act of the grieving desperate mother that acts for her children perfectly. Nobody could say anything about her being a bad mother afterwards, right?

- Finally there's this little nugget from the parley between Renly and Stannis

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Listen to yourselves. If you were sons of mine, I would knock your heads together and lock you in a bedchamber until you remembered that you were brothers

Now the sentiment is not entirely wrong, regarding the 2, but Catelyn, really, who do you think you are? You're a nobody talking to two Kings. And I think this emphasizes who Catelyn really is as a mother. She is the kind of mother, that more then anything relishes not actually caring for her children, but being seen as a mother, and thinks that everything is entitled to her for being a mother. She doesn't cares more about herself and how she is perceived then she cares about her children's happiness, and she does countless acts that make her feel good, but badly harm her children.

All in all, I think Jon was the lucky Stark child that Catelyn ignored and shunned him. Because Catelyn is one of the worst mothers in the story, surpassed by only Cersei.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Because Catelyn is one of the worst mothers in the story, surpassed by only Cersei.

Bella's mom? Tansy's Peach... 

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I think you're being a little hard on her in some respects.

The biggest failing that both Ned and Cat did for their children is tell them that honor and fair play are the two most important things. Granted, neither of them expected the Starks to get sucked into the maw of the Red Keep, but with Sansa at least, an eventual match with Joffrey should have been at the back of their minds. But in the end, this was Ned's call, not Cat's. Neither of them had any way of knowing the truth about Joffrey, but this is also a failure on their part. Just because they are way up in the north does not mean they should remain oblivious to what has happening at court. You can bet that Lady Olenna knew all about Joffrey long before she agreed to marry Margaery to him.

I also don't fault Cat for Arya. Cat has no real way of taming someone with wolf blood, and since Cat grew up as a southron lady there is no reason she should not expect the same for her daughters. Even Ned took her to KL specifically to mold her into a lady, because no lord, even a northern one, wants a she-wolf for a wife (except maybe a Mormont).

With Bran, give the poor woman a break. She is grieving. Once the catspaw was dispatched, she snaps out of it and realizes that none of her family is safe by hiding, so she takes pretty bold action by traveling to KL to inform Ned. The big blunder here is the way she did it. She could not have announced her arrival at the capital any louder if she had a bullhorn.

And yes, Cat made mistakes with Tyrion and Jaime and all the rest, but this was a very difficult, fluid situation. She really had no choice but to take Tyrion since she could not let him get back to the capital with stories of how he met Lady Stark in the kingsroad. And Jaime was an act of desperation after she believed she had lost her two other sons. But yes, if not for this the Red Wedding would not have happened, but the full responsibility for this is on Robb. I am certain he was drugged with one of Grandma Maggie's love potions before he shagged Jeyne, but that doesn't mean he had to marry her. Again, the whole thing about honor comes into play here.

So in the end, these decisions led to her death and (partially, at least) the fall of her house. But lots of supposedly smarter people are dead too, like Tywin, and their houses are either extinct or teetering on the edge. Do they deserve the same treatment for every decision they've made along the way? In the game of thrones, you either win or you die.

Finally, if you browbeat Cat for not being submissive to her son or the sons of others, what is you impression of Lady Olenna?

 

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22 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Finally, if you browbeat Cat for not being submissive to her son or the sons of others, what is you impression of Lady Olenna?

That she's actually competent and deserves to be listened.

Also in regards to her doing stupid shit, yes I know, character and all that, but in her stupidities, she dismally failed as a mother. Also you skipped the part where she did more harm then good to Sansa. Anyone with half a brain would have realized that letting Jaime go would harm Sansa, letting her be at the mercy of the Lannisters.

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8 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

That she's actually competent and deserves to be listened.

Also in regards to her doing stupid shit, yes I know, character and all that, but in her stupidities, she dismally failed as a mother. Also you skipped the part where she did more harm then good to Sansa. Anyone with half a brain would have realized that letting Jaime go would harm Sansa, letting her be at the mercy of the Lannisters.

She was already at their mercy since Joffrey was having her beaten whenever Robb won. Imagine if Ser Meryn hit Sansa the wrong way, she suffered an intracranial hemorrhage and died. It's not as hard as you think in real life; if Home Alone wasn't a movie Harry and Marv would have been killed when Old Man Marley struck them in the head with his shovel.

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1 minute ago, Angel Eyes said:

She was already at their mercy since Joffrey was having her beaten whenever Robb won. Imagine if Ser Meryn hit Sansa the wrong way, she suffered an intracranial hemorrhage and died.

Yes she was at risk, but if she would have been badly harmed Jaime would have suffered likewise and they knew it. Afterwards, Joffrey might have killed Sansa without thinking twice about it. It was also only after that the marriage was made. As I said, if they had Jaime, no one would have married Sansa for fear of Jaime coming back without his Dickon.

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Just now, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Yes she was at risk, but if she would have been badly harmed Jaime would have suffered likewise and they knew it. Afterwards, Joffrey might have killed Sansa without thinking twice about it. It was also only after that the marriage was made. As I said, if they had Jaime, no one would have married Sansa for fear of Jaime coming back without his Dickon.

And yet Joffrey had her beaten whenever Robb won anything without fear of repercussions.

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Just now, Angel Eyes said:

And yet Joffrey had her beaten whenever Robb won anything without fear of repercussions.

Because he was a moron. Nothing Cat could do about that, releasing Jaime only made him be able to do it with impudence

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Just now, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Because he was a moron. Nothing Cat could do about that, releasing Jaime only made him be able to do it with impudence

Yeah, but Robb knew that Joffrey was a moron. He knew that from the moment he heard Ned lost his head. And he didn't lift a finger to help Sansa.

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Just now, Angel Eyes said:

Yeah, but Robb knew that Joffrey was a moron. He knew that from the moment he heard Ned lost his head. And he didn't lift a finger to help Sansa.

I'm not talking about Robb. Trading, emphasis on trading, not whatever the hell it was that Cat did, Jaime would have been a reasonable choice. No only did it free Sansa, but it offered potential alliances to the Vale or maybe even the Reach or Dorne if it was done quick enough.

What Catelyn did however, just harmed, and there was no scenario, no alternative in which anything good would come of it, only bad things. You keep avoiding it so I'll say it again

Catelyn is directly responsible for Sansa's marriage and her only avoiding rape because Tyrion is a decent human being.

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On your point about Hoster being a counterpoint to Tywin, I can say you're pretty close. The main difference between them is that Hoster feels guilt for what he did to Lysa, while Tywin shows no remorse for ordering Tysha's gang-rape, his general treatment of Tyrion, etc.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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18 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

On your point about Hoster being a counterpoint to Tywin, I can say you're pretty close. The main difference between them is that Hoster feels guilt for what he did to Lysa, while Tywin shows no remorse for ordering Tysha's gang-rape, his general treatment of Tyrion, etc.

He feels guilty on his deathbed. The reason why that trope is so popular in fiction is because is pretty true in real life, when faced with your own mortality a person begins to regret the bad they have done.

Using Hoster's regret over what he did to his daughter as he is a bed ridden invalid is not exactly a like for like situation, especially as Tyshah was a peasant, nothing to Tywin. It is not like he is concerned about the people of Goodbrook Village or the many other peasants he will have fucked over in his decades as a Lord

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8 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

 

- she actively pushes for Sansa to be betrothed to Joffrey, even though it's clear they know something is off about him. No investigation, no "let's find out more so we can decide". She just wants her to marry him, her happiness be damned. Good start.

That is not clear at all. The author, you know the guy who created the characters, points out that he regards Joffrey as a regular 13-year-old bully.

You are alluding to something that is just not there in the text, especially on his viist to Winterfell. Later, after Robert's death and the majority of the realm wanting him dead over him being a bastard is a different matter.

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- next up she seems to have a mission in life to make Arya behave like a lady, because if there's anything the Stark family history shows is that the solution to rebellious girls is to put the screw on them until they snap.

That is her role. Pretty much every noble mother will be doing the same.

We live in a more enlightened society, were girls and boys can dream of being anything they want and they won't be crucified as an adult for it. Westeros is not like that and it seems a true lack of understanding by some who continually fail to understand this. It seems no matter how many times the phrase moral relativism is used in these conversations many will just ignore it, especially if it gives them an excuse to make up bad arguments against characters they don't like.

How was Cat putting the screw on Arya that was about to make her snap?

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Ned by contrast is smart enough (tbf after Lyanna he'd have to be moron otherwise) to realize that the best solution to Arya is to let her have her escape valves, and not to try and forcefully mold her into something that she isn't.

Ned is the one who tells her what her life will be. She will be married to someone and the dreams Arya has for herself will only be fulfilled by her sons.

Ned's pretty certain about how his daughter's life will go.

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- After the gang departs Winterfell, Catelyn decides to sit around and watch paint dry besides Brandon, instead of helping her son take on the buttload of responsibilities he has, or be there for her scared and confused youngest son.

How is anyone supposed to argue with a point you have just made up and have no evidence for?

The evidence for her sitting around and watching paint dry?

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- From then on, until the Inn Cat only interacts with Ned and does things in a pretty smart manner, especially for her kids. How out of character. But at the Inn, she goes back in character by kidnaping Tyrion. Now both myself and everybody else have outlined just how monumentally, mind bogglingly stupid that was,

What does this have to do with being a parent? Is it possible you are just looking for reasons to shit on her?

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- Further on, there is the remark that she would send Robb home if it weren't for how bad it would look. Catelyn, who do you think you are, he's the acting lord of Winterfell. He's not a dwarf for you to kidnap, he's the man you take your orders from.

Cat was left in charge by Ned, not Robb. It is entirely in her authority to send her 15-year-old son home who has overstepped his mark by calling the Northern banners and marching to war.

"Yes," Ned said, in words that would brook no argument. "You must govern the north in my stead, while I run Robert's errands. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Robb is fourteen. Soon enough, he will be a man grown."

According to GRRM when talking about Ned in the Vale, 16 is the age of seniority, when nobles become men and can govern themselves. Both Robb and Cat know this, that it is within Cat's powers at that point to send him home.

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- Her trying to snub Jon is putting Robb's cause in danger for her pettiness.

It is hardly pettiness. He is disinheriting both her daughters. He is appointing a bastard who is sworn to the Nights Watch.

Robb's decision for Jon is pretty bad. The Northern people take the Nights Watch pretty seriously.

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An heirless King is way more likely to be assasinated, rather then one with a strong heir who the would be assassins know could exact vengeance.

He had heirs. Robb wanting to have Jon jump the queue does not mean he did not have heirs before that.

As for your point about his enemies being less likely to kill him if Jon is his heir? Come on!

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- Then there is her releasing Jaime.

This is not really a parenting issue.

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- Finally there's this little nugget from the parley between Renly and Stannis

Now the sentiment is not entirely wrong, regarding the 2, but Catelyn, really, who do you think you are? You're a nobody talking to two Kings.

How is she a 'nobody'? If they are Kings then she is the mother and ambassador for a King, sent to discuss terms with them. That is not a 'nobody'.

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All in all, I think Jon was the lucky Stark child that Catelyn ignored and shunned him. Because Catelyn is one of the worst mothers in the story, surpassed by only Cersei.

Okay dude.

Edited by Bernie Mac

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26 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

That is not clear at all. The author, you know the guy who created the characters, points out that he regards Joffrey as a regular 13-year-old bully.

Personally especially in cases such as these, I think "Death of the Author" is the way to go. What's on the page clearly shows that Joffrey is a lot more then just a bully, he is sadistic to the point that it's a sickness

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58 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Personally especially in cases such as these, I think "Death of the Author" is the way to go. What's on the page clearly shows that Joffrey is a lot more then just a bully, he is sadistic to the point that it's a sickness

Not in front of Cat he's not.

Could be argued that the trauma of his 'father' dying, the father of his intended bride labelling him a bastard (a death sentence for him if true) and his uncles and the brother of his betrothed all raising armies to murder him is a lot for any 12-year-old to take on. From his viewpoint Ned Stark is the cause of most of this.

It is not like Joffrey is treating everyone like he treats Sansa. The Starks have fucked him over and he is taking all that hate out on Sansa. Which is a very 12-year-old child thing to do. It is why making children kings is such a bad idea.

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55 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Could be argued that the trauma of his 'father' dying, the father of his intended bride labelling him a bastard (a death sentence for him if true) and his uncles and the brother of his betrothed all raising armies to murder him is a lot for any 12-year-old to take on. From his viewpoint Ned Stark is the cause of most of this.

 

Joffrey care little and nothing over Robert's death.

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“I am sorry for your loss as well, Joffrey,” the dwarf said.

“What loss?”

“Your royal father? A large fierce man with a black beard; you’ll recall him if you try. He was king before you.”

“Oh, him. Yes, it was very sad, a boar killed him.”

Joffrey is a psycho, he show all signs, from agression, emotion manipulation, lack of empathy, cruelty towards animals.

 

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

It is not like Joffrey is treating everyone like he treats Sansa. The Starks have fucked him over and he is taking all that hate out on Sansa. Which is a very 12-year-old child thing to do. It is why making children kings is such a bad idea.

Tommen cleary was abused by Joffrey for no reason whatsoever. He also ploted a hit on Bran before the event you mentioned.

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1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

Joffrey care little and nothing over Robert's death.

Is that true? Can you back this up with evidence from the books?

From what we are told he tried to impress his father, wanted his attention. Was proud of him.

 

Though I don't think you know how trauma works. You don;t need to particularly like someone to be traumatized by their death. A 12 year old can hate their parent and still be traumatized by their sudden death.

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Joffrey is a psycho, he show all signs, from agression, emotion manipulation, lack of empathy, cruelty towards animals.

Author seems to disagree. When we are talking about Cat and Ned's introduction to him as well there is nothing to indicate that he was or would be a psycho, which is OP's point. Do you have anything of substance to add to OP's point?

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Tommen cleary was abused by Joffrey for no reason whatsoever. He also ploted a hit on Bran before the event you mentioned.

Did Cat no about either? Yes or No? I get that some of the members of this forum can't go a few days without shitting on women, but blaming Cat for not being aware of either is pretty dumb.

Robert was the one who suggested that Bran should be dead to his son Joffrey. Bran's Karstark cousins were saying he was too cowardly to do the right thing and kill himself. Joffrey, a 12 year-old-child, certainly did not come to the conclusion about Bran all by himself.

Edited by Bernie Mac

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Is that true? Can you back this up with evidence from the books?

 

Sure, I've already posted the quote but here goes again

“I am sorry for your loss as well, Joffrey,” the dwarf said.

“What loss?”

“Your royal father? A large fierce man with a black beard; you’ll recall him if you try. He was king before you.”

“Oh, him. Yes, it was very sad, a boar killed him.”

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Is that true? Can you back this up with evidence from the books?

 

Can you post what GRRM said? If he said Joffrey in the vision of Ned and Cat was just a bully I can understand, if he said that Joffrey was just a bully than he is wrong.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Did Cat no about either? Yes or No? I get that some of the members of this forum can't go a few days without shitting on women, but blaming Cat for not being aware of either is pretty dumb.

 

She didn't knew it, but Ned cleary knew something was wrong with the boy, and she completly ignores and cut him before listening to his point. Just like Tywin and Hoster she only saw a future grandson as king, and did not care for the nature of her son-in-law.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Robert was the one who suggested that Bran should be dead to his son Joffrey. Bran's Karstark cousins were saying he was too cowardly to do the right thing and kill himself. Joffrey, a 12 year-old-child, certainly did not come to the conclusion about Bran all by himself.

Sure, and nobody uses Robert as a moral standart, the fact that Joffrey failed to understand the basic sense of empathy and ordered a hit on a disable boy in a coma, show how much of a psycho he is. 

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My opinion of Catelyn is good mother but bad leader.  Most mothers would push to have her daughter marry a prince.  Is it not the wish of every mother to do this?  Rickard pushed to have Lyanna engaged to an unfaithful boy.  Catelyn inherited her father's very ambitious nature. 

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