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Angel Eyes

Robb's not a good brother to Sansa

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Lady_Qohor said:

Being a powerful king isn't a good enough reason for leaving your little sister in incredible danger. 

Robb knows that so long as he had Jaime, the Lannisters couldn't do a thing to Sansa, lest the Starks send Jaime's head in a box to KL. And even after Jaime is released, Sansa's just too good a hostage to harm. 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys

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13 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

You've completely missed the point. The point is that if Robb traded Jaime for his sister, his bannermen would be displeased and would lose a whole lot of respect for him. And that is not how you succeed at feudal politics.

Robb could trade Jaime for Ned and Sansa, because the Lannisters really want Jaime. Robb really wants Sansa, but the political situation Robb faces means that no trade is possible if it is for Jaime. Sansa is the most valuable Stark hostage the Lannisters have, but that doesn't make her especially valuable, and trading Jaime for her would seriously undermine Robb's position as King over his bannermen.

You didn't understand. If sansa is very important for the lannisters then it means she is valuable and therefore robb should be willing to trade jaime for her. If sansa isn't very valuable then robb had other hostages, castles or resources he should be able to trade for her. She can't be valuable and not valuable at the same time.

 

And it should be noted that sansa is a huge danger for robb. The lannisters can use her to stake a claim in the north. If they ever want to raise problems to robb they just have to marry her to someone with a big army...

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12 minutes ago, divica said:

You didn't understand. If sansa is very important for the lannisters then it means she is valuable and therefore robb should be willing to trade jaime for her. If sansa isn't very valuable then robb had other hostages, castles or resources he should be able to trade for her. She can't be valuable and not valuable at the same time.

 

And it should be noted that sansa is a huge danger for robb. The lannisters can use her to stake a claim in the north. If they ever want to raise problems to robb they just have to marry her to someone with a big army...

This is not a black and white situation. Sansa's value to the Lannisters begins and ends with the fact that they can threaten to harm her if Robb doesn't comply with their demands, hence why she is a hostage. But Robb cannot and does not trust them to act in good faith after the execution of his father, and trading Jaime for Sansa is politically poisonous.

Here's an example; Robb sends Cleos Frey with a peace proposal, with his sisters being released as hostages being a required condition for peace. Tyrion responds by sending a group of men, under a peace banner, to free Jaime by stealth and guile, which is a major breach of diplomatic trust. How can Robb expect the Lannisters to negotiate in any sort of good faith? Why should he arrange a politically perilous prisoner exchange with people who have proven repeatedly that they cannot be trusted to uphold their agreements? By behaving in the manner they do, the Lannisters undermine the value of Sansa as a hostage because Robb has no incentives to trust them that they won't kill her anyway. This is yet another reason for why Robb's only realistic hope of saving Sansa is to force the Lannisters into a surrender.

And yes, Sansa can in fact be both valuable and also not valuable at the same time. That is the entire reason for her predicament. As a young girl, she is not remotely as valuable a hostage to the Lannisters as Jaime is to the Starks. As a potential heir to Winterfell, she does have a little political value. But her claim is secondary to every male heir, so it's not that great as an immediate threat. Jaime, on the other hand, is immensely important as a hostage, and the Lannisters executed the only guy they had who was equal to Jaime in terms of value. Oops. So there is then a situation where Jaime is twice as important to the Starks as a hostage, while Sansa is too valuable for the Lannisters to simply give up, but not valuable enough for a trade to happen. This is why Robb can't simply give up Jaime for Sansa and call it a day. The politics are fraught, there's no diplomatic trust, and Jaime is simply much more valuable than Sansa is. The only way Robb can save Sansa is to defeat Tywin on the field.

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17 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

(this could apply to Arya as well, but I'm focusing more on Sansa).

  • He never tries to trade for her, send men to rescue her or ensure her safety in any way while she's a hostage in King's Landing. And Joffrey takes any opportunity he can to have Sansa beaten, which occurs whenever Robb won a battle.
  • Whenever Catelyn interacts with Robb he never shows any sign of worrying for Sansa's safety until she gets married to Tyrion and Robb goes oh shit, I have no heirs because Bran and Rickon are dead (except not really) and tries to cut the Lannisters off at the pass by disowning Sansa and legitimizing Jon.
  • How would Robb have reacted if Joffrey executed Sansa because he felt like it (and this should be on Robb's mind since Joffrey had his father executed despite the possible political fallout), or if Sansa gets struck the wrong way and bleeds to death?

Robb essentially left Sansa to die. Not exactly the greatest brother to have.

Robb was in a tough spot regarding Sansa. He couldn't trade Jaime for his sisters because it would have looked like an emotional, self-serving move to his bannermen. His lords, after all, made him king, and they could just as easily unmake him.

Remember, too, that at the time, Sansa was not his heir, Bran was, and Rickon after, and they were both safe and sound in Winterfell, even after Theon had taken the castle. Robb was off warring in the west when word came down that they had been killed, and by the time he got back to Riverrun it was too late; Cat had already sprung Jaime.

The risk of Joffrey executing Sansa are rather low. By now, Joff should know what killing Sansa means killing Jaime, and if Joffrey doesn't fully grasp this, Cersei and Tyrion (and Tywin) do.

So I don't think it was because he didn't care; it was that his hands were tied.

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Considering the world Martin has constructed, I don't think it's reasonable to expect Robb to offer Jaime in exchange for Sansa - or Sansa and Arya.  However, if would be reasonable to offer some combination - or all - of Willem and Martyn Lannister plus Cleos and Tion Frey.  The only one that survives after the Karstark business, Martyn, he does trade...for Robett Glover.

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3 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Robb knows that so long as he had Jaime, the Lannisters couldn't do a thing to Sansa, lest the Starks send Jaime's head in a box to KL. And even after Jaime is released, Sansa's just too good a hostage to harm. 

I think I could buy that if anyone other than Joffrey was holding Sansa. Any other enemy would never have killed Ned as it made no tactical sense but Joffrey is not like other enemies and he has already shown that he is capable of acting against his own self-interest just for the sake of being cruel.

There is nothing to suggest that Joffrey won't just get bored one day and kill Sansa. The Lannisters didn't stop him killing Ned, there's no guarantee they can stop him from killing Sansa. Indeed he was already having her beaten which in of itself is a good enough reason for the trade.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

It is if you enjoy living. Robb had three priorities.

1. Defeat Tywin Lannister and force a surrender.

2. Ensure the continued survival of his House, now as a King chosen by bannermen who could unmake him if they wanted.

3. Rescue his sisters, keep his brothers protected, and maintain the family unit.

Robb was pretty good at beating Tywin, it turns out. Good enough for the Northmen to make him a King. The problem is that being King means you have to keep the people who made you king happy and on your side, or they might think about deposing you, and deposed Kings don't usually live very long. The other issue is that Robb has to think of House Stark the institution, not just as a family he loves and cares for. Note that, despite all his efforts, Robb was murdered by one of his bannermen who wanted to get rid of House Stark. It turns out having a good reputation with your bannermen matters quite a lot, because all it takes is one betrayal to kill you off.

And this bears repeating; Robb can't actually do anything for Sansa from Riverrun. All he can do realistically is defeat the Lannisters in the feild. Sansa is completely outside of his power to protect.

I think this is a very good analysis of what is going on in Robb's head and how he is justifying his actions...but I struggle to believe that deep down it is what is really motivating him.

The main reason for this is that I absolutely believe Robb would risk his life for Sansa (or any of his siblings) under certain circumstances. For example if, in another universe, she had been kidnapped by a dragon or Gregor Clegane, I have no doubt that Robb would take that adversary on in single combat if it was the only way of getting her back. Even if it meant risking his own life and by extension the future of House Stark.

I think the dreams of glory, of being the Young Wolf, play a large part in Robb's decision making, along with a desire for revenge against those who kill his father. Your post above shows what he believes his goals are, however I think that subconsciously his goals are actually, in order of priority:

1. His desire for revenge

2. His reputation/image/how he is seen by his bannermen

3. His family and the survival of House Stark

4. The North

5. His own life

Not that he ever admit this to himself, or is even aware of it. He's only 15 and I don't think a son of Ned Stark would ever knowingly be motivated by self-interest.

Edited by Lady_Qohor

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23 minutes ago, Lady_Qohor said:

There is nothing to suggest that Joffrey won't just get bored one day and kill Sansa. The Lannisters didn't stop him killing Ned, there's no guarantee they can stop him from killing Sansa. Indeed he was already having her beaten which in of itself is a good enough reason for the trade.

So long as our good Lord Tywin or Tyrion was there, that would never happen. But if it was just Cersei......

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35 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

So long as our good Lord Tywin or Tyrion was there, that would never happen. But if it was just Cersei......

We know that but Robb doesn't. He barely knows Tyrion and Cersei and he's never even met Tywin. If Joffrey's mother can't stop him from killing Starks then who's to say that his uncle or grandfather will be able to?

Yes, you could argue that Robb knows Tywin's reputation but are you really a good brother if you trust your little sister's life to an enemy whom you have never even met?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lady_Qohor said:

Yes, you could argue that Robb knows Tywin's reputation but are you really a good brother if you trust your little sister's life to an enemy whom you have never even met?

Tywin ruled the realm for twenty years or so. You don't stay in his office by being a fool. 

1 hour ago, Lady_Qohor said:

We know that but Robb doesn't. He barely knows Tyrion and Cersei and he's never even met Tywin. If Joffrey's mother can't stop him from killing Starks then who's to say that his uncle or grandfather will be able to?

 

Like I said above, he's not a fool. The only way Lord Tywin would harm Lady Sansa would be if the Starks sent Ser Jaime's head to the Red Keep. 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys

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This topic made me realize Sansa does not have a good relationship with any of her siblings. Maybe you could make an argument that Arya is fond or at least looks up to her a little, but does Sansa ever really meaningfully interact with Robb on the page or even in a memory?  I'm seriously at a loss on that one...

You're right that Robb isn't very sentimental about Sansa or Arya.  If we completely take sentimentality out of it (which isn't much) completely, Sansa and Arya are not worth enough by themselves for a major trade. Like they say in the book, Sansa and Arya can't lead armies, can't fight, can't do much at all besides get married and shore up alliances.  The Lannisters know that and Tywin nips that in the bud.

Jamie can fight like no other and can lead armies.  Having him back in the field is just plain dangerous to Northern survival and pride. 

And any trade with the Lannister's will involve the North's surrender, subjugation, and more hostages which they will never accept.  

It's a tough cold stance to take but I think Robb (and basically everybody but Cat) was right. The only thing valuable enough to the Lannister's to trade the girls outright and with no other conditions is Jaime and he is far too valuable for that.   

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Khal Eazy said:

This topic made me realize Sansa does not have a good relationship with any of her siblings. Maybe you could make an argument that Arya is fond or at least looks up to her a little, but does Sansa ever really meaningfully interact with Robb on the page or even in a memory?  I'm seriously at a loss on that one...

 

AGOT Sansa acts like a spoiled snot to everybody, I don't blame her siblings for not having a good relationship with her. 

5 minutes ago, Khal Eazy said:

You're right that Robb isn't very sentimental about Sansa or Arya.  If we completely take sentimentality out of it (which isn't much) completely, Sansa and Arya are not worth enough by themselves for a major trade. Like they say in the book, Sansa and Arya can't lead armies, can't fight, can't do much at all besides get married and shore up alliances.  The Lannisters know that and Tywin nips that in the bud.

 

Robb can't be sentimental. He's a king. And yes, Sansa and Arya are effectively useless. Who would you ally with? The Reach is for Joffrey, the Vale won't do anything, and the Starks hardly talk about the Martells. 

5 minutes ago, Khal Eazy said:

It's a tough cold stance to take but I think Robb (and basically everybody but Cat) was right. The only thing valuable enough to the Lannister's to trade the girls outright and with no other conditions is Jaime and he is far too valuable for that.   

The Starks would have to be idiots to trade two useless girls (Useless in the sense that they can't help), just like Addam Marbrand points out. You do the trade, one of the best Lannister commanders and fighters in back in the field. 

 

 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys

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6 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Robb knows that so long as he had Jaime, the Lannisters couldn't do a thing to Sansa, lest the Starks send Jaime's head in a box to KL.

Considering that Tywin continued to fight the war however he wanted despite the fact that the Starks had Jamie, Jamie was actually a pretty worthless prisoner to have. Tywin was clearly not stopping or even giving pause, not even for Jamie. Tywin's concern for Jamie was shown in words only but not his actions. Which is exactly why trading Sansa for Jamie should have been something Robb considered.

29 minutes ago, Khal Eazy said:

This topic made me realize Sansa does not have a good relationship with any of her siblings. Maybe you could make an argument that Arya is fond or at least looks up to her a little, but does Sansa ever really meaningfully interact with Robb on the page or even in a memory?  I'm seriously at a loss on that one...

Why would she have much of a relationship with them? We know they were closer when they were all younger (the crypt scene with the flour comes to mind). But later on their training for their roles in life started. Sansa's training was wholly different from the boys so how much time would they spend together outside of meals? And Arya would rather be with the boys doing boy things. And drunk nun did her best to keep Sansa away from them and poisoning the relationship between Arya and Sansa.

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2 minutes ago, Mystical said:

Considering that Tywin continued to fight the war however he wanted despite the fact that the Starks had Jamie, Jamie was actually a pretty worthless prisoner to have. Tywin was clearly not stopping or even giving pause, not even for Jamie. Tywin's concern for Jamie was shown in words only but not his actions. Which is exactly why trading Sansa for Jamie should have been something Robb considered.

 

Robb probably figures that the north would become another Castamere. And if he killed Jaime, Tywin would send Sansa's head to Riverrun. 

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1 hour ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Tywin ruled the realm for twenty years or so. You don't stay in his office by being a fool. 

Like I said above, he's not a fool. The only way Lord Tywin would harm Lady Sansa would be if the Starks sent Ser Jaime's head to the Red Keep. 

First off, three high-worth prisoners died on his watch; while two might have been politically expedient (Rhaenys and Aegon) and pragmatic, the third was not, and potentially politically disastrous (Elia). Second, Tywin wasn’t at the Red Keep until Book 3; what would have happened if Joffrey felt like executing Sansa after Robb won at Oxcross? “Ser Ilyn, bring me her head!” 

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Arya fixed her useless standing by surviving, making friends, leading packs of wolves during her sleep, developing her mastery of language, recall, physical skills and emotional intelligence, learning to fight, but the huge one is that she can disguise herself, lie and tell who is lying, with warging as a bonus superstrength.

We might expect that Sansa will learn to be able to manage food supply in war time...extremely valuable. Also she has made a lot of creepy friends and has survived.

Robb dies not knowing that they will both end up being great assets, meanwhile having married recklessly has endangered all.

Gosh, the Byzantines would have blinded Jaime, so that they wouldn’t sin by a killing and handed him back.

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3 minutes ago, HoodedCrow said:

Arya fixed her useless standing by surviving, making friends, leading packs of wolves during her sleep, developing her mastery of language, recall, physical skills and emotional intelligence, learning to fight, but the huge one is that she can disguise herself, lie and tell who is lying, with warging as a bonus superstrength.

We might expect that Sansa will learn to be able to manage food supply in war time...extremely valuable. Also she has made a lot of creepy friends and has survived.

Robb dies not knowing that they will both end up being great assets, meanwhile having married recklessly has endangered all.

Gosh, the Byzantines would have blinded Jaime, so that they wouldn’t sin by a killing and handed him back.

Manage food supply? She can barely manage math.

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I said that we might expect this with LF as a tutor and because of hints from the abomination. Also, she might be quite comfortable doing this role as it is similar to what the lady of the manor might do. Some were pinch hitters when the men folk went to war. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The risk of Joffrey executing Sansa are rather low. By now, Joff should know what killing Sansa means killing Jaime, and if Joffrey doesn't fully grasp this, Cersei and Tyrion (and Tywin) do.

Cersei was unable or unwilling to stop Joffrey from having Ned executed and Joffrey often slips the ropes; she tells him that hitting a woman isn't kingly, he gets around it by having his Kingsguards beat her. What happens if Meryn Trant hits her wrong on the head, Sansa suffers an aneurysm and dies?

Edited by Angel Eyes

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