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Was Robb right in calling the banners or should he had fortified the north and declare independence?


Mrstrategy
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I suppose he didn't declared independence (thus, declaring himself king), because he wasn't the lord of Winterfell at the time. Eddard Stark was. He mustered an army to, in the end, free his father, who had the prerrogative and authority to do such thing as making the North an independent realm. He became the head of the House after Eddard died, but by then he was way well into the riverlands with a full army bent on a war.

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Just now, Dorian Martell's son said:

Robb didn't make that decision. GRRM did 

Smartass.

56 minutes ago, Mrstrategy said:

Was Robb right in calling the banners or should he had fortified the north and declare north neutral abandoning the Riverlands to the Lannister then try to negotiate his father and sisters release?

Robb couldn't just let his mother's family get overthrown and/or captured and/or killed. He had no choice but go south to defend his relatives.

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15 hours ago, Mrstrategy said:

Was Robb right in calling the banners or should he had fortified the north and declare north neutral abandoning the Riverlands to the Lannister then try to negotiate his father and sisters release?

The initial calling of the banners was to pressure the crown to release Ned, which they were going to do until Joffrey screwed it up. You can negotiate much better than a position of strength, which Robb achieved by entering the Riverlands and lifting the siege at its principal seat. If he had just stayed in the north, and declared himself a neutral kingdom, he would have no chips to bargain with for Ned and the girls.

It was only after Ned died that the northern and river banners saw that they had no reason to follow any of the other claimants, so they, not Robb, decided to declare themselves a neutral kingdom with him as their king. He couldn't very well just give up the riverlands at that point.

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7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The initial calling of the banners was to pressure the crown to release Ned, which they were going to do until Joffrey screwed it up. You can negotiate much better than a position of strength, which Robb achieved by entering the Riverlands and lifting the siege at its principal seat. If he had just stayed in the north, and declared himself a neutral kingdom, he would have no chips to bargain with for Ned and the girls.

It was only after Ned died that the northern and river banners saw that they had no reason to follow any of the other claimants, so they, not Robb, decided to declare themselves a neutral kingdom with him as their king. He couldn't very well just give up the riverlands at that point.

With his bannerman clamoring for independence, it would have been tough enough for him to avoid being declared king. Afterwards it would have been tough to keep the army together without a clear objective. Lords already wanted to go home to reclaim their castles. Would have been wise to link back up with Roose before he took HH but who knows how it woud have played out.

But yeah once he was king he couldn't abandon the Riverlands. Rhaegar Frey points out as much in the Merman court:

"He abandoned the north to the cruel mercies of the ironmen to carve out a fairer kingdom for himself along the Trident. Then he abandoned the riverlords who had risked much and more for him, breaking his marriage pact with my grandfather to wed the first western wench who caught his eye."

Regardless of what one thinks of Rhaegar in particular, it's noted several times throughout the books that Robb lost the North and abandoned the RLs, on top of GRRM touching the issues in SSM.

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Robb's mistake wasn't in defending the Riverlands. He basically had to given they were invaded by the Lannisters because of his mother's actions. His mistake was in letting his bannermen decide their strategy by declaring him king. Once Robb put a crown on his head it was victory or death. He had no options in between and didn't have the strength to resist the other kingdoms. It wouldn't have been a stretch for Robb to do the honorable thing and support Stannis. That's what his father did. If Robb could've coordinated with Stannis and keep Tywin's army in the Riverlands during the Blackwater that could've changed the war. Or even if he didn't side with any of the other pretenders, he have negotiating leverage with Jaime. Once the writing was on the wall with Renly's death and Stannis' defeat at the Blackwater, Robb could've used Jaime to negotiate a status quo peace probably. But Robb was young and the romanticism and glory of a separatist movement appealed to him.

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The invasion of the Riverlands makes this a really difficult decision.

If it had just been Ned, Sansa and Arya at stake then Robb should have absolutely stayed where he was and fortified the North. Three lives aren't worth how everany hundreds or thousands of Northmen would be killed by warfare. Not to mention the damage war would do to the economy of the North, and just before winter too.

However is it acceptable for Robb to allow the brutalisation of the Riverlands to continue if he thinks he has the power to stop it? I honestly don't know. 

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On 6/1/2021 at 7:52 PM, Mrstrategy said:

Was Robb right in calling the banners or should he had fortified the north and declare north neutral abandoning the Riverlands to the Lannister then try to negotiate his father and sisters release?

Both are bad choices.  Think of how irresponsible your second option is.  Catelyn starts war with the Lannisters.  Tywin comes back by attacking the Riverlands.  To abandon the Riverlands after putting them in danger is just bad.  Robb should do as the letter instructed him to.  

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1 hour ago, Rondo said:

Both are bad choices.  Think of how irresponsible your second option is.  Catelyn starts war with the Lannisters.  Tywin comes back by attacking the Riverlands.  To abandon the Riverlands after putting them in danger is just bad.  Robb should do as the letter instructed him to.  

Are you one of those people that agree with Cersei fucking her own brother for the good of the realm.

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Keeping the North neutral is the best option from a meta perspective. In full force the North could have easily defeated the ironborn invasion and the freefolk. They would be more prepared to deal the approaching winter and the Others.
Robb however doesn't know any of this. So marching into the Riverlands and trying to get a strong negotiating position with the Crown is the best option for him given the knowledge he had available.

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