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Impbread

Catelyn was right about everything.

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On 7/10/2021 at 8:14 AM, SeanF said:

None of that should need saying. Almost no aspect of the modern bureaucratic state exists in this world.  There is no police force, no law courts, no impartial judges, no sheriffs.  The Seven Kingdoms lack a judicial system even as rudimentary as that of medieval England.  And, even where law courts existed in pre-modern states, quite often justice depended a great deal upon self-help, ie once you got a judgement against someone, it was still up to you to enforce it.

Westeros still has a very primitive view of what justice is, following pretty much Roman tradition in the sense that the state itself does not prosecute. There has to be a private person accusing somebody else of a crime or else there is none ... meaning for there to be crimes in any real sense there have to be men and women with the standing to publicly accuse another party in front of the king or a lord.

This is how the entire feudal system works. You need the protection and patronage of a lord because he has the muscle to defend you and your own if push comes to shove. We see this on the lower levels very well in TSS when the smallfolk abused by Bennis rely on Lady Webber to protect their interests - which she does, although her top priorities are her own interests, of course.

On 7/10/2021 at 8:14 AM, SeanF said:

There seems to be a set of laws, promulgated by Jaehaerys I, but it is up the lords to enforce them.  Those lords are entirely free to act as judge, jury, and executioner in their own cause, and the only constraint on their power is lords who possess greater power.  The law is whatever the most powerful man (or occasionally, woman) in a district says it is, in effect.  We see for example that Randyll Tarly can arbitrarily remove seven fingers, instead of the usual one, or Lady Webber can drown a poacher in a sack. Jaime can hang outlaws on the spot, without the need for a trial. No one apart from Ned and Arya gave a shit about the summary killing of Mycah.  The only trials we see in this country are farcical.

Well, I'd assume the Crown/Iron Throne has a very strict view of certain laws and their interpretations - laws regulating taxation, feudal duties of the lords, the definition of and punishment for (high) treason, etc.

But the king doesn't concern himself with minor matters like despensing justice in places where he isn't. Back when the Targaryen kings still were doing regular progresses this would have been different, I imagine. Then certain people who had grievances with their local lords would have appealed to the king directly when he visited their village or a place nearby. We also have evidence that folks do send delegations to court get people there to decide a matter - like Hoster does with the witnesses accusing the raiders from the West. And we have similar cases with the Vale succession war during the Regency of Aegon III.

Aside from that, the normal status quo would be that the local lord deals with all (criminal) cases laid before him, and in 99 per cent of the cases the next higher level wouldn't be concerned with the case. Say, if we have a peasant murdering another peasant then the lord who owns the land would deal with the case. If important nobles are involved in a crime it might end up that the liege lord of the parties involved would sit in judgment over them rather than the local petty lord on whose lands a crime was committed, etc. But that would be special cases.

The general mindset of the average lord seems to be that it is viewed as a slight to family honor if a member of your family is reprimanded or punished even if he or she were guilty of a crime, though. Tywin doesn't care whether Tyrion is guilty of a crime or not - he attacks the Riverlands simply because Cat dared to lay hand on a Lannister.

On 7/10/2021 at 8:14 AM, SeanF said:

Ned Stark intended to punish Ser Jorah for selling slaves, but if instead, he was willing to take a cut of the profits in return for pardoning Ser Jorah, no one could gainsay him.  That would be entirely a matter for Ned.

I guess the king could punish him for that ... but it would be up to him. And chances are that no king would bother considering punishing a great lord in a meaningful way would be very difficult indeed.

The lords are the means by which royal authority is executed throughout the land. The king has nobody else. He is dependent on the (legal) infrastructure provided by the lords.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/10/2021 at 1:32 PM, sifth said:

I honestly don't know how I feel about Cat, the lady just comes off as a little gullible to me. Her chapters do move the plot along though and are always interesting to read.

Compared to Robb Cat is not gullible at all. Cat knows what she wants - she wants to advance her family, she wants her family to be safe, she wants her husband back, she wants her children to be safe, and she doesn't want a war.

Robb has no real idea what he wants and no plan to get what he wants.

On 7/10/2021 at 1:58 PM, frenin said:

Not agreeing with you doesn't mean i'm missing your point. Westeros is a absolutist society that still works under feudalism. Ofc that if any country that may have had its laws would be consider as barbaric, thank god.

Westeros isn't an absolutist society. Westeros' concept of kingship and monarchy is absolutist, though. That is a difference. Like in most medieval European states you have an absolutist ideology in Westeros, but little to no means to actually enforce it.

Legally, the king rules supreme and everything is done in his name, but he has no appointed officials or bureaucrats but only hereditary lords who act in such capacities. And that puts the actual power in the hands of the lords.

But more importantly, the societal framework is effectively governed not by the king's laws and wishes but rather by the values and customs of the nobility. The most important thing in Westeros when we talk about war and conflict is the aristocratic ego, the wish of a lord or nobleman to get satisfaction and revenge for real or imagined slights. That is the driving force of pretty much everything we get in the novels.

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That doesn't mean however that Westeros is a free for all country and if your only rebuttal is that we see powerful people getting away with clearly illegal actions, then ofc our real world is going to be brought up.

Nobody talks about legality when we talk blood feuds and the desire for revenge. Think about the Martell desire for revenge. Doran Martell doesn't reject Obara's Oldtown campaign idea because it is illegal to break the King's Peace. He dismisses it because he views it as a silly idea to get what they want.

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Cat made a deal that would have never been fullfilled by betraying Robb and his cause... Yet it's Edmure's fault... I mean, i'm as big of a fan of Cat's as any of her defendants here but this is simply too absurd to consider.

Of course it is Edmure's fault. And Cat didn't betray Robb and his cause ... Robb betrayed Cat and his family by deciding to not exchange the Kingslayer for his sister(s).

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Jaime can't force Tywin to do anything, and Tywin's "why should i pay for something i've been given for free" attitude. He may have stopped the Red Wedding and allowed Robb to escape and gained momentum and perhaps having heirs of his blood?? Huh. 

The other biggest obstacle were the rest of the Lannisters Robb didn't feel like bowing to.

You don't know that Jaime couldn't have convinced his father to do something he didn't want to do. For instance, if Jaime had agreed to be Tywin's heir in a scenario where Jaime rode straight from Riverrun to KL without any detours they could have decided to marry Sansa to Jaime, making this part of an overall big peace deal with the Starks.

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Yes he did, we see this actually under Aenys reign, it was the Vale lords who stopped the Arryn kin killer, during the Robellion, long before the Crown took Robert seriously, it was their own great lord's vassals trying to bring them down. Nowhere it is said that nobles can't put down traitors in the name of their sovereign. It's stated that nobles can't start wars willy nilly however.

LOL, you cannot give a genuine argument, can you. Those were actual lords. Ser Tywin Lannister wasn't a lord back then. It were also Stormlords who moved against Robert during the Rebellion ... encouraged by the Hand of the King, Lord Merryweather. They didn't act all by themselves.

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AGOT would tell you otherwise, because people started to freak out real soon.

And as Cersei points out, Ned was not the Hand of the King when the event happened, both Ned and Robert know that, Ned says that because what Cat had done was highly illegal and highly stupid and better have as much layers of protection as possible for the obvious backlash.

But Cat had no idea that her husband no longer was the Hand when she took Tyrion prisoner. And neither did King Robert care about this 'argument' of both Jaime and Cersei because he promply reinstated Ned as Hand before ensuring that Ned actually took steps to free Tyrion. Ned told Robert Tyrion had been arrested on his command - which would have been issued to Cat when Ned was still Hand. If the abduction were a breaking of the King's Peace then King Robert clearly didn't care to rename such a criminal Hand of the King yet again.

On 7/10/2021 at 9:51 PM, Ran said:

Specifically, Tyrion reporting that Catelyn had secretly been in King's Landing and was on her way to the North/Riverrun/the Eyrie would suggest the Starks had discovered their perfidy at Winterfell and were preparing to make the first move. It's the secret part of Catelyn's movements, and the return from KL part, that would be the real trigger. This is a lot more dangerous to Ned and his daughters then the random WTFery of Catelyn, presumably on her way from Winterfell (maybe to visit the husband and children she pined for) or wherever, happening upon Tyrion and capturing him. The Lannisters have no clue what's going with it, they just see it as some act of aggression with no obvious cause. At no point do we get the sense that Cersei and Jaime believe that their role in Bran's near-death had been discovered, the way things played out.

So, yeah, what happened with Ned was bad... but imagine (as Catelyn imagined) Tyrion arriving, telling his siblings that they had been found out because Lady Stark had been in the city without their knowing it and was already on her way back, and could easily have been planning to go to Riverrun to get the Tullys on board with a first strike. They could even imagine that she had come to King's Landing and away again because Bran had spoken of what happened and they had already figured out that the twins were lovers and that the children were their bastards rather than Robert's natural children. Ned would have been killed, not just toyed with. Robert would likely have been assassinated. And all long before the Starks were able to make any preparations at all.

This sort of thread tends to draw me, but I've not much more time than to point that out. But the basic gist of @Impbread's initial post is indubitably correct, for my part!

That is a rather important issue. It is implicit, but Cat would have known or suspected that Tyrion knew or figured out that she wasn't on her way to KL when they met at the inn - else they would have effectively been on the road together and Cat would have still been at Winterfell when Tyrion visited there. He realized that Lady Catelyn may have been away back then, meaning she was now on her way back home.

And as you say - nothing indicates that Jaime and Cersei conclude that the Tyrion abduction is connected to the first Bran incident or the twincest. They don't really know about the second attempt on Bran's life, of course, but apparently they didn't really connect Tyrion's abduction to Jaime's attempt to murder Bran.

And, yes, if Jaime and Cersei had learned that Cat had actually been in KL and talked to Ned they would have been forced to conclude that Bran woke up and told them about the attempt on his life and the twincest. That would have been the only reasonable conclusion especially after they received independent reports about the fact that Bran actually woke up - which they would have gotten eventually.

Yet nothing in Jaime's or Cersei's behavior in AGoT up until Robert's death indicates that they panicked or that Cersei even assumed Ned knew about the twincest until their meeting in the godswood. Jaime is angry about Tyrion when he confronts Ned on the streets ... he is not afraid for himself, his sweet sister, or their children.

Cersei gives no hint that when she visits Ned with Robert that she fears Ned might tell Robert about the twincest - that fear she only has after the godswood conversation when she tries to stop Ned from talking to Robert alone as he lies dying in his bed.

If Tyrion had been able to talk about them the result of that would have been a concentrated effort by House Lannister to silence Ned as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Jaime may have slain both Ned and Robert personally rather than risk they take steps to arrest them all.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Compared to Robb Cat is not gullible at all. Cat knows what she wants - she wants to advance her family, she wants her family to be safe, she wants her husband back, she wants her children to be safe, and she doesn't want a war.

Robb has no real idea what he wants and no plan to get what he wants.

 

Your point? I don't ever recall saying Robb wasn't as well, did I?

Less bad doesn't make something good and never has.

Edited by sifth

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Compared to Robb Cat is not gullible at all. Cat knows what she wants - she wants to advance her family, she wants her family to be safe, she wants her husband back, she wants her children to be safe, and she doesn't want a war.

Oh she's gullible all right, trusting Littlefinger. She decides to trust Littlefinger based on their childhood friendship even though she told Ned not to trust Robert for the same reason. Because of that, Ned doesn't think to be skeptical of Littlefinger despite their shared checkered past by knowing that Littlefinger desired Ned's wife and might look to take advantage of a situation so he could take Catelyn for himself.

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3 hours ago, sifth said:

Your point? I don't ever recall saying Robb wasn't as well, did I?

Less bad doesn't make something good and never has.

In a thread about Cat being always right in her interactions with Robb this is a rather crucial point.

42 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Oh she's gullible all right, trusting Littlefinger. She decides to trust Littlefinger based on their childhood friendship even though she told Ned not to trust Robert for the same reason. Because of that, Ned doesn't think to be skeptical of Littlefinger despite their shared checkered past by knowing that Littlefinger desired Ned's wife and might look to take advantage of a situation so he could take Catelyn for himself.

Cat's trust of Littlefinger really isn't the issue here. She was given a piece of crucial information and she had to act on it when Tyrion recognized her. There was no other choice. Allowing him to continue his journey would have been madness and stupidity as had been pointed out in this thread repeatedly. Even if Cat had had doubts about whether Littlefinger told her the truth or not ... she could not have possibly risked that he told the truth and Tyrion Lannister would now take steps to destroy Ned and her daughters.

Cat also got the dagger information from both Littlefinger and Varys - Varys is there and never contradicts or corrects Littlefinger although he must have known that he was lying. She had no reason to doubt it. Even more so, since Rodrik Cassel's independent investigation of the dagger - he searched out and presumably talked to Ser Aron Santagar - didn't cast any doubt on Littlefinger's story.

I'd say she was a little bit too trusting with Littlefinger, but he actually helped her, hiding her from the Lannisters and their friends. Littlefinger has no motive to lie to her, and she has no reason to believe Littlefinger is in cahoots with Lysa and they are both fucking with her head. It is not gullibility if you trust an old friend who has never given you any reason to doubt him.

The comparison between Robert and Littlefinger isn't that fitting, I think. Robert is the king now, and kings don't really have friends. But more importantly, King Robert is married to a woman from a house the Starks neither like nor get along with all that well. Cat had every reason to believe that Ned slighting Robert by refusing to take the Handship could result in a rift between the two men which could be exploited by the Lannisters and others.

Littlefinger isn't married to a woman from a rival family nor in a position where Cat has reason to believe that their old friendship is a thing of the past.

Also, there is no indication that Littlefinger ever wanted to take Catelyn for himself in AGoT. One can speculate that he may have made Lysa sent the letter to ensure that Ned became Hand so both Ned and Catelyn would come to court and they could reconnect ... but if that were the case, then he doesn't make any real attempt to woo her and quickly abandons any such plans after he sees Sansa. There isn't the slightest indication that Littlefinger is distraught or sad or affected in any way after the Red Wedding, meaning we can conclude he no longer cared about Catelyn at all.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In a thread about Cat being always right in her interactions with Robb this is a rather crucial point.

Not really, it's a thread about how Cat is always right. It's literally in the title. That in no way limits it simply to her interactions with Robb.

Edited by sifth

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1 minute ago, sifth said:

Not really, it's a thread about how Cat is always right. It's literally in the title.

But in connection to the advice she gives to Ned and Robb. At least according to the original post.

And she was also right when she abducted Tyrion.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

But in connection to the advice she gives to Ned and Robb. At least according to the original post.

And she was also right when she abducted Tyrion.

I feel you're trying to start a straw man argument, since I never once said it wasn't.

Edited by sifth

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