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Mrstrategy

How many men did Edmure inexperience/incompetence lost before Robb arrived?

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How many men did Edmure inexperience/incompetence lost before Robb arrived? I'm guessing up to 5000 in the battle of the golden tooth and possibly 10-20000  in the battle of riverrun as well as the difference skirmish/battles  before the battle  of riverrun, unknown number of garrison troops of riverlands castles the Lannister captured/sacked and unknown number of potential troops lost due to mountain raids and refugees fleeing the raids 

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There are two numbers different characters give in ACOK that give some insight into this. Renly think after the Riverlords and Northerners join together Robb might have 40,000 men all up. He knows how many crossed the neck so we might be able to assume he has some knowledge of events so he probably knows Edmure has lost at least one battle and may even be aware of the battle of the green fork though it's not clear.

The the other is Edmure's report of his strength before the battle of the fords. He claims to have 11,000 men at the ready. It's important to note that this number does include the Mallisters but not the Freys whose armies are elsewhere. The Freys had around 4,000 men so this gives about 15,000 or so Riverland troops around not including whatever garrisons are holding other castles the Riverlords control after Edmure's defeats. The fact that other river troops were lost in the period after Robb's arrival also decreases how many Edmure is responsible for.

This gives a variety of answers to the original question between perhaps 5,000 or so (assuming Renly is quite unware exactly what went on in the Riverlands or most of the gap is from later fighting) to possibly maybe 15,000 or so (Renly is aware of Riverland defeats and the Northern defeat at the Green fork and later casualties are not as significant.)

The other problem is the blame you are attributing to Edmure. I don't think he lost those men because of inexperience or incompetence. He was operating on a very different set of assumptions about the conflict from Tywin. Edmure wouldn't have known actual war would have broken out until after he received word of Robert's death and Ned's arrest. Up until that point he probably would have been working on the reasonable assumption that the conflict would be limited to raiding and sabre rattling rather than large scale engagements and that the King would prevent an all out war. It was only the eruption of the actual war that put those ideas to bed. At which point Edmure seems to recognise his mistake and react to regroup his forces but Tywin moved quickly enough to prevent that.

The problem wasn't Edmure being incompetent or inexperienced he was beaten by a commander who had better intelligence on that situation than him (Tywin likely had several weeks head start on the fact actual war was going to break out over Edmure) and being capable enough to take advantage of it.

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Yeah, it's not fair at all to blame Edmure.

When he received news that Tywin was building up an army on the Golden Tooth, he was quick to summon his own bannermen. Then he got news of Clegane and Lorch raiding many villages, and had to divide his forces to protect his smallfolk. And then, with a smaller force, he was defeated when Tywin came down on him. I think that all of his decisions were reasonable at the time, and I can't see where "inexperience" or "incompetence" can be considered a factor.

It's much more notable, in my opinion, how reckless, barbaric and treasonous Tywin was. His strategy was based on the indiscriminate murder of innocent smallfolk, without even declaring was or respecting any rules of engagement. And since he had no definite plan to kill Robert, he was risking a lot. The Lannisters came up on top because of sheer luck: Robert getting killed by the boar, Eddard not sending Loras to seize Gregor,...

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I would add to the chime that Edmure isn’t the complete oaf and useless moron he tends to be depicted as. He is naive, caring, inexperienced, and a lusty guy, but he is a first born son of a Lord Paramount and was raised as such.

With that said, he is no Hannibal, Napoleon, or Temujin for that matter. He treats the war a bit like a game and expects Tywin to “play fair” because he is inexperienced and naive.

As to the question about numbers, Martin is not particularly clear. Given how the forces were spread out on the borders and that the Lannisters lost virtually no men (that we know of) - 10,000 would be an aggressive estimate. I think more along the lines of 2,500-7.000 pre arrival of Robb. Including prisoners.

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