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Brynden"Bloodraven" Rivers

Legal Justification for the NW to march on WF

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1 minute ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

If these things continue the tradition of guest right will be broken forever. It happening once is enough for its value to decrease

It happening twice will destroy it. No one will be safe anymore 

the right is damaged when those who break it initially walk free.

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Just now, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

the right is damaged when those who break it initially walk free.

Then they can be killed in a battle or defeated in any way that does not violate that right again. 

The ones who broke guest right must be punished but they should be punished appropriately. 

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7 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

No they dont

If these things continue the tradition of guest right will be broken forever. It happening once is enough for its value to decrease

It happening twice will destroy it. No one will be safe anymore 

Codes of honour depend, very crucially, upon reciprocity.  A party that fundamentally breaches such a code of honour is, as the Norsemen would have  put it, a nithing.  Or as the Romans would have put it, hostis humanum generis.  An outlaw, who any adult with a weapon is entitled to slay.

Edited by SeanF

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Any evidence of Mance being bound by guest right? Invoking guest right has specific rituals and Mance is well aware of them so he could easy avoid them.

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5 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

Then they can be killed in a battle or defeated in any way that does not violate that right again. 

The ones who broke guest right must be punished but they should be punished appropriately. 

They could, but the point is they wont have any protection even if it does happen outside battle. were not arguing that it's not reprehensible to do the same, were arguing whether any laws are being broken.

Okay, so let's use a very famous example from myth. Xenia, or the greek right of hospitality, is essentially the same thing being referenced in asoiaf. In the Odyssey, Odysseus becomes guest to a cyclops who breaks guest right by asking Odysseus his name and eating his crew. Odysseus blinds the Cyclops which would be breaking Xenia if the cyclops had not broken it first. it is considered a justified action.

 

Edited by Targaryeninkingslanding

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Just now, Tucu said:

Any evidence of Mance being bound by guest right? Invoking guest right has specific rituals and Mance is well aware of them so he could easy avoid them.

Actually guest right applies as soon as you enter the host's house as follows. 

Even if it didn't breaking bread and salt is a ritual everyone has to participate in

 

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Just now, Daenerysthegreat said:

Actually guest right applies as soon as you enter the host's house as follows. 

Even if it didn't breaking bread and salt is a ritual everyone has to participate in

 

There are specific steps and Cat is quite clear about that when approaching The Twins

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3 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

Actually guest right applies as soon as you enter the host's house as follows. 

Even if it didn't breaking bread and salt is a ritual everyone has to participate in

 

this is not true. 

"When a guest, be he commonborn or noble, eats the food and drinks the drink off a host's table beneath the host's roof, guest right is invoked. Bread and salt are traditional provisions."

Tyrion was denied guest right by Robb is the first book, when Robb greeted him, his sword on his lap.

Edited by Targaryeninkingslanding

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Just now, Tucu said:

There are specific steps and Cat is quite clear about that when approaching The Twins

Which mance rayder must have done. He had to have done it or Bolton wouldn't allow him into the castle. 

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1 minute ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

Which mance rayder must have done. He had to have done it or Bolton wouldn't allow him into the castle. 

there are far too many people in his retinue for him to be certain of that.

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1 minute ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

Which mance rayder must have done. He had to have done it or Bolton wouldn't allow him into the castle. 

The Boltons are not exactly careful about guest right

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8 minutes ago, Tucu said:

The Boltons are not exactly careful about guest right

They have to be careful since they broke it in the first place they don't want it being done to them

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There is no legal justification of what Jon did/intended to do. Neither did Jaime have a legal justification to kill Aerys, as he was his sworn shield. 

We can all agree his acts were justified, altough nowhere close to being the best or smartest he could've done. Justified not because it was legal for him to act against Ramsay, but because of the conditions given. The legal justification awaits the conditions Lord Lannister presented.

Edited by Daeron the Daring

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36 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

With the others army marching, they especially cannot be seen taking sides

There won't be a Night's Watch if the Boltons march north and attack them. Jon's support for Stannis's cause is directly beneficial to the Night's Watch. A Bolton-led North is not in the interests of the Night's Watch or the future war against the Others.

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13 minutes ago, WhatAnArtist! said:

There won't be a Night's Watch if the Boltons march north and attack them. Jon's support for Stannis's cause is directly beneficial to the Night's Watch. A Bolton-led North is not in the interests of the Night's Watch or the future war against the Others.

I think the boltons with their 4000 men and the iron Throne with their 100000 men can fight the others better than just the nights watch

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9 hours ago, Brynden"Bloodraven" Rivers said:

(This is totally not a topic to draw out lines between the Stark haters and the normal people on this forum)

 

Jon Snow has a very strong legal justification to march on the Boltons of Winterfell. 

 

This is the official letter from Ramsay Bolton, the Lord of Winterfell to Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow. The Lord of Winterfell, in this scenario, is a minor noble and has jurisdiction over the lands he has been allotted by the Warden of the North and the King of the Seven Kingdoms. Technically, only the King or the Warden of the North can directly oppose the Lord Commander or has direct jurisdiction over the Night’s Watch. Ramsay Bolton is neither. He is the son of the Warden of the North, but he holds no real power. He is legitimized by the Iron Throne, but that also gives him no authority. So Jon doesn’t have to answer to Ramsay at all. 

Second, there is also the matter of guest right. All the people Ramsay wants have guest right under the roof of Castle Black/Nightfort because they have consumed food at either Castle Black or the Nightfort which is under Jon’s domain. This means that they would either have to willingly go to Ramsay Bolton to be arrested (which only Stark haters would do) or Jon would have to arrest them which would violate guest right which is the most sacred of all Northern laws.

Third, Ramsay has no legal basis to attack Jon over the matter of a dead king’s daughter and wildling prisoners. These people have not overtly committed treason nor committed any crimes against the Iron Throne. So Jon was legally justified in attacking or defending himself against a Bolton attack,especially if it was led by Ramsay Bolton, a minor lord. 

There are two ways to approach and argue this but none are very favorable for Joon IMO:

Approach 1) (the cynical approach): the victor ultimately decides which was right and which was wrong. This has been pointed out already above. If one follows this line of thought then Jon was in the wrong and the NW and Ramsay were right because they won by taking Jon out.

Approach 2) (the legal approach): as I understood the books the NW is forbidden from interfering in the politics of the realm.

If that's so then an attack on the Lord of Winterfell by the NW is a clear breach of that rule and thus completely illegal.

Now a lawywer (and the OP) could 'muddy the water' and try to come up with justifications that an attack on Winterfell by the NW was a special case of self-defense in this one situation and the normal rule doesn't apply. However if one argues special case and against the normal law then all the burden of proof is against the person who want to invoke this 'special circumstance'. So the NW would need to have a pretty self-evident case to have a chance at all.  (And even then all the precedent or law would be against them since we have never heard of the NW even having the right to claim self-defense against the Lord of Winterfell so even if self-defense was self-evident they might lose anyway.)

Does the Pink Letter even give the NW a self-evident case of self-defense?

Not in my opinion.

If one leaves the letter's wording aside which is really offensive then the letter's contents actually make sense coming from the Lord of Winterfell. That's because Jon first breached the law by sending Mance and the Spearwife Squad to Winterfell to abduct the Lord of Winterfell's wife. It is obvious that the Lord of Winterfell has to get some sort of suretely from the Commander of the NW against such an occurence happening again in the future. Getting hostages from all the factions associated with the Commander of the NW - that this includes especially the Wildlings who already have been caught and proven to have sneaked into Winterfell!, but also includes Stannis' followers and witch (who are in collusion with Jon and also are rebels against the Lannister-held crown) is obvious . As is the demand to get the Lord of Winterfell's wife back. That's a no-brainer really.

So for Jon and the NW to use the Pink Letter as an excuse to claim self-defense is far fetched. At the very least it is not self-evident.

Case closed at this point already IMO.

But there is more:

Using 'self-defense' as a justification to launch a preemptive attack on Winterfell! would be really stretching it even if a case of self-defense did apply for a defense of the wall against an attack by Ramsay.

Look: the NW could have waited if the Lord of Winterfell really would go so far as to assemble his host and march on the wall to enforce his demands from the letter. I mean: who can tell he will actually attack the NW just from the wording of the letter? No one can as of yet. The wording is just not clear enough.

Now if Ramsay's army really did appear in front of castle Black and threatened to assault then self-defense would be more credible for the NW. Still not clear-cut but somewhat more credible. One could still argue that Ramsay's demands make perfect sense and are compelling even. Anyway: we are nowhere near that point. Ramsay doesn't even explicitly threaten the NW with attack in the letter. 'I will not trouble your black crows' is NOT a clear threat of military attack. Yes, it could mean attack but it could also mean a variety of other things like diplomacy or more letters arriving on a weekly basis or messengers that keep appearing and and going on everyone's nerves or not sending more men to join the NW or withholding supplies or whatever.

'I will cut your bastard's heart out and eat it' is a clear threat. But this threat is directedly only against Jon, not against the NW in general. Also it is a reaction to Jon sending a wildling squad into Winterfell to abduct the Lord of Winterfell's wife (and murder Bolton and Frey soldiers in the process). That Ramsay diffentiates so clearly between the watch and Jon is clever. It means Ramsay wants justice for the grave legal transgression of the Commander of the NW and him only. That's pretty compelling. Now one could argue (as has been above in the thread) that the Lord of Winterfell is not in a legal position to follow through on this. Isn't he though? Can't a high-ranking, landed noble of the Seven Kingdoms not enforce justice in his own right in such a clear case of his wife being abducted and his men killed? I don't know. I think he just might. Even if not then the letter doesn't say Ramsay will attack the wall right now in order to capture Jon. The letter is unspecific time-wise. Any possible theoretical future case of self-defense wouldn't be current as of yet. (If someone sends you a death-threat in a social media post that doesn't mean you are allowed to kill that person preemptively and claim self-defense for it).

Conclusion: The NW has no legal standing in attacking Ramsay as of yet. The PL does not change that.

Jon didn't have one either. His plan to assemble a host to attack Ramsay was patently illegal (and stupid too. Uncommonly stupid for Jon who had been pretty clever in his job as Commander before. But hey - GRRM wanted to set up a third Stark murder so he did, stupid or not.)

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Legal justification…. Westeros barely has any laws. Nor do they have any lawyers, everyone else is pretending to be one tho.

The problem with oaths, most importantly those of the nights watch. Is that they can be interpreted in different ways. Same as our own real world laws.

By settling the wildlings south of the wall Jon claims that his oath says that he shall protect the realm of men and that the wildlings are also part of the realms of men. However one can argue that they aren’t part of the realms of men since they don’t live within its borders, nor do they obey their laws, and most importantly they are a threat to the realms of men.

Now one can also say that Jon is protecting the realms of men by removing the Boltons lol. Since a north ruled by the Boltons won’t stabilise quick enough for the north to deal with the others.

Whether Jon did the right thing or broke any imaginary laws it’s up to you. In the end it wont matter anyways since the cold frosted monsters will be coming for em all.

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21 minutes ago, Amris said:

There are two ways to approach and argue this but none are very favorable for Joon IMO:

Approach 1) (the cynical approach): the victor ultimately decides which was right and which was wrong. This has been pointed out already above. If one follows this line of thought then Jon was in the wrong and the NW and Ramsay were right because they won by taking Jon out.

Approach 2) (the legal approach): as I understood the books the NW is forbidden from interfering in the politics of the realm.

If that's so then an attack on the Lord of Winterfell by the NW is a clear breach of that rule and thus completely illegal.

Now a lawywer (and the OP) could 'muddy the water' and try to come up with justifications that an attack on Winterfell by the NW was a special case of self-defense in this one situation and the normal rule doesn't apply. However if one argues special case and against the normal law then all the burden of proof is against the person who want to invoke this 'special circumstance'. So the NW would need to have a pretty self-evident case to have a chance at all.  (And even then all the precedent or law would be against them since we have never heard of the NW even having the right to claim self-defense against the Lord of Winterfell so even if self-defense was self-evident they might lose anyway.)

Does the Pink Letter even give the NW a self-evident case of self-defense?

Not in my opinion.

If one leaves the letter's wording aside which is really offensive then the letter's contents actually make sense coming from the Lord of Winterfell. That's because Jon first breached the law by sending Mance and the Spearwife Squad to Winterfell to abduct the Lord of Winterfell's wife. It is obvious that the Lord of Winterfell has to get some sort of suretely from the Commander of the NW against such an occurence happening again in the future. Getting hostages from all the factions associated with the Commander of the NW - that this includes especially the Wildlings who already have been caught and proven to have sneaked into Winterfell!, but also includes Stannis' followers and witch (who are in collusion with Jon and also are rebels against the Lannister-held crown) is obvious . As is the demand to get the Lord of Winterfell's wife back. That's a no-brainer really.

So for Jon and the NW to use the Pink Letter as an excuse to claim self-defense is far fetched. At the very least it is not self-evident.

Case closed at this point already IMO.

But there is more:

Using 'self-defense' as a justification to launch a preemptive attack on Winterfell! would be really stretching it even if a case of self-defense did apply for a defense of the wall against an attack by Ramsay.

Look: the NW could have waited if the Lord of Winterfell really would go so far as to assemble his host and march on the wall to enforce his demands from the letter. I mean: who can tell he will actually attack the NW just from the wording of the letter? No one can as of yet. The wording is just not clear enough.

Now if Ramsay's army really did appear in front of castle Black and threatened to assault then self-defense would be more credible for the NW. Still not clear-cut but somewhat more credible. One could still argue that Ramsay's demands make perfect sense and are compelling even. Anyway: we are nowhere near that point. Ramsay doesn't even explicitly threaten the NW with attack in the letter. 'I will not trouble your black crows' is NOT a clear threat of military attack. Yes, it could mean attack but it could also mean a variety of other things like diplomacy or more letters arriving on a weekly basis or messengers that keep appearing and and going on everyone's nerves or not sending more men to join the NW or withholding supplies or whatever.

'I will cut your bastard's heart out and eat it' is a clear threat. But this threat is directedly only against Jon, not against the NW in general. Also it is a reaction to Jon sending a wildling squad into Winterfell to abduct the Lord of Winterfell's wife (and murder Bolton and Frey soldiers in the process). That Ramsay diffentiates so clearly between the watch and Jon is clever. It means Ramsay wants justice for the grave legal transgression of the Commander of the NW and him only. That's pretty compelling. Now one could argue (as has been above in the thread) that the Lord of Winterfell is not in a legal position to follow through on this. Isn't he though? Can't a high-ranking, landed noble of the Seven Kingdoms not enforce justice in his own right in such a clear case of his wife being abducted and his men killed? I don't know. I think he just might. Even if not then the letter doesn't say Ramsay will attack the wall right now in order to capture Jon. The letter is unspecific time-wise. Any possible theoretical future case of self-defense wouldn't be current as of yet. (If someone sends you a death-threat in a social media post that doesn't mean you are allowed to kill that person preemptively and claim self-defense for it).

Conclusion: The NW has no legal standing in attacking Ramsay as of yet. The PL does not change that.

Jon didn't have one either. His plan to assemble a host to attack Ramsay was patently illegal (and stupid too. Uncommonly stupid for Jon who had been pretty clever in his job as Commander before. But hey - GRRM wanted to set up a third Stark murder so he did, stupid or not.)

I agree with everything except these things. 

Jon can send theon and mel to the boltons but sending selyse, monster, shireen and val to ramsay, known for his cruelty is suicide.

He should have waited and sent further letters to roose Bolton, roose is smart and reasonable and will presumably not kill shireen and monster. He acted too hastily

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4 hours ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

I think the boltons with their 4000 men and the iron Throne with their 100000 men can fight the others better than just the nights watch

The Boltons and the IT have more important things than what's beyond the Wall (to them, at least). That's if they even believe it. 

3 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

Legal justification…. Westeros barely has any laws. Nor do they have any lawyers, everyone else is pretending to be one tho.

 

True, but the laws they do have pertaining to the NW prohibit what Jon wanted to do. 

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I like Jon, but if he did what he did because he thought it was a legally-permitted for the NW to march on Winterfell and that this was its best option in those circumstances, he wouldn't have refused to order his men to go with him and explicitly acknowledge that he may be breaking his oath and didn't want to compel them to join him in that.

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