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Worst plan ever made in the saga ?


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On 7/26/2022 at 1:46 AM, C.T. Phipps said:

"Listen, I know you hate working with Wildlings and Stannis to an extent but we've seen the White Walkers, severely understaffed, and have a job to save the kingdom.

If Stannis acting on Jon's advice could convince the mountain clans to fight Boltons for him, it should have been a snap for Jon himself to recruit them to help protect the Wall. Particularly since they'd be the first to feel the brunt of whatever comes through it. Frankly, them not running to support NW   when Mance Rayder's invasion was imminent is a huge plothole.

 

On 7/26/2022 at 1:46 AM, C.T. Phipps said:

I'm aware that the Willdings are dangerous and I'm not going to turn over the kingdom. It's a complicated situation and I'm open for suggestions but I think it is our best course."
 

 

But it really doesn't seem that Jon understands that the wildlings are dangerous, given that he intended to let the Weeper through as well if he promised to behave. All without any plan of how to feed them in their tens of thousands too, until a miraculous, wholly unexpected and illogical open-end loan from IB. But even so, it is a long, long way from a promissory note to an actual food supply. Realistically, once provisions grow short at the latest, in a couple of months or so, a large fraction of wildlings should just move south and go on a pillage rampage, hostages here or there. Their allegiance to their leaders is tenuous, and it is the leaders who had to surrender their sons as surety, not the masses.

Logically, Jon's actions should result in something similar to what happened when Goths were given refuge in the Roman Empire, only without all the malfeasance.

He was also going to denude the Wall of both wildlings and NW when he decided to go after tBoB, since he was sending a lot of the remaining black brothers and a big chunk of remaining food to Hardhome at the same time. I don't know if GRRM  intends to aknowledge this, but looking at it from  practical point of view, Jon's plans were a complete cluster. Idealistically motivated, yes, but... Of course, Marsh and Co. weren't allowed to capitalize on any of the good arguments they had and were restricted to just spouting prejudice, so it wouldn't surprise me if the authorial intent is that Jon was right about everything. Wouldn't be the first time that he has been spared from making hard choices or from the consequences of his decisions. 

 

On 7/26/2022 at 2:41 AM, Your Mummer said:

The Yunkish battle plans, particularly changing the command every day, and hiring so many mercenaries - too stupid to be true (or is that the point?). 

Both are based on real historical precedents :P. The first is what Athenians did in the run-up to the battle of Marathon - 10 generals, who rotated operational command between them every day. The second happened a lot throughout history despite the obvious drawbacks, but Renaissance Italy and the Thirty Years War are particularly glaring examples.

 

Anyway, I am surprised that it hasn't been mentioned so far, but I nominate Stannis sitting on his butt for months after Robert's death and Ned's arrest, instead of immediately publicizing his bastardy accusations and his claim to the throne. There was literally no downside for him going public at once, since his association with Jon Arryn's investigation already doomed him if Lannisters remained in power, while proclaiming himself would have given their many enemies a rallying point.

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1 hour ago, Maia said:

Anyway, I am surprised that it hasn't been mentioned so far, but I nominate Stannis sitting on his butt for months after Robert's death and Ned's arrest, instead of immediately publicizing his bastardy accusations and his claim to the throne. There was literally no downside for him going public at once, since his association with Jon Arryn's investigation already doomed him if Lannisters remained in power, while proclaiming himself would have given their many enemies a rallying point.

This is something I also find a bit strange, as it goes against what Stannis believes about himself and what others say about him. It's not very dutiful of him to fail to inform his brother and king of the imminent threat to his life and crucial information that is vital to the future of the realm. He appears to start hiring swords before Robert is even dead, almost like he knew he'd left him to his fate and was preparing to fight against other claimants once he died. But then despite his early preparation here, he waits until months after Renly and Robb have crowned themselves before coming forward with his own claim. He was preparing beforehand, so why was he so late in telling everyone? He'd known for over a year at that point.

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I will have to point fingers at the Starks. Jon, Robb, Cat, and Sansa were all bad upstairs.  I’ll pick on Sansa this time. Going to Cersei, spilling the beans to convince the Lannister to force her daddy to let her stay with Joffrey at KL. 

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2 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Maybe he expected both of them to bend the knee?

More like he expected Renly to not make it out of KL either, so he could move forward without being accused of being a kinslayer.

Edited by Denam_Pavel
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4 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Maybe he expected both of them to bend the knee?

How can they bend the knee when they don't know of Stannis' accusations or crowning in the first place? Both Renly and Robb viewed Joffrey as the rightful king at that point. If Stannis wanted to change this I think he should have come forward earlier.

 

1 hour ago, Denam_Pavel said:

More like he expected Renly to not make it out of KL either, so he could move forward without being accused of being a kinslayer.

Completely agree.

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2 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

How can they bend the knee when they don't know of Stannis' accusations or crowning in the first place? Both Renly and Robb viewed Joffrey as the rightful king at that point. If Stannis wanted to change this I think he should have come forward earlier.

Honestly, I don't think it would have changed much. The northern lords would have wanted independence anyway and Renly obviously wanted the Iron Throne for himself.

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4 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Honestly, I don't think it would have changed much. The northern lords would have wanted independence anyway and Renly obviously wanted the Iron Throne for himself.

I don't think it would have that big of an impact either, it's just a little frustrating when Stannis is moaning about no one supporting his claim when he hasn't even given them a claim to support until it's too late. Robb and Renly were set on being kings by that point but perhaps he could have got the support of a few more crownlands houses. Not that it would change much, as you said.

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7 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

This is something I also find a bit strange, as it goes against what Stannis believes about himself and what others say about him. It's not very dutiful of him to fail to inform his brother and king of the imminent threat to his life and crucial information that is vital to the future of the realm. He appears to start hiring swords before Robert is even dead, almost like he knew he'd left him to his fate and was preparing to fight against other claimants once he died. But then despite his early preparation here, he waits until months after Renly and Robb have crowned themselves before coming forward with his own claim. He was preparing beforehand, so why was he so late in telling everyone? He'd known for over a year at that point.

I understand that after Jon Aryn died he expected Robert to give the Handship to him, and after learning that Ned would be given it instead, he went away to Dragonstone.

if he wasn’t so resented, he could have returned while Ned was Hand and joined forces, things would be much more different. Instead he spent months sulking and only stirred himself once Ned was executed.

EDIT: or maybe, he was going to sit on it and stay on Dragonstone brooding on it for the rest of his life; but Melissandre influenced him during these months there.

Edited by Leonardo Abreu
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6 minutes ago, Leonardo Abreu said:

I understand that after Jon Aryn died he expected Robert to give the Handship to him, and after learning that Ned would be given it instead, he went away to Dragonstone.

if he wasn’t so resented, he could have returned while Ned was Hand and joined forces, things would be much more different. Instead he spent months sulking and only stirred himself once Ned was executed.

Yeah, I got the impression that Stannis was in a big sulk because he didn't get to be Hand of the King. When he was at the parley with Renly and Catelyn, he was moaning about it then too, in quite a tactless manner. Not that tact is his strong suit. It's no wonder that no-one likes him.

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12 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Honestly, I don't think it would have changed much. The northern lords would have wanted independence anyway and Renly obviously wanted the Iron Throne for himself.

There is zero indication that independence was even a blip on the northern lords radar until a situation where it was unclear which Baratheon king to support arose.

As to Renly, there is a world of difference between him chosing to support his older brother's claim if accusations of  bastardy against Robert's children were made immediately after the king's death and the regent's arrest by the Lannisters - likely with some horse-trading involved, like being named heir and stepping down after already having claimed kingship, made promises to his followers and assembled a huge support. It could have gone either way if Stannis declared himself earlier - particularly since Renly was significantly younger than Stannis and could reasonably expect to inherit the crown. 

So, yea, it would have changed everything.

 

Edited by Maia
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36 minutes ago, Maia said:

There is zero indication that independence was even a blip on the northern lords radar until a situation where it was unclear which Baratheon king to support arose.

I don't think Robb would have gone for it in this scenario but for what it's worth I still believe the Greatjon would've made the suggestion. His argument was based on wanting self rule and the fact that no Targaryens were left (in Westeros).

 

38 minutes ago, Maia said:

As to Renly, there is a world of difference between him chosing to support his older brother's claim if accusations of  bastardy against Robert's children were made immediately after the king's death and the regent's arrest by the Lannisters - likely with some horse-trading involved, like being named heir and stepping down after already having claimed kingship, made promises to his followers and assembled a huge support. It could have gone either way if Stannis declared himself earlier - particularly since Renly was significantly younger than Stannis and could reasonably expect to inherit the crown.

I agree, this is exactly what Stannis should have done if he wanted Renly's support. His offer to Renly at their parley was laughable - it gave Renly nothing he did not already possess.

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1 hour ago, Craving Peaches said:

I don't think Robb would have gone for it in this scenario but for what it's worth I still believe the Greatjon would've made the suggestion. His argument was based on wanting self rule and the fact that no Targaryens were left (in Westeros).

Greatjohn only suggested it after a long and fruitless discussion among the assembled rebel nobles about which king to support, where the main argument against Stannis was that he hadn't made his claim for the throne, while Robb was unwilling to support Renly because he was the younger brother. The question wouldn't have even arisen if Stannis had done the logical thing after Robert's death, instead of inexplicably dithering for months. Heck, the Riverlanders likely would have already proclaimed their allegiance to him by then, because they were fighting the Lannisters anyway.

Really, Stannis had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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1 hour ago, Maia said:

Greatjohn only suggested it after a long and fruitless discussion among the assembled rebel nobles about which king to support, where the main argument against Stannis was that he hadn't made his claim for the throne, while Robb was unwilling to support Renly because he was the younger brother. The question wouldn't have even arisen if Stannis had done the logical thing after Robert's death, instead of inexplicably dithering for months. Heck, the Riverlanders likely would have already proclaimed their allegiance to him by then, because they were fighting the Lannisters anyway.

You are probably right, but I still think that Greatjon could be impulsive enough to suggest it, even if no one was going to follow it. It has been a while since I read the first book however, and I don't have it on me. I thought Greatjon's argument was based on the fact that the kings did not follow the old gods and were far away from the North.

I found his quote about it.

Quote

"MY LORDS!" he shouted, his voice booming off the rafters. "Here is what I say to these two kings!" He spat. "Renly Baratheon is nothing to me, nor Stannis neither. Why should they rule over me and mine, from some flowery seat in Highgarden or Dorne? What do they know of the Wall or the wolfswood or the barrows of the First Men? Even their gods are wrong. The Others take the Lannisters too, I've had a bellyful of them." He reached back over his shoulder and drew his immense two-handed greatsword. "Why shouldn't we rule ourselves again? It was the dragons we married, and the dragons are all dead!" He pointed at Robb with the blade. "There sits the only king I mean to bow my knee to, m'lords," he thundered. "The King in the North!"

 He could take out Renly and just be talking about Stannis in that scenario. But I agree with you that Robb would back Stannis anyway if Stannis had bothered to make his claim earlier. Greatjon's suggestion wouldn't make a difference, I just think he would still suggest it anyway because he is proud and impulsive. Admittedly he could have just said it out of frustration as well. In this scenario there would be no long discussion, as you said, so he might not be frustrated enough to suggest it.

 

1 hour ago, Maia said:

Really, Stannis had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Completely agree. Though I wonder what would happen with the R'hlorr worship in this scenario. Stannis is not a good politician but I would think even he could see that allowing Melisandre and co to burn Weirwoods would antagonise the Northerners.

Edited by Craving Peaches
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Asha's plan at the Kingsmoot deserves a mention...

"Hey guys, lets ally with the people that we are attacking right now... we betrayed them, invaded them, stabed them in the back, the leadership that try to ally us is dead and the current leader that own it's position to the lions, we will convince him to change to our side (because we are soo trusty worthy allys as current events prove...), we will also still try to keep the lands that we took from them, and the tools for such a great deal? the nephews of this minor lord... of course they won't keep fighting us, it's not like lords kept fighting when the family of his vassals were hostages... Roose a cold blooded psycho that enjoys torture will certanly care for the life of boys he has no ties to."

Is a very poorly adaptation of Theon original plan, without taking in consideration the huge moment shift.

Edited by Arthur Peres
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/9/2022 at 3:46 PM, Maia said:

If Stannis acting on Jon's advice could convince the mountain clans to fight Boltons for him, it should have been a snap for Jon himself to recruit them to help protect the Wall. Particularly since they'd be the first to feel the brunt of whatever comes through it. Frankly, them not running to support NW   when Mance Rayder's invasion was imminent is a huge plothole.

 

 

But it really doesn't seem that Jon understands that the wildlings are dangerous, given that he intended to let the Weeper through as well if he promised to behave. All without any plan of how to feed them in their tens of thousands too, until a miraculous, wholly unexpected and illogical open-end loan from IB. But even so, it is a long, long way from a promissory note to an actual food supply. Realistically, once provisions grow short at the latest, in a couple of months or so, a large fraction of wildlings should just move south and go on a pillage rampage, hostages here or there. Their allegiance to their leaders is tenuous, and it is the leaders who had to surrender their sons as surety, not the masses.

Logically, Jon's actions should result in something similar to what happened when Goths were given refuge in the Roman Empire, only without all the malfeasance.

He was also going to denude the Wall of both wildlings and NW when he decided to go after tBoB, since he was sending a lot of the remaining black brothers and a big chunk of remaining food to Hardhome at the same time. I don't know if GRRM  intends to aknowledge this, but looking at it from  practical point of view, Jon's plans were a complete cluster. Idealistically motivated, yes, but... Of course, Marsh and Co. weren't allowed to capitalize on any of the good arguments they had and were restricted to just spouting prejudice, so it wouldn't surprise me if the authorial intent is that Jon was right about everything. Wouldn't be the first time that he has been spared from making hard choices or from the consequences of his decisions. 

 

Both are based on real historical precedents :P. The first is what Athenians did in the run-up to the battle of Marathon - 10 generals, who rotated operational command between them every day. The second happened a lot throughout history despite the obvious drawbacks, but Renaissance Italy and the Thirty Years War are particularly glaring examples.

 

Anyway, I am surprised that it hasn't been mentioned so far, but I nominate Stannis sitting on his butt for months after Robert's death and Ned's arrest, instead of immediately publicizing his bastardy accusations and his claim to the throne. There was literally no downside for him going public at once, since his association with Jon Arryn's investigation already doomed him if Lannisters remained in power, while proclaiming himself would have given their many enemies a rallying point.

The expedient thing for Jon to have done would have been to ask Roose for help in exchange for Stannis's head and his silence regarding Jeyne. Of course it would have been completely out of character for him to do so. He would have to watch out for his neck the whole time, but he could have gotten the Northern lords Roose wants to get rid off to help at the Wall.

The reason that the Weeper, who is arguably as bad as the Boltons and Sigorn, who bears him a grudge due to his father's death exist is to highlight this blindspot of Jon's. 

Other than, what Jon did was to walk a tight rope between forces that would either annihilate the Watch or relegate it to irrelevance. After Mance's death the wildlings broke into several bands which could attack in mass in two locations which are 300 miles apart from each other and climb over the Wall anywhere across is length. This is not something he can deal with and eventually the Night's Watch would be overwhelmed and destroyed. So, taking them in was probably the only effective way to prevent that. At least, with Tormund's band. Whether it would have worked with the Weeper is debatable.

As for Bowen & Co pretty much made all the arguments you are making. They didn't offer any alternative to hankering down and hoping for the best.

The Mountain Clans wouldn't have time to gather for Mance and besides that they had the Ironborne to worry about who are bigger threats than the wildlings, nor would they know the dispositions of the various lords. Their best bet in defending their homelands would have been to stay on them. 

And ultimately the wildlings are people as well, more refugees than invaders. Fighting them to the death with no prospect of a positive outcome is pointless, nor should their lives matter less than the northerners'.

I do agree with the second expedition to Hardhome and Jon wanting to attack the Boltons with a hope and a prayer being a pointless waste of lives. 

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On 8/11/2022 at 11:47 PM, Arthur Peres said:

Asha's plan at the Kingsmoot deserves a mention...

"Hey guys, lets ally with the people that we are attacking right now... we betrayed them, invaded them, stabed them in the back, the leadership that try to ally us is dead and the current leader that own it's position to the lions, we will convince him to change to our side (because we are soo trusty worthy allys as current events prove...), we will also still try to keep the lands that we took from them, and the tools for such a great deal? the nephews of this minor lord... of course they won't keep fighting us, it's not like lords kept fighting when the family of his vassals were hostages... Roose a cold blooded psycho that enjoys torture will certanly care for the life of boys he has no ties to."

Is a very poorly adaptation of Theon original plan, without taking in consideration the huge moment shift.

Yes, plus the only source of legitimatecy for the Boltons in the North, aside from Ramsay being supposedly married to a Stark, is to chase the Ironborn invaders from the North (one of the very few intelligent points in Dumb & Doofus' retarded northern storyline in the northern storyline of the sixth season of GOT).

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3 hours ago, The Sleeper said:

The expedient thing for Jon to have done would have been to ask Roose for help in exchange for Stannis's head and his silence regarding Jeyne. Of course it would have been completely out of character for him to do so. He would have to watch out for his neck the whole time, but he could have gotten the Northern lords Roose wants to get rid off to help at the Wall.

Jon doesn't trust Roose Bolton... which he knows but Rob doesn't. Strange that one. Anyways, didn't Maester Aemon send out for help but nobody came but Stannis? If so, Roose (via Ramsay) has already refused the Watch, why would Jon contact him again?

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24 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Jon doesn't trust Roose Bolton... which he knows but Rob doesn't. Strange that one. Anyways, didn't Maester Aemon send out for help but nobody came but Stannis? If so, Roose (via Ramsay) has already refused the Watch, why would Jon contact him again?

No one trusts Roose Bolton, even in the part you are quoting it says that Jon can't trust Roose Bolton. Yet still, people have to deal with him because:

  • He has a large army
  • He is, at least according to the Iron Throne, the Warden of the North, for whatever that's worth. 

Which means, that out of all the factions close to him, this is the only one that can help him substantially in his task which is defending the Wall, as they have both manpower and resources, which both Stannis and the wildlings lack, being as much of a burden to Jon as help. Besides, having claimed the title of warden it is kind of Roose's job.

Whether something like that would have worked and how is subject of speculation I don't want to get into and Jon could very easily have gotten himself killed trying secure help from Roose, but the point is he doesn't even consider the most viable option. 

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