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Keep Theon Close (Alternate History)


MattJ
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Robb sends his trusted foster brother Theon to treat with Theon's lord father Balon Greyjoy about forming an alliance between North and Iron Islands wherein each would achieve independence.

Balon was planning to attack the North with Robb's armies occupied in the Riverlands. The biggest thing holding him back was his last son being held hostage by the Starks. Theon being sent home was the greatest boon Balon could have asked for, though he at least outwardly despises Theon for his soft ways.

But what if Theon had remained at Robb's side? A minor Lord or trusted messenger is sent to Pyke instead. Does Balon still attack the North? Lannisport is also preoccupied, does he strike there first? If he does attack the North, does Robb take Theon's head? Does he send Theon as a peace emissary?

Speculate with me yall I am curious.

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Okay, I'll play...

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The biggest thing holding him back was his last son being held hostage by the Starks. 

Do we know this?  I don't recall it from the text.

We know that Balon lost two sons in his first rebellion; I think he would be willing to sacrifice another one in his second.  By that time, Theon had been away from the Iron islands for almost 10 years.  Balon could easily convince himself that Theon had become a soft green-lands person, not a fit heir for House Greyjoy; so his death would be no great loss.

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Balon would rebel anyway I think. He was already gathering his forces. Asha was his preferred heir so the attack would provide a good way of removing Theon from the line of inheritance. He attacks the North and Robb is forced to kill Theon in response. Of course Robb might not have done this but Balon likely thought he would. He probably wanted Theon out of the way.

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I don't think he would attack the Westerlands as he didn't seem to want to fight the whole Throne, attacking the North meant he had to fight fewer people and because he was attacking rebels it meant he would be less likely to antagonise the Throne. The North was the weaker target. Less risk but also less reward.

Edited by Craving Peaches
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Balon would have attacked the North anyway, he always thought that Theon had become a "greenlander" or "wolfish", and he was blinded by his hatred of the Starks and ambitions of conquests. 

Though by keeping Theon with him, Robb would have prevented the worst damage made to his family and realm since Theon wouldn't have taken Torrhen Square, Winterfell and freed Ramsay nor had "Bran and Rickon" killed which means the North would have a head to mobilize and fight back against the Ironborn properly, Ramsay would be imprisonned or dead (in the scenario where someone tells Rodrick about him), and that Robb doesn't sleep with Jeyne Westerling and Catelyn doesn't release Jaime Lannister after hearing about Bran and Rickon's death.

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15 hours ago, MattJ said:

The biggest thing holding him back was his last son being held hostage by the Starks. 

It was more likely Balon waiting for the best moment to intercede after seeing how war began to progress. In addition to Asha being his named/apparent heir, couldn't victarion still have children if he wished?

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Balon did not cared one bit for Theon, to the point he went on to pray for his son's death.

Theon being a hostage would not be his concern. 

Without Theon the IB would be kicked out of the north by Rodrik, Ramsey would be hanged, and Robb would stil be in a losing position in the south but would probably be alive for longer.

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Just now, Canon Claude said:

So after Ramsay was hanged, who would have ended up with the Hornwood lands?

Manderly was the closest kin with the widow, he also had the control of the region after defeating Ramsey, and he is the one with the better army, close to the land, and the richer lord in the region.

He would be my guess.

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Balon didn't care for Theon. The ironborns would have invaded the North anyway. But would have left Winterfell alone. Rodrick would have gone to help against the troubles. And died somewhere. Bran and Rickon would not have left Winterfell. And have died too at some point after Robb death. With the Boltons taking Winterll anyway.

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