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Are the Starks victims?


The Commentator
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Edward, Catelyn, Robb, Lady, and Greywind are dead. They have lost all of their possessions. The Lannister had a Writ prepared to take away all of their material goods.  The question for me is if they are victims of their enemies. How do you consider the Starks?

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Just now, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

Of course they are, otherwise they wouldn't be the main house/family of the series, and of all the great houses they are by far the nicest and most honorable and were mostly content to live their life at Winterfell. 

I agree. But it's important to remember that the honour comes from Ned's upbringing in the Vale, and so doesn't necessarily reflect the traditional values of all Starks. Historically there have been some bad eggs, e.g. Theon Stark and his war crimes.

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8 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

I agree. But it's important to remember that the honour comes from Ned's upbringing in the Vale, and so doesn't necessarily reflect the traditional values of all Starks. Historically there have been some bad eggs, e.g. Theon Stark and his war crimes.

Though Theon Stark was a man of his time, and you could argue that his foes weren't better than him, especially the Ironborn. 

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Imo, I wouldn't regard Eddard, Catelyn, Rob, or Jon as victims because they're out there making decisions with severe consequences from the start, even if, in Jon and Robb's case, they are still kids. Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon are definitely the victims of their circunstances though, as the hardships they went through as the aftermath of what happened to Ned and what Robb decided to do next (along with all the other adults and/or lords) were not their fault.

Some of them, as is Arya's case, begin later on to make their own decisions with severe consequences, but were they safe from the beggining, things would course differently.

 

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8 hours ago, The Commentator said:

Edward, Catelyn, Robb, Lady, and Greywind are dead. They have lost all of their possessions. The Lannister had a Writ prepared to take away all of their material goods.  The question for me is if they are victims of their enemies. How do you consider the Starks?

Victims of their enemies? Yes. Their enemies have thoroughly annihilated them, in a truly humiliating way. But I wouldn't call them 'victims' per se. They made bad choices, as people have said, and the fact that they even have choices to make puts them above 95% of everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms. They are top tier privilege in a very cruel and unfair society. I can see that no matter how much I like them as characters or like the story they're in. 

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

I agree. But it's important to remember that the honour comes from Ned's upbringing in the Vale, and so doesn't necessarily reflect the traditional values of all Starks. Historically there have been some bad eggs, e.g. Theon Stark and his war crimes.

Theon Stark is what the North will become again. He lived ruthlessly in a hard world, which is what the Starks will become in order to reclaim their home and survive the winter. We've seen it with all of them, even Sansa the Wolfless. Arya and Rickon are turning savage, Bran is becoming deeply immersed in the old gods, Jon Snow is learning how to lead a pack, Sansa is learning who she can trust and how she can maneuver herself among strangers and enemies. No doubt the Starks were honourable after a fashion, but Eddard brought the Andal version of honour into House Stark from the Vale. It's the wrong kind of honour, a kind that doesn't serve the Starks well, as the books point out. The wolves will awaken, though, and they will endure.

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10 hours ago, The Commentator said:

Edward, Catelyn, Robb, Lady, and Greywind are dead. They have lost all of their possessions. The Lannister had a Writ prepared to take away all of their material goods.  The question for me is if they are victims of their enemies. How do you consider the Starks?

The Starks are the Betrayers in the novels.  They have betrayed people who have counted on them.  Robb, Jon, Arya, Lyanna, and Sansa are betrayers.  They deserve their loss of status and homelessness.  A big betrayal from Bran is coming.  I am convinced the boy will betray Brynden Rivers and the results will be catastrophic and might even surpass Jon's mess at the wall. 

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1 hour ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

The Starks are the Betrayers in the novels.  They have betrayed people who have counted on them.  Robb, Jon, Arya, Lyanna, and Sansa are betrayers.  They deserve their loss of status and homelessness.  A big betrayal from Bran is coming.  I am convinced the boy will betray Brynden Rivers and the results will be catastrophic and might even surpass Jon's mess at the wall. 

Sleep well, RvW

Edited by TheLastWolf
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For the time being, the Starks are victims, but that is set to change.  Ned, Catelyn, and Robb underestimated their enemies' venality and willingness to use violence and misjudged their allies.  This led them into making some poor decisions.  Pretty much like everyone else, only GRRM put his thumb on the scales so those decisions led to bad results.  

The younger Starks have suffered due to their parents' deaths by betrayal.  However, their trials and tribulations are making them stronger, and they are set to rise again and be a force to be reckoned with.  They have an advantage their enemies don't; they're a unified family whose members truly love and care about one another.

I doubt the Stark honor began with Ned.  Rickard seemed a decent sort (Roose Bolton was afraid of him, which is a good thing) as do Lyanna and Benjen.  Ned's problem was that his honor was too inflexible.  Given the reverence the Northerners seem to hold for the Starks, I would guess a strong sense of honor has been present for a long time, albeit leavened with pragmatism.

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Not victims. Ned was naive and he didn't recognize how dangerous his and his family's situation was. Cersei said it to him best when she told him 'you win or you die'. Ned didn't take that to heart and he didn't play the game with a real eye on the stakes.  But hey, he was a country bumkin lost in the big city surrounded by enemies. Perhaps that may have occurred to Robert while he was thinking of naming him Hand but perhaps that wasn't something Robert saw as his problem.

 

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16 hours ago, cytherea said:

Imo, I wouldn't regard Eddard, Catelyn, Rob, or Jon as victims because they're out there making decisions with severe consequences from the start, even if, in Jon and Robb's case, they are still kids. Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon are definitely the victims of their circunstances though, as the hardships they went through as the aftermath of what happened to Ned and what Robb decided to do next (along with all the other adults and/or lords) were not their fault.

Some of them, as is Arya's case, begin later on to make their own decisions with severe consequences, but were they safe from the beggining, things would course differently.

 

Robb was indeed at fault. He broke an oath to Walder Frey because he chose love over duty. As far as Sansa, Arya, and Bran being the victims. I can agree to a point. They were victims of what Catelyn, Ned, Robb, and Jon decided to do. But Arya is now a deranged serial murderer. What punishment comes her way is not undeserved.  

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