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The Starks' Greatest Feat


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Taking the North in the first place was impressive, as was defending it from the Andals, but I think their greatest feat must be the loyalty they inspired in their subjects. People felt safe when Ned was around. People who had never seen her were ready to die for Ned's daughter. The Manderys were trying to put a Stark back in charge as soon as they were usurped. The only people not loyal to the Starks are their traditional enemies the Boltons, who usurped them, some of the Karstarks and seemingly Lady Dustin since she bares a grudge against Ned. Now this might just be related to Ned but I think it must have been going on longer than that or the loyalty would not be so ingrained. Ned never struggled with disloyal vassals during Robert's Rebellion, after all.

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They have become the norths masters by a mix of well  earned loyalty and  of course brutal warfare and strength.

Loyaltywise we know the hot spas  help keep alive the population of wintertown and many of the mountain clans as well as.possibly minor lords around them so they have  large base of loyal troops to call their own, ned is even suggested to have a grandparent that was married into the clans if i recall.

We know they drove pirates away from the south then sheltered the manderlys and gave them the white knife to be prosperous BUT they had also done the same for their treacherous blood kin sucessors there and had to dig them out and exterminate them to set an example

They have been ardent supporters of the nightwatch even giving them vast swathes of land and plenty of its sons, despite tgeir rivalry with boltons they allied to drive andal invasion put and even punish it

 

The karstarks are linked to them by blood and the  flints of flints finger + mormonts owe them for everything they have  for the wars they waged driving off the ironborn (helping the flints on east coast establish a new linked house on the west coast probably helped establish deep loyalty and grattitude there too)

The starks we know also  have brutaly put down rebellion , wiped out 4 houses and sent the blackwoods south , fought long hard wars with boltons and dustins etc for control of the north , taking daughters of defeated enemies as wives .....with the warg king it may have brought in the gift to their bloodline helping them subdue the marsh peoples liike reeds etc.

But again to counter that they also went north usualy allied with umbers (right in the wildling firing line being so far north  so they would be deeply grateful of the stark help ) to fight and sometimes die to stop kings beyond the wall as well as fighting the 'savages' on skagos to earn its fealty. 

 

Their overlordship is tied positively  to myth/semi myth times in possibly helping build the wall, drive giants and skinchangers out of the north, and possibly helped stop the others before.

 

Overall their history seems to be one where they have battered neighbours into submisson but also gained long lasting loyalty throuh assisting and even helping found houses.

Ned of course helped by setting an honourable example, lunching with vassals but ensuring  justice was made firm but fair by himself carrying out the sentence where possible old style. Being a victorious battle harded war commander helps whos honour meant he refused to hide his bastard and whom people some probably  wrongly think beat arthur dayne in personal combat!

Edited by astarkchoice
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3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

People felt safe when Ned was around.

Are you referring to his young children?

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

People who had never seen her were ready to die for Ned's daughter.

Not the older one though, nor the crippled son. Nor did they decide this themselves but were cajoled by Stannis 

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

The Manderys were trying to put a Stark back in charge as soon as they were usurped.

I think that has to do more with their personal beef with Bolton over Hornwood.

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

The only people not loyal to the Starks are their traditional enemies the Boltons, who usurped them

Why are Boltons the traditional enemy?

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

some of the Karstarks and seemingly Lady Dustin since she bares a grudge against Ned. Now this might just be related to Ned but I think it must have been going on longer than that or the loyalty would not be so ingrained.

It's really not that strong. On par with all other great houses.

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

Ned never struggled with disloyal vassals during Robert's Rebellion, after all.

Fingers?

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1 hour ago, Hugorfonics said:

Are you referring to his young children?

Not the older one though, nor the crippled son. Nor did they decide this themselves but were cajoled by Stannis 

I think that has to do more with their personal beef with Bolton over Hornwood.

Why are Boltons the traditional enemy?

It's really not that strong. On par with all other great houses.

Fingers?

Yes the Boltons are the traditional enemy of the Starks. At the very least the most recent internal one. With the shit that happened between them I’m surprised the Starks didn’t just wipe the family out. Making a cloak out of a Stark’s skin, well any human being’s skin, is cause for it in my opinion.

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7 minutes ago, Maegor Targaryen I said:

Yes the Boltons are the traditional enemy of the Starks. At the very least the most recent internal one. With the shit that happened between them I’m surprised the Starks didn’t just wipe the family out. Making a cloak out of a Stark’s skin, well any human being’s skin, is cause for it in my opinion.

I agree, I don’t see how the Boltons survived when so many other houses didn’t. I guess the official reason is that the cost of victory would have been too much, but unless the Boltons had a lot more allies than we’ve seen, I don’t see how that’s the case. Even now, Roose can only seem to rely on the Karstarks: everyone else’s loyalty is uncertain at the very least.

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7 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I agree, I don’t see how the Boltons survived when so many other houses didn’t. I guess the official reason is that the cost of victory would have been too much, but unless the Boltons had a lot more allies than we’ve seen, I don’t see how that’s the case. Even now, Roose can only seem to rely on the Karstarks: everyone else’s loyalty is uncertain at the very least.

And that’s only some of the Karstarks

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8 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I agree, I don’t see how the Boltons survived when so many other houses didn’t. I guess the official reason is that the cost of victory would have been too much, but unless the Boltons had a lot more allies than we’ve seen, I don’t see how that’s the case. Even now, Roose can only seem to rely on the Karstarks: everyone else’s loyalty is uncertain at the very least.

He might not even be able to count on the Karstarks now.

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23 minutes ago, Maegor Targaryen I said:

Yes the Boltons are the traditional enemy of the Starks

I think your thinking about the Wildlings 

23 minutes ago, Maegor Targaryen I said:

At the very least the most recent internal one.

Ah! Definitely. Like, most recent as in, in the novel.

23 minutes ago, Maegor Targaryen I said:

With the shit that happened between them I’m surprised the Starks didn’t just wipe the family out.

That was like a thousand years ago

23 minutes ago, Maegor Targaryen I said:

Making a cloak out of a Stark’s skin, well any human being’s skin, is cause for it in my opinion.

I agree. Wearing someone's skin is sick. But this is just a story. Probably a true one, but so is the story that ancient Starks used to skinchange, which is certainly on parallel in sickness

Edited by Hugorfonics
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40 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Fingers?

They are Jon Arryn's vassals not Ned's..

40 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Why are Boltons the traditional enemy?

That's what is implied by the text.

40 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

It's really not that strong. On par with all other great houses.

But Baratheons and Arryns and Tullys all had to fight vassal houses during the rebellion. Lannisters had to fight vassal houses before that. And it doesn't look like the Starks had to fight any vassals during the Blackfyre rebellion either.

42 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Not the older one though

If you're referring to Robb they were.

43 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

nor the crippled son

Because they think he's dead.

43 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

but were cajoled by Stannis 

The guy gives his reason for fighting for Stannis as wanting to kill Boltons because and save Arya Stark.

44 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Are you referring to his young children?

Quote

The Liddle took out a knife and whittled at a stick. "When there was a Stark in Winterfell, a maiden girl could walk the kingsroad in her name-day gown and still go unmolested, and travelers could find fire, bread, and salt at many an inn and holdfast. But the nights are colder now, and doors are closed. There's squids in the wolfswood, and flayed men ride the kingsroad asking after strangers."

 

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2 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

They are Jon Arryn's vassals not Ned's..

But they worship the old gods, right?

3 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

That's what is implied by the text.

It is, but always implied. Never flat out stated.

4 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

But Baratheons and Arryns and Tullys all had to fight vassal houses during the rebellion. Lannisters had to fight vassal houses before that. And it doesn't look like the Starks had to fight any vassals during the Blackfyre rebellion either.

(Who'd Baratheon and Arryn fight?)

They didn't leave ghost towns to be sung about like Lannister or ghost towns to stumble across like Hoster (maybe) but I think the infighting in Hornwood land by Bolton/Manderly shows the North susceptible to "pissing contests" just like any village in the south that Dunk should come across.

8 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

If you're referring to Robb they were.

Not them specifically, but no I was referring to the older daughter. The one who's actually in prison getting beaten.

9 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Because they think he's dead.

They don't. Well, again, not them specifically. Liddle is one of the big names fighting for Ned's little girl. Same tribe that fed Bran and gave the quote you supplied.

10 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

The guy gives his reason for fighting for Stannis as wanting to kill Boltons because and save Arya Stark.

It sounds more heroic then there's nothing on TV.

They gave the same quotes about the days of the old king. It wasn't really that peachy. (Better then like, dance with dragons time, or now)

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3 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

But they worship the old gods, right?

I don't think so. And if they did that still wouldn't make them Ned's vassals.

3 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

(Who'd Baratheon and Arryn fight?)

Robert fought Grandison, Fell and Connington, Jon had to fight Grafton. May be others I'm forgetting.

5 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

They don't. Well, again, not them specifically. Liddle is one of the big names fighting for Ned's little girl. Same tribe that fed Bran and gave the quote you supplied.

Wull was the one who wanted to fight for 'Ned's little girl'. Liddles might know Bran was alive but they don't know if he is still alive or where he is.

6 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Not them specifically, but no I was referring to the older daughter. The one who's actually in prison getting beaten.

Ned was dead by that point. He tried to get Sansa away.

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3 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

I don't think so. And if they did that still wouldn't make them Ned's vassals.

I suppose not

6 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Robert fought Grandison, Fell and Connington, Jon had to fight Grafton. May be others I'm forgetting.

Cool

6 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Wull was the one who wanted to fight for 'Ned's little girl'. Liddles might know Bran was alive but they don't know if he is still alive or where he is.

Liddles joined in too, one of knocked out Asha with an axe.

That one Liddle who saved Bran certainly knows he's alive, and can assume Rickon is too actually 

8 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Ned was dead by that point.

He's still dead when the clans march against winterfell too.

10 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

He tried to get Sansa away

Who? Ned? Only after dangling her as bait, which surprise surprise, was too late

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21 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I agree, I don’t see how the Boltons survived when so many other houses didn’t. I guess the official reason is that the cost of victory would have been too much, but unless the Boltons had a lot more allies than we’ve seen, I don’t see how that’s the case. Even now, Roose can only seem to rely on the Karstarks: everyone else’s loyalty is uncertain at the very least.

It does seem strange boltons survived esp given we know the kings of winter have exterminated at least 5 houses (frost, amber,towers ,greenwoods and ,greystarks) and house blackwood fled the north so prob would be 6 if they hadnt ran!

House bolton not only contested control for centuries but on 2 occasions sacked and burnt winterfell as well as flaying starks however when we put it into perspective we know the starks also waged war with the barrowkings (ryswell and dustin and possibly others)  for 200 years of conflict in 1000! This  on top of various battles vs ironborm,skagosi, vale of arryn, kings beyond the wall and other powerful northern lords like the marsh kings...a history of constant warfare to subdue the north.  The very fact boltons could.sack winterfell twice and are top 3 houses in the north by books start hint its always been a rich powerful area with a solid fort! We know at least one of their stark wars they were aligned with the greystarks thus exterminating both houses was probably beyond the starks for that war.

We know they also alligned with the starks to throw back forces from the south so have been useful allies.

Overall it most likely timing that saved them...they bent the knee by the time the starks had secured such a stranglehold of  the north that wiping out house bolton wasnt worth the effort nor was any futute resistance likely.

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29 minutes ago, astarkchoice said:

It does seem strange boltons survived esp given we know the kings of winter have exterminated at least 5 houses (frost, amber,towers ,greenwoods and ,greystarks) and house blackwood fled the north so prob would be 6 if they hadnt ran!

House bolton not only contested control for centuries but on 2 occasions sacked and burnt winterfell as well as flaying starks however when we put it into perspective we know the starks also waged war with the barrowkings (ryswell and dustin and possibly others)  for 200 years of conflict in 1000! This  on top of various battles vs ironborm,skagosi, vale of arryn, kings beyond the wall and other powerful northern lords like the marsh kings...a history of constant warfare to subdue the north.  The very fact boltons could.sack winterfell twice and are top 3 houses in the north by books start hint its always been a rich powerful area with a solid fort! We know at least one of their stark wars they were aligned with the greystarks thus exterminating both houses was probably beyond the starks for that war.

We know they also alligned with the starks to throw back forces from the south so have been useful allies.

Overall it most likely timing that saved them...they bent the knee by the time the starks had secured such a stranglehold of  the north that wiping out house bolton wasnt worth the effort nor was any futute resistance likely.

That’s a good point, I forgot about the Andal invasions. That’s probably what saved the Boltons more than anything. The North had a common enemy and the Boltons stayed loyal until there was an opportunity to finally overthrow House Stark.

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2 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

That’s a good point, I forgot about the Andal invasions. That’s probably what saved the Boltons more than anything. The North had a common enemy and the Boltons stayed loyal until there was an opportunity to finally overthrow House Stark.

That and the starks needing to focus elsewhere all over the north

 

Also on quick map check

 

Once mandelys were established and karstarks .... the boltons are surrounded thus have to behave!

Edited by astarkchoice
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I don't know.  Those Starks are pretty cool as this bunch of noble families go.  There is the whole Wintertown deal and a lot of their subjects seem to like them an awful lot.  The Nightwatch even likes them and I don't think they even like each other.  The rest of Westeros seems to think they are too remote and vast to bother waging war on except the Ironborn, but go figure there.  The folks who work for them appear to be very loyal.  This tells me the Starks are probably even, fair and maybe even generous with their people.  But I think the greatest feat was all that marrying into magic and I can't help but think Winterfell is either magical itself or built upon a magical place.  The Starks at least by my reading, seem to have most if not all the powers of the north except necromancy and I am on the fence with greendreams.  Maybe greenseeing trumps greendreaming?  The Stark kids are powerful magicians which I think will come in real handy considering what's coming.  

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