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Morrigan

[Book spoilers] They ruined Robb Stark

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True. You can really see it both ways. It's honourable for Jeyne, but completely dishonourable towards the Freys. Endless discussion I think.

that mulitple perspective on honor is the essence of GRRMs world. and why I find it such a compelling story

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there is also no honor is deflowering a maiden highborn lady and walking away. His momentary lapse of reason left him with a need to protect Jeyne's honor

Which would be fine, had he not been bounded with numerous obligations he chose to defecate on. Vassals rely on their lord slash king, and Robb didn't give a fuck about it.

OK, I'm getting out of this thread, no one is going to convince someone else. My final word: HBO didn't ruin Robb's character; GRRM did.

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Oh please - if Talisa had wanted to give him the brush off, she could have! Don't tell me that it was only Robb pursuing her. And anyway, what is wrong with Robb taking an interest in someone like Talisa? Why shouldn't he? And why is it any more unrealistic to have him feel hurt and angry and generally pissed off over the fact that for political reasons, he is going to have to marry some unatractive Frey girl whom he's neve rmet, instead of being able to court an attractive girl normally? To me, it makes far more sense that he would want to marry someone for whom he has developed some feelings and then slept with, rather than just marry some stranger like Jeyne because of one night of passion. Ned, Catelyn, then Robb - the Stark family are all honourable idiots. If you stand back, isn't that one of the larger GRRM themes and ironies in the books - how being "honourable" doesn't always mean you are "right". Being "honourable" in his world often brings things crashing down on you, especially when you are both honourable and naive.

it wasn't ONLY robb pursuing her. but he was pursuing her.

and poor robb, he can't court the girl of his dreams and has to marry for political reasons. welcome to westeros. normal isn't chatting up attractive girls like he's in modern america. normal is marrying who will give you the best political connections. stannis hates his wife, renly is obioulsy uninterested in his. but robb, he only had dozens of frey girls to choose from. it's a shame that he isn't allowed to marry commoners

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Yep. Martin ruined his own character.

/facepalm

I wish people would stop defending D+D when they blatantly don't know what they're doing with the show.

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Which would be fine, had he not been bounded with numerous obligations he chose to defecate on. Vassals rely on their lord slash king, and Robb didn't give a fuck about it.

OK, I'm getting out of this thread, no one is going to convince someone else. My final word: HBO didn't ruin Robb's character; GRRM did.

that is why GRRM gave Robb a realistic reason for doing so.

he was wounded, nursed back to health, then finds out his brothers were killed because of a mistake he made. He was devestated and here is this beautiful woman to console him. One thing leads to another and WOOOPS. Come morning, the realization hits. And the angels on his shoulder give him poor advice. Marry this woman, its the honorable thing to do.

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I simply cannot take it anymore. Why, why on earth people call Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling "honorable"? It was anything but. He broke a contract. He weaseled out of a deal, and after the other party delivered. All this would be dishonorable for any minor lord, but Robb in one brilliant move screwed everyone he was responsible for. His kingdom, his vassals, his family. There really is no honor in breaking oaths. Especially if he'd done just to protect the virtue of his girlfriend. The Kingslayer had a good reason; Robb Stark just thought "what would Kelly Bundy do" and acted accordingly.

mcb, you seem to be under the false impression that honor (as GRRM sees it) is gray, with shades of right and wrong. That is not the way GRRM presents it (for the starks at least). Each thing is taken unto itself as right or wrong, honorable or dishonorable, a VERY black and white world view.

Now Robb has done something dishonorable. He MUST make amends and the only way he saw fit was to make Jeyne an honorable woman again. It was an honorable act. In committing that act, though he does a dishonorable act to the Freys.

That is GRRMs point. Honor and duty create irresolvable dilemnas.

TV Robb has a completely resolvable situation, dont chase the foxy girls tail.

To an extent Book Robb's dilemna was avoidable dont sleep with Jeyne, but his action was a momentary lapse of reason directly attributable to a horrible grief.

TV Robb plans his affair with Talisa for weeks if not months.

There is the difference that "purists" have a problem with the difference between a momentary lapse of reason, which people can understand and accept (as Cat does), and an extended planned act of betrayal (which changes completely who Robb is as a person from book Robb)

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and FWIW, I believe D&D could have easily stayed true to the story, without major impact on production. Follow robb to the Crag, have hiim get hurt, have an episode where he meets Jeyne nursing him to health (an epi or two), then have him find out about R&B and be grief stricken then fall into bed with Jeyne. It would have worked fine for tv and stayed true to the story and make the RW as tragic as the book, where now people will be far lessed surprised at Bolton and Freys betrayal.

It seems to go back to not having Cat and Robb hear about the death of B&R, which I simply cant understand at this point in the show

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I talked to my husband at length about this thread / debate. He's an avid book fan like me but also has a much different perspective on why they are doing the story the way they are in the series and it makes sense to him this way:

When it was said by one of the producers in the 'inside the episode' video that "Robb just learned of his Mother's betrayal and basically says 'fuck it' and decides to go for it with Talisa" - it doesn't necessarily mean he's 'mad' at her and just doing it out of spite. Obviously he's been chasing Talisa and has a lot of attraction for her but has been holding back because he knows his promise to the Freys which his Mother has reminded him of (last episode) because she sees how much he's lusting after this Talisa woman. She says "I wish you were free to follow your heart" and he cuts her off and tells her he knows he has to do what he said and marry a Frey...

But then, when alone with Talisa, they both joke about the "expensive bridge" price as if its something to laugh about because both of them are really wanting one another... the tension has just grown each time they're together (maybe that's why I think the acting is so awkward between them). And now, Robb knows his Mother betrayed him by letting Jaime Lannister go free and he's really pissed about that too... so he decides to himself "you know what, someone's word can be broken easily, even by your own family" (don't forget Theon's also betrayed him at this point)... and so, with that in mind, he decides to screw Talisa anyways.

Also, someone else mentioned this and so did my husband: Having her be "Talisa" some unknown camp follower from Volantis makes his screwing around with her a lot more believable. He probably thinks he'll just have sex with her and then still go on to 'do his duty' and marry the horrible Frey girl anyways. If in fact she's still going to be revealed as Jeyne Westerling in the next episode or the finale and he feels honor bound to marry her at that point, it still makes sense and flows with the story as written by Martin.

So there you go, my perspective changed after reading many pages of this debate as well as discussing it with my hubby who has a much more open minded view of it from the show. :)

Just take it into consideration that the overall picture of Robb Stark remains the same and he's not 'ruined' by this change necessarily. And, sadly, we all know he doesn't become king of the north or anywhere else anyways. :(

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We don't even know if the whole Talisa thing will be the excuse the Freys use to murder Robb Stark in the tv show anyway. They might just have it happen while he's there being married to the Frey girl for all we know.

Either way, the whole discussion on honor is stupid. Honor is what made Robb Stark a terrible character in the books - as only an idiot bound by a worthless code would marry someone out of honor when he could have pretended he never did it. By removing that element in the show, it makes him a better one. They actually made him a better character. Stop crying about it.

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Robb is a dumb cunt in both stories. Only he's an even dumber cunt in the show. Yes, being 'dishonourable' but not endangering the lives of all those who support you (without the Freys, they were doomed) is the smarter choice. I'd even say screwing a girl and not marrying her is more honourable than losing the support of a powerful house and thus condemning many of your followers to death, even if we're only talking about the extra men who died because of the delay winning back Lord Frey's support caused. This might actually be a good thing because the RW would be too painful to the eyes for show-only viewers if they didn't feel 'he had it coming' (and even then it will be painful to watch). Create too much sympathy for Robb and people will throw their televisions out of the windows during that scene. I actually hope Talisa will get it at the RW as well, would make all of it worth it. It doesn't really seem like she's going to be playing an important role afterwards anyway... Unless she did get pregnant in some way *sigh*.

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Yes, but it is his "honour" in actually marrying the girl he has sex with that is what brings him undone.

It doesn't really matter WHY he has sex - with some sympathetic girl stranger out of grief for his brothers, or because he has fallen in love with another woman. The bottom line plotwise is that his Stark sense of honour leads him to marry that woman. And by doing so he breaks his oath to the Freys, which is what ultimately leads to the RW. (Robb has also misjudged the deep hatreds and insecurities of Walder Frey of course). I agree that one of the tragedies of Robb's story is that despite everything he has done, all his early successes on the battlefield and being acclaimed as King of the North, the wheels start to fall off very rapidly. The terrible irony is that this is really caused not by his enemies, but by the Starks - Catelyn and Robb himself.

As the entire Jeyne story takes place "off screen" as it were in the books, I really don't care that they have given us Talisa/Jeyne, because it makes sense in the context of a TV adaptation and because, as I've said before, her scenes also serve another wider purpose with respect to establishing aspects of Robb's character that again, we only hear about in the books. And people who only watch the TV series are surely already getting the foreboding impression of things about to go terribly wrong once Cat releases Jaime, because you can see and feel the rumbling dissatisfaction within the bannermen via the Karstarks back in Episode 7.

ETA: BTW, why all the angst over the TV writers having different impressions of Robb's character? If you read the various threads on the forum here about the books, there is plenty of disgreement between avid book fans about how they see certain characters and the interpretation they put on events. There is surely no one "right" way to see every single thing or person in the books - GRRM writes shades of grey, after all - so one has to be careful about suggesting they get things totally "wrong". It's one thing to say that you don't like their interpretation of someone, and explain your reasons, but D and D are just as entitled as any other reader to their opinions. And as we are watching a work in progress, it's probably best to wait until certain arcs are completed on screen before condemning them so completely.

For example, I don't like the fact that they had Jaime kill Alton, but I also accept that this is how they see his character, and also how they wish to show various developments later. I will wait until it all plays out on screen before making my final assessment as to whether they have been successful.

I'm less upset about how he went about sleeping with her. Though I would rather them keep it consistent with it being out of grief, I'm more angry about the issue with marriage it poses. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, but it seems pretty set in stone he's going to marry her for love now. And it's not like they're simply building up what we didn't see in the books so their marriage seems realistic - the point in the books is that their marriage is completely out of the blue. It doesn't have to be a realistic love story, because there is no love story. They just turn up and are married, but it's believable because the point is that they really didn't love each other (at least before the marriage), and they're not a perfect couple. It would be unrealistic if they fell and love AND got married in the matter of a few days, but that's not the case. It's not like GRRM forgot to develop their relationship or anything. Their imperfect relationship and unlikely marriage stand to make the point that Robb rushed to marry her because, lacking foresight, he thought it would solve all of their problems, but it just created more. But that's a crucial part of who Robb is as a character. He thinks making the honorable decisions will solve all of his problems, and it fucks him over in the end.

and to your last comment, I think it's an issue with the medium. you can sort of interpret the books however you want, but when the writers interpret the series a certain way to make the show they're definitively saying "This is who Robb is". It's much more tangible thing, so it's hard to watch a portrayal you don't agree with.

ETA: Sorry I went on a bit of a tangent. Hopefully some of it addressed what you said.

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Also, someone else mentioned this and so did my husband: Having her be "Talisa" some unknown camp follower from Volantis makes his screwing around with her a lot more believable. He probably thinks he'll just have sex with her and then still go on to 'do his duty' and marry the horrible Frey girl anyways. If in fact she's still going to be revealed as Jeyne Westerling in the next episode or the finale and he feels honor bound to marry her at that point, it still makes sense and flows with the story as written by Martin.

So he feels honor bound to marry someone who has told him nothing but lies since the moment they met?

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@Oberyn:

Pretty much. They've really got themselves into a corner here. If Talisa isn't Jeyne there's no reason for Robb to marry her for fear of dishonouring her. If she is Jeyne, then there's no reason for him to ever trust her again.

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What I don't understand though is that they went to the Crag (which HBO has made clear is still the seat of house Westerling) and nothing happened? If she was ever going to be revealed as Jeyne, I'd have expected it to be there.

not to mention, how are they going to explain Jeyne Westerling going to her own castle and not being noticed?

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I don't believe the show has ruined Robb's character at all. The books don't go into much if any detail about Jeyne and Robb's relationship, or even what is going on in Robb's head. A lot of the readers seem to presume to know what Robb's feeling and thinking in the Novel. To me I always envisioned Robb, hormones raging, fell for some beautiful girl in a similar way he has in the show. Do we expect more from him? One thing I do believe we know is young men, even kings and Starks, tend to fall to the vices of flesh. Even though he has fallen for Talisa, I'm sure he still plans to carry out his duty to the Frey girl despite his misgivings. That is until he gets her pregnant.

I fail to see the major deviation from the novel.

As far as the Talisa/Jeyne thing we still don't know all of the details to her story in the books. I presume the writers at HBO know more than us and are making these changes for a reason. Considering the time and budget constraints their changes have been good for the most part.

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Count me in as one who was sure that the Crag was mentioned just so we'd know Talisa would be exposed as Jeyne. At this point I have no idea why they even mentioned it. Perhaps to troll book readers?

I am now convinced that D+D neither understand or respect the source material.

Agreed. Either that, or they do "love and respect the source material", but they got so carried away with their adaptation fanfiction that they are completely losing sight of what the story and characters are supposed to be.

people who are mad at the Robb/Talisa storyline aren't necessarily book purists by any means. Honestly, in the show they're pretty much completely negating the point Book Robb stands to make. The Red Wedding's a huge plot point, yes, but it's not the point of Robb's story. his arc isn't "he fucks up and then there's a really awesome massacre" Robb's arc is about how he goes from having everything going for him, to losing his bannermen one by one and driving some to betrayal. The point isn't that he dies, but WHY. Winning every battle and losing the war would have no meaning if his betrayal came out of nowhere. It's how he arrived there that matters. and theres a difference between being consumed by your naive and idealistic vision of honor and not cut out for the game of thrones (book Robb), and being reckless, dumb, and inconsiderate (show Robb) Robb is not just a plot device to bring on the Red Wedding. believe it or not, he's his own character with his own story.

Thank you!

If you haven't seen it here's a transcription I did of Weiss's comment: "Robb's sense of honor and ideals are built on his father and mother both. He's fighting this war and his mother has just done something terrible in his eyes and makes him wonder why are you following this code to the letter and why are you so committed to loyalty, honor, dignity, duty to the exclusion of all else when nobody else around you really is? Is it a smart thing to do or a stupid thing? His father was that way, what happened to his father? It all becomes too much.... all of the different promises you've made start to conflict with each other and something has to give somewhere. Robb definitely is hyper-aware of what it would mean to break his oath to Walder Frey. What's so great about Talisa is she asks him deep, probing questions forcing him to confront his own idealism in a critical way he finds challenging, makes her much more attractive to him. It's almost a bit of realism seeping into his world, an acknowledgement and recognition that people aren't perfect. Sometimes your own wishes and your own desires and your own happiness do need to play a role in life. I think there was crack in his world view and it lets these questions seep in a little bit."

Thanks for this. It's not as bad as I feared with regards to the blaming Cat thing, but it's still a completely stupid interpretation of the events. Robb's commitment to loyalty, honour and duty has never faltered, and there has never been a "crack" in the way they say it. It's actually why he ends up being a victim of the Red Wedding. He screwed up the war because of his Ned-like insistence to uphold honour (in this case, the honour of the maiden he deflowered in a moment of weakness).

And as someone else stated, Robb didn't want to be "challenged". Especially not by a random stranger. He's a king. Every time there's a debate, even before he was king in the north, he would say things like this:

"[...] What does Lord Stannis have against that, that we should cast it all aside?”

The right,” said Robb stubbornly. Catelyn thought he sounded eerily like his father as he said it.

which might have made sense, if robb hadn't been actively pursuing talisa long before this. this is what makes me think they don't know what they're doing. they don't know how to make the characters consistent with their own vision of them

I agree with this. We see more evidence in other characters, such as Jaime and Cersei. Cersei goes from soft (oh no, our sins, my Joff's insane, *looks ready to cry*) to vicious (I have your little whore, if Joffrey dies I will torture her to death blah blah blah) in completely inconsistent ways.

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As far as the Talisa/Jeyne thing we still don't know all of the details to her story in the books. I presume the writers at HBO know more than us and are making these changes for a reason. Considering the time and budget constraints their changes have been good for the most part.

Again there is nothing in the proper version of events that would make it more expensive or longer. No one is asking for Riverrun or to see Robb storm The Crag.

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And as someone else stated, Robb didn't want to be "challenged". Especially not by a random stranger. He's a king. Every time there's a debate, even before he was king in the north, he would say things like this:.

I completely agree. This is a really important point too, because, while I can see where some aspects of Robb may be questionable because he's not a POV character, I can safely say he would never fall for a girl because she "challenges" him.

Honestly, making Talisa some fiery enigma of a woman who Robb's drawn to because she's the only person who speaks out against him is almost laughable. Above all, Robb needs to make it known that he's the King. He's already scrutinized enough by the rest of the world, especially his father's bannermen. Day after day he's on edge trying to prove that he isn't the green boy everyone says he is. And hell, even Catelyn's been questioning his involvement in the war since book one. Between fact that he's already surrounded by people who criticize him almost constantly, and the fact that - let's face it - he's a bit immature, he would never willingly subject himself to people questioning his ability to rule in his spare time. Forget how unlikely it is that Talisa can get close to the king in the first place - Once she starts making him question himself, he wouldn't give her the time of day, let alone fall in love with her.

This is what pisses me off the most - the writers' take on Robb is even worse because it's ridiculously inconsistent. I can't even definitively say what they're turning Robb into because he's all over the place. First they overstate his maturity by giving some of Catelyn's decisions to him, and eliminating the whole boy-king theme which is what makes his arc stand out. Then they age him down 10 years and turn him into a petulant brat sleeping with Jeyne because he doesn't want to honor his pact with the Freys (right after yelling at his mother for freeing Jaime, no less). And then apparently we're back to him being more mature and patient than 99% of Westeros, WILLING to listen to the insults some camp follower has to spew about the way he's running his war, just because he's never heard anyone speak to him like this before? oh please.

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and FWIW, I believe D&D could have easily stayed true to the story, without major impact on production. Follow robb to the Crag, have hiim get hurt, have an episode where he meets Jeyne nursing him to health (an epi or two), then have him find out about R&B and be grief stricken then fall into bed with Jeyne. It would have worked fine for tv and stayed true to the story and make the RW as tragic as the book, where now people will be far lessed surprised at Bolton and Freys betrayal. It seems to go back to not having Cat and Robb hear about the death of B&R, which I simply cant understand at this point in the show

Perhaps they did the whole "perpetual army camp" thing so that they could give sufficient enough screen time to Roose?

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yes but they could have had the same interaction with Roose and Robb without the Talisa plot, basically the same scenes

I think the key is why they havent revealed B&R supposed deaths by this point. The key to understanding this season may lie in why this has not yeet been revealed, I dont understand it

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