- "I won every battle. But I'm losing this war."
- ―Robb Stark
Robb Stark is a major character in the first, second, and third seasons. He is played by starring cast member Richard Madden, and debuts in the series premiere. Robb is the King in the North, the ruler of the North, declared as such by his bannermen and allies after his father Eddard Stark's execution. He is leading these forces in a rebellion against King Joffrey, designed to break the North away from the control of the Iron Throne. Robb adopted a direwolf which he named Grey Wind. Robb soon proves himself to be an excellent battlefield commander, and is admired by his men, but he proves to be a less effective politician, because like his father he puts honorable conduct above practical concerns. He recently married Talisa Maegyr, a Volantene noblewoman, in secret, an act that eventually lead to his death at the hands of Roose Bolton during the Red Wedding at The Twins alongside his men, Talisa and his mother, Catelyn Stark, which was orchestrated by Bolton and Lord Walder Frey with the promise of protection from Tywin Lannister.
BackgroundEditRobb is the eldest child of Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark. Eddard is the head of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Lord Paramount of the North, one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms. The Starks rule the region from their seat of Winterfell. Eddard is also the Warden of the North to King Robert Baratheon.
Robb was born at Riverrun and raised in Winterfell. His father left his mother the morning after their wedding to fight in Robert's Rebellion and did not return until after Robb was born. He has two younger trueborn brothers, Bran and Rickon, and two sisters, Sansa and Arya. He is also close to his bastard half-brother, Jon Snow, and to his father's ward, Theon Greyjoy, whom he counts as his best friend outside of the family. He has been trained from childhood to wield a sword and wear armor by Winterfell's Master-at-Arms Ser Rodrik Cassel, and is highly proficient with both for his young age. He lives at Winterfell with his family.
Robb attends the execution of Will, a deserter from the Night's Watch, by his father Eddard Stark. On their way home with Theon, Jon and Bran, they find a litter of newborn direwolf pups. Robb is surprised that there are any direwolves south of the Wall. When their father says they can keep the pups, Robb adopts one of them as his own, naming him Grey Wind. He welcomes King Robert Baratheon to Winterfell with the rest of his family. He helps his mother maintain discipline during the feast, removing his sister Arya when she starts flicking food at Sansa, despite his amusement. Robb displays an antipathy to Joffrey from the start, noting that he's a "right royal prick".
Bran is left comatose in a fall, and because of his father's departure for King's Landing and his mother's refusal to leave an unconscious Bran's side, Robb must help Maester Luwin run the castle making new appointment to the castle's staff. When Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel decide that threats from the Lannister's necessitate their departure for the capital, Robb is left in command of Winterfell. Aware that the Lannisters may be behind Bran's injury, he later greets Tyrion with hostility, only to be confused when Tyrion gives Bran a special saddle to help him ride. Robb visits a recovering Bran and has to tell him that he will never walk again. Bran says he would rather have died.
While taking Bran outside the castle to test his new saddle, Robb and Theon are talking about Robb's future plans, when they realize that Bran has wandered off. Bran has been taken hostage by a band of wildlings, but they are found by Robb who advances on them with a sword. One of the wildlings Stiv holds a knife to Bran's throat and makes Robb drop the sword. Theon kills Stiv with an arrow, which angers Robb as Bran could have been injured. Only one of the wildlings is taken prisoner, Osha. Osha says that the greatest danger lies north of the Wall, from the White Walkers, not from the Lannisters in the south, but Robb disregards her warning.
Following Robert's death and Eddard's arrest in King's Landing King Joffrey summons Robb to pay him fealty. Robb instead calls his banners, marching House Stark's vassals to war. His youth and inexperience is questioned by Greatjon Umber who says he will take his armies home. Robb replies that then after they win the Stark army will return to take the lands of House Umber. Enraged, Greatjon starts to draw his sword, but the formidable Northern lord is cowed when Grey Wind attacks and bites off two of his fingers. He laughs it off and becomes one of Robb's most loyal retainers. Robb's army marches south, reuniting with Catelyn and Ser Rodrik along the way and feeding the Lannisters false intelligence on their movements. Robb wins the allegiance of the prickly Lord Walder Frey and his troops by agreeing to marry one of Frey's daughters. He sends a small force of men to distract the main Lannister army under Lord Tywin Lannister at the Battle of the Green Fork. Meanwhile, his main army attacks Jaime Lannister's forces near Riverrun, winning the Battle of the Whispering Wood and taking Jaime as a captive.
Robb is devastated by news of his father's death. He and his lords debate supporting either Stannis or Renly's claim to the throne before the Greatjon says neither appeals and declares Robb the King in the North. Other lords of both the North and the Riverlands take up the cry. Theon asks Robb to affirm that they are brothers, now and always, and then swears fealty to him.
Robb continues to win victories against the Lannister army. He earns the nickname "The Young Wolf" for his ferocity in battle. He keeps Jaime Lannister under guard in his camp to confound attempts to free him. He dispatches envoys to seek alliances on his behalf. He sends Theon Greyjoy to Pyke to treat with his father Balon Greyjoy. He tasks his mother Catelyn with forming an alliance with King Renly Baratheon in the Stormlands. Robb sends deliberately disagreeable terms to Queen Regent Cersei Lannister to waste her time. The terms are rejected as expected. Robb wins a crushing victory against a Lannister reinforcement host at the Battle of Oxcross. In the aftermath of the battle he is intrigued by a battlefield medic named Talisa.
Renly is killed just after agreeing to an alliance and Catelyn flees his camp to return to Robb. Renly's men swear fealty to his less agreeable brother Stannis Baratheon. Catelyn returns to Robb's camp and warns him against pursuing Talisa. They are shocked when news arrives that Theon has betrayed Robb and attacked Winterfell. Robb is furious and agrees to let the bastard son of his bannerman Roose Bolton retake the castle. He insists that the safety of his brothers is paramount and demands that Theon be brought before him so that he can execute him personally.
Robb wins a further victory at the Battle of the Yellow Fork. His prison cells are filled to overflowing with captives. When Ser Alton returns with Cersei's rejection of his terms he houses him with Jaime. Talisa asks him for help obtaining medical supplies and he invites her to accompany him to negotiate the surrender of the Crag, suggesting that she restock from the castle's stores. While Robb is gone Jaime escapes, killing Alton and Torrhen Karstark. He is recaptured but Lord Rickard Karstark threatens to behead him to avenge Torrhen. Catelyn sends her sworn sword Brienne of Tarth to exchange Jaime for her captive daughters without consulting Robb.
Robb is furious at the betrayal and orders Catelyn kept under guard. He sends men to find Jaime and devises a plan for Roose's bastard son; offer mercy to Theon's men if they deliver the Ironborn prince so they will abandon him, allowing him to retake Winterfell with minimal bloodshed. Talisa comforts Robb, revealing more of her past. He confesses not wanting to marry into House Frey and they sleep together. Robb confesses his love for Talisa to Catelyn. Catelyn warns against betraying his oath to marry a daughter of House Frey. Robb rejects her counsel, and in a secret ceremony conducted by a Septon of the Faith of the Seven, he and Talisa secretly marry.Qyburn. Robb then orders his mother imprisoned within the fortress.
Robb later receives two letters, relating to the death of his grandfather Hoster Tully and the destruction of Winterfell, as well as the "deaths" of Bran and Rickon. Robb informs his mother before setting off for Riverrun.
After Lord Hoster's funeral, Robb, Blackfish, and Edmure Tully confer in Riverrun's meeting room. The War of the Five Kings is not going well for them, as now that the Lannisters have defeated their enemies in the south and secured King's Landing from attack, as well as a marriage-alliance with House Tyrell, they have superior numbers, wealth, and strategic position. Edmure begins to boast to his nephew about the recent victory won by Tully forces under his direct command at the Battle of Stone Mill, which managed to push the Lannister army under Ser Gregor Clegane from the Riverlands. Instead, Robb and Brynden are furious with Edmure: their grand strategy for the war was to lure Tywin and Gregor's Lannister armies into the Westerlands, where they would be vulnerable out of position, and more importantly, to leave the capital city vulnerable to attack by the Baratheons. Edmure's role in this was to offer token defence as a feint to lure the Lannisters back across the Red Fork of the Trident. Instead, by successfully attacking the Lannisters at Stone Mill, Edmure kept them penned in the Riverlands, and thus close enough to King's Landing that Tywin was able to rush to the defence of the city at the Battle of the Blackwater. The Starks' strategic position in the war has been ruined. Edmure insists that they took valuable captives in the battle, Willem and Martyn Lannister, but Robb angrily points out that he didn't stop fighting because his sisters are held captive. Considering that Tywin didn't stop to negotiate when his own eldest son was captured, taking his younger nephews hostage will have no impact on the war. Edmure tries to at least point out that they lost only two hundred men at Stone Mill and multiple Lannister soldiers died for every man they lost, at which Robb cuts him off and shouts that they need men more than the Lannisters do. At this point, the Lannisters are in such a good strategic position that they can afford to be patient, and grind down Robb's forces through simple attrition.
The prisoners Martyn and Willem Lannister (squires fifteen and fourteen years old, respectively) awake to hear shouting and fighting outside the door to their cell. Lord Rickard Karstark fights his way into the room with some of his own men. Confused, Willem asks if this is a rescue, and is promptly killed by the Karstark men. Martyn shouts that he is just a squire and didn't do anything, but Lord Rickard ignores his pleas and stabs him in the belly with a dagger, killing him.
The bloody corpses of the two Lannister prisoners are laid out on the floor in front of Robb in Riverrun's main meeting room. Robb is disgusted, remarking that Karstark needed five men to brutally murder two unarmed squires in their own prison cell. Karstark insists that it was a father's vengeance. Robb points out that these boys had nothing to do with the death of Karstark's sons, who were both killed by Jaime Lannister. Rickard explains that he was denied his vengeance when Catelyn set Jaime free in hopes of a prisoner exchange for her daughters in King's Landing. Finally having enough, Karstark did the next best thing, and killed Jaime's kin who they held prisoner. Robb angrily shouts that they were only little boys, and that Karstark can't blame Catelyn for his treasonous killing of prisoners of war. Karstark stands firm, and says the only treason is in letting their enemies go, when in war they should be killing them - if Robb's father ever taught him that. Blackfish punches Karstark over this remark, but Robb tells him to leave Karstark alone. Karstark has utterly lost faith in Robb, and says that the King in the North will just give him a scolding, though he should probably call him "the King Who Lost the North" after he allowed Winterfell to fall. Robb orders all of Karstark's men hanged, and to hang the lookout last so he can watch the others die. Rickard Karstark himself is sent to the dungeons.
Edmure insists that if word of this leaves Riverrun, Tywin Lannister will exact heavy reprisals for the deaths of his young nephews. Therefore, he suggests that they just quietly bury the boys, and simply keep silent about their deaths until the war is over. Robb, however, refuses to be a liar: he says he cannot fight a war in the name of justice if he will not serve justice to murderers within his own ranks. All of Robb's advisors tell him this is a bad idea. Catelyn and his Talisa warn him that the Karstark soldiers will abandon his cause and return home if he executes their lord, and they are already badly outnumbered. Catelyn says they should keep Lord Rickard hostage, and Edmure agrees, saying that they can just keep him hostage and tell the other Karstarks that no harm will come to him so long as they remain loyal.
Robb ignores their pleas, and he has Lord Karstark brought out to the courtyard of Riverrun to be executed during a driving rainstorm. Karstark points out that not only are both of their Houses descended from the First Men, but the Starks and Karstarks are kin (as House Karstark is a cadet branch of House Stark, founded centuries ago by younger son Karlon Stark). Robb says that their blood relationship did not stop Rickard from betraying him and won't stop Robb from executing him now, but Rickard says it isn't meant to: he wants it to haunt Robb until the day he dies. With his last words, Lord Rickard says that Robb will be cursed (as a kinslayer) and that Robb is no king of his. Obedient to the laws of his father Eddard Stark - that the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword - Robb pronounces the sentence of death and personally beheads Lord Rickard.
Robb's strict adherence to justice makes things turn out just as badly as his advisors said they would: the Karstarks withdraw their soldiers from his army and march for home, resulting in Robb losing almost half of his forces which were stationed at Riverrun. Robb openly admits to Talisa that she was right, and he made a mistake. Robb says Tywin Lannister realizes that he's in such a strong position he doesn't even need to attack the Northerners anymore, he just needs to wait, and let their demoralized forces unravel. When the war began Robb's army was unified around a central purpose, but now they have lost momentum, and his generals are acting like bickering children. Robb shows Talisa a war map of the Seven Kingdoms - depicting Robb's armies concentrated around Riverrun and Harrenhal, Lannister and Tyrell armies overrunning the Stormlands, Lannister/Tyrell armies concentrated in King's Landing, and Greyjoy forces occupying the western coasts of the North. Talisa suggests that he try to take the fight to the Lannisters if they won't come to him, but he explains that this is hopeless. Taking the city would have been difficult to begin with, but now Tywin and the bulk of the main Lannister army, as well as a large Tyrell army, are defending the city. Attacking the capital head-on would be suicide, and Tywin would crush them within a day. Talisa suggests that he lead his army back to the North to repulse the Greyjoys from his homeland and rebuild his powerbase. Robb points out that as soon as all of his tired soldiers are back home, they won't want to leave again - particularly because "winter is coming", and the coming one is expected to be very long, five years or more. The Northerners have been away from their farms fighting in the war, however, so they haven't even begun to collect harvests to set aside as winter stockpiles. Thus if Robb returns to the North, it will be difficult to rally his men to return south to defend the Riverlords who declared for him. Eyeing the map with Talisa, Robb decides that if King's Landing is too strong to attack and he can't return home, his only remaining option is to strike where his enemy is weakest. Robb decides that with the main Lannister army group under Tywin now positioned all the way to the east in King's Landing, he needs to return to the Westerlands and make an all-or-nothing assault against Casterly Rock. This will make the Lannisters lose face, just as Robb did when he lost his home castle of Winterfell, and bring momentum back to his army. However, with the loss of the Karstark forces, they don't currently have enough men to consider attacking Casterly Rock. The only way they can gain enough soldiers to even attempt such an assault is if Robb can win back the allegiance of House Frey, whose thousands of soldiers withdrew from Robb's army when he broke his promise to make a marriage-alliance with them by marrying Talisa, a political nobody, instead of one of the Lord Walder Frey's daughters. Thus, Robb must try to repair his alliance with House Frey.
Robb and his advisors meet with "Black Walder" and Lothar Frey to discuss an alliance for his planned attack on Casterly Rock. The Freys carry Walder Frey's demands for an alliance, which includes a formal apology from Robb, the castle Harrenhal and all of its lands and incomes, and for Edmure to marry Roslin, one of his daughters. Edmure is reluctant to marry a woman he has never met, but is eventually convinced by the group to go through with the arrangement.
In the Riverlands, en route to The Twins, Robb's army is forced to make camp, their progress delayed by heavy rain. Catelyn warns them that the prickly Lord Frey will take the delay as a deliberate insult to him, but Edmure points out that Frey is getting the wedding he wanted; his sister counters that he is getting a wedding, but not the one he wanted, glaring at her son and his wife as she says so, pointing out that Frey wanted one of his daughters wed to a king. Robb retorts that Edmure is the best match House Frey has been offered in its history. Later that night, as Robb and Talisa prepare for bed, she tells him she is pregnant with his child. Robb is gladdened by the news.
Robb's army arrives at the Twins, the castle seat of House Frey, for his uncle Edmure's wedding. Enduring Lord Walder Frey's insults directed at him and his wife, Robb makes a public apology to Lord Frey's daughters and granddaughters for breaking his promise to marry one of them. Frey accepts the apology and offers the Starks and their men his hospitality.That night Edmure is introduced to his bride Roslin Frey, discovering much to his relief that she is a beauty. The wedding and the feast that follows it are quite celebratory and lively affairs, with all the participants in high spirits. As the celebrations reach their heights Lord Walder calls for the bedding ceremony. Robb agrees and the bride and groom are carried off to their wedding bed, Roslin carried off by the male guests and followed closely by Edmure, who is collected by the Frey women. After they leave and the festivities begin to wind down, Catelyn becomes suspicious when she notices Black Walder Frey close the banquet hall doors and the musicians in the gallery begin playing "The Rains of Castamere"- the song commemorating House Lannister's brutal elimination of House Reyne . Walder rises to make a toast to Robb, and Catelyn, seated beside Lord Roose Bolton, notices that the latter is wearing mail under his clothing. Realizing they are in a trap, Catelyn slaps Roose across the face and screams a warning to Robb, but by then it is too late. Lord Walder signals his men to attack. Lothar draws a knife and repeatedly stabs the pregnant Talisa in the stomach, killing her. Before he can react, Robb is shot by the musicians with crossbows several times and falls to the ground. Numerous other Stark men are killed by the assassins or Frey men. Catelyn, having been wounded by a crossbow bolt, manages to take Joyeuse Erenford hostage, threatening to kill her if Walder doesn't spare Robb, who lingers despondent and heartbroken beside his wife's corpse. Walder refuses her, dismissing his wife as replaceable. Roose Bolton, who had fled the hall when the massacre began, seizes Robb, saying "The Lannisters send their regards", before stabbing him in the heart. Mad with grief at the death of her firstborn son, Catelyn kills Walder's wife before Black Walder kills her as well.
As the massacre of Robb's army rages outside the Twins, Robb's body is paraded atop a horse across the keep, with the head removed and replaced with that of his direwolf, Grey Wind, sewn in its place as a final act of mockery to the King in the North. This sight is witnessed by Arya during her escape.
|Season One appearances|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
(click icon at upper right corner to expand)
- "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Until I return that will be you. You are not to leave the castle walls while we are gone, do you understand? Listen to Maester Luwin. Look after your little brother."
- ―'Robb Stark to Bran
- "Tell Lord Tywin, winter is coming for him. Twenty thousand northerners marching south to find out if he really does shit gold."
- ―Robb Stark to a Lannister scout
- "From this time until the end of time, we are a free and independent kingdom."
- ―Robb Stark
- "We have been underestimating the Stark boy for too long."
- ―Tywin Lannister on Robb Stark
- "My father is dead. And the only parent I have left has no right to call anyone reckless."
- ―Robb Stark to Catelyn Stark
- "I wanted to draw the Mountain into the west, into our country where we could surround him and kill him. I wanted him to chase us, which he would have done because he is a mad dog without a strategic thought in his head. I could have that head on a spike by now. Instead, I have a mill."
- ―Robb Stark to Edmure Tully
- "Tell your son Bran and Rickon's safety is paramount. And Theon... I want him brought to me alive. I want to look him in the eye and ask him 'Why?'... and then I will take his head myself!"
- ―Robb Stark to Roose Bolton
- "If we take Tywin's castle from him, the lords of Westeros will realize he's not invincible. Take his home, take his gold, take his power."
- ―Robb Stark to Catelyn Stark
- "My ladies, all men should keep their word, kings most of all. I was pledged to marry one of you and I broke that vow. The fault is not with you, and any man would be lucky to have any one of you. I did what I did not to slight you, but because I loved another. I know these words cannot set right the wrong I have done to you and your house. I beg your forgiveness, and pledge to do all I can to make amends so the Freys of the Crossing and the Starks of Winterfell can once again be friends."
- ―Robb Stark to Walder Frey's daughters
- ―Last word.
Behind the scenesEdit
- On the Season 1 Blu-ray, Robb narrates the Complete Guide to Westeros videos on "The Field of Fire" and "House Stark". On the Season 2 Blu-ray he narrates a Histories & Lore video on the "Greyjoy Rebellion".
In the booksEdit
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Robb Stark is 14 years old when the story begins. He is his father's son, with a keen sense of honor and justice.
There are some minor differences from the books. He tells Bran that when Grey Wind tore off the Greatjon's fingers, he was very scared about the possible consequences but couldn't show it. Later, he accepts his mother's tactical advice while splitting his army in two, appointing the cautious, experienced Roose Bolton in command of the army tasked with delaying the Lannisters at the Green Fork.
Robb's appearance in the books is also different - he is described in the books as having the thick auburn hair of the Tullys, while on the show Robb has dark brown curly hair and a more lean build. Bran Stark's hair color is also darker on the TV series. In the books, all of Eddard's children except Arya (and of course, Jon Snow) inherited from their mother Catelyn the typical House Tully features of auburn hair and blue eyes.
During the War of the Five Kings, Robb also begins to wear a bronze and iron crown just like his ancestors, the Kings of Winter.
- Robb Stark at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the book).
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Stark entry
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Stark - Robb Stark entry
- ↑ "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "The Kingsroad"
- ↑ "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "A Golden Crown"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "The Pointy End"
- ↑ "Baelor"
- ↑ "Fire and Blood"
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Areas of Control, Robb Stark entry
- ↑ "The North Remembers"
- ↑ "The Night Lands"
- ↑ "Garden of Bones"
- ↑ "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
- ↑ "The Old Gods and the New"
- ↑ "A Man Without Honor"
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 "The Prince of Winterfell"
- ↑ "Valar Morghulis"
- ↑ "Valar Dohaeris"
- ↑ "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
- ↑ "Walk of Punishment"
- ↑ "Kissed by Fire"
- ↑ "The Climb"
- ↑ "The Bear and the Maiden Fair
- ↑ "The Rains of Castamere"
- ↑ "Mhysa"
|Lord:||Prince Bran Stark||Heir:||Rickon Stark|
|Title(s):||King in the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell|
|Ancestors:||Brandon the Builder · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Torrhen Stark|
|Current members:||Sansa Stark · Arya Stark · Benjen Stark · Jon Snow|
|Deceased members:||Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · King Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark|
|Household:||Ser Rodrik Cassel · Maester Luwin · Jory Cassel · Vayon Poole · Septa Mordane · Theon Greyjoy · Jeyne Poole · Osha · Hodor · Farlen · Old Nan · Mikken · Varly · Heward · Wyl · Tomard · Tommy · Jacks|
|Show-exclusive new characters:||