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I find your pestering about this very annoying. But rather than ban you or something (you've done nothing outright wrong) I will punish you...by granting your request.
As a Targaryen fan, I've long been annoyed by the Starks. The Lannisters are too ruthless to rule effectively, gradually alienating others. From a simple point of practicality, Joffrey is insane, and even Tywin is so ruthless that even those who believe in realpolitik start to loathe the Lannisters...case in point, House Martell didn't even willingly serve the Targaryens, they had Elia Martell hostage....but when the Lannisters needlessly butchered Elia during the sack of King's Landing, they turned the Martells into adamant Targaryen supporters, vowing revenge.
The Starks, in contrast, are "too honorable to live" - constantly doing "the honorable thing" which a realpolitik supporters would find absurdly idealistic. Ned did the honorable thing, even turning down Renly's last minute offer to strike and Robb is Ned's son.
This is why I like the Targaryens: they strike a nice balance that is needed to rule; they reward their allies, lenient when they can, but viciously punish their enemies.
Repeat any of what I'm about to say outside of this page and I will instantly ban you. Only respond on your own talk page, not mine.
ANYONE STUMBLING UPON HERE- SPOILERS BELOW. BE WARNED. FOR REAL. THESE SPOILS HALF THE SERIES Edit
I will punish you...with the Truth:
- The eastern half of the Northern army, commanded by Roose Bolton, attempts an attack into the Crownlands but is ambushed by a massive combined Lannister-Tyrell army at Duskendale. They are harassed as they retreat, losing more men at the fords of the Trident. Five out of nine thousand men are killed.
- Robb, commanding the other half of the Northern army, is upset that half of his army has been functionally destroyed. Moreover, the western coast of the North is still under occupation by the ironborn. Robb decides to reconsolidate and rebuild his powerbase by retreating his army back to the North to drive out the ironborn. To do this, he needs to cross back over The Twins, but House Frey is angry at him for breaking his promised marriage alliance to marry a political nobody for love. The Tully soldiers from the Riverlands will try to hold the line at the Trident while the Northern army is away.
- The Freys say they will rejoin Robb if he agrees to a different marriage alliance, marrying one of Walder Frey's many daughters to Robb's uncle Edmure Tully. Robb and Catelyn are worried that Walder will betray them, taking them prisoner to ransom them to the Lannisters. However, Walder Frey gives the ceremonial Guest right promise of food and drink; as we saw this week at Craster's Keep, ALL religions hold sacred the good conduct of a host and guest towards each other, and to go against this would be to break all laws of gods and men.
- During the height of the wedding, the Freys betray the Starks anyway. The Boltons were in on the betrayal and join in attacking the other Northerners. They use the song "The Rains of Castamere" as the signal to begin the attack. The Stark soldiers are largely unarmed, have been drinking from the wedding, and the Freys set up special trap-tents which collapse on the dozens of soldiers inside, who are then hacked up with axes and riddled with crossbows.
- Robb Stark is wounded by Frey crossbow bolts while a guest at their table, during the wedding ceremony. Robb is personally killed by Roose Bolton, who impales a sword through his back, directly through his heart. Catelyn Stark goes mad with grief at the sight, raking her nails across her face, and as she screams the Freys slit her throat. Robb's direwolf Grey Wind is killed during the fighting, riddled with crossbow bolts.
- Robb's big failing is that much like his father, he was too honorable to be an effective political leader: he walked right into "the Red Wedding" (as it becomes known) because he honestly believes that the Freys will never betray him; well specifically, he believes that the Freys won't break a solemn oath of Guest right. Very similar to how Ned seemed to honestly think that Cersei and the Lannisters would give a damn about how he worded Robert's last will and testament....which Cersei simply tore to pieces, then had her guards attack Ned's in the middle of the courtroom. Ned and Robb were too good to understand just how low evil, ruthless characters are willing to sink.
- As a final, utterly unnecessary insult to House Stark, the Freys horrifically mutilate and desecrate Robb Stark's corpse. They cut Robb's head off, cut his direwolf's head off, then sew the direwolf's head onto Robb's headless corpse. They then nail Robb's crown onto the direwolf's head. Catelyn's corpse is stripped naked and thrown at his feet, but after a couple of days when it starts to decompose, they simply chuck Catelyn's corpse into the river...in a mockery of the Tully funeral-boat practices we saw at her father's funeral last week.
- So you know I'm not making this up, here is an artist's rendering, inspired by the books: . "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die" indeed. Robb Stark was a boy playing at war; exactly like King Robert Baratheon, Robb Stark was a good soldier but an awful politician.
- It turns out that Roose Bolton decided to betray Robb Stark after Blackwater, and this is what the letters Tywin has been writing in Season 3 are coordinating. Tywin helped mastermind the Red Wedding. As it turns out, it was Bolton who planned the disastrous defeat at Duskendale: he sent the other Northerners put under his command, his own men, into a trap - half the Northern army was slaughtered at Duskendale by the Lannister-Tyrell alliance due to Roose. The purpose of this was to remove Stark supporters while leaving Bolton's own men. He uses this pattern often: at Duskendale, he sent forward the non-Bolton Northerners. Then he intentionally retreated slowly across the fords of the Trident river, evacuating his own Bolton army first but letting the rearguard of three thousand men get slaughtered when the Lannisters caught up. Thus out of 9 thousand men he was trusted with, 6 thousand are dead, and the remaining 3 thousand are Bolton's own army from his own lands...virtually unscathed. This meant that Robb had less men, and Bolton had fully three thousand of his own men to bring to the Twins to help the Freys slaughter the other half of the Northern army at the Red Wedding.
- The Red Wedding isn't just a disaster because Robb Stark dies, something like six thousand Northern soldiers - half of the Northern army - is killed as well, while they sat as guests at a wedding feast, by their own hosts, betrayed by Robb's own bannermen, the Freys and Boltons.
- Tywin Lannister rewards them by raising up House Bolton as the new Lords Paramount of the North, giving them rule of the North. Between the Red Wedding and Duskendale, Roose has destroyed the armies of all the other Northern Houses, and his betrayals have killed at least one family member of every noble House in the North, but they are so weakened by these betrayals that they are in no position to resist the Boltons. Pretty much all of the able-bodied men of fighting age went to the south with Robb, and died on the battlefield or at the Red Wedding. Roose's serial-rapist necrophiliac psychopath bastard son Ramsay Snow is legitimized as "Ramsay Bolton" and is made the new Lord of Winterfell. The Freys replace the Tullys as lords of the Riverlands.
- In short, the Lannisters win the War of the Five Kings. Joffrey has this giant scene when he is told of the Red Wedding at a Small Council meeting, stares in shock, then leaps to his feet and starts maniacally shouting "I won! I WON!!!!" and laughing. Given that the Freys still have Robb's severed head (which they replaced with the direwolf head), Joffrey has Robb's head brought to King's Landing, and forces Sansa to kiss her brother's rotting head on the mouth.
- Bran and Rickon Stark flee beyond the Wall to hide among the wildlings, as this is the only place they can flee where the Boltons and Lannisters wil not follow.
- Arya Stark flees Westeros entirely; she uses that special coin Jaqen gave her to buy passage on a ship to Braavos (it isn't a money-coin, it's a special favor the Faceless Men of Braavos give out which all Braavosi ships will accept as a transport token on behalf of the Guild of Faceless Men). Arya continues to live in exile in Braavos under an assumed name, quietly letting the rest of the world think she is dead.
- Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish successfully sneaks Sansa Stark out of King's Landing to the Vale. To hide her identity he has her dye her hair black and start calling herself "Alayne Stone" -- Sansa abandons her old identity so completely that her POV chapters are even titled "Alayne" (she starts calling herself "Alayne" even in her internal thought monologue). After Catelyn dies, Baelish fully transfers his unrequited love from her mother to Sansa/Alayne. They settle into a bizarre stalker/captive relationship. Despite being old enough to be Baelish's daughter, "Alayne" succumbs to Baelish's sexual advances.
- House Stark is considered officially extinct: Bran, Rickon, and Arya are all presumed dead - and while they're not, they've physically fled the Seven Kingdoms. No one quite knows what happened to Sansa, but she is also suspected to be dead.
So you see, the Starks are not really the "viewpoint family" of the series, anymore than "Ned Stark" was the "viewpoint character".
This isn't really a generic story of only two sides, "good guys" vs "bad guys"; seven kingdoms, seven major families. As you may have noticed, season 2 shifted attention more and more to other families, instead of the tight linear focus on Ned Stark in Season 1. This continues to a greater extent in later books. The focus shifts to the Tyrells, Baratheons, Greyjoys, and the Martells.
...arguably the Martells become the new "good guys" because they've hated the Lannisters since Robert's Rebellion and barely tolerate their rule.
But the "war" phase is over and it shifts back to court intrigue.
You see, the entire story is basically a three act structure:
- the War of the Five Kings - surprisingly, Joffrey and the Lannisters win
- the Targaryen Restoration - Daenerys' attempt to conquer and win back the Seven Kingdoms.
- the ongoing conflict against the White Walkers.
- DD, I thought I read a spoiler that a certain person wasn't actually dead at the Red Wedding... QueenBuffy 04:13, April 24, 2013 (UTC)