The Fall of The King of the North

July 2, 2013

Spoilers Ahead

Victories in battles, win you wars. That's what Robb Stark thought. Robb Stark, the Head of House Stark and the King of the North, sparked a war against the South for avenging his disgraced father. This seemingly trivial cause, grew into a much nobler one, envisioning a free North. With inspiring victories in his stead, his impeccable skill as a commander and a legion of faithful bannermen behind him, the young Stark looked set to acheive what he sought out to.

But, why did he lose?

Politics trump fighting.

The Lannisters understood this perfectly. With multiple threats to their claim to the throne, the Lannisters forged an alliance through marriage with House Tyrell. This basically guaranteed them endless food supply from Highgarden, which when coupled with their deep supply of gold, put House Lannister in a solid position to defend the crown.

Robb seemed to understand this as well; initially. He forged an alliance with House Frey, which granted him easier access to Lannister lands and added a significant number to his army, in return for his marriage to one of Lord Frey's daughters. A simple commitment for a King, considering the returns. Instead, he marries someone else. A fatal mistake. In the feudal era, when marriages cement alliances, Robb made the one mistake he could not simply afford. Robb knew this. He knew, even the battle-hungry King Robert Baratheon, with no knack for politics, cemented his grip on the throne by forging an alliance with the Lannisters through marriage; through a marriage he was forced into.

Had Robb not done, what he had done, he had the perfect oppurtunity to hit the Lannisters where it hurt - Casterly Rock. With Stannis Baratheon heading for King's Landing, a significant portion of the Lannister army was forced to defend the throne, leaving the Lannister homeland vulnerable. Taking Casterly Rock would have albeit guaranteed the North, the ultimate victory. Robb decided to do this a bit too late.

That one slip, Robb Stark made, triggered a landslide of events which ultimately led to the morose 'Red Wedding', orchestrated by the Lannisters, the details of which, I choose not to discuss.

Great Generals win battles. Sensible Kings win wars.

The Young Wolf fell in love and lost the Game of Thrones.