Known to his supporters as the ‘Young Wolf,‘ and heir to Winterfell, Robb Stark is often seen as a heroic figure. But was he truly the hero? Or did his actions and decisions, intentional or otherwise, cast a shadow over this perception?
Robb’s Relationship Dynamics
Despite their closeness, Robb never defends his half-brother, Jon, against the visible disapproval from their mother, Catelyn Stark. Given his position as the heir apparent and later as the King in the North, one might argue that standing up for Jon was a responsibility he evaded.
Additionally, Robb’s association with names like Roose Bolton is fraught with complications. His misplaced trust in Roose paves the way for the Boltons’ ascent to power, leading to traumatic consequences, particularly for Sansa Stark.
His Questionable Strategic Choices
In a strategic gamble, Robb threatens Casterly Rock. Yet he diverts his forces toward Harrenhal, a move that indirectly bolsters the Lannisters’ position and results in Stannis Baratheon’s defeat. Moreover, his choice to take a portion of his army to Riverrun for his grandfather’s funeral exposes key territories, leaving them vulnerable.
His Relationship with Allies and Foes
By placing Alton Lannister in the same cell as Jamie Lannister, he unknowingly sets off a cascade of events that would weaken his own alliances. Similarly, sending Theon Greyjoy to Pyke inadvertently results in Theon’s eventual betrayal and the ensuing chaos.
Another important moment in Robb’s leadership is his execution of Rickard Karstark, which was a move that not only mirrors his father’s sense of honor but also weakens his army. Lastly, his marriage to Talisa, while a romantic gesture, has dire political repercussions, leading directly to the catastrophic events of the Red Wedding.
Is Robb a Hero or a Villain?
Many view Robb Stark as a heroic figure driven by honor, love, and vengeance, but some of his choices raise questions about leadership, trust, and the consequences of decisions made in the heat of the moment. Is Robb Stark truly a villain, or is he a young leader making mistakes along the way? As with many characters in ‘Game of Thrones,’ the answer isn’t straightforward.