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Does Robb Stark Die?

Updated on June 5, 2013

Is Robb Stark Dead?

Robb Stark as played by Richard Madden
Robb Stark as played by Richard Madden

Spoiler Warning

This hub seeks to examine the fairly shocking revelations made during the Game of Thrones Red Wedding and analyse precisely what we might conclude from this activity. As ever it contains spoilers which may ruin this first-rate drama if you have not already read A Storm of Swords by George R R Martin or watched the terrific Game of Thrones series on HBO.

The Red Wedding

Coming apparently out of nowhere, the Red Wedding depicts the marriage between Edmure Tully of Riverrun, and the daughter of Lord Frey, a Tully bannerman of dubious loyalty. Edmure Tully’s nephew, Robb Stark the King in the North had previously promised to marry one of Walder Frey’s many daughters as a payment for Frey allowing the Stark army to cross his bridge fortress. However, Stark later fell in love with and married Jeyne Westerling (in the TV series this character is changed to Talisa of Volantis), thus breaking his oath to Frey. By way of recompense Robb Stark offered to marry his uncle to one of Frey’s daughter. At face value, Frey seems to accept this proposal and agrees to the match.

The Betrayal

Robb Stark’s pet direwolf Grey Wind seemed to react badly to the idea of returning to the Twins, perhaps providing a foreboding warning of what is to come. To his own detriment, Robb Stark ignores this behaviour in his direwolf and proceeds into the Twins, putting himself effectively at Walder Frey’s mercy. Despite this foreshadowing , the horrendous bloodshed of the Red Wedding is a massive shock for the characters, the readers of the novel and the viewers of the TV show alike. After Edmure Tully and his new Frey bride have been wedded and bustled upstairs for the traditional “bedding”, the wedding ceremony takes a dark and violent turn, as sellswords and Frey soldiers appear from nowhere and slaughter the drunken and unarmed Stark and Tully contingents.

Stark Casualties: Does Robb Stark Die?

Roose Bolton, a former ally of the Starks revealing himself to have changed allegiance, personally murders Robb Stark by stabbing him through the heart. Witness to her son’s death, Catelyn Stark snatches up a blade and cuts the throat of Jinglebell, the morose grandson of Walder Frey. She is then slain herself. Although it is tempting in these stories of intrigue, maccination and magic to hope against hope that Robb’s death is somehow artificial or can somehow be returned to life by magically means, he generally is dead. Robb Stark’s death is fairly inescapably real, and if considered in detail is also, like many of the unexpected deaths within this cycle of novels a structural necessity for the progression of the story. With Robb Stark dead the Stark family truly lacks a head, freeing the rest of the family truly to face peril and to survive or perish by their own merits.

Is Catelyn Stark Really Dead?

Does Catelyn Stark really die? Surely we won't see the Starks so decimated all in such a short period. With so much magic and wizadry around there are plenty of opportunities for her to be brought back to life, aren't there? That’s another story. And another hub. Click here to read more.


Comments

Do join the conversation, chatting and arguing about Game of Thrones and all the goings on within A Song of Ice and fire is surely part of the fun of this amazing work. Let us all know what you think below.

Surely Robb Stark is really dead, but did he have it coming?

Is this the final straw for all of the Northmen?

How can Winterfell and the Starks recover from this dire position?

Is Catelyn Stark really dead?

Comments

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    • kw colorado profile image

      kw colorado 3 years ago from colorado

      SPOILER ALERT ! If you haven't read all of the published novels, don't read this. I'm tired of whiny non-readers complaining that the HBO series surprised them. The HBO series keeps throwing in extra graphic sex scenes, and condensing or eliminating some plot twists, but other than that, it is fairly faithful to the "Song of Ice and Fire" novel plots.

      Unfortunately, I think that Robb Stark, like his father Ned, is truly dead and out of the picture for the rest of the novels. Unlike his mother, Catelyn, who is resurrected as Stoneheart, there is no foreshadowing anywhere that this was only Robb 1.0.

      Same with his wife, Jeyne/Talisa, and baby - they are gone.

      In future as-yet unpublished novel(s), I think that we'll see the ascendancy of the remaining Starks - Arya will become an assassin, probably killing off at least Petyr Baelish and Cersei. Sansa will make a political marriage and raise a future Stark heir. Rickon will become some sort of feral revolutionary. And Jon? Well, I do think that Jon will be back in some form. You can check out Edward's hub, "Is Jon Snow Dead?" on this forum for discussion

      Did Robb Stark have it coming? Well, yes, in the "tragic hero" sense, his death was inevitable. Tragic heroes are heroic, brave, admirable people with a fatal flaw. Ned Stark's flaw was in being too honorable, brave and trusting. Robb's flaw was in choosing "love" over the political marriage his mother had negotiated for him.

      I don't doubt that George Martin has more surprises and beloved characters to kill off...personally, I really hope that he keeps Davos Seaworth, and the Lady Brienne, the most honorable characters, around, as well as my personal favorite, Tyrion Lannister. But we will see!

    • Edward William profile image
      Author

      Edward William 3 years ago from UK

      I think you're absolutely right- he had to kill off Robb as the head of the family. The same way that Dumbledore had to die in order for Harry Potter to face genuine peril on his own. If you'll excuse me mixing my geek metaphors.

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