Robb Stark by Christine Griffin ©
|Full Name||Robb Stark|
The Young Wolf|
The King Who Lost the North
Robb the Lord
The Boy Wolf
|Born in||283 AC Riverrun|
|Died in||299 AC the Twins|
|Royal House||House Stark|
|Heir||Bran Stark (believed dead)|
A Game of Thrones (appears)|
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
|Played by||Richard Madden|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3|
Robb Stark is the eldest son of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Tully and is the heir of House Stark to Winterfell and the north. He is called the Young Wolf by friend and foe alike. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is played by Richard Madden.
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Robb Stark
When Robb is sixteen his mother notices that he is no longer a boy, as war has melted all the softness from his face and left him hard and lean. His is clean shaven but his auburn hair falls uncut to his shoulders. On his head he bears his bronze and iron sword crown. Robb wears a surcoat over his armor and carries an oak shield decorated with a wolf's head.
Robb is his father's son, with a keen sense of honor and justice. He shares his father's devotion to honor and is frequently accompanied by his direwolf, Grey Wind, whom he always takes with him into battle.
Robb was conceived during the first fortnight of Eddard and Catelyn's marriage, after which Eddard left his wife at Riverrun while he went to fight in Robert's Rebellion. Upon his return from the war, Catelyn greeted Ned with an infant Robb, and all returned to Winterfell, where Ned would rule as Lord and Robb was to be raised as his heir.
Growing up in Winterfell, Robb was on good terms with his younger siblings, and developed a friendly rivalry with his bastard half-brother, Jon Snow, who differs from Robb in appearance and personality. Robb was also close with his father's ward, Theon Greyjoy, who came to regard Robb as something of a younger brother.
A Game of Thrones
Robb attends the execution of Gared and discovers a litter of six direwolf pups in the snow. He claims one of the direwolves for his own and names him Grey Wind. Shortly after the king's court arrive at Winterfell, Robb spars with the crown prince Joffrey using wooden swords. Bad blood develops between the two when Joffrey challenges Robb to spar with live steel. Ser Rodrik Cassel, Winterfell's master-at-arms, does not allow it, to the mockery and chagrin of many of the present Lannister retainers.
When his father Eddard is named Hand of the King to Robert I Baratheon and journeys south to King's Landing, Robb remains in Winterfell to rule in his father's stead with the help of his his mother, Catelyn Stark. After she travels to King's Landing, the responsibility falls solely on Robb. After word of Eddard's arrest for treason reaches Winterfell, Robb calls the Stark bannermen to war and marches south to the riverlands. His motives are to support his mother's house, House Tully, in response to the invasion of Lannisters from the westerlands, and with the ultimate goal of freeing Eddard Stark. His youth and experience is questioned by his father's bannermen, but he manages to unite them behind him.
Upon learning that Riverrun has been besieged by a host led by Ser Jaime Lannister, whilst another force led by Lord Tywin Lannister approaches from the south, Robb splits his forces, sending his footmen under the command of Lord Roose Bolton to engage Tywin's army, while crossing the Green Fork at the Twins with the majority of his horse. His goal is to ride to and lift the siege of Riverrun. For allowing him crossing and his allegiance at the Twins, Lord Walder Frey extracts the price of a marriage contract, ensuring that Robb will marry a daughter of his house to be chosen after the war is finished.
Robb leads his horsemen to Riverrun, where, aided by the counsel of his great-uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, he achieves complete surprise in ambushing Jaime Lannister's army in the Whispering Wood, annihilating Jaime's forces and taking Jaime captive. In this battle and all his others, Robb was protected by a company of highborn warriors who would become his friends and companions. Shortly thereafter Robb is able to lift the siege of Riverrun, forcing Tywin's army, which had scored a victory against Roose Bolton's footmen on the eastern shores of the Green Fork, to retreat back to Harrenhal.
Upon his lord father's execution at the command of King Joffrey Baratheon, effectively ending the possibility of peace between Stark and Lannister, Robb is crowned by his bannermen and the river lords as the King in the North. The rivermen later grant him the title King of the Trident.
A Clash of Kings
Remaining idle for a time at Riverrun, Robb sends Theon Greyjoy, who fought with him in the Whispering Wood, to Pyke with the goal of securing an alliance with his father, Lord Balon, against the Lannisters in exchange for recognition of the independence of the Iron Islands. He also sends his mother south to treat with the late King Robert's younger brothers Stannis and Renly, both of whom have crowned themselves king. Both envoys fail in their missions; Catelyn is unable to secure any meaningful treaty with either of the Baratheon brothers (witnessing Renly's assassination in the process), while Theon is rebuffed outright by Balon, who responds to the offer for peace with a large-scale invasion of the north.
Robb, in the meantime, gathers his forces and launches an invasion into the westerlands, smashing a newly-forming Lannister host at Oxcross and winning battles at Ashemark and the Crag. At the Crag, Robb suffers a wound and is tended by Jeyne Westerling. There he learns that a small force led by his one-time friend, Theon Greyjoy, has taken Winterfell and murdered his younger brothers Bran and Rickon (though they were alive, in truth). Jeyne comforts him upon his hearing this news, which leads to his taking her maidenhood. In an effort to preserve her honor, Robb weds her immediately thereafter. The Frey host that had accompanied Robb into the west are furious and withdraw their support.
A Storm of Swords
Robb returns to Riverrun with his new wife in tow, much to his mother's horror as, having pledged to wed a daughter of House Frey, this was not a slight that Lord Walder Frey is likely to overlook. Other problems await him in Riverrun: Ser Edmure Tully, his mother's eldest brother and acting Lord Paramount of the Trident whilst his father Hoster Tully lays on his deathbed, met Tywin Lannister's army as they attempted to cross the Red Fork at a ford near Riverrun and threw them back. While this prevented Tywin's force from approaching Robb's from the rear, Robb's plan had been to entangle the army in a chase while Stannis Baratheon marched on King's Landing. Being thrown back at Riverrun allowed Tywin's force to turn around and arrive at King's Landing in time for the Battle of the Blackwater, which turned the tide of the battle, and indeed the war, in the Lannister's favor. With problems on every side, Robb seems only to take solace in the company of the Westerlings; his loving wife, her brother Ser Raynald his banner-bearer, and their younger brother, Robb's new squire Rollam. With all others, he is the solemn King in the North.
Additionally, Robb learns that in her grief over the supposed murder of two of her sons, Catelyn released Jaime Lannister from captivity and entrusted him with a mission to return her daughters Sansa and Arya to her, if possible. This earns her the enmity of Lord Rickard Karstark, as Jaime had slain two of Karstark's sons in the Whispering Wood; Karstark required vengeance for their deaths. In response to his release, Karstark leads men to the cells of Riverrun and murders Tion Frey and Willem Lannister, two prisoners. For this crime, Robb sentences him to death and beheads Lord Rickard himself. Immediately after, the Karstark forces desert Robb's army.
After the death of Hoster Tully, Robb intends to return to the north, reclaim his territory, which has been conquered by the ironmen, and avenge the deaths of his brothers. Because he believes his brothers dead and Arya lost, and fearing that, by the laws of succession, were he to die without issue, Winterfell and the north would go to Tyrion Lannister (now Sansa's husband), Robb discusses the matter of his succession with his mother. To her chagrin, he suggests that, if he were to die, Jon Snow should succeed him. Shortly after, he sends Maege Mormont and Galbart Glover north to Greywater Watch each with a letter that contains false orders in order to protect Maege and Galbart if they are captured. They are being sent to Howland Reed to procure guides which will enable Robb to attack the ironborn unawares at Moat Cailin.
Robb marches back north to the Twins in order to gain passage for his army back across the Trident. Aware that he slighted Walder Frey in his marriage to Jeyne Westerling, he suggests that Edmure Tully wed one of Lord Walder's daughters in his stead, a proposal to which Edmure reluctantly agrees. Leaving Jeyne behind at Riverrun, he takes his host with him to the Twins, where Lord Walder agrees to wed his daughter Roslin to Edmure.
Even though Grey Wind apparently senses the upcoming betrayal, Robb enters the Twins and the nuptials that later become known as the Red Wedding occur. After the ceremony and the bedding, Lord Walder betrays Robb, having smuggled sellswords into the feast under the guise of musicians, and murders Robb along with most of his companions and men. Catelyn watches Roose Bolton deliver the final blow to her son, stabbing him through the heart. Driven mad with despair, Catelyn murders Walder's lackwit grandson Jinglebell and is killed shortly thereafter herself. Grey Wind, who had been chained to placate the Freys, is also slain via crossbow bolts, his head removed and sewn onto Robb's body as a final insult to the King in the North.
A Dance with Dragons
The Frey envoys at White Harbor tell the Merman's Court that Robb turned into a wolf and slew the knights Wendel Manderly, Tytos Frey, and Garse Goodbrook. Wendel's father, Lord Wyman Manderly, later assures Lord Davos Seaworth he does not believe the Frey lies, and Wyman tasks Davos with finding Robb's youngest brother, Rickon Stark.
Quotes by Robb
– Robb and Catelyn Stark
Love’s not always wise, I’ve learned. It can lead us to great folly, but we follow our hearts ... wherever they take us.
– Robb, to Catelyn Stark
I’ve made a botch of everything but the battles, haven’t I? I thought the battles would be the hard part, but ... if I had listened to you and kept Theon as my hostage, I’d still rule the north, and Bran and Rickon would be alive and safe in Winterfell.
– Robb, to Catelyn Stark
Robb: Greatjon, keep Lord Karstark here till I return, and hang the other seven.
Greatjon: Even the dead ones?Robb: Lord Umber, this one was only the watcher. Hang him last, so he may watch the others die.
Robb: Yes. I will not have such fouling my lord uncle’s rivers. Let them feed the crows.
Captive: Mercy, sire. I killed no one, I only stood at the door to watch for guards.
Robb: Did you know what Lord Rickard intended? Did you see the knives drawn? Did you hear the shouts, the screams, the cries for mercy?
Captive: Aye, I did, but I took no part. I was only the watcher, I swear it...
– Robb and Greatjon Umber
Brynden: You know that for a certainty? That this will make young Karstark your enemy?Robb: Even if Harrion were that sort, he could never openly forgive his father’s killer. His own men would turn on him. These are northmen, Uncle. The north remembers.
Robb: What else would he be? I am about to kill his father, he’s not like to thank me.
Brynden: He might. There are sons who hate their fathers, and in a stroke you will make him Lord of Karhold.
– Robb and Brynden Tully
Gods be good, why would any man ever want to be king? When everyone was shouting King in the North, King in the North, I told myself ... swore to myself ... that I would be a good king, as honorable as Father, strong, just, loyal to my friends and brave when I faced my enemies ... now I can’t even tell one from the other. How did it all get so confused? Lord Rickard’s fought at my side in half a dozen battles. His sons died for me in the Whispering Wood. Tion Frey and Willem Lannister were my enemies. Yet now I have to kill my dead friends’ father for their sakes.
- Robb to Brynden Tully
I have won every battle, yet somehow I'm losing the war.
- Robb to Catelyn Stark
Catelyn: You would not be the first king to bend the knee, nor even the first Stark.
Robb: Never.Robb: Did Aegon kill King Torrhen’s father?
Catelyn: There is no shame in it. Balon Greyjoy bent the knee to Robert when his rebellion failed. Torrhen Stark bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror rather than see his army face the fires.
– Robb and Catelyn Stark
If you keep all your treasures in one purse, you only make it easier for those who would rob you.
- Robb to Catelyn Stark
Quotes about Robb
No sword is strong until it’s been tempered. The Stark boy is a child. No doubt he likes the sound of warhorns well enough, and the sight of his banners fluttering in the wind, but in the end it comes down to butcher’s work. I doubt he has the stomach for it.
Varys: Cersei is frightened of you, my lord ... but she has other enemies she fears even more. Her beloved Jaime is fighting the river lords even now. Lysa Arryn sits in the Eyrie, ringed in stone and steel, and there is no love lost between her and the queen. In Dorne, the Martells still brood on the murder of Princess Elia and her babes. And now your son marches down the Neck with a northern host at his back.
Eddard: Robb is only a boy.Varys: A boy with an army.
– Tyrion Lannister's thoughts
The Young Wolf remains unbeaten in the field.
– Catelyn Stark's thoughts
He won the war on the battlefield and lost it in a bedchamber.
– Jaime Lannister's thoughts
More beast than boy, that one, puffed up with pride and bloodlust ... Robb Stark betrayed us all. He abandoned the north to the cruel mercies of the ironmen to carve out a fairer kingdom for himself along the Trident. Then he abandoned the riverlords who had risked much and more for him, breaking his marriage pact with my grandfather to wed the first western wench who caught his eye. The Young Wolf? He was a vile dog and died like one.
- thoughts of Theon Greyjoy
References and Notes
- See the Robb Stark calculation.
- Cast and Crew on HBO
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II, p 156.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11, Theon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 19, Davos III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 56, Tyrion VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II, p 164.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 51, Theon I.
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