From what I've been seeing and reading Robb Stark's plan does not make ANY sense.

What is the point of attacking the south rather than just holding the north? At the end of the day control of a land is only there if there are men to hold it. Why not just stay in Winterfell and rule the North as it's own kingdom? Perhaps build a wall or check point or two on the southern border to hold off southern invading forces.

This question is different from its supposed duplicate Was the rebellion of the North really necessary? because it is not about whether the rebellion should have happened. Independence is not official until it is recognized publicly unlike the contention in the duplicate.

This question is about his tactics to secure independence.

  • When are you referring to? Early on in his rebellion, he wanted to force the Lannisters to free their hostages. Later he wanted to avenge the execution of one of those hostages (trying to avoid spoilers).
    – Liesmith
    Mar 4, 2015 at 21:53
  • Do you think that a checkpoint or two could keep out the Lannister armies? A standing army is really expensive, especially in feudal times.
    – KSmarts
    Mar 4, 2015 at 21:54
  • 1
    @KSmarts, actually, yes. The North is connected to the rest of Westeros by a narrow isthmus called the Neck, which is very easy to defend.
    – Dima
    Mar 4, 2015 at 21:57
  • “control of a land is only there if there are men to hold it” — did’t he leave Theon behind to hold it? Mar 5, 2015 at 16:46
  • “What is the point of attacking the south rather than just holding the north?” — I thought he wanted to avenge the — FIRST BOOK SPOILERS, kind of — imprisoning of his father, and possibly in theory free him. Mar 5, 2015 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


When Robb initially called his bannermen to his side, the plan was to

march on King's Landing and demand the release of Ned Stark and his daughters.

Robb and his new army had already begun their march and were approaching the southern borders when they received word that

Ned had been executed, Sansa betrothed to Joffrey, and Ayra was presumed dead or hostage.

At that point, the bannermen anointed Rob as "King of the North" and continued marching south against the Lannisters for two reasons:

  • Revenge on the Lannisters
  • The rescue of Sansa Stark

Robb Stark called his banners and attacked the South to try to free his father, who was imprisoned by the Lannisters. Becoming the King in the North was not his initial goal.

  • +1; @WeekzGod is assuming that being "King in the North" was the goal whereas it was actually something that came later and was incidental to the actual real goal.
    – user8719
    Mar 4, 2015 at 22:33

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