Robb Stark

    Character » Robb Stark appears in 17 issues.

    Robb Stark is the eldest child of Eddard Stark and the heir to Winterfell. After his father's execution, he is declared as King in the North by his bannermen.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Robb Stark last edited by downinthesewer on 09/29/23 02:23PM View full history


    Robb Stark was born at Riverrun to Catelyn Tully and Eddard Stark. They returned to Winterfell after Robert's rebellion, along with Robb's half-brother Jon Snow. He has a good relationship with his younger siblings and developed a friendly rivalry with his half-brother. Robb was also close with his father's ward, Theon Greyjoy, who regarded him like a younger brother. He has inherited the Tully looks, having a stocky build, blue eyes, and auburn hair. He is 14 years old at the start of the book series, but 17 years old in the TV show.


    Robb has a keen sense of honor and justice, which he received from his father. He is fair, caring, and will do anything to keep his family safe. Unlike Roose Bolton, one of his central bannermen, Robb sees no reason for torture, cruelty, or unnecessary executions and treats his prisoners of war well and justly. He does not wish for violence or war and does his best to limit the deaths and casualties on both sides.

    ​Robb has a surprisingly keen mind for warfare and strategy, a trait that takes Tywin Lannister completely by surprise, who saw Robb as a stupid child who hadn't the slightest idea of the violence of war and after his first taste of battle would "run back to Winterfell with his tail between his legs." The Lannisters were quite surprised when Robb led a stunning surprise attack in the Battle of the Whispering Wood to crush the western half of the Lannister armies under Jaime. Tywin also did not expect Robb to have the determination to send hundreds of his own men to their deaths in a feint to the east.

    Robb is very much his father's son, but this means that he has not only his father's strengths but his father's weaknesses. Like his father, Robb lacks proper political skills and has a tendency to put honor before reason. He married a political nobody out of love, needlessly spurning a badly needed political alliance with the Freys. Robb also put honor before pragmatic political needs when he executed Lord Rickard Karstark for treason and murder, costing him the Karstark contingent from his army. Like most Northerners, Robb is more proficient as a warrior than as a politician and court maneuverer. Much like Robert Baratheon before him, Robb Stark is an excellent warrior and military commander but a bad politician.


    The "Game of Thrones" series has been adapted from the book of the same name, part of the series "A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R.R. Martin. Robb Stark first appeared in Game of Thrones #1.


    Robb and a small group attend the execution of a Night's Watch deserter. On the return trip to Winterfell, Jon Snow discovers a dead direwolf and a litter of six direwolf pups in the snow. Robb claims one of the pups for his own and names him Grey Wind. Soon the king and his court arrive at Winterfell. Robb spars with Prince Joffrey with wooden swords. Bad blood develops between the two, as Joffrey challenges Robb to spar with live steel, but the master-at-arms forbids it.

    When Eddard is named Hand of the King, Robb remains in Winterfell to rule in his father's place with his mother's help. After another attempt at his brother Bran's life, Catelyn leaves for King's Landing and the sole responsibility to rule at Winterfell falls to him. Tyrion Lannister meets with Robb again after leaving the Wall, but he receives a cold reception from Robb, as he suspects that Tyrion is connected with the attempts on Bran's life. He goes riding with Theon and Bran, who can ride again thanks to a special saddle devised by Tyrion. The group is ambushed by a group of wildlings and Night's Watch deserters, but Theon and Robb kill most of them, taking a wildling woman named Osha as a hostage.

    Following Robert's death and Eddard's arrest in King's Landing King Joffrey summons Robb to pay him fealty and negotiate his father and sister's release. Robb instead calls his banners, marching House Stark's vassals to war. He commands his army to liberate the Riverlands under attack of Lannister forces lead by Ser Gregor Clegane, who were ordered by Lord Tywin Lannister in response for Catelyn's arrest of Tyrion. Robb secures a alliance with House Frey by marrying one of his daughters to gain passage to the region. He arranges an ambush by feeding false information to the enemies, sending a small force to distract the main host under Lord Tywin and attacking with the bulk of his own troops, luring Jaime Lannister into the opening and capturing him during the Battle of Whispering Wood.

    Previously, Robb Stark was a rebellious provincial, badly outnumbered. Not only did Whispering Wood establish Robb's reputation as a strong leader, it destroyed the numerical advantage the Lannisters had held at the outbreak of the war. Moreover, the liberation of Riverrun resulted in the lords of the Riverlands rallying to Robb Stark's cause, putting him in control of two of the Kingdoms and drastically increasing the total size of his army. The after-effects were therefore quite long-lasting, forcing the Lannisters to fight the Starks on even terms, where before they could have simply ground them down through attrition.

    All these battles were only the prelude for the all-out conflict that was soon to follow, with Ned Stark still under arrest there was still a chance for peace with the Starks having Jaime Lannister in captive, if chance happened they could trade prisioners. Alas it was not to be. In a fickle display of capriciousness, the newly-crowned King Joffrey Baratheon orders Stark's executions, in spite of his family arranging him to be sent to the Wall in hopes to prevent the war from happening. With Eddard dead, all hope of peace between the Lannisters and Starks was lost. Meanwhile, Robert's brothers Renly and Stannis have declared themselves kings as well and the Northern and Riverlords debated who they should support. They decide to not support either of them and crown Robb Stark instead of King in the North, making their lands effectively a independent sovereign from the Iron Throne.

    Throughout his campaign in the Riverlands, he proves to be a tactical genius winning every battle he is against Lannister forces, personally leading his men in the frontlines. His tactical prowess, however doesn't help him in the long run; though he makes a crushing victory after another, he commits many strategical blunders that hinders his war effort - when sending out his lieutenant Theon Greyjoy to forge an alliance with the Iron Islands with his father Balon, he betrays Robb and joins with his family that declared themselves independent as well and entered the war by invading the North. Theon decides to, depriving the Starks from their seat and home and leaving them stuck in the Riverlands with the North being overrun by Ironmen. Another one was breaking his political arrangement with Walder Frey to marry one of his daughters to be with another girl (which version depends between the novel/comics and the tv show), which costs him a large part of his forces. Things take a turn for the worse when his mother Catelyn, in a bid of desperation to trade her daughters back, releases their most valuable prisioner Jaime Lannister from captivity behind Robb's back, losing one of their biggest leverages against their enemies.

    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 two squires made prisoners. For this crime of insubordination and killing innocent children, Robb sentences him to death and beheads Lord Rickard himself and immediately afterwards, the Karstark forces desert Robb's army.

    Loosing support of his men very quickly, Robb decides to return to the North and reclaims his home from the Ironborn invaders, but with their army stuck in the Riverlands with the only safe passage being through the Twins, the seat of House Frey - the very house he had slighted by not marrying one of their daughters. He tries to mend relationships by having his uncle Edmure Tully to wed one of Lord Walder's daughters in his stead and re-secure their alliance, with him and his forces invited.

    King Robb was lulled into a sense of security by Walder Frey because he had extended guest right to the Starks - formally eating salt and bread from the same bowl as his guests. To break guest right is to break all the laws of gods and men, thus while Robb and Catelyn were always wary of Walder Frey's intentions, they never thought that even such a despicable man as he would sink so low as to break such a sacred pact. However, after the wedding ceremony and bedding took place, the Freys turn against their unknowing allies in a massacre that was soon to be know as "the Red Wedding", the Northern forces are ambushed and slaughtered while Robb is shot several times with crossbow bolts. His mother Catelyn can only helplessly watch as Robb is finished off by his own traitorous bannerman Roose Bolton, who delivers the final blow to her son, before she has her own throat slit shortly afterwards.

    As a final insult to the King in the North, the Freys horrifically desecrate Robb's corpse by decapitating it and sewing the head of his direwolf Grey Wind in its place. The events of the Red Wedding effectively end the conflict between House Stark and House Lannister in a decisive victory for King ​Joffrey Baratheon and House Lannister. Not only was Robb Stark himself killed in the betrayal, but the entire Northern army that Robb Stark led to southern Westeros was also destroyed - save only for those forces of House Karstark which had earlier abandoned Robb to return home, and the forces of House Bolton which turned on the other Northern Houses.

    Other Media


    Robb Stark first appeared in "Game of Thrones", a novel by George R.R.Martin. Robb is a prominent character in the series "A Song of Ice and Fire". Note that Robb is the only Stark other than Rickon that doesn't have a point -of-view in the book series, so his actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of other people, such as his mother and Theon Greyjoy. Robb is largely a background character in the second and third novels; important events in his life, including his successes at Oxcross, Ashemark, and the Crag, and his marriage, are only revealed when POV characters learn of them or discuss them.

    In the books, the girl Robb Stark elopes with instead of Walder Frey's daughter is Jeyne Westerling, an noblewoman from a ancient but impoverished house from the Rock. During Robb's expedition in the Westerlands his army storms the Crag, the ancestral keep of the Westerlings. Robb is wounded by an arrow and is nursed by Jeyne. While still at the Crag, Robb receives a message that his younger brothers, Bran and Rickon, have been killed by his former friend, Theon Greyjoy. Jeyne comforts Robb in his grief and they sleep together. To protect her honour he marries her the next day and hopes Lord Walder will understand. When Robb leaves Riverrun to attend his uncle's wedding, he leaves Jeyne behind to avoid extra tension between Lord Frey and her husband. After his death, she is pardoned by the Iron Throne, but she still grieves for him afterwards.


    Robb also appeared in the HBO television series, based on "A Song of Ice and Fire", titled "Game of Thrones". He is portrayed by Richard Madden.

    In the show, his character is depicted widely different from the books, sporting typical dark-hair instead of his mother's typical red-hair. He is 17 years old instead of 14 in the books too, probably to avoid unwilling suspension of disbelief and unfortunate implications of a teenager being put in charge of a army. The girl he marries instead is a whole different one made for the show named Talisa Maegyr, that fits Jeyne Westering in all context to breaking his vow to House Frey. In the show continuity, she is a runaway noble from Volantis instead of the Westerlands, that was inspired to abandon her home after witnessing a slave save her brother from drowning, vowing to never live in a place where slavery was legal again. She relocated to Westeros, where she sought medical training and became a nurse. Robb falls in love with her and they marry her. It revealed she became pregnant with Robb's child in the show continuity and unlike Jeyne, he brings her over to the Twins for Edmure's wedding. Talisa and their unborn children are both murdered during the massacre that soon followed.


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