Thursday, 7 September 2017

Game of Thrones Gossip #32 Stark Bannermen

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

For those of you who stuck with me through my season one posts, thank you loads! Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! 

This week I'm looking at the various bannermen who heeded the call to war from Robb Stark when Ned Stark was arrested for treason. The North Remembers.

"Come on pretty man!" Greatjon to Jaime Lannister

Lord Jon Umber, named Greatjon because of his size, is Lord of Last Hearth, and head of House Umber. He is the first castle south of the Wall and a prime target for raiding wildlings and worse. He marches to Winterfell when called to arms and is Robb's chief advisor. He is unhappy at the prospect of the Glovers leading the vanguard and in a sulk, threatens to take his men home. Robb indicates he can do that and be arrested for treason after the war ends. An outraged Greatjon pulls a knife but is tackled and his fingers bitten off by Grey Wind, to everyone's shock. Robb offers Greatjon an honourable way out of the situation by suggesting that Greatjon was offering to cut his meat and Greatjon gives his booming laugh and proclaims the meat to be tough. He is the first man to proclaim Robb The King in the North, declaring he won't bend the knee to anyone else.

With Robb's army at Moat Cailin, Greatjon is on the war council and keen to get marching to King's Landing. His crude words and enthusiasm make him popular amongst the men and a good man to have on your side. He is fearless and strong, and never shy of an opinion. He does not like Robb setting free a captured Lannister scout but Robb lets him go when it is clear that the scout has vastly overestimated Robb's army. We do not see Greatjon in season two but he has been sent with his men to fight in the Riverlands by Robb. He is not present at the Red Wedding but dies sometime after that, seemingly from natural causes. Bran knew that Greatjon was loyal and would protect his brother, which is why he sent Osha and Rickon to the Umbers with fatal consequences.

I loved his big booming personality and wished we had seen more of him during Robb's wars. I'd have loved to see him and the Blackfish escaping the Red Wedding or riding north to help Jon and Sansa fight the Boltons!

"Aye, gone to the Crag, but not to negotiate! He took that foreign bitch with him!"

Rickard Karstark is Lord of Karhold and head of House Karstark. He has always been allied to House Stark and brings his sons to fight for Robb. He is quick to agree with Greatjon Umber about proclaiming Robb King in the North. Rickard stays with Robb in the Westerlands when Greatjon takes the Umbers into the Riverlands. His son Harrion is killed in battle, possibly by Jaime Lannister but there is no doubt that Jaime murdered his son Torrhen, who is strangled during an unsuccessful escape attempt. Rickard is furious and wants to kill Jaime but Catelyn reminds him that Robb wants the prisoner alive and he will get a chance of vengeance when the time is right. However when she asks Brienne to take Jaime to King's Landing, Robb is not the only one who is furious with her. Rickard feels cheated of justice.

Rickard is deeply unhappy about Robb's relationship with Talisa, referring to her as a foreign bitch. He might just dislike foreigners or distrust those not from the north. I do also think that he is unhappy about Robb breaking his vow to marry Walder Frey's daughter in exchange for safe crossing at The Twins. Rickard does not strike me as a man who likes others to break oaths and show dishonour, perhaps comparing Robb unfavourably to Ned Stark in that sense. It is Rickard's actions in season three that are the beginning of the end for Robb.

"Renly is not right!"

Galbart Glover is the Lord of Deepwood Motte and head of House Glover. He is given the honour of leading the vanguard against the Lannisters and is present at the war councils. During a discussion on which Baratheon might be the better option to join up with, Galbart angrily points out that Renly is the younger brother and has no claim. He is also happy to declare Robb as King in the North, rather than support Stannis. There is no confirmation in the series about his fate, merely that he died between seasons two and six. His brother Robett mentions to Sansa and Jon that Galbart was loyal and served Robb and Robb led his men to their deaths so it is possible that he died at The Red Wedding.

Jonos Bracken is the Lord of Stone Hedge and head of House Bracken, who are loyal to House Tully and are fighting with the Starks and Tullys. It is one of his men that Catelyn calls upon to help arrest Tyrion at the inn. Jonos is in favour of joining their forces with Renly Baratheon rather than Stannis, a suggestion shot down by Galbart Glover and Robb Stark. Despite never being ruled from Winterfell, Jonos declares for Robb as King. It is Stone Hedge which is taken by the Lannisters during the fighting, that Greatjon Umber's forces go to liberate. There is no confirmation of what happens to Jonos.

Roose Bolton is Lord of the Dreadfort and head of House Bolton. He joins the war against the Lannisters when called to arms, and becomes chief advisor to Robb Stark when Greatjon departs for the Riverlands. He is very different in personality to Robb, always urging him to torture prisoners or have them killed to conserve resources for their own men which Robb will not do. It is Roose who tells Robb that Theon has taken Winterfell, killing Ser Rodrik, and offers to send his bastard Ramsay to take it back rather than Robb having to retreat north. Roose and Robb agree that offering amnesty to his men will get them to betray Theon. Roose is certainly aware that something is going on between Robb and Talisa as he is often with Robb when she arrives to see him or he finds them together. At this stage Roose is loyal to Robb but no doubt frustrated by some of his decision making. Roose features heavily in future series so I'll discuss him more then. 


  1. Wait, Greatjon died on the show?? Ack I didn't know that (or I did and forgot). I love him! He's badass in the books too. I like the Glover brothers. I guess I haven't been paying close enough attention to the bannermen in the show!

    the guy who played Roose did a awesome job!

    1. Yeah Greatjon's son mentions his father's death when he gives Rickon and Osha to Ramsay. I loved his character! I guess the show writers had to do that as Greatjon would not have betrayed Rickon. Roose Bolton was great in a horrible way! There will be a post on him when I start season 3.