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I've just watched S02E08. Beforehand I thought Catelyn Stark was a strong and sensible woman in the sense that she should strive together with her son to win this war, just as shown in the previous episodes. But in this episode she released Jamie Lannister in the hope that her daughters would be returned, and she did it in the absence of Robb. I feel this is so reckless and even stupid, not only because of reasons Robb told her but it also put shame on the King-to-be. In the end it seems to me that all she cares about boil down to personal feelings. It dumbfounded me that she possesses such kind of nature because it's never foreshadowed in the former episodes (or did I miss it?). I can't bear this kind of plot for it upsets me quite a bit for I'm not sure if I should blame on the character or the director.

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    You should blame the character if anything [though it is very in-keeping with her character, keep watching] - in season two at least they were still paying lip service to the books. She does the same in the books. To really have a hope of following the characters' reasoning in GoT you really need to watch each episode at least twice & each season as a whole at least twice. Then read the books, then re-watch it all. Eventually it will all gel ;)) tbh, there's a lot I didn't manage to link up until I'd read the books.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 20 at 16:37
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    If you’re watching game of thrones and wanting characters to make wise choices and do what you hope they will do and embody noble traits in all of their choices… you’re going to have a bad time. Oct 20 at 23:49
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    This isn't a question about the show. It's a question about why you expected something to a degree of being dumbfounded that it didn't happen the way you expected it to. "Why did I expect this?" is not a question we can answer for you.
    – Flater
    Oct 21 at 12:26
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    @Flater, I disagree. Characterization goes to motivation and should be answerable whether one wants to use the show for examples (if I had time, I would also look to the point of creating Lady Crane to expand on Sandun's IMO correct answer, or the source material (which would probably better ascribe with Cat's POV). Oct 21 at 17:38
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    If the OP doesn't agree with sufficient answers, that isn't our problem, the community will speak to it with votes. Even if we believe the motivation behind the Q is circumspect, doesn't mean the Q is bad and is in fact unanswerable. Oct 21 at 18:14
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You're forgetting one important character trait: Catelyn is a mother who would do anything for her children. First example from the show was her fighting the assassin barehanded who tried to murder Bran.

Another example: spoilers if you haven't reached season 3 episode The Rains of Castamere

When the Red Wedding massacre happens, out of desperation, she grabs one of the Frey women (Joyeuse Erenford) and demands to spare Rob's life in exchange of hers (in the books it was one of Frey's sons).

Catelyn grabbed a handful of Jinglebell Frey’s long grey hair and dragged him out of his hiding place. ‘‘Enough, I say. You have repaid betrayal with betrayal, let it end.’’ When she pressed her dagger to Jinglebell’s throat, the memory of Bran’s sickroom came back to her, with the feel of steel at her own throat. The drum went boom doom boom doom boom doom. ‘‘Please,’’ she said. ‘‘He is my son. My first son, and my last. Let him go. Let him go and I swear we will forget this . . . forget all you’ve done here. I swear it by the old gods and new, we . . . we will take no vengeance . . .’’

‘‘I take you for a father. Keep me for a hostage, Edmure as well if you haven’t killed him. But let Robb go.’’

So it isn't out of her character at all. She's thinking about her children's safety even if there's a tiniest chance.

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