We know the NW has existed for several thousens years. Strong and important. Even when nobody has seen an other in centuries.
We know that in Aegons times, they had 10k men at arms under Harrions brother command, all the castles gaarrisoned and was in general healthy. And only 250 years ve passed since this moment and the patetc NW we see now, with less than 1k men at the begining of AGOT.
Now, because nobody has seen monsters or others is no real explanation. It didnt affected the watch in thousands of years, so it cant make that damage in a cuple houndred years.
Also, with all new material released we know Targaryen rule is not as paceful as we thought....the conquest, the fight for Dorne, The faith upraising, several dances of dragons and blackfires rebelions, the Greyjoys. Dukensale, RR, and GreyJoy are pretty enough conflicts to probaide enough ranks from political exiled...
There isnt, untik now an explanation I can really buy.
Edited by Seņor de la Tormenta 2, 19 December 2013 - 08:45 PM.