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Raising new lords to settle the Gift


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#1 BarrelRoll42

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:09 PM

Reading Storm of Swords and on Jon's last chapter before he leaves the wildlings.

 

I always found this passage so interesting. It (sort of) drops the title of the final book, shows a dream of Jon's, and brings up some interesting logistical questions.

 

Jon remarks:

 

 

His lord father had once talked about raising new lords and settling them in the abandoned holdfasts as a shield against wildlings. The plan would have required the Watch to yield back a large part of the Gift, but his uncle Benjen believed the Lord Commander could be won around, so long as the new lordlings paid taxes to Castle Black rather than Winterfell. "It is a dream for spring, though," Lord Eddard had said. "Even the promise of land will not lure men north with a winter coming on."

 

If winter had come and gone more quickly and spring had followed in its turn, I might have been chosen to hold one of these towers in my father's name. Lord Eddard was dead, however, his brother Benjen lost; the shield they dreamt together would never be forged.

 

I've always understood the traditional hierarchy as overlord > vassal > miscellaneous lords. So Winterfell rules and collects taxes from the Glovers/Manderlys/Karstarks who rule and collect taxes from the minor lordlings in their domains. 

 

So what exactly would the process be for raising new lords? The Starks could send a bastard son, as well as any of the other major vassals with bastards. And Maybe Ned offers some land to the mountain clans or something, but what about after that? Would they give a holdfast to loyal retainers like Rodrick Cassel? Does Winterfell go to each vassal and say "give me your best minor lordling"? Or do they just open it American frontier style and if you can claim it, it's yours?

 


#2 Frey Pie

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:15 PM

I would think it would go to the most suitable lower down lords and retainers.

 

As you say the Cassels from WF, the Stouts from Barrowton, Jon Snow (had he not gone to the Wall), second and third sons etc. It's also possible that allied southern Houses could be prized with land e.g. a knight from the Riverlands who worked closely with Hoster or Ned during the war.

 

I highly doubt the Starks would allow a claim it and it's yours type vassal



#3 Bright Blue Eyes

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:33 PM

Ned and the LC at the time would parcel the land in question, draft a list of suitable younger sons of the major houses (including one or two bastards of especially important houses) and distribute the lands to everybody on that list who agrees to swear fealty to Castle Black.

 

Then these newly made Lords would draw on the ressources of their family to get some petty Lords, some retainers and some smallfolk to settle the Gift. A couple generations later, they'd be self-sufficient.

 

Definitely not "you keep what you claim". What's next, commoners being allowed to set up a rival kingdom?



#4 SerGrahamando ofUttershill

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:35 PM

Given how bastards are generally treated I doubt they would be given land unless legitimised. Most likely it would go to 2nd and 3rd sons of the main Northern houses to start new cadet branches. The likes of Bran, Harrion Karstark, Brandon Tallhart, some of the Ryswell cousins with the multi coloured horse sigils, would be good candidates. 



#5 Hammermen's Revolt

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:37 PM

I think Frey Pie is right: Loyal retainers like the Cassels (simular to the Cleganes in the Westlands), perhaps second sons to form a cadet branch (simular to how the Karstarks are a cadet of house stark), and lordships for loyal knights. Funny to think that both the hornwood bastard and the Bolton bastard might have been considered for this

#6 King.In.Yellow

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:41 PM

Rickon more likely than Bran, since Robb's the heir and Bran's the 'spare' (in case something happens to Robb, he's the Lord of Winterfell, as it is the case since the RW). Maybe he'd have been the Stark contribution to the Watch of his generation instead of Jon, or maybe he'd become the head of House Stark of The Gift and maybe Jon would have been legitimized and founded House Snowstark. Hother and Mors Umber might have gotten chunks of the Gift too, the younger Manderly, etc. 



#7 Free Northman Reborn

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:44 PM

The fealty would be to Winterfell. It's just the taxes that would go to Castle Black.

#8 Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:46 PM

It would depend on how many people would be interested in moving there too. I mean the entire reason for why the area is unsettled in the first place is because of the inhabitants there moving south due to wildling raids, so settling people there to have them be a "shield against the Wildlings" is some pretty weird reasoning on Eddard's part. 


Edited by King Aerys the Just 2.0, 01 February 2014 - 05:47 PM.


#9 Lord Spark of House Spark

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:00 PM

I am sure that there are a lot of Stannis's knights that would be glad of the chance. I'm not sure how many of the neighbours would approve of Rhllor worship though, especially if they started burning wierwoods



#10 Bright Blue Eyes

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:09 PM

It would depend on how many people would be interested in moving there too. I mean the entire reason for why the area is unsettled in the first place is because of the inhabitants there moving south due to wildling raids, so settling people there to have them be a "shield against the Wildlings" is some pretty weird reasoning on Eddard's part. 

Having to pay less taxes is a good incentive, the financial support of the nobility to build a house and start living instead of what your father can afford after outfitting your big brother, your second-biggest brother and paying dowries for your sisters as well.



#11 Free Northman Reborn

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:14 PM

It seems like the folks in the New Gift only moved south once the area was taken from the North and given to the Watch. Previously there would have been northern petty lords ruling those lands and defending it from the wildlings.

But with the Watch ruling it, the Northern lords further south, like the Umbers, probably washed their hands and left it to the Watch to protect. Which they obviously failed to do with their paltry 1000 Brothers.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn, 01 February 2014 - 06:14 PM.


#12 Hammermen's Revolt

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:19 PM

"
It would depend on how many people would be interested in moving there too. I mean the entire reason for why the area is unsettled in the first place is because of the inhabitants there moving south due to wildling raids, so settling people there to have them be a "shield against the Wildlings" is some pretty weird reasoning on Eddard's part. 
"

Getting a lordship is a MIGHTY motivation for any commoner or knight looking to pass something on to the kids.

Edited by Hammermen's Revolt, 01 February 2014 - 06:20 PM.


#13 Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:28 PM

Having to pay less taxes is a good incentive, the financial support of the nobility to build a house and start living instead of what your father can afford after outfitting your big brother, your second-biggest brother and paying dowries for your sisters as well.

Yes, though they would want some sort of safety as well I would think. 

 

It seems like the folks in the New Gift only moved south once the area was taken from the North and given to the Watch. Previously there would have been northern petty lords ruling those lands and defending it from the wildlings.

But with the Watch ruling it, the Northern lords further south, like the Umbers, probably washed their hands and left it to the Watch to protect. Which they obviously failed to do with their paltry 1000 Brothers.

Makes sense. In which case the Watch would either need to get strengthened or the settlers made to pay taxes to the Umbers and company instead of the Watch, or perhaps fifty/fifty (so as to make the Watch agree to the project), to give them an incentive to protect those lands like they do their own. 

 

Even the Umbers seem to be hurt badly by Wildling raiding though, since they were able to go as far as stealing Crowfood's daughter and seemingly getting away with it. 


Edited by King Aerys the Just 2.0, 01 February 2014 - 06:28 PM.


#14 jet199

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:32 PM

I guess that the new lords would also have to fund new building works and setting up farms and stuff. You would probably get a mixture of Stark allies and rich families without titles who want to move up in the world. I think when Iceland was settled there were quite a few women who wanted to set up on their own away from their families so you could get a few southern second sons who are married to northern noble women.

#15 Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:33 PM

"
It would depend on how many people would be interested in moving there too. I mean the entire reason for why the area is unsettled in the first place is because of the inhabitants there moving south due to wildling raids, so settling people there to have them be a "shield against the Wildlings" is some pretty weird reasoning on Eddard's part. 
"

Getting a lordship is a MIGHTY motivation for any commoner or knight looking to pass something on to the kids.

Only a tiny part of the people you want to settle the Gift could get such great offers though, otherwise you'd just end up with a bunch of lords of nothing. The would be regular farmers would need to get convinced with other means. 


Edited by King Aerys the Just 2.0, 01 February 2014 - 06:34 PM.


#16 Djinn

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:33 PM

The fealty would be to Winterfell. It's just the taxes that would go to Castle Black.

How does that work?

 

 

Funny how most of Roberts reign was summer, nine years since the Greyjoy rebellion, hundreds of landless knights and lordlings in the Realm and yet, Ned did nothing.



#17 Castellan

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:35 PM

I'd assume it'd be reward for good service, and done slowly, maybe. I imagine it might be quite difficult to make those lands viable again so you couldn't just aise a whole bunch of younger sons to lordship and send em off. Someone like Karstarks younger sons would have been good, they are a tough bunch.

 

The Cleganes were raised for having saved Tywin's father (?) so obviously there are precedents. I guess people who were rich might get raised to Lordship too, to get their wealth into the service of their overlord.



#18 House Lemongrab

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:37 PM

If I were Lord Stark, I would grant the lands to House Cassel and Poole. Both have proven loyalty to the Starks and have no land of their own. If I were to grant lands to one of the other great houses, it would simply make them more powerful, whilst possibly creating some resentment from the other houses which were over-looked. I could also add in House Stout or Condon if I felt the Gift needed to be divided up further.



#19 Bright Blue Eyes

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:42 PM

Only a tiny part of the people you want to settle the Gift could get such great offers though, otherwise you'd just end up with a bunch of lords of nothing. The would be regular farmers would need to get convinced with other means. 

Of course you have to adjust the offers. A plow, two oxen, three to five hides of land, ten years without paying taxes, that would sound very promising to the second or third son of a poor farmer, whose father has to share his own plow with for or five more farmers.



#20 grand old duke of stark

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:50 PM

I wonder about how the Wildlings would feel with lords, bannermen, etc. to bend the knee to.  I think that if they're part of this re- settling of this land some major arrangements and concessions would need to be made.  Who knows?  It might be the beginning of a quasi-democratic automony within Westeros.