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Houses are doomed when they betray where their past/"essence"/words?


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#1 Ser Greg of House House

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:18 PM

edit: oops, I don't know where that "where" came from... I can't edit the title

 

Do you believe it's possible there's some historical "karma" going on? A recurring story of Houses forsaking their past and having to remember it to reforge their power?

I haven't really thought this through, but I guess the irony involved in this mostly works. I'm not saying it's a rule, just a theme that's present in the books.

 

I see this mostly with Starks. IMO they are essentially doomed because Rickard decides to go South. The whole "southern ambitions" stuff. Eventually because of that Ned becomes hand and Kingslanding is clearly not his place. So even when Robb becomes "King in the North", he has to keep the Riverlands, which arguably made a Northern Kingdom harder to keep. Starks recovery will likely go through a renovation of their northern preoccupation with Winter/Others etc.

 

Lannisters not paying debts to the Iron Bank is likely to doom them too. Some Greyjoys seem to believe they have to go back to the "old ways" (in one way or another).

 

Bob becomes tame, loses his fury and well... Maybe Targs forgetting their Valyrian roots, but that's less clear I suppose.

 

On the other hand, I don't really see it applying to Tullys. Except for the Blackfish not wanting to have his family, LOL.

 

I'm curious about the Martells. They are Rhoynar, and being allied to Valyrians (Targs) caused them trouble, at least for Elia. But it's not that clear. I wonder if they will be the ones to destroy the last Valyrian Dragonlords and avenge Mother Rhoyne, though.


Edited by Ser Greg of House House, 26 May 2014 - 05:24 PM.


#2 Mladen

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:38 PM

Will someone explain me what makes "southern ambitions" so much against the "Northern essence"? Are we pretending that Northerners are above playing Game of thrones? For they are not. And that has been proved more than enough times.



#3 Ser Greg of House House

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:42 PM

Will someone explain me what makes "southern ambitions" so much against the "Northern essence"? Are we pretending that Northerners are above playing Game of thrones? For they are not. And that has been proved more than enough times.

 

Sure, I don't mean to preach the "northern man superiority" or anything like that. I'm sure history has had its share of evil scheming Starks. But evil or bad, I suppose Starks do have a duty to keep their eyes on the north of the Wall menace. The whole "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell" etc. When they are looking South, it's a good thing for the Others.



#4 Mladen

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:47 PM

 

Sure, I don't mean to preach the "northern man superiority" or anything like that. I'm sure history has had its share of evil scheming Starks. But evil or bad, I suppose Starks do have a duty to keep their eyes on the north of the Wall menace. The whole "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell" etc. When they are looking South, it's a good thing for the Others.

 

I have serious problems with this. Are you actually saying that for the past 8000 years no Stark ever looked South. Since that is how much passed since last Other invasion. Are you saying that Thorren going to the Neck to face Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters was good for Others? Or involvement of Winter wolves in Dance of dragons? Simply, "there must always be Stark in Winterfell", "North remembers" and "Winter is coming" aren't betrayed when Northerners are involved or mix with South. It's basically flawed argument, I am afraid.



#5 Ser Greg of House House

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 05:54 PM

 

I have serious problems with this. Are you actually saying that for the past 8000 years no Stark ever looked South. Since that is how much passed since last Other invasion. Are you saying that Thorren going to the Neck to face Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters was good for Others? Or involvement of Winter wolves in Dance of dragons? Simply, "there must always be Stark in Winterfell", "North remembers" and "Winter is coming" aren't betrayed when Northerners are involved or mix with South. It's basically flawed argument, I am afraid.

 

I don't know. I'm not saying they should never/did never meddle with southern affairs before. But I do believe it's the first time they schemed to have a Stark Queen and centered their strategy on the South.

 

And yes, if the Others were planning to invade Westeros the Starks going to war on the south would help them. But apparently they were hibernating or whatever.

Anyway, as I said, it's not a rule. It's more of a theme present in recent events. Recovering old secrets, vows etc. It's not necessarily true for all the time, but it could be now that Others are gathering, dragons are coming back etc.



#6 Jon of the (Evil) Dead

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:06 PM

Eh, it would explain why the Tyrells are winning the game of thrones now. They keep growing strong. :P

 

But I don't think we should overgeneralize. Look at the Greyjoys. All that "Old Way", "We Do Not Sow" bluster is holding them back. The Reader is right: they need land to prosper and give up those delusions and misguided ways

 

And the Arryns...well, Jon was pretty much honorable until he died, and yet the future of his House is hanging by a thread right now


Edited by Jon of the (Evil) Dead, 26 May 2014 - 06:07 PM.


#7 JonCon's Red Beard

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:12 PM

Maybe House Stark had "southern ambitions" because The Winter was Coming... to south.



#8 Mladen

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:26 PM

 

I don't know. I'm not saying they should never/did never meddle with southern affairs before. But I do believe it's the first time they schemed to have a Stark Queen and centered their strategy on the South.

 

And yes, if the Others were planning to invade Westeros the Starks going to war on the south would help them. But apparently they were hibernating or whatever.

Anyway, as I said, it's not a rule. It's more of a theme present in recent events. Recovering old secrets, vows etc. It's not necessarily true for all the time, but it could be now that Others are gathering, dragons are coming back etc.

 

I do believe there is literary and narrative importance of house words, sayings etc. But, I am puzzled with how "southern ambitions" fit into all of that or how Sansa being engaged to Joffrey is in contrast with Stark essence. They married with Southerners, we have enough to believe they also married Targaryens, they participated in conflicts at the South, they are not above playing Game of thrones, they are not white as the snow. Simply put, I fail to see how thematically Starks being involved in Southern businesses is in contrition with their essence.



#9 Not Dead Just Broken

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:54 PM

 

I do believe there is literary and narrative importance of house words, sayings etc. But, I am puzzled with how "southern ambitions" fit into all of that or how Sansa being engaged to Joffrey is in contrast with Stark essence. They married with Southerners, we have enough to believe they also married Targaryens, they participated in conflicts at the South, they are not above playing Game of thrones, they are not white as the snow. Simply put, I fail to see how thematically Starks being involved in Southern businesses is in contrition with their essence.

 

I think the Southern ambition thing fits in only so far as it's a distraction from doing what Starks are supposed to do: prepare for Winter because, you know, Winter is Coming. It isn't to me about the Stark's being white hats or anything like that.  It's just that when they turn south, stuff goes wrong in the North.  Would Ramsay Snow been able to starve out Lady Hornwood if Ned and Robb were at Winterfell? Probably not.

 

More generally to the OP, I think there is something to this. The Tyrells to date have done a great job of living up to their words/history.  They're all about gaining power during a crisis.  That's what they did during Aegon's invasion and that's what they're doing now.



#10 Mladen

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:59 PM

 

I think the Southern ambition thing fits in only so far as it's a distraction from doing what Starks are supposed to do: prepare for Winter because, you know, Winter is Coming. It isn't to me about the Stark's being white hats or anything like that.  It's just that when they turn south, stuff goes wrong in the North.  Would Ramsay Snow been able to starve out Lady Hornwood if Ned and Robb were at Winterfell? Probably not.

 

Things happened. We know of many Bolton rebellions when Starks were in Winterfell. Winters are not always long, in only 16 years we had like 8,9 winters, according to Tyrion. So, no, stuff didn't go wrong when Starks went South, they were happening when they were in the North as well.



#11 Mr Bell

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:10 PM

So this means the Boltons are ok and everything? They're still keeping their knives sharp what with all the flaying ;)

Edited by Mr Bell, 26 May 2014 - 07:10 PM.


#12 Not Dead Just Broken

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 10:06 PM

So this means the Boltons are ok and everything? They're still keeping their knives sharp what with all the flaying ;)

 

Working for them so far!  There's a lot of this "be true to your heritage" stuff in ADWD in particular.  Dany's visions in the Dothraki sea are basically telling her she has to win her kingdom with Fire and Blood. 



#13 Not Dead Just Broken

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 10:19 PM

 

Things happened. We know of many Bolton rebellions when Starks were in Winterfell. Winters are not always long, in only 16 years we had like 8,9 winters, according to Tyrion. So, no, stuff didn't go wrong when Starks went South, they were happening when they were in the North as well.

 

Sure.  The difference is Winterfell was still standing and House Stark wasn't in ruins.  Prior to this collapse the closest House Stark came to ruin was when both Rickard and Brandon were killed on the same day in KL.  There's the King in the North who built the navy and then died at sea as well which was a huge blow to Northern power (especially when his son burnt the ships at anchor).  If you look at the history of the North that we know of, there are very few stories of the North actively fighting the rest of the Westeros.  There are border conflicts between the Reeds and the Freys but past that the Neck and Moat Cailin seem to be little used defenses. They let Moat Cailin become ruins. That should tell you something. The only threat the North seems to face regularly is from the Ironborn which are raids as opposed to all out war.  There are no stories that I'm aware of a King in the North trying to expand his territory or influence southward apart from Rickon and his descendants and possibly the King who built the navy (but that might have been to protect against Ironborn). This isn't like the constant wars that seemed to have happened between the Reach, the Westerlands, the Stormlands and Dorne.

 

The Northern lords are fairly rebellious (probably because there's so much land between them and Winterfell).  If the head of House Stark isn't minding the store, there's not much stopping them from rising up.  "Winter is Coming" is a constant reminder to be vigilant, to be prepared.



#14 Mladen

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:47 AM

 

Sure.  The difference is Winterfell was still standing and House Stark wasn't in ruins.  Prior to this collapse the closest House Stark came to ruin was when both Rickard and Brandon were killed on the same day in KL.  There's the King in the North who built the navy and then died at sea as well which was a huge blow to Northern power (especially when his son burnt the ships at anchor).  If you look at the history of the North that we know of, there are very few stories of the North actively fighting the rest of the Westeros.  There are border conflicts between the Reeds and the Freys but past that the Neck and Moat Cailin seem to be little used defenses. They let Moat Cailin become ruins. That should tell you something. The only threat the North seems to face regularly is from the Ironborn which are raids as opposed to all out war.  There are no stories that I'm aware of a King in the North trying to expand his territory or influence southward apart from Rickon and his descendants and possibly the King who built the navy (but that might have been to protect against Ironborn). This isn't like the constant wars that seemed to have happened between the Reach, the Westerlands, the Stormlands and Dorne.

 

The Northern lords are fairly rebellious (probably because there's so much land between them and Winterfell).  If the head of House Stark isn't minding the store, there's not much stopping them from rising up.  "Winter is Coming" is a constant reminder to be vigilant, to be prepared.

 

I think you are wrong about this. We know about constant fights between Vale and North, then we have the Ironborn on the western shore, wildlings behind the Wall, and a lot of eternal struggles, with Skagosi and Boltons. After that, we have Targaryen conquest and Thorren bending the knee, we have participation in Dance of dragons. If we are to believe Bael the bard story, which does show some inconsistencies, as a huge crisis. Then we have "She-wolves of Winterfell" that is also supposed to depict House Stark's crisis. So, I fail to see how Rickard was betraying Stark essence in any way, or as for that matter, Ned and Sansa.