Jump to content


Photo

Why does house Bolton still exist?


  • Please log in to reply
129 replies to this topic

#1 ELDoggo

ELDoggo

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:57 PM

"Thousands of years ago,the Dreadfort rose in an unsuccessful rebellion with the Greystarks of the Wolf's Den against the Starks"

 

"At some point unspecified centuries ago, the Boltons rebelled against the Starks. The Stark armies besieged the Dreadfort for two years before the Boltons capitulated to King Harlon Stark and dipped their banners once more."

 

So Boltons rose in rebellion several times, but were still allowed to keep their seat/status as lords? Makes no sense to me why Starks would such a unloyal bunch keep any kind of power.

Just look what Tywin Lannister did with house Reyne of Castamere..Like they say, fool me once...seems pretty illogical to me.

Or is there some explanation for this in the books that i have missed?

 

 

 



#2 Ser Greg of House House

Ser Greg of House House

    Also known as Ser Greg the Healer, Lord of Plainsboro Teaching H

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,980 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:04 PM

Tywin is the exception, not the rule. That's why 'Rains of Castamere' is such a famous song. It's not usual to kill off major Houses like that. You take some of them as prisoners, maybe kill the leader and put a cousin in his place. That means it's less likely for their bannermen to rise against you again.

 

Example: Robert/Ned and the Greyjoys, most Targ loyalists etc.



#3 theriveryeti

theriveryeti

    Hedge Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 269 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:10 PM

The Boltons aren't even trying to extinguish House Stark; they're (supposedly) marrying to it to consolidate power.



#4 Lointain

Lointain

    Hedge Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 357 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:10 PM

Probably the Boltons, in the past, saw that the Starks are about to win, storming the Dreafort and kill them all; and the Boltons decided to grovel a bit, crying for mercy, and the Starks (probably a generation with some proeminent "Ned-gene") decided to spare them, despite the Boltons being treacherous scumbags.



#5 ELDoggo

ELDoggo

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:14 PM

Yeah,but still..after second rebellion i would expect more drastic measures, maybe take 50% of their lands and give it to some proven loyal bannerman. (surely if that happened it would be mentioned?)

 

I bet they think that third time is the charm right now  :P

 

My hope is that they wont exist anymore after the conclusion of the novels :bowdown:



#6 Leap

Leap

    Social Justice Prole

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,050 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:15 PM

Better the enemy you know...

 

 

The Boltons rebelling once every however many generations is probably not reason enough to kill them all off, especially if the Boltons were smart enough to only rebel when they had a young heir or two just in case. Plus, the Boltons administrate a huge area of land for the Starks, and it would cause turmoil for years if that was changed.



#7 thelittledragonthatcould

thelittledragonthatcould

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,619 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:48 PM

Yeah,but still..after second rebellion i would expect more drastic measures, maybe take 50% of their lands and give it to some proven loyal bannerman. (surely if that happened it would be mentioned?)

 

I bet they think that third time is the charm right now   :P

 

My hope is that they wont exist anymore after the conclusion of the novels :bowdown:

 

 

Obviously the Boltons were to powerful for the Starks to place such restrictions on them. The people of the Dreadfort Lands served the Boltons long before the Starks were their Kings, so they are more likely to support a Lord Bolton over any Stark.

 

 

The Dreadfort once last 2 years under siege before they surrendered to the Starks, this suggests that they are a very powerful House. Not enough to overthrow the Starks, but powerful enough to retain their lands.



#8 James Arryn

James Arryn

    Vice President of the Autocracy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,907 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:59 PM

Feudal balance is just that. Any time you threaten the rule of one noble, you indirectly threaten the rule of all nobles. Any time other nobles feel threatened, they might react. And your power to deal with any reacting nobles comes from other nobles, who might also feel threatened. It's a chaotic form of government, but it does have it's own gravitational elegance.

Edited by James Arryn, 15 July 2014 - 06:01 PM.


#9 The Wolves

The Wolves

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,520 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:07 PM

Honestly the way the Starks of old are talked about and how hard they were I'm surprised they didn't wipe the Boltons out earlier.

#10 Bog Devil of Greywater

Bog Devil of Greywater

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 198 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:12 PM

Feudal balance is just that. Any time you threaten the rule of one noble, you indirectly threaten the rule of all nobles. Any time other nobles feel threatened, they might react. And your power to deal with any reacting nobles comes from other nobles, who might also feel threatened. It's a chaotic form of government, but it does have it's own gravitational elegance.

 

This is exactly correct. If the Starks had exterminated the revolting Boltons, they would have been breaking the balance of power in the feudal system, just as Aerys did when he roasted Rickard Stark alive in his armor. Killing a Lord Paramount and calling for the head of a second (Robert Baratheon) threatened ALL of the Lord's Paramount, inviting rebellion. 

 

Roose speaks pretty clearly in Dance that Northerners love the Starks because they've never failed to pull them through a winter. Given that opinion (and high compliment, really) one would wonder why the Boltons revolted in the first place. There's more to this story, I think.



#11 Bright Blue Eyes

Bright Blue Eyes

    Scaring Crows

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,587 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:15 PM

Yeah,but still..after second rebellion i would expect more drastic measures, maybe take 50% of their lands and give it to some proven loyal bannerman. (surely if that happened it would be mentioned?)

It did happen. That's how the Karstarks came to be, conviniently encircling the Boltons, living on former Bolton land.



#12 Mr Bell

Mr Bell

    Yeezus Walks

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,024 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:20 PM

The Boltons were probably too powerful to wipe out



#13 ELDoggo

ELDoggo

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:26 PM

 

This is exactly correct. If the Starks had exterminated the revolting Boltons, they would have been breaking the balance of power in the feudal system, just as Aerys did when he roasted Rickard Stark alive in his armor. Killing a Lord Paramount and calling for the head of a second (Robert Baratheon) threatened ALL of the Lord's Paramount, inviting rebellion. 

 

Roose speaks pretty clearly in Dance that Northerners love the Starks because they've never failed to pull them through a winter. Given that opinion (and high compliment, really) one would wonder why the Boltons revolted in the first place. There's more to this story, I think.

 

 

Thats not really the same thing imo, House Bolton is just that, a single house not a coalition like the north.

Breaking a stick in a broom is easier to than breaking the whole broom.

 

Anyway, what kinda message does it send, allowing a house rebelling several times without major consequences? Killing the current head of the rebelling house wasn't enough apparently,in the long run.(assuming thats what happened)

 



#14 ELDoggo

ELDoggo

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:31 PM

It did happen. That's how the Karstarks came to be, conviniently encircling the Boltons, living on former Bolton land.

 

Oh, did it? The wiki says only that the founder of that house put down a rebel lord. One would expect it stated explicit if it was a Bolton



#15 Bog Devil of Greywater

Bog Devil of Greywater

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 198 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:03 PM

 

 

Thats not really the same thing imo, House Bolton is just that, a single house not a coalition like the north.

Breaking a stick in a broom is easier to than breaking the whole broom.

 

Anyway, what kinda message does it send, allowing a house rebelling several times without major consequences? Killing the current head of the rebelling house wasn't enough apparently,in the long run.(assuming thats what happened)

 

 

Ok. Let me explain. 

 

A King grants the Lord Paramounts their Lands and titles. In exchange for those, the Lord Paramounts swear fealty, which is essentially a guarantee that they will pay taxes to the crowns of a certain percentage, and perform military service when the King commands it. 

 

A Lord Paramount has the same relationship to the Lordlings below him. He grants them their lands and titles (in the name of the King) and they swear fealty, providing taxes and military service when needed (to both Liege Lord and King).

 

Lesser Lordlings have the same relationship with Petty Lords and Knights. They grant then lands and titles (in the name of the Liege Lord and King) and they swear fealty, providing taxes and military service (to Lordling, Liege Lord, and King)

 

Every link in the feudal chain is sworn to someone above them except the King, and you could argue that since his power was thought to have derived from the gods, that he is too.

 

If the Starks extinguish one of the Lordlings houses, they risk not only rebellion in their lands because they've broken that feudal contract, but also risk that the Crown could take action against them because that house also owes fealty to the throne as well as the Starks. It's no matter what level of the feudal chain they're on. It's the same dynamic all the way to the top, hence the Aerys reference.

 

By allowing them to continue to exist, the Starks honored the feudal contract, and played it safe with their own sworn Lords, and the King they were sworn to as well.

 

As to what sort of message it sends- it sends the message that you're fair and just, and follow the oaths you've sworn.

 

Even Tywin Lannister who famously extinguished the Houses of Reyne and Tarbek did not believe that was the norm.

 

 

 

When your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you.

Edited by Bog Devil of Greywater, 15 July 2014 - 07:05 PM.


#16 ELDoggo

ELDoggo

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:29 PM

 

Ok. Let me explain. 

 

A King grants the Lord Paramounts their Lands and titles. In exchange for those, the Lord Paramounts swear fealty, which is essentially a guarantee that they will pay taxes to the crowns of a certain percentage, and perform military service when the King commands it. 

 

A Lord Paramount has the same relationship to the Lordlings below him. He grants them their lands and titles (in the name of the King) and they swear fealty, providing taxes and military service when needed (to both Liege Lord and King).

 

Lesser Lordlings have the same relationship with Petty Lords and Knights. They grant then lands and titles (in the name of the Liege Lord and King) and they swear fealty, providing taxes and military service (to Lordling, Liege Lord, and King)

 

Every link in the feudal chain is sworn to someone above them except the King, and you could argue that since his power was thought to have derived from the gods, that he is too.

 

If the Starks extinguish one of the Lordlings houses, they risk not only rebellion in their lands because they've broken that feudal contract, but also risk that the Crown could take action against them because that house also owes fealty to the throne as well as the Starks. It's no matter what level of the feudal chain they're on. It's the same dynamic all the way to the top, hence the Aerys reference.

 

By allowing them to continue to exist, the Starks honored the feudal contract, and played it safe with their own sworn Lords, and the King they were sworn to as well.

 

As to what sort of message it sends- it sends the message that you're fair and just, and follow the oaths you've sworn.

 

Even Tywin Lannister who famously extinguished the Houses of Reyne and Tarbek did not believe that was the norm.

 

Alright, thanks, now it makes more sense :)



#17 butterbumps!

butterbumps!

    i will make them love me

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,299 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:39 PM

Well, actually, it's not a simple "feudal balance" issue.    When the Boltons were joined in rebellion by the Greystarks, the Starks wiped out the Greystarks root and stem, but the Boltons were mysteriously allowed to remain.  So the Starks have shown they'll wipe out Houses.  Just not the Boltons for some reason.   And this isn't like a case of an annoying House who attempts rebellions every few centuries.  Like, they flay and then wear the skin of their Stark overlords.   I think that kind of transcends the "we're letting these guys stay in power because of feudal balance" line into "there's more to the story."  


Edited by butterbumps!, 15 July 2014 - 07:41 PM.


#18 Acolyte of Radmure

Acolyte of Radmure

    West Coast Lannisters of Casterly Rock, ya dig?

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 988 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:52 PM

Well, actually, it's not a simple "feudal balance" issue.    When the Boltons were joined in rebellion by the Greystarks, the Starks wiped out the Greystarks root and stem, but the Boltons were mysteriously allowed to remain.  So the Starks have shown they'll wipe out Houses.  Just not the Boltons for some reason.   And this isn't like a case of an annoying House who attempts rebellions every few centuries.  Like, they flay and then wear the skin of their Stark overlords.   I think that kind of transcends the "we're letting these guys stay in power because of feudal balance" line into "there's more to the story."  


Maybe they had an agenda in wiping out a cadet branch. 

 



#19 Bog Devil of Greywater

Bog Devil of Greywater

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 198 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:53 PM

Well, actually, it's not a simple "feudal balance" issue.    When the Boltons were joined in rebellion by the Greystarks, the Starks wiped out the Greystarks root and stem, but the Boltons were mysteriously allowed to remain.  So the Starks have shown they'll wipe out Houses.  Just not the Boltons for some reason.   And this isn't like a case of an annoying House who attempts rebellions every few centuries.  Like, they flay and then wear the skin of their Stark overlords.   I think that kind of transcends the "we're letting these guys stay in power because of feudal balance" line into "there's more to the story."  

 

Greystarks were a junior branch of the house Stark that were holding ancestral Stark lands. I'm guessing that what the Starks give in that case, they can take away without much worry except the distant kinslaying aspect.

 

Ned planned to raise new lords in the Gift also. I'm sure nobody would have thought much if he raised a legitimized Jon into "House Jorstark" as a petty lord of the Gift, then crushed him later if he rebelled.

 

Feudal Balance can't be dismissed, but it doesn't preclude there being much more to the Bolton-Stark feud either.



#20 Bright Blue Eyes

Bright Blue Eyes

    Scaring Crows

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,587 posts

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:53 PM

 

Oh, did it? The wiki says only that the founder of that house put down a rebel lord. One would expect it stated explicit if it was a Bolton

The wiki is written by fans. It's neither omniscient nor in detail.

 

Well, actually, it's not a simple "feudal balance" issue.    When the Boltons were joined in rebellion by the Greystarks, the Starks wiped out the Greystarks root and stem, but the Boltons were mysteriously allowed to remain.  So the Starks have shown they'll wipe out Houses.  Just not the Boltons for some reason.   And this isn't like a case of an annoying House who attempts rebellions every few centuries.  Like, they flay and then wear the skin of their Stark overlords.   I think that kind of transcends the "we're letting these guys stay in power because of feudal balance" line into "there's more to the story."  

Meh, rebelling once every couple millennia isn't much of a habit. Even if they are a bit nasty going about it.