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Politics and Culture in Westeros


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#1 ira_gaines

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:58 AM

Hi there,

 

I have a few questions about the culture and politics of Westeros (I've probably come across some of the answers already in the books but since forgotten).

 

Are all the top nobles in the 10(?) different regions "wardens"?  I know the North and West have a warden, but is Hoster Tully the Warden of the Riverlands for example?

 

How many different cultures would you say actually exist in Westeros?  Obviously Dorne's and the Iron Island's culture is quite different from the rest but how many separate cultures are there overall?

 

What real life state in history do you think is most similar to post-Aegon Westeros?

 

 

Thanks for any answers.



#2 Ross The Fiddler

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:08 AM

Well there's a Marcher lord who defends the Stormlands against the Dornish.  The head of it used to be House Caron, but since has been lost to House Foote of Nightsong.

 

House Yronwood is the Warden of the Stoneway (Boneway)

 

House Fowler is the Warden of the Prince's Pass

 

Robb names Brynden the Warden of the Southern Marches.

 

Those are all I can recall now, but yes there are other minor wardens who have less martial power than the four major wardens (N,W,S,E).



#3 Bright Blue Eyes

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:16 AM

Are all the top nobles in the 10(?) different regions "wardens"?  I know the North and West have a warden, but is Hoster Tully the Warden of the Riverlands for example?

No. There are only four Wardens, Stark, Arryn, Lannister and Tyrell. On the level of the Seven Kingdoms, that is.

 

How many different cultures would you say actually exist in Westeros?  Obviously Dorne's and the Iron Island's culture is quite different from the rest but how many separate cultures are there overall?

Andal, First Men (North), First Men (Wildlings), First Men (Thenns), First Men (Crannogmen), First Men (Mountain Clans), First Men (Sistermen), First Men (Ironborn), Rhoynish.

 

What real life state in history do you think is most similar to post-Aegon Westeros?

Holy Roman Empire.



#4 Dain Storm

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:16 AM

It would be impossible for every region not to have its own culture. They've been independent kingdoms for thousands of years, so even the Andal kingdoms in the south have to have their own differences.

#5 Leap

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:20 AM

It would be impossible for every region not to have its own culture. They've been independent kingdoms for thousands of years, so even the Andal kingdoms in the south have to have their own differences.

Yeah but there are not major differences between the Stormlands and Reach, for example. There are differences, but not as many as between different First Men cultures like Crannogmen and the Wildlings.



#6 Dain Storm

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:34 AM

Yeah but there are not major differences between the Stormlands and Reach, for example. There are differences, but not as many as between different First Men cultures like Crannogmen and the Wildlings.


Not as much as those cultures. But the wildlings are isolated from the rest of Westeros, where as the Crannogmen and Mountain Clans choose to isolate themselves, so it's understandable that they're very different. To be honest, aside from religion and other small differences, the North doesn't seem that different from the other kingdoms either. Even Dorne seems more different. I hope World goes more in depth on their cultures.

#7 Foibles

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

It's pretty much comparable to any European monarchy, although the whole First Men being invaded by the Andals being invaded by Aegon is pretty much a direct parallel to the British isles and the Celts being invaded by the Angles-Saxons being conquered by William the Conquerer.

 

Also, Dorne is very much like Spain was after the Moors invaded and the Spanish Reconquista: a mix of European and Middle Eastern/African cultures.



#8 ira_gaines

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:01 PM

 

Are all the top nobles in the 10(?) different regions "wardens"?  I know the North and West have a warden, but is Hoster Tully the Warden of the Riverlands for example?

No. There are only four Wardens, Stark, Arryn, Lannister and Tyrell. On the level of the Seven Kingdoms, that is.

 

 

So what would Hoster Tully's official title be?

 

 

Yeah but there are not major differences between the Stormlands and Reach, for example. There are differences, but not as many as between different First Men cultures like Crannogmen and the Wildlings.

 

Is North of the Wall even considered part of Westeros?



#9 Lord Reaver

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:06 PM

So what would Hoster Tully's official title be?


Lord Paramount of the Riverlands and Lord of Riverrun.

#10 Ross The Fiddler

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:07 PM

I've always had the impression that the Lord of the Marches, Warden of the Boneway, and Warden of the Prince's Pass are all titles that have been declared by the overlord of that particular region due to geographical position.  The Iron Throne only acknowledges the four major Wardens AFAIK.


Edited by Ross The Fiddler, 22 July 2014 - 01:07 PM.


#11 Elkrider

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:39 PM

In addition to the ones BBE listed, I'd split the Rhoynar/Dornish group into separate categories. The orphans of the Greenblood are the closest to the original Rhoynish culture. The Dornish are described as having 3 different phenotypes--stony Dornish, salty Dornish, and sandy Dornish. This could correlate to different cultures (especially since, logically speaking, you'd expect people who live on the coast to have different lifestyles then people who live in the desert interior). The stony Dornish, being the ones least touched by the Rhoynar influence, would also be the most Andal in culture.

 

The are also probably weaker cultural differences between the Southern, Andal, kingdoms, the way you might have a Western European culture, but France and Belgium are still different. As we saw with Brienne and Nimble Dick, Tarth  and Crackclaw Point have totally different bedtime stories. And within the kingdoms, there are probably regional differences too, in food and dialect, just like in the Middle Ages here. It doesn't affect the nobility as much, because they are educated by a common institution (maesters) and often travel and marry outside their borders. We don't have much POV from smallfolk, so the difference between a peasant from the Vale and one from the Dornish marches aren't described. 

 

Also, the Skagosi are a separate culture that needs to mentioned. Other Northmen find them (and their cannibalism) creepy. The wildlings find them weird. I'm really looking forward to seeing them. 



#12 ira_gaines

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:09 AM

Thinking about it, is the religion of the Iron Islands totally unique to them?



#13 aryagonnakill#2

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:15 AM

Mandlery is also Warden of the white knife, but as others have said those are lesser wardens.  Westeros is a continent, north of the wall is still on it.  It is not part of the 7 kingdoms.



#14 RumHam

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:21 AM

Thinking about it, is the religion of the Iron Islands totally unique to them?

 

The other one is about the Drowned God. Clearly enough, the ironborn didn't take up the gods of the children because there were neither children nor (apparently) carved weirwoods there. Is the Drowned God a unique invention of the Iron Islands?

 

Yes, it's an ironborn thing.

 

 

http://www.westeros....ed_God_and_More

 

 

Lord Paramount of the Riverlands and Lord of Riverrun.

 
He actually isn't given that title in the appendixes or anything.  I think "Lord Paramount of the Trident" was something they made up for Littlefinger.

Edited by RumHam, 24 July 2014 - 11:23 AM.


#15 Bright Blue Eyes

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:45 AM

Thinking about it, is the religion of the Iron Islands totally unique to them?

Sort of. Got a cousin on the Sisters though, and some distant relatives in the mythology of the Stormlands.



#16 Lord Thaeglei of Frostpyre

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:01 PM

Westeros is continent similar to that of medieval Europe with elements from the history of its constituent countries such as The North (Russia) with its snow filled fields, The Vale (The Carpathian Kingdoms and the Alps) being lush and mountainous, The Riverlands (The Rhineland-Palatinate and Low Countries which are dominated by the rivers Rhine and Danube) with its many rivers that gave it its name, The Westerlands (England which during Roman times was rich in gold, silver and iron) with its many gold mines, The Crownlands (Germany and Austria) being the center of political and imperial rule, The Stormlands (Italian Peninsula) with its ancient fortifications and constant storms, The Reach (France) with its lush, verdant fields and forest and Dorne (Iberian Peninsula) with its warmer climate and exotic undertones..

 

The story of Aegon's conquest is similar to the Norman conquest of England, and him being crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms is somewhat similar to Charlemagne being crown Holy Roman Emperor with the idea of several high kings swearing fealty to him..

 

There are four main wardens in Westeros and these titles are held by four great houses in a somewhat hereditary manner.. The Starks are Warden of the North, the Lannisters are the Warden of the West, the Arryns were the Warden of the East and the Tyrells are the Warden of the South.. Some houses also holds lesser wardenships such as The Fowlers being the Warden of The Prince's Pass and the Yronwoods being the Warden of Stone Way in Dorne, the Manderlys being the Warden of the White Knife in the North and the Tullys being the Warden of the Southern Marches in the Riverlands, a title created by Robb I Stark, King in the North and of the Trident..



#17 ira_gaines

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:48 PM

What actually get's one the title of Lord?

 

I've noticed that some holders of lands and keeps are merely "Sers" like Gregor.



#18 RumHam

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:50 PM

What actually get's one the title of Lord?

 

I've noticed that some holders of lands and keeps are merely "Sers" like Gregor.

 

As I see it, the title "lord" -- when used formally, and not simply as an honorific --conveys not only prestige, but certain legal rights as well. The right of pit and gallows, as they were once called, for instance -- i.e. authority to hang people and toss them into dungeons.

A landed knight has rather less prestige -- a lord outranks a knight at feasts and tourneys, for instance -- and also somewhat lesser rights.

But certain landed knights, of ancient houses, with extensive lands, and large strong castles, may be lords in all but name. These uber-knights may actually be more powerful than many smaller lordlings, so there's an overlap. Their peculiar status if often reflected by taking a style that incorporates the name of their castle, such as the Knight of Ninestars.

Connington is a special case, and you have the essence of it. Details are made clear in FEAST FOR CROWS. When Jon Connington was defeated at the Battle of the Bells, Aerys exiled him and stripped his House of all its lands and wealth. After the Rebellion, Robert restored the castle to a cousin of Lord Jon's... but only the castle, and some small grounds around it. The extensive Connington lands were parceled out to others, and the house's wealth remained in the treasury. Nor was Robert willing to recall Lord Jon from exile, since he had been among Prince Rhaegar's closest friends. Thus the Conningtons were once great lords... but Red Ronnet, their present head, is simply a landed knight, the Knight of Griffin's Roost.

Somewhat the same sequence is true of the Merryweathers of Longtable, by the way, though in that case Robert was prevailed upon to restore the lordship as well as the castle. Even so, the present Lord Merryweather is nowise as rich and powerful as his grandfather, the old man who served as Aerys's Hand after Lord Tywin and before Jon Connington.

 

 

http://www.westeros....ights_and_Lords



#19 ira_gaines

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:15 PM

 

So if a peasant living on the lands of a knight committed a crime, the knight would have to take him to a Lord for punishment?

 

That also raises the question of what kind of actions gains someone a knighthood rather than a lordship?



#20 RumHam

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

 

So if a peasant living on the lands of a knight committed a crime, the knight would have to take him to a Lord for punishment?

 

At least in theory, yes.  I don't see someone like Gregor following that rule though.

 

 

That also raises the question of what kind of actions gains someone a knighthood rather than a lordship?

 

Well any knight can knight someone else. Becoming a landed knight is a litter harder, someone has to bestow lands on you. I believe only the king can make somebody a lord. (Stannis presumably had his brother elevate Davos.)