Ramsay Gimp, on 15 April 2012 - 07:18 PM, said:
Hmm. I would have put the Starks, Tullys, and Vale on the same level, below the Lannisters and Tyrells (the Lannisters have less people but more gold, it seems).
Also, if everyone's real numbers are much higher than the armies they field in the books, what's the difference? The ratios would stay the same. And huge areas of the North are made up of swamp/bogs or frigid mountains. It is a "grey waste" as Cersei says
To put it simply, of all the regions involved in the War of the Five Kings, the Starks gathered the lowest percentage of their total potential when they went to war. Martin has directly confirmed this.
He stated that due to the North's great size, it takes much longer to gather its full power - and Robb was in a hurry to head south. Also, Martin stated that due to the North's harsher climate, lords are more hesitant to release all their men to go off to war.
If you combine these issues, it is clear that Robb's army comprised a much smaller percentage of the North's total power than the Lannister army did of the West's total power, or the Riverlands army did of the Tully's power etc.
If you combine Tywin, Jaime and Ser Stefford's hosts, the Lannisters seems to have stretched their manpower to the absolute limit to raise approximately 45,000 men in total. And Stefford's host consisted largely of the scrapings of Lannisport's underbelly and hastily hired mercenaries at that, so the Lannisters are absolutely at their maximum.
Robb, in turn, took south the men that could most quickly be spared for a campaign in the South. You will note that the Manderlys kept most of their strength back, as demonstrated by Manderly's statement to Davos in Dance, as well as by the 50 strong warfleet that he has built up and crewed subsequently.
So too did the Hill Clans, and no doubt every other remote lord, as shown by Martin's comment that Lords are more hesitant to release their men in the North. Also consider the fact that this was at the time of the last harvest before an expected long Winter, so the Northern lords would have been doubly reluctant to release all their men.
I exclude the more warlike lords like the Umbers, who seem to have cleared most men from their surrounding areas, in their eagerness to go to war. That's the Umbers for you. Not very cautious, and ready for battle at the drop of a hat.
The point is, the North's full strength is probably very similar to the Lannisters 40,000 - 50,000, remembering that the Lannisters included quite a few mercenaries which bolstered their normal strength.
Edited by Free Northman, 16 April 2012 - 02:58 AM.