Jedi Master Hot Pie, on 28 May 2012 - 08:44 AM, said:
1). Yet the Karstarks crop has gone to rot and the Umber's "armies" are made of green boys and old men.
2). Men were able to come from all over the North. Whilst I understand men in the most rural villages wouldn't of been able to come, how come most the Northern soldiers couldn't arrive when men are arriving as far from Karhold and Flint's Finger? Stark's armies weren't from his neighbourhood, it was the majority of the Northern Armies. He didn't go south with 20,000 and leave another 30,000 behind.
3). Ramsay Snow fielded 500 men when he destroyed Rodrik's army at Winterfell. Whilst I assume most of these men would've been soldiers to an extent, if the Dreadfort could field several thousand more men Stannis shouldn't be a major threat.
People have to realise that Westeros is not France. Westeros does not follow the same laws of Medieval Europe. Westeros isn't Europe!!!
We can only go by what we read in the books and what GRRM confirms, not by what we assume because Robb Stark fielded 20,000 men, so that must only be 0.0001% of the population because in France they could only do it like this...
The known urbanised population of Westeros is in the region of 1.5 million people.
Giving Westeros a population of say 10 million, as you seem to be suggesting, would mean that 15% of the entire population is urbanised. This is not possible in the real medieval world.
This is DOUBLY impossible in the Westerosi world, with its erratic seasons.
Martin has further said that the Iceland depiction of the Lands Beyond the Wall in the TV series is incorrect, as those lands are actually more like the areas around Michigan - heavily forested, rather than ice fields as depicted in the show.
Meaning that the North itself (south of the Wall) is similar to the Northern United States, rather than to Canada or Alaska.
Now, for the Reach to field an army of around 100,000, it would have to be FAR more populous than medieval France, which NEVER raised an army even CLOSE to that size.
This is the part that you don't get.
Raising an army of 30,000 doesn't mean that that is close to the living number of men in your population. It means that is at best 1% of your population.
And as Martin said, the North's army was understated due to the difficulty in gathering men over long distances in the North.
Robb DID leave 30,000 men behind. Due to his haste, and due to the last Harvest that was underway at the time.
So the full 50,000 men that the North can truly raise, given time, represents 1% of it's population, more or less.
The bottomline is that you simply have no true understanding of the sheer size of Westeros.
The North's wildness, lack of communications lines, roads etc. means that to a subsistence farmer living 100 miles from Karhold, the War probably doesn't even exist. He was never even reached by the summons to war, and is blisfully going about his daily business, unaware of what's going on in the South.
Once Winter arrives, he will pack up and head to his nearest stronghold. And then the true population size will reveal itself.