jlk7e, on 12 May 2012 - 02:32 PM, said:
You've just shown there's one less generation of Starks than of Targaryens. In your table, Brandon is probably younger than Rhaegar, but a generation ahead of him.
Also, "life in the dark ages is short" is a terrible point - my whole point was that in the actual "dark ages" in Europe generations were much longer. The existence of better medical science in Westeros than in medieval Europe also ought to mean that people live longer, which would make it even less urgent than in the real middle ages to have children early.
People in Westeros - once they are married - don´t seem to wait with children until they are "prepared". They don´t need a reason to have children early. They just have them. I don´t think that they play on the birth control card much - if Lysa´s case is anything to go by, moon tea can be pretty risky. I don´t remember hearing about Westerosi sheep guts condom, which wouldn´t endanger the woman´s ability to bear children in future. If you want to ask why they are married so early, then it´s because their families seek alliances. And why to make the berothal too long? Why to wait until the second side finds someone better? They´re married as soon as possible - once the girl proves to be fertile. And why the girl must be fertile? To ensure the heirs for her husband. Really, imagine what the world would look like if there was no birth control (or at least that you couldn´t buy it until you´ve already had three or more children to ensure the line).
The Westerosi seem to have a war going almost every generation and many are killed in it. Remember Rickard Karstark, who had three sons and know has one? When Harrion is free, I bet that one of the first things he´s going to do is to get married and produce children with his wife. Westeros knows plagues, too, if not that frequent - what about the Great Spring Sickness? And there seems to be some awareness about the Grey Plague, even though we didn´t hear about an actual outbreak. The maesters are there, but do they know anything about bacteria and viruses? They certainly don´t seem very well schooled in helping women who have puerperal fever. We don´t know about their skill at surgery.
And yes, I´m a generation off with the Stark comparison. But you said that there are "too many" generation of Targaryens, surely one generation ahead doesn´t count as "too many"?
I suppose there isn´t any special reason why they have first child few years earlier than people in real history (except that people in this fictional world happen to have little different traditions). But hey, there is also nothing which would make the way these things work in Westeros impossible. I mean - it´s believable, isn´t it? If need be, a man can conceive a child at sixteen years, no? A girl can give birth at sixteen years, no? But well, if you need some irreputable reason - let´s say, the magic in Westeros makes people more horny and more fertile. Magic didn´t exist in the real Middle Ages, so you can´t rule this out.
. . . sorry, if I sound way too unfriendly, but I had really baaad day.