Lord Vance II

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About Lord Vance II

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    The Vale (of America) West Virginia

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  1. Drive prices down, absolutely. But the slaves still have to eat too.
  2. I mean the limiting factors (food production, infrastructure, trade capacity) you're referring to don't explain the state of Westerosi cities and issues in KL. They have an expansive state-funded highway system, more farmland than there is in the rest of the known world and no known restrictions on trade on a continental level. And thousands of years of agriculture of course takes a toll on soil, but it's much less with extensive farming (as opposed to intensive) and crop type plays a role too. If there was a real issue with the soil, it would have happened by now.
  3. http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Master_of_laws You're right, though it seems like their whole job could be knocked out in an afternoon. Make a few appointments, assume the black cells will remain black, and kick back. I'd bet that was exactly what Renly did. And with the lack of law-related professions, it almost seems like it wouldn't really matter who was the Master of Law. Kevan Lannister served for a time and got next to nothing done. The Wiki suggests the MoL is in charge of the City Watch, but that doesn't seem to line up with textual evidence. I think Aegon letting the fallen kingdoms retain their own laws and customs set a precedent that the Crown doesn't really care about the details as long as the peace is kept. There must at the very least be sheriffs (in the medieval sense) right? Grenn got sent to the Wall for poaching pheasants....someone with some authority had to catch him, right? To have the lord's woods, someone has to enforce it.
  4. But none of these issues are apparent. If anything, a full continent with tens of millions of citizens and ample farmland with growing seasons that last years should have more that 5 cities, all of which are relatively small on a global scale. There seems to be little to no issues with trade in peace time outside of taxes, which we're never lead to believe are particularly high. It might not be fast, but it's not like they are going to break through to steam engines or anything in the near future. In the books KL is starving, but only because of the war, as soon as the Tyrell's joined up they solved the food issue almost overnight. Of course, years-long winters will cause shortages and strife and tax any infrastructure or trade network, but it just how it is and the Westerosi are as prepared as they can be for it.
  5. A few things concerning sellswords I've been pondering lately. First, why on earth did Tywin hire the damn Brave Companions out of all the Essos companies he could have brought over? They're small (Hoat's raiding party was 300 men, and I don't see Tywin pulling BC's to put under direct Lannister command) so they're just a drop in the bucket to the tens of thousands of men at his disposal. He already has "enforcers" in The Mountain, Lorch and others, why bring some loser and his ragtag band to terrorize the country side? Were they the only ones willing to come fight in Westeros? I find that unlikely - all of them have surely heard of the wealth of the Lannisters. It just doesn't add up to me that this one time, Tywin was cheap in buying something he really didn't need anyways. And how rare is it to have sellsword companies in Westeros, post-conquest (or pre, really)? You never really hear about them outside Essos, but no one seems to think the Brave Companions being brought in is highly unusual. There are sellswords and hedge knights of course, but I don't think we see a full on organized companies of them, just small bands at most that flock to a Lord in need of men (like with Stannis. He has thousands of sellswords but none seem to be organized.) And frankly, how does the sellsword company system survive in Essos, because to me it seems really dumb. Sellswords are expensive and notoriously unreliable, so much so that apparently only the Golden Company has a truly trustworthy reputation (and even they just broke a contract). To me it seems super risky to trust your security to these groups. Unsullied are said to make up at least once city guard (Qohor), and personal guards but aren't mentioned in large scale outside Dany's and the 3,000. Do the Free Cities have some sort of standing military (slave I would presume) beyond a city guard or something that we just don't hear about? The Century of Blood reads like the cities had standing armies of their own, and while they would obviously downscale for peace, it just doesn't seem like they have anything now. I suppose they could raise levees from the slave population, but not many slave owners are willing to put their property in harms way. Basically - if the demand for soldiers is low enough to not need standing state armies, how is it high enough to support apparently dozens of sellsword companies of hundreds of essentially professional soldiers? And if there is demand enough, why not create a state force instead of shelling out your money to sellsword companies who may or may not actually do what you pay them for? Standing armies are expensive, but so is being stabbed in the back. I know this is likely just another "GRRM said so, and so it was," but what do you folks think?
  6. Aerys made a pitch at saying screw the whole thing and build a new, marble city on the south shore of the Blackwater. It never got off the ground, of course. But yeah, the growth speed is probably a big factor, but I still think Aegon could have made a major difference if he had taken some initiative in the city planning. It just baffles me that someone who went through the trouble of conquering an entire continent couldn't be bothered to plan out is namesake (basically) out a little better, or import some engineers from the Free Cities to plan it out.
  7. I don't know if they really say it, or if so where, but I'm pretty sure it was just to score a profit and/or put Stannis in his debt. He was a smuggler looking to take advantage of the war like so many others. It paid off too. He parlayed that act and some finger bones he didn't really need into a pretty major come-up.
  8. One big think I gleaned from that map (which I referenced a ton when pondering my issues with KL) is that the port seems terrible. They just have piers sticking out into the Blackwater Rush without so much as a slight alcove? I'm pretty sure that's the exact opposite of what you want in a major port. I know it's not canon and I'm talking out of my ass about optimal port locations, but it stuck out to me as weird.
  9. That's what I meant to say haha.
  10. The houses Vance are named for him and their sigils are all direct references to his books. I should know haha. I don't think the link goes past there though.
  11. It's irritating sometimes to someone who hasn't read a lot of his other stuff, but I mean I guess so. When someone's been writing as long and extensively as GRRM it's hard not to reuse a few elements. I think the limit is when it's used to try to predict story, which isn't super common, but I have seen it.
  12. I've always thought the whole situation screamed for the Targs to make a mayor or governor type role to whip the city into shape. Someone in charge of establishing building codes and zoning and stuff. If Dany wins and hasn't burned the whole sum'bitch down, I'd love to Tyrion to get a post like that. And I've never understood why the Dragonpit was never torn down for that matter, that's prime real estate to be occupied by a ruin for over a century. Yes, and Maidenpool. And I know, I know about the Cap business, I live in one. But if I'm not in work mode you're lucky to get apostrophes. I have commas for days though. In KL, Dany will probably be an easy sell. But I firmly believe she will not receive the welcome she believes she will by the common folk. They have no chains for her to break. She just brings fire and blood. I'm kind of surprised the KL-DC parallels got crickets. Tough crowd.
  13. That would hold up if it was a spontaneous city, but Aegon chose it to become the capitol of the largest empire since the Doom. An influx was counted on.
  14. I don't know how I didn't think of it before, but King's Landing is actually very analogous to Washington D.C. The decision not to use a existing castle/city like Oldtown or Dragonstone (like how the US didn't use an existing city like New York or Philadelphia) The decision to build a brand-new city which is relatively young compared to most others. The decision to put it in a more central location (Washington was put in the relative middle of the 13 colonies and specifically not in an existing state.) Both planned (to some degree) and square Both dominated by massive, towering monuments and buildings - but have a kinda crummy city in the rest (D.C. isn't KL bad, but its not the greatest city in the US. Plus it's an awful spot to build a city - swampy and hardly any bedrock). Named for the founder of the nation Located on a deep bay (Blackwater and Chesapeake) White House and Red Keep. A lot of shady shit going down. Maybe our American author used some more local history for inspiration in this? Doesn't really answer my previous questions, D.C. isn't that bad.
  15. Every time we see King's Landing outside the Red Keep, it mainly sucks. There are of course the great monuments on the hills, the wealthy merchants of the Street of Steel, guildhalls and manses, but GRRM drives home that King's Landing is dirty, poor and inferior to pretty much every other city in the world, in nearly all ways. Why does it suck so much? Shouldn't it be better? Nicer? Richer? You can smell the stench from miles away. Public sanitation seems to be almost non-existent. Jaeherys is said to have commissioned sewers, wells and other public sanitation, but it doesn't seem to work. Many characters talk about how all ports cities have unique smells. King's Landing is the worst. Was it just mis-managed? It's by far the youngest of the cities we see, but I don't think that's an excuse. Especially when you had the opportunity to plan the whole thing out, with the most modern technology, plenty of money and plenty of examples across the Narrow sea, and you come up with this place. When you go in through the only gate from the only port and you come out to a stinking fish market lined in filthy hovels. As far as we know, that's the only easy way into the city from the Harbor, for commoner and foreign dignitaries. Who would design something like that? Having to bring royalty through the starving masses is what got a handful of people killed after Myrcella was sent to Dorne. Compare that set up to White Harbor, a much smaller, poorer city - but it has double ports and the main harbor gate opens to a nice cobbled square with lord fishfoot. Makes way more sense. I don't think it makes sense that it apparently has the poorest (free) citizenry of any city too. I suppose so much of the population of the free cities being slaves skews the comparison, but it doesn't seem like any of the other ports in Westeros or even Braavos has the poverty that King's Landing has. Sure by the time we get there Robert has put the kingdom deep in the hole, but we have no reason to think the people of King's Landing were recently taxed into the ground or anything like that, and trade seems to be bustling. The World book says people were surprised Aegon chose to build at King's Landing, but says very little about who designed it, besides saying that a HotK named Osmund Strong oversaw the construction of the walls (and only the walls). Aegon supposedly built around the town that had sprung up around the Aegonfort, but that has to have been tiny area-wise compared to King's Landing now, did he leave it mainly up to whoever was building inside the walls? Doesn't seem like him, but the place just seems thrown together. I guess the core question is if there is a real reason(s) for why King's Landing sucks so much, or does it suck because GRRM wanted it to suck to serve at metaphor for what went on in the city, and thus it does?