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About cpg2016

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    Landed Knight
  1. They didn't hate each other. Stannis makes it clear that they just don't know each other. Renly tries to take the throne because he's a power-hungry shitbag. Stannis opposes him for the very practical reason that Renly's position represents a complete breakdown of Westerosi society. Literally, it will lead to anarchy.
  2. Actually, his ally (not his most powerful, that would be the Tullys or possible the Manderlys) broke their word to him and negotiated in bad faith. Not that he knew that, but that's the situation. Also, he made a mistake and offered an honest attempt to make amends. No one is perfect - if Walder Frey had meant to deal in good faith with the Starks, none of it would have been an issue. The fact is, the Frey's meant to betray the Starks before they heard about the Red Wedding. GRRM has said as much. And... what exactly was he supposed to do with Rickard Karstark? The man killed two prisoners of war that weren't his, breaking every Westerosi taboo and rule of war in the process. He was a criminal, and it sounds like the death penalty was accepted as just. In every action we see Robb take save his marrying Jeyne Westerling, he acts about as perfectly as anyone could under difficult circumstances.
  3. Well, I suspect part of the reason for that is because we're supposed to define the Frey's by the sheer number of them. Besides, there are plenty of other wealthy lords who we don't get elaborate descriptions of. Frankly, I'd guess (I haven't looked into it) that most of the "fancy" descriptions we get are at court, or when we're meant to be awed (or the POV character is) by splendor. These novels are huge; trimming a couple hundred or thousand words here and there by skimping on the details of day-to-day dress is smart editing. This wasn't the situation. 600 years ago the Riverlands were firmly under the control of the powerful Storm Kings, and then the Hoares. The scenario you are describing does not exist And Roddy the Ruin. But you don't seem to understand how economics and trade works. The Frey's aren't wealthy because they're levying tolls on passing armies - they are wealthy because they levy tolls on merchants and trade. They also control the river if anyone tries to portage. Peacetime benefits, not hurts, the Freys. You misunderstood. The amount doesn't change. The Freys are obligated to provide a fixed amount of men and money (or goods in kind) every year. It doesn't change. Ever. And no, Hoster won't have taxmen or officials - this isn't how medieval societies functioned. There was barely any central democracy to speak of. It's why the Church was so important. Churches were rich in part because the monks and such were literate, and thus better able to monetize their land. If Hoster Tully is receiving what Walder Frey owes him, he's not checking any further - he has no legal right to demand more. This is what led to the decline of feudalism in the first place - as the Price Revolution took hold after the Black Death in the 14th Century, prices and wages began rising but feudal revenues were stagnant, impoverishing most nobles. I mean, they make their money on taxes and then selling the goods received. That White Harbor is the only port is why the Manderly's are wealthy, but it doesn't mean that the Manderly's themselves are the source of that silver. Also, it's not like other Houses won't have specie with which to pay taxes - everything else aside, this is a world with an established and viable currency. As we see with the Vale lords, selling goods on an open market (almost certainly the Free Cities) is so commonplace as to be routine, and the various lords receive currency in return. The Starks can and probably do collect some of their tax revenue (perhaps all) in currency; it's the peasants at the bottom paying in kind, which probably gradually becomes more and more converted into currency as you go up the feudal chain and achieve the economies of scale needed to make selling goods worthwhile. Well I happen to agree with you that the "vast wealth" of the Frey's is a result of early installment weirdness. However, the Frey's ALSO have a fair bit of land subinfeudated to their vassals, so it's better to think of them like the Manderly's - wealthy and powerful vassals who, unlike most, have an additional source of commercial income to rely on. I think you are also discounting how difficult it is to move goods against the current, especially near the headwaters of a river. This is why the idea that the Freys are taking advantage of trade from Seagard makes sense - any merchant worth their salt is going to prefer to portage that way, and cut many months off of their travel time, by going down the river and into the Bay of Crabs and then across the Narrow Sea, than by taking the extremely dangerous, extremely long way around Westeros. Look, we know the Freys are wealthy. All we need to is to find a legitimate reason why this could be so, not find a reason it can't be. Yes, you could be right that the Blue Fork is better for trade. But if the Green Fork is the superior trade route from Ironman's Bay, then everything makes sense. Why make an issue out of something with a simple explanation? Seagard is almost certainly a port, or else it wouldn't be located where it is. And you are assuming a great deal about the geography of the Riverlands. Given the proximity of the hilly Westerlands, it's quite possible that the southern shores of Ironman's Bay are very hilly or mountainous, making portage nigh-on impossible. The northern coast is far more likely to be flat, from what we know in-text. We also don't know how navigable the Blue Fork is near Hag's Mire, whereas we do know that the Green Fork runs deep and fast enough to not be fordable anywhere above or below the Twins for many many miles.
  4. I don't dispute any of that. But Abraham Lincoln was honest, in addition to portraying that, and Ned Stark was honest (and "buying" the goldcloaks isn't wrong, it's well within his legal and moral authority as Hand). It's incredibly difficult to been seen as honest if you aren't acting in good faith to begin with. And that is why Lord Lannister is so very wrong. Yes, politicians have to be pragmatic, have to compromise, have to make deals. Have to keep secrets, even. But none of that is the same as being deceitful, or particularly manipulative. Those kinds of people tend to make awful politicians, because no one will deal with them. Robb makes one inconsequential mistake. Other than that, his handling of both his external politics (war) and internal politics (the feudal jockeying of his vassals) is practically flawless. Marrying Jeyne is unimportant because the Frey's were in the process of abandoning him anyway, and as they were bargaining in bad faith, he is under no obligation either.
  5. Well they sort of do, because dozens if not hundreds of Freys reside at the Twins. This is a massive drain on wealth. Also, given that the Freys are widely considered a sort of nouveau riche, it makes sense that they engage in some kind of ostentatious display. This probably isn't the case, since the Freys have only been around for 600 years or so. I think you misunderstand how feudal economics work. It's highly unlikely that Hoster Tully engages in any kind of accounting of his vassals at all; they are required to pay him a fixed annual sum and provide troops on request - if Walder Frey sends whatever he is feudally obligated to pay, that's the end of it. A lot of this is because the Manderly's are using Stark silver to beef up Northern naval capacities. And people absolutely acknowledge that the Manderlys are among the most powerful and wealthy of the Northern vassal Houses. This is explicitly contradicted by the text. Furthermore, it's almost certain that the Frey's wealth comes from controlling a presumably-lucrative portage business from Seagard down into the heart of the Riverlands - it takes FAR less time to ship goods through Ironman's Bay, portage to the Twins, and then sail south down the Green Fork to ship goods from the western side of Westeros to the Narrow Sea, especially if they are perishable goods. It's a far shorter (and less dangerous) trip than the noted-in-text long and perilous voyage around Dorne and through the Stepstones. The point being, not all trade is conducted along roads, and the Freys are well positioned to take advantage of cross-continental trade as well as north-south. Even IF a merchant wants to use the Kingsroad, it still makes more sense to ship downriver and unload your goods near Darry, and the Freys are probably quite jealous of their privileges, and deny others the ability to construct adequate infrastructure to take that advantage away from them
  6. I think Kings Landing gets blown up (a popular theory in the fandom) when Dany arrives to confront Aegon (the mummers dragon) and Arianne. The wildfire caches under the city are such a huge Chekov's Gun that they have to go off sooner or later, and it makes perfect sense that Dany will arrive with fire and blood, and accidentally set them off
  7. Yes, I'm aware. What's the point your making? The mountain clans are fighting for Stannis Baratheon, but solely to rescue Ned Stark's daughter. In other words, they have no feudal relationship with Stannis, but on the basis of the way Ned Stark treated his vassals and the principles by which he lived (and died), they're supporting a "foreign" king in a campaign to retake Winterfell from a Northern House. My point about in-story and IRL politics is that being honorable and honest is a very viable method of conducting yourself as a politician. Lord Lannister's statement that politics is a business of deceit and manipulation is incredibly wrong, incredibly shortsighted, and refuted in the text and in examples from real life. To take an example from American politics, the consensus best President in history is "Honest Abe" Lincoln - obviously some of that is self-managed image making, but the point is that his political career was built on a reputation for honesty and integrity. Indeed, most "dishonest" politicians find themselves on the losing end of historical analysis. Lyndon Johnson was one of the most successful "politicians" of his time, but his legacy has suffered because of the way he conducted himself. Likewise, in the story, we see that the characters who act in good faith and treat others with honesty and respect tend to be vindicated, while those who act in dishonest, manipulative, or otherwise negative ways find themselves or their legacies being cast aside. Case in point - Tywin Lannister, for all that he was feared and maybe even respected in his lifetime, has everything he worked to build fall apart, almost entirely because of his own actions. Indeed, he literally begins rotting the moment he dies. House Lannister is on the verge of collapse, because no one trusts them and because Tywin didn't bother to care for his children or instill in them a sense of honor, or duty, or treat them as anything but extensions of his own ego.
  8. This is ridiculous. Politics can be based on a lot of things. Ned Stark based his politics on honor and integrity, and because of that, his vassals are fighting to death, on behalf of a total stranger, to uphold his legacy. That's both in-story and in real life. Robb is an excellent politician, as we see again and again. Catelyn calls it out in the text, as he is handling his vassals extremely well, showing favor to all of them equally, not being cowed by either their threats or enticements. He fails because everything that can go wrong does; this is GRRM's finger on the scales.
  9. Actually, they do. Feudal politics operate through proximity to the king. Renly has a ton of access, as Lord of Storm's End, as Master of Laws, and as Robert's brother. He can gain more power if he is responsible for Margaery's position at court. It gives him multiple angles of access to receive largesse and honors from the court, and gains him the backing of the Tyrells. As Margaery's patron, so to speak, he's in a position to both influence her, and demand privileges of the Tyrells. He crowns himself king because he knows Joffrey is illegitimate (hence the Margaery & Robert plot) and doesn't care about social strictures or laws or anything like that. He wants power. There is no scenario in which Renly backs Stannis.
  10. I mean, the way to square this circle is to look at the timelines. Both Tywin and Robb raise their forces VERY quickly. Tywin to begin his chevauchee across the Riverlands, and Robb to rescue Ned. This might imply that their respective armies are, on average, better trained than might be expected. Perhaps it is a higher composition of men-at-arms and household retainers than would normally be the case, because there was no time to raise and train levies. This would explain both the generally poor quality of Westerosi infantry (in most fights, it's farmers with spears and not trained militia) and the fairly decent quality seen in the early stages of the WOT5K; after all, Roose's men execute a night march, with a (potentially deliberately) botched ambush, fight a losing battle, and retreat in good order. That's a tall order even for highly trained men.
  11. We are not meant to have this opinion, though. The text is pretty clear, in multiple places, that despite the Frey's (and Lannisters, and Boltons) undermining the sanctity of guest right, decent people, people with whom we're meant to sympathize, still uphold it. Which is why Yohn Royce is aghast at Lyn Corbray drawing his sword, why Jon Snow so scrupulously upholds it at Castle Black re: Cregan Karstark, and why Lord Blackwood, depicted as a noble and honorable man, is so correct in obeying the forms of guest right for Jaime at Raventree Hall. Moreover, not every Frey was actively responsible for the Red Wedding, and LSH has no way of knowing which are which. Her mindless quest for revenge is not meant to be read as justice or comeuppance for the Freys, it's supposed to be brutal and untargeted, harming innocents and guilty alike. Contrast that with Stannis, who is very clear that he doesn't hold every Karstark man responsible for the treachery of Arnolf. What evidence? That she's carrying a Lannister sword? That is literally the only evidence. She isn't even given an opportunity to defend herself or explain, so lets not pretend like this is a trial, or an impartial parsing of evidence for or against Brienne's culpability.
  12. Obviously my opinion isn't a fact. But unlike yours, it makes sense, both thematically and in a narrative sense. And I'm not sure why your default position is that your opinion deserves respect, or to be taken seriously, when you make a bad argument. GRRM didn't put a character (Catelyn Stark) into the story and spend a great deal of time humanizing us, showing us her intelligence and courage as well as her flaws and foibles, just so he could retroactively tear all that down. It's a foolish thing to say and deserves to be called out as such. Instead of skimming the surface of the character's actions, maybe try and dig a little deeper and see what the author is trying to communicate or accomplish by having the character behave that way. If you are incapable of looking beyond the shallowest possible explanation, then yes, I will treat you as someone incapable of understanding a deeper argument - which will seem condescending.
  13. Like Brienne? Like Merrett Frey, murdered under a flag of truce? Like the teenaged Petyr Frey? The entire series is most certainly not people fighting over revenge. And the ones who do (like Doran Martell) are shown to be flawed characters whose revenge plots are going to kill them, their families, and a lot of innocent people.
  14. Exactly. That's the point. Ditto with Theon, at first. And then you're supposed to go "holy shit, this is too far, nothing justifies this". Merrett Frey might be a detestable idiot, but did he deserve to be murdered under a flag of truce? Petyr Frey might not have had anything to do with the Red Wedding, but is hanged. Brienne, one of the few genuinely heroic characters in the novels, is threatened with a hanging undeservedly. The entire point of LSH is that revenge is not justice, and our initial glee at seeing the comeuppance of the Freys and Boltons and Lannisters should be tempered by the equally abhorrent brutality with which it is carried out, and moreover, by the scattershot and unjust approach with which it is carried out. I think this is going to be brought to its conclusion in WoW, when Jeyne Westerling is brutally murdered on the road for her "role" in the Red Wedding, despite the genuine love she and Robb shared.
  15. Renly wants a scenario that propels him into a position of power. He settles on the Tyrells because of his relationship with Loras; he doesn't choose them in order to be closer to Loras, it's that closeness which makes the Margaery scheme possible. And there is no scenario in which Renly backs Joffrey. He knows about the twincest, and only cares insofar as it's an opportunity to gain power and influence in the capitol. Renly wants power for Renly, and that is that. The only way he backs the existing Lannister regime is if he has no backing from another Paramount House, because he knows that he'll lose influence and standing in an even more pro-Lannister regime.