Runaway Penguin

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About Runaway Penguin

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    Lord Too Fat To Eat

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    Military history, technology, tactics, literature, music, hiking, whine and cheese...

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  1. R+L=J v.162

    Yes, GRRM mostly ignores logistics. Still... Battle of Trident is won. Rebel armies send a fast (probably cavalry) force to start the siege of King's Landing (first step would be to cut off roads - ideal job vor cavalry). Cavalry CAN travel light, esp. if Crownlands are pretty intact and forage can be had there. Thus Ned arrives 14 days after Trident just as the Sack happens. After short rest and argument with Rob, he takes his cavalry and goes to Storm's End (again, if he travels light, he would be faster there). Lifting of the siege always struck me as rather delivering message than a military op - he did not need army there, heck, even a hundred riders as escort would be enough. Mace did not have stomach to fight, not when he got confirmation Aerys is dead and Rhaegar too. If they then hasted to Dorne, with remounts (or even changing mounts along the way) - few men can travel relatively fast. I guess they would be going under the banner of truce, with letters from Tyrells and others for safe passage. War is over, basically.
  2. Heresy Project X+Y=J: Wrap up thread Jon also put his entire family into risk if found out etc... Benjen also probably knows, his hint to Jon that he would not be so eager to join NW if he knew what all would be sacrificing... Even after already talking about women.
  3. Is Mance Literate?

    Well one crackpot I saw was that Elder Brother IS Rhaegar. Far more probable than him being Mance
  4. Heresy Project X+Y=J: Wrap up thread

    Not really sure if you are not reading too much into symbolism... Does the dead direwolf really have to have additional phallic symbolism, apart from the very clear foreshadowing of getting tangled with stags will kill the big direwolf (Eddard Stark) and that there are six pups, one for each kid of Stark blood? I really am not convinced that GRRM aims for one massive interwoven plots - if anything, it seems like a set of plots/legends that may be often going on cross purposes or mistakenly connected by people (Azor Azhai / PtwP / Last Hero) on Planetos (not to say here as well ;)). EDIT: Re. GRRM, while show will diverge, the very crucial bits for the story will remain. And Jon's parentage seems to have been one of them
  5. Is Mance Literate?

    To know that you can switch Abel and Bael you do not need to be able to write or read I guess, but he also was using map (along with Tormund and others) and while it may have been just lines, maps are generally more useful with names on them. He may not be "Maester Grade", but I guess he has basics. I really do not think he was Rhaegar, Watch seems to know him from little kid. If you are looking for Rhaegar, go to Quiet Isle
  6. Putting the Cart Behind the Horse

    Entitlement vs. Achievement. In his first view, the moment he gets the throne solidly, the Kingdoms are saved. The kingdomsneed him on his rightful throne to be saved. New view: He has to save kingdoms to deserve the throne.
  7. Do people ACTUALLY think Tyrion is a good guy?

    Renly had nothing against feudalism, he just wanted be on the top of the feudal heap because he was throwing better parties than his bigger brother. Anyway, to Tyrion... He is tring to do his best to mitigate rule of his cruel nephew, he is often callous and careless - by our modern eyes, but not more so than other "good" protagonists in the series. He is also facing quite serious challenges, both due to his upbringing, due to his physical handicap and due to gross injustice done to him after his life success as administrator. He is not shining hero on a bright horse, however he is not inherently evil - not even neutral I would say. You often find good guys fighting on the wrong side and bad guys on the good side.
  8. Vows vs. Doing What's "Right"

    Disagree. Cancelling control of the North to faction hostile to NW by default (it can be implied by all the mentions about which Houses are firendly to Watch) when the Long Winter is coming is vital for Watch mission. Marrying the last known heir of Lord Stark would seal this control. It actually does NOT violate the oath - it is not done to win crown, win glory, father children etc... But it is done to protect the Kingdoms of Men. The oath does not say exactly against what This is just the political aspect. If we go into the mythical... There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Or the NW and humanity loses...
  9. Realms of Men were also beyond the Wall. Heck, once King of Winter and King Beyond the Wall had to join forces to bring Watch in line. In the Olden days, wall was doubtless the same for folk beyond the Wall as a holdfast to villagers - place where they can retreat to safety if things go bad. Far less raiders than Wildlings in general and without trade, Wildlings have little choice than raiding to get cool stuff from South. Hence establish trading outposts, see the sea dry out for Raiders You are taking in last few years/decades. Watch and Wall were there for millenia, if history is to be trusted. And you do not build a 700 feet wall to keep few raiders in line (IF the raids were such a concern, Wall wqould be permanently manned by Northern levies). Your view demonstrates clearly how the Watch tradition onscures the Watch oath and Watch purpose
  10. What it takes for someone to be a good leader?

    Defining a good leader is always a catch. Is it popular leader? Is it successful leader? Also... Different people may be great leaders in one role and fail in another. Take for example General Grant. Was he a great leader of armies? Yes, I dare say so. He was never as popular among lower ranks as, say, McClellan - who supplied them lavishly and avoided fight - but he was most effective general and managed to motivate his troops to fight. He also was not afraid of trusting his subordinates and recognize (and reward) competence. However, as a President, he was kinda failure. Compare immensely popular Napoleon - he was great general indeed, popular among his troops for his easy manner in interaction with them - and similarly popular Wellesley - who did not hide his contempt for his rank and file and went all aristocrat on everyone - but was also very effective general, able to motivate his troops to fight well. Heck, another similar pair is Rommel vs. Montgomery, though Monty was more friendly to his soldiers than Wellesley On the other hand, take say Winston Churchill. As a soldier he was not really remarkable, as a politician he definitely was a great leader - going from most hated to most loved within few years. It is hard to nail anything these gentlemen had in common... So good leader depends a lot on context. It is kinda situation of "Not sure how good leader looks like - but sure as Hell to recognize a bad one"
  11. I think the main point of the book/show schism is that the show kinda presents the really important characters - characters who will be in for the kill at the end. It also hints that stories such as fAegon, the entire Dornish plot, Ironborn... are just speedbumps, not perhaps as crucially important for the story as many book readers think. (It would also hint at the main problem with the books: starting so many threads and side stories that, for the book, NEED some conclusion)
  12. I generally find the obsession with holy orders kinda... Funny, as both world wars showed that if anything, having a family to protect is a VERY powerful motivator to fight, if the country is in danger (though then again you knew that the country will most likely take care of them) - but any way, mining for hidden treasure in Mole's Town is kinda edging the line and wise Lord Commander knows when to look elsewhere. Then again, it may have the same origins as celibacy in the Catholic church - no rooting in higher mysteries, but rather in posts not becoming inheritable Watch oath also does not mention anything about non-interference in the matters of Realm (at least North) - it just says the Brothers should seek no crowns and no glory. But it does not say Watch should not interfere if, say, Lord of Winterfell went bonkers and tendangered the existence of Watch... Or when the Realm was under attack by magical force (dragons). After all, NW Oath says nothing about being mortal enemy of Wildlings. Smart Watch would have trading outposts at each of the Castles, encouraging Wildlings to come there and get stuff in exchange for furs and stuff - in the long run and for average Wildling, that would be far more profitable than raiding. A lot of NW customs is tradition rather than oath and traditions are often wrong, esp. once their source is forgotten.
  13. The first step would be expanding goldcloaks as strictly law enforcement force - throughout the realm. As you expand the economy, have goldcloak garrisons at every toll station, every Crown bridge etc. You need the economic might to start building Crown army. Until you get it, though, it is easy to secure Crown cities and outposts by offering command to landless/poor knights, or even to capable men at arms. "Join the garrison of new Crown mining city, get rich..." The cities are the most important thing.
  14. Goldcloaks TBH are not an army. I would not build on them - I would relegate them to the law and order forces and pull fighters out of their ranks (plus try to attract as many experienced commanders from elsewhere). As for the loyalty of Crown army... In the era of beginning of absolutism in Europe (or Parliamentarism in the UK) there were not too many issues with loyalty. Especially if the army is based on Crown cities, their inhabitants know all too well that their privileges/securities rely on strong Crown. If moreover the Crown army is seen as an easy avenue of social climb... You won't have too many people willing to risk on behalf of nobles who look down on them
  15. How much did the Watch know?

    While the appearance of Others is taken as a surprise, there is a lot of hints that Watch - or at least the leadership - knew something. Going from the messages Halfhand sends ("Tell Mormont that trees have eyes!") down to innocent conversation with Tyrion (where Mormont mentions White Walker spotted by Eastwatch)... Even the appearance of wights is not THAT big shock as it ought have been and Mormont mentions that the NW knows about Craster's sacrifices (though not if he new to whom - unlike in series). Ser Jaremy seems to not know much, but Benjen suspects. So... Who does know? And since when? How? I presume Rangers might have heard from Wildlings, but Wildlings close to Wall were not in direct contact. Did Rangers occassionally talk with the tribes further North? Did select rangers know from them (And through them, the Lord Commander and inner circle of top Rangers)? And what did they know? Were White Walkers "known" occurence, but them going into murder mode and raising undead actually a new thing? Then again if they were knows... Wouldn't properties of Dragonglass kept as a knowledge as well? Or did they just begin to appear recently again? (Possible connection: Summerhall?) But then... The Rangers won't talk about them so casually probably. So... Were they around all the time, but just as isolated and distant threat, no really different from Shadowcats? And again, who knew and what?