Free Northman Reborn

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  1. I think people confuse the intended irony of Sandor being her true KNIGHT, with him becoming her love interest or marriage partner. Those two roles need not coincide. As for Jon and Sansa. I don't know. But the fact is, she is less closely related to him than Daenerys is, so purely from the motive of choosing the least revolting incestuous setup, she would be the better choice of the two.
  2. There may actually be some truth in that yes. Ned is nothing like the hard faced men Bran sees in the crypts.
  3. Great quote. What I was going to say is that the Watch was actually much stronger BEFORE the Iron Throne existed. It numbered 10,000 men, in fact, when Aegon burned Harrenhal. The North in general appears to have been more prosperous and powerful before the existence of the Iron Throne. They did just fine for 7700 years, in fact. All those taxes paid to Royal tax collectors in White Harbor - Manderly kept it for a year and built a fleet of 50 ships with it. The North has no need of the South. It didn't for 7700 years of Winters, long and short, mild and harsh. Why would that have changed in the last 300?
  4. That's partially true, yes. However, a vassal House sworn to House Karstark (a petty lord in our example) is still subservient to House Karstark, no matter how rich or powerful they are. For example, House Manderly is richer than House Stark, and can almost certainly raise more men too, but they are still a level below House Stark. Conversely, and supporting your point, House Glover are Landed Knights only, but they are far more influential than a petty lord sworn to House Manderly, for example. The thing I would like to know is whether there are any petty lords sworn to Houses Glover or Tallhart, who are both Masterly (Knightly) Houses only. I'm not sure how that would work. And yet, the alternative is that there are no petty lords in the hundred thousand or so square miles ruled by these two Houses. I find that difficult to believe. In fact, if I recall correctly the Telltale game (non-canon, I know) has House Ironwood or some such petty lord sworn to House Glover. Which kind of seems like a logical setup, even if it is not official. Surely there must be petty lords all over the North, so how does the vassal setup work in the areas controlled by the Glovers and Tallharts? Unless those petty lords are sworn directly to House Stark, with the Glovers and Tallharts just exercising administrative control over them on behalf of Winterfell.
  5. Martin says in the quote below, that the vassal of the vassal of the vassal contributes men to the call of the banners, right down to the guy who can raise a few friends: Question: I am also a bit curious as to the social structure of westeros. I understand the seven high lords, and the slightly lower lords (ie. Boltons, Karstarks, Freys etc.). However, do these lords also have sub lords below them? Lords who maybe raise 10 or 20 men for the Karstarks? Martin: Yes, it is a feudal system. The lords have vassals, the vassals have vassals, and sometimes the vassals of the vassals have vassals, down to the guy who can raise five friends. End quote However, I think that in the books, George skipped a few levels to get from the super powerful lord down to petty lord level fairly quickly. For example, let's take the North, where the lordships are fairly easy to distinguish based on geographical distribution. The Starks would be the equivalent of Kings. The Karstarks, Umbers, Boltons etc. would be the equivalent of Dukes, ruling over large "provinces/duchies" of the Kingdom. (Note that some of the areas ruled by these Dukes, like the Karstark, Umber or Dustin lands are larger than the entire England, for example.) I would argue that the next level down should be the "Counts", ruling over individual counties that make up each duchy. Again using the North as an example, the duchy we have the most information on is that of House Manderly, which is stated to have 12 such petty lords. To me it seems like this is where Martin skipped a level, because if a Duchy is the size of England, it seems kind of difficult to accept that lords who might rule up to 1/12th of such a duchy could be considered "petty lords". These "Count" equivalents are much more powerful than the manner in which House Stout for example has been portrayed. Perhaps House Webber is a better example, but even so, you would think that these Counts must be pretty powerful. The next step down from these Counts would be the "Manor lords". These are the Landed knights/Masterly Houses, of which Lord Manderly has 100 sworn as vassals to himself. Note it might be that each of his 12 petty lords also have various numbers of Landed Knights sworn to them, and that these are excluded from the 100 who are sworn directly to Lord Manderly. Nevertheless, these Manor lords would rule a keep with land and villages around it. The most powerful ones rule a lot of villages, and the less powerful ones would be the equivalent of House Osprey who had three small villages under their control only. Some Manor lords appear to be disproportionately powerful, at the level of Dukes even in terms of the lands and numbers of people that they rule. Here I think of Houses Glover, Tallhart and Templeton. But in general, this level is less powerful than the Petty Lord/Count level. So the hierarchy is then as follows, in my view: King - House Stark Duke - House Umber/Karstark/Bolton Count - House Stout/House Webber Manor Lord - House Glover/Tallhart/Osprey I think that's as simple as Martin made it. My one criticism is that the level of Count has been portrayed as too weak, considering the territory these guys rule. There should have been another level below Count, where Petty Lords are placed.
  6. Regarding the Westerlands, we know that in order to raise their original 35k, and Stafford's 2nd army (size not known but generally guestimated around 10k, including around 4k survivors from the Battle of Riverrun), they had to scrape together potboys and street urchins from the bowels of Lannisport in addition to hiring a bunch of mercenaries up front. So I think it is safe to say that while some skeleton garrisons obviously remained at various keeps, the West pretty much tapped into the vast majority of their primary and reserve strength to put an estimated 41k men in the field. Of course, Tywin being filthy rich always begged the question, why didn't he just pull a Stannis and hire 20k sellswords from Essos at any given time? He would not even need the Iron Bank's funding to do so. I guess it never came down to that level of desperation, and he was tight with his money.
  7. Not sure why someone who open carries a firearm is deemed cowardly or more dangerous than someone who carries a weapon concealed. Stupid, yes, because you advertize the fact that you are armed and can therefore be disarmed more easily, or robbed of your gun. Concealed carry is the way to go. Open carry is a bit dumb in my view, but each to his own.
  8. Wait, what? I'm not into knives at all, but what is the above statement based on? I'd be more worried about the guy carrying a hidden knife on his person, than the one openly carrying it in some kind of sheath or the like. What's with this irrational fear of anything remotely resembling a weapon?
  9. Ashaii is the oldest. But the people who built it vanished eons ago and it seems likely that those who inhabit it now are visitors from elsewhere trying to learn some of the secrets left behind by those people "so ancient that they have no name". A last remnant of that ancient Ashaii civilization seems to have seeded the knowledge of dragontaming among the sheepherders of ancient, primitive Valyria.
  10. Based on my searches medieval Scotland had about 20 people per square mile, compared to England's 40 per square mile, and France's 60. Anyway, a number of around 6 per square mile has always seemed right for the North for me. With areas like the Manderly lands having 12-15 per square mile (two to three times the average), while areas like the Mountain clan lands might be down to 3 per square mile (half the average). But around 6 per square mile feels about right, overall.
  11. The argument is not that there is a low mobilization ratio of the easily accessible people. The argument is that there is a low mobilization ratio for the overall population of the entire kingdom. So it is quite possible that there is a very high mobilization rate for the major settlements and their immediate surroundings. Its just that this mobilization ratio does not extend to the entire population. So in that case, you could have only a 1% mobilization rate for the North as a whole, but for the major settlements and their surroundings it might be as high as 10%, based on the quotes provided in the books. Meaning most able bodied men in those areas get drafted, as was the case at Karhold and the Last Hearth. But 5 days hiking from Karhold, through forest, valleys and rough terrain, the guys in their hovels might not have sent a single person.
  12. But that's exactly what I'm saying. The level of depletion is highest at Winterfell itself and its immediate villages, just like it is highest at Karhold itself. The farther you move out from these keeps, the lower the depletion rate would be. Also remember, Rodrik refers to the likely lads. Which means people who can be spared from their communities. If there is an able bodied man who is the local tanner, or baker or thatcher, smith, innkeeper, mason or whatever, he is not going to drop his trade and go and become a spearman on Winterfell's walls. Similarly, if the harvest is still being brought in, the strongest, most productive fieldhands are not going to be sent off to become garrison members for Winterfell. You will send the men who are least needed in their villages. There was no urgent need to defend Winterfell from invaders at the time. This was a long term replacement of guards for Winterfell's garrison. Youngsters who could make it their career. But once the Ironborn arrived, it suddenly did become an emergency, meaning those fieldhands who were not sent before, could be released for a short while. Again, not permanently to become Winterfell guards, but temporarily, to go and chase Dagmer Cleftjaw from Torhenn Square.
  13. No, that does not surprise me that much. Rodrik was training a new garrison for Winterell itself. Which had a permanent garrison of 200 before the War. These men he would not be able to raise very easily from petty vassal lords and landed knights sworn to Winterfell, considering that these vassals had already provided their required commitment to the Starks by sending men with Robb. So Rodrik was training a new garrison from local Wintertown lads and from the farm villages directly controlled by Winterfell. Considering that Winterfell has walls 100 feet tall, and that Rodrik really did not envisage any immediate threat to Winterfell itself at that point, training up the local lads who remained behind for garrison duty on Winterfell's walls was more than adequate, and the need did not justify calling more men from the bannerlords, even the petty lords and landed knights sworn directly to Winterfell. However, once the Ironborn invaded, the scenario changed, and Rodrik called up more men from surrounding holdfasts and petty lords. But even then, only from lords on Winterfell's own lands and apparently very close by (but a bit further than just Wintertown and the surrounding farms). And these were the 600 you are referring to. Anyway, the simple fact remains. The Ironborn are the only kingdom to raise most of their able bodied men to war when required. The mainland - including the North - cannot and does not do so. Not even close. I'm sure that like Winterfell, Karhold and the Last Hearth themselves stretched their available local manpower. But not the manpower of their entire respective regions. Just the lands directly controlled by each ruling keep.
  14. Look, as a thought experiment let's accept for the moment that this is the case in the North, as long a you apply that to the South too. Because there is no way that the North can raise a larger percentage of its population to arms than the South does. It is logically impossible. The mobilization ratio is a function of the number of peasants required to generate the resources necessary to support one soldier in the field. And in the North, you would require MORE peasants to support each soldier than in the South, because the land is less fertile, so more work is required to generate the required surplus, and the travel distances are greater, so more supplies are needed to mobilize an army than in the South. So thought experiment aside, this does not make sense. Also, if you are saying that they were able to raise 600 lads between the ages of 15 and 19 (with one 20 year old) from Winterfell's immediate surroundings, then by default you are saying Winterfell's immediate surroundings normally have a LOT more able bodied men than 600, because the ages between 15-19 represent at a guess maybe one sixth of the population between 15 and 50. So that would make it around 3600 able bodied men in Winterfell and its immediate surroundings. But wait. We must assume that a good number of lads between 15-19 already went with Robb's army, to serve as squires, pages, apprentices, cooking boys, animal handlers and what have you. So the 600 was likely more like a thousand before the army left. And of course, not EVERY able bodied man will be mobilized. Some will be required at their home keeps, some will hide, some will be be busy with some errand or be missed for some reason. So the 1000 likely becomes 1500 at the start of the War. So now mulitply that 1500 by six (to expand the age range to include ALL able bodied men), and you get 9000 able bodied men at Winterfell and its immediate surroundings before the War. And by immediate surroundings we seem to mean less than a day's ride away, given that the Cerwyn's brought seperate men from a day's ride away. So 9000 able bodied men from a day's ride around Winterfell, before the War. And that's if we go with your theory. Edit Just to add, able bodied men would represent, what, a third of the total male population? Cripples, the sick, the injured, the young and the old would outnumber them. So if you have 9000 able bodied men, you likely have a male population from 0-90 and all sorts inbetween, of say 25,000. So double that to add the female half and you get around 50,000 people around Winterfell.
  15. I agree that Martin's numbers are sometimes all over the place. But let's explore the 600 men for a moment. They are raised from Winterfell's immediate surroundings. The "nearest holdfasts" only. Note that it excludes anyone from the Cerwyn lands, which are only a day's ride away, since Cley Cerwyn brought 300 separate men from the Cerwyn lands. So this would seem to be the remaining available men of fighting age from Winterfell itself, and from holdfasts only in very close proximity to Winterfell. And this after the cream of the crop had already left with Robb and Ned. I would argue the same applies to Karhold, where the remaining 450 men they sent with Arnolf are the equivalent of the 600 men Rodrik raised from Winterfell's immediate surroundings. In other words, when Alys says Karhold has no men left, she means Karhold and its immediate surroundings. Not the entire 50,000 square miles of Karstark lands.