thor2006

Free Cities and Westeros

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Among the Free Cities what cities in the books/world book is closer politcly with Westeros? Thanks.

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I would say Braavos due to slavery being outlawed there, its proximity to Westeros, the Iron Bank and the wealth in commerce and trade to be had between the two. 

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I'd say Pentos. It's the closest one to King's Landing and its inhabitants are racially Andals (although they have a higher degree of Valyrian influence than the Westerosi).

In terms of politics, we have seen that the Targaryen dinasty has historically used Pentos many times as their foothold in Essos: Maegor Targaryen went there when he was exiled by Aenys (and married Tyanna of Pentos), Daemon and Laena lived there for several years (Baela and Rhaena were born there), Viserys and Dany went there... I think I'm missing some other examples.

I'd specualte that the ties with Braavos have increased only after the fall of the Targaryens, because of Robert borrowing money from the Iron Bank.

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I'd say if you go by how most people live, Norvos. Rather than an elected council or a merchantile elite, Norvos has a theocratically appointed magistracy and an entrenched nobility that lives in its own structures, separate from the smallfolk, whom they rarely see. The everyday running of the place is generally managed by priests and the officials elected by priests (vaguely similar to the Oldtown cadre of septons and maesters), and the government and common lifestyle is heavily rooted in religion, like most of Westeros, although the Westerosi nobility tend to sometimes forget this about the way their people live. The economy is agrarian, not as commercial as the other Free Cities. Most people's closest relationship with trade is "living near a road." The landscape dotted with small fortresses, rather than one big city - and Westeros has barriers to the establishment of city charters, so most Westerosi never see a city similar to the other Free Cities. Norvos is pretty provincial and doesn't engage as much as the other Free Cities do with the broader world, like much of Westeros. And, also like Westeros, Norvos has relied on the dragonlords for protection and settling disputes, but has by and large not adopted Valyrian culture.

If you go by Brienne's tour of the Riverlands in A Feast for Crows as "the real Westeros," then Norvos is most similar to that.

Edited by GyantSpyder

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Pentos in terms of culture & language and ethnicity, they are closest to the andals. Braavos in terms of financial and economical ties.

Politically maybe Tyrosh and Braavos since they are ruled by one ruler: the Archon/Sealord instead of many rulers as in the other cities. This is similar to the one king rule in Westeros.

 

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Braavos politically(no slavery, well encouraged capitalism)

Pentos culturally (Valyrian and westerosi influence due to trade)

Norvos.....Gyant said that best. 

On 11/29/2016 at 4:07 PM, GyantSpyder said:

I'd say if you go by how most people live, Norvos. Rather than an elected council or a merchantile elite, Norvos has a theocratically appointed magistracy and an entrenched nobility that lives in its own structures, separate from the smallfolk, whom they rarely see. The everyday running of the place is generally managed by priests and the officials elected by priests (vaguely similar to the Oldtown cadre of septons and maesters), and the government and common lifestyle is heavily rooted in religion, like most of Westeros, although the Westerosi nobility tend to sometimes forget this about the way their people live. The economy is agrarian, not as commercial as the other Free Cities. Most people's closest relationship with trade is "living near a road." The landscape dotted with small fortresses, rather than one big city - and Westeros has barriers to the establishment of city charters, so most Westerosi never see a city similar to the other Free Cities. Norvos is pretty provincial and doesn't engage as much as the other Free Cities do with the broader world, like much of Westeros. And, also like Westeros, Norvos has relied on the dragonlords for protection and settling disputes, but has by and large not adopted Valyrian culture.

If you go by Brienne's tour of the Riverlands in A Feast for Crows as "the real Westeros," then Norvos is most similar to that.

 

So that's my piece of the pie. 

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Pentos would be closest culturally but it is still a completely different world. The Free Cities are no feudal monarchies, they are either meritocracies (like those cities which are essentially ruled by merchants) or aristocratic republics (and even in those you essentially become a noble and have a share in the government if you have financially successful).

The Seven Kingdoms have nothing of this sort. Oldtown, the Arbor, and perhaps Lannisport get closest to the Free Cities because there trade and business make you powerful. The Hightowers, Redwynes, and Lannisters of Lannisport essentially seem to be merchant lords. But the average lord of Westeros lives off the rents his vassals and peasants pay him. He does not conduct trade himself, nor does he encourage his smallfolk to become traders. They are supposed work on their fields and pay their rents.

Compared with the Free Cities the Seven Kingdoms are a very static and hierarchic society. The former slave Varys and Vogarro's whore climbed to the very top of the food chain in Pentos and Volantis. A similar thing seems to be completely impossible in Westeros unless the grace of royal favor raises you high.

In Pentos, Braavos, Myr, Lys, Tyrosh, and even Volantis things should be much easier in that regard.

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