Lord Varys

Funny little questions

4 posts in this topic

Since I'm doing a reread right now, anybody interested in a little bit of speculation?

Who do you guys think originally ruled the Western Marches Kingdom before the Gardeners brought it under their heel. It consisted supposedly of the Western Dornish Marches from Horn Hill to Nightsong.

Now, if either of the Carons or the Tarlys ever ruled as kings one should assume we know that? But what about the Peakes? If Starpike is somewhere in the Dornish Marches - as we have reason to believe it is - then they are a very likely candidate to have been those Marcher kings, once. Their very name carries a certain presumption, and it is quite clear that in the Gardener era the Hightowers, Redwynes, Peakes, and Manderlys were the top dogs in the Reach. The Manderlys most likely never ruled as kings, since their lands and castles would have been closer to the Mander itself than the Marches.

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Maybe the Carons were kings but when they became lords under the Gardners and were refused the title "Lords of the Marches" they pledged themselves instead to the Durrandons who were happy to gain Nightsong in exchange for granting an empty title?

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@Lord Varys Yeah, I'd lean towards it being the Peakes. I think Starpike is roughly halfway between Horn Hill & Nightsong, south-east of Highgarden. If so, then I think it makes the most sense for that kingdom to have been ruled from a central-located seat, with the number of larger (Hightower, Gardener) &/or belligerent (whatever Dornish) kingdoms around them.

This theorises that Dunstonbury is located at/near the confluence of the Mander & the "Goldengrove river", which I could see being the case. Although it reduces the believability of the Manderlys escaping the Reach c.700BC - having to sail past the Gardeners themselves.

Instead, I think the Manderly seat is either south-west of the Highgarden where the Mander bends, with their lands perhaps having extended as far as the river's mouth. It makes the escape more plausible, along with having more ocean-suitable ships to do so with, & is more apt with the name of House & river.

Given the classic Westerosi neighbour-esque feud between Peakes & the Manderlys & easier control for the former for ~900 years, I think Whitegrove sits between Highgarden & Horn Hill with adjoining lands to Starpike & Dunstonbury. Attewell's positioning of Whitegrove, whatever that of Dunstonbury, doesn't make much sense to me. If Dunstonbury was at the confluence, then I could perhaps see Whitegrove east of Highgarden instead.

Rather, I think the castle is named for a weirwood grove. It's likely that the Manderlys &/or Peakes held it prior to the Andal migration to the Reach, perhaps even founding it. They are both First Men-founded Houses, & "Whitegrove" suggests a pre-Andal raising anyway.

Now, the Royces have the geographically distant Coldwaters & Tolletts as vassals, though I think that is a layover from Robar II (though perhaps also influenced by more recent events). It makes far more sense to me, given various historical events (Florys, Gwayne III's judgement, daughters of Garth X, Manderly exile), that Starpike & Dunstonbury - with Whitegrove in between - are on Highgarden's south doorstep.

The Marches kingdom was absorbed into the Gardener realm some time before Garland II & likely Meryn III, perhaps under Garth V "Hammer of the Dornish" for just that. If the Peakes were the kings of this realm that bent the knee, they more likely than not would have lost the Tarlys, Carons, etc as vassals then. If so, our ambitious Peakes would've looked to increase their power again & perhaps that led to the fued with the Manderlys.

(If the Marches kingdom was brought in before Gyles I (particularly if under Garth V), it could help to further explain his actions, in trying to conquer the last major bordering kingdom in "the Reach". Perhaps this is when the likes of the Florents &/or Blackbars, if they had once been Hightower vassals - which "headwaters of the Honeywine" suggests, ceased to be so with how far Gyles conquered).

Most likely, the episode of the feud during G-Fat's time had to with fighting over Whitegrove, or at the very least the lands that would come to be sworn to it. That they had to do fealty to him, could perhaps even suggest one or both had broken away & become a petty kingdom. Later John "the Tall" at least was still getting (border) petty kings to bend the knee, after all. Though Yandel refers to Peake & Manderly as "Lords", so it make it unlikely, more so if Dunstonbury & Starpike are located close to Highgarden.

(I wonder how Gwayne settled their dispute ... Given the general Gardener philosophy, especially if Garland II was not long before him, he most likely did so with marriage. Whether that was for both with his House, or between the those two feuding - perhaps forming a new one at Whitegrove of their blood.)

I agree that it's safe to assume that the Tarlys weren't the Marches kings, although as @The Grey Wolf says, the Carons could still be a possibility (perhaps the Swanns held a rival Eastern Marches kingdom, including the now Dondarrion lands).

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11 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

Maybe the Carons were kings but when they became lords under the Gardners and were refused the title "Lords of the Marches" they pledged themselves instead to the Durrandons who were happy to gain Nightsong in exchange for granting an empty title?

The Carons - and all the Marcher Lords in the Stormlands - apparently were sworn to Storm's End since time immemorial. That is most likely crap, since the wars between the Stormlands and the Reach would have often seen the Marcher Lords do fealty to Highgarden or Storm's End, depending how the border shifted.

However, it makes it unlikely that the Marcher Lords began as petty kings. The Dondarrions clearly did not. The name sounds Andalish. The Swanns might have First Men roots, however.

3 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

@Lord Varys Yeah, I'd lean towards it being the Peakes. I think Starpike is roughly halfway between Horn Hill & Nightsong, south-east of Highgarden. If so, then I think it makes the most sense for that kingdom to have been ruled from a central-located seat, with the number of larger (Hightower, Gardener) &/or belligerent (whatever Dornish) kingdoms around them.

I'm with you on the central location thing. It makes less sense to assume that either Horn Hill or Nightsong could have controlled an entire kingdom for the vicinity of the Marches.

3 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

This theorises that Dunstonbury is located at/near the confluence of the Mander & the "Goldengrove river", which I could see being the case. Although it reduces the believability of the Manderlys escaping the Reach c.700BC - having to sail past the Gardeners themselves.

The Manderlys were exiled, not herded out of the Reach. We can be pretty sure, one assumes, that they were given the opportunity and right to pack their things and leave, so to speak. They were not chased out of the Reach by a mad mob.

3 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

This theorises that Dunstonbury is located at/near the confluence of the Mander & the "Goldengrove river", which I could see being the case. Although it reduces the believability of the Manderlys escaping the Reach c.700BC - having to sail past the Gardeners themselves.

Instead, I think the Manderly seat is either south-west of the Highgarden where the Mander bends, with their lands perhaps having extended as far as the river's mouth. It makes the escape more plausible, along with having more ocean-suitable ships to do so with, & is more apt with the name of House & river.

I think all we can say is that the Manderlys must have had lands close to Highgarden (for the Gardeners to see them eventually as a major threat) and that they must have been always close to the Peakes, or else this rivalry would not go as far back as it does. 

We also don't know whether Starpike or Whitegrove was the original seat of House Peake. I lean to the former considering that could then make them those Marcher Kings. However, it might be that Whitegrove was the original seat of House Manderly, with them only raising the beautiful Dunstonbury after they acquired more lands and wealth. It seems fitting if the Gardeners granted the Peakes both castles of House Manderly after they had driven them away.

3 hours ago, Lord Corlys Velaryon said:

The Marches kingdom was absorbed into the Gardener realm some time before Garland II & likely Meryn III, perhaps under Garth V "Hammer of the Dornish" for just that. If the Peakes were the kings of this realm that bent the knee, they more likely than not would have lost the Tarlys, Carons, etc as vassals then. If so, our ambitious Peakes would've looked to increase their power again & perhaps that led to the fued with the Manderlys.

We know that Gwayne III Gardener the Fat resolved a quarrel between the Manderlys and the Peakes after which they did both fealty to him for their lands. But he lived after the Bridegroom, so the Marcher kingdom must already have been absorbed by that time. Could very well have been that one of the more martial Gardener kings of the past put an end to it without establishing a full hold over it.

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