Sea Dragon

When did bastards happen?

26 posts in this topic

I recently got the big World book and have been reading it and skimming some other parts. Wow. This book is like one of my text books. 

If you have not read the World book yet, it starts out with the ancient history and moves foreword. One thing I noticed is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of talk about bastards until later when the Targaryens rightfully conquer Westeros. 

When did the term and negative concept of bastards happen? 

Thanks eveyone for always answering my questions. 

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Posted (edited)

Torrhen Stark had a bastard brother (Brandon) when Aegon the Conqueror invaded who already had the surname Snow so I guess the surnames where already commenplace at that time so noble bastards shouldn't have been a strange thing before the Targaryen rule. I guess bastards have existed since men have penises, GRRM just didn't release more than myths from before the Targaryen rule. I think he just didn't take the time to write in more bastards. I guess the negativty about bastards has existed always. As Catelyn shows; Ladies of the castle don't like bastards much (understandably)

Edited by Deepbollywood Motte

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8 minutes ago, Deepbollywood Motte said:

Torrhen Stark had a bastard brother (Brandon) when Aegon the Conqueror invaded who already had the surname Snow so I guess the surnames where already commenplace at that time so noble bastards shouldn't have been a strange thing before the Targaryen rule. I guess bastards have existed since men have penises, GRRM just didn't release more than myths from before the Targaryen rule. I think he just didn't take the time to write in more bastards. I guess the negativty about bastards has existed always. As Catelyn shows; Ladies of the castle don't like bastards much (understandably)

Wow. Thank you. But I guess I still have a question as to if being a bastard was a negative thing rather than it just being a name or word to show they are different. 

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Brandon Snow seems to have served in Torrhen's war council. Orys Baratheon, the first Baratheon, was rumoured to be Aegon's bastard brother. We know for sure that he was held in high regard by Aegon. Some bastards served in the Kingsguard and even ranked up to Lord Commander. Jon got quite a good treatment at the Wall. Bastards seem to be held in lower regard than nobleborn within the marriage but still get a pretty good treatment in Westeros, especially in Dorne.

It seems like it is better to be a noble bastard than a commoner 

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Thank you for your answers. That helps. 

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Posted (edited)

I will try to add to what the previous knowledgeable posters already said.

Noble bastards HAVE a surname. Smallfolk do not. It is indeed better to be a bastard than a Smallfolk.

To clarify - it is better to be an ACKNOWLEDGED bastard. Usually only a bastard whom its noble parent claims it as his (very rarely hers, so it is simpler to use the male pronouns here) gets a surname. Hence we have Edric Storm, whom Robert HAD to acknowledge, and we have Gendry or Bela - whom King Bobby did not. And this is also why Edric STORM is being raised in a castle while Gendry is a blaskmith's apprentice and Bella - a year or so older than he - is a prostitute.

The situation with Mya Stone is unusual. Another unusual case is with a girl in the Reach who is a Flowers yet is a servant. Unsurprisingly, she hates the trueborn part of the family.

Had Jon Snow not been Jon SNOW, but simply Jon, then he would had been brought up by his camp follower mother, and not alongside his father and half-siblings, wanting only for a second helping of lemon cake ...

In short - acknowledged bastards are nobility (or as good as).

Edited by TMIFairy

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If your a bastard I'd think you'd want to be born and or have a parent from the Stormlands. Storm is a cool last name for both male and females. 

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3 hours ago, Sea Dragon said:

I recently got the big World book and have been reading it and skimming some other parts. Wow. This book is like one of my text books. 

If you have not read the World book yet, it starts out with the ancient history and moves foreword. One thing I noticed is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of talk about bastards until later when the Targaryens rightfully conquer Westeros. 

When did the term and negative concept of bastards happen? 

Thanks eveyone for always answering my questions. 

Just keep in mind that TWOIAF is written (purposely) with heavy maester and Lannister bias- per George and the other authors. So while there is good info in there, certain other bits of information is written as to how the measter wants the readers to believe it to be true. So it is possible that the derogatory nature of bastards in the main books now is "new" in history, and it doesn't seem like many other, if any, other cultures treat them with the same disdain at current day Westeros.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Just keep in mind that TWOIAF is written (purposely) with heavy maester and Lannister bias- per George and the other authors. So while there is good info in there, certain other bits of information is written as to how the measter wants the readers to believe it to be true. So it is possible that the derogatory nature of bastards in the main books now is "new" in history, and it doesn't seem like many other, if any, other cultures treat them with the same disdain at current day Westeros.

While you're right about the bias thing I don't see why the Lannister would see bastards as especially bad. Joy, the bastard daughter of Gerion, is treated well and there are even noble marriages arranged for her. As far as we know Tywin doesn't know about the childeren of Cersei being bastards (although he is smart enough to figure it out). I also don't think the maesters would be very busy worrying about bastards.

Edited by Deepbollywood Motte

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27 minutes ago, Deepbollywood Motte said:

While you're right about the bais thing I don't see why the Lannister would see bastards as especially bad. Joy, the bastard daughter of Gerion, is treated well and there are even noble marriages arranged for here. As far as we know Tywin doens't know about the childeren of Cersei being bastards (although he is smart enough to figure it out). I also don't think the maesters would be very busy worrying about bastards.

Sorry. What I meant is that the world book is written with favorable bias in the maester's opinion (mostly against any magics and any other ways that make them lose money), but it was also written to appease the Lannister's, and at this point specifically Cersei. I did not mean it to seem that the Lannister's have any bias out of the norm for bastards (besides Cersei ;):lol:) The world book is a "gift" to the current Lannister regime.

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Ok, thank you guys for answering my endless questions ^_^

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9 hours ago, Sea Dragon said:

I recently got the big World book and have been reading it and skimming some other parts. Wow. This book is like one of my text books. 

If you have not read the World book yet, it starts out with the ancient history and moves foreword. One thing I noticed is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of talk about bastards until later when the Targaryens rightfully conquer Westeros. 

When did the term and negative concept of bastards happen? 

Thanks eveyone for always answering my questions. 

Hi there Lady Dragon.  I will do my best to add to the discussion.

Bastards have been happening since the beginning of time.  Men with wandering members produce offsprings outside their marriage many times.  The more the man wanders the greater the chances of a baby outside his marriage.  Bastards are generally given additional negative status in social system where the wealth passes down to a man's children by law.  The man doesn't get to choose.  Questions of paternity then are important.  A man wants to make sure he leaves his wealth to his children and not another man's child, another man who stuffed his wife while he's not looking.  An undetected bastard is a dangerous creature.  The stigma against bastards creates a clear dividing line between the children of the marriage and the children outside the marriage.  Men don't like them because they threaten the assured transfer of his wealth to his own children.  Women don't like them because they threaten her children's inheritance and because they are living symbols of their husband's wandering attention.

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12 hours ago, Sea Dragon said:

I recently got the big World book and have been reading it and skimming some other parts. Wow. This book is like one of my text books. 

If you have not read the World book yet, it starts out with the ancient history and moves foreword. One thing I noticed is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of talk about bastards until later when the Targaryens rightfully conquer Westeros. 

When did the term and negative concept of bastards happen? 

Thanks eveyone for always answering my questions. 

One could make the case that opinions on bastards took a downturn after the Blackfyre Rebellion and then the rise to power of Bloodraven. Some fans have speculated as much. Listen to Cat.

Quote

"Precedent," she said bitterly. "Yes, Aegon the Fourth legitimized all his bastards on his deathbed. And how much pain, grief, war, and murder grew from that? I know you trust Jon. But can you trust his sons? Or their sons? The Blackfyre pretenders troubled the Targaryens for five generations, until Barristan the Bold slew the last of them on the Stepstones. If you make Jon legitimate, there is no way to turn him bastard again. Should he wed and breed, any sons you may have by Jeyne will never be safe."

 

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15 hours ago, Deepbollywood Motte said:

Torrhen Stark had a bastard brother (Brandon) when Aegon the Conqueror invaded who already had the surname Snow so I guess the surnames where already commenplace at that time so noble bastards shouldn't have been a strange thing before the Targaryen rule. I guess bastards have existed since men have penises, GRRM just didn't release more than myths from before the Targaryen rule. I think he just didn't take the time to write in more bastards. I guess the negativty about bastards has existed always. As Catelyn shows; Ladies of the castle don't like bastards much (understandably)

Certainly in medieval Europe, there was a historically well attested time that bastards did not exist - and yes, men already had willies and children by several mothers.

William the Bastard, to begin with. But his predecessors? In Normandy, Richard I was also a son of "more danico marriage". In England, Harold Harefoot was also a bastard.

In other countries... In Norway, into 12th century, ladies and legitimate birth, or even recognition by father in his lifetime, did not matter to much. In 1127, a 25 year old man came from Ireland and claimed to be a previously unheard of son of Magnus Barefoot, dead for 24 years, and as such a halfbrother of the king Sigurd. He (Harald Gille) was believed, and inherited the throne a few years later. In 1176, another adult man came from Faroes, claiming to be a previously unattested son of Sigurd Munn. He had sceptics, and some claimed that legitimacy favoured ruling king Magnus, but Sverre got enough supporters to fight and win.

Or take Celtic Wales or Ireland. Legitimacy was long of limited value.

Now asking the question: do we see a similar process, of concentrating rights to elder legitimate son from a lifelong (if serial) monogamous marriage, over the younger brethren as well as children from less permanent relationship, as ever having happened in Westeros? If so, when? How?

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Wonderful observation about the Blackfyre rebellions potentially being used to vilify bastards.

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Bastards have existed since the first lord got a married and then proceeded to keep bangin the help.

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I believe TWIOAF also notes the river kings of House Justman who was a bastard of a Blackwood and a Bracken.  This was before the Andals.  There is also mention of Lann the Clever being a bastard of Rowan of Goldtree or Florys the Fox.

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On 6/16/2017 at 10:23 AM, Sea Dragon said:

Wow. Thank you. But I guess I still have a question as to if being a bastard was a negative thing rather than it just being a name or word to show they are different. 

 

Nah, think about it yourself. It's plain and clear and easily deduced. Bastards have existed, and have been scorned ever since.... Marriage was an institution. 

 

Can you seriously dream up a world where people swear to be together for life, swear to raise their children together, swear to be honest, loyal and noble to each other.... but where Bastards are also welcome and accepted?

 

No. No wife would want that. No husband would want that. No child would want that. Bastards have existed and been viewed with scorn and derision, since marriage began.

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i read the world book as well, and i noticed something in the histories, which lead to me looking some cultural differences as well, i believe much of the negativity of bastardy comes from the andal invasion. they brought the faith of the seven, and their religion seems to teach that bastards are the product of sin, lust, and weakness, and are thus creatures of such things themselves. i know in dorne, which nominally follows the faith of the seven, but is far more rhoynish in culture, rather than andal, see bastards very differently, as products of love and passion, and treat them far more congenially. in the north,. which has the strongest first men culture in the realm, barring beyond the wall, i believe we only see three bastards mentioned, ramsay, jon, and i believe that was fostered to deepwood motte? now, ramsay was a psychopath, so discount him. the thrid guy, yall might have better information on, but the mentin of him being fostered seems to indicated some care was given to him, and with jon, the only people i see who seem to really hold his being a bastard (cough, cough, hidden prince, cough, cough) were catelyn, which would be reasonable given the circumstances, and the southerners at the wall. i dont know if we have ever really seen a true northerner hold it against him, so i wonder if the first men culture of the north is more accepting of bastards than the andals of the south. though, it could be northerners seem to reserve their judgement a little with people until they have a chance to judge you by your actions, like how the northern lords act with robb in the beginning of the WO5K.

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5 minutes ago, Graydon Hicks said:

 in the north,. which has the strongest first men culture in the realm, barring beyond the wall, i believe we only see three bastards mentioned, ramsay, jon, and i believe that was fostered to deepwood motte?

There are some odd cases where people of the far north appear to be bastards but are called by their mother's family name instead of the regional bastard name and are treated as legitimate children. Maege Mormont's daughters are, I think, the best example of this. Another example, albiet one shrouded in myth, is the bastard child of Bael the Bard and the Stark girl he impregnated, who grew up as a Stark and became The Stark.

Quote

i believe much of the negativity of bastardy comes from the andal invasion

I generally agree with this assessment.

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