Wolf of The Wall

Plenary powers of Lords Paramount and King.

44 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Which plenary powers (such as coining money, levy taxes, granting titles, raising army etc.) lords paramount possess and which ones exclusively belong the Iron Throne? For example where is the Mint? Who strikes the coinage of the realm? What is the orders of precedence? Who can do what? What is the difference between the Prince of Dorne and any other Lord Paramount? I only know they can levy taxes without Iron Throne's supervision.

Edit: One more question. Is Westeros a unitary state or a federation?

Edited by Wolf of The Wall

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Taxes, tolls, tariffs, etc. are the sphere of the Iron Throne. The lords apparently pay taxes and are also (in some fashion) involved in collecting taxes in the name of the Crown. But unlike the Dornishmen they are not allowed to decide how high the amount of the taxes, etc. are. The Martells can do that, they still have their own treasurer. For the others the royal officials serving under the Master of Coin would do that.

Lords also don't have a right to create other lords. That's the prerogative of the king.

We don't know where the mints are but coins are struck by the Crown/the king, i.e. his officials.

As to precedence I'd say hat insofar as courtly protocol is concerned the Prince(ss) of Dorne outranks a lord of the Realm of roughly equal ranks. He or she is still more of sovereign monarch than any lord.

With the great houses I'd say that the most illustrious houses are the former royal houses of the Seven Kingdoms - the Lannisters, Starks, and Arryns. And I'd count the Hightowers among those, too, due to the quasi-royal privileges they retain since they made their deal with the Gardeners. After those would come the new great houses - the Baratheons, Tullys, Tyrells, Greyjoys, etc.

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“Though his reign lasted little more than a year, it is instructive to consider his reforms of the royal household and its functions; the establishment of a new royal mint; his efforts to increase trade across the narrow sea; and his revisions of the code of laws that Jaehaerys the Conciliator had established during his long reign.”

Orders of precedence? Gonna have to expand on that one.

Lords can raise their banners as necessary but there had better be a damn good reason. The targs didn't need to tell the Starks to deal with the wildlings. Stormlords took care of the Vulture King without any assistance from the IT, as far as we can tell. There's plenty more obvious examples (eg Tywin).

As long as the LP in question holds the land in their own right, they should be able to grant lands and titles. Bran was going to rule holdfast(s) for Robb. The only time we see acts from the king regarding land and titles involves attainting nobles (eg Florents and Stannis) and transferring their lands and titles to another (eg Garlan and Brightwater Keep). 

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1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Orders of precedence? Gonna have to expand on that one.

Does the Prince of Dorne ranks higher than other LPs or they just have some privileges other LPs doesn't have. Place of royal officials such as Lord Commander of KG, Grand Maester, High Septon etc. in order of precedence. Does Warden LPs ranks higher (because they were royal houses except Tyrells but they are successors of Gardeners which was a royal house) than other LPs.

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I'm not sure if it's totally clear on the tax collection.  We see mostly references to the Crown collecting taxes, but there's also these lines that say taxes can be paid directly to a lord or the NW.  And it is acceptable to pay your taxes in the form of goods and services where some of those things would be impossible to transfer directly to the crown.

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Brandon's Gift had been farmed for thousands of years, but as the Watch dwindled there were fewer hands to plow the fields, tend the bees, and plant the orchards, so the wild had reclaimed many a field and hall. In the New Gift there had been villages and holdfasts whose taxes, rendered in goods and labor, helped feed and clothe the black brothers. But those were largely gone as well.

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His lord father had once talked about raising new lords and settling them in the abandoned holdfasts as a shield against wildlings. The plan would have required the Watch to yield back a large part of the Gift, but his uncle Benjen believed the Lord Commander could be won around, so long as the new lordlings paid taxes to Castle Black rather than Winterfell. 

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"A ruin, a ridge, and a few hovels? Come, my lord. You must suffer for your treason. He will want one of the mills, at least." Mills were a valuable source of tax. The lord received a tenth of all the grain they ground.

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Crabb gave her a sideways look. "Aegon sent his sister up to Crackclaw, that Visenya. The lords had heard o' Harren's end. Being no fools, they laid their swords at her feet. The queen took them as her own men, and said they'd owe no fealty to Maidenpool, Crab Isle, or Duskendale. Don't stop them bloody Celtigars from sending men to t' eastern shore to collect his taxes. If he sends enough, a few come back to him . . . elsewise, we bow only to our own lords, and the king. The true king, not Robert and his ilk." He spat. 

So it would appear that lords do collect taxes from their smallfolk and vassals (with the exception of the Targaryen loyalists of Crackclaw Point) in whatever payment method. They would also collect rents from crofters working their lands as income.  Then highlords would pay their share in gold to the Crown it would seem.  This is only just one of many methods of tax income for the Crown.  

36 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

As long as the LP in question holds the land in their own right, they should be able to grant lands and titles. Bran was going to rule holdfast(s) for Robb. The only time we see acts from the king regarding land and titles involves attainting nobles (eg Florents and Stannis) and transferring their lands and titles to another (eg Garlan and Brightwater Keep). 

I don't think they can grant titles, just the land.  Now as King Robb, he would have the power to grant Bran a new lordship.  As Lord Robb, no.  Bran wouldn't technically have a title of his own.  Peasants tend to refer to any noble person as a lord, no matter if they are or not.  But officially there is only one Lord of a house at a time.  The exception would be knighthood as any knight can make a knight.  Tytos (?) Lannister did this with his kennelmaster after he was saved from a lion.  He gave them lands and took his son to squire, so in the next generation House Clegane became landed knights.  Lord Nestor Royce already had the lordship title, but Littlefinger as Lord Protector gave him permanent rights to the Gates of the Moon as his seat.  Before the Gates were owned by the Arryns and they appointed stewards.  Stannis raised Davos up to a lord, but that was because he considered himself the rightful king with the power to do so.  Appointing a new lordship title would be serious business that could have serious political implications.  A king wouldn't want his subjects making their friends new lords as they pleased.  Upward mobility in title was exceedingly rare and this is a system that is obsessed more with pedigree than wealth.  

2 hours ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

What is the difference between the Prince of Dorne and any other Lord Paramount? I only know they can levy taxes without Iron Throne's supervision.

It doesn't appear that there's any difference in actual power between a prince of Dorne and a LP.  They just kept the title of prince and Dornish law as part of the deal of them coming into the Seven Kingdoms peaceably.  

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52 minutes ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

Does the Prince of Dorne ranks higher than other LPs or they just have some privileges other LPs doesn't have. Place of royal officials such as Lord Commander of KG, Grand Maester, High Septon etc. in order of precedence. Does Warden LPs ranks higher (because they were royal houses except Tyrells but they are successors of Gardeners which was a royal house) than other LPs.

The Prince of Dorne functions in a similar capacity to the other High Lords.  However, there is some social prestige they have that others envy, because he retained his style or formal address of "prince" instead of relegated to "lord" like the rest.  It may have to do with the fact that Dorne was never conquered.  They were "unbowed" and joined the kingdom through marriage.  

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28 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

I don't think they can grant titles, just the land.  Now as King Robb, he would have the power to grant Bran a new lordship.  As Lord Robb, no.  Bran wouldn't technically have a title of his own.  Peasants tend to refer to any noble person as a lord, no matter if they are or not.  But officially there is only one Lord of a house at a time.  The exception would be knighthood as any knight can make a knight.  Tytos (?) Lannister did this with his kennelmaster after he was saved from a lion.  He gave them lands and took his son to squire, so in the next generation House Clegane became landed knights.  Lord Nestor Royce already had the lordship title, but Littlefinger as Lord Protector gave him permanent rights to the Gates of the Moon as his seat.  Before the Gates were owned by the Arryns and they appointed stewards.  Stannis raised Davos up to a lord, but that was because he considered himself the rightful king with the power to do so.  Appointing a new lordship title would be serious business that could have serious political implications.  A king wouldn't want his subjects making their friends new lords as they pleased.  Upward mobility in title was exceedingly rare and this is a system that is obsessed more with pedigree than wealth.  

Gonna have to explain why Lysa would have been able to and LF did raise Nestor Royce to an actual lord in promise for his support to oppose his cousin:

“She knew Lord Nestor dreamed of holding the Gates in his own right, a lord in truth as well as name, but Lysa dreamed of other sons and meant the castle to go to Robert’s little brother.” He stood. “Do you understand what happened here, Alayne?”

Then note that I specifically noted that the land belongs to them, not other houses.

Then we have Lords designating actors to rule for them on cases regarding their rights to pits and gallows (see Frey and Walder Rivers). If they retain the ability to grant the power of pits and gallows as needed or desired and the ability to parcel out land held in their own right, it doesn't really make sense that they wouldn't be able grant both permanently to a family. But as you said, it was something done very rarely. Forgot that Ned was planning on splitting up the gift, raising new lords, and having them pay taxes to the NW. 

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29 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Gonna have to explain why Lysa would have been able to and LF did raise Nestor Royce to an actual lord in promise for his support to oppose his cousin:

“She knew Lord Nestor dreamed of holding the Gates in his own right, a lord in truth as well as name, but Lysa dreamed of other sons and meant the castle to go to Robert’s little brother.” He stood. “Do you understand what happened here, Alayne?”

Then note that I specifically noted that the land belongs to them, not other houses.

I'm a little confused.  Maybe I misread something along the way, because that quote actually aligns with granting lands, but not lordships.  Lord Nestor was Lord Nestor before the business of Littlefinger granting him the Gates of the Moon in exchange for his support against Yohn Royce.  Everyone calls him Lord Nestor.  As head of a cadet branch of House Royce, he had a lordship title but no actual estate of his own.  The Gates of the Moon is the winter residence of the Arryns, still owned by them up until LF changed that.  Historically, it was the Arryn seat before the Eyrie was build.  Every castle from the Bloody Gate all the way to the Eyrie is Arryn property.  Lord Nestor was appointed the High Steward of the Vale and Keeper of the Gates of the Moon by Jon Arryn while he was in KL as Hand.  These are appointed jobs serving at the Lord of the Eyrie's discretion, not inherited titles.  So Lysa's dream of a little brother taking over stewardship of the Gates is consistent with the tradition of Arryn's appointing one of their own relatives to the position.  So before Nestor Royce, there was probably an Arryn in the position before family members started whittling down leaving the job open to someone else.  So getting the Gates of the Moon as an inherited piece of property makes Lord Nestor more like a typical lord, where he has an actual seat of his own which will pass to his son.  His title alone gives him a pedigree, but the property grants him and his descendants power and wealth that can't be easily taken away like an appointment.  That's what it means to be "a lord in truth" not just "in name."          

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Then we have Lords designating actors to rule for them on cases regarding their rights to pits and gallows (see Frey and Walder Rivers). If they retain the ability to grant the power of pits and gallows as needed or desired and the ability to parcel out land held in their own right, it doesn't really make sense that they wouldn't be able grant both permanently to a family. But as you said, it was something done very rarely. Forgot that Ned was planning on splitting up the gift, raising new lords, and having them pay taxes to the NW. 

 In order for a King to command loyalty and obedience from the nobility, he has to be able to confer special privileges that could be earned through winning his favor.  Raising someone up to a peerage would be such a carrot on a stick.  And what the king giveth, he can also take away.  It keeps the high lords in check by rewarding them for good behavior and threatening them with attainment for bad.  That power is diminished the more people claim that right.  If high lords can grant lordship and all the privileges that come with it, then a vassal house doesn't owe any allegiance to a far away king.  That's very bad for a king, especially in times of rebellion.  He has nothing to leverage vassals into remaining loyal.  Even if the king attains you, your best friend the Lord of Whatever can say "nah, I got you."     

I see what you are talking about there with the bolded about Ned's dream of settling the New Gift and I initially missed that while being focused on the tax question.  Here's the thing.  We're talking about multiple new lordships and houses in the far North.  While they may theoretically pay taxes to the NW, their loyalty will be to House Stark, the hand that fed them.  That's so much potential for new marriage alliances, food and resources, the ability to raise an even bigger army.  It greatly expands the power of House Stark by extension.  Now Ned is definitely loyal to King Robert and has a good relationship with him.  It would still be highly prudent to seek royal permission for such a large scale land deal that comes with newly made nobility.  One could imagine such a deal under the Targaryen regime would look worrisome if Ned just acted on his own; however, King Robert would not give a fig about boring farmsteads in the far North.  I'm sure both Jon Arryn and Robert would also have a level of trust in Ned that he's not just making a self-serving power grab.  We should also keep in mind there really is no actual plan to settle the Gift.  What we're referring to is still just a "dream" of Ned's, one that would have to wait until spring has come again anyway.  So the raising of new lords is still just a theoretical idea, but no outline of how Ned would actually go about doing it.  The most likely scenario is that he proposes a list of new lords to the King, citing their record of service, worthiness, and how it would be beneficial to raise these people to noble status.              

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1 hour ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

In order for a King to command loyalty and obedience from the nobility, he has to be able to confer special privileges that could be earned through winning his favor.  Raising someone up to a peerage would be such a carrot on a stick.  And what the king giveth, he can also take away.  It keeps the high lords in check by rewarding them for good behavior and threatening them with attainment for bad.  That power is diminished the more people claim that right.  If high lords can grant lordship and all the privileges that come with it, then a vassal house doesn't owe any allegiance to a far away king.  That's very bad for a king, especially in times of rebellion.  He has nothing to leverage vassals into remaining loyal.  Even if the king attains you, your best friend the Lord of Whatever can say "nah, I got you."

That's why i started this topic. From existing text (The World Book and ASoIaF series) it seems both king and LPs can grant titles. But as you pointed out it is problematic for king's part. I think GRRM kind of didn't think thoroughly the ramifications of ill managed bureaucracy.

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1 minute ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

I'm a little confused.  Maybe I misread something along the way, because that quote actually aligns with granting lands, but not lordships.  Lord Nestor was Lord Nestor before the business of Littlefinger granting him the Gates of the Moon in exchange for his support against Yohn Royce.  Everyone calls him Lord Nestor.  As head of a cadet branch of House Royce, he had a lordship title but no actual estate of his own.  The Gates of the Moon is the winter residence of the Arryns, still owned by them up until LF changed that.  Historically, it was the Arryn seat before the Eyrie was build.  Every castle from the Bloody Gate all the way to the Eyrie is Arryn property.  Lord Nestor was appointed the High Steward of the Vale and Keeper of the Gates of the Moon by Jon Arryn while he was in KL as Hand.  These are appointed jobs serving at the Lord of the Eyrie's discretion, not inherited titles.  So Lysa's dream of a little brother taking over stewardship of the Gates is consistent with the tradition of Arryn's appointing one of their own relatives to the position.  So before Nestor Royce, there was probably an Arryn in the position before family members started whittling down leaving the job open to someone else.  So getting the Gates of the Moon as an inherited piece of property makes Lord Nestor more like a typical lord, where he has an actual seat of his own which will pass to his son.  His title alone gives him a pedigree, but the property grants him and his descendants power and wealth that can't be easily taken away like an appointment.  That's what it means to be "a lord in truth" not just "in name."          

Lord Nestor is a lord in name only like Varys. He has no legal powers. He has no property. Ergo he's not a lord by anything other than courtesy. 

Getting the gates of the moon in perpetuity to pass along as hereditary title and wealth makes him an *actual* lord. He has the power of pits and gallows, which he did not before. Pedigree means nothing without the power and authority to back it up. To steal a line from you and LF: "That's what it means to be "a lord in truth" not just "in name."

 

9 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

 In order for a King to command loyalty and obedience from the nobility, he has to be able to confer special privileges that could be earned through winning his favor.  Raising someone up to a peerage would be such a carrot on a stick.  And what the king giveth, he can also take away.  It keeps the high lords in check by rewarding them for good behavior and threatening them with attainment for bad.  That power is diminished the more people claim that right.  If high lords can grant lordship and all the privileges that come with it, then a vassal house doesn't owe any allegiance to a far away king.  That's very bad for a king, especially in times of rebellion.  He has nothing to leverage vassals into remaining loyal.  Even if the king attains you, your best friend the Lord of Whatever can say "nah, I got you."     

I see what you are talking about there with the bolded about Ned's dream of settling the New Gift and I initially missed that while being focused on the tax question.  Here's the thing.  We're talking about multiple new lordships and houses in the far North.  While they may theoretically pay taxes to the NW, their loyalty will be to House Stark, the hand that fed them.  That's so much potential for new marriage alliances, food and resources, the ability to raise an even bigger army.  It greatly expands the power of House Stark by extension.  Now Ned is definitely loyal to King Robert and has a good relationship with him.  It would still be highly prudent to seek royal permission for such a large scale land deal that comes with newly made nobility.  One could imagine such a deal under the Targaryen regime would look worrisome if Ned just acted on his own; however, King Robert would not give a fig about boring farmsteads in the far North.  I'm sure both Jon Arryn and Robert would also have a level of trust in Ned that he's not just making a self-serving power grab.  We should also keep in mind there really is no actual plan to settle the Gift.  What we're referring to is still just a "dream" of Ned's, one that would have to wait until spring has come again anyway.  So the raising of new lords is still just a theoretical idea, but no outline of how Ned would actually go about doing it.  The most likely scenario is that he proposes a list of new lords to the King, citing their record of service, worthiness, and how it would be beneficial to raise these people to noble status.              

The king retains the right to strip anyone of their rank as he desires. The largest theme we see post dragons is that the crown is ever more reliant on the LPs than when they were beforehand. House Stark might have granted them the lordships, but it doesn't greatly expand their power. Their primary role is to defend against wilding raids and provide the watch with sustenance and taxes. That will greatly limit their ability to be used as forces anywhere but the far north. On top of that, well it's just not that much land with respect to the North. It's an area a fraction the size of the Umber's land or the Karstark's land. You might be talking a few thousand fighting men. This is also ignoring the fact that the North has specific responsibilities that no one else in the kingdoms has (defending against the wildlings). 

It's indeed a wise idea to consult the king on such a large territory transfer but hardly any cause for worry, especially if the reason for the territory going to the NW is now the reason it's being transferred back consensually to the northern lords. Frankly this is all kind of theoretical but considering we have multiple people considering it AND one group actually doing it without the king's permission or authority (or LP's for that matter), I am comfortable it's both possible and makes sense.

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4 minutes ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

From existing text (The World Book and ASoIaF series) it seems both king and LPs can grant titles

We see plenty of examples of king's granting an inherited title, but is there an example of an LP or Highlord doing so?  I mean someone who wasn't noble and is now noble because an LP or HL raised them up.  It's definitely not the same as granting a piece of land to hold or run on the lord's behalf.  And an inherited title is not the same as an appointed position for a specific job.      

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

We see plenty of examples of king's granting an inherited title, but is there an example of an LP or Highlord doing so?  I mean someone who wasn't noble and is now noble because an LP or HL raised them up.  It's definitely not the same as granting a piece of land to hold or run on the lord's behalf.  And an inherited title is not the same as an appointed position for a specific job.      

House Clegane formed at behest of LP of Westerlands (Tytos Lannister). And it is a hereditary title.

Edited by Wolf of The Wall
Grammar

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Lord Nestor is a lord in name only like Varys. He has no legal powers. He has no property. Ergo he's not a lord by anything other than courtesy.

Not quite like Varys.  Lord Varys is definitely a courtesy title.  The only powers he has are the ones that his job and the regime allows.  Nestor Royce is of house Royce, an ancient First Men house that were once kings in the Vale.  Unlike Varys, he does have noble pedigree and his branch of the family is considered a cadet branch.  Cadet branches is where there is a gray area, but royalty is still involved.  Under Lord Robb, Bran technically doesn't have a title of his own even if he's running a holdfast for Robb.  If King Robb had lived to produce his own heirs that would inherit Winterfell, Bran could form a cadet branch of House Stark and have his own lordship if King Robb willed it so.  Kinda like how Karstark of Karhold came to be, except at that time Starks were kings and could make that happen. That means somewhere along the line a younger male non-heir of the main House Royce ran a smaller piece of property connected to Runestone and started the cadet branch.  Either it was made so while Royce's were kings or by the Arryn's who were also kings once.  What we don't know is, what happened to that original piece of property and why doesn't Lord Nestor have an actual seat?  Hell, where did they live before Jon Arryn appointed him steward and keeper of the Gates?  It appears in other examples cadet branches go hand-in-hand with property.  There's many possibilities as to why the cadet Royces don't have a castle of their own anymore.  Maybe GRRM didn't think that fact was important or necessary to the plot or perhaps just didn't think of it at all.  We're just supposed to accept it as a given.

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Getting the gates of the moon in perpetuity to pass along as hereditary title and wealth makes him an *actual* lord. He has the power of pits and gallows, which he did not before. Pedigree means nothing without the power and authority to back it up. To steal a line from you and LF: "That's what it means to be "a lord in truth" not just "in name."

We are in agreement here, but I do think his pedigree means much as it helps get him appointed to his position.  The Vale is a highly conservative region that really obsesses on ceremony, ancient bloodlines, and chivalric culture.  They boast the strongest ties to the original Andals that came to Westeros.  They don't appreciate nobodies overstepping, which is why it took LF winning the title of Lord of Harrenhal to be able to wed Lysa and he still had to make very generous bribes all over the Vale just to limit the opposition.  The Lords Declarant were ready to boot him out for being upjumped no matter what Lysa wanted.  They didn't even consider her "of the Vale" so her decisions didn't have to be law after she died.  Serving the Arryns directly and acting as High Steward of the Vale would be a great honor and essentially make Nestor acting ruler of the Vale in Jon's absence.  Hence why he felt so strongly that he was owed the Gates of the Moon as an inherited seat.  So Lord Nestor is definitely not a nobody in social rank and his title isn't merely a courtesy.  Jon Arryn wouldn't appoint someone to rule in his stead without considering the political and social ramifications.  A choice from House Royce, some of the most powerful bannermen loyal to the Arryns would have been a natural choice and one the other lords would accept.  Look how much maneuvering it took by LF just to mitigate the fear of Yohn Royce's wrath for supporting him.  The Royce name carries a lot of weight, cadet or main branch.

1 hour ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

The king retains the right to strip anyone of their rank as he desires. The largest theme we see post dragons is that the crown is ever more reliant on the LPs than when they were beforehand. House Stark might have granted them the lordships, but it doesn't greatly expand their power. Their primary role is to defend against wilding raids and provide the watch with sustenance and taxes. That will greatly limit their ability to be used as forces anywhere but the far north. On top of that, well it's just not that much land with respect to the North. It's an area a fraction the size of the Umber's land or the Karstark's land. You might be talking a few thousand fighting men. This is also ignoring the fact that the North has specific responsibilities that no one else in the kingdoms has (defending against the wildlings). 

Well, now the area is very sparsely populated, but Ned's dream was to entice people in spring to go north and settle, increasing the population there.  Very seldom would an opportunity like that arise.  It would be the medieval version of getting in your Conestoga wagon and heading west to make your fortune.  They would pay taxes to the NW, but that would only be a small portion of what they produce.  Yes, they would be expected to defend against wildling raids, but honestly that threat appears to be greatly exaggerated in truth.  It doesn't truly appear to happen that often or in a large scale.  Perhaps "greatly" was too strong a word, but maybe not by much.  There's still plenty of resources to be had even after taxes.  50 leagues south of the wall is still ~ 173ish miles and stretching across to the western mountains to the ocean.  Lots of farm-able land.  Even if there's not much in military might, food is still necessary for political, military, and economic power.  Just ask the Tyrells.  There's also potential for another port city on the Bay of Seals.  It's certainly a significant land deal proposed by Ned Stark one that comes with having House Stark to thank and to kneel to, no matter who they technically pay their taxes to.  

And also it looks like in ADWD that defending against the wildlings is not going to be an issue in the future.  The idea is now integration south of the Wall for mutual benefit and to fight against the Others.  The Free Folk are going to be essential for humanity's survival.  Admittedly, ADWD is my least favorite book and the one I spent the least amount of time with, so I'm taking your word for the Crown being reliant on the LP's.  That doesn't actually surprise me.  I don't think a centralized government was ever going to be sustainable long term in ruling an area roughly the size of South America with many differences regions and cultures using medieval technology.  Especially when we're talking about the Lannister-Baratheon regime that is going to shit while patting itself on the back.  

20 minutes ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

House Clegane formed by behest LP of Westerlands (Tytos Lannister). And it is a hereditary title.

Perhaps you missed me mentioning House Clegane.  That's a landed knight house which is the exception.  Any knight can make a knight.  Knights are definitely higher on the totem pole than smallfolk, but well below nobility.  Many Andal and a few First Men lords are knights, but not all knights are lords, and not all knights have land.  So Tytos Lannister (who is also a knight, but would go by Lord instead of Ser) can take the kennelmaster's son to squire and knight him.  House Clegane became landed knight's in the Hound's father's generation.  The grandfather got the lands first though.

Quote

"I like dogs better than knights. My father's father was kennelmaster at the Rock. One autumn year, Lord Tytos came between a lioness and her prey. The lioness didn't give a shit that she was Lannister's own sigil. Bitch tore into my lord's horse and would have done for my lord too, but my grandfather came up with the hounds. Three of his dogs died running her off. My grandfather lost a leg, so Lannister paid him for it with lands and a towerhouse, and took his son to squire. 

    

 

 

        

Edited by Blue-Eyed Wolf

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6 minutes ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

Not quite like Varys.  Lord Varys is definitely a courtesy title.  The only powers he has are the ones that his job and the regime allows.  Nestor Royce is of house Royce, an ancient First Men house that were once kings in the Vale.  Unlike Varys, he does have noble pedigree and his branch of the family is considered a cadet branch.  Cadet branches is where there is a gray area, but royalty is still involved.  Under Lord Robb, Bran technically doesn't have a title of his own even if he's running a holdfast for Robb.  If King Robb had lived to produce his own heirs that would inherit Winterfell, Bran could form a cadet branch of House Stark and have his own lordship if King Robb willed it so.  Kinda like how Karstark of Karhold came to be, except at that time Starks were kings and could make that happen. That means somewhere along the line a younger male non-heir of the main House Royce ran a smaller piece of property connected to Runestone and started the cadet branch.  Either it was made so while Royce's were kings or by the Arryn's who were also kings once.  What we don't know is, what happened to that original piece of property and why doesn't Lord Nestor have an actual seat?  Hell, where did they live before Jon Arryn appointed him steward and keeper of the Gates?  It appears in other examples cadet branches go hand-in-hand with property.  There's many possibilities as to why the cadet Royces don't have a castle of their own anymore.  Maybe GRRM didn't think that fact was important or necessary to the plot or perhaps just didn't think of it at all.  We're just supposed to accept it as a given.

We are in agreement here, but I do think his pedigree means much as it helps get him appointed to his position.  The Vale is a highly conservative region that really obsesses on ceremony, ancient bloodlines, and chivalric culture.  They boast the strongest ties to the original Andals that came to Westeros.  They don't appreciate nobodies overstepping, which is why it took LF winning the title of Lord of Harrenhal to be able to wed Lysa and he still had to make very generous bribes all over the Vale just to limit the opposition.  The Lords Declarant were ready to boot him out for being upjumped no matter what Lysa wanted.  They didn't even consider her "of the Vale" so her decisions didn't have to be law after she died.  Serving the Arryns directly and acting as High Steward of the Vale would be a great honor and essentially make Nestor acting ruler of the Vale in Jon's absence.  Hence why he felt so strongly that he was owed the Gates of the Moon as an inherited seat.  So Lord Nestor is definitely not a nobody in social rank and his title isn't merely a courtesy.  Jon Arryn wouldn't appoint someone to rule in his stead without considering the political and social ramifications.  A choice from House Royce, some of the most powerful bannermen loyal to the Arryns would have been a natural choice and one the other lords would accept.  Look how much maneuvering it took by LF just to mitigate the fear of Yohn Royce's wrath for supporting him.  The Royce name carries a lot of weight, cadet or main branch.

Well, now the area is very sparsely populated, but Ned's dream was to entice people in spring to go north and settle, increasing the population there.  Very seldom would an opportunity like that arise.  It would be the medieval version of getting in your Conestoga wagon and heading west to make your fortune.  They would pay taxes to the NW, but that would only be a small portion of what they produce.  Yes, they would be expected to defend against wildling raids, but honestly that threat appears to be greatly exaggerated in truth.  It doesn't truly appear to happen that often or in a large scale.  Perhaps "greatly" was too strong a word, but maybe not by much.  There's still plenty of resources to be had even after taxes.  50 leagues south of the wall is still ~ 173ish miles and stretching across to the western mountains to the ocean.  Lots of farm-able land.  Even if there's not much in military might, food is still necessary for political, military, and economic power.  Just ask the Tyrells.  There's also potential for another port city on the Bay of Seals.  It's certainly a significant land deal proposed by Ned Stark one that comes with having House Stark to thank and to kneel to, no matter who they technically pay their taxes to.  

And also it looks like in ADWD that defending against the wildlings is not going to be an issue in the future.  The idea is now integration south of the Wall for mutual benefit and to fight against the Others.  The Free Folk are going to be essential for humanity's survival.  Admittedly, ADWD is my least favorite book and the one I spent the least amount of time with, so I'm taking your word for the Crown being reliant on the LP's.  That doesn't actually surprise me.  I don't think a centralized government was ever going to be sustainable long term in ruling an area roughly the size of South America with many differences regions and cultures using medieval technology.  Especially when we're talking about the Lannister-Baratheon regime that is going to shit while patting itself on the back.  

Perhaps you missed me mentioning House Clegane.  That's a landed knight house which is the exception.  Any knight can make a knight.  Knights are definitely higher on the totem pole than smallfolk, but well below nobility.  Many Andal and a few First Men lords are knights, but not all knights are lords, and not all knights have land.  So Tytos Lannister (who is also a knight, but would go by Lord instead of Ser) can take the kennelmaster's son to squire and knight him.  House Clegane became landed knight's in the Hound's father's generation.  The grandfather got the lands first though.        

Knightly houses are more or less irrelevant to the conversation. Landed knights are nobility. There is nothing to determine whether they were nobility already. Veyon Poole and the Cassels are nobility too. They aren't landed knights. A steward, captain of the guards, and master-of-arms are not dissimilar from a kennelmaster or master of horse.

Regarding the population in the gift, we're talking decades most likely to get anything substantive out of it. There's definitely no way another city is going to pop up. I never disagreed it was a significant amount of land but the ramifications are not going to be very severe. The area they would be taking up is considerably smaller than Umber lands and that population has to be drawn from somewhere. A good chunk of the people populating the gift would likely be resettling from the North anyway.

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5 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

I'm not sure if it's totally clear on the tax collection.  We see mostly references to the Crown collecting taxes, but there's also these lines that say taxes can be paid directly to a lord or the NW.  And it is acceptable to pay your taxes in the form of goods and services where some of those things would be impossible to transfer directly to the crown.

So it would appear that lords do collect taxes from their smallfolk and vassals (with the exception of the Targaryen loyalists of Crackclaw Point) in whatever payment method. They would also collect rents from crofters working their lands as income.  Then highlords would pay their share in gold to the Crown it would seem.  This is only just one of many methods of tax income for the Crown.

George is not really coherent with stuff like that. Most likely most of the things the lords are collecting are rents for the land they hand out to peasants and knights in their service, or other shares they get from yeomen and and peasants who use the mills they control, etc.

5 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

I don't think they can grant titles, just the land.  Now as King Robb, he would have the power to grant Bran a new lordship.  As Lord Robb, no.  Bran wouldn't technically have a title of his own.  Peasants tend to refer to any noble person as a lord, no matter if they are or not.  But officially there is only one Lord of a house at a time.  The exception would be knighthood as any knight can make a knight.  Tytos (?) Lannister did this with his kennelmaster after he was saved from a lion.  He gave them lands and took his son to squire, so in the next generation House Clegane became landed knights.  Lord Nestor Royce already had the lordship title, but Littlefinger as Lord Protector gave him permanent rights to the Gates of the Moon as his seat.  Before the Gates were owned by the Arryns and they appointed stewards.  Stannis raised Davos up to a lord, but that was because he considered himself the rightful king with the power to do so.  Appointing a new lordship title would be serious business that could have serious political implications.  A king wouldn't want his subjects making their friends new lords as they pleased.  Upward mobility in title was exceedingly rare and this is a system that is obsessed more with pedigree than wealth.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Although Tytos wasn't a knight so he could not knight his kennelmaster. If he was dubbed it would have been done by a knight in Tytos' service. But he got the tower and the lands from Tytos.

Lord Nestor Royce most certainly would be lord of some small keep or castle. He would have to live somewhere before he was made Lord Steward of the Vale, and there is no hint that he lived at Runestone. But I doubt this is a great lordship, one comparable to the Gates of the Moon he now holds.

In addition we have to keep in mind that the Arryns are basically parting with their private property here. The Gates are an Arryn castle, not a Vale castle. It makes sense for Littlefinger to be able to part with them. However, Lord Nestor's grant is far from being a done deal. It is the Lord Protector's gift. The grant wasn't signed by Lord Robert Arryn nor his mother Lysa Arryn acting as his regent. It is quite clear that this grant could be challenged later on by Lord Robert himself (if he wanted to keep/take back the Gates of the Moon after he comes of age) or another member of House Arryn. And considering that the Iron Throne was also not consulted in this matter the king might very rule against Lord Nestor or his heirs in such a case.

Nothing indicates that the Lords of Winterfell made their younger sons and brothers lords in their own right. Else there would be talk about Stark castle x, y, and z which has been held in the past by this or that Stark and now without owner. It is more likely that the Starks have some smaller keeps, tower, etc. that are routinely given to younger sons to hold but without the whole thing being a proper lordship.

The Kings in the North created lordly cadet branches of House Stark in the Greystarks and Karstarks, but that happened a long time ago. And the same goes for the Lannisters of Lannisport.

5 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

It doesn't appear that there's any difference in actual power between a prince of Dorne and a LP.  They just kept the title of prince and Dornish law as part of the deal of them coming into the Seven Kingdoms peaceably.  

The Martells still have a treasurer who is overseeing their finances and they are essentially still an independent kingdom under the Targaryen kingdom. They are different. This is confirmed by the fact that according to pact between Daeron II and Prince Maron stipulates that Dornish law is going to continue to hold sway in Dorne. That is not the case in the other kingdoms. We don't know how many privileges and rights the Martells could keep but the differences between Dorne and the other kingdoms are big enough to make the other great houses pissed.

As to Ned's NW plan:

It seems as if Ned would have been forced to go through both the Lord Commander and the king to realize such a plan. As Lord of Winterfell he can't interfere with the inner workings of the NW without their permission. He would most likely get both and then proceed in the name of King Robert but without his permission it wouldn't have worked.

Ned would also have asked for Robert's permission (and support) if he had finally gotten around the conduct that campaign against Mance Rayder he is talking about in AGoT.

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2 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

Perhaps you missed me mentioning House Clegane.  That's a landed knight house which is the exception.  Any knight can make a knight.  Knights are definitely higher on the totem pole than smallfolk, but well below nobility.  Many Andal and a few First Men lords are knights, but not all knights are lords, and not all knights have land.  So Tytos Lannister (who is also a knight, but would go by Lord instead of Ser) can take the kennelmaster's son to squire and knight him.  House Clegane became landed knight's in the Hound's father's generation.  The grandfather got the lands first though.

But there is no titles in WoIaF besides King and Knight (lord is not a title it's a type formal addressing with nobility). So granting land and right to build a keep is de facto same with granting titles. Unless is there a upper limit to it such as olny x acres of land a LP can bestow to a knight. And this causes my other question "what is the order of precedence?" GRRM should've add a few more titles imho.

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16 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Knightly houses are more or less irrelevant to the conversation. Landed knights are nobility. There is nothing to determine whether they were nobility already. Veyon Poole and the Cassels are nobility too. They aren't landed knights. A steward, captain of the guards, and master-of-arms are not dissimilar from a kennelmaster or master of horse.

I was only responding to Wolf of the Wall that knighthood isn't exactly an example of a noble raising up another noble.  Even a hedge knight can take a squire and knight them eventually.  All perfectly legit.  But all knights, even landed ones, are not necessarily "nobility" in the sense of being a peer of the realm.  Granted, having land means you are a "somebody" to a degree.  A knight's title doesn't change from acquiring lands.  He's still Ser So-and-so, but you could say his privileges have increased.  He gets income now from the peasants.  I know it gets murky in terms of actual practice of running a piece of land and how their smallfolk treat them, but there does seem to be difference in pecking order among the nobility themselves.  Knights are certainly a higher social status than smallfolk with more privileges as a distinct warrior class.  The extent of a landed knight's power and privilege would probably largely depend upon the house he serves.  The Cleganes directly serve House Lannister which is obviously very rich and powerful.  Generally speaking though, knights are still too low ranking to marry into your average noble house unless they already come from a noble house.  There's so much elitism in evaluating pedigree, which is why the Frey's are still seen as upstarts 600 years after getting their title.  Upward mobility is purposely hard to acquire.  And as you say, even being a low-level noble with a surname doesn't mean knighthood was a factor.  Still cases like the Pooles and Cassels are so low on the totem pole that no one even refers to them with any manner of noble title.  I mean the Cassels technically have a "house," just not a brick and mortar one.  They live and serve at Winterfell.  I would say that stewards and captain of the guards are household leadership positions.  They would have people taking orders from them, so it makes sense to have your lower level nobility even in smaller privileged positions.  The Stark's kennelmaster, Farlen, is definitely not nobility neither is Hullen, the master of horse.  So in the case of the Cleganes, they do have a surname, but we have no idea when or how that was acquired.  Did it come after or before the land grant?  We may never know.  But considering their grandfather's job was on the level of kennelmaster, not a leadership role, they probably weren't even on equal footing to a Poole or Cassel in practice.  The whole story the Hound tells makes it seem like it was a huge increase in status and honors received for saving Tytos's life.  

3 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Regarding the population in the gift, we're talking decades most likely to get anything substantive out of it.

I totally agree things wouldn't happen fast and it would be a very long haul.  I would say that with Winter and the wars coming we should expect massive death tolls to decrease populations further.  We don't even know what houses are even going to survive to the end or how the political landscape will change.  However, there's opportunity here.  Even in the recovery period from the real life Black Death the survivors benefited from newly available land, and increase in demand for labor, and increase in wages.  There was prosperity gained in the aftermath.  The fact that Ned mentions this as a dream for spring, has got to mean the Gift will play some kind of important role in the future.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Although Tytos wasn't a knight so he could not knight his kennelmaster. If he was dubbed it would have been done by a knight in Tytos' service. But he got the tower and the lands from Tytos.

Okay, thanks for pointing that out.  The point being, Tytos still had the means of making knighthood happen.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Lord Nestor Royce most certainly would be lord of some small keep or castle. He would have to live somewhere before he was made Lord Steward of the Vale, and there is no hint that he lived at Runestone. But I doubt this is a great lordship, one comparable to the Gates of the Moon he now holds.

In addition we have to keep in mind that the Arryns are basically parting with their private property here. The Gates are an Arryn castle, not a Vale castle. It makes sense for Littlefinger to be able to part with them. However, Lord Nestor's grant is far from being a done deal. It is the Lord Protector's gift. The grant wasn't signed by Lord Robert Arryn nor his mother Lysa Arryn acting as his regent. It is quite clear that this grant could be challenged later on by Lord Robert himself (if he wanted to keep/take back the Gates of the Moon after he comes of age) or another member of House Arryn. And considering that the Iron Throne was also not consulted in this matter the king might very rule against Lord Nestor or his heirs in such a case.

I agree. Lord Nestor Royce is definitely head of a cadet branch, which implies there was an estate somewhere along the line.  Where they were living before the appointment to the Gates of the Moon we have no clue.  It could have been destroyed or lost somehow due to mismanagement or debts at some point in the past.  Certainly his current position is more prestigious than whatever old one they had.  Perhaps evens the playing field a bit more between him and the Runestone cousins.  Hence his determination to hold on to it by any means necessary, even becoming an accomplice to the likes of LF.  He does have going for him right now is that the IT is a little bit preoccupied with other matters.  His ownership does hinge upon making sure LF is successful in holding his position and making his decrees stick long term.  

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Martells still have a treasurer who is overseeing their finances and they are essentially still an independent kingdom under the Targaryen kingdom. They are different. This is confirmed by the fact that according to pact between Daeron II and Prince Maron stipulates that Dornish law is going to continue to hold sway in Dorne. That is not the case in the other kingdoms. We don't know how many privileges and rights the Martells could keep but the differences between Dorne and the other kingdoms are big enough to make the other great houses pissed.

I agree having your own treasurer is a big deal, but what unique features of Dornish law are real thorns in the side of the other 6 kingdoms?  The highlight of Dornish law is that females and males are generally considered equal.  That's certainly not something done elsewhere, but it doesn't appear to be something anyone gets riled up about.  They don't really have a bastard prejudice culturally, but bastards don't have inheritance rights there either.  I might be wrong, I just don't recall anything specific.

2 hours ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

But there is no titles in WoIaF besides King and Knight (lord is not a title it's a type formal addressing with nobility). So granting land and right to build a keep is de facto same with granting titles. Unless is there a upper limit to it such as olny x acres of land a LP can bestow to a knight. And this causes my other question "what is the order of precedence?" GRRM should've add a few more titles imho.

Well, Lord is a title and also a form of address.  It's true he didn't choose to use narrower terms like "Earl" or "Marquis."  He probably just didn't want to get too bogged down in all these nitty gritty rankings and explaining how So-and-So got to be the Duke of Wherever.  Once you break it, you bought it.  He'd have to set up a complicated system of nobility ranking which could have even more complicated effects on the plot.  He does have an example of a specialized title like the Lord of Dragonstone that goes to the crown prince under the Targaryens.  Very much like the Prince of Wales is the title of the heir apparent in England.  Now with noble women it's different.  As long as Ned is alive, he is Lord Stark of Winterfell and no one else.  Catelyn, Sansa, and Arya are all referred to as Lady no matter what.  This is just the simplified system George chose to use. :dunno:  Westeros tends to evaluate nobility ranking based on how ancient a family name is and how well bred they are.  Both Tully's and Starks are Lords Paramount, but Starks have the kingsblood and are older which adds a little more importance.  

And no, there's no evidence that granting lands means one has the right to make new nobles unless you are a king.  All it means is you have a chunk of property you want to award someone for their service to keep them loyal to you.  It could be as simple as a towerhouse on the boarders of your domain.  It makes sense that a towerhouse would go to a knight for defensive purposes.  Owning a towerhouse would indicate you are "somebody," but that doesn't mean you are equal to other nobles.      

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i think that whether a person is "lord", or its strictly a mode of address, might depend on the position of the person in the family. look at robb and sansa. they are nobility,certainly, but they arent the lord and lady. have you noticed how, before certain events, robb was "Lord Robb", while ned was "Lord Stark"? or sansa was "Lady Sansa", not "Lady Stark"? when its applied to the members of the lordly houses, the use of Lord is a mode of address, followed by the given name. its an acknowledgement of their status as nobles by both their peers and lessers. but the true title of Lord, not just the mode of address, seems to only apply to the head of the House. ned isnt "Lord Eddard", he is "Lord Stark", because he is the Lord of the Starks, the Lord of Winterfell, the head of House Stark. 

now i dont think the granting of a holdfast to bran would make him a "Lord Stark", as he wouldnt be the head of his house, even if he held his own lands, he would simply be "Lord Brandon", or "Lord Bran", lord of the keep he was given. he wouldnt become the Lord Stark, the Stark in Winterfell, unless eddard, robb, and all of robbs children, died before him.

now, i think knights tend to fall into a grey area. as they are a step up from the average rabble, they rate the knightly title of "Ser". this applies whether or not they are landed, household, or hedge. once they become landed, then i think the process begins that can raise their new "House", to at least masterly status. and i notice that even nobles, who happen to be knights, are more often referred to by the knightly "Ser", rather than the noble "Lord". like brynden tully. he isnt the head of the house, so he isnt "Lord Tully". so under normal circumstances, he would be called "Lord Brynden". but he is also a knight, and we se him more often referred to as "Ser Brynden". same thing with Loras Tyrell, of jaime Lannister or Arthur Dayne, ect. they are more often referred to by the knightly "Ser", rather than the noble "Lord".

but thats gotten off  my original point. i would guess that the lord ranking stand as this:

King

Lord Paramount/ Prince/Princess of Dorne

greater lords, like Hightower, Tarly, dayne, bolton, royce

lesser lords, like crakehall, umber, piper

masterly house, like forrester, hunter, clegane, ect

then knightly houses,

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10 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

The king retains the right to strip anyone of their rank as he desires.

Has House Stark been stripped of its titles?

Or any other House in the course of the books?

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i think joffrey did it to stannis. not that it mattered much, when its in the midst of a rebellion. you dont get to enforce that kind of decree unless you win.

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