Barbrey Dustin

Bowen Marsh was right to remove Jon from office.

487 posts in this topic

39 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Again, that's what's castration is for in a world like this.

I'm no expert but wouldn't that lead to some of the men dying of infection after the castration? Who at the Wall would even be qualified to do it? The Maester?

All this to stop them from visiting a near by brothel every now and then? Isn't that a little harsh?

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@Lord Varys, you are contradicting yourself. Nothing new there, except maybe that you're doing it in one post, so maybe a record of sorts. 

39 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Not every man is eligible to be elected. Or else Hobb would have gotten more votes than he did.

Every man is eligible, even the cook. Otherwise Hobb wouldn't have got three votes. LMAO.

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2 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

Oh gosh, this debate again lol.  Been seeing this for 5+ years on this forum.  As I have said before, Marsh is consistently described as a good "counter" but nothing more.  Hence his role as a steward being the perfect and only role for him in the NW.  I think in his heart of hearts he means well and is true to the NW, but he's also the perfect example of what is wrong with the NW as he's an old man filled with old hatred for the wildlings which clouds his judgment.  In this way, I really don't understand why people feel the need to identify with Marsh and defend his actions.  He is wrong and written to be wrong about his views of the wildlings and the NW's true purpose.  We know Jon is right about this- it is not a legitimate plan to essentially stick your head in the ground and hope for the best, which is what Marsh is advocating.  We know that Jon has the right of the argument about the white walkers and the wildlings.

And again, Marsh is written specifically to be unlikable.  He is a Janos Slynt supporter and I believe he's written as a guy whose judgment has gone missing especially after his debacle running Castle Black when he was tricked by Mance and wounded in battle.  He has become cowardly and just wants to hide behind the Wall and hope for the best.  

 

2 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

No, it's two different things, don't you see it? Marsh is exactly where he is supposed to be: counting beans. That's what he's good at, and therefore having him as First Steward is the right decision. And that has fuck all to do w/ him being a bad option for LC. 

And I have no idea why you say "if Jon or Mormont don't want Marsh to succeed". Again, fuck all to do w/ anything, since that's not how leadership works in the NW. No one "succeeds" anyone else, and the position of LC is filled by the black brother w/ the most votes. 

Yes, you two are exactly correct. The author put the bean counting, betraying pomegranate exactly where he needs to be; counting beans and following the likes of another betrayer to his first set of brothers, Janos Slynt. And the funny thing is that is was actually the likes of Slynt and Marsh that brought down the wall which will allow the Others to pass (Jon felt the cold). Hahaa. Classic paranoid, racist, bigots :lol:

 

1 hour ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

I shudder to think what some NW members would turn to if there were strict rules preventing them from seeking out whores in Mole's Town.

Don't worry about what other people who admit they hate a main character says. Just trust the words of the author who said, "Jon Snow is the truest character."

 

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

@Lord Varys, you are contradicting yourself. Nothing new there, except maybe that you're doing it in one post, so maybe a record of sorts. 

Every man is eligible, even the cook. Otherwise Hobb wouldn't have got three votes. LMAO.

I thought you understood 'eligible' in that context. Technically anyone can put forth his name, but practically only people of rank, good breeding, and influence actually have a chance to be elected. Just as only a tiny fraction of people - the powerful, wealthy, and famous - stand a realistic chance of being elected President of the United States.

That way the rabble is kept in line much more effectively than by explicitly excluding them from being elected. If they delude themselves into believing that they could get elected they won't complain if they are not elected.

If we had a confirmed Lord Commander of the Night's Watch who had no family name at all there might be a chance that peasants truly stand a chance to get elected. But there is no such evidence - and even then, such a man could have risen through the ranks to enter the elite circles of the Watch being an officer when he got elected. That's the usual way to become Lord Commander. You rise through the ranks and then then you are one of the select few who stand a chance.

1 hour ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

I'm no expert but wouldn't that lead to some of the men dying of infection after the castration? Who at the Wall would even be qualified to do it? The Maester?

All this to stop them from visiting a near by brothel every now and then? Isn't that a little harsh?

This is a harsh world. Stannis castrated three of his men who raped wildling women during/after the battle. This kind of thing is done, and we have no idea how clean the instruments were his men used. And Maester Pylos is at Eastwatch. 

But we don't know how a harsh man like Bloodraven would have handled that. A few weeks in an ice cell could also be a very severe punishment. Hell, there might not even have been a brothel at Molestown back in the days of earlier Lord Commanders.

I could also imagine that black brothers lying with a whore - or any woman - simply were executed back in the good old days when this was a noble calling. Then only men who believed in the mission of the Night's Watch took the black and those men wouldn't have looked with kindness or understanding on those brethren who failed. Just look how the Kingsguard - whose vow is modeled after the NW vow and taken very seriously by the White Swords and the people of Westeros (at least until Jaime Lannister) - treated their brother Lucamore Strong. They gelded him on the command of the Old King before he was sent to the Watch.

And this was mild Jaehaerys I. Aegon IV dealt with Terrence Toyne much more harshly, dismembering him piece by piece.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Nobody said anything about killing. But whoring is oathbreaking. And oathbreaking is a crime. Those men have to be punished if the Night's Watch is going to maintain discipline. The fact that Mormont didn't punish those men - say, by castration or perhaps only by putting them into an ice cell or giving them shit duties for a couple of months - shows he was a bad commander who couldn't maintain discipline and was encouraging his men to contemplate sedition or even treason.

If you have to work with the scum the NW has to work with you have to teach those men their place. Which Mormont didn't. Or at least did not do strongly enough.

Problem is if he declares those men as oathbreakers then there is only one punishment he can give. So he does the only thing he can and turns a blind eye

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10 minutes ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

Problem is if he declares those men as oathbreakers then there is only one punishment he can give. So he does the only thing he can and turns a blind eye

Beyond that, it's not even clear that whoring is oathbreaking.  I think we see that both Jon and Mormont think that it is oathbreaking, but damn that's pretty nit-picky B).  The oath just says take no wife and father no children- something unlikely to happen with the whores at moletown.  

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3 minutes ago, Wolf of The Wall said:

Problem is if he declares those men as oathbreakers then there is only one punishment he can give. So he does the only thing he can and turns a blind eye

He could have chosen some form of milder punishment. And a different man would have done so. Mormont was an old man who was married, had a son, and might even have slept with a decent number of whores back in the day. He is rather different from a man who has joined the NW in his youth, believed in the mission, and is as favorably inclined to whoring as Stannis.

The idea that making the whole 'father no children' thing sort of optional (a lot of whores at Molestown must have born their NW clients bastards) is a good thing doesn't convince me. It is the beginning of a slippery slope. 

I'm aware that most the watchmen are scum but there shouldn't be special rules for scum. But it really seems being surrounded by scum rubbed off on the more decent men, lowering the standards. The fact that desertion was still as huge a crime as it had always been most likely has more to do with the way the Seven Kingdoms viewed the Watch. Once they began sending scum there they couldn't afford to get lenient on the desertion thing. A convicted murderer sent to the Wall cannot be allowed to run away and settle in some village.

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9 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

Beyond that, it's not even clear that whoring is oathbreaking.  I think we see that both Jon and Mormont think that it is oathbreaking, but damn that's pretty nit-picky B).  The oath just says take no wife and father no children- something unlikely to happen with the whores at moletown.  

How so? Do you know those women can afford moon tea? Or do you think the black brothers don't have vaginal intercourse?

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10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

How so? Do you know those women can afford moon tea? Or do you think the black brothers don't have vaginal intercourse?

And why do you assume moon tea is expensive? In all likelihood it's a concoction of herbs and free. 

And no, turning a blind eye to the men going after buried treasure it's not a "slippery slope", it's common sense and pragmatism. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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3 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And why do you assume moon tea is expensive? In all likelihood it's a concoction of herbs and free. 

We know that from the fact that a woman like Cersei had to find a woman to help her get rid of a child with Jaime's help. Even Asha doesn't have the means to make it herself.

But that's not the point here. Having vaginal intercourse is the same thing as 'fathering children' from the male point of view. It doesn't matter whether the seed quickens or not. If you fuck a woman you (try to) father a child. And you cannot be sure that the woman tells the truth that she is drinking moon tea, assuming she has access to some.

If that was okay then every black brother could have a mistress. After all, if she always drank her moon tea her lover wouldn't 'father any children', right? And even if he did who could 'prove' that those children are actually her lover's seed? Especially if she had more than one lover or was actually a whore...

Do we see any black brothers with lovers? No. Why not? Because they are not supposed to love anyone romantically or sexually.

3 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And no, turning a blind eye to the men going after buried treasure it's not a "slippery slope", it's common sense and pragmatism. 

No, it is not. It is aiding and abetting in oathbreaking. George himself was asked about that and he is the one explaining that not all lord commanders were as lenient as Mormont in this regard.

The very idea of a brothel on the lands of a celibate military order which is maintained and frequented by the men of that order is ridiculous. The Night's Watch isn't a city. It isn't even a town. It is a monastic military order with strict rules. Rules which are reinforced by the authorities. The idea that exceptions for whoring are a good thing there is ridiculous. Especially in light of the fact that most women at Mole's Town are not likely relishing at the idea of having to spread their legs for the scum of the Night's Watch. Who would like to service a murderous (and ugly) rapist like Chett? Or all the other misfits in the Watch?

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

We know that from the fact that a woman like Cersei had to find a woman to help her get rid of a child with Jaime's help. Even Asha doesn't have the means to make it herself.

It's completely different. Cersei, and even Asha who is much freer, are highborn. It makes sense that they wouldn't know how to prepare the tea themselves. The women in Mole's Town would have infinite more access to the recipe and/or someone who does. 

Another point is, we've met some of Mole's Town dwellers, and yet we are not told of bastards fathered by the black brothers. And I could be misremembering, but I don't think we even see any children. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

But that's not the point here. Having vaginal intercourse is the same thing as 'fathering children' from the male point of view. It doesn't matter whether the seed quickens or not. If you fuck a woman you (try to) father a child. And you cannot be sure that the woman tells the truth that she is drinking moon tea, assuming she has access to some.

No, it isn't. Unless if by "men male" you mean yourself, in which case I obviously have no arguments. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If that was okay then every black brother could have a mistress. After all, if she always drank her moon tea her lover wouldn't 'father any children', right? And even if he did who could 'prove' that those children are actually her lover's seed? Especially if she had more than one lover or was actually a whore...

Do we see any black brothers with lovers? No. Why not? Because they are not supposed to love anyone romantically or sexually.

Course they could. Except for the fact hat there's only those women in Mole's Town. We know of a few KG/LC of KG who did have mistresses and children. The KG and the NW are similar organisations, and the main difference irt this is those KG who had mistresses had access to women. 

But even if we consider the "father no children" from the NW vows as meaning "no vaginal intercourse", whoever wrote it was smart enough to use a wording that is sort of a loophole. 

And finally, I have a question for you.

You say that the crows "are not supposed to love anyone romantically or sexually", and that's what the "father no children" is all about. So, how about homosexual love, be it sexual or romantic? 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The very idea of a brothel on the lands of a celibate military order which is maintained and frequented by the men of that order is ridiculous. The Night's Watch isn't a city. It isn't even a town. It is a monastic military order with strict rules. Rules which are reinforced by the authorities. The idea that exceptions for whoring are a good thing there is ridiculous. Especially in light of the fact that most women at Mole's Town are not likely relishing at the idea of having to spread their legs for the scum of the Night's Watch. Who would like to service a murderous (and ugly) rapist like Chett? Or all the other misfits in the Watch?

This is rather extreme in my opinion.  Have you ever been in the military or been married to a member of the military? Area around military installations are/were hotbeds of brothels, loan sharks and dives. Also, in the past it there was the join the army or go to jail choice.

The NW has in no way been described by the author as a monastic order.

Whore (male or female) has a disgusting ring to it. Like calling someone a slut. A prostitute however has a business ring to it whether the person is male or female. It is a physically dangerous line of work. Martin doesn’t mention STD’s in Westeros, does he? He could get real graphic with that.

Prostitution is a business. Men want what a prostitute (male or female) offers. Fortunately the old broads who were once innocent young broads can tell the young broads what to watch out for. In Westeros the women have a healer or abortionist that can supply them with a remedy better than a coat hanger. Have some tea dear?

 

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

And why do you assume moon tea is expensive? In all likelihood it's a concoction of herbs and free. 

You are correct. It is made of a variety of flowers and pennyroyal and a drop of sweetener. Woods witches have it and woods witches ain't so (traditionally) rich. 

 

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Just look how the Kingsguard - whose vow is modeled after the NW vow and taken very seriously by the White Swords and the people of Westeros (at least until Jaime Lannister) - treated their brother Lucamore Strong. They gelded him on the command of the Old King before he was sent to the Watch.

Well Lucamore Strong didn't seem to be very discreet about what he was doing by fathering over a dozen children on multiple women. It almost appears as if he was flaunting it which must have really pissed of his fellow KG. Opposed to someone like Lewyn Martell who was a respected member of the KG yet also kept a mistress in secret. In his case his fellow KG knew about it but kept his secret instead of revealing it to their King. 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Aegon IV dealt with Terrence Toyne much more harshly, dismembering him piece by piece.

Well I think the fact that he was sleeping with the King's mistress had more to do with how harsh his punishment was in the end. 

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

How so? Do you know those women can afford moon tea? Or do you think the black brothers don't have vaginal intercourse?

I think the black brothers do this thing called "pulling out."  B)  And if that doesn't work, then yes, I assume that Mole's Town prostitutes have some kind of abortion method as it seems unlikely they could afford to have children.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But that's not the point here. Having vaginal intercourse is the same thing as 'fathering children' from the male point of view. It doesn't matter whether the seed quickens or not. If you fuck a woman you (try to) father a child. And you cannot be sure that the woman tells the truth that she is drinking moon tea, assuming she has access to some.

If that was okay then every black brother could have a mistress. After all, if she always drank her moon tea her lover wouldn't 'father any children', right? And even if he did who could 'prove' that those children are actually her lover's seed? Especially if she had more than one lover or was actually a whore...

Do we see any black brothers with lovers? No. Why not? Because they are not supposed to love anyone romantically or sexually.

 

The very idea of a brothel on the lands of a celibate military order which is maintained and frequented by the men of that order is ridiculous. The Night's Watch isn't a city. It isn't even a town. It is a monastic military order with strict rules. Rules which are reinforced by the authorities. The idea that exceptions for whoring are a good thing there is ridiculous. Especially in light of the fact that most women at Mole's Town are not likely relishing at the idea of having to spread their legs for the scum of the Night's Watch. Who would like to service a murderous (and ugly) rapist like Chett? Or all the other misfits in the Watch?

What?  The bolded is absurd.  Prostitution and vaginal intercourse have been around forever and it has never been equal to attempting to father children.  In fact, the whole purpose of it is to have no strings attached sex in order to specifically avoid having children.  Prostitution would not even exist if the prostitutes were getting pregnant consistently.  

You're conflating romance and no strings attached sex, which is kind of how many people seem to read the main point of the oath.  The oath doesn't say you can't have sex, it says you can't have children and you can't marry.  Many people read this as specifically prohibiting romance i.e. attachments that would distract black brothers or otherwise divide their loyalties.  

How is this different from prostitution anywhere else?  I'd imagine most prostitutes don't "relish" the idea of having sex with guys they don't know or like or aren't attracted to.  It's a business first and foremost and they do what they have to to make money and survive.  

Edited by Tagganaro

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9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

It's completely different. Cersei, and even Asha who is much freer, are highborn. It makes sense that they wouldn't know how to prepare the tea themselves. The women in Mole's Town would have infinite more access to the recipe and/or someone who does. 

How so? Knowledge exists in the circle of the powerful. Cersei should be surrounded by an army of women (and men) who know how to make moon tea. And Asha should have learned to make the tea herself.

The idea that the women at the far end of the world have access to moon tea doesn't strike me as very convincing if even the most powerful women in the Seven Kingdoms have difficulty acquiring it. There are no hints that any woods witches live at Mole's Town.

9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Another point is, we've met some of Mole's Town dwellers, and yet we are not told of bastards fathered by the black brothers. And I could be misremembering, but I don't think we even see any children. 

So where do you think those women and boys and girls there came from? Especially the young one who reminded Jon of Arya when she pretended to be a boy to be allowed to help fight the wildlings? Depending how long the brothel exists there many of the people at Mole's Town must be descendants of black brothers fucking them. If all the women there drank moon tea regularly then the men who are pimping their wives or close kin out to the black brothers wouldn't have any grandchildren and the village would disappear within a generation or two.

9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

No, it isn't. Unless if by "men male" you mean yourself, in which case I obviously have no arguments.

If you really think 'I'll father no children' means I can have sex if I'm black brother if my woman drinks moon tea or is confirmed to be barren or we have only oral or anal sex I'm pretty sure you are mistaken. Maester Aemon explains us what the vow means. A man of the Night's Watch is not supposed to love. Because love is the bane of honor and the death of duty. And he is right there, of course. 

9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Course they could. Except for the fact hat there's only those women in Mole's Town. We know of a few KG/LC of KG who did have mistresses and children. The KG and the NW are similar organisations, and the main difference irt this is those KG who had mistresses had access to women.

And they could keep that from their superiors and/or had superiors who didn't care. Robert didn't give shit about Preston Greenfield sleeping around. Stannis would have had his cock, balls, and head for that, most likely. And Prince Lewyn was apparently so discreet that not even Arys Oakheart knew about his paramour.

9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

But even if we consider the "father no children" from the NW vows as meaning "no vaginal intercourse", whoever wrote it was smart enough to use a wording that is sort of a loophole. 

'I'll take no wife' in combination with 'I'll take no children' means sex with women is definitely taboo. Never mind what you are doing. I'm pretty sure people castrating or executing a black brother who is caught with his lover are not going to care about him claiming 'I never tried to father any children, I had sex differently!' or 'She is not my wife!'.

9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

You say that the crows "are not supposed to love anyone romantically or sexually", and that's what the "father no children" is all about. So, how about homosexual love, be it sexual or romantic? 

That you would have to ask George. There are hints that there are homosexual relationships at the Wall and one can assume that homosexual love can be the death of duty, too, especially if a commander ends up worrying more about the life of his handsome lover than the mission at hand. However, homosexual love usually doesn't lead to offspring which seems to be what the creators of the vow saw as the main problem. In feudal or tribal setting your main loyalty is with your own family and clan. They come always first. But the Night's Watch is supposed to protect the realms of men against the Others. To see the big picture you have give up the small family pictures.

Whether the Watch tolerate homosexuality on larger scale among the men of the Watch we simply do not know at this point. But it is quite clear what the vow does not tolerate, no?

9 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

This is rather extreme in my opinion.  Have you ever been in the military or been married to a member of the military? Area around military installations are/were hotbeds of brothels, loan sharks and dives. Also, in the past it there was the join the army or go to jail choice.

The NW has in no way been described by the author as a monastic order.

Whore (male or female) has a disgusting ring to it. Like calling someone a slut. A prostitute however has a business ring to it whether the person is male or female. It is a physically dangerous line of work. Martin doesn’t mention STD’s in Westeros, does he? He could get real graphic with that.

Prostitution is a business. Men want what a prostitute (male or female) offers. Fortunately the old broads who were once innocent young broads can tell the young broads what to watch out for. In Westeros the women have a healer or abortionist that can supply them with a remedy better than a coat hanger. Have some tea dear?

The Night's Watch is not your normal run-of-the-mill military. What we see in the series is a NW in decline and decadence. But even then they don't have a bunch of camp followers and bed warmers around all day. The closest brothel to Castle Black is still hours away from the place.

The Night's Watch began as a monastic military order. It was a noble calling for any boy or man in the Seven Kingdoms (and the Hundred Kingdoms before that). That's why you allow your captured enemies to take the black because taking the black is such a high calling that you don't prevent even your worst enemy from taking it - at least that's how it was in the past.

People taking the black of their own free will back in the day - and even today - know what they are signing up for. Jon, Sam, Benjen, Mallister, even Mormont himself are not likely to visit whores and break their vows in that fashion. And one assumes that the overwhelming majority of the men who joined the NW back in the old days were in similar self-control. Back when there was no scum - or only a tiny fraction of scum - among the NW discipline would have been much easier to maintain. Especially if the leadership of the Watch had means in place to punish any men committing transgressions. And that's what they would have to do to maintain the honor of the Watch. If there are men sleeping around and breaking the vow in that fashion they besmirching the honor of the NW and thus the honor of every black brother.

That is why the Kingsguard treated such transgressions very harshly, too. At least until Jaime Lannister came around.

And there certainly are STDs in Westeros. Tygett Lannister died of a pox, Aegon the Unworthy got one from one of his whores and infected Jeyne Lothston, etc.

6 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Well Lucamore Strong didn't seem to be very discreet about what he was doing by fathering over a dozen children on multiple women. It almost appears as if he was flaunting it which must have really pissed of his fellow KG. Opposed to someone like Lewyn Martell who was a respected member of the KG yet also kept a mistress in secret. In his case his fellow KG knew about it but kept his secret instead of revealing it to their King. 

Lucamore wasn't known as 'the Lusty' in life, and he was very discreet until his sworn brothers found out and told the king. Then he was castrated and sent to the Wall. This was a serious crime.

In Lewyn's case his sworn brothers were apparently rather nice to him - but that put them at risk, too. I don't think Aerys II would have been kind to them should he have learned about both things.

6 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Well I think the fact that he was sleeping with the King's mistress had more to do with how harsh his punishment was in the end. 

Sure, but I think the fact that Aegon IV felt betrayed by a man he trusted was certainly as much motivation for him as being betrayed by a woman he loved. I mean, how fucked up can things get? Can you now not even trust the men who swear a vow that they won't sleep around?

4 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

I think the black brothers do this thing called "pulling out."  B)  And if that doesn't work, then yes, I assume that Mole's Town prostitutes have some kind of abortion method as it seems unlikely they could afford to have children.

Pulling out doesn't work.

See above. I guess pimping out the female population of Mole's Town to the Watch is all the people there do. I'm pretty sure the bastards of the NW form a huge chunk of the next generation of whores the black brothers are going to sleep with. Or do you think working in Mole's Town is so, well, attractive that people all across the Gift sent their daughters there to become whores?

The black brothers don't earn any money. They don't have coin to pay the whores at Mole's Town. It must be a very miserable life in those holes there. Perhaps they pay in kind? Or the whole thing has actually become a sort of soldier brothel with semi-slavery work conditions where the women have to serve every customer in exchange for the brothel as a whole getting some special treatment in regards to food and provisions for winter.

Keep in mind that the people living on the Gifts work the lands of the Watch at the terms of the Watch. And Mole's Town indicates that certain women there are not exactly treated kindly.

4 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

What?  The bolded is absurd.  Prostitution and vaginal intercourse have been around forever and it has never been equal to attempting to father children.  In fact, the whole purpose of it is to have no strings attached sex in order to specifically avoid having children.  Prostitution would not even exist if the prostitutes were getting pregnant consistently.  

What?! Of course whores got pregnant constantly throughout history when they did not have access to properly working birth control. It is also clear that the average man never cared about any child of his fathered on a whore.

4 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

You're conflating romance and no strings attached sex, which is kind of how many people seem to read the main point of the oath.  The oath doesn't say you can't have sex, it says you can't have children and you can't marry.  Many people read this as specifically prohibiting romance i.e. attachments that would distract black brothers or otherwise divide their loyalties.  

Sex usually leads to children in this world, unless the women can afford proper birth control. But it is silly to assume that a hard officer actually enforcing the NW vow cares whether the womb of the whore he caught one of his men with is going to quicken or not. The man tried to father children and so he broke his vow, no?

4 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

How is this different from prostitution anywhere else?  I'd imagine most prostitutes don't "relish" the idea of having sex with guys they don't know or like or aren't attracted to.  It's a business first and foremost and they do what they have to to make money and survive.  

See above. The chances that the whores of Mole's Town are 'making money' is about zero. They might get food and/or provisions for their brothel but they are not properly compensated for the shit they are going through. Just as many prostitutes in our world aren't. There is a reason why I never considered becoming a prostitute myself, you know.

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On moon tea:

Short: Moon tea is no Mifegyne (RU-486), it's not primary working through hormons! in fact, because we know that Lysa almost died because of it, and Martin does a lot of research and himself did state that he changed the recipe into fantasy herbs mostly, I'm sure its one of the common and often deadly abortion-recipes known from antiquity and the mediaeval ages. Its nothing you take lightly, just because you are pregnant.

Long: We know quite a lot of working (and even more completely bogus) contraceptives and abortifacient agents from antiquity (because the internet is dark and full of idiots I too, like Martin, will not name the ingredients, but you can PM me, if you like to know which book to best start with, in case you are interested in ancient gynaecology/pharmacology), and we know at least some of which of the abortifacient agents have been still in use in the mediaeval ages.

Soranos, the most famous gynaecologist of roman times, states that contraceptives should always be favoured over abortifacient agents, even if we dont talk about surgical measures taken, because they are so dangerous. And because we know from Soranos and Dioskurides which herbs were taken as abortifacient agents, we know he does not exaggerate. In fact, the recipes work in three parts:

1) make the female body so sick it wants to abort the fetus/embryo (one reason for overdose)

2) kill the fetus/embryo (second reason for overdose, as you have to pass the mothers body and the placenta)

3) make sure the now often near death female body is able to eject the dead child. or else the woman will die because of sepsis - this is where the tansy and other convulsion causing herbs come into play; mostly, they made it worse [And Thujone are such a nice thing to have in your body too, good they are in the package as well!].

Simply put: It makes you so sick that in most cases you can not work for weeks or months, its quite possible to never fully recover, so if you were not in a situation in which you were afraid of gossip and the honour of your House getting damaged, you would simply carry through the pregnancy and then leave the child somewhere in the woods, if you dont want to keep it.

Now, what does this tell us about moon tea in Martin-world? And what else do we know about  this complex in Westeros?

1) There are no contraceptives. Or else Cersei, as a powerful and wealthy woman would use them (she does not while sleeping with Lancel etc., using the pull-him-out method, so it seems likely that she did use a trick in her time with Robert, maybe taking him between her legs, as she says we was too drunk to notice what is going on).

Maybe there are contraceptives in Essos, but it seems they are not sold in Westeros. Maybe high class prostitutes from Essos or Sothoryos do use contraceptives, but of course they would not tell their concurrence.

2) Moon tea makes you as sick as its real world original, it sure is easy enough to make for a remote wood witch or maester (or even Asha herself), but it will not become saver that way, on the contrary.

3) Because of the nature of the herbs involved (just a hint: most, while known as mecical herbs and still in use today, would not be associated with gynaecology), using it more often does not make it less dangerous, but the opposite: The damage done to the body of the mother culminates with more doses. So pulling-it-out is the way to go for low class prostitutions, and no: It does not work very well.

 

Edited by Morte

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21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Just as only a tiny fraction of people - the powerful, wealthy, and famous - stand a realistic chance of being elected President of the United States.

Barack Obama?  Ronald Reagan?  It's easy to say this, because by the time anyone actually runs for President, they are by definition well known and famous and powerful.  But for every Bush or Trump who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, there are often Presidents who come from nothing.  Reagan grew up poor in Illinois and made it as a second-rate actor before winning election in California.  Obama's story is well known enough that it doesn't need repeating, but I don't think anyone looks at Constitutional Law Prof and thinks "there goes a wealthy, powerful, and famous man".

And to connect it... the NW is a meritocracy.  Being a former knight or lord is a major plus because at the end of the day, the most prestigious positions in the Watch require literacy, fighting ability, and managerial skills (to name a few).  Your average undereducated or uneducated commoner criminal serving at the Wall has none of these things; folks like Alliser Thorne or Jeor Mormont were brought up learning how to fight.  Thus, they are more qualified.   It's inextricably tied to their backgrounds, but they aren't elected because  they are knights or former lords.  We see plenty of commoners in positions of authority within the Watch; Cotter Pyke is running neck and neck with Denys Mallister despite being a bastard, and a lowborn bastard at that.

This would have been more appropriate a year ago, because a basically illiterate failure of a man child IS POTUS, but it would be like expecting a high school dropout who has been mopping floors for thirty years to be suddenly elected President.

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26 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

Barack Obama?  Ronald Reagan?  It's easy to say this, because by the time anyone actually runs for President, they are by definition well known and famous and powerful.  But for every Bush or Trump who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, there are often Presidents who come from nothing.  Reagan grew up poor in Illinois and made it as a second-rate actor before winning election in California.  Obama's story is well known enough that it doesn't need repeating, but I don't think anyone looks at Constitutional Law Prof and thinks "there goes a wealthy, powerful, and famous man".

Well, technically any citizen born in the US can ran for POTUS, right? I mean, you could do it assuming you are that. But nobody would give you any votes, of course. You have to be famous or the means to become famous rather quickly - which means you need money.

Obama and Reagan acquired both during their (political) careers.

But the truly powerful class in the US - and basically all representative democracies - are the people who own and run the economy. The people who actually own the world. They don't have to be President to exercise their power. They just do it - quietly or not so quietly.

26 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

And to connect it... the NW is a meritocracy.  Being a former knight or lord is a major plus because at the end of the day, the most prestigious positions in the Watch require literacy, fighting ability, and managerial skills (to name a few).  Your average undereducated or uneducated commoner criminal serving at the Wall has none of these things; folks like Alliser Thorne or Jeor Mormont were brought up learning how to fight.  Thus, they are more qualified.   It's inextricably tied to their backgrounds, but they aren't elected because  they are knights or former lords.  We see plenty of commoners in positions of authority within the Watch; Cotter Pyke is running neck and neck with Denys Mallister despite being a bastard, and a lowborn bastard at that.

The Watch is more of a meritocracy than the other parts of the Seven Kingdoms but it isn't really a meritocracy. There are very firm glass walls in place to ensure that the rabble doesn't rise to high office. The men at the Watch grew up in a feudal society where the nobles run everything. They have the political power, the economic power, the military power, the religious power. They own everything. And the men at the Wall don't forget that. They elect their leaders from the noble class at the Wall.

Nobody ever said that any nobleman in the Watch can rise to high office - Samwell Tarly and Alliser Thorne can't, for different reasons (Sam cannot fight and Thorne basically turned many men of the Watch against him with his training methods). I'm sure there were a few peasants among the commanders of the castles - and perhaps even one or two among the lord commanders - but those would be the exceptions proving the rule. And note that of the many lord commanders we know by name at this point none is confirmed to be a commoner. They all have noble family names or noble bastard names.

And Cotter Pyke's mother might be a commoner but his father must have noble blood or else he wouldn't bear the name 'Pyke'. Only the bastards of noblemen get those names. And they are part of the noble class, especially at the Wall where they can indeed rise high. But not because of merit - or not only because of merit - but because of their connections to royalty and nobility.

Just take those Stark boy commanders as example. I'm sure nobody thought ten-year-old Osric Stark would be a good lord commander. But the men elected such a boy still because he was the son or brother of a King in the North.

26 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

This would have been more appropriate a year ago, because a basically illiterate failure of a man child IS POTUS, but it would be like expecting a high school dropout who has been mopping floors for thirty years to be suddenly elected President.

Well, Trump's election is no surprise. The man had the money to buy himself the office. And that's basically what he did. He got himself the money to hire people who helped him to convince the populace to elect him. It was not that hard. I our world you have to caper to the rabble, speak their language, convince them that 'you are one of them'. But in Westeros the powerful don't have to do that. The commoners know their place. Even at the Watch. And that's why they elect nobles or noble bastard Lord Commander and not one of their own.

You see how stable that system is when people still stick to candidates with noble backgrounds - like Mallister, Pyke, Slynt, Marsh, Yarwyck, or Jon Snow - rather than competent commoners even after a succession of tragedies eradicated most of the noble elite of the Watch.

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Night's Watch began as a monastic military order.

LV, I’m going to take the easy way out and go with what is said in the link below. If there has been information released in the App or the coffee table book that disputes it let me know.  Monastic is an interesting word. In my mind a monk, using Thomas Merton as an example, is not a taking up arms to defend the realm.

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Night's_Watch

The Night's Watch is a military order dedicated to holding the Wall, the immense fortification on the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, defending the realms of men from what lies beyond the Wall. The order's foundation dates back to the Age of Heroes, at the time when the Others were pushed back. The men of Night's Watch wear only black, and they are known as black brothers.[1] Recruits who join the Watch are said to take the black.[2]

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