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Military strength of minor houses of the Reach

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, nobody ever doubted that Riverlands were fertile and populous. I'd say they are have the third largest population in the Seven Kingdoms - after Reach and the West.

The wealth isn't generated only by their richness in gold and other metals, but also by the fact that they control fertile lands. Tywin's army includes one insignificant sellsword company. The overwhelming bulk of his strength are Westermen. And they are not his entire strength. They talk about raising additional armies in the West even in AFfC.

I actually don't know how large the population in the Crownlands is. Due to the fact that the Riverlands are significantly larger and about as fertile and densely populated (in the rural areas) as the Crownlands, I'd say more people live in the Riverlands than in the Crownlands. But I'd not say that few people live in the Crownlands. KL and Duskendale alone make sure of that.

I'd say that your description of the West in addition with what we know about the population size of the Westerlands implies that they are, on average, a more fertile region than the Riverlands. Or perhaps only a more effectively cultivated regions. The Riverlands may be just as fertile but may have wetlands and swamps due to the many rivers in the region. The domains near the Twins (Hog's Mire, for instance, the place Chett is from) seem to be not exactly that great region to live in.

And as I've said - I'm reasonably confident that the most fertile regions in the Vale may be the most fertile regions in all the Seven Kingdoms, but that would be a comparatively small region compared to the lands the Arryns control.

It seems the Vale is capable of producing a considerable surplus of food - enough to feed its own population as well trade significant quantities of the grain they have (the fact that they don't share anything with the clansmen is a political decision, not something that necessity forces them to do). They are a large player in the (international) food market, but they are not likely to produce more food in total than the Riverlands, the Westerlands, or the Reach.

That the West seems to be staying out of the food trade as far as we know (although they might very well have had a rather prosperous business relationship with the Iron Islands back in the days the Ironborn exchanged iron for food) would be due to the fact that they would have to get their goods around Westeros to Dorne or the Stormlands to find people who really need to buy food from them.

And the lack of major ports at the western shores of the North doesn't make it all that likely the Westermen are very much invested in selling food to the North (although it certainly might happen in hard and dire winters).

He could. Stafford's men were about another 10,000, were they not? And while some of them might have been survivors, there is no indication that Tywin Lannister took all his mounted knights with him to the Riverlands. The West should have the largest density of mounted warriors (knights and freeriders) per square mile, anyway, considering that the people there are likely to afford more horses than anybody else in Westeros.

That is why Tywin has Stafford raise a new army. But you have to see that in context. Tywin and Kevan didn't see Robb's army at Riverrun. They only heard reports of what transpired there.

We, too. I'd also learn stuff about the market towns in the Riverlands and the Reach. Aside from a couple of names we don't know any. But they have to be there, especially in the Reach. The people have to live somewhere. I'm pretty sure we'll get some names once POVs finally travel through the Reach to Oldtown or Highgarden, just as George suddenly put a town at the shore of Cape Wrath were previously hadn't been a town.

Long story short, it is incorrect to definitively state that the West is the 2nd most populous kingdom. It is never stated in the text.

I think it is more likely that the Riverlands is in that position, while you think it is the Westerlands. I understand your points raised, but I think the Riverlands have stronger points going for it.

To be clear,  I don't suggest the West has a low population. Just that it is not in 2nd position from a population perspective.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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5 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Long story short, it is incorrect to definitively state that the West is the 2nd most populous kingdom. It is never stated in the text.

I think it is more likely that the Riverlands is in that position, while you think it is the Westerlands. I understand your points raised, but I think the Riverlands have stronger points going for it.

To be clear,  I don't suggest the West has a low population. Just that it is not in 2nd position from a population perspective.

Still, we do know the West is the second most powerful military power in Westeros. If that's true then, by our usual standards, that means the West also has the second largest population. The Reach is the strongest military power in Westeros precisely because they have the largest population.

And whatever numbers George has given us indicate that the West is the second largest military power after the Reach. It is not necessarily clear how many men they can field in total, since that seems to be in flux/unclear, but the overall hierarchy is pretty clear.

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Posted (edited)

17 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Still, we do know the West is the second most powerful military power in Westeros. If that's true then, by our usual standards, that means the West also has the second largest population. The Reach is the strongest military power in Westeros precisely because they have the largest population.

And whatever numbers George has given us indicate that the West is the second largest military power after the Reach. It is not necessarily clear how many men they can field in total, since that seems to be in flux/unclear, but the overall hierarchy is pretty clear.

And here you come full circle back to a point raised and discussed previously, either on this thread or on the other one about the strength of minor Houses of the Reach. Which is that military strength is not a straight function of population size, but a function of both population size and wealth. Along with other factors raised by Martin such as unity of leadership, loyalty of vassals, geographical ease of raising men etc.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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Purely based on what we do know about the geography and climate of Westeros we can make some calculations and assumptions …

Area size (based on The Lands of Ice and Fire):

Riverlands: ~170k sq mi (8.9% of Westeros; 4th by size)

Westerlands: ~130k sq mi (6.7% of Westeros, 7th by size)

Landscape:

Riverlands: ~22k sq mi (13% of their area; forest, wetlands, hills/medium mountains)

Westerlands: ~112k sq mi (87% of their area; forest, hills/medium mountains)

By logic, the Riverlands should have a far higher population than the Westerlands. Almost 90% of their area is covered by plains watered by large and small rivers, and most of their territory is on the same latitude as the Westerlands. The area in the triangle Red Fork, Blackwater Rush and God’s Eye should exceed the population of the entire Westerlands by far. It is also the region closest to the very fertile and climatic favourable Reach and Crownlands.

Realistically, the Westerlands should be on a par with the Vale population vice, though slightly larger. Based on these factors, the Crownlands should also be very populous despite being the smallest mainland region. Many people seem to ignore that.

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Points for pointing out Crownlands; it has king's landing and Duskendale but as a military power most we see from them is in the range of 10k men, same as Dorne, so not that populous I'd think.

 

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43 minutes ago, Mander said:

Purely based on what we do know about the geography and climate of Westeros we can make some calculations and assumptions …

Area size (based on The Lands of Ice and Fire):

Riverlands: ~170k sq mi (8.9% of Westeros; 4th by size)

Westerlands: ~130k sq mi (6.7% of Westeros, 7th by size)

Can I ask how you came to these figures? The maps in the World book are not all the same size, they are different for each location. For example look at the distance between the Banefort and the Riverland's border in both the Westerland and Riverland maps and you will notice they don't match up. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Points for pointing out Crownlands; it has king's landing and Duskendale but as a military power most we see from them is in the range of 10k men, same as Dorne, so not that populous I'd think.

 

The suggestion seems to be that King's Landing's 500k population was a temporary status thanks to refugees, Tyrell troops and camp followers and that its normal population is closer to 350-400k. That would also have a knock on effect on the population of the surrounding agricultural land, especially if it is true that much of the food required to feed King's Landing comes up the Rose road from the Reach.

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Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The suggestion seems to be that King's Landing's 500k population was a temporary status thanks to refugees, Tyrell troops and camp followers and that its normal population is closer to 350-400k. That would also have a knock on effect on the population of the surrounding agricultural land, especially if it is true that much of the food required to feed King's Landing comes up the Rose road from the Reach.

Well, if you ask me 400k is too high a number; troops alone account for some 100K between Lannister forces, Tyrell forces and survivors of Stannis' army(which is abone 10k to be sure) add to that any refugees, camp followers and the rounding up of the final total, peace time population would more likely to be around 300k.

On another note Gold Cloaks at peak strength totalled 6k, this is when they were actively "recruiting" when people were in fear of their lives and were hungry.

And finally  yes they are dependent on food "imported" from the Reach, crownlands is unable to support KL. Which could give us a population size of Crownlands.

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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16 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Well, if you ask me 400k is too high a number; troops alone account for some 100K between Lannister forces, Tyrell forces and survivors of Stannis' army(which is abone 10k to be sure) add to that any refugees, camp followers and the rounding up of the final total, peace time population would more likely to be around 300k.

On another note Gold Cloaks at peak strength totalled 6k, this is when they were actively "recruiting" when people were in fear of their lives and were hungry.

And finally  yes they are dependent on food "imported" from the Reach, crownlands is unable to support KL. Which could give us a population size of Crownlands.

Certainly possible. Tyrion himself numbers the troops as 60-70k Roses and 20k Lannisters. That brings us down to 400k already, rounding differences included.

Not sure about the numbers of refugees and other temporary residents. But I think we can get down to 350k fairly easily, and even 300k I guess is not unrealistic.

That would still make King's Landing bigger than medieval Paris.

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20 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

And here you come full circle back to a point raised and discussed previously, either on this thread or on the other one about the strength of minor Houses of the Reach. Which is that military strength is not a straight function of population size, but a function of both population size and wealth. Along with other factors raised by Martin such as unity of leadership, loyalty of vassals, geographical ease of raising men etc.

The population size and size of the army you can potentially raise from that population are both separate issues from things like competence of leadership, geographical factors, etc.

Besides, the Riverlands had a strong and central leadership after King Robb took over there. Yet Robb still lacked the men to directly challenge Tywin.

If the Riverlands came close to the strength of the West Robb should actually have been capable to raise two new armies - one to deal with Tywin at Harrenhal (in combination with his own host under Roose's command) as well as another host to threaten or even take a defenseless KL before Stannis/Renly made their move.

Again, there were vast reaches of the Riverlands completely untouched by the war at this time.

17 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Points for pointing out Crownlands; it has king's landing and Duskendale but as a military power most we see from them is in the range of 10k men, same as Dorne, so not that populous I'd think.

We don't have sufficient numbers from the Crownlands. What the lords there assembled very quickly when they were trying to deal with Aegon's invasion back in the day is not necessarily the same amount the Targaryens can field after centuries of development and prosperity in the lands around KL. The regions was wilderness and wasteland back in the day before Aegon landed. Now those lands are at the center of the Seven Kingdoms.

I don't recall right now how strong the army was Prince Aemond led to Harrenhal during the Dance, but it was likely made up completely by Crownlanders. And that after Criston Cole had depleted the strength of the Crownlands by leading Aegon II's men against various houses in the Crownlands.

More importantly, a huge chunk of Rhaegar's 40,000 men at the Trident would have been Crownlanders (including the men sworn to Dragonstone, of course). 10,000 were Lewyn's Dornishmen, and there were also Reach men and loyal Rivermen in that army, but it is certainly possible that the Targaryens brought, say, 15,000 Crownlanders to the Trident.

When Bloodraven crushed the Second Blackfyre Rebellion at Whitewalls the bulk of his strength - while also including some Riverlords like Mooton and Lothston - also came from the Crownlands. And that was a sizable host, too.

17 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The suggestion seems to be that King's Landing's 500k population was a temporary status thanks to refugees, Tyrell troops and camp followers and that its normal population is closer to 350-400k. That would also have a knock on effect on the population of the surrounding agricultural land, especially if it is true that much of the food required to feed King's Landing comes up the Rose road from the Reach.

There is little reason to assume that the entire Tyrell/Lannister actually camped within the walls of KL. The knights, lords, and some of the men-at-arms wealthy enough to afford to stay at inns and the like would have taken residence at the city, but the bulk would have camped outside.

KL has about a population of half a million people. In fact, it already had more than 100,000 people in the second half of Aegon's reign, at which point only Lannisport and Oldtown were still larger.

The fact that the prices for food climb during the War of the Five Kings isn't the same as KL being dependent on food imports from the Reach. The way things developed the capital of the Seven Kingdoms did get such imports, but those would be established economical relations. This doesn't mean KL couldn't also exist if it was only dependent on imports from the Crownlands and other closer regions. But if the economic situation before the war caused the merchants and lords involved in the food trade to send their goods to other markets besides KL (because they couldn't possibly compete with cheap food from the Reach) then they won't be able to change all that to get stuff to KL overnight.

Not to mention that the specter of war usually is poison to trade, anyway. You don't have to close down the Roseroad to convince the average person having a surplus of food to save if for themselves in case the war reaches them rather than risking to lose it (and whatever revenue can be made from it) on the road.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The population size and size of the army you can potentially raise from that population are both separate issues from things like competence of leadership, geographical factors, etc.

Besides, the Riverlands had a strong and central leadership after King Robb took over there. Yet Robb still lacked the men to directly challenge Tywin.

If the Riverlands came close to the strength of the West Robb should actually have been capable to raise two new armies - one to deal with Tywin at Harrenhal (in combination with his own host under Roose's command) as well as another host to threaten or even take a defenseless KL before Stannis/Renly made their move.

Again, there were vast reaches of the Riverlands completely untouched by the war at this time.

 

I don't know about that. Kevan's comments to Tyrion make it sound that only the Frey and Mallister lands had escaped the Westerland's wrath, we just never see it first hand due to the nature of the story structure

 "How is your war going?"

His uncle answered. "Well enough, for the nonce. Ser Edmure had scattered small troops of men along his borders to stop our raiding, and your lord father and I were able to destroy most of them piecemeal before they could regroup."

"Your brother has been covering himself with glory," his father said. "He smashed the Lords Vance and Piper at the Golden Tooth, and met the massed power of the Tullys under the walls of Riverrun. The lords of the Trident have been put to rout. Ser Edmure Tully was taken captive, with many of his knights and bannermen. Lord Blackwood led a few survivors back to Riverrun, where Jaime has them under siege. The rest fled to their own strongholds."

"Your father and I have been marching on each in turn," Ser Kevan said. "With Lord Blackwood gone, Raventree fell at once, and Lady Whent yielded Harrenhal for want of men to defend it. Ser Gregor burnt out the Pipers and the Brackens . . . "

"Leaving you unopposed?" Tyrion said.

 "Not wholly," Ser Kevan said. "The Mallisters still hold Seagard and Walder Frey is marshaling his levies at the Twins."

 "No matter," Lord Tywin said. "Frey only takes the field when the scent of victory is in the air, and all he smells now is ruin. And Jason Mallister lacks the strength to fight alone.

 

It seems that Edmure's rash actions doomed the Riverlands as he called up the majority of its experienced military to deal with the Lannisters and been taken out piecemeal. 

Now what we can point out is how big this army was supposed to have been as Renly and Cat's conversation give an accurate number of what the Riverland's  regular strength should be

"I'm told your son crossed the Neck with twenty thousand swords at his back," Renly went on. "Now that the lords of the Trident are with him, perhaps he commands forty thousand."
No, she thought, not near so many, we have lost men in battle, and others to the harvest.
 
Which seems about right for what we have seen in the books. Obviously both the North and the Riverlands can raise more than 20k but we are talking a significant drop in standard (green boys/grey beards) or stripping castles of their garrisons to reach these numbers which is always a desperate measure and likely counter productive during wartime. I'm pretty sure Renly was not stripping his castles of their garrisons, ditto Tywin & Stannis, so he would not have been expecting Edmure and Robb to do the same when he factored in their strength. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The population size and size of the army you can potentially raise from that population are both separate issues from things like competence of leadership, geographical factors, etc.

Besides, the Riverlands had a strong and central leadership after King Robb took over there. Yet Robb still lacked the men to directly challenge Tywin.

If the Riverlands came close to the strength of the West Robb should actually have been capable to raise two new armies - one to deal with Tywin at Harrenhal (in combination with his own host under Roose's command) as well as another host to threaten or even take a defenseless KL before Stannis/Renly made their move.

Again, there were vast reaches of the Riverlands completely untouched by the war at this time.

We don't have sufficient numbers from the Crownlands. What the lords there assembled very quickly when they were trying to deal with Aegon's invasion back in the day is not necessarily the same amount the Targaryens can field after centuries of development and prosperity in the lands around KL. The regions was wilderness and wasteland back in the day before Aegon landed. Now those lands are at the center of the Seven Kingdoms.

I don't recall right now how strong the army was Prince Aemond led to Harrenhal during the Dance, but it was likely made up completely by Crownlanders. And that after Criston Cole had depleted the strength of the Crownlands by leading Aegon II's men against various houses in the Crownlands.

More importantly, a huge chunk of Rhaegar's 40,000 men at the Trident would have been Crownlanders (including the men sworn to Dragonstone, of course). 10,000 were Lewyn's Dornishmen, and there were also Reach men and loyal Rivermen in that army, but it is certainly possible that the Targaryens brought, say, 15,000 Crownlanders to the Trident.

When Bloodraven crushed the Second Blackfyre Rebellion at Whitewalls the bulk of his strength - while also including some Riverlords like Mooton and Lothston - also came from the Crownlands. And that was a sizable host, too.

There is little reason to assume that the entire Tyrell/Lannister actually camped within the walls of KL. The knights, lords, and some of the men-at-arms wealthy enough to afford to stay at inns and the like would have taken residence at the city, but the bulk would have camped outside.

KL has about a population of half a million people. In fact, it already had more than 100,000 people in the second half of Aegon's reign, at which point only Lannisport and Oldtown were still larger.

The fact that the prices for food climb during the War of the Five Kings isn't the same as KL being dependent on food imports from the Reach. The way things developed the capital of the Seven Kingdoms did get such imports, but those would be established economical relations. This doesn't mean KL couldn't also exist if it was only dependent on imports from the Crownlands and other closer regions. But if the economic situation before the war caused the merchants and lords involved in the food trade to send their goods to other markets besides KL (because they couldn't possibly compete with cheap food from the Reach) then they won't be able to change all that to get stuff to KL overnight.

Not to mention that the specter of war usually is poison to trade, anyway. You don't have to close down the Roseroad to convince the average person having a surplus of food to save if for themselves in case the war reaches them rather than risking to lose it (and whatever revenue can be made from it) on the road.

King's landing's population remains up for debate. With regards to the Crownlands troops, the semi-canon numbers from the 2005 RPG which were roughly endorsed by Martin had the Crownlands at 10-15k soldiers. As for the Battle of the Trident, Rhaegar had 30k men between the Crownlands, Tyrells and loyalists from the Riverlands, Vale and Stormlands. (I've already subtracted the 10k Dornishmen). You can play with that whichever way you want, of course, but given the known strength of the Reach it seems difficult to see how 80% or more of their strength could have been tied up besieging Storm's End. Martin himself, when questioned on this, said a fair number of Reach troops were with Rhaegar at the Trident.

Quote:

Tyrell had a sizeable host (at Storm's End), but some of his strength was with Rhaegar, certainly. Rhaegar actually outnumbered Robert on the Trident, although Robert's troops were more battle-tested.

A reasonable guestimate for the breakdown of Rhaegar's force would probably be:

10,000 Dornishmen

10,000 Crownlands levies

20,000 men from the Reach, Vale, Stormlands and Riverlands. With the Reach making up at least 10k of that, and perhaps as many as 15k. Which is STILL a low number for the Reach, all things considered. Maybe the Reach numbers were higher, and the Crownlands and other regions were lower, even. But we can't really know.

3 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

I don't know about that. Kevan's comments to Tyrion make it sound that only the Frey and Mallister lands had escaped the Westerland's wrath, we just never see it first hand due to the nature of the story structure

 "How is your war going?"

His uncle answered. "Well enough, for the nonce. Ser Edmure had scattered small troops of men along his borders to stop our raiding, and your lord father and I were able to destroy most of them piecemeal before they could regroup."

"Your brother has been covering himself with glory," his father said. "He smashed the Lords Vance and Piper at the Golden Tooth, and met the massed power of the Tullys under the walls of Riverrun. The lords of the Trident have been put to rout. Ser Edmure Tully was taken captive, with many of his knights and bannermen. Lord Blackwood led a few survivors back to Riverrun, where Jaime has them under siege. The rest fled to their own strongholds."

"Your father and I have been marching on each in turn," Ser Kevan said. "With Lord Blackwood gone, Raventree fell at once, and Lady Whent yielded Harrenhal for want of men to defend it. Ser Gregor burnt out the Pipers and the Brackens . . . "

"Leaving you unopposed?" Tyrion said.

 "Not wholly," Ser Kevan said. "The Mallisters still hold Seagard and Walder Frey is marshaling his levies at the Twins."

 "No matter," Lord Tywin said. "Frey only takes the field when the scent of victory is in the air, and all he smells now is ruin. And Jason Mallister lacks the strength to fight alone.

 

It seems that Edmure's rash actions doomed the Riverlands as he called up the majority of its experienced military to deal with the Lannisters and been taken out piecemeal. 

Now what we can point out is how big this army was supposed to have been as Renly and Cat's conversation give an accurate number of what the Riverland's  regular strength should be

"I'm told your son crossed the Neck with twenty thousand swords at his back," Renly went on. "Now that the lords of the Trident are with him, perhaps he commands forty thousand."
No, she thought, not near so many, we have lost men in battle, and others to the harvest.
 
Which seems about right for what we have seen in the books. Obviously both the North and the Riverlands can raise more than 20k but we are talking a significant drop in standard (green boys/grey beards) or stripping castles of their garrisons to reach these numbers which is always a desperate measure and likely counter productive during wartime. I'm pretty sure Renly was not stripping his castles of their garrisons, ditto Tywin & Stannis, so he would not have been expecting Edmure and Robb to do the same when he factored in their strength. 

 

 

Regarding the bolded part, note that Renly bases his casual 20k estimate of the North's strength on the number that he has been "told Robb crossed the Neck with". Not on any pre-existing estimate of the North's strength. So he had been informed of Northern troop movements at least up to the point that Robb arrived at the Twins.

Similarly, he should have been informed of the battles that had already transpired at the Golden Tooth and at Riverrun, where the massed primary strength of the Riverlands had been defeated by Jaime. So one would assume that his assessment of the Riverlands' strength was based on whatever hosts he estimated remained in the Riverlands after those defeats.

One should also note that Edmure's new host that is raised at Riverrun numbers 3000 horse and 8,000 foot, and is never mentioned as consisting of green boys or dregs. In fact, that is a rather high ratio of horse (higher than Tywin's ratio in his Westerland host, in fact), implying a new Riverland host that was quickly gathered from the cream of the crop (read lots of cavalry), rather than a mass of green peasant levies raised from the backwoods of the Riverlands.

So all of the above gives us a picture of the Riverlands' total military strength. But, as has already been confirmed by Martin, the Riverlands' military strength is not proportionate with its population, due to the issues of leadership and weak natural borders that he has listed. So whatever their total strength, it is a smaller portion of their population than the total strength of the Westerlands would be, where strong, unified leadership and concentrated troop marshalling (in addition to immense wealth) results in a very high military strength compared to its population.

 

 

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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3 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

I don't know about that. Kevan's comments to Tyrion make it sound that only the Frey and Mallister lands had escaped the Westerland's wrath, we just never see it first hand due to the nature of the story structure.

That just the (significant) portion of the Riverlands the Lannisters had access to. Tywin and Jaime attacked Riverrun and eventually Harrenhal, and from there they dispatched smaller forces to the other castles. But they didn't reach nor trouble the entire Riverlands.

Robb and Edmure never even make an attempt to raise an by calling on the help of Lord Mooton, say, or any of the other Riverlords living in the eastern reaches of the Riverlands.

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3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That just the (significant) portion of the Riverlands the Lannisters had access to. Tywin and Jaime attacked Riverrun and eventually Harrenhal, and from there they dispatched smaller forces to the other castles. But they didn't reach nor trouble the entire Riverlands.

From what Kevan says the Frey and Mallister lands are the only ones untouched or properly defended, with the rest being undefended. 

The lords of the Trident have been put to rout. Ser Edmure Tully was taken captive, with many of his knights and bannermen. Lord Blackwood led a few survivors back to Riverrun, where Jaime has them under siege. The rest fled to their own strongholds."

"Your father and I have been marching on each in turn...

3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Robb and Edmure never even make an attempt to raise an by calling on the help of Lord Mooton,

They actually do. He, like the ruler of Saltpans, chose to remain but sent off a force and left his own lands vulnerable 

If the gods are good, we will pass Maidenpool before he knows that I am there. "The town will be restored to Lord Mooton once the fighting's done," she told the farmer. "His lordship has been pardoned by the king."
"Pardoned?" The old man laughed. "For what? Sitting on his arse in his bloody castle? He sent men off to Riverrun to fight but never went himself.

Lord Mooton has multiple sons at the start of the series and by AFFC his daughter is his heir, it seems likely that they were with Edmure. Saltpans is relatively close to Maidenpool and we know, while Quincy Cox remained, his sons were with Edmure (and possibly Robb.) 

3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

say, or any of the other Riverlords living in the eastern reaches of the Riverlands.

Again, I'm not sure that is true. 

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Posted (edited)

Here is an easy scenario of what the Riverland strength could have been:

Edmure sends Lords Vance and Piper to hold the Golden tooth with 5000 men. Meanwhile he gathers the main strength of the Riverlands at Riverrun. Say 25,000 men. At the same time we know Walder Frey has raised around 5000 men to date, and he sent none to Edmure's summons.

So added together, that gives you 35,000 Riverlands men, the same number that Tywin raised from the West.

Jaime invades and smashes the smaller Golden Tooth force, forcing Lord Vance to retreat to Riverrun with say 2000 survivors.

Riverrun now has 27,000 men. Edmure hears that Tywin and Gregor are raiding and sends the bulk of his forces (call it 17,000 men for sake of argument) to spread out to all villages close to the border. You are talking hundres of villages here, so even 17k men would only give you a hundred or so men per village. Maybe even only 50 per village. Anyway, these men are picked off bit by bit by Tywin's much larger unified force.

Meanwhile, Edmure is left with 10,000 men at Riverrun, where Jaime strikes with his 14,000 or so remaining men and totaly smashes them, killing many and scattering the rest.

So by the time Robb arrives, Edmure is holed up in Riverrun, with Jaime's force besieging him and Tywin raiding the Riverlands at will. Once Robb lifts the siege, Edmure is able to gather what remains of his original forces into the 11,000 men we are told about at Riverrun, excluding the Freys who number another 5,000 Rivermen.

This is just what is left of his original force and given the chaotic state of the Riverlands likely does not include many areas that he no longer has access to, or where lands have been burnt and peasants killed.

Stafford raises his Oxcross green boys from a land that had been untouched by raiding or invasion at that point. The Riverlands don't have that luxury. Their land is in chaos, and in many areas it has become each man for himself.

The above example is merely one scenario, but one which easily shows how the Riverlands could have matched the West's military numbers, despite having weaker leaders and porous borders which require their forces to be dispersed rather than concentrated in one place.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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39 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Here is an easy scenario of what the Riverland strength could have been:

Edmure sends Lords Vance and Piper to hold the Golden tooth with 5000 men. Meanwhile he gathers the main strength of the Riverlands at Riverrun. Say 25,000 men. At the same time we know Walder Frey has raised around 5000 men to date, and he sent none to Edmure's summons.

So added together, that gives you 35,000 Riverlands men, the same number that Tywin raised from the West.

Jaime invades and smashes the smaller Golden Tooth force, forcing Lord Vance to retreat to Riverrun with say 2000 survivors.

Riverrun now has 27,000 men. Edmure hears that Tywin and Gregor are raiding and sends the bulk of his forces (call it 17,000 men for sake of argument) to spread out to all villages close to the border. You are talking hundres of villages here, so even 17k men would only give you a hundred or so men per village. Maybe even only 50 per village. Anyway, these men are picked off bit by bit by Tywin's much larger unified force.

Meanwhile, Edmure is left with 10,000 men at Riverrun, where Jaime strikes with his 14,000 or so remaining men and totaly smashes them, killing many and scattering the rest.

So by the time Robb arrives, Edmure is holed up in Riverrun, with Jaime's force besieging him and Tywin raiding the Riverlands at will. Once Robb lifts the siege, Edmure is able to gather what remains of his original forces into the 11,000 men we are told about at Riverrun, excluding the Freys who number another 5,000 Rivermen.

This is just what is left of his original force and given the chaotic state of the Riverlands likely does not include many areas that he no longer has access to, or where lands have been burnt and peasants killed.

Stafford raises his Oxcross green boys from a land that had been untouched by raiding or invasion at that point. The Riverlands don't have that luxury. Their land is in chaos, and in many areas it has become each man for himself.

The above example is merely one scenario, but one which easily shows how the Riverlands could have matched the West's military numbers, despite having weaker leaders and porous borders which require their forces to be dispersed rather than concentrated in one place.

 

Add to this the fact that Lords will leave some garrison once they retake their land. It will be hundreds of keeps, castles, tower houses, holdfasts that need some amount of men to be away from the field and sitting inside walls. Some holdings like Darry change hands more than once.

Despite all this Brackens, for example, still have 500 men with who knows how many returned to home, garrisoning the castle or slain in battle.

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5 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

From what Kevan says the Frey and Mallister lands are the only ones untouched or properly defended, with the rest being undefended. 

But the context here are those Riverlords (and their armies) who actually took up arms against the Lannister. Which, for obvious reasons, were only those Riverlords who were affected by Tywin's original raids as well as those who Edmure sent to the Golden Tooth and assembled at Riverrun. Which - for obvious reasons - couldn't have been even remotely have been the entire strength of the Riverlands, or else the Rivermen at Riverrun would have greatly outnumbered Jaime's army.

That goes even if we - like I - don't assume the Riverlands can field as many men as the West. But if they have, say, 40,000-45,000 men in total then those men obviously weren't at Riverrun at any time during the war.

If Tywin can as assemble as many men as he could in the short time he had then Edmure should have been able to do a similar thing. The potential would have been there.

Now, it might that it wasn't realized everywhere completely, but in addition we could also assume, I think, that quite a few Riverlords acted like the Freys and completely ignored whatever summons came from Riverrun - or sent only a token force like Lord Mooton of Maidenpool. It is not that anybody did fear dying old Hoster or greatly respect his young heir. Edmure has his buddies - and they and their families stand with him - but those aren't remotely all the Riverlords.

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26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But the context here are those Riverlords (and their armies) who actually took up arms against the Lannister. Which, for obvious reasons, were only those Riverlords who were affected by Tywin's original raids as well as those who Edmure sent to the Golden Tooth and assembled at Riverrun. Which - for obvious reasons - couldn't have been even remotely have been the entire strength of the Riverlands, or else the Rivermen at Riverrun would have greatly outnumbered Jaime's army.

No offense, but why do you keep on saying for obvious reasons?

We have no idea how much the Riverlands can marshall. But Jaime dealing with 4k at the Golden Tooth, 10-15k at Riverrun, with 4k Freys and 1-2k Mallisters in reserve and with Tywin's 20k picking off the remnants that were protecting the smaller settlents by the borders and the settlements in the Riverlands (say, combined, under 5k) still gives the Riverlands around 30k. 

26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That goes even if we - like I - don't assume the Riverlands can field as many men as the West. But if they have, say, 40,000-45,000 men in total then those men obviously weren't at Riverrun at any time during the war.

There is nothing to suggest the West can field 45k, I have zero reason to assume the Riverland can. 

26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If Tywin can as assemble as many men as he could in the short time he had then Edmure should have been able to do a similar thing. The potential would have been there.

From both Cat and Tywin the only people who did not answer Edmure's summons were the Freys and Mallisters. 

26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Now, it might that it wasn't realized everywhere completely, but in addition we could also assume, I think, that quite a few Riverlords acted like the Freys and completely ignored whatever summons came from Riverrun -

That is an assumption not based on anything in the books. 

26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

or sent only a token force like Lord Mooton of Maidenpool.

Why are you ignoring the text? First you claimed they sent no one and the text disproves that. There is nothing in the books that suggest he only sent a token force. 

26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not that anybody did fear dying old Hoster or greatly respect his young heir. Edmure has his buddies - and they and their families stand with him - but those aren't remotely all the Riverlords.

Name these Lords who you don't think sent anyone.

Why does Tywin and Kevan not consider these Lords a threat? Why do they only claim that the Freys and Mallisters are the only ones still standing?

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Posted (edited)

Just a small correction on Mallisters; Though it isn't explicitly stated it is safe to assume Mallisters answered the call and those we see with Robb are a second raise.

Text is in support of that:

-  Robb has much fewer  than 1000 Mallisters

- Lannisters talk of Frey having his levies, Mallister his castle 

- No one talks of Mallister as if they held bacak their levies while Frey holding his levies is brought up several times by several chracters.

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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4 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Just a small correction on Mallisters; Though it isn't explicitly stated it is safe to assume Mallisters answered the call and those we see with Robb are a second raise.

That is not really the impression we get from the conversation between Kevan, Tywin and Tyrion. 

"Leaving you unopposed?" Tyrion said.
"Not wholly," Ser Kevan said. "The Mallisters still hold Seagard and Walder Frey is marshaling his levies at the Twins."
 
Now either every other prominent Riverland castle had been taken, which I find unlikely or that the Mallisters, like the Freys, are still intact. 
 
And of course Cat's quote on the subject does not make it sound like the Mallister (both Lord and heir) had been involved in the fighting as their is a distinction between his force and the remnants of Edmure's  host at the Riverands. 
 
Their host was greater than it had been when they left the Twins. Lord Jason Mallister had brought his power out from Seagard to join them as they swept around the headwaters of the Blue Fork and galloped south, and others had crept forth as well, hedge knights and small lords and masterless men-at-arms who had fled north when her brother Edmure's army was shattered beneath the walls of Riverrun.
 
Quote

Text is in support of that:

-  Robb has much fewer  than 1000 Mallisters

How is that support? The Mallisters are certainly prestigious, but their lands don't seem to be that huge as they are surrounded, both North and South, by Frey lands. 

Plus Mallister has to split his available men between his Navy, to stay and defend the town and castle from the Ironborn and to travel South with Robb. Seagard is in a much more vulnerable position that White Harbor, and they only spared just under 1,500 men. 

On top of that we know that Mallister is cautious, he, despite his lands having been untouched, is anxious to return home and warns his son not to make friends with Theon. 

Which makes sense when you think about it. Mallister seems to be a respected Military figure and Edmure's plan of all his lords rushing forward to Rivverrun and leaving their lands exposed was certainly dumb, he may have been careful rather than impatient. The Blackfish points out what Tywin's strategy would be when he arrives North and Tywin's shows how easy it was. Plus, given the Mallister's roll in defense of the Riverlands perhaps they were not called upon by Edmure. 

Quote

- No one talks of Mallister as if they held bacak their levies while Frey holding his levies is brought up several times by several chracters.

It is only brought up by people of Tully blood as Hoster has clearly poisoned the well when it comes to the Freys. Is it any wonder that the Freys are not particularly in rush to help the Tullys when his daughter immediately starts shittalking about them as soon as she sees their castle?

It should also be pointed out that no one talks about the Tully's joining the war late in Robert's Rebellion or the Dance of the Dragons. as presumably others are able to get over the past and don't use it as an excuse to mock a Lord they had issues with before Robert's Rebellion. 

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