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Mark Sawyer

How many people live in Westeros? in each kingdom?

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The last point just needs to be qualified in the case of the Iron Islands, where Martin has stated that virtually every man who is not a coward or disabled takes up reaving at some point in his life.

So in their case, the 35000 men (and some women) that man the war fleet are probably more like 6-8% of the population, rather than 2%.

The opposite is true of the North, where they are more likely to raise only 1%, or even 0.5% of their population to go to war, due to the greater difficulty in sustaining a war host in their difficult environment.

So this means that the Iron Islands will have a lower population than their army size suggests, and the North will have a higher population than their army size suggests.

6-8% for the Iron Islands isn't possible. A city may field twice the men than a rural society with the same population, 2-4 %. I don't know for naval cultures, but I guess it won't surpass the ratio of citys. It is flat out impossible for a larger percentage to leave their home for longer than an extended weekend.

And the 2% is a rounded, upper limit for the best circumstances possible. Maybe some small parts of the Westerlands or the Reach could reach the 2%, but most will be far lower, at 1% or less. And under more dire circumstances, like in the North or in Dorne, the percentage may be well under 0.5 %.

Let's say 1% standard, 0.5% for the North and Dorne, 1.5% for Westerlands, Reach and Iron Islands. Makes

11 Millions in the North

4 Millions Riverlands

4 Millions Vale

? Millions Crownlands

3 Millions Stormlands

4 Millions Westerlands

8 Millions Reach & Arbor

6 Millions Dorne

2 Millions Iron Islands

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How do you know this? It would seem they have far fewer men left than that, considering that even, what, 3 years after Robb marched south neither Stannis nor the Boltons are able to scrape together more than about 4000 northerners each, with most of Stannis' coming from the Hill Tribes who haven't been involved in the war until now. Even if many lords are holding back portions of their forces (especially Manderly) many more seem to be almost completely spent by now (Umbers and Glovers for example), so I doubt that there are more than 15 000 fighting men left in the North. And this is of course when they already have had several years to recover.

The Riverlands had so many men? I'm going to ask for a citation for that, since it doesn't make much sense with their politcal and historical situation. I wonder where you got the strength for the Vale as well.

They definately have to be populated and wealthy, I agree with that. As for KL remember that those 500 000 include Riverland refugees and the Tyrell military expedition, not just actual inhabitants.

The thing is that it's inconcievable that all of those 300+ Redwyne ships are so large as that. In the battle of Lepanto in 1571 (after the middle ages had already ended) all of Christian southern Europe was barely able to scrape together 200 ships with about 300 men on them each (many of those being onloaded soldiers). I can't see any way that a quite small island like the Arbor can keep a standing navy of a similar size as this, not to mention larger. Most likely the majority of the Arbor fleet consists of conscripted trade vessels with way smaller crew sizes, with the huge ships you mention forming an elite core of the fleet. I think we can see some evidence of this in AFFC as well, since those eight huge warships that Cersei ordered to be built threaten to drain the Royal treasury, indicating that the ships of Westeros are normally far smaller. Even so, perhaps an average of 100-150 men per warship is more realistic, meaning that the gathered military strength of the reach would be closer to 150 000.

Yeah, the Ironmen don't make much sense from a logistical perspective. I don't see why you think Westeros would be less able to field larger armies than historical medieval societies however, if anything the lack of winters should make longer campaigns somewhat easier, since one missed harvest isn't as much of a deal anymore (unless it's the last one before winter like now of course...) the smallfolk we meet in the books don't seem to be living in too much poverty normally either (with exceptions of course), implicating that their agricultural system is quite productive.

The Redwynne's have 200 warships, not 300.

Regarding the North, Martin has stated that it takes much longer to gather a host in the North, due to the distances involved, and that Lords are far more reluctant to take men away from the fields than in the more fertile South. So it is very safe to assume that for every man that joined Robb at short notice, there are 2 or 3 who remained behind to finish the harvest, or who were simply not reached by their lords' summons, due to being hundreds of miles from the nearest castle, or in the depths of the Wolfswood, or some other isolated place.

Some, more warlike lords like the Umbers appear to have taken a greater share of their men than some others, like the Dustins or Manderleys for example.

It is also worth nothing that the southern half of the North is far more populated than the northern half. And yet, when Robb marches from Winterfell, he has only the northern bannermen with him, who number 12000 after the Karstarks arrive. The southern bannermen would join them on the way to Moat Cailin.

And yet, despite the southern part of the North being much more populated and fertile, only another 6000 men join him from these areas. Therefore it is quite clear that around 20 000 men from the southern part of the North did not join Robb's host. My reasoning here is that if the Northern Bannermen can bring 12000 to the host, then the Southern Bannermen should be able to at least provide twice as many, given the comparative fertility of their lands.

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The Reach has the most people. Martin has stated it to be the case. I think the North has the second most, but is the lowest population density. And the climate means less men are avaialble to go off to war. And the size means less men are able to be gathered at short notice, which reduces the size of a hastily summoned army even more.

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6-8% for the Iron Islands isn't possible. A city may field twice the men than a rural society with the same population, 2-4 %. I don't know for naval cultures, but I guess it won't surpass the ratio of citys. It is flat out impossible for a larger percentage to leave their home for longer than an extended weekend.

Here are Martin's words on the matter:

March 25, 2000

The Ironborn

The ironborn come from a culture with a very strong warrior tradition -- much more so than mainland Westeros. The rest of the Seven Kingdoms have a warrior caste (the knights) on top of a larger base of peasants, farmers, craftsmen, merchants, etc. The "Old Way" of the islands encouraged almost all men (and some women, like Asha) to take up raiding, at least if they were young and healthy.

End quote

So that means if you are between 15 and 50, and the Greyjoy calls his banners, then half the adult males go to war.

Maybe as much as 10% of the population or more.

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Has Martin ever said anything about the free folk concerning their numbers?

Well, we are told in Clash of Kings or Storm of Swords that the 30 000 wildlings basically consists of their entire nation. They are a paltry, insignificant number, and that's why I don't get excited when Jon gets them to join him. They mean nothing in the bigger scheme of things.

The North alone has more swordsmen than the Free Folk have people.

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How do you know this? It would seem they have far fewer men left than that, considering that even, what, 3 years after Robb marched south neither Stannis nor the Boltons are able to scrape together more than about 4000 northerners each, with most of Stannis' coming from the Hill Tribes who haven't been involved in the war until now. Even if many lords are holding back portions of their forces (especially Manderly) many more seem to be almost completely spent by now (Umbers and Glovers for example), so I doubt that there are more than 15 000 fighting men left in the North. And this is of course when they already have had several years to recover.

It's partly from an old forum post from Ran pre Dance (North 50,000 to 60,000), partly guessing after Dance.

Manderley has 10,000 to 15,000 men in Dance, His 50 warships need 5,000 to 7,500 at the least, he has a dozen lords and a hundred knights sworn to him, with the 20/1 ratio of the Golden Company (backed up in medieval numbers) that makes another 4,000 to 5,000 men at least and the North should have a lower ratio. Yes, a bunch of those are new recruits, but not all.

5,000 with Stannis

5,000 with Bolton (only his personal troops and a meager honor guard fitting for a wedding, not a war for the other Lords)

Howland Reed has still all his troops, several thousands

Karstarks 800 (including Thenns)

Umbers 1000

makes about 20,000

The 3,000 losses against the Ironborn and Ramsay

The 15odd houses not yet mentioned

It adds up

The Riverlands had so many men? I'm going to ask for a citation for that, since it doesn't make much sense with their politcal and historical situation. I wonder where you got the strength for the Vale as well.

The post by Ran, too. And the Freys had more than 4,000 men, maybe 6,000. But they are only one house. Mallister, Vance, Piper, Whent, Bracken, Blackwood, Hayford are Riverlords of similar standing and not a complete list. The Tullys themselves should have even more.

And the six Lords Declarent in the Vale could field 20,000, with a very large part of the Vale sitting on the fence.

Rans post seems plausible.

The thing is that it's inconcievable that all of those 300+ Redwyne ships are so large as that. In the battle of Lepanto in 1571 (after the middle ages had already ended) all of Christian southern Europe was barely able to scrape together 200 ships with about 300 men on them each (many of those being onloaded soldiers). I can't see any way that a quite small island like the Arbor can keep a standing navy of a similar size as this, not to mention larger. Most likely the majority of the Arbor fleet consists of conscripted trade vessels with way smaller crew sizes, with the huge ships you mention forming an elite core of the fleet. I think we can see some evidence of this in AFFC as well, since those eight huge warships that Cersei ordered to be built threaten to drain the Royal treasury, indicating that the ships of Westeros are normally far smaller. Even so, perhaps an average of 100-150 men per warship is more realistic, meaning that the gathered military strength of the reach would be closer to 150 000.

Yes, most of these ships would be around 100 oars, with the odd behemoth in between. But the 100 oars equals small is stated in an early Davos chapter in Clash.

Yeah, the Ironmen don't make much sense from a logistical perspective. I don't see why you think Westeros would be less able to field larger armies than historical medieval societies however, if anything the lack of winters should make longer campaigns somewhat easier, since one missed harvest isn't as much of a deal anymore (unless it's the last one before winter like now of course...) the smallfolk we meet in the books don't seem to be living in too much poverty normally either (with exceptions of course), implicating that their agricultural system is quite productive.

Well, the Iron Islands may be the size of Great Britain, with the map being a bit off, and being more densely populated than most. But at one time they reigned about every single Westerosi coast, and as late as short before the Conquest they were able to conquer the Riverlands from an united Riverlands/future Crownlands/Stormlands empire. They had the military power for that.

And they were able to take on the Iron Throne in Balons rebellion and came close to success. Had Stannis lost the Battle of Fair Isle, Balon would have won independence (for a time at least).

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It's partly from an old forum post from Ran pre Dance (North 50,000 to 60,000), partly guessing after Dance.

Manderley has 10,000 to 15,000 men in Dance, His 50 warships need 5,000 to 7,500 at the least, he has a dozen lords and a hundred knights sworn to him, with the 20/1 ratio of the Golden Company (backed up in medieval numbers) that makes another 4,000 to 5,000 men at least and the North should have a lower ratio. Yes, a bunch of those are new recruits, but not all.

5,000 with Stannis

5,000 with Bolton (only his personal troops and a meager honor guard fitting for a wedding, not a war for the other Lords)

Howland Reed has still all his troops, several thousands

Karstarks 800 (including Thenns)

Umbers 1000

makes about 20,000

The 3,000 losses against the Ironborn and Ramsay

The 15odd houses not yet mentioned

It adds up

The post by Ran, too. And the Freys had more than 4,000 men, maybe 6,000. But they are only one house. Mallister, Vance, Piper, Whent, Bracken, Blackwood, Hayford are Riverlords of similar standing and not a complete list. The Tullys themselves should have even more.

And the six Lords Declarent in the Vale could field 20,000, with a very large part of the Vale sitting on the fence.

Rans post seems plausible.

Yes, most of these ships would be around 100 oars, with the odd behemoth in between. But the 100 oars equals small is stated in an early Davos chapter in Clash.

Well, the Iron Islands may be the size of Great Britain, with the map being a bit off, and being more densely populated than most. But at one time they reigned about every single Westerosi coast, and as late as short before the Conquest they were able to conquer the Riverlands from an united Riverlands/future Crownlands/Stormlands empire. They had the military power for that.

And they were able to take on the Iron Throne in Balons rebellion and came close to success. Had Stannis lost the Battle of Fair Isle, Balon would have won independence (for a time at least).

A much easier rule of thumb is that for every man that joined Robb at short notice, 2 chose not to respond, for whatever reason.

That means in addition to the 18000 men that went south, you would have another 36000 that would be available now that the Harvest is over, and provided that you have the time to gather them. Making the North's total power about 55000 men.

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The Redwynne's have 200 warships, not 300.

Regarding the North, Martin has stated that it takes much longer to gather a host in the North, due to the distances involved, and that Lords are far more reluctant to take men away from the fields than in the more fertile South. So it is very safe to assume that for every man that joined Robb at short notice, there are 2 or 3 who remained behind to finish the harvest, or who were simply not reached by their lords' summons, due to being hundreds of miles from the nearest castle, or in the depths of the Wolfswood, or some other isolated place.

Some, more warlike lords like the Umbers appear to have taken a greater share of their men than some others, like the Dustins or Manderleys for example.

It is also worth nothing that the southern half of the North is far more populated than the northern half. And yet, when Robb marches from Winterfell, he has only the northern bannermen with him, who number 12000 after the Karstarks arrive. The southern bannermen would join them on the way to Moat Cailin.

And yet, despite the southern part of the North being much more populated and fertile, only another 6000 men join him from these areas. Therefore it is quite clear that around 20 000 men from the southern part of the North did not join Robb's host. My reasoning here is that if the Northern Bannermen can bring 12000 to the host, then the Southern Bannermen should be able to at least provide twice as many, given the comparative fertility of their lands.

200 warships then, it still doesn't sound credible that all of them have crews larger than 150 men, considering how huge such ships would be.

I think you are assuming a bit too much when you claim that the southern north has twice the population of the northern north. That it has a somewhat higher population density sounds logical, but your conclusion is not supported by the books. If the southern north had 20 000 men left even after Robb left, why would they send only 1-2000 of them for the current war between Stannis and Bolton? That Manderly is holding a few thousand back is pretty evident by now, sure, but Dustin and the others seem fully commited. So I think by the time of ADWD about 15 000 fighting men is left in the North in total; 4000 with Stannis, 4000 with Bolton (these are facts) and then perhaps another 7-8000 all over the north, with the Manderly's having many of these. Both house Glover, Tallhart and Umber seem completely sucked dry. Umber sends about a thousand men to the war now, with all of them either being old, crippled or too young. Glover and Tallhart because they only can support Stannis with a few hundred men in total even after he saves their entire lands. House Stark is of course completely decimated since even before the Iron men invasion Rodrick had to go to neighbouring houses just to be able to scrape together what, 1500 men? So you aren't wrong in saying that the southern north has the majority of the remaining military strength, but I think you are severely overestimating how large that is.

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A much easier rule of thumb is that for every man that joined Robb at short notice, 2 chose not to respond, for whatever reason.

That means in addition to the 18000 men that went south, you would have another 36000 that would be available now that the Harvest is over, and provided that you have the time to gather them. Making the North's total power about 55000 men.

True, but that isn't stated in the books. The numbers I mentioned are.

200 warships then, it still doesn't sound credible that all of them have crews larger than 150 men, considering how huge such ships would be.

I think you are assuming a bit too much when you claim that the southern north has twice the population of the northern north. That it has a somewhat higher population density sounds logical, but your conclusion is not supported by the books. If the southern north had 20 000 men left even after Robb left, why would they send only 1-2000 of them for the current war between Stannis and Bolton? That Manderly is holding a few thousand back is pretty evident by now, sure, but Dustin and the others seem fully commited. So I think by the time of ADWD about 15 000 fighting men is left in the North in total; 4000 with Stannis, 4000 with Bolton (these are facts) and then perhaps another 7-8000 all over the north, with the Manderly's having many of these. Both house Glover, Tallhart and Umber seem completely sucked dry. Umber sends about a thousand men to the war now, with all of them either being old, crippled or too young. Glover and Tallhart because they only can support Stannis with a few hundred men in total even after he saves their entire lands. House Stark is of course completely decimated since even before the Iron men invasion Rodrick had to go to neighbouring houses just to be able to scrape together what, 1500 men? So you aren't wrong in saying that the southern north has the majority of the remaining military strength, but I think you are severely overestimating how large that is.

But the southern Northern Lords (except maybe Lady Dustin) brought a honor guard for a wedding, not an army for a battle. And that was exactly Rooses intention, because these Lords are very likely to turn on him.

Glover and Tallhart can support Stannis barely because the Tallharts are dead or still in Ironborn custody, with the Cleftjaw sitting square in their keep and Glover males are far from Deepwood Motte and Lady Glover had just some days, maybe a few weeks to gather men after Stannis freed her. And sending couriers hundreds of miles through a snowstorm takes looooong time. There may be up to another 4,000 or 5,000 Glover men spread over 250,000 square miles. Unfortunately, they are not in Deepwood Motte.

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It's partly from an old forum post from Ran pre Dance (North 50,000 to 60,000), partly guessing after Dance.

Manderley has 10,000 to 15,000 men in Dance, His 50 warships need 5,000 to 7,500 at the least, he has a dozen lords and a hundred knights sworn to him, with the 20/1 ratio of the Golden Company (backed up in medieval numbers) that makes another 4,000 to 5,000 men at least and the North should have a lower ratio. Yes, a bunch of those are new recruits, but not all.

5,000 with Stannis

5,000 with Bolton (only his personal troops and a meager honor guard fitting for a wedding, not a war for the other Lords)

Howland Reed has still all his troops, several thousands

Karstarks 800 (including Thenns)

Umbers 1000

makes about 20,000

The 3,000 losses against the Ironborn and Ramsay

The 15odd houses not yet mentioned

It adds up

The Manderly forces sound like they are far too large. He only sent a little over a thousand men to Robb when he marched south, if his real strength was over 10 000 men that would basically amount to treason, and we have no evidence of Manderly not being a Stark supporter. As for his ships I suspect that he is going to use most of them for transporting his army and supplies up the white knife, not naval combat (who is he going to fight at sea anyway?) so I don't think they require as much crew as you think. Even in which case they'd likely consist of conscripted sailors from White Harbor, not actual fighters. Him having more than 5-6000 men as of now doesn't make sense, considering that he even then would be about twice as strong as the Starks and Boltons, who are the real main houses of the North.

Stannis has 3500 Northmen, the remaining 1500 are southerners he transported up with his fleet in ASOS.

Bolton likewise would have about 4000 northerners + 1500 Freys. Also many of these northerners would be Bolton troops that marched south with Robb and didn't die in the Red Wedding, meaning that they were a part of the original 20 000 and shouldn't be counted here. So maybe 2000 "new" northerners for Bolton.

Reed we don't know anything about, since he has stayed completely out of politics for the last sixteen years. I doubt a disease and alligator ridden swamp can support many people, however.

Umbers about a thousand, yes. All of them scrapings of the barrell.

Yeah perhaps 3000 lost against the Ironborn. Those "15 odd houses not mentioned" I don't understand what you mean by however, the remaining noble houses in the north would be sworn to one of the larger ones, and thus counted in this list already.

I get it to about 16 000 men left in total then, maybe a few thousand more that have been left home as garrisons. So 20 000 men in the entire North by now, many of them unfit for war or just come of age, meaning that the total strength of the North at a time should be more like 35 000 or so.

Edit: Once again a good piece of evidence against the claim that the North had huge military forces in reserve after Robb marched south is that Rodrick Cassell had a hard time scraping together just 2000 men to march against the Ironborn, with many of the soldiers he got being described as of poor quality and were easily cut to pieces by the Bolton garrison.

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The North - 1.2M

The Vale - 1.0M

The Riverlands - 4.3M

The Iron Islands - 450k

The Westerlands - 2.6M

The Reach - 4.5M

The Crownlands - 2.0M

The Stormlands - 1.0M

Dorne - 500k

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The North - 1.2M

The Vale - 1.0M

The Riverlands - 4.3M

The Iron Islands - 450k

The Westerlands - 2.6M

The Reach - 4.5M

The Crownlands - 2.0M

The Stormlands - 1.0M

Dorne - 500k

Only problem is that in your world, the urbanisation rate is around 9%, which is not feasible for a medieval setting.

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I think his assumption is quite right, imo in martin's medieval setting, technology has stalled for hundreds maybe thousands of years, so the lack of urbanization makes sense, still from the assumptions i saw here we reach at most 30 million in all westeros wich is far law then the 70 million people were think, i think we've made some progress here, i still think the whole number would hardly reach 30 million, maybe something beteween 15 and 25, because the north is big but has not only a low population density, but a very severe weather that will both make harder to produce food but also make quality of life lower in general, wich wiould lead to a combination of low life expectation and problably low birth rate, resulting in a low population, problably lower than the reach, and the combination of riverlands+westerlands, im just speculating here, and what about Skagos? From what i see in the maps it doesn't look bigger than the iron islands, but since i don't know the real conditions of the people there i can't speculate much on them, and i don't believe they actually are cannibals.

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Only problem is that in your world, the urbanisation rate is around 9%, which is not feasible for a medieval setting.

Good thing this is a fantasy world setting...but seriously the urbanisation rate has to be high in the Vale and KL, its much lower everywhere else

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I think the numbers being discussed are far too large... insanely large. I think it's impossible Westeros has a total population larger than that of modern day U.K.... In fact, it would be impossible to be even on the same order of magnitude.

Remember, this is pre-Industrial Revolution. It was after the Industrial Revolution populations around the world went exponential.

GRRM's North is basically based on Scotland. Even today, the population of Scotland is only 5 million. To think that it could be 5 million, 1000 years ago is simply crazy.

Around 200 A.D., the population of China was ~ 45 million. Around this time there was an enormous civil war lasting ~100 years. Very similar to the disintegration of Westeros after King Robert's death in that there were many opposing factions and armies. But individual armies in the Chinese Kingdoms were commonly over 100,000 and sometime much more. At the Battle of Red Cliffs, one army (of the many) number over 1,000,000.

The armies of Westeros are only a fraction of these sizes. Not surprising because the total population of Westeros would be nowhere near 45 million. That's just insane.

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I think the numbers being discussed are far too large... insanely large. I think it's impossible Westeros has a total population larger than that of modern day U.K.... In fact, it would be impossible to be even on the same order of magnitude.

Remember, this is pre-Industrial Revolution. It was after the Industrial Revolution populations around the world went exponential.

GRRM's North is basically based on Scotland. Even today, the population of Scotland is only 5 million. To think that it could be 5 million, 1000 years ago is simply crazy.

Around 200 A.D., the population of China was ~ 45 million. Around this time there was an enormous civil war lasting ~100 years. Very similar to the disintegration of Westeros after King Robert's death in that there were many opposing factions and armies. But individual armies in the Chinese Kingdoms were commonly over 100,000 and sometime much more. At the Battle of Red Cliffs, one army (of the many) number over 1,000,000.

The armies of Westeros are only a fraction of these sizes. Not surprising because the total population of Westeros would be nowhere near 45 million. That's just insane.

Medieval England had 2 million people - and was smaller in size than the Neck. Medieval Europe had about 70 million people, and was smaller than Westeros in size. The whole of Europe. Smaller than Westeros.

Despite England having 2 million people, and France having something like 6 million people, the typical battles of the time - like Agincourt - involved armies of what - 8000 people on a side?

An estimate of 40 million people for Westeros is very conservative.

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