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  1. A - No. They're all Valyrian, except Braavos, which is a broader mix. This is made explicit in the various non-main story canon books like the WOIAF. The Andals were fleeing the Valyrian slavers and logically any who remained were, in fact, enslaved or at least subjugated to one of the Free Cities. B - Now I see you've read the WOIAF. Which means you have the info needed to figure this out C- the unreliability of the historical sources is meant to be a thing. Interpret as you will, but the clues are there that it probably hasn't been 8,000 year of recorded history. D - Yes. E - Because the Dothraki don't understand the political divisions of Westeros. It's probably understood that many people in Westeros are Andals, thus this is all that is needed to distinguish. Much like Crusade-era Middle Eastern Muslims referred to all the European Crusaders as "Franks," a term which didn't really mean much anymore. Or today, how you might find Americans referring to a vast variety of Muslim people "Arabs" despite what might be Turkic or Berber origins (or a million other things). F - If history is any example (and with GRRM it usually is), it means that the First Men almost certainly knew of iron and had certain objects made from it, but were unable to craft it on an industrial scale. It represents a technological advantage which gave an early edge to the Andals but was quickly adopted, which makes perfect sense. Prehistoric Europe saw the Iron Age spread gradually, over ~500 years. Ireland was entering the Iron Age after the Greeks had already left it. These things spread gradually and are due to lots of factors, but its hard to see the First Men having no knowledge of iron, it was just not likely widely employed.
  2. cpg2016

    The Kingsguard doesn't precisely shine in FaB

    Agreed. The Kingsguard is meant to be a deconstruction of how the knightly oaths people in Westeros swear are ignoble and false. The most acclaimed Kingsguards are full of men who break their primary vows to defend the weak and innocent, because being good with a sword and willing to accept any order is what is prized. Its consistently the social outsiders who perform the truly heroic acts. Brienne, a woman warrior (not a knight). Sandor (the non-knight) who gets his redemption arc and who gets humanized. Addam of Hull, a bastard.
  3. cpg2016

    The Kingsguard doesn't precisely shine in FaB

    No, we really can't, because the failure at the Ruby Ford was that Robert killed Rhaegar, not that the other Royalist commanders did their jobs poorly. Three or four knights won't change the outcome of the battle unless they come into contact with Robert personally. And Robert's KG is meant to be shit, because it's meant to reflect the corruption and indifferent carelessness of Robert's regime in general. That being said, its not certain whether they're all THAT bad. Jaime is unsuitable for obvious reasons, but from the perspective of martial ability he's fine. Ditto Selmy. So is Arys Oakheart. Mandon Moore seems competent if not outstanding, and is probably a political appointment of Jon Arryn's. We don't know a ton about Preston Greenfield. His brutal treatment of Sansa and his having a lover make him no worse than the rest of Aerys II's Kingsguard, who were uniformly bad people and some of whom had lovers. Really, Boros Blount and sort-of Meryn Trant are the only outright unacceptable KG we know of, and both are meant to emphasize Cersei's malign influence and Robert's drunken carelessness.
  4. It's a pretty self-explanatory play on words. Bittersteel was Aegor Rivers' nickname. He fled and founded the Golden Company, and was its driving influence during his life. So, that's one level. And then there is the fact that the Golden Company is a mercenary company first and foremost; so, they work for and we know usually wear their wages of gold, but beneath that backing it up is their steel. And then finally, they dip the heads of their leaders in molten gold, and the first was Bittersteel.
  5. cpg2016

    Westeros; the sleepy superpower

    I mean... yes, they do, all the time. The Dance. All of the Blackfyre Rebellions. Robert's Rebellion. Nominally these are civil wars between competing Targaryen claims, but they represent the inherent factionalism and power politicking of a loosely united, almost federal feudal country. A lot of these wars start or are made worse by various lords maneuvering for more power, more land, more honors, more offices. I'll have to find it, but the Redwyne fleet is described as being the largest fleet in Westeros at 200 strong, with 5 times as many merchant marine vessels. The Iron Fleet is 100 galleys, and presumably the Royal Fleet is not much larger, since Cersei thinks that the 10 dromonds she's building are an effective replacement for the former royal fleet, which was mostly Velaryon ships (or Dragonstone-sworn ships) anyway. So the main fleets in Westeros come out to approximately 400 warships. Given our one-a-day production schedule for Braavos, that means any mustering of a year or more means Westeros cannot reasonably hope to outmatch Braavos alone, let alone the remaining Free Cities. Volantis alone has 300-500 war dromonds, according to Victarion's estimate, essentially outstripping Westeros on it's own, and Braavos is described as being the "wealthiest and most powerful" of the Free Cities, so it seems hard to imagine they can't float a similar number. Likewise, the tenuous balance of power would have long since been upset if the remaining Free Cities didn't have a similar naval capability. So 1,000 ships seems an extremely conservative estimate for what the Free Cities can raise, and likely substantially more than that. On the contrary, the can finance and man a much larger warfleet. They control essentially 50% or more of the world's financial capabilities (or at least the "known" world) through the Iron Bank, which is effectively an arm of the Braavosi state. The population of Braavos is also likely to be substantially higher, or rather more concentrated, than Westeros, and far less reliant on labor-intensive agriculture, meaning they can actually man more warships per capita than the Westerosi can. The Romans were in Britain for a few weeks, more or less. And the Roman administrative machine was far more advanced than anything until Napoleon. Caesar was busy gathering supplies and building depots for months prior to his landing. So no, not from Italy, but from all over Gaul. Westeros simply cannot support such an effort. Even the Romans were entirely reliant on local allies to provide supplies for the legions. You can live off the land during the harvest season if you travel in small groups - which makes you easy picking for local resistance. Essentially the Westerosi will starve within months of landing. She was feeding 8,000 Unsullied, or about that, right? That's a far cry from 150,000. Second, she took Astapor and Yunkai by guile and Meereen by slave revolt, basically. I'm not sure you can rely on that in the case of the Free Cities. And again, the reason castles are so useful in Westeros and our world is that sieges are extremely difficult; provisioning those armies would be nearly impossible. Quote. All we hear is that Corlys Velayron drove the Triarchy out of the Stepstones. We hear absolutely nothing about relative numbers or absolute strengths. Just that he had one specific success. We have no idea that that is representative of. First off, Volon Therys, Valysar, and Selhorys are individually bigger than Kings Landing. And all are smaller than Volantis, presumably. Which means a minimum of 2,000,000 people in just those urban areas. That requires a HUGE agricultural base to support that kind of urbanization. Which means millions more. Lets say, inaccurately, that for every one city dweller you need two agricultural workers to support them (and the number should be much, much, much higher). You're looking at a minimum of 6 million and probably a lot closer to, or even higher than, 10 million. That's Volantis. Even admitting that Volantis is likely to be the largest by a substantial margin, the Free Cities are referred to as such because they're the largest and wealthiest, which means they are individually likely to be larger than the subsidiary Volantene towns. So now we're talking another 4+ million at least. Admittedly cities like Lys or Tyrosh may have substantial fishing fleets, and thus not have quite as large of a dependent population, but we also know that Essos is heavily urbanized even outside the Free Cities. And no, I wasn't referring to the sparsely populated Dothraki Sea, but it's quite obvious that Essos is vastly more densely populated, and more populous, than Westeros. Volantis alone has a larger urban population than the entirety of Westeros. We haven't even begun to discuss the various smaller towns we never hear about, the Gulltowns or White Harbors. During the Century of Blood, basically all of the non-Volantene cities united in order to prevent Volantis from achieving hegemony. The Triarchy was formed to keep the balance of power between Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh on one side and Volantis on the other. And Aegon and his sisters essentially placed themselves on top of the Westerosi hierarchy and changed nothing else, socially, politically, or economically. That isn't feasible in this case, because no Westerosi is going to fight unless there is a chance for rewards or, more likely, lands. Since the existing social structure of Essos isn't feudal, there is no way to recreate the conditions of Aegon's Conquest. Thus, there is no way to rule Essos without an existing armed presence, which means that in anything but the short term, there is no way to rule Essos. Hence my agreement with you that a chevauchee could be effective and possible, but actual conquest and rule is not.
  6. cpg2016

    Westeros; the sleepy superpower

    Where in the world are we getting that idea? If anything, FaB and the entirety of what we know about Westeros makes it incredibly clear Westeros is only united in name only, not in fact. The continent splits into factionalism at every chance it gets. The Iron Throne has the ability to keep the various parties from fighting each other, when at it's most effective, but almost never to bring the full strength of the theoretical power of the various Houses to bear on one strategic target. Yes, Stormlanders and Reachmen might unite to attack Dorne, but Valemen and Northerners aren't so psyched about it. Yes, the Lannisters and Starks might love to cooperate to smash the ironborn, but the Stormlands don't seem to have the same enthusiasm. It's almost certainly true. Westeros has an ad hoc navy. The ironborn have a "standing" navy of sorts, but the Redwyne and the Iron Throne have vastly smaller war fleets; most of their "ships" are re-purposed merchant marine vessels. Braavos has the ability to manufacture a first rate war galley every single day. Even ruling out the major losses the ironborn, Lannisters, and various Reach Houses will incur in getting to the Narrow Sea - which might be as high as two thirds of the fleet lost, right there, if we can believe our in-universe sources, in the time it takes them to gather, Braavos will be more than ready, and that doesn't count the other Free Cities. And there is a difference between driving the Triarchy out of the relatively neutral Stepstones and actually taking the fight to one of the cities. Right, you get them over there. Now you spend what? The next twenty years shuttling supplies back and forth? There is a reason amphibious invasion was rarely successful in the ancient and medieval worlds - it's difficult and expensive. Euron is on a raid that even his contemporaries know is doomed to failure. Dany intends to ship her army over on a one time basis and then rule as a legitimate monarch returning from exile. The Volantenes similarly just dropped a bunch of soldiers off, in a notably random fashion, let me remind you. I'm not disputing that Westerosi forces could hypothetically force a landing in Essos, merely that keeping that force supplied or reinforced would be next to impossible. Most of the Westerosi Houses can't afford to have their fleets wandering around forever; these ships are usually the lifeblood of their income, they're converted merchant vessels for the most part. I mean, there is no indication Westeros itself is particularly overpopulated, so where are the people coming from? Doesn't make sense to import a few hundred thousand new serfs to farm the land (which, of course, is only a tiny fraction of the existing population you wiped out) if that leaves your farms at home in Westeros lying fallow. And yes, you could free the slaves - but look at how that is working out for Dany. Radical reconstruction of a society needs more than just "kill the elite and empower the downtrodden" to work. Westeros isn't financially savvy enough to understand the implications of rebuilding a new society in Essos, and in the event they can't project force to every single one of the Free Cities, the moment they leave they'll lose control. Which you wouldn't have enough ships for, because discrete units of the Free Cities (Triarchy, Braavos, Volantis, etc) are fielding fleets equal in size and superior in seamanship to Westeros. You also then risk spreading your dragons too thin. Plus, how do you coordinate those attacks over thousands of miles of ground? I think it's easy to underestimate these kinds of difficulties for pre-modern societies. I'm not sure what this has to do with it. We can safely estimate that the population of Western Essos is several times larger, if not order of magnitude larger, than that of Westeros. Which means the freeborn population is larger than the entire population of Westeros. First off, the Free Cities may squabble but they've been uniformly intelligent about uniting in the face of existential danger. Also, the Dothraki are raiders, not conquerors - I'm not arguing that the Iron Thone couldn't burn down half of Essos if it wanted, but that isn't conquest. I also think you're overestimating the allure of "freedom" for the enslaved population of Essos. Or rather, how easy it would be to accomplish it. How do you get word to the Volantene armies/navies about your plan? How do you get them to trust you? You don't think every slave society in Essos isn't terrified of this exact thing, doesn't have protocols and plans in place to prevent slave rebellions? And once you give those slaves their freedom, you really expect them to conform to a Westerosi-style feudal aristocracy? And if not, what is the plan? Slave populations throughout history are rarely interested in "freedom" and far more often interested in replacing their former owners at the top of the heap (e.g. everyone involved with Spartacus except Spartacus himself). From a purely military standpoint, the Iron Throne has a decent chance at engaging, defeating, and/or cowing the Free Cities. It categorically cannot defend those gains over even a small period of time. All of the options which might allow this to be possible are beyond the social, political, and economic horizons of Westerosi development. Building a handful of trunk roads and installing basic sanitation in the capital is basically the crowning achievement of the entire 300 years of Targaryen rule in Westeros - why are we to believe they are capable of radically reconstructing western Essos to legitimate and perpetuate their conquest?
  7. cpg2016

    Westeros; the sleepy superpower

    I'm not sure the Iron Throne has the capability to defeat the Free Cities. How do you get your troops to Essos in the first place? Build ships? With what money? It's abundantly clear that Westeros has nothing in the way of a banking system and it would take generations for one to develop, given the attitude of the nobility to "cheesemonger" lords. You need the banking system of Renaissance-era Essos to actually fund the capital to build a fleet. I doubt Braavos or Lys are excited to fund the armada that will bring war to their shores. Second, you can go and burn a ton of shit, but how do you hold onto it? Conquest implies ownership, not just a chevauchee that brings back a bunch of booty. Westeros absolutely does not have the logistical capability to support an invasion force in hostile lands across a major body of water. Yes, the dragons help... but as we see in Dorne, dragons aren't a win button. Assassinate one dragonrider and all of a sudden you've got a wild dragon on the loose who is more likely to eat the soldiers in it's camp, or fly home, than anything else. Also, the expanse of ground from Lorath to Volantis and back up to Braavos is truly immense. We're talking half or more of Westeros immense. The dragons can't be everywhere at once; maybe Valyria, with hundreds of dragons and a population skilled in controlling them can do it, but not a half dozen. Also, to piggyback off the logistics, the Iron Throne can't support 150,000 troops in the field at once. The largest army we see in one place at one time, ever, is the ~80,000 or so Renly raises. Doubling that is difficult. The highly urbanized Free Cities would have no problem doing so, presumably. They're not reducing their agricultural workforce and the population of Essos is orders of magnitude larger than Westeros. And the vast majority of those troops will be equally well trained as the vast majority of the Westerosi troops (that is to say, not at all). Volon Therys is a colony city of Volantis and is easily equal in size to Kings Landing or Oldtown - presumably there are several other such cities, quite apart from the Free Cities, who can provide troops. With the additional wealth they can pay off a khalasar to attack the Westerosi. No matter how you slice it, Essos is far wealthier, more populous, and more advanced in almost every way than Westeros. While the dragons are a major asset, they don't equate on their own to automatic conquest, and especially not for any longer than they are in the immediate vicinity
  8. Sure, but... The war starts with Ned in the Vale. He needs to get home, muster troops, and march them south. Even if you assume the North is organizing for war, it still requires him to march sail from Gulltown to White Harbor, link up with his armies, and then march them south. I have a hard time believing that takes less than a couple of months, given the pace of the travel and logistics in feudal societies. If it's a year from the Battle of Gulltown to the Sack of Kings Landing, it would either mean that Robert is fighting essentially a battle every couple of days in the South in the beginning of the war, while it takes 9 months from the Battle of the Bells til the Sack of Kings Landing. In other words, it goes from impossibly rapid transit and battle to whole armies just chilling for months at a time. Agreed. And yet, if we take this as a baseline assumption, it means that Ned Stark reaches Winterfell, calls his banners, has them march to Winterfell, and then marches southwards to reach Riverrun in a maximum of three months. Because Robb was conceived right after the Battle of the Bells, and since he's born right after the war, which is a year long, it means that the Battle of the Bells was fought no less than nine months before the Sack of Kings Landing (give or take a couple weeks). In other words, the Battle of Gulltown, the Battles at Summerhall, the Battle of Ashford, and the Battle of the Bells must take place within 3-4 months of the opening of the war. And then 9 months or so elapse while, what? Robert marches his already mustered army to the Trident, wins, and then "hurries" his vanguard south to Kings Landing. This makes no sense, chronologically. If you want to make the case that battles are tiring and people need rest, or that marching long distances with large numbers of men takes time, I accept that. It makes it impossible for the pre-Battle of the Bells timeline to make sense. Politically speaking, the time after the Battle of the Bells is when Robert should be hurrying, before the Dornish enter the fray or Storm's End succumbs. Moreover, it can't be THAT long between Ned's marriage and the Trident, because Walder Frey arrives "close" to on time. Honestly, it's probably just an issue with GRRMs plotting, but still. This is explicitly not true. Perhaps the Battle of Gulltown and the Battles at Summerhall, but we know that Randyll Tarly is leading the "vanguard" of the Tyrell forces at Ashford, and that since Robert was forced to withdraw despite and inconclusive battle, it makes sense that the main force of the Tyrell's was not far behind. Thus, we can assume that by the Battle of Ashford, most levies had been fully assembled. The Dornish are an exceptional case because Aerys doesn't actually call them up (or rather, they refuse to serve) until after the Battle of the Bells. It's hard to imagine Doran has his full force mobilized and waiting despite being a non-participant to date, while the rebels have neglected this. It's also pretty clear the royalist forces were not safe in Kings Landing. A full quarter of the royalist forces at the Trident are Dornish, which means Robert has numerical superiority and would have the ability to raid and sack castles and towns in the Crownlands, with the Crown outnumbered and outsoldiered without reinforcements. Look, maybe Jon is supposed to be younger than Robb. If that's authorial intent, that's fine, but it means that the plotting and pacing of Robert's Rebellion is seriously fucked up in many places, in order for that to be true. I understand if GRRM wasn't super focused on that, I'm just pointing out that logically, Jon should have been born well before Robb (like a matter of months, not years, obviously), and that GRRM is playing fast and loose with chronology and actual pace of travel to make that so.
  9. cpg2016

    Negative image of bastards

    Sure, no argument here. Look, I'm not claiming that all noble born bastards have a great life and are politically relevant. I am, and have been, making the case that having a noble mother drastically increases your chances for rising high in life. Because again, you have a constituency to back you Yes, this is possible. But Edric Storm is a good exception to this rule. We don't have a ton of good examples, unfortunately, but that is definitely one of the few. Ramsay Snow might be another. Even excepting his rise to real power, his mother gets silver and he gets a bunch of money, and then to come live at the Dreadfort (before going on to kill Domeric). I get that Aegon IV isn't a great example because people were pimping out their daughters to him and he was an ass, but we don't have many others to go on. It makes intuitive sense that having a noblewoman for a mother helps your cause, or it does to me. Your right that it seems when fathers are deliberately trying to get their daughters pregnant by the king its a different circumstance, but on the other hand, the very fact that this is seen as a way into royal favor, and that the bastard children should then be kept around despite falling out of royal favor (a la Bittersteel, who is clearly brought up to think of himself as a Bracken, with all its attendant hatred of the Blackwoods), is telling in and of itself. Very true. That being said, we're told explicitly that Lady Waynwood won't betroth her sons to Sansa despite all that (indeed, for that reason), so at best buying up her debt is a limited weapon. I think we should assume that Lady Anya doesn't suspect Sansa's true identity. She has no reason to know who Sansa is, for all his faults LF is a reasonably crafty schemer, and did a good job laying no trails. Lady Anya can't afford to bribe LF's guards/confidantes, we know there is no one left in the capital who knows where Sansa is... it just doesn't make sense for a random noblewoman to be in on the secret. Sending wives away is a pretty tough thing, I would think. Historically it is, at least. Especially since, as I said, Sansa is in a position of some economic and potentially political significance of her own. Littlefinger is extremely wealthy, which will pass to Sansa, and this may be a case even more clear-cut than the Hornwood inheritance, since there may be literally no other living relatives, no matter how distant, of Petyr Baelish aside from his natural daughter. The House is only 3 generations old and we can be reasonably certain LF has no siblings. Doesn't seem like uncles or aunts, either. All of which are also good reasons not to disavow Alayne Stone. And her's and Harry's children would be legitimate. Assuming they get legally married, I mean. True, but it's also made clear that in the vast majority of cases, bastards aren't raised as a member of the family. If they're acknowledged, they're fostered out somewhere like Larence Snow/Hornwood. But overall I think you're right, it's unusual for bastards to achieve high power. One could say the same about second and third sons. It's a matter of degree of likelihood, not absolutes. Bastards are further down the curve of social status, but not so low that they can never rise. Jon and even Walder Rivers have a much better chance at social advancement than Bronn did, if only because they're likely to get trained in arms at a castle, to be introduced to political and social elites in passing with whom they can later take service, etc. I agree they're rare, which again speaks to the paucity of evidence. I'm not claiming they're better off than legitimate kids. But as you mention, a bastard making a place and name for himself or herself in the world seems vastly more likely than a commoner managing to do so. Hoster wasn't marrying his daughter off to Baelish. Not a chance. He force feeds her an abortifacient! She's a counter for him to gain more power and influence in the south, and while this is regrettable, it seems to be far more in line with social attitudes than allowing a love match. I am aware of this. The flip side is this; that third son has essentially no better prospects than his bastard half brother. Yes, there is more status and honor and potential political alliance in marrying a legitimate kid, but it doesn't guarantee your daughter is marrying into land or even anything more than a tenuous dependency on her brother-in-law's hospitality. And since we see no partability of fiefs, that means that the majority, the vast majority, of marriage being made are to landless second sons. So yes, if I'm Lord Oakheart, ideally I want my sons to marry heiresses and my daughters to marry heirs, but everyone is going to have the same thought about my kids. So I've got to marry my daughters off to someone. Instead of getting my second daughter to marry the third son of my peer, or the heir to one of my landed knights, why not try and get her to marry a bastard of someone one up on the social scale than I am? Maybe my Lord Paramount has a couple sons and a bastard son (just like Ned); he gets to shore up an alliance with an important vassal without giving a way a legitimate kid. Maybe he wants a lesser dowry cause the son is influential. TL;DR, you are 100% correct. There are too many sons and daughters who don't stand to inherit or be well provided for because most Houses aren't Lannisters or Velaryons or Starks. So as long as you acknowledge that your daughter is unlikely to marry a great lord, having them marry a politically influential bastard is not a crazy or even unreasonable thought.
  10. cpg2016

    Negative image of bastards

    I mean, this is both a good and bad point. Yes, we only have evidence of the bastards that have impacted our story. On the flip side, we shouldn't expect to hear anything of anyone else, right? We don't know anything about a ton of other characters, some of whom are very important legitimate nobles. We can only base our opinions on the facts presented to us, and then leaven that with common sense and real world parallels. It is clearly possible for bastards to marry into the nobility. Perhaps they don't land an heiress or an heir, but a marriage to a royal bastard has historically been a sign of favor. Which isn't to say every bastard can or will rise high. But Jon in particular is in a good spot; he's loved by his father, who is Warden and Lord Paramount of the North, and he's exceptionally close to his half brother, who is heir to both positions.
  11. cpg2016

    Negative image of bastards

    No, he doesn't view laws as being vague. He views them explicitly as being modelled on those in real medieval history, as you so generously quoted for me. Those laws were often vague, or subject to interpretation, and most of all dependent on various historical and local traditions. All that means is that it's difficult to hammer out explicit rules for succession in general (incidentally, one of the ways in which early modern states stamped out feudal aristocratic power was by codifying laws to the detriment of claimed traditional privilege). That is not at all the same thing as saying we don't know how titles passed down, or that there weren't some basic rules for how this happened. There are vast swathes of literature written on it, not to mention on how the system morphs from one where land always reverted back to the king, and indeed was revocable at will (Charlemagne his immediate successors) to the more common method by which legitimate heirs pay relief for the right to inherit. What do you define as ownership? If the Hornwood's don't have an absolute right to pass on their land to who they wish, they don't really own it at all, now do they? What is obvious is that Robb is going to weigh the various claims and make a decision; the fact that Larence Snow is considered a legitimate heir means that Robb is given wide range in making this decision, which means it will ultimately come down to a political question as well as a legal one. If the Starks have the right to assign the land, it means they have ultimate legal ownership of it. Which, again, is exactly how feudal infeudation works. That the Hornwoods can expect to pass on their land is not relevant to the question of who has the ultimate right to dispose of it. Put another way, if the Hornwoods or anyone else "own" their land, then the Starks have no right to take it away in instance of a rebellion. That isn't how ownership works. What the Hornwoods have is a promise to enjoy the use of their seisin in return for fulfilling the pledges they make when they became a vassal and accepted the lands from the Starks. If they revolt, they can be removed from their honor. For contemporary in-universe example, see House Florent. As with that case, there may be a real feeling of being "Florent" or "Hornwood" men, which means there will be loyalist sentiment among the lesser holders, burghers, or knights, but that doesn't change the ultimate fact that the feudal overlord has ultimate ownership of the land. Just like IRL.
  12. Are you for real? You are right, I was wrong about timing, but this actually supports my argument. We're not arguing how old Catelyn thinks Jon is - we know she thinks he's a few weeks/months younger. She has to for her own sanity. But we know in reality he's older. Even in-universe characters should have a suspicion, if they think the fisherman's daughter is the mother. There is only one way in which I can be wrong about this (and I admit it's possible, I don't know the timeline down to the day), and that is if the Battle of the Bells occurs at least 8 months before the Tower of Joy, giving some lead time in there for early birth, etc. We know when Jon is born, which means we know to within 9 months when he was conceived. I have just seen this timeline, and shows that that is the case (which is crazy) but also has some wonky things going on which we know are wrong, so I'm not sure. Long story short, I could well be wrong. But that puts some weird chronological mess into the timeline of the Rebellion, so who knows.
  13. cpg2016

    Negative image of bastards

    None of his kids from non-noblewomen have roles. It's made pretty clear that he has a ton of bastards. We only hear about the ones from important women. I mean, I agree, but these sort of go hand in hand, you know? The reason people give a shit about bastards born to noblewomen is because the political community at large cares about the kid, and because it behooves the father to give a shit, because the mother (and perhaps her family) might press for some recognition. Robert may acknowledge Mya as his own, but she has no potential source of backing aside from him. This gets into the Sansa case, because Littlefinger is likely to be a power in the Vale for years to come, and clearly cares about the fate of his natural daughter, so she's a more attractive match, since she brings along the political connections and influence expected of a daughter born into wedlock. Whatever his family, his prospects are more important in this case. It's difficult to imagine Lady Anya knows much at all about "Alayne". If she did, she wouldn't be reticent about the match at all, and would certainly tell Harry herself. Or try and get her for one of her sons. Sansa is among the two or three most eligible bachelorettes in the kingdom. And it seems unlikely to me that the chivalrous Vale knights would stoop to murdering Sansa. Whatever her birth (even if she's actually Alayne Stone), she's legally wed to Harry, or presumably will be, and is also an immensely rich woman, since she's got to be Littlefinger's only heir. Not to mention there is a decent chance she's legitimized, under this circumstance, and is thus a Lady. Any children from her marriage will be legitimate as well. Well, first off, if they're legitimized, they'd probably take a new name. That being said, I think your missing my point. One doesn't have to be a lord to have influence. Jon is Robb's childhood companion, friend, and half-brother. Given his choice of heir, Robb clearly trusts and I daresay loves Jon like a brother - on the basis of that relationship alone Jon will have immense influence at Winterfell and there are sure to be plenty of lords willing to marry off a superfluous daughter in order to gain the ear of Lord Stark's trusted councilor. What does him being a knight have to do with it? We were discussing bastards. House Charlton is a lordly house. If you are agreeing that bastards potentially have a route to landed influence and power, I agree wholeheartedly, and have been arguing this from the start. If there is no taboo, then there isn't a taboo. It has nothing to do with being a bastard at that point, and everything to do with social status. A Baelish can't marry a Tully, because legitimate or not, there are too many layers of social strata in between, and that's for an heir and a second daughter! Perhaps being a bastard means having to accept marrying an additional step down the ladder. Even so, that would put Jon in some pretty excellent company. As a beloved son/half-brother of one of the half dozen most powerful men in the Seven Kingdoms, he's got a wide array of options.
  14. cpg2016

    Negative image of bastards

    Lets make this clear. ASOIAF is based in large part on medieval and early modern English history (e.g. the War of the Roses). Not exclusively, and it's a fantasy series, but still. Reversion is not permanent. Feudal lords are expected to distribute land, and the fact that the crown takes back land when the line goes extinct is yet further proof that the ultimate "ownership" of the land belongs to the crown, and whoever has seisin at any given moment does so as an effective tenant of their feudal superior. And it's immaterial if they ruled their lands. It's possible that each individual vassal has a unique relationship to their land and their lord (and from a technical standpoint they do, because they swear individual oaths), but the default position should be that the situation in Westeros roughly parallels real history. When those lords swore to be vassals of the Starks, in return they were confirmed in their land. This is the whole point of an oath and ceremony of vassalage. The Starks have the symbolic right to give and take away lands, just the same as it didn't matter that Charlemagne was independently the master of Europe in 800, the fact that the Pope put a crown on his head symbolically elevated the Papacy to a position of superior power and authority to Charlemagne. Symbols matter. The reality may be that it would be difficult to the point of impossibility for the Starks to "take back" the Hornwood inheritance, but from a legal standpoint they have that right. The unquestionably enfeoffed the Manderlys at White Harbor on their own patrimonial lands, but it would be even more difficult for them to expel the Manderlys against their wishes. So to reiterate - your denials ignore actual history, the text, and common sense. We see Northern nobles pressing the Starks to be named heir. We know how infeudation works in a general sense. It might behoove you to look up the meaning of the word "escheat".
  15. cpg2016

    Negative image of bastards

    There is no such thing as "Hornwood property". The Hornwood family traditionally controls that fief and it's assumed that it will pass to a Hornwood heir, but in a feudal system all land "belongs" to the highest authority and is sub-infeudated out from there. Once the Hornwood heir is recognized, they'll get the land and titles. Until then, since no one is paying relief for it and no one exists to do homage for it, it reverts to the Starks. That's assuming it follows anything like traditional feudal tradition/law. It's not out of the question that the Starks, as the liege lords, hold the Hornwood lands at the moment and are entitled to the revenues from it while they are in an administrative role. Certainly English kings were known for keeping abbeys and bishoprics without an abbot/bishop for long periods, so they could control the revenue from those sees (William Rufus springs to mind as having been well known for this). Essentially, the Starks have the right to make the final judgement on whose claim is the most valid, or that is what it sounds like from the deliberation.
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