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About Hammers1895

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  1. I've always been confused about a couple recurring themes from the book series. First- the whole situation after Renly is murdered in his tent by Melisandre's Stannis-shadow, and Brienne and Catelyn make their escape, Loras Tyrell kills Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce in a "red rage" for not successfully protecting his boyfriend Renly. For one, I cannot understand what Royce, a Valeman, was doing in the Reach as a Rainbow Guard for Renly Baratheon. That has never been explained anywhere that I have seen. But additionally, why was there never any action taken against Loras Tyrell for these killings? Maybe the Royce's couldn't do anything about it, seeing as they are all the way in the Vale and out of the loop on Westerosi politics at the moment. But House Cuy is one of the most prominent houses of the Reach. I would hope that the Tyrells offered some recompense for their loss of Emmon, granted them some boon. We don't hear anything about House Cuy pulling their support for the Tyrells at any point. Which sort of leads into the second thing I always wonder about. When the society fractures and civil war is occurring, many prominent families have historically kept a "foot in each camp", whether it be the Blackfyre Rebellions, Robert's Rebellion or now the War of the Five Kings. How does this work? How do leaders/rulers trust men or families that have a dog in each fight? We know of consequences in the past for houses that ended up on the losing side of a war (members get exiled or executed or take the black, houses are stripped of lands, lose their noble status, etc.). It just seems weird to me that families can so blatantly be on the fence during a dispute and try to reap the benefit no matter which side wins. If I was a ruler, any court retainer or counselor or guard near me that was a member of a house that was in open revolt against me, you can bet there would be consequences (hostages most likely). How can you be sure of a person's loyalty when members of their family are fighting against you?
  2. Given that the former Seven Kingdoms were really always 8 (II not counted usually, for whatever reason, amongst the Seven (North, Vale, Riverlands, Westerlands, Stormlands, Reach, Dorne), and the Crownlands were created administratively, there are nine constituent regions of Westeros south of the Wall. GRMM makes it clear at the outset (and canonically) who the Great Houses are. The Starks in the North, the Arryns in the Vale, the Tullys in the Riverlands, the Greyjoys on the Iron Islands, the Tyrells in the Reach, Lannisters in the Westerlands, Baratheons in the Stormlands, and the Martells in Dorne with Baratheon of KL's as the Royal house/simultaneously being the default Great House of the Crownlands. And GRRM gives ample evidence, in addition to outright writing it in places, that other houses outside the "Great" houses are very powerful, to varying degrees. Some of these may be considered "overmighty" bannermen. I love lists and rankings and things of that sort, so I thought it would be fun and a conversation-starter to list the houses of each region, picking the 5 most powerful per region. I would stipulate too a slight difference between most powerful vs. most influential/important. Here's my take on matters: The North: 1. Stark- the Great House, ancient family with deep loyalty from bannermen of region, very strong castle 2. Manderly- controls White Harbor and thus most of the North's commerce, has a small fleet of warships, heavy mounted Calvary. Most knights of any Northern house, and the wealthiest. 3. Bolton- Once Red Kings, ancient house, very strong castle, control large land area, have large amount of soldiers (judging from Roose's actions in the War of 5 Kings and retaking the North post-Red Wedding) 4. Umber- Another ancient line, seems like good number of soldiers available considering sparse population to draw from, known genetically for physical strength and size . 5. Karstark- Good troop numbers and large land area under their control. Power in the North definitely favors those houses on the Eastern side of the continent. The Riverlands: 1. Frey- control busiest crossing route on the Green Fork, wealthy and numerous, strong castle. Can field 4,000 men easily, 1,000 of which are knights. Have vassals of their own (Haigh, Erenford, Charlton) 2. Tully- the Great House, control all water traffic at junction of Tumblestone and Red Fork. Good relations seemingly with most houses in region. 3. Mallister- Seagard is a strong castle, and a town grows around it. Formidable warriors historically, usually first defense of Riverlands from ironborn. 4. Blackwood- Putting these two houses in together and by default, as I believe from inference they are stronger than Vance/Whent/Darry/Mooton/Piper/Ryger/Roote, etc. 5. Bracken- see above The Vale of Arryn: 1. Royce- another surprise here, not a Great House at number one. More by default as Arryn's have very weak leadership right now, house about to pass to some amalgamation of Baelish/Sansa/Harry Hardyng 2. Arryn- the name still carries weight, nearly impregnable fortress in the Eyrie. 3. Grafton- not much info on them militarily, but they control Gulltown and therefore have money. 4. Hunter- these two go in by default, not much is known about their military strength but flip a coin between Hunter/Redfort/Belmore/Melcolm/Templteton/Waynwood/Coldwater/Waxley/Lynderly, etc. 5. Redfort- see above The Westerlands: 1. Lannister- Rich, access to gold, Casterly Rock nearly impregenable. Jaime great warrior, Tywin feared leader, Tyrion clever as all get out and Cersei master schemer/evil bitch capable of anything. 2. Lannister- Yup, these guys again. Control, nominally, city and port of Lannisport, can use population to raise troops, theoretically would have the backing of Casterly Rock and vise versa due to blood ties 3. Marbrand- Similar to previous sections, these two houses seem to be close to House Lannister and provide a lot of military support 4. Crakehall- see above 5. Lefford- The castle controls the main entrance to the Westerlands from the east The Stormlands: 1. Baratheon of Storm's End- Sort of goes without saying...very powerful house, very strong castle. 2. Swann- Marcher Lords seem the strongest of Baratheon bannermen, and Swann's are an ancient house with a strong castle 3. Dondarrion- Same criteria as above (Caron would make the list aside from them no longer existing as a House, and we can't get confirmation one way or another whether the Selmy's are knights or nobles) 4. Penrose- Putting them here simply because they haven't been overrun by the Golden Company (unlike the Wylde's, Morrigen's, Mertyn's, Estermont's) 5. Staedmon- ditto The Iron Islands: 1. Greyjoy- Have powerful navy at their disposal, and have essentially been the Kings on the II, as they remain aloof from rest of Westerosi society for the most part 2. Harlaw- Have their own islands/vassals, multiple branches and castles/keeps 3. Goodbrother- Have multiple branches and castles/keeps 4. Botley- Prominent family 5. Drumm- ditto The Crownlands: 1. Baratheon/Lannister- Royal family, have the loyalty of Crownlands Houses minus Narrow Sea lords, plus Gold Cloaks and position in Westeros' largest city 2. Baratheon of Dragonstone- Strong island fortress, commands loyalty of Narrow Sea houses (Sunglass, Bar Emmon, Velaryon, Celtigar), seemingly over their loyalty to Iron Throne; naval power 3. Massey- Seem like one of the few legit strong Crownsland houses 4. Staunton- ditto 5. Brune- preeminent house of Crackclaw Point, can fairly safely assume has vassal houses (Cave, Crabb, Hardy, Pyne), multiple branches (Dyre Den and Brownhollow) The Reach: 1. Hightower- Rulers of Oldtown, ancient and large family 2. Tyrell- Great House, rule large area and population 3. Redwyne- Wealthy and well-protected by island location, strongest private navy in Westeros 4. Tarly- Strong military leadership 5. Toss up between Rowan/Oakheart/Florent/Fossoway's/Costayne/Cuy/Crane/etc. Dorne: 1. Martell- Great House, two castles (Sunspear, Water Gardens), very loyal bannermen 2. Yronwood- Powerful, ancient, guard the Boneway 3. Fowler- Guards Prince's Pass 4. Wyl- Dornish Marcher Lords 5. Blackmont- Dornish Marcher Lords What would your list/reasons be?
  3. What if the tyrrels have declared for the targayens in war of five king after renly killed instead of lannisters and mace name himself regent and hand of the king for daenerys and planned to have willas tyrrel or loras tyrrel as consort? Hard to imagine any Westerosi lord declaring for Danaerys or Viserys without having any idea/belief in their strength. At this point, many in Westeros still consider the dragons mere rumor, and Unsullied are eunuchs who won't be able to stand up to Westerosi knights, and the Dothraki are filthy barbarians who fear to cross the Narrow Sea. So asking a Westerosi lord to cast their lot with the Targaryen's is a stretch. Stick with the devil you know, which in the case of Mace Tyrell, would be Renly Baratheon. But if we're merely speculating on what would have happened had the Tyrells essentially sat out the War of the Five Kings (which if they declared for a Targaryen in exile would basically be what that amounted to), it would have left the North and Westerlands fighting (while the Ironborn take the North unaware), and the forces of Stannis probably succeed in taking King's Landing...which would force Tywin to probably sue for peace because A. he has family members needing protection in the capital and B. he would be at a disadvantage trying to fight Robb and Stannis at the same time. Tywin would in essence have his Westerlands houses + loyal crownslands houses vs. the combined might of the North, the Riverlands, the Stormlands and the half of the crownsland house that declared for Stannis (leaving the Reach, Dorne and the Vale on the sidelines and the Iron Islands fighting remnants of the Northern houses that stayed home). If Robb and Stannis were not allied, but were both fighting the Lannisters, then I doubt Roose and Walder Frey betray Robb. The real question is would Stannis have had the restraint to focus on Tywin/the Iron Throne vs. trying to fight Robb at the same time. He is obsessed with all of Westeros being under one rule and would not have allowed Robb + the riverlands to break away into a separate kingdom.
  4. Hammers1895

    What happened to the Hill Tribes?

    In the BOOKS, which I thought this forum covered, the Vale still has a role to play and I would think the Vale mountain tribes would still come into the picture in some regard. Could be very minor. I am not expecting much only because there wasn't a big character from their ranks. If we as readers had been introduced to a Vale mountain tribesman or woman, shared their thoughts and travels, and they remained part of the story line, than I would think they would re-enter the plot line somewhere in the last two books. I actually happen to be working on a fan fiction writing project which heavily involves the Vale mountain tribe, so hopefully what I am working on isn't completely rendered obsolete by whatever GRMM writes in the last 2 books!
  5. Hammers1895

    What happened to the Hill Tribes?

    What pictures are you talking about Travis?
  6. Hammers1895

    Houses With Cash Flow Problems?

    You have to approach this using GRRM's info plus our basic knowledge of a medieval economy (and add in some semi- or non-canon info if you'd like). The richest houses are going to be the Great Houses plus those approaching "overmighty bannermen" status. So, at the start of GOT, you have the stable Stark/Arryn/Greyjoy/Tully/Lannister/Tyrell/Martell/Baratheon and Baratheon-royal Houses. These Houses are paramount houses, collect major taxes on behalf of the Iron Throne and I would assume also for themselves. Then you have other houses which seem to, in a sense, rule their particular areas of influence with impunity, houses like Tarly, Whent, Yronwood, Frey, Bolton, etc. They are all influential enough and control enough area/people that they should be fairly well off. Economically, if you control trade, you have wealth. So, any house that basically rules a city/port will have money. So that gives you Hightower of Oldtown, the cadet branch of Lannister in Lannisport, the Graftons of Gulltown, Manderly's of White Harbor, and of course the ruling house in King's Landing, the Baratheons (who probably have independent wealth in all three of King's Landing, Dragonstone and Storm's End). GRRM has told us the Frey's grew rich controlling the best crossing over the Green Fork, the Butterwells were cattle barons, and the Velaryons controlled trade entering Blackwater Bay (plus Corlys's and Alyn of Hull's voyages). You have to figure there are other Westerlands houses that can access goldmines besides just the Lannisters. These are all examples. If you are going to extrapolate, use common sense. No idea where Soto Luzon got his list from.
  7. And by that I mean, working out of a sense of duty/principle/values, however you want to classify it, VS. working strictly for their own greed and lust for power (maybe under the guise of a personal code of honor, like Baelish). I think some of the best characters in the series have vacillated from one to the other at various points. I'll list out some of my own favorite takes, and see what you guys think...arguments? Who has the purest motives for why they do what they do? --Jaime: At the beginning of the story, everything he does is for himself, for Cersei, for House Lannister. He has few qualms about besmirching the honor of knighthood, and the honor of the Kingsguard (mostly because he believes no one will ever see him as honorable, only as the Kingslayer, so why should he try to be?). But by the end of ADWD, after spending time with Brienne and being humbled by losing his hand, and mostly I think, becoming more fully aware of Cersei's level of evil, he has begun to recover his honor and sense of duty. I think he now works for the greater good, for peace. --Theon: Similar to Jaime but for different reasons. Theon comes off as a cocky punk, but it's really a cover for an insecure little boy who feels torn between two worlds. Displaced from his home and heritage as a Greyjoy and always seen as an outsider, but dying to really be accepted by and as a Stark, which he never can be. So he betrays them and then spends months being tortured and mentally broken by Ramsay as in indirect result. And the guilt from betraying Robb burns him up. But he recovers some of his humanity during his escape from Winterfell. He is willing to sacrifice himself, or at least be in harm's way, to save Jeyne Poole, hoping somewhere in the cosmos that makes up for some of what he did to the Starks. So he now works for the purpose of repairing his damage (although it doesn't seem like Stannis is like to give him the opportunity, I am convinced that Asha will somehow convince Stannis that Theon is more valuable alive) and repaying an impossible debt as much as he can before he dies. --Sandor: Always a complicated character. He sometimes seems monstrous (like the incident with Mycah), but he has shown flashes of compassion (though always buried under a rough exterior). The ill-effects of growing up with Gregor are plain, but I think he realized over time he was sick of serving as the Lannister's lackey and now just wanted to take his ransom money from Arya and disappear out into the world, where he wasn't forced to be Sandor Clegane. His plan, as much as we know of it, was interrupted. But if that is truly him on the Quiet Isle, it seems he has found peace. He is working for personal growth and peace and penitence for the things he has done. --Barristan: Barristan wants to serve, to honor his oath as a Kingsguard. He is a man of honor, but he feels dirty somehow having served three loathsome kings. But he always told himself that his pledge was to defend the king and crown; it was not his fault that the men who wore it were either deranged maniacs (Aerys and Joffrey), or slovenly, adulterous drunks (Robert). He has continued to serve in his capacity as royal guardian, only now, he is serving some he believes in and respects from a moral standpoint. But how much fault does he carry for simply following order all those years for Aerys? When does "doing what's right" trump duty? --Jon Connington: One of my favorite characters. Connington was exiled during Robert's Rebellion for a pretty small infraction (the guy lost a battle, happens to the best of 'em), and then swept up in Varys' schemes to eventually place Aegon Targaryen (the IV) on the Iron Throne. Connington may long to return to his seat at Griffin's Roost and see his homeland again. He may miss being a lord. But from what we can tell, he is doing all of this simple because Aegon is Rhaegar's son, and Jon loved Rhaegar and is honoring his memory. Connington allowed Varys to sacrifice his good name, to preserve the fact that Jon was dead and allow him to work behind the scenes for years, bringing up Aegon and keeping him safe. --Varys: Say what you will about the Spider, but he is always saying he works for the realm and it's peace and prosperity. He is willing to let people die (Eddard) or even kill them himself (Pycelle, Kevan Lannister), if it furthers his goals. So despite his constant braying that he works for the good of the kingdom, he isn't scared to get his hands dirty and sacrifice people to "the greater good". But what is the greater good? Who is to say that Aegon would be a better king than Robert had been? Besides the Greyjoy rebellion, there had been peace in Westeros since Robert's coronation. Maybe Varys could see the writing on the wall, that Cersei would kill Robert and rule de facto over Joffrey, or Joffrey would be a strong ruler, but an evil and uneven one, and this premonition of Lannister rule is what he was trying to prevent or at least bring about the demise of by bringing young Aegon back to Westeros. Others with interesting cases would include Arya, Doran Martell, Tyrion, Cersei, Mance Rayder, Victarion Greyjoy, Baelish.
  8. Also- I think a major point is this....when you get right down to it, people that have power and privilege just want to preserve their power and privilege. They will shift alliances as needed and do whatever they have to do. During Robert's Rebellion, the Reach and Dorne were on the same side, and they had (have) been fighting against each other for millennia. The houses of Westeros will stand either for or against Daenerys based on their own self-preservation, not out of some sense of ancient loyalty to the Targaryen's or because they were on the rebel side of the Rebellion. Case in point, the Blackfyre's basically used the Golden Company as their own personal army, but now the Golden Company is in league with a would-be Targaryen king, the scion of the very dynasty they fought multiple wars to topple. The descendants of the Westerosi exile are little different from the Essosi in the Company. They don't want to go to Westeros because they want to reclaim birthrights. They want to go and be on the winning side and claim the spoils, have their own shot at power and privilege. So as the winds shift, people try to leverage the advantages they have, usually regardless of historical enmity.
  9. By the time she gets to Westeros, there's a good chance there aren't any Baratheon's left (Stannis and Shireen being the only ones), and maybe no Arryns either, for I have a feeling with Baelish in charge of the Vale, little Robin isn't long for this world. The Tully's are no longer a factor if Edmure and his child are "resting comfortably" in Casterly Rock. Daenerys wants to "break the wheel", but really the only power structure she needs to break is the Lannister-Tyrell alliance. She will have plenty of help in that regard, as Dorne is ready to support her, Aegon, or both, as long as they get to play a hand in destroying the Lannisters. And we have Varys actively working to sow discord between the Reach and the Westerlands. I think the Freys could be fairly easily cowed if/when they realized they didn't have the support of any houses other than their own direct vassals (Haighs, Erenfords, Charltons). So that leaves the North/Iron Islands, and the Manderlys will assist in overthrowing uprising the Boltons for sure. The Iron Islands aren't a factor unless the dragon binding horn is a real thing. They lack the unity or strength to challenge an even partially organized mainland force and have already lost all their holdings in the North. Daenerys' arrival in Westeros, should it happen, comes with little baggage, in my opinion. I don't think she cares for the history of her house or any others. She will reward those loyal to her, attempt protect the innocent, and seek to destroy any that oppose her right to rule, or those who seek to enhance or preserve their own power at the expense of those they deem "less than" themselves (aka stand up for the smallfolk by curbing the depredations of the nobility). Daenerys' biggest problem will be the same as Stannis had. The willingness to make alliances, and the concessions those alliances demand, in order to garner the support she needs to accomplish her goals. If Stannis had been willing to ally w/ Renly and Robb, they would have won. Easily. You can't fight everyone at once, by yourself. Would she be willing to grant the North it's independence (assuming this is what Wyman Manderly would demand should he be able to restore Rickon to Winterfell and defeat the Bolton's) in exchange for their support? Would she be willing to marry Trystane Martell to ally with Dorne? Would she pardon those lords of the Reach, Riverlands, Westerlands and North who supported the treachery of the Lannister/Frey/Bolton triumvirate? Or the Tyrell bannermen? How would she deal with Baelish? Or her own nephew, Aegon?
  10. Hammers1895

    Best ASoIaF player

    I would restrict opining on this to Westerosi-only characters outside of Ilyrio, as we know so much more about them and the bulk of the story's action takes place in Westeros. Some members of this list have only really started their machinations since the events of ASOIAF started (Tywin, Cersei, Margaery, Roose Bolton, Walder Frey, Tyrion, Olenna, etc.). Their goals are restricted to survival; of themselves and their houses. And survival means climbing the power ladder and that requires knocking off other players. There really isn't any larger, macro motives for their actions other than that. Baelish is a little different. He has no allegiances demanding loyalty that hinder his actions. He IS his house, a small, poor house. He is not encumbered with trying to uphold a legacy and do his house proud, like say, a Jamie Lannister or Ned Stark is forced to. Baelish is out to make his own name, his own way. He doesn't even rock his houses' banners/designs; he uses his own sigil of the mockingbird. He is out to claim rule of Westeros for himself, and has been at that end since the days long ago when Jon Arryn made him customs master in Gulltown. But even still, his actions are all directed at the one, single, self-serving aim. I have to give the title of "best player" to the Varys/Illyrio duet. They have been playing the loooooong game, 13-14 years now. Doran Martell has been a part of it as well, but he's been more wait-and-see and take his cues from Varys. No one moves the pieces around the board better than Varys, whose true aim (as far as we know), is the peace and stability Westeros could enjoy with a worthy ruler on the throne. Another name I would throw out there, in violation of my own anti-Essos rule, would be Melisandre.
  11. Hi I'm Matt, I am working on a fan-fiction project, not sure what it will end up being yet in terms of short-story vs. novella-length (similar to Dunk & Egg stories). Enough material for probably 2-3 Dunk&Egg-length pieces. A little about me: My nerd-flag doesn't fly high or proudly. I am very much into LOTR/The Hobbit, and very much into ASOIAF, and that's pretty much where it ends. So I guess "high fantasy". I see Tolkien as above and beyond everyone else, and GRRM as his worthy successor. I don't do anything in space (Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, Babylon 5, whatever). I don't like "classic" sci-fi/horror or old-school stuff like The Twilight Zone or The Phantom Tollbooth or Mad Max, Terminator, Alien, Bladerunner, Judge Dredd or pretty much anything post-apocalyptic except for The Walking Dead/Fear the Walking Dead. I don't play and have never really been into video games, I haven't played since a Halo 2 binge in college which was way back in 2007-2008. I don't do super heroes or comic books. I couldn't tell you which person was Marvel or D.C. I don't dress up or go to conventions or buy action figures or wear the t-shirts. I don't like Narnia or Redwall or The Wheel of Time or anything else. It's restricted to Tolkien and Martin (and when I was younger, Harry Potter of course), so I'm not looking for a next-level nerd who is going to assault my sensibilities with any of the above-mentioned nonsense. If that offends. This is purely because I am enthralled with the world GRRM created and can't get enough of it and have been waiting impatiently for the next book and in the meantime have come up with a lot of my own ideas of things I would like to see happen in the world of ASOIAF. One caveat--this work is strictly based off the BOOKS. Nothing to do with the show. Whoever ends up assisting here will have to be able to separate those two story lines in their mind. I have developed new house/character/castle&keep&municipality names and a background story line (based off of where GRRM has left us after ADWD but projecting 150 years into the future beyond the events of (and dealing with the repercussions of) ASOIAF. Just looking for some help with the plot, need to story-board it out, so to speak. My biggest issue is giving voice to characters. I struggle to write in the 1st and 3rd -multiple persons. I excel at mapping out the larger "world", structure, but need help with character development and some holes in plot, to make connections so it all ties together. Anyone interested email me at [email protected] and I can share what I have so far, and if you are intrigued, we can get started! Please put "ASOIAF" into the subject line so your email isn't lost in a spam/junk folder somewhere. Thanks for the read and hope to hear from y'all.