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Everything posted by Hammers1895

  1. 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?
  2. Hammers1895

    Hidden Houses of Westeros

    I misunderstood. Thought previous comments were confusing Parren and Perryn, not the location of Parren.
  3. Hammers1895

    Hidden Houses of Westeros

    But yea overall, I would say 90% of the sigils we encounter that we do not, as readers, recognize are probably small landed knights/freeriders who have made their own sigils. I am more intrigued by houses whose home region we do not know, or houses we've been introduced to in the past that do not factor into ASOIAF series and we do not know their current status. Those being: Belgrave, Sweet, Goode, Leek, Blackberry, Cupps, Farrow, Greenhill, Penny, Potter, Rankenfell, Ruskyn, Sawyer, Suggs, Waeatherwax, Mandrake, Strickland, etc., etc.
  4. Hammers1895

    Hidden Houses of Westeros

    Also not quite accurate I think? There is a Parren and a Perryn, both extinct, one from Riverlands, one from Westerlands.
  5. Hammers1895

    Targaryen fleet destroyed...

    One way to gauge the ascendancy and nadirs of powerful houses is their frequency of marrying into the royal family. Between the Targaryen's making Dragonstone their home and the Dance of Dragons, House Velaryon was probably the most frequently paired house to House Targaryen. Blood ties, common Valyrian ancestry, geography and the sheer wealth and power of the Velaryon's were the cause for this. It seems obviously they lost some "stature"points along the way as their wealth and influence diminished and they were no longer favored by the Targaryen's. From everything I have read, the "Royal Navy" had always been the Velaryons, or a combination of them and the other Narrow Sea houses, but never a directly administered fleet controlled only by the Iron Throne and not belong in whole or in part to any individual house (or borrowed from the ironborn depending on the relationship with them at the time). Stannis' building of the "new" royal fleet to assault Dragonstone was the first true "Iron Throne" fleet. This was the same fleet used to put down the first Greyjoy Rebellion. And when Stannis took his ships home after Robert's death in GoT, the Lannister/Baratheon royal family again had no fleet except those few ships Stannis did not take with him, which were presumably the ones he ended up fighting against on the Blackwater. Post-Blackwater, Cersei began building a new royal fleet, which Aurane Waters then absconded with. Iron Throne really has no luck with warships haha.
  6. Hammers1895

    The Fall of the Great Houses

    Interesting premise, but I think too many random/irrelevant ideas being brought into this thread as possible justifications for a future we cannot possibly predict. DON'T BRING THOUGHTS FROM THE SHOW INTO THINGS. Take the facts are we have them (or appear to have them) from what we've read so far. In that vein: 1. The Starks seem to be in trouble, but maybe not so bad. I don't know Rickon's chances of survival (if he is alive) or whether or not GRRM has ever intended to make him a prominent character at a later point, but he is one chance of their survival. Another would be the offspring of Arya and/or Sansa, who would have to take the Stark name to make it official. Jon as a bastard (if he is alive) would be unsuitable unless it's true he is the son of Lyanna (and how do you prove that?). Bran cannot father children. Benjen seems a long shot. I think the Starks will survive somehow, and they still command the sentimental loyalty of most Northern houses as opposed to the houses current predicament of having to live in fear/subservience to the Boltons or support southron Stannis. 2. The Baratheons and Tullys are toast. Brynden is too old. Lysa and Cat are dead. Edmure will remain a prisoner of the Lannisters, who will never allow his offspring to rule (if the child isn't aborted first anyways). The Spicer/Westerling complicity in the Red Wedding has been so downplayed compared with the more abrupt violence of the Frey/Bolton/Karstark actions, but they screwed Robb Stark pretty thoroughly as well. I think the Riverlands are going to end up being up for grabs and whomever sits the Iron Throne at the end of things will have to name a new house as Lords Paramount of the Trident. The true Baratheons are hanging on by a thread, we all know that. Robert dead, his "children" not his own, his ACTUAL children all bastards, some dead, one in exile, etc. etc. Renly is dead. Stannis is in a tough spot and has no sons. 3. The Arryns will continue, but most likely under Harry Hardyng (Arryn), not Robin. Even if he survives the chaos surrounding him (unlikely, as Baelish seems to be lining things up to eliminate him), he is not a respected future ruler of the Vale. He has no allies other than Vale lords who just don't want to be ruled by Baelish and will follow the Arryn name. If Harry HAD the Arryn name, they would follow him. 4. The Crownlands belong to the Iron Throne, so that will be settled by whomever prevails in that struggle. 5. The Tyrells and Lannisters seem to have plenty of potential successors. So unless a Targaryen ruler emerges and replaces them as punishment, I think they both make it. It would not be the first time in the history of any of these Great Houses that the line of succession had to follow a bit of a diagonal, rather than a nice straight line. 6. The Greyjoys I believe will be replaced internally, as the affairs of the plot line pick them off one-by-one. I could see the Harlaws, Botley's, Drumms, etc. be named as the new ruling house by the Iron Throne (unless they are granted their independence). Very apt considering that's exactly how the Greyjoys came to replace House Hoare anyways. 7. And the Martells seem well positioned to at least survive as rulers of Dorne, even if they don't get their way with the outcome of the battle for the Iron Throne. I think whomever wins that will want peace with Dorne, not continue to fight the Dornish when there is so little to gain. Attacking Dorne is like attacking Russia in the winter, only it's 110 degrees instead of -10. So overall IMO, Starks/Lannisters/Tyrells/Martells/Arryns survive (in one form or another)....Greyjoys/Tullys/Baratheons do not.
  7. Hammers1895

    Which minor houses do you want to see more of?

    Skagosi houses, Northern mountain clans, Vale mountain tribes. I think the Shield Island and Three Sisters houses are interesting. In addition, the marcher lords sworn to Storm's End seem like an interesting bunch (Swann, Errol, Selmy, Dondarrion, Caron (Foote)). Also, I would love to know more about the smaller Northern houses. Especially those from the Telltale game series (Forrester, Whitehill, Branfield, Glenmore). Also Waterman, Wells, Slate, Holt, etc.
  8. Hammers1895

    When did the Starks loose their military strength?

    GRRM never gives us a definitive number for how many men the Starks could raise on their own, aside from calling the banners of their vassal houses. We do know that Winterfell is a large settlement including a village; its more than just a castle housing the Stark family and associated staff. Even factoring in the smaller population of the North relative to other regions in Westeros, I think you could safely assume the Starks can raise at least 2,000 men. Rickard Stark (Eddard's father) went South to King's Landing with 200 men when Aerys II called him to account for Brandon's threats against Rhaegar. There is no mention made as to whether these were all Stark men or some bannermen as well. I think again you could assume the 4-5 largest houses in the North (which seem to be in no particular order the Starks, Boltons, Manderlys, Dustins, Karstarks) can raise upwards of 2,000 men in their own right. The Starks did not necessarily "lose" their military power. It is more so that, like others have stated above, they have not had to use their military might in quite some time. Especially against their own retainers since they have defeated the Boltons, Reeds, etc. The Starks have enjoyed the respect and obeisance of their underlings for a long time; they have not had to deal with Since banners were called for Robert's Rebellion and then the Greyjoy Rebellion, Westeros has been at peace until obviously the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings. Until betrayed by Roose Bolton and Walder Frey, the Starks were most likely still in pretty good shape outside of expected battle losses during the War.
  9. Hammers1895

    Why was Harrenhal built?

    This seems pretty simple to me: Harren had a massive ego; he built the largest castle in Westeros to satisfy this massive ego. On a more practical level- the Riverlands are notoriously difficult to rule and defend. Apart from loosely-aligned and constantly bickering lords, the borders are porous especially in the southwest (Westerlands), south (Reach), southeast (Stormlands) and east (Crownlands). Only a strong house with a strong castle can effectively rule the Riverlands and deal with incoming threats. Harren obviously anticipated his line ruling the Iron Islands and Riverlands for a long time to come; there was no way he could foresee having to deal with Aegon and his dragons except with only a few months preparation time once again had landed in the (future) Crownlands. Harren was focused on fighting with the Westerlands, the Reach, the Stormlands. Much like the First Men in the Vale busy squabbling with each other and note recognizing that the Andals they invited over to fight as sellswords were the real threat. They only banded together too late. As far as Aegon making an alliance with Harren- why? Aegon had no interest in alliances. His whole mantra was "one kingdom, one king". You don't make alliances with those you rule as if they were peers and not subjects.
  10. Hammers1895

    How powerful are the Royces?

    The hairy bear- I certainly can't argue with the Crownlands (Velaryon vs. Massey) or Westerlands assumptions (who knows between Lefford, Lydden, Marbrand, Crakehall, Prester, Estren, etc. etc.). I was supposing the Lannister branch of Lannisport as being powerful in their own right by the very that they control the city of Lannisport and therefore should be able to muster significant manpower if/when needed, whether at the behest of their liege lords or otherwise. I based Swann on (which you agreed with) the basis that we as readers are told repeatedly of the power of the Marcher lords. Seeing as Caron has bee replaced by Foote, I picked Swann (could have just as easily been Dondarrion I guess). Only one I will defend totally is Riverlands, Their status before the series began, and their ascent during, can lead you to know other conclusion that they were the 2nd most powerful family in the Riverlands before ASOIAF, and now, they are THE most powerful house in the region. They can raise the most troops and control both The Twins and Riverrun.
  11. Hammers1895

    Is House Martell underestimated?

    I think this may have been true when Tywin was alive. He commanded the respect of his bannermen and was a gifted tactician. He wouldn't make the mistake of marching an army into the desert to die of thirst or attempt to secure Dorne as a permanent conquest. But with Tywin dead, I am not sure the Westerlands are a region to fear. They have lost a lot of men during the WOF5K. Jaime would take command of the Westerlands' forces you would assume, if they were ordered mobilized by the Iron Throne, and while he is a very able military man, I don't the the Dornish would give him open battle and any chance to win a potential war by one smashing victory (aka The Trident or Redgrass Field). I think Dorne could survive a war with the Westerlands by doing what they've always done (guerrilla warfare) and just outlast the enemy forces. The Dornish have been waiting for the situation to present itself where they can enact revenge upon the Lannisters, but they need the stars to align properly and most important, they need the right allies. They don't have the numbers or resources to openly go to war with the Iron Throne (which is being mostly propped up by the Lannisters) unless they ally with Aegon or Daenerys.
  12. Hammers1895

    How powerful are the Royces?

    Definitely seems clear that the Royce's are the #2 House in the Vale, using below as soom evidence. No way to know how many soldiers they could put in the field or if they have any strength at sea, but I would not be surprised if we found out they could call between 3,000-5,000 men of their own. Also, we know a smattering of smaller houses/landed knights are sworn to Runestone, who would add their own strength to the Royce's. (We have it in semi-canon sources that houses Coldwater, Shett of Gull Tower and Tollett of Grey Glen are sworn to Runestone). -The Royce's descend from the First Men and have high-level noble pedigree (which above posters correctly stated matters). Reputation is important in this world. They were "Bronze Kings" before the arrival of the Andals, so they have royal history, which only adds to their overall gravitas. -Runestone is known to be a strong castle, so obviously they can afford to construct it/garrison it. -Jon Arryn's 1st wife was a Royce, which would make sense he would marry to the next-strongest house of his region. -Waymar Royce, as the youngest son, was sent to join the NW's, which a noble house/family would not do unless they felt secure in their inheritance (i.e. plenty of healthy sons to inherit lordship of the house). This is a good problem to have. (Which ends up not working all that well as Robar and Waymar are killed in the events of ASOIAF). -Depending on how good their relationship is with the cadet branch, House Royce just got bigger/stronger by the creation of House Royce of the Gates of the Moon (which is non-hereditary at the moment but I could see that changing in time). -The Lords Declarant headquarter themselves at Runestone, which I take to be a show of respect towards Yohn Royce, as he is seen by his peers are the most powerful of their number. Also, House Royce is put forth as the House to foster young Lord Robert Arryn, which only a prestigious house would/could do. He wouldn't be taken in the a lesser house like say the Wydmans or the Ruthermonts. Who would you say are the second-most powerful houses per region at the start of ASOIAF?? Without detailing all evidence for, my list would look like this- The North: Stark, then Manderly The Iron Islands: Greyjoy, then Harlaw of Ten Towers The Vale: Arryn, then Royce The Westerlands: Lannister of Casterly Rock, then Lannister of Lannisport The Reach: Tyrell, then Hightower Dorne- Martell, then Yronwood The Stormlands- Baratheon, then Swann The Crownlands- Royal family (including Dragonstone), then Massey Riverlands: Tully, then Frey
  13. 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!
  14. Hammers1895

    What happened to the Hill Tribes?

    What pictures are you talking about Travis?