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Umber Jack

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  1. ...whatever his reason were, Winterfell would probably have been the better choice. Choose Stannis to "toughen him up" would at best have created another Sam (why not send Robin to Randyll Tarly?), and at worst been his death - the boy's not just "weak", but an epileptic, and Stannis telling him to stop clowning around would not have been the best way to handle a seizure... The Starks on the other hand are presented as the good guys with the most normal way of upbringing children.
  2. Umber Jack

    Moon tea

    ...and obviously, there's no problem in the High Sparrow also using the term. What he intends to say is: "Margaery takes birth control medicine"...
  3. Umber Jack

    Moon tea

    Really interesting discussion, but I think you're mistaken in taking people too literally. We don't know an authentic recipe for "moon tea" as taught at the citadel, nor a scientific treatise on its use and effects. All we have is people claiming to be given "moon tea" by their maesters. I would strongly suspect it being a generic term for every medicine that prevents or aborts pregnancy - I would not think "milk of the poppy" is always opium, either... People in Westeros associate the moon with female fertility and in need for anything related to birth control, would ask their maester or village witch for "moon tea to the purpose of xyz". Nobody would correct them, those who know have an interest in keeping their knowledge secret. It's the same in our world: when reading a medieval text you must not expect the strict terminology of 21st Century scientific literature. In Westeros the situation is even exacerbated by the fact that there's only one university for a whole continent (let's hope there are more citadels in Essos at least). Most people rely on unschooled "medecine men", witches, sage femmes.... who will use their own recipes that they were taught in oral form, or might even have discovered on their own. A compendium of "The Moon Teas of Westeros" would probably included hundreds of different recipes, with very different effects indeed. Also think of traditional kitchen recipes that vary significantly from region to region, often with hardly any similarities left beyond a common name (and maybe one or two ingredients).
  4. Umber Jack

    Atlas of Ice and Fire

    Hi, these maps look great! But they only seem to confirm my suspicion, that there's sth. wrong... Maybe it has been discussed elsewhere before, but: The Arbor exports wine to all the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, there must be many vineyards on the island - hills and valleys in a certain distance from the salty soil of the shoreline. Think not just the city of Bordeaux, but whole Acquitaine. The same island has owned the biggest fleet of Westeros for centuries, further building warships for other armies. This means they must have a lot of wood - huge forests to provide for the shipyards. And thirdly, there needs be good farmland to nourish all those dock workers and sailors. I would conclude, the Arbor should be as big as Ireland, but all maps show it more comparable to Malta (at the most)... What do you think, is this a slip of GRRM? Also, another question: The culture of the Iron Islands is obviously modelled after the Vikings. But if you look at it, they are (almost) on the same longitude as the Riverlands... The stormy, cold, weather of the islands seems a bit out of place. They are not really secluded (like Scandinavia in our world) either, you would think they should have been conquered long ago to stop them from raiding. Why did Martin not place them further North, off the Frozen Shore for example?