Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Fjodrik

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Rise and fall of the great powers

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. So is, really, the the idea of discrete "state types" (eg, most absolutist monarchies retained some parts of feudalism). Or, rather, they are models. However, a progression that isn't bullshit is the move towards (1) well-defined territorial states with an (2) abstract, rather than personal ruler and (3) supreme access to resources. This makes the comparison between Westeros and Europe quite difficult. Despite obvious feudalism, Westeros has a lot of early modern traits (which is, at times, a bit difficult to explain). The series finale was, of course, a bit silly and a bit naïve, but I think idea of an elected king was a good move. There will, of course, still be a game of thrones, but since there is bound to be an election ever so often, I believe the reasons for a total, destructive war will be less. You cannot rule out the power play, maybe not even wars, but you can make the conflict less destructive, build institutions that will survive it etc. (I don't understand why the council accepted to elect someone from another kingdom as king, though, or why the Starks were given three seats in the Great Council).
  2. I'm enjoying it right now. Embarrassed to say, I haven't read it before.
  3. I think Niall Ferguson has an elegant explanation:
  4. Indeed. I've always considered the size of Westeros to be a design mistake that GRRM was unable to renege on, but quite frequently gloss over (D&D even more so). (In 1814, as the age of absolutism drew it's last breaths, my town didn't send any representatives to the national assembly where our national Constitution was written, because the winter was cold and the fjord froze. This was about 400 air kilometers away, or, the length of the Wall. Might have been different with ravens.) Westeros is far too big, but remarkably culturally coherent: One language, stable religions even with a very weak religious authority, almost identical political structure in most of the kingdoms, identical traditions and so on. It's almost like you've had absolutism already.
  5. I totally agree. In a way, you have a kind of absolutism when the ruler have enough firepower to take on everyone else alone. Worst case, Daenerys could rule from Dragonstone demanding that all high lords bend the knee under the constant threat of dragonfire. She could use this power to build up a system for promulgating law and claiming taxes, paving the way for a stable absolutist rule in Westeros. Until Drogon dies. Better yet, perhaps, to make sure there are some form of "consent". An emperor elected by the high nobility is one route. A more strategic route might be to have some kind of diet/parliament of high and lesser houses, agreeing to taxes and war (and so on). We need to break the power of the high lords. But remember, while absolutism was a success in continental Europe, it did not work well in the Ottoman Empire, or Russia, in the long run. While the absolutist kingdoms of Europe were stable, this was because it enabled the rulers to command large(r) resources in order to go to war (eg. Sweden and Preussen). In Europe, the absolutist kingdoms fought each other (small-scale warfare) and had the constant threat from the east. So: You can't assume that the (western) European way is the "golden way to peace and prosperity".
  6. Fjodrik

    What Is Left to Rule?

    A divided Westeros might be a good idea. The viable futures are either that, an elected regent or some kind of domination by the strongest power.
  7. Fjodrik

    [Beware- SPOILERS] Regarding Jon Snow

    It is not about "modern day democracy". The problem in Westeros is how to stabilize an empire won by conquest. It would be worth looking into some way of giving the real powers (ie, the noble families) some real influence, so we could somehow lessen the stakes in the game of thrones. A council institution is a place to start. Take a look at the dano-norwegian "Håndfestning" (1449-1660).