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About SeanF

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  • Birthday 08/18/1967

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  1. I think not. Tywin saw a chance to strike at an enemy, and took it. Roose Bolton, and Walder Frey, OTOH, were guilty of treason and (in the case of the latter) breach of guest-right. Most of us would regard the execution of traitors in our own ranks as legitimate, but would not condemn an overt enemy that makes use of such traitors.
  2. It confirms my view that the problem with the Dothraki is that they wage war incessantly. They are not more brutal in war than the average knight. The Dothraki after all, are willing to take bribes, rather than sack cities. They are not averse to ransom. They may not formally engage in trade, but they like money and luxury goods.
  3. Sure, but if you go by her behaviour in a Storm of Swords, where she is more "bloodthirsty", she's not practising anything approaching Bellum Romanum. Meereen was sacked, but only after being taken by storm - standard for this world. Yunkai came to terms, and was not sacked. At Astapor, she targeted male members of the elite, soldiers, and overseers, aged 12 and upwards, ignoring women, girls, the Smallfolk, and elite males aged under 12.
  4. By all means, start a thread, but the peace was at the expense of her people. And, of course, her enemies have summoned a huge armada from Volantis, something they kinda forgot to tell her about. The Green Grace is not an honest broker.
  5. Although Barristan was being manipulated by Skahaz, I'm also convinced that war is quite inevitable, and quite necessary, at this point. It's certainly not reckless. He can't leave an army of occupation outside Meereen, as it waits for reinforcements from Volantis.
  6. FWIW, I think it would be out of character for Dany to deliberately target women and children, on arriving at Westeros. I think she would punish rape and casual murder by her soldiers (aside from sacking a stronghold that resists). I don't think she would issue orders as brutal as those of Tywin or Ser Kevan. But, I don't think she'd have any qualms about sacking strongholds that offer resistance, nor do I expect her to be taking many prisoners. Pledge fealty or die, will likely be the only offer she makes to the people she encounters. Not exactly Bellum Romanum, but still more harsh than Bellum hostile.
  7. Perhaps life in Hizhdahr's household was like Gone with the Wind, before Daenerys showed up.
  8. Come on! He's a big-hearted guy. If you really ask nicely, he won't go ahead with feeding dwarves to lions.
  9. Fortunately, the medievals gave up mass enslavement of defeated enemies in the eleventh century. They even had a term for war without mercy, Bellum Romanum . My guess is that in Westeros, the usual rule is that if a stronghold agrees to surrender on terms, then those terms should be respected (which makes Tywin's sack of Kings Landing so egregious). And, while it's entirely at the discretion of a victor to take prisoners, once he's agreed to do so, it's a matter of honour to keep those prisoners safe, until they're ransomed or exchanged. Hence Robb executed Karstark for the murder of prisoners. Other than that, I think that most lords would take the view that the Smallfolk who are sworn to their enemies are entirely legitimate targets, regardless of age or sex. Murder, rape, arson and pillage of civilians all damage your opponent - by reducing his resources and tax base, terrorising his people, and proving to them that he can't defend them. Ser Davos and Stannis were unusual in thinking it unjust to punish Lord Celtigar's people for his defection. Hoster Tully had no qualms about putting a village to the sword because its lord defied him - something which really upsets Arya when she discovers it (up till then, she thought that only Lannisters committed atrocities).
  10. It's not just European historians. It's Europeans quoting Iranian, Arab, and Chinese chroniclers who recorded the Mongol invasions as a thing of horror. They recorded tales of gutters running with melted human fat; pyramids of thousands of heads; cities reduced to ash, with their populations exterminated. There were no records kept by Hsi Hsia, because Hsi Hsia ceased to exist. No doubt these tales grew in the telling, but there are also grim contemporary records. The most notable is the population of Northern China falling from 30m in 1211, to 9m in 1241, according to their censuses. The Mongols were certainly far more than mindless barbarians. Theirs was a sophisticated society, and religiously tolerant. Genghis Khan was a political and military genius, who had a real talent for picking brilliant generals, like Subedei and Mukhali. But, they were utterly ruthless. One quote I love from Sir Steven Runciman "He had a genuine love of learning, and was always ready to spare a scholar's life. Unfortunately, few of his victims got close enough to him to demonstrate their scholarship."
  11. In practice, far more people have died at the wrong end of sword or machete, than at the wrong end of a Weapon of Mass Destruction. That's why I cited the examples I did. An Lushan killed around one sixth of the world's population, at the time.
  12. Trying to draw a big moral distinction between people who kill up close and personal, and people who use WMD is pretty futile, IMHO. In real life the Mongols, the An Lushan rebels, the Khmer Rouge, the Interahamwe, and the Taiping were the most destructive killers, relative to the populations they were fighting, and they killed their victims up close and personal. Dead is dead.
  13. Everyone takes it for granted that Stannis' army will go on the rampage if it takes Kings Landing, despite him being one of the more humane commanders (and realistically, no medieval commander could restrain an army that stormed a city). The Lannisters' strategy in the Riverlands is the chevauchee (basically, murder, rape, and arson). The Northern and River Lords are almost as brutal in return. The Dornish lords seem to treat torture as a form of recreation etc. What's worse about the Dothraki is that their wars are never ending. There aren't any periods of peace on the Dothraki Sea. But, I don't see their behaviour in war as being that out of the ordinary for this world.
  14. In all this discussion, the irony is that the Flower of Chivalry of Westeros can be just as savage as any Dothraki. The only difference is that they have coats of arms.
  15. No one could say that Arya and Sansa are in a good place right now. Arya is being drawn into a murderous cult, Sansa is in danger of becoming Littlefinger's accomplice. I have huge sympathy for the pair of them, and I hope they are both able to break free, but both are in danger of losing their moral compass.
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