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Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

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    Most Devious 'Man' In The Seven Kingdoms
  • Birthday 11/25/1982

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    Definitely somewhere in King's Landing

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  1. Lord Varys

    What to ask GRRM?

    They could make the second volume of FaB 'Blood and Fire' and reveal that those are the words of House Blackfyre ;-).
  2. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    From what can draw from the Citadel chapter, it seems most exams are done orally (Pate doesn't recall anything about written exams) or by doing certain actions - opening a corpse, doing stuff with the ravens, demonstrating certain skills. It may be different when you do higher mathematics, learn dead or foreign languages, or do other very specialized research. Lecturing as such might be tedious for some, but it is also the privilege and duty of sitting professors, so one imagines especially the more nerdy archmaesters would just take on their regalia (we know they lecture with ring and rod and mask) and give their talk, not caring all that much whether those in attendance care or understand what's going on. And I don't think they have to give any classes or sit in many department meetings and the like. Your Yandel implies that there are staffs of maesters in service at the Citadel, so they would do all the various assistant jobs graduate and undergraduate students would do in the real world. Giving classes - and doing in general things the archmaesters do not want to do - would be part of that work. Overall, I think we should not assume that there is much an archmaester has to do, considering the Citadel started as a zoo. Marwyn pursues a very obscure subjects, and should have not many students. If an archmaester is incapacitated or otherwise away then a maester (like Gormon) steps in for him, if the need arises (and chances are that little to no such need arose while Marwyn was away, considering that most maesters do not like magic all that much). Personal patronage should play a crucial role, too. While the Citadel seems to make a revenue by getting money for the maesters it provides, a good chunk of the money financing it should still come from the Hightowers, so if the Lord of Oldtown has found another pet that this guy will be allowed to do whatever he wants to do. I think Gormon taking over for Walgrave is a sign that Gormon is effectively Walgrave's successor. He is another expert on ravens, with as many or more links on that subject as Walgrave himself. Another archmaester - in my understanding - would be another nerd in his chosen field of study, and completely incapable of giving a proper lecture in a field he doesn't care about. As for the metals - perhaps the maesters do know more metals than were known in our middle ages? They most definitely know quicksilver, could be they also know some of the more esoteric precious metals like rhodium, iridium, palladium, etc., not to mention some of those we more used in manufacturing - osmium, wolfram, etc. The reason why George doesn't mention any such names might very well have to do with the fact that they don't sound like stuff you read about in a fantasy series. See above my thoughts on Gormon. Would like to add that the history of the Grand Maester as laid out in the excerpt very much implies we should only get archmaesters for a Grand Maester. Aegon I wanted one of the Conclave when he created that office, so Gormon being the main candidate for Pycelle's successor back in ASoS implies that Gormon is essentially already treated Walgrave's successor (possibly even attending the Conclave in Walgrave's stead) - they just haven't granted him the title yet, as to not insult or humiliate the old man. I don't think we have any reason to believe that there was a Grand Maester who didn't serve as archmaester prior to that, no?
  3. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    It doesn't sound like university, though. And the thing is ad hoc explanation to explain away something which would otherwise be a mistake ;-). George really created a university vibe in the Citadel chapters in AFfC, with various types of students - and various points in their career - and that also extends to 'the professor'. One should also keep in mind that the Citadel was founded as a zoo for, well, nerd to the entertainment of a disabled Hightower. They also make revenues now with their whole maester education program, one assumes, but the archmaesters still seem to be nerds who have found a place where they can escape the real world and pursue their pet interests. My impression is that the archmaesters are sitting professors with a staff of other scholarly maesters serving them, whereas the Seneschal - chosen each year from among the archmaesters - serves in a Dean-like capacity, overseeing/managing the entire Citadel. There is no need for different 'department heads' as such, considering the Citadel shouldn't be all that large.
  4. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    But do we really assume she is just of the opinion that the Baratheons have sufficient Targaryen blood to be able to influence their overall character? People hardly run around and essentially make up relations between noble houses and then call that their opinion. The opinion part is the judgment part that the Targaryen blood is responsible for the bad character traits of the Baratheons, not necessarily that these two houses are closely related to each other. What means proof in this context? You would certainly agree with me that in-world the true parentage of Cersei's children is also only a rumor outside the very elite circle of people knowing the truth (basically just Jaime and Cersei - everybody else has just their word or Stannis' word on the matter). A historian writing on the War of the Five Kings would likely - at least at the point where we are right now - only refer to 'rumors' claiming that King Robert's children are not his. George really exercises this thing with Rhaenyra's sons and Addam/Alyn of Hull. Somebody fathered them, but who is never going to be known (unless Bran tells us). The only difference between those examples and Orys Baratheon seems to be that we don't have the details of the rumor that he is Lord Aerion's son. If we knew more one could make up one's own mind whether to believe the rumors - like people can do in the case of the Hull boys and the strong lads - or whether one discards them. It would be interesting to see whether the rumors around Orys are as outlandish as those around Selyse, Patches, and Shireen, or whether they are more informed like the ones perpetrated by Mushroom or even whoever spread the rumors about Rhaenys and the singers. And if the historian writing things isn't sure whether something is a rumor or a fact, then the scales move more towards the 'fact side' than the 'rumor side'. Gyldayn certainly knows how to dismiss rumors he considers to be completely outlandish. Completely missed the archmaester thing: While it makes sense that various archmaester (candidate maesters) would have sufficient knowledge to serve in various archmaester positions, one would assume that such archmaesters actually doing that would have multiple rings, rods, and masks (although one assumes they would only wear multiple rings and rods at the same time, not the masks). And proper, well, academic procedure - which can to be expected from an archmaester like Gyldayn - would press him to actually mention it when this was the case. The idea that they chair as archmaester only for a limited time doesn't sit well with me, considering George already had the Dean parallel there with office of the Seneschal who is chosen annually - and that's not a position anybody craves. The archmaesters are all nerds obsessed with their various hobby horses, and chances are not that big that they want to suddenly change gears and do, read, or lecture about topics they don't care all that much about. Also, it makes little sense to mark or characterize an archmaester by his ring, rod, and mask if he can and does arbitrarily change that. Nobody would care that anybody was professor of this or that if he was professor of something else tomorrow. But this causes the interesting conundrum what is right there if this was a mistake - the appendix of AFfC or FaB ;-)?
  5. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    But that it is not enough to really justify Olenna talking about their Targaryen blood 250 years later. Alyssa Velaryon herself had Valyrian looks, but not exactly all that much Targaryen blood considering it is confirmed her mother wasn't a Targaryen, which makes Aenys and Alyssa actually closer cousins on the Velaryon side of the family than on the Targaryen - and the same goes for Corlys and Rhaenys later on. We don't even know how closely Valaena and Aethan were related. If they are from two different branches of House Velaryon then Alyssa may in fact have no or only very distant Targaryen ancestors. I didn't forget them. I think she may be exaggerating there, although I'm sure Olenna Redwyne certainly also had something to do with the Daeron thing. I mean, one cannot see her being involved in something and not playing a crucial part in whatever happens ;-). But she doesn't have a reason to play up the Targaryen blood of the Baratheons if they actually have pretty much none. Or at least much less than the Plumms, Martells, Penroses, etc.
  6. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    Those Hand jokes are really, well, obvious. One can see that as a reference to Jaime, but then, any man who thinks of himself as a great warrior who lacks a hand and is supposed to serve in an office that's called 'the Hand' is going to feel as if somebody is trying to make fun of him... I actually wonder if Orys Baratheon is actually ever mentioned or properly discussed in the main series? We have the appendix of AGoT, of course, partially repeated in the appendix of ADwD, but that isn't exactly all that much an in-world source, is it? While Orys is never mentioned as such in the ASoIaF main text, Lady Olenna makes a queer reference here: Considering Olenna's age and the fact that her experience with Baratheons should not be limited to Steffon Baratheon and his sons - who inherited their fresh dose of Targaryen blood from Princess Rhaelle - this seems to be a remark that the house as such is seen to be of Targaryen descent. We do know no Targaryen actually married into the main branch of House Baratheon aside from Princess Rhaelle. There is a small chance, one imagines, that Egg's sisters Daella or Rhae married Lyonel's eldest son - whose son could then be Ormund Baratheon if the man was Lyonel's grandson as seems to be the case. A similar thing could also work with Vaella the Simple, but that's really it. The only confirmed marriage between Houses Baratheon and Targaryen at this point are Jocelyn and Aemon, and their line continued House Velaryon, not House Targaryen or House Baratheon. And if Aerea or Rhaella had married Boremund we would most likely know that, too. Then Borros would have likely aimed for the Iron Throne himself rather than just liking it that both sides were courting him. That throws us back to the idea that Orys Baratheon was indeed Aerion Targaryen's son - which would mean all the Baratheons are a cadet branch of House Targaryen from the start. How those 'rumors' about Lord Aerion and Orys actually sound like would be a very interesting thing. They would have to be contemporary rumors involving Lord Aerion and Orys' mother considering the fact that Orys didn't have Valyrian looks (aside from the possibility of his black eyes being the usual 'very dark purple' ;-)). Just because Orys was Aegon's best friend and childhood companion doesn't make him his half-brother. If George ever came around to flashing out the Targaryens on Dragonstone the mystery around Orys Baratheon would most likely have to be resolved one way or another. Or rather: We would get much closer to 'the truth' than we are right now... And considering that Renly's remarks here are blatantly false (although not the one about only the maesters caring about any of that - that one is very true in-world - this obsession with claims and precedents and customs we all show when discussing stuff like that would make us look like utter fools if we actually lived in Westeros ;-)). George himself closed the door on those blood ties between Baratheon and Targaryen, especially those involving second sons and elder daughters. A semblance of that could be saved if some Targaryen-Velaryons or Targaryen-Hightowers or even Targaryen-Penroses end up marrying into House Baratheon, but that would scarcely help with the thing. One really has to take a step back and actually consider that these people aren't really all that obsessed with their family trees are real world nobles are - or at least should be, if they live up to the cliché.
  7. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    Yeah, but that's far too, well, convenient a *funny story* to not give me the bone I craved for soo long a time ;-). I should really show up in an ape costume wearing a crown at some con. But the subtle twist I really want to see there is that Axell himself is both the fool and the ape - the fool for telling a story that he may have wanted to be based on facts (it could have worked just as well to tell the story that Queen Visenya once had a fool and then replaced him with an ape wearing the fool's clothes) and the ape because he actually does nothing but ape Melisandre and Selyse - the best example for that being the references to the 'visions' he claims to have, etc. But perhaps I'm far too obsessed with this tiny little detail. Oh, I think we really made too much about what your exact wording was there, imagining/thinking that there effectively was no Small Council prior to Jaehaerys I - which really never made all that much sense, especially in light of Aenys' Great Council idea.
  8. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    Not necessarily, or are you certain that Jaehaerys I had only Rogar Baratheon, Septon Barth, Ryam Redwyne, Prince Baelon, and Otto Hightower as Hands? I expect King Aenys didn't name a new Hand after the murder of Murmison. The man was fleeing for his life and then he grew ill and died. Maegor also may have had other priorities than naming a Hand while he was personally fighting his wars. This is not a time where the Handship was yet as important as I think it was later under Aerys II ;-). Especially since Maegor could heavily rely on his mother Visenya to act in a Hand-like capacity for him and was also supported by Alys and Tyanna. Under Aegon the power structure at court was still different. The king had co-rulers in Rhaenys and Visenya, and the Hand and the other advisers were serving them more or less collectively. The queens were not just consorts and advisers to Aegon I, they shared his rule with him. And while Visenya no longer had the same influence under King Aenys, she was still pretty powerful (organizing the campaigns to put down the rebels, for instance), and she wielded all her old power - or even more - in the first two years of Maegor's reign. Until Maegor married Tyanna and Visenya removed herself to Dragonstone.
  9. Lord Varys

    FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT

    That excerpt settles a number of issues: 1. KL grew enormously fast and prosperity ruled there since, well, the beginning. The fact that it actually grew into a small town during the Wars of Conquest before Aegon even declared that KL would be his new royal seat (and before it was clear that he would win his wars) is a strong sign how popular the Targaryens were with the commoners from the start. The fast growth in the first three decades would indicate that there was a massive rural exodus - away from the lords and into the city of the dragons - because KL offered the liberty, prosperity, and safety that was not be had under the yoke of the lords. 2. We finally have all the Hands of Aegon I - Orys Baratheon (2 BC-7 AC), Edmyn Tully (7-9 AC), Alton Celtigar - possibly the son of Crispian Celtigar, the first Master of Coin - (9-17 AC), Osmund Strong (17-34 AC), and Alyn Stokeworth (34-37 AC). I find the tidbit about Edmyn Tully especially touching, considering the man actually lives by Family, Duty, Honor. He apparently understood what that meant, unlike another lord of the same house going by the name of Hoster. Also, I'd like to applaud @Ran and @Linda for the way they sort of got the Hand thing into TWoIaF - by mentioning crucial houses supplying Hands in the early years as houses who were very influential at court (at least I assume that's why they put that in there ;-)). 3. The origin of the office of Grand Maester clarifies something of importance - the fact that the Grand Maester actually (usually) is an archmaester - or originally was a member of the Conclave. That may help put to rest certain ideas that Pycelle isn't one of the most learned maesters the Citadel has to offer (although it seems that in later years the Conclave didn't always choose one of their own members to be Grand Maester). We also learn that a house can employ more than just one maester and that the Targaryens had maesters on Dragonstone at least since the days of Lord Daemion. 4. The sentence about the Small Council implies that our idea based on TWoIaF that the Small Council was only formed by Jaehaerys I was actually false. The institution of the Small Council as such only came 'into its full bloom' during the reign of the Conciliator - which makes sense in the sense that Jaehaerys I really had the time to really allow his advisers to actually define and properly fill out their various offices and the Small Council as such to evolve. It also fits with the fact that Aegon I is the first guy to create key offices of the Small Council as well as King Aenys' later notion to call a 'Great Council' to discuss the issue of the rebels. That always implied Aenys knew what 'a Great Council' was - which only makes sense if the king's standard council was in fact already known as 'the Small Council' and people at court knew why that was. The first Great Council took place in 101 AC, but kings and court and lords knew before what 'a Great Council' would be - an assembly of as many lords of the Realm as would care to attend. 5. It is implied that in those days septons played important roles at court - both in KL and on Dragonstone (although Aegon didn't rely on them much). That's something that can, perhaps, explain the rise of Septon Murmison to the position of Hand (he may have been on Aenys' council even before he rose to that high position). 6. The story of Lord Monkeyface and his successor, the ape, seems to be the truth behind Ser Axell's fabled story about the Ape Prince (a guy I wanted to know stuff about since, well, forever, as anyone who reads my stuff can testify). The light the truth behind that story casts on our poor Axell shows how, well, foolish the man actually is. Nobody ever claimed he was a historian, but to butcher a story to this degree is really telling. 7. The tidbit about Visenya the kinslayer and kingslayer is clearly the root for TWoIaF speculation that Visenya may have killed King Aenys. @Ran once said, if I recall correctly, that he didn't know where exactly the tidbit about Visenya-Aenys came from (when we discussed TSotD and such rumors were not mentioned in there). While one could read the next paragraph in a way indicating Visenya may have killed Aegon I, that's not a given and doesn't make much sense considering that Visenya was in KL when Aegon died, not with him on Dragonstone (Maegor would be a much more likely culprit for a hypothetical murder of Aegon considering he was on Dragonstone when his father died). But a stroke is a stroke (although it is likely not impossible to cause a stroke using a spell or other magic). But in the end - plotting against/murdering Aegon's eldest son and chosen heir (and helping to kill Aegon's grandson(s)) is as much a betrayal of Aegon's cause and legacy as would be a plot to murder Aegon himself. It also fits the text we are given, and it would indeed be very tragic if Visenya actually was involved in Aenys' death - but we'll never know if she was. I don't really believe she was involved in that one right now - but it is certainly clear that TSotD gives Visenya both motive and opportunity to kill her nephew, whereas both motive and opportunity seem to be (much more) lacking in the case of Aegon I.
  10. Lord Varys

    Small Questions v. 10105

    Well, if we go with the small host idea, then Ned may have told them to go back to KL when he entered Dorne. Later still he wouldn't have taken the infant back to his men but would have taken the child with Howland (and whoever else was at the tower, possibly Wylla) to Starfall. Chances are that he was assisted in this by some Dornishmen, perhaps commoners, perhaps people from the castles and keeps in the region. Even if they made their way alone they would have been watched and observed. There should be people there who know - more or less - what transpired there. The crucial thing is to keep Lyanna Stark's child and Eddard Stark's bastard separate - something I think was accomplished by Ned making 'Jon Snow' younger than Lyanna's child and by not actually revealing he had a bastard until such a time as the Lyanna situation was taken care of (i.e. Ned had talked to Robert and other people at court about what had happened at the tower and to Lyanna). I also expect that Lyanna's pregnancy not unknown or not unsuspected. Rhaegar had basically no reason to keep it a secret. That means that Ned could have revealed a lot about the tower aside from the fact that Lyanna delivered a living child. He could have told everyone she died in childbirth delivering a stillborn daughter, say, or that she died due to complications following a miscarriage. That wouldn't have been uncommon. How 'dangerous' 'Jon Snow' actually is is a completely different thing. The child is only relevant as a possible claimant if it was known that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married and that marriage was seen as a proper marriage (I think this was known and that this is the explanation why Ned made the child his bastard rather than raising him as Lyanna's bastard - a bastard wouldn't have been a threat to Robert). Then there are the looks of the child. It doesn't look like a Targaryen, so the fact that it was born far away from court (and thus away from any member of the royal family who could have acknowledged it as Rhaegar's son and King Aerys II's grandson) also greatly reduces the chance that the child is ever going to become a pretender to the throne. All Ned needed to do was to tell the world the story that the child was his bastard. It looked like him, not like Rhaegar, so this was a believable story. And from there it is remarkably easy to actually to get people to swallow this cover story, even if they all have suspicions. A prince who doesn't know he is a prince is no prince at all, and nobody is going to see a prince in a bastard - especially not a bastard who doesn't look like a prince should look like. Challenging Ned Stark's word on this would be challenging the Lord of Winterfell. Very few people would do that, and especially Robert had no reason doing so - assuming he suspected anything.
  11. Lord Varys

    Small Questions v. 10105

    I'd like to know that, too. For the time being I presuppose Ned did actually travel with a larger party, especially since his seven guys wouldn't have been able to convince Mace Tyrell and his lords to yield - or rather they may have been if Mace and his buddies were willing to yield, yet it would be utter madness and stupidity to confront assembled lords and knights of the Reach with just seven guys, especially after what had just transpired in KL. Aerys' murder and the Sack clearly had the potential to inspire a prolongation of the war, just as the murder of Rhaenyra did back during the Dance. I don't think Ned would have taken his army but a couple hundred men, perhaps, and he may have decided to rely only on his six companions when he was close to the tower and knowing/suspecting what to expect there. An interesting scenario could be that Ned actually met with and treated with certain Dornish lords in the Prince's Pass who then pointed him to the tower he was looking for, but refused to permit his host/army to set a foot on Dornish soil.
  12. Lord Varys

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    The particularity seems to be less of an issue in Westeros than it is in our world - when Jaime questions Osmund Kettleblack about his knighthood it doesn't seem likely he can cite any living witnesses for that, either. It doesn't seem to be too unusual a career, however. I meant that land does not necessarily come with a knighthood, and it might be that a landed knight (whose lands are passed on to his eldest son like a proper lordship) is different from just a yeoman or rich merchant or peasant who owns some land and then buys himself (or otherwise acquires) a knighthood. I'm not sure such shenanigans would suddenly make him part of the illustrious club of the actual nobility. If you gain your knighthood by a great lord or king and are then awarded with a tract of land by that lord or king - like Davos is - then you can hope to enter into the club. You certainly can always marry into noble houses (like the Spicers did, who were basically nothing but rich merchants prior to Sybell's marriage to Lord Westerling) but that's a different way of rising higher, and it does not necessarily lead to the father/brother of such a lucky bride to gain titles (one doesn't have to think of Barry Lyndon to know what I mean there ;-)). Uthor is successful at what he does. Dunk is not. Kyle the Cat neither, actually. To follow in Uthor's footsteps one has to have sufficient funds to start a career in addition to proper training at arms, etc. Luck certainly can help you, but if we imagine Uthor as a man starting at the same level as Dunk he would have mostly ended as a beggar in any realistic scenario - he must have had sufficient funds to be able to survive some defeats in the lists but also the occasional loss at wagering. There has to be some difference between household knights and sworn swords. No idea what exactly that is, but it implies a more intimate connection between the household knight and his lord than the sworn sword thing does. The latter is temporary agreement, not to mention far less prestigious in the grand scale of things.
  13. Lord Varys

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    We just don't know what's about right in this regard. The reason that has to give one pause that all that many commoners can afford proper armor, weapons, and horses is the fact that Dunk tells us how long he could live from the coin he got for one of Arlan's horses he sold at Ashford. Granted, rich merchants can even employ knights, so that's no big deal, but we have next to no idea how society is structured on the commoner level. How many wealthy commoners (merchants) are there? How large is the percentage of men who can afford to sell their skills at arms to their betters? We just don't know. Overall one should also keep the fact in mind that war isn't exactly a common occurrence in Westeros since the Conquest. Prior to that a large chunk of the men of fighting age would have been training at arms and actually involve themselves constantly in war, especially those along the borders of the Seven Kingdoms (that would have been especially the case during the reigns of Jaehaerys I and Viserys I). That might also be an explanation why not as many men seem to have fought in the Dance that could have, despite the fact that the population must have increased. The Targaryens commanded the allegiance of the entire continent, and could thus rely on all the lords and knights of the Realm. That makes for tremendous resources even if vast regions decided to demilitarize. Remnants of that are mentioned in TWoIaF with the very strong martial culture (stronger than anywhere else) in the Dornish Marches (both in the Reach and the Stormlands part). Things like that would have been very common in all the other kingdoms. Vice versa, the tower of joy seems to be an abandoned watchtower back from the days when Dorne still had to defend its borders against the Reach. And it is that what gave the Osgreys of old glory and prestige, not so much that they were such a great house back then. They were in charge of the defense of the northern Reach against the Westermen. There is no indication that they were great lords, just that they once fought many a battle and excelled at some of those. But we do know that kings can grant titles and offices without actually giving you a great lordship or even land (e.g. the various courtesy lords on the Small Council or Brynden Tully as Robb's Warden of the Southern Marches, a title that makes him supreme commander of Robb's men in the Riverlands without actually granting him any lands or lordships). In local areas men-at-arms and the like would be needed to keep the peace, and hunt outlaws when the need arose, but vast regions of Westeros would no longer have the same need to prepare for war they did in the old days. Just think about the southern reaches of the North, the north of the Riverlands, the borderlands between the Reach, the West, the Riverlands, and the Stormlands. The only places where men needed to remain as sharp as ever would have been the Dornish Marches (at least until the union), the Vale (due to the clansmen), the northern parts of the North (wildling raids) and in various coastal regions (due to Ironborn raidings and/or other foreign attacks). One assumes that the chivalric culture turned more to the tourney as sport - and the preparation for that - than as a means to use it as a training ground for actual battles. Because in the end - aside from the many Dornish Wars - there was no actual great war of conquest between the Seven Kingdoms and any other nation since the Conquest. All wars they had were civil wars and rebellions, and aside from the Dance and Robert's Rebellion they were pretty one-sided (aside from, perhaps, the first Blackfyre Rebellion).
  14. Lord Varys

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    That was supposed to be irony referring to the fact that the prevalence of youths/children as knights makes it not all that likely that the men counted as men were proper adults. Sure, it is remarked upon as unusual that Tytos Lannister never became a knight. I'm with you that the lesser knights - hedge knights, very poor landed knights, tourney knights, and the like - likely picked their squires the way Ser Arlan did. And, yes, such men most likely did not really their knighthoods unless they did something really noteworthy, courageous, etc. However, the whole romantic aspect of knighthood is really an integral part of the series. A knight can make a knight in this world - and does. We see that with Ser Glendon Ball's knighthood, Osmund Kettleblack's rise to knighthood, Ser Perkin's 'gutter knights', etc. The title of knight as such is separate from lands and wealth and feudal power. The example of Bronn and others also show how men who excel in battle and war are reward with a proper knighthood. However, a knighthood isn't the same as an introduction into the noble class. Only actual landowners can be counted among those. But if we take 'knight' as a military category seriously - meaning a mounted man in proper armor, with an armored war horse and good weaponry - then there is an enormous difference between such proper knights and hedge knights and other men which have nothing besides 'a Ser' before their name.
  15. Lord Varys

    A Family of Caligulas

    Yeah, that's how I remember the footnote, too. Not having the book here right now, I checked on line, and there I only found that the the Patriarch was restored after the October Revolution. Haven't read that one yet, but it would not surprise me if they were. I always wanted to read those, and remember it and the one on Young Stalin in the bookstores when they came out. What I know about Stalin's death is the perfect example of an utterly ridiculous and twisted god-king lickspittle court. If your people let you die because they fear what you would do them knowing they saw you in such a helpless state shows that things cannot be more rotten. Things like that show that the political climate in Russia is vastly to be blamed for the continuation of the autocracy thing. I mean, you cannot really just jump into a more liberal society if there is essentially no basis for that in the society you overthrow.
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