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Bright Blue Eyes

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Everything posted by Bright Blue Eyes

  1. Bright Blue Eyes

    The food of the Asoiaf world, and the lack of potato

    Unlikely. GRRM places his words very carefully and (among others purposes) creates a deliberately archaic dialect, well-suited to a pseudo 15th-century.
  2. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Foreigners at least three months away, that is. No way to reach them, without expending a lot of the food they lack. The problem isn't winter. Far from it. That's actually a boon, as you said. The problem is transport in general. Draft animals can only transport so much cargo so far per day - while eating their cargo. The diminishing returns are real tight on that. Ships are the solution - but for that you need ports (like Eastwatch), either on the coast or on the bigger rivers.
  3. Bright Blue Eyes

    What if Domeric Bolton lived?

    Not disputing that per se - but Theon wouldn't even think that choice up.
  4. Bright Blue Eyes

    What if Domeric Bolton lived?

    Theon would never murder "Bran" and "Rickon" while in Winterfell. He did that due to Ramsay's urging. Nor would Domeric attack Ser Rodrick Cassel. Therefore, Ser Rodrick and Domeric would relieve Deepwood Motte, maybe taking Asha prisoner on top of Theon. And utterly humiliating Balon, regardless of Asha. While Bran sends reinforcements south as Robb requires them. And Robett Glover (or whomever Robb put in command of his eastern host) would align the BWB with the Northmen/Riverlords instead of forcing a confrontation, pressing Tywin hard, maybe trapping him against Edmure after Stonemill. No emotional breakdown at the Crag for Robb either.
  5. Bright Blue Eyes

    What if Domeric Bolton lived?

    Would Stannis or Robb take KL? And when is Tywin's head ending up on a pike? Would Jon Snow or Theon Greyjoy be elected Lord Commander of the NW? Those are the questions. Roose and Ramsay are (directly or indirectly) responsible for about 99% of the northern (non-NW) and central Westerosi storyline since late Game. All of it to the detriment of the Starks. Without them, all of it would have to be revised into a positive direction.
  6. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Sorry, but you're utterly wrong. Those are (modern) barges: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barge#/media/File:Barge_on_River_Thames,_London_-_Dec_2009.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:P√©nicheRecyclageFerrailles2008De√Ľle2.jpg Not exactly small. Furthermore, we know what the main trading ship of Westeros is: the cog, with a cargo capacity of about 100 tons. Cogs plied both the open seas and the rivers, being about the same size as river barges. Just more expensive, with masts and rigging and keel, compared to the horse- or oxen-drawn river barges.
  7. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Yes, it is a road connecting Winterfell to Castle Black. To a strictly military castle without any economic value. That's why no merchants use it. That's why it's not settled from begnning to end. That's why Jon and Tyrion don't see anybody close by. Last Hearth or the Dreadfort are economic powerhouses. They trade with Winterfell. The population clusters around their roads to Winterfell. The big roads actually used. Travelling through the Neck isn't important for the Northmen. There is no non-negligible trade happening there. Nor does the North regularly invade the South. The causeway and the Kingsroad is a useless piece of work and a military liability. Nor can it be artificial. Artificial causeways are expensive. Both to build and to maintain. And maintaining them requires a sizeable population close enough to do the work. A sizeable population not shown to be in existence. We've got maps for the North, including the Kingsroad. No sharp turns anywhere, it's a straight beeline to Castle Black. Furthermore, the Nightfort was only abandoned during Jaehaerys' reign, as stated straight in the text. It's about 99% likely that Queen Alysanne followed the then-road to the Wall. She'd have no other choice than to navigate by landmarks, having neither GPS nor sextant. Early pilots did just the same, following roads (or railways) as much as possible and using towns to alter direction.
  8. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    The Kingsroad from Winterfell to Castle Black is post-Jaehaerys. It doesn't follow the logical route Winterfell-Queenscrown-Nightfort, as it would have earlier. Nor does it connect to Last Hearth or the Dreadfort. The southern part of it is just as impractical. Neither Barrowton nor White Harbor connected to it, just a road through nowhere right up until the White Knife. The causeway is mostly natural. Probably originally the watershed between the Bite and the Sunset Sea.
  9. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Nobody, absolutely nobody, ships food by land. It is simply not possible for a wagon team to deliver any cargo they wouldn't eat up on a trip one twentieth the length.
  10. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    If there is a trade route, people make money from it. Especially innkeepers, blacksmiths, farriers and wheelwrights. And they settle on the trade route. With full-sized towns to follow soon after. Greywater Watch is about 20-30 miles from the Kingsroad.. The Twins are about 100 miles from the Kingsroad. But apparently the Freys shovel in the tariffs from the bridge the road doesn't pass while the Reeds get nothing from the causeway the Kingsroad does use. Doesn't that strike you as odd? The Twins feature the only bridge to pass from the Cape of Eagles, Seagard, Hag's Mire, Oldstones and everything in between to the eatern side of the Trident. That's an area of about 100,000 square miles, About twice the size of England. Of course there is trade.in that area. Doesn't need to go anywhere else.
  11. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Where are the merchants on the road? Where are the inns? The blacksmiths, wheelwrights, farriers? Where are the towns? Where does House Reed grow rich from the tarrifs? No, trade to and from the North happens in the Bite, and maybe up the Saltspear to Barrowton. The Freys are still firmly in the Riverlands, basically the entire East-West-trade of the northern Riverlands got to cross their bridge. The Twins are almost 100 miles west of the Kingsroad anyway.
  12. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Which main road? The Kingsroad is an artificial, superficial construct connecting ... nothing much. There is no trade through the Neck, nor does the Neck itself trade. The southern transportation venues are the White Knife and the stretch Winterfell-Barrowtown. The Kingsroad is a useless piece of real estate, built solely for Targaryen PR.
  13. Bright Blue Eyes

    Ranks of nobility in Westeros - Dukes, counts and barons in all but name

    It's not a perfect fit, far from it, but it's basically the only one. Unless you truly want to go the 19th century. Duke doesn't fit, because of the association to (mostly) english history, small territory, still very dependant on the king instead of being basically sovereign rulers - and Archduke doesn't fit because it's a purely habsburgian term, disregarding real power structures, and closely tied to the ruling dynasty without sovereign policy. As you say, kings under a common emperor would fit better. Or the generic princes. Or electors. But no variant of duke.
  14. Bright Blue Eyes

    Ranks of nobility in Westeros - Dukes, counts and barons in all but name

    Several Great Councils disagree. Westeros resembles the stronger periods of the HRE, not the weak emperors you refer to. But the true kicker is the independence the Lords Paramounts show. And of course that "Grand Duke" is not a medieval title. Up until Napoleon rubberstamped a bunch of those, only the Grand Duke of Tuscany existed. Neither would "Archduke" help, because that applied solely to members of the Habsburgs, not to the more indepent electors or other important rulers.
  15. Bright Blue Eyes

    Ranks of nobility in Westeros - Dukes, counts and barons in all but name

    Works for me, in general. The specifics are way more complicated though. I's rather use "Elector" for the Lords Paramounts, due to the Seven Kingdoms more closely resembling the HRE, and a bunch on details down below. "Master of XY" lacks the lordly right of pits and gallows (and some additional ones), tying them closer to their liege. In the South, they would be called by their knightly title, with the masterly one being just a backup, but the Northmen lack knights. A household knight is a younger son of a landed knight or a Lord, who got the full education, training and initial equipment, but not the lands snce those went to his big brother. Instead he takes service (elsewhere) and gets his bills paid that way. Knights being made knights for bravery exist, but are exceedingly rare.
  16. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    "Close by" meaning less than 500 meters. And they still get raided. Apart from the 90+% not having a keep close by.
  17. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    "A village of 50-100 men" is a well-sized town. Those were rare even in central Europe.
  18. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Well, yes, they are a threat to royal power. So what? Nothing new about that. Westeros doesn't have the infrastructure for absolutism. Yes, the Wildlings raid into the North sometimes. So what? So did the Schinderhannes - and he lived in the late 18th century in central Germany.
  19. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Spot on. Just check D&E for the use of castles in Westeros. With slightly different outcome, Standfast would have been sieged. And yes, there are castles all over Westeros, tens of thousands of them. Like Standfast. Or Queenscrown. Or LF's tower. Or the abandoned one where Ser Armory Lorch sieges the NW. Yes, there are. Yes, the wildling "threat" was basically a joke. Not for the first poor schmocks to be raped and murdered on their farms, but for the North itself.
  20. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Indeed. That is the 17th century they didn't survive. But Westeros got no foundries at Stockholm nor an Gustav II Adolf or Lennart Torstensson to turn a bunch of glorified drainage pipes into an actual artillery corps.
  21. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    They very, very rarely survived the 17th century, when they ultimately lost their function. Maintaining them isn't even on the same page as building them, by the way. Unless you are paying taxes by the size of the roof like in 16th and 17th Europe., which was kinda the reason they first lost their roofs and later turned into ruins. And they are very useful in case of angry peasants.
  22. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Definitely not for showing of their wealth. Those castles have an immense military value, that's the reason they were built.
  23. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Don't believe me if you wish to. But don't complain about the illogic of your assumptions or claim that the actual descriptions we witness in one PoV after another are less reliable than an old man's unsupported fairy tale. And please don't accuse me of calling GRRM a liar. Because he isn't and I didn't. He's a good writer, who writes limited perspective PoVs colored by their own subjective experiences and emotions, not an objective account.
  24. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Merribald is a liar. Not through any ill intent, but because he never was a soldier and presents camp followers and soldiers as just the same. In the Dunk&Egg stories, Osgrey got exactly one soldier and he is named Dunk. His lands have been cut down so severely, he can't form a proper knightly lance anymore and would ultimately loose his status. Commoners are not conscripted. Never were. There is a layered (tax) structure. Layer zero are the ordinary peasants, not allowed to carry arms, paying like 50% of their income in taxes and still having to serve a couple weeks per year as labor force on the Lord's property, as well as having limited rights, like being unable to represent themselves in court. Layer one are the prospering franklins, yeomen and the like. Paying like 10% in taxes, can represent themselves in court, stuff like that. Why do they have so many privileges over the ordinary peasants? Because they have to equip themselves for battle (with said equipment, expensive as it is) and serve the Lord on campaign, for a given amount of time per year. Layer two are the actual nobility, landed knights and such. Paying zero taxes (neglecting scutage and tariffs and such), instead receiving taxes from their lands, can represent themselves in court, represent the peasants of their lands in court, judging non-capital crimes committed by peasants on their lands. And having to serve the Lord on campaign or at court and in administration, for a given amount of time per year, with a full knightly lance of a knight, a squire, a given amount of archers, a given amount of billmen, drawn from the franklins and yeomen of their lands. Layer three are the Lords. Paying zero taxes, receiving taxes both from their own lands and the landed knights holding lands from them, all the privileges of the landed knights, can judge capital crimes committed on their lands and the lands of their landed knights, but got to provide an army suitable for their lands when their own Lord calls. If you don't want to fight: go down to being a peasant. May bite you when the tax collector comes and you can't even go to court. Your choice. Cities were a somewhat different matter though, with the city militia being formed by the prosperous artisans, but equipped from city taxes. Cities belonged to a different economic system, being way more money-based and thus actually capable of paying a significant amount of taxes in coin instead of sacks of grain or hours of labor.
  25. Bright Blue Eyes

    How rich are the Starks pre series

    Yes, that equipment was incredible expensive. Yes, only an incredibly low portion of "commoners" (free men, franklins, yeomens,...) could afford to buy that kind of equipment? Yes, that incredibly low portion was the only portion of the population ever drafted, making up 100% of the armed forces, together with the nobles themselves.
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