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The hairy bear

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About The hairy bear

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    Honey in the summer air!
  • Birthday 08/28/1980

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    Barcelona
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    Many. A Song of Ice and Fire among them.

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  1. The hairy bear

    Most Powerful Houses- what evidence?

    As far as I know, the tax burden in a medieval economy fell mainly on the heads of the farmers/land owners, and it was calculated on the basis of cultivated acres or agricultural output. Therefore, whether a given noble maintains a fighting force of one hundred or two hundred men would have no effect on the taxes to pay. Even more: perhaps the fact that a noble maintains a higher number of fighting men may allow him to obtain "tax exemptions" from the crown, given that they contribute to the stability of the realm, the defense of their borders, and the troops could be eventually summoned by the king when he calls the banners.
  2. The hairy bear

    Rhaegar's strategic gaffe

    A warhammer blow in the chest is not a quick way to die. As I understand it, the cause of death would be a myocardial contusion, and it may take some painful hours before death. With this in mind, one can picture Rhaegar receiving the dying blow, dismounting/falling from the horse, agonizing a little bit, and crying Lyanna's name, before finally sinking to his knees in the river and dying.
  3. The hairy bear

    Battle of Blackwater- Tyrion was winning?

    But Trant and Swann were the only KG left to defend KL when Tywin arrived. Moore had died, Clegane had fleed, Oakheart was in Dorne, Jaime was still prisoner, and Blount had been dismissed for cowardice. It's said by Davos: "South of the Blackwater, Davos saw men dragging crude rafts toward the water while ranks and columns formed beneath a thousand streaming banners. The fiery heart was everywhere" and Tyrion "The wildfire was not spreading as evenly as he had hoped. The main channel was aflame, but a good many of the Myrmen had made for the south bank and looked to escape unscahted, and at least eight ships had landed under the city walls. Landed or wrecked, but it comes to the same thing, they've put men ashore. Worse, a good part of the south wing of the enemy's first two battle lines had been well upstream of the inferno when the hulks went up. Stannis would be left with thirty to forty galleys, at a guess. More than enough to bring the whole host across, once they had regained their courage." Well, as I said Stannis outnumbered the defenders of the city by far, and his troops were better trained and significantly more loyal. Bywater warned Tyrion: "if the battle looks to be going sour they'll break, and they'll break bad". And the battle, was already looking sour, as Tyrion himself acknowledges in the quote I posted. It would look much worse once defenders realized that Tyrion, Clegane, Moore and Bywater dead or missing. As I said, the city was already falling.
  4. The reputation of the Watch is already at an all-time low outside the North. I don't think a sending a 15 year old bastard talking about the dead walking is going to do much help. Sending an experienced knight, who actually came from King's Landing and who has some previous experience dealing with the royal court, seems like a better idea to me.
  5. The hairy bear

    Aegon III and political strife, or lack thereof

    Probably, the main reason why Aegon III was able to maintain his throne was because the realm was in such a demographic collapse. In less than a decade the realm had suffered a civil war (129-131), a widespread plague (131-133) and a "terrible, hard" six-year winter (130-135). In a scenario like that, nobles would be more worried about survival than playing the Game of Thrones. It's also worth noting that ther rulers of the individual kingdoms were in a fragile enough position themselves, so they wouldn't be in a situation to challenge the Iron Throne: Lyonel Tyrell was just a boy, Kermit Tully a young "lad", Casterly Rock was under the regency of Jason's widow, the Stormlands would be ruled either by one of Borros daughters or by a potential very young son, etc.
  6. The hairy bear

    Battle of Blackwater- Tyrion was winning?

    Of course the Tyrell and Tywin's support was needed. The city was falling. Tyrion managed to strike an unexpected blow when he burned Stannis' fleet, but that was just on opening statement. Even after losing the fleet, Stannis still had more than 16,000 fighting men against some 7,000 men defending the city. Among those men, there are the gold cloaks (trained for policing and not for war), the mountain clains (completely unprepared for siege battles) and some sellsword. All of them of very doubtful loyalty, and really unlikely to risk much in the fight. And all of that in a city that basically hates the Lannisters. Tyrion knew that the defenders of KL could not match Stannis army. From the begining, he admited to Cersei that his goal was to be able to resist the siege long enough to give his father time to come down to help them. But when the battle starts, we realize that Tyrion's faith in the defenders being able to hold for at least some days was misplaced. Tyrion himself leads the sortie at the King's Gate bacause Sandor refuses to do so and flees. While he defends the King's Gate, the Mud Gate is also attacked. The defenders of the Gate try to desert, and when Jacelyn Bywater tries to stop it, he is murdered by his own men. So, when Tywin and the Tyrells arrive, we had that the defenders had lost their commander (Tyrion), the commander of the Gold Cloaks (Bywater), and two out of three Kingsguards (Moore and Clegane). One of the gates is about to fall, and Stannis is about to cross the river. The city would have fallen in a matter of hours, and the Red Keep couldn't last more than a few days more.
  7. The hairy bear

    So Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia Martell...

    There is precedent of the Targaryens practicing poligamy, most notably with Aegon the Conqueror. With that precedent, I doubt that Rhaegar ever repudiated Elia Martell.
  8. The hairy bear

    GOT characters based off

    Well, one of A Song of Ice and Fire's main inspirations is the War of Roses, and the main factions are developed from the conflict. The Baratheons and the Starks would be inspired in the York side, while the Targaryens and Lannisters would come from the Lancaster side. George confirmed that the Mad King Aerys was based on the Mad King Henry VI of house Lancaster. Both were young kings who showed promise at the begining of their reigns, but their madness paved the way of a rebellion that ended their lines. Both would be killed during the fall of their capital, but the wars would be decided by the death of their young sons and heirs (Edward and Rhaegar) at the deciding final battles of the conflict (Tewkesbury and the Trident) The kings that took power afterwards, Edward IV of York and Robert Baratheon, are very similar too: both were promising and handsome warriors in his youth, and both were second cousins of a mad king that won the throne revolting against him. Once they became king both became gluttons, gained a lot of weight and did a poor job at ruling the kingdom. And after their deaths, their short-timed dynasty crumbled, with their younger brothers claiming that their offspring (including the two male heirs) were bastards. From this point, the analogies become less obvious and the parallels are not so clear. But still, in English story, the two kids of Edward IV did not outlive his father for long (both Joffrey and Tommen died in the show in a short time), and the throne was claimed by Edwards youngest brother Richard III who claimed that the two kids were bastards. Richard III, though, was not as charismatic as Edward, and his attempt to gain the throne didn't last long. His figure, in this regard, is very similar to Stannis. There are much more resemblances. Ned reminds of both Richard of York and William Hastings, Margaret Beaufort was a cruel and manipualtive blonde like Cersei whose son was reportedly cruel and vicious, ... and of course, the War of Roses was resolved by having a member of the deposed original dynasty born in exile crossing the sea and defeating all the rivals that had decimated themselves fighting among them.
  9. The hairy bear

    Wow, I never noticed that v.17

    I'm surprised that you are able to spot such a series or far-fetched connections out of thin air, and then you fail to see the obvious ones. The Stark sigil was represented with a pearl because the pearl is white, and this is the Stark's color as per the snowy field of their banner. It is the same reason that dictated the precious gem that corresponded to each of the other sigils in the wedding chalice: a (red) ruby lion, a (green) emerald rose, a (black) onyx stag, a (blue) jade falcon, an (orange) opal sun, and a silver trout. No need for cabalistic and astrological interpretations.
  10. The hairy bear

    Condoning Renly Baratheon

    In the books, Renly is portrayed in an somewhat negative light because we see him from the POVs of Eddard, Catetly and Davos. They are from an older generation, and to them Renly is someone unreliable who has never been put to the test. But I wouldn't say that he has a bad rep among fandom. Every character has both supporters and detractors, and Renly is no different. Ned's fans may accuse him of abandoning him in King's Landing after Robert's death, and Stannis' fans will say that he was a traitor for not acknowledging his older brother's prevalence over him. But I've seen as many members of this forum saying Eddard was a fool for not listening Renly, or that Stannis should have resigned when he realized that no one wanted him as a king.
  11. The hairy bear

    Wow, I never noticed that v.17

    Wow, that's a cool find. Thinking about this, it also seems that all the other male POVs added in future books are not second sons. At least we know that Theon, Samwell, Jaime, Areo Hotah, Barristan, Victarion, Connington, and Quentyn are not. I don't think we know about for sure Davos or Arys Oakheart, but in the first case it seems to be an only child, and in the second case it seems to be the younger of many sons.
  12. While I completely agree with your sentiment, it has to be pointed out that Jaime refrained from having sex with Cersei during all the months that they had been on the road, and that he intended to abstain from it during the months that the trip back home would last. And when they decided to have this one-time sex in Winterfell, it can't be said that they were careless. They chose the day where most people had went out to hunt, and went to an isolated abandoned tower. Surely they chose that place because they could control who came in from the bottom of the tower, and they knew they had plenty of time to dress up and act as if they were just contemplating the views. No one could have predicted that some boy would climb up the tower and appear at their window.
  13. The hairy bear

    Origins of the coat of arms of House Payne

    Well, there's this legend about some Indian king demanding the inventor of chess to request a reward. He asked to be given a grain of wheat for the first square of the board, two grains for the second, four for the third, and so on until the 64th square. The king conceeded, thinking that it was a meager reward, but when his advisors started to calculate they realized that this resulted in more grains than there were in the entire kingdom. Since the king could not possibly pay him what he had promised, he offered to make him a lord instead. It could be that someone tried some variation of this with some King of the Rock, using golden coins and a game of Cyvassee...
  14. The hairy bear

    Martins history or Tolkiens?

    Martin is much better with the small-scale history. Specific chains of events, the chronologies of certain dynasties, the backgrounds of certain groups,... the recent story is much better defined and fleshed out, full of interesting tidbits. But when the scope gets greater, Martin is much weaker. His myths are not very interesting: the children of the Forest, the Pact, or the Last Hero are rather dull and generic stories. There are no real cultural variations in Westeros (no linguistic diversity, no distinct naming patterns between kingdoms,...). The characters from centuries ago think and act indistinguishably from the current ones... And in this last part is when Tolkien excels. The backstories and founding myths, even in the rough unfinished versions that we have been able to read them, are great stories. Each group of people has his particular traits (that evolve across time), and their own language (that also evolves depending on their interactions). But when you go to the "micro-story", Tolkien does not deliver much. There's little point in having the list of 25 the kings of NĂºmenor if you can't say a line about 20 of them.
  15. This is absurd. Why on the seven hells would Martin leave the saga unfinished willingly? If greed was behind George's motives, he would have published the final volumes in quick succession before the show aired. He wouldn't even need to bother to write the books himself: he could pay a ghostwriter to do the job for him. Some may say that the quality dropped a little bit, but the books would be best sellers anyway. The proposition that George doesn't publish books (his main source of income) because he is "greedy" has some very faulty logic, to say the least.
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