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Runaway Penguin

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About Runaway Penguin

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    Lord Too Fat To Eat

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    Military history, technology, tactics, literature, music, hiking, whine and cheese...

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  1. Runaway Penguin

    Edmure Should Have Got It

    Holding a castle does not mean passively sitting in it. Heck, that was one of reasons for castles - attacker was obliged to avoid or besiege them, as otherwise the garrison would attack his flanks and rear. That's why most of the 100 years war were sieges of fortified cities and castles and why French ultimately won despite losing many grand field battles. Robb ordered Edmure to hold the castle. He did hold the castle. If Robb wanted Edmure to let the Enemy pass into his rear, he should have made that specific. Failure to do so lies on him. And since he was already an oathbreaker with regards to Freys at that time, what is a little lie? Again, it is not a case of "Genius Robb and Stupid Edmure who disobeyed orders". It is a case of a subordinate who performed his orders to the best of his abilities. Should he have requested updated orders? Yes, then again given the speed of communications and Robb being often off the RavenNet the opportunity would have passed. Example how it is done is, for example, 5 Air Force in Papua-New Guinea in 1943. As a plan was in motion to lure Japanese to reinforce their forward bases they thought were out of range of Allied fighters, all units in the area had strict orders not to fly any mission past certain boundary. Same way, in preparation for the Battle of the Bulge German command ordered all frontline units to reduce usual activities (patrols, ambushes, local probing, artillery shelling) to lull enemy into a false sense of security. If the commanders in these cases neglected this preparations, do you think they would take it on a hapless division/wing commander who unwittingly spoiled their plan? No, it would mean exposing their failure of leadership. There would be little difference between "Hold the castle" and "Hold this hill" - in both cases it is expected from the commander to improve his position as much as he can and use his troops to, preferably, spoil the enemy actions. There were also more than one ambush that failed because the subordinates did not get proper orders.
  2. Runaway Penguin

    Arya the Explorer

    Vikings had basically coastal vessels. Arya's ship looks like at least on par with what Columbus had, size-wise, so good enough for oceanic crossing. And there seems to be no similar semi-inhabited set of jumping stones like the "northern route" to America - so she is doing basically what Columbus did. Let's hope she has enough food and water
  3. Runaway Penguin

    Edmure Should Have Got It

    Edmure won't be a great choice for king, true, but he gets a lot of flak here for wrong reasons. Holding a castle traditionally meant using its garrison for forays into the land around it, until the castle was besieged. If the order was "Hold Riverrun and guard the rear", that is exactly what Edmure did. He protected the rear of the Robb's army by preventing Tywin from crossing. He did not get information that Robb wanted to expose his rear intentionally to lure Tywin into pursuit. He did not get order "Hold the castle and let enemy cross the river into our rear". Let's not pretend Robb's command style was flawless. He had absolutely no oversight over Bolton (which enabled Bolton to intentionally thin out Stark loyalists by sending them into losing fights while preferring his own force), he did not fully instruct Edmure about his intentions, he did break a promise to an important and at the same time quarrelsome and untrustworthy ally, he sent his valuable hostage away to his family. That is not to say Edmure did things right either. As he was supposed to hold Riverrun, one of basic preparations for siege would be turning the smallfolk out. It is sad, but that is war - and a castle preparing for siege should have as few mouths to feed as possible while maintaining defense readiness. he also probably did not follow Tywin so closely and did not send messengers out when Tywin began to move. But thew situation is definitely not "Idiot Edmure, Genius Robb". Most armies rely on commanders to show initiative and engage enemy if opportunity arises, especially if the enemy is asking for it by trying to pass through a chokepoint. If you do not want them to engage the enemy for a specific reason, you have to give precise orders otherwise you are going against the doctrine and training.
  4. Runaway Penguin

    Arya the Explorer

    If sailing to the West Indies was so easy amateur Columbus could do it on ordinary trading vessels, it would have been done many times Also given the other girl did not return to tell the tale (though she seems to have reached Asshai)... She was the equivalent of Vikings as far as the Americas go. They got there... but nobody knew.
  5. Runaway Penguin

    Arya the Explorer

    North had naval force. White Harbor, House Manderly. In books this is even emphasized with Lord Wyman building more warships in secrecy. Moreover Arya does not really need a serious warship for exploration. Good long range trading ship would serve her better (GRRM has an unhealthy obsession with galleys, the ship she had was far better suited for the task :))
  6. Runaway Penguin

    Purpose of the wall now ?

    It is still exile to frugal living in the most inhospitable part of Westeros. People who were to Siberia still saw deportation to Siberia as a punishment
  7. Generally it would be same as the German empire in the middle ages, with a limited number of Electors electing the emperor. Which sometimes worked, sometimes didn't - there were some hereditary sequences but quite often daddy had to fight hard to have his son succeed him in the Emperor role. Now it could go several workable ways. The amount of electors could increase to form basically a Parliament (which would have fairly strong position then). The amount of Electors could stay as is and it will work for some time. Kinda. In any case there are ways how to prevent this - all would require strong electors and Council, for example it is possible to outright ban direct relatives of King to be elected as his successors. It IS doable, if Bran and his allies lay down strong enough constitutional foundation. Or by the time hereditary monarchy returns it is not feudal system anymore, but constitutional monarchy or at least late stages of Absolutism. Of course, that is the ideal case EDIT: re. weak king, maybe that is the point of Bran after all - he seems to be satisfied with a strong Small Council foundation, reducing the need for strong King. After all his power is rather "soft power" in the first place.
  8. Sam can be Grand Maester without breaking the oath to the Watch. After all the events shown that threat to Realms of Men can come from the Fire as well as an Ice, so who better to help the King of 6K guard the Realms of Men than a Maester AND a member of the Watch? Watch sends recruiters and messengers on tours of "detached service". His only Oathbreaking would be fathering a child and I guess the King can absolve him of it (with regards to both orders), though all in all the Watch rules could use some refurbishment (just attract poor to settle the Gift and provide "second tier" manpower to the Watch. Despite GRRMs fascination with no sex orders generally men would guard better if they have something to lose. Leave the "serious" Black Brotherhood for officers and core functions).
  9. Runaway Penguin

    Killing Bronn

    While he doesn't have any power, he is quick thinking, can organize things and is capable. While he is sidelined in the books, he shows his ability there as well. Who should get the Highgarden? Giving it to an existing lord would mean creating even bigger fifedom for him. Though I would say he fits more the Master of War title, his intimate experience with one of the most agile industries of King's Landing gives him good insight in the matters of Coin as well And as a poor sellsword he is used to counting pennies.
  10. Runaway Penguin

    West of Westeros: The Voyages of A. Stark

    Somehow belatedly the hread title clicked... Spinoff series opening narration: "West of Westeros: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the sailship Nymeria. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!"
  11. Runaway Penguin

    Destiny of Jon Snow

    Not necessarily grim and dutiful. Just not loading any more on his conscience. Plus it would be kind of acknowledgment from the Watch as well.
  12. Runaway Penguin

    West of Westeros: The Voyages of A. Stark

    Then she will sneeze at them and they will die of common cold. It is known.
  13. Runaway Penguin

    Destiny of Jon Snow

    Head canon: He's a liaison officer on a prolonged mission witht he King-beyond-the-Wall Tormund Giantsbane. To be honest was surprised a bit by the gate closing behind him though - why close off Wildlings behind the Wall? Keep the gate openb. Night Watch is sworn to protect the Kingdoms of Men - including those out in the great white coldness.
  14. Not that taken by ending, but I presume this is the GRRM's ending. And considering he has more story lines... If the last two books are to be two and manageable, I am afraid he will have to rush even more than the show did.
  15. Runaway Penguin

    Unpopular Opinion: Support Daenerys

    The enlightened monarchs did not have dragons. They have armies of commoners led by lesser nobility and armed with a weapon that did not require lifetime of training to be effective. Armies that can be garrisoned everywhere in the realm to squash any notions of uprising. They were resting firmly on the shoulders of nouveau riche - nobles and commoners who got rich by trade and manufacturing, and they rested firmly on cities. Even in her most idealized state of actually being a good wise ruler Dany would have nothing of this, in fact her reign of terror would be extremely centered aroun d where her dragon is at the moment. But "dragon plants no trees".