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About purrl1

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  1. I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about the nature of the neutrality of the watch. When the Night's Watch was founded, there was no realm called the Seven Kingdoms, nor was Westeros unified under a single ruler. It was many warring kingdoms and tribes. The men sent to the Watch were not poachers, thieves, and rapers. They were political prisoners, the losers in the intertribal conflicts. These Black Brothers were kings and lords and their heirs who had lost their kingdoms, and were spared to join the Watch. That is where the custom of neutrality came from--none of them were to take part in the wars among the kingdoms, nor take a side. As the kingdoms became unified, and there were fewer of them, the kings and lords manned the Watch by sending their younger sons to serve, thus cutting down on the numbers of discontented young lordlings seeking lands for themselves and their heirs. This practice was continued by Northern houses and other First Men houses like House Royce. The idea of the Wall as a last-chance prison for the dregs of society is a late development. I strongly suspect this practice became widespread after the Conquest, which ended much of the need for sending conquered kinglets and their sons to a neutral place. Fewer wars, fewer deposed rulers. If the Targaryens had continued the original practices, then the Second Blackfyre Rebellion couldn't have occured, as the Blackfyres would have been serving in the Watch, sworn to heirlessness, landlessness, and crownlessness. You'll notice that even at present, there are vestiges of this practice, like the Riverland lords Jaime sends to the Wall. None of this history prepares Jon Snow for remaining neutral in the face of one king coming to aid the Watch in the fight against the Others, while another regime plots to destroy both him and the Watch. Yes, Tywin tried to have his choice elected as LC, Cersei wanted Jon assassinated, and Roose has issued threats on Jon and the Watch. I really don't see how neutrality is possible, not in the original sense of taking the part of one kinglet over another in the intertribal wars that preceded the Conquest, as the war has been brought to the Watch's doorstep!