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Lion of the West

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  1. I feel I disagree with you reasoning. Because I feel its alot of inconsistencies and selective application of humanist principles. Italics: Funny how the crimes of the Ghiscari slavers can be forgiven despite their system of slavery but two scum who together killed far less people than the slavers must die because they are apparently beyond the pale, while the Ghiscari slaver masters are not. If Lyanna was kidnapped or eloped became pretty irrelevant from a Stark perspective when first Aerys roasted Lord Stark and his son and then Rhaegar took command to put down the rebellion against Aerys. Bolded: Its a weird thing to say that "its time for forgive and move on" while placating Doran's desire to, according to my understanding, kill every single descendent of Tywin Lannister which involves at least four people who had exactly nothing to do with the Targaryens' fall and two who by all accounts have done nothing wrong.
  2. Well, I think we shouldn't extraggerate how good their land was for productive use in the form associated with settle communities. Most of the wetland and deep forests were not really drained or relatively cleared until they were incorporated into the Carolingian society. The Franks at the same time did have some pretty undeveloped lands as but also the bounty of Gaul where the Romans had already much of the hard work to allow for cultivation and development. Same with access to the Mediterannaean trade networks, the benefits to trade which being part of the Christian world included and so on. The Saxons on the other hand was as far as I know very poor by comparison and with a far smaller population. Without me being an expert I am pretty interested in the Continental Saxons and they generally come out short against the Franks in actual fighting. Most of the time the Saxons were either raiding when the Franks looks another way, followed by Frankish punitive expeditions travelling into the Saxons woodlands and either not resulting in much or beating the Saxons into submission with tributary payment. And to simply things a bit, for centuries this went on and on. That the Saxons were able to fight Charlemagne for a whole generation has more to do with the conditions of Old Saxony than with the strength of the Saxons. As far as I know the Franks pretty much crushed the Saxons, and their allies in the Frisians, at almost every turn with only the single major Saxon victory in 782. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_S√ľntel But otherwise the Franks just walked all over the Saxons and putting down one attempt after another to resist them. The bravery and commitment of the Saxons to fight and keep fighting for a generation is certainly commendable and worthy of a song, but in the end all the bravery and commitment in the world can't compensate for the massive material advange of the Franks. Thus after about a generation of being wrecked by war and pretty much losing at every turn and everything they try go south, there's no shame in my eyes in giving up an impossible fight.
  3. I disagree as Western Europe was a hotspot of military activity by the feudal nobility against all kinds of foes; each other, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Norse, Germanic tribes, Slavic tribes, Moors, Byzantines (to a degree and at least in italy) and then with the crusades the Western European nobility had to adapt to fighting the armies of the Middle East, the Balkans, Baltic tribes, Wends, Finns and Russians and so on. The Westerosi nobility only have each other with only really the Ironmen and the Dornish fighting somewhat differently and it don't seem to nearly as common to have fights with these two as with each other, unlike the many campaigns waged by the feudal nobility in Western Europe against many different foes across a timeline which is much shorter than the Westerosi one.
  4. One reason could be that of political concerns and also the lack of pressure on the Westerosi. Maybe the armour smiths keeps the armour technology relatively level since Aegon's Conquest for the reason that they want to keep the prices of plate high and the nobles wants to prevent this edge in equipment from spreading to the common soldiers? With the relatively few conflicts and no real external foes to the Westerosi, the real arm's race in the Middle Ages didn't take place as there's very little pressure to gain advantages over your enemies or keep up with them. So perhaps maintaining the social order and stability in the social, cultural and political system is more important than gaining edges over your political foes and socio-economical peers? I seem to recall you and I have discussed this before and I think the "military development incest" is a thing in Westeros. Westeros almost only fight against other Westerosi and then only seldom do they engage in major wars with each other. Hence, no need to speed up development and no enemy who is a real threat to their system to put pressure on them either. And since they don't engage with other military systems or traditions on regular basis it would seem that Westerosi military development is primairly focused on fighting other Westerosi with little innovation and the mercenary companies of Essos seem to follow their lead as well.
  5. I do. What we have is speculation and conjecture for how violent things were in badly documented phases of history compared to documented instances of genocide in the 19th century. I didn't say that religious intolerance didn't exist in polytheistic socities, only that it was more common in Abrahamitic ones. And since I am not well-read in the discourse within the mentioned historical and archaeloigcal communities of scholars I can't know if what you link to is serious or lunacy. But since I can't tell this on my own I will stick with the conventional standard which seems to be different from what you argue. If they had wanted to I think they could have. But they didn't want to and so didn't even though the Franks were vastly superior in terms of resources and numbersr. Calling genocide "Turko-Mongolian strategy" sounds incredibly racist. That's enough for me to reject this.
  6. On that I agree partially. However you will also notice that genocide is less common outside of the 19th century just as for example religious intolerance existed, but was less common, in polytheistic than in Abrahamitic majority populations. It means that yes. Given how the author lashes out at the majority in the field I dare say that this is a minority position within the field. Neither do I. Entirely possible it would have, but it didn't happen. Just like the Continental Saxons were never invaded by the Franks on a campaign of genocide despite the long and bloody history and different religion and culture between the Saxons and the Franks. Genocide is not a very common method to use against your enemies in world history overall. Beating the enemy into submission or conquest is far more common.
  7. That's the thing with an obligation. You must still fullfill it when you don't like it.
  8. Sorry for a very late reply. That it has happened across world history does not mean its equally spread out or as common or uncommon in every place and time. As for pre-history that would be possible but we simply don't know. The "cultural change equals conquest by a new group" hasn't to my knowledge been very fashionable in history and archeology for a long time. As far as I know, which could of course be wrong, theories of peaceful changes in culture are far more common to explain pre-historic changes in material culture. Also I'd like to point out that just because something isn't a consciouss taboo does not mean it isn't acceptable to do or is a viable option from a social and cultural perspective. Some things what we consider to be genocide has been pretty common but at other times pretty uncommon in the same geographic area.
  9. I totally believe that he has a profile so he can read and such and also do so. But I also think that he don't generally post and don't engage in actual discussions as he don't want to be influenced one way or another.
  10. The problem with this reasoning is that people do not think and act in a vaccum or as isolated from each other. We decide our judgements in a cultural and social context and that means that if genocide isn't considered acceptable or not even an option, we are not likely, if we are well adjusted to society, to even consider such options. Again, the fact that there hasn't been any genocide, or attempt at it, that I am aware of since the Andal Conquest means that its a course of action which isn't even considered by people with power. Hence there are Ironmen around. And that is a mark in favor of Westeros (as a planet, not just the continent). Oh, I agree. But I've come to accept that realism has a sour taste together with fantasy at most times so I try to sweeten it with plenty of blind eyes. But I essentially agree and think that GRRM made a mistake when he designed the Iron Islands. As for Scandinavian forests and farming. Don't worry because I agree with you and I am well aware of the Vikings' homelands, even if the Vikings are not my great historical interest.
  11. True that although the fact that Westerosi don't seem, since the days of the Andal Conquest, to have engaged in genocide attempts is a mark in their favor. I feel I need to make my opinion clear for everyone reading this. Anyway, unless I recall wrongly, the reason for the Iron Islands behavior is in the world considered to be a matter of "geographic determinism". As in first the First Men came became the Ironborn, then the Andals conquered the Iron Islands and turned into new Ironborn because they just couldn't steer things around with too little present resources to do anything but reave to try and lift themselves from poverty. So I would think that the reason for the Ironmen's existance is that there's no ideology of genocide to offer this idea to Westerosi rulers and there's no resources on the Iron Islands to make it something worth conquering, and anyone moving to the Iron Islands will be face with the reality that there's very few resources to make a living off on those islands. Hence the new settlers are likely to soon become the new Ironmen.
  12. As mentioned I think we can see which gods are generally existing within a polytheistic framework and which are angeling towards monotheism. But also that common people don't have a theological or philosphical education and so may have a more pragmatic and down-to-earht approach to gods than what we are used to in our world and our own times.
  13. I think its rather excellent that he made them followers of the Seven. This shows that one religion don't have better adherents than another, or that honorable people are not drawn primarily to one religion or another, but that its a mixed bag with all of them.
  14. Well, as much as it exists in business so in the feudal world, to my understanding. Its not a question about why no one is capable or incapable of just thinking of building another bridge. There's already another crossing at Lord Harroway's Town to the south-east of the Twins. But its who can get hold of a place where to build another bridge and then get everything together to both build that bridge an prevent the Freys and the Harroways, and later the Rootes, from squashing that attempt to take the tolls away from them? Look at the relationship in our world between governments and big business. While it might be advantegous in the long run to see another crossing, there's no reason to think that the crown won't support the Freys and Harroways/Rootes in ensuring they control the crossings over the river.
  15. Absolutely wonderful OP but as great as it is, i think that GRRM simply has not, at least had not at the start of the series, read so much about medieval warfare that he had this complex system in mind. It really isn't a military fantasy, which would've have been very interesting to read but it isn't, and so I just think that he hasn't thought that much about exactly how the armies of Westeros are supposed to work in the details.
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