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Free Northman Reborn

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  1. Free Northman Reborn

    Valyrian activity in the North

    That is clearly wrong given that the War across the Water happened in the days when the Wolfs Den guarded the mouth of the White Knife - meaning before the Manderlys arrived and built White Harbor. Also, when the Manderlys arrived in the North around 1000 years ago, the Reach was already completely converted to the Andal Faith, else the Manderlys would not have followed the Seven. And clearly the Vale was Andalized centuries before the Reach. So there is no way the Arryns only took over the Vale around the time the Manderlys arrived in the North.
  2. You need a historical perspective here. There are 7700 years of Stark Kings represented by statues in the crypts. Then you have Torhenn Stark, who is remembered by history more so than many of his predecessors, not for any great achievements or victories won, but because he was the last King in the North and first mere Lord of Winterfell. He was followed by a succession of lords who again are not really noteworthy, for 300 years until Robb, who was the first King who reclaimed the North’s independence. This, and not his battles or achievements, will be remembered a thousand years in the future. And if he becomes the William Wallace to the North’s Robert the Bruce, who reclaims the North permanently, he will be doubly remembered as the one who initiated the North’s road to independence. The number and nature of the battles he won, on the other hand, are largely immaterial in this bigger scheme of things.
  3. Free Northman Reborn

    Valyrian activity in the North

    Theon Stark lived during the height of the Andal invasion. He also is stated to have “raised a fleet” to invade Andalos after Argos Sevenstar’s failed invasion of the North, which suggests that the Starks didn’t have a significant fleet at the start of his reign. He then also invaded the Three Sisters and landed an army in the Fingers, strongly suggesting that he participated in the War across the Water. Given that this war by default required the Starks to have a strong fleet (the Arryns had hundreds of longships by comparison, and the two sides appeared evenly matched in this 1000 year conflict), it is unlikely that Theon lived in the middle or latter part of this war, else he would have had a fleet already and would not have had to build a new one to invade Andalos. Placing Theon Stark during the Rape of the Three Sisters makes a lot of sense. It aligns with the Andal invasion, and provides sufficient time for a protracted War across the Water until the Manderly arrival and the construction of White Harbor made the Starks lose interest in the Three Sisters 1000 years ago.
  4. Free Northman Reborn

    Valyrian activity in the North

    Theon the Hungry Wolf lived centuries before Edrick Snowbeard.
  5. Free Northman Reborn

    How to Improve the North Economically?

    You seem to have a misconception of the scale of the Frey wealth, and of the traffic volume that passes over their bridge. Their wealth level is likely about halfway between that of Houses Dustin and Manderly. Meaning wealthier than the Dustins, but poorer than the Manderlys by a significant margin. So certainly not at a level that will revolutionize the North’s economy.
  6. Free Northman Reborn

    Riverlands house and military

    The Manderlys rule a city of tens of thousands of people in addition to controlling the trade up and down the White Knife. They rule the most populous part of the North. Similarly the Hightowers would have had a greater population than the direct lands of the Gardeners in the past. That does not make the Gardeners weaker than the Hightowers, because the Gardeners have all the Reach to call on if they muster their full strength. Same applies to the Starks and Manderlys.
  7. Free Northman Reborn

    Riverlands house and military

    I guarantee you that the Tyrells on their own are weaker than the Hightowers and that the Starks are weaker than the Manderlys. Similarly the Tullys are likely weaker than the Freys and the Arryns than the Royces. It doesn’t matter, because your vassal’s men are yours to command. As to how it came about? Take the Starks. They could have directly ruled the Wolf’s Den, Karhold, Bear Island etc but they gave these castles to the current owners. Similarly they took Deepwood, Barrowton, the Rills, even the Dreadfort and the Neck by conquest, but allowed the former owners to continue ruling these areas. They need not have done that. They chose to do so. It is different for the Tullys who never conquered the Riverlands but were given it by Aegon Targaryen.
  8. I don’t know if George fleshed out the detail of who sent the direwolves back when he wrote the scene. It was a supernaturally inspired event, including some heavy foreshadowing involving the stag. Not something that an individual would necesarrily orchestrate. More along the lines of events brought about by Fate or “the Universe” or the gods, in a kind of subtle, heavily symbolic way. As to how direwolves cross the Wall, do we know if the Gorge around the Shadow Tower area is impassable for animals too, or just for large groups of humans?
  9. Free Northman Reborn

    Riverlands house and military

    The problem with all regions outside of the North is that we don’t have clear indications of the geographical areas ruled by the various lords. In the North by contrast we can make a fair comparison on how much land the Umbers rule compared to the Karatarks, Boltons, Ryswells etc. We can also roughly compare geographical features such as latitude etc. While far from perfect, it does give us at least some basis for comparison. In the Riverlands by contrast, we can’t even see the lands of two of the most prominent Houses -the Blackwoods and Brackens. The same goes for most southron lords, other than perhaps the Hightowers and a few others.
  10. Free Northman Reborn

    Tennis Volume 7: Roger That!

    Nadal probably has one French Open left in him. Honestly, I would be surprised if Fed collects another Grand Slam. Of course, the above changes if Novak goes out with an extensive injury. Because the biggest barrier to more Grand Slams for the other two, is Novak himself. As to GOAT. Novak already has a positive win ratio against both Fed and Nadal. If he also overtakes both of their Grand Slam totals, on what basis would you not rate him the best ever? I think it will be very difficult for him to reach 20, though. He will likely overtake Nadal, but perhaps fall slightly short of Fed. That then will make the GOAT question an interesting one, between Novak and Roger.
  11. Free Northman Reborn

    Northern Lords declaring for Stannis then refusing to march south

    The above is just wordplay on what should be defined as a conspiracy and what not. My view is that in the North there are core conspirators - Houses Manderly, Mormont, Glover, Reed and Umber. Each with its own unique approach to the plan. Reed and Mormont are fairly openly defiant due to their remote locations and secure status. Hence we see them actively take up arms against the Boltons. (And just on the Mormonts, it is the daughter with Stannis who reveals to Asha that she knows the current status of her mother and sister, which strongly hints that she has beennin contact with them recently). Manderly and Umber had to play it safe due to the hostage situation. Manderly has been freed of that, and the Umbers are still keeping up a balanced appearance until the Greatjon is freed. Then you have a bunch of other Houses that are doing whatever is required to stay safe in the short term, until the opportunity to join the Stark restoration arises. And all of the above while trying to eject the Ironborn and prepare for Winter. Then you have the Clans who are on their own mission, but that mission will line up very well with a Stark restoration campaign when the time comes. In all of this, we have the need to consider the Iron Throne, which is the invisible force backing Roose and which gaves him far more influence than his 4000 Bolton men would otherwise allow. And that’s where the need for clandestine action arises from, in the short term. So it is not a conspiracy in the sense of being spelled out in detail to every possible participant, present and future. It is instead a common cause being pursued, subtly by some and not so subtly by others, while dealing with each House’s unique challenges at the same time. Think “low cunning” rather than a Littlefinger or Varys level highly refined machination. But don’t doubt that the outcome will be enemies baked into pies and entrails hanging from heart trees when all is said and done.
  12. Free Northman Reborn

    Northern Lords declaring for Stannis then refusing to march south

    Regarding the Northern conspiracy: We know Manderly and Glover are plotting. We know the Mormonts are plotting, as Lyanna has been in contact with Maege, who knows about Robb’s will. We strongly suspect Maege is hiding in the Neck at the moment, meaning Howland is in on the plot too. Manderly flat out states that the Flints of Widow’s Watch and the Lockes of Oldcastle are under his control, so you can add them to the conspiracy too. So at the very least these are the likely active plotters. Then you have the Cerwyns who are fierce Stark loyalists, who will either be part of the plot already, or who would join it in a heartbeat once it is revealed to them. Should the crannogmen under Howland and Maege’s leadership stage a special forces type rescue of the northern hostages at the Twins we will have the Greatjon back, and there is zero doubt where his loyalties lie. That would bring the Umbers into the conspiracy too, and it is likely already the plan, with Mors and Hother just buying time much like Wyman did until his son was released. That leaves the Karstarks, who under Alys is already loyal to Jon, and the Mountain Clans and Glovers, who are already on the march with Stannis in memory of Eddard. Basically, only the Ryswells and Dustins remain with Roose, and I highly doubt George has fleshed them out so much in recent books only to have them be wiped out in service of the doomed Roose. They are either going to switch sides out of convenience, or Barbary is faking it and is part of the conspiracy already. And that leaves out Rickon who is soon to return with a host of wild Skagosi in tow. The conspiracy is real. The extent of it is unknown, but the catalyst will be the freeing of the hostages in the Riverlands - likely early in the next book. Then all hell will break loose in the North and the dominoes will fall swiftly, with the Stark loyalists taking back the North.
  13. Free Northman Reborn

    Northern Lords declaring for Stannis then refusing to march south

    The Northmen seem largely indifferent to Stannis. They have a goal, and he has a goal. And those goals happen to temporarily overlap. But the Northerners seem a particularly ruthless and pragmatic bunch. They most certainly won’t go gallivanting off South at his beck and call. They might do so for a Stark, though. Ultimately we all know Stannis is a dead end. And therefore your prediction will be tied to your philosophy related to the North. If, like Lord Varys, you see the entire North as pretty much a dead end bound for insignificance and annihilation, then of course you would support having the Northmen go haring off to die alongside the doomed Stannis. If on the other hand you see the North as destined to be a more significant roleplayer in the future plot, like I do, then you will expect to see their paths diverge from Stannis’s and align with that of Jon and the other Starks as they ressurrect the North as a crucial member of a North-Vale- Riverlands alliance that will be a key powebloc in the Great Council to come, which will ultimately unite Westeros against the Others.
  14. Free Northman Reborn

    Northern Lords declaring for Stannis then refusing to march south

    I know this message is often held up as gospel, but is that really the truth about Stannis’s stated aims? My impression is that he went North for a single battle, to defeat Mance Rayder’s siege of the Wall, and then use the North as a staging ground to rebuild his forces to take the Iron Throne. The castles at the Wall are intended to be his strongholds in the interim, until he gains Winterfell to become his new command centre, while at the same time strengthening his Northern border and finding a place to shelter some of his men. But even now, his plan with the 20k sellswords is not to man the Wall with them, but to complete his takeover of the North and relaunch his campaign to take the Iron Throne. I have not seen an indication that he intends to wait for Spring to do so. He wants to unite the North, add his 20k sellswords to that force and then move on his enemies to the South.
  15. Free Northman Reborn

    Wealth and revenues of Westeros

    People don’t work their own land. They work their lord’s land.