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Free Northman Reborn

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  1. Free Northman Reborn

    How powerful are the Royces?

    It's called building a case. I'm laying the foundations to the argument, one atop the other, to arrive at a conclusion. You need not pedantically try and respond to each foundational point, especially if you agree with it. If you agree, that just means we can move on to the argument that is built on those. I would ask, though, what is the point of giving the average per House, if it is meaningless in arriving at the answer we are looking for? And yet you seem to find great significance in pointing out the 412, when it is a non-issue that both of us agree with based on the most rudimentary of math. Like saying the sky is blue. Anyway, your overarching point seems to be that Manderly, by stating his heavy horse numbers, is referring to a much smaller subset of his "knights and knight equivalents", which would in your view then weaken the argument that he has more men or even more overall cavalry than House Bolton. I must say, that is a rather narrow reading of the text, when, given Martin's varied use of terms like knights, armored lances, heavy horse etc, it is far more likely that Manderly is simply referring to his knight equivalents, of which the Freys for example had 1000. Anyway, from an overarching point of view, you seem to not enjoy speculation, even based on good evidence. Which makes participating in a forum like this somewhat pointless. If you are only going to rely on explicit numbers quoted in the text, then you can't even assign a number to the Boltons, other than saying they have at least 2001 men returning up the Neck and had 600 men with Ramsay. No deductive reasoning in your estimates then. Removing much of the fun from the whole exercise.
  2. Free Northman Reborn

    How powerful are the Royces?

    Firstly, just for some context, I am not in disagreement with you that the Boltons are a very powerful Northern House. So I'm not arguing with you in that sense. I disagree with you on the Northern cavalry at Winterfell. Luwin calls them "armored lances". That would equate to heavy horse. In the South, knights are all heavy cavalry. Luwin is specifically giving the Northern equivalent to southron knights. So yes, the 3300 are heavy horse in that sense. And surely you would agree, upon consideration, that it is illogical to allocate an equal amount of cavalry to each of the 8 houses you refer to. Some would be far more powerful than others, of course, and each House would contribute a different number. At the same time, we know that the ratio of foot to horse of any house has an upper limit. The best ratio we have seen is 3-1. But we see many worse ratios than that, down to 10-1 even in some cases. The Karstarks, for example, have a ratio of of only 7-1. The Mountain Clans probably have no heavy cavalry at all. So clearly, if the overall ratio at Winterfell is 3-1, then if some of the 8 Houses you refer to clearly contributed less than the average ratio, inevitably some others would have had to provide better than the average ratio. There is no logical way around that, else the average would not be achieved. The only question then, is which Houses provided the high ratios of heavy cavalry? My assumption, is that House Bolton - being historically the 2nd most powerful House in the North (prior to the arrival of the Manderlys, at least), would have a strong contingent of heavy horse compared to some of the weaker Houses. I would certainly doubt, for example, the Mormonts' capability of providing a high ratio of heavy horse, having to transport them on fishing sloops or longboats. Similarly, the Glovers with their rather poor Motte and Bailey castle seem unlikely to be heavy cavalry powerhouses. So, in order to maintain the 27% heavy cavalry ratio at Winterfell (3300/12000), there is a dwindling number of Houses who would have had to contribute a relatively high ratio of heavy horse in that context. And the Boltons seem highly likely to be in that latter category. So, even at just 25% heavy horse, they would have brought in the region of 700 of the 3300 heavy horse to Winterfell.
  3. Free Northman Reborn

    Who builds better ships?

    I vote for Floki.
  4. Free Northman Reborn

    How powerful are the Royces?

    Well, it should be noted that the “northern” Northern Houses had 3300 heavy horse out of 12000 men gathered at Winterfell. So they are hardly devoid of heavy horse even in the Northern half of the North. That’s a ratio of slightly better than 3-1, of foot to heavy horse. And if you agree that the Boltons likely had 2500 men at least in Robb’s army, then even if they had only the Winterfell average ratio of foot to horse, that translates to about 700 Bolton heavy horse in Robb’s army. (687 to be precise). That’s if they had the average, but considering the Karstarks had only half the average, and others like the Clans and Mormonts likely had well below the average too, the Bolton’s prominence makes it likely they had better than the average ratio, to make up for those who brought less. Else 3300 heavy horse could not have been achieved. So 750 heavy horse is quite reasonable for the Boltons at Winterfell. And that excludes any heavy horse they left behind at the Dreadfort or which fought in the Hornwood lands. So a heavy horse strength of 800-1000 is quite reasonable for House Bolton. And yet Manderly has more than this, even after his losses to date. Maybe a lot more. His original heavy horse strength could quite well be in the 1500 range, therefore. And I highly doubt the Manderlys exceed the Lannister heavy horse to foot ratio. A 3-1 ratio would seem to be about the best you could expect, even from them. Which would put them in the 6000 men range in total. And that without resorting to reserves, green boys or old men. Add those and you might get another 2000.
  5. Free Northman Reborn

    How powerful are the Royces?

    Of course we don't know the comparative strengths of the Boltons vs Dustins, because it has not been stated outright. However, we can indeed speculate. Either way, I would not put them far apart from one another. My speculation on the order of strength of Northern houses would be: 1. Manderly 2. Bolton 3. Dustin 4. Karstark That is based on at least some logic, although it is far from definitive. Firstly the Karstarks seem to raise around 3000 men without any overt references to old men or green boys being resorted to. We get to that through the 2300 men sent with Robb's host, the 450 with Arnolf and then the unknown number of Karstark men seen by Theon in Rodrik's 2000 strong host. They numbered fewer than the other banners in Rodrik's army, we are told, but they only needed to make up 10% of the host to bring the Karstark strength to around 3000. Anyway, that makes for a strong House by any region's standards. The Florents can raises only 2000, by comparison. As for House Bolton - they are the traditional 2nd House of the North (before the Manderlys arrived 1000 years ago). And their returning force from the South makes up the bulk of the 4000 Northmen marching up the Neck. So 2500 to 3000 returning Boltons seems quite feasible, going by the evidence provided. And that would be after any losses suffered in the South. And without Ramsay's 600 elite troops from the Dreadfort. So onscreen we feasibly have seen upwards of 3500 Boltons, without being told they have resorted to their "green boys or old men". A strength of 4000 seems quite reasonable for House Bolton, based on the evidence to date. As for House Dustin. They do rule the second largest settlement in the North. And they rule the largest domain of any Northern lord. Their lands are also about a thousand miles south of the Wall, so far warmer than the Karstark or Umber lands, for example. We have no information on their actual strength, but I would put them above the Karstarks and perhaps on a par or very close behind the Boltons. So between 3000 and 4000 seems a good guess, in my view. As for House Manderly. Well, I think other than a dogged refusal to believe so until it is explicitly stated, there seems little justification for doubting they are the House with the largest population in the North. That on top of being the wealthiest and ruling the only city in the North. Army size depends on two main factors - population size and wealth. Can anyone doubt that the Manderlys rule an area that is very populous by Northern standards? It has a city of maybe 30,000 at its heart. It is a thousand miles south of the Wall. It has the White Knife running through its interior, with trading activity along its length unlike anywhere else in the North. Davos says the wind at White Harbor is like a warm bath compared to the wind at the Wall. So from a population point of view it seems logical that the Manderlys come out tops in the North. And then on top of that, their wealth would allow them to raise a higher percentage of their population to war than the poorer areas could. They have abundant food to logistically support armies where other regions would need a greater focus on the harvest or on finding supplies to feed their armies. I suspect House Manderly can raise 6000 men easily. So my estimate: 1. House Manderly: 6000 2. House Bolton: 4000 3. House Dustin: 4000 4. House Karstark: 3000 After that it is difficult to rank the Northern Houses. I suspect Houses Ryswell and Umber are next, based on little more than the size of their territories (House Umber has a territory 300 miles long and maybe 200 miles wide), and in the case of House Ryswell, the favourable southerly, rill covered nature of their domain. Say around 2500 men each. And then in below them (kind of middling strength for the North), I would put the likes of Houses Cerwyn, Flint of Widow's Watch, Flint of Flints finger, between 1500-2000 men. I think the Hornwoods, Mormonts, Glovers, Tallharts, Slates and Lockes lie in a lower tier, between 1000-1500 men. So, because I can never resist it, here would be a speculative numerical ranking of Northern Houses, courtesy of Free Northman. Manderly - 6000 Bolton - 4000 Dustin - 4000 Karstark - 3000 Stark - 3000 Mountain Clans - 3000 Skagos - 3000 Ryswell - 2500 Umber - 2500 Flint of Widow's Watch - 2000 Cerwyn - 1500 Flint of Flint's Finger - 1500 Glover - 1500 Tallhart - 1500 Hornwood - 1000 Slate - 1000 Locke - 1000 Mormont - 1000 Reed - 1000- 2000 (unconventional troops) Total - well, it's a guess anyway, so who cares.
  6. Free Northman Reborn

    How powerful are the Royces?

    House Royce appears to be the House Bolton or House Yronwood of the Vale. Meaning historically the main challenger to the ruling House and traditionally the 2nd most powerful of the region. I think their strength would be significant. Definitely upwards of 4k, potentially above 5k even.
  7. Free Northman Reborn

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    A few comments. 1. I did not interpret it as you suggesting I was banned (that would not be a cause for insult to me, actually). I interpreted it as you suggesting that the fact that I had two similar looking usernames was somehow an indication of wanting to double emphasize the idea behind the username, or some such implication. Else why bother referring to the second name being similar to the first. Anyway, no big deal. 2. Regarding the numbers. Here's the thing. There is not a single quote that invalidates unequivocally Theon and Roose's statements about the majority of remaining Northmen being Boltons. Instead, there are vague descriptions of camps, orders of arrival at the Twins etc. which can be twisted to try and mean something, but can equally accommodate the state of affairs as portrayed by Roose and Theon. Given that the supporting evidence is far from a slam dunk, surely in the name of all that is holy one would just go with the most obvious answer, which is to believe what these two sources tell us. Here is a random example. You didn't see the men that arrived with Roose, and the men that arrived with Robb and then tracked them for every moment from arrival to the point of the Red Wedding. So you don't actually know if men from the two hosts left their original groups and re-mingled with some of their friends from the other host. Whether 0% of them did this, 10%, 50% or 80%. So your evidence is absolutely based on pretty much one or two pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle, which you then attempt to use to justify your preconceived perspective. Whereas I just go with Roose and Theon's direct words that Dreadfort men make the up the majority of the puzzle pieces, to use a blunt analogy. I don't need to prove it anymore than I need to prove the number of Freys marching with Roose, or the number of Freys in Robb's original army. Because it was stated by an onscreen source. Without a single contradictory quote. Just various incomplete hints of camps and horse herds and whatnot, that cannot prove the contrary.
  8. Free Northman Reborn

    Jon Snow's death

    The “other medium” of the story may be crap, but I doubt they would have gone in a completely different direction on something this fundamental to the plot. He is one of the two main characters, after all. So I think we have a fair idea of the broad strokes. The details of how and when it will happen, of course, may be wildly different.
  9. Free Northman Reborn

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Sorry. I know it wasn’t an attack. Just uncomfortable with any kind of equivalence being suggested between what I believe to generally be evidence based posts from me and the fairly convoluted reasoning being presented by Corvo at the moment. Note I say “at the moment”, because he seems to be heavily invested emotionally in this particular issue, to the point of excessive massaging of the text to support his viewpoint. I honestly don’t know why he feels so strongly motivated to fight this rather minor issue, because on this he is clearly misguided. Why is it so important to fight so hard against the openly stated fact that the Boltons had more than 2000 men returning from the South and the strong suggestion that they had 2500 or more in Robb’s original army?
  10. Free Northman Reborn

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    This is getting a bit weird - and apparently emotional - delving into my forum name and trying to whip up a cotery of like minded individuals for moral support etc. For the record, I lost access to my original forum name when the forum crashed some years ago (before your time). It affected quite a few members. When I had to create a new forum name then, I could not duplicate the original as it still exists to this day, and thus created the next best thing, to retain the same forum identity. I trust you found this (weird) history lesson interesting. Anyway, back to your point which is not a point. The layout of the tents is immaterial. We only get a partial picture of the Twins and its environment. The 7000 or so horses Robb brought with him will be camped whereever there is space for them. Obviously not amongst the tents. And the men will mingle freely, drinking and feasting. It is not intended to provide an exhaustive description of where every part of the army is camped. So this in itself invalidates the non-point you try to make about the portion of the men Arya witnessed and who is in which tent. Other than the Karstarks you don’t know which men were with Robb and which with Roose. And your “point” about Theon remarking on most of the 4000 returning Northmen being afoot. You are grasping. Theon’s statement is accurate. If all 4000 were cavalry that would have lessened the blow, for example if it was Robb’s returning Western force. Instead, only a fifth is cavalry, with the rest of the valuable heavy horse lost in the South. This is a much greater blow than losing an equivalent number of infantry. You are not providing anything of substance. Just random passages that don’t mean what you think they mean.
  11. Free Northman Reborn

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Maybe at another time you can tell me directly which numbers in this discussion you take with a "grain of salt". I'm simply quoting the text. And Corvo is refusing to accept it.
  12. Free Northman Reborn

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Fascinating course this discussion is taking. You seem incapable of accepting direct statements made in the books. I'm not allocating more men to the North. I'm going by the statements of Roose and Theon. Adhering strictly to their descriptions. Unlike you, who seem to be arguing from an ideological position of some sort. Roose states that the only significant contributors to his 3500 men are Dreadfort and Karstark men, and that the Dreadfort men significantly outnumber the Karstarks. This is logical, by the way, if you read the preceding description of what happens to the Karstark men in his host. There were 2000 Karstarks to start with. A notable number of them die at the Green Fork. At some point a thousand of them head off into the Riverlands to hunt for Jaime Lannister. And to top it all off, Roose explicitly states that he sends the remainder off to Duskendale, which is a slaughter. So clearly, even 300 being left with him seems a high number, based on the above. And yet even the Karstarks outnumber any other lords' men by such a margin that Roose feels the rest aren't even worth mentioning. As for your somewhat bizarre focus on Theon calling most of the returning host infantry, well that's exactly what it is. We know Roose already had 500 horse when he returned to the Twins. And that was without Steelshanks' Walton's 200, who rejoined him later. Any Bolton horse returning with Robb from the West would push that number up to 800 or more. Which indeed would still mean that "most" of the 4000 strong host is on foot. Not sure what you are arguing about, in this case. Overall you seem to be experiencing an intense desire to prove a preconceived idea. Whereas I am merely following the text. Not sure why you cannot accept that at face value.
  13. Free Northman Reborn

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Starting with the last bit, I was incapable of shutting it down because you ignore direct quotes from the books. To call that a failure to provide textual evidence is quite rich, Corvo. As for Roose’s numbers: Here is a scenario that actually agrees with both Roose and Theon’s statements: Roose returns to the Twins with about 2500 Bolton foot and 500 Bolton horse. Also with some 300 Karstark foot and 200 leftovers from other Houses. That fits completely with “Dreadfort men in chief, and some Karstarks”. With the other Houses numbering less than the Karstarks. Back at the Twins he gets back another 200 Bolton cavalry that had been with Robb in the West, because Robb only wanted 10% of his total cavalry in the East (with another 100 having been lost in Robb’s campaign). Roose then kills the non Bolton and non Karstark forces at the Twins, leaving 3200 Boltons and 300 Karstarks after the Red Wedding. Roose then gathers the 600 men left to guard the ford, bringing his total numbers up to 4100. Maybe another couple of hundred Karstark and other Northern stragglers and broken men join him on the march back, just like Mance joined him later. So he arrives at Moat Cailin with 3200 Boltons, maybe 400 Karstarks and 700 assorted men from other Houses. That’s a total of 4300 men, validating Theon’s estimate of roughly 2 in 10 of the original 20k returning, validating Roose’s statement that the 3500 at the Twins were Dreadfort men in chief and validating Theon’s final statement that most of the returning men at Moat Cailin were Boltons. And it is entirely consistent with preceding events and with the course of the story. Edit And the above didn’t even count the 200 Bolton men with Steelshanks, who only serve to strengthen the Bolton numbers even more.
  14. What gets me is the utter lack of long term commitment to wives and children by the Viking men. This despite them supposedly being “very family focused”. Floki being one of the few exceptions, with his lifelong devotion to Helga. But starting with Ragnar’s betrayal of Lagertha, we then have Bjorn - who himself experienced first hand the trauma of a dad who betrayed his mom - going on to do the same, multiple times. As do Ragnar’s other sons. I find it reduces the likeability of the characters a lot.
  15. Free Northman Reborn

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    I am disappointed in myself that I was not able to shut down the "debate" on Roose's portion of the returning Northmen more capably. Because it honestly is not worthy of a debate. The estimate is given to us without any contradiction by any other character or viewpoint. There is no reason to question it. But instead of sticking to that point, my natural enjoyment in debating numbers led me to be drawn into a discussion which was unwarranted. And thus it legitimized the unfounded questioning of a basic bit of information that was provided to us not once but twice, from two separate sources. If even one character gave a contradictory viewpoint, then by all means, the issue must be open for debate. But absolutely no one disputed it. Martin simply conveyed the fact that Roose saved most of his own men while bleeding the other Northern lords' strength, ending up with an engineered situation where the majority of the 4000 returning Northmen are Dreadfort men. Simple as that. There is no cause to dispute that. There really isn't. I have previously thought in that direction. Since Robb had been sitting at Winterfell for some time, waiting for the Karstarks, it would have been greatly overcrowded. And since a long march lay ahead, it is certainly possible that some men departed ahead of time towards Moat Cailin.
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