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Free Northman Reborn

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  1. Well, he’s in good company. Neither Federer nor Sampras ever won Olympic gold either. Anyway, he took it too lightly, playing mixed doubles as well against the advice of his coaching team. Onwards to the US Open, and calendar Grand Slam.
  2. Martin did not flesh out the Dustins and Ryswells until he scrapped the five year gap and had to make up some filler plot for the North. They were hardly mentioned in the early books and now they are suddenly revealed as major players in the North. The retconned excuses he came up with for their early absence was the infighting between the 3 Ryswell brothers which effectively paralyzed their House, and Barbrey’s supposed grudge against Eddard. So that’s why.
  3. So many ways to skin this cat. Let’s see. How about this approach: House Karstark has raised about 3000 men to date. They come from a cold, forested wilderness with no cities, about 500 miles north of White Harbor. Davos says the wind at White Harbor is like a warm bath compared to the freezing wind at the Wall. So, how much more populous is Manderly’s lands than the lands of the Karstarks? Two times, three times, four times? Not to mention that his wealth allows him to raise a larger percentage of his population to war than the Karstarks can. Just on that basis, I would estimate their full strength at around 7000- 8,000. Less the 2000 or so they have lost to date, leaving about 5000-6000 currently.
  4. Really didn’t feel like rehashing all of this again. For one, the Hungry Wolf had a large fleet when he invaded Essos during the Andal invasion. Two, the Starks clearly had a fleet 2000 years ago when they invaded the Three Sisters. (Which likely was during the Hungry Wolf’s time as well). Three, this started the War Across the Water, which lasted for the next 1000 years, during which the islands changed hands a dozen times, and the Starks invaded the Vale itself, even burning all the ships in Gulltown’s Harbor. Clearly they had a substantial fleet at this time. We know Mathos Arryn set sail to liberate the Three Sisters with 100 longships, so we get a sense of the the size of fleets involved during this war. Clearly Brandon did not end the North’s power at sea while this war raged on. So that brings us up to 1000 years ago, when the Manderlys arrived in the North. Leaving only a 700 year gap until Aegon’s Conquest. And conveniently tying in well with Wyman Manderly’s statement that “We have not had any strength at sea since Brandon the Burner burned his father’s fleet”, strongly implying that it happened during the Manderlys time in the North. Clearly we are in fact talking hundreds of years ago, not “thousands” as Fire and Blood incorrectly claims.
  5. Just a reminder of comparative scale here: SpaceX Starship on the left, Blue Origin’s New Shepard 2nd from the left.
  6. If you look at the order of the Stark statues in the crypts, it is evident that Brandon the Burner lived fairly close in time to the King Who Knelt (Torrhen Stark). I’m thinking perhaps a century before him. Maybe two at most. So the most likely explanation is that not much time passed after the burning of the Stark fleet until Aegon’s Conquest, which presumably ended the Ironborn threat to the mainland.
  7. Ah ok. Might be the Sorceress. My memory is hazy. I largely only recall her sitting Oracle-like in Castle Grey Skull back in the day, with He Man doing all the fighting. Hence my slight confusion at the action scenes in the trailer.
  8. Also, is it just me or does She-Ra/the Sorceress appear to get a bigger slice of the action than in the original series, where they were very much supporting characters to He-Man?
  9. “…which suggests it was written during the Andal Conquest.”
  10. Of course it is speculation. It is a forecast of potential future occurrences, so by default cannot be factual. Any one of them could get a career ending injury tomorrow. That doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it, or try and reasonably extrapolate the most likely outcome. The most likely outcome at this point is that more major titles are a bridge too far for Federer, that Nadal will still be the favourite at Roland Garros for the next couple of years and that Djokovic will be a strong contender at all four majors for the next two to three years - winning some and losing some.
  11. So in my view Novak has a reasonable shot at ending on 24/25 - thus achieving the undisputed Grand Slam lead among both men and women. Rafa can probably reach 22. Federer will not win another major title, and will end on 20. There is no way to dispute the GOAT status if that’s the final tally.
  12. Talent aside, he doesn’t have the mental strength of the Big 3.
  13. Well no. Federer ruled the roost before Nadal reached his prime. After that Nadal dominated him. Djokovic in turn is only 1 year younger than Nadal, and has a positive win record against him. It’s close between these two great rivals, but Novak clearly the GOAT. Federer is a distant third. By way of example Novak won 3 Grand Slams in 2011, beating Nadal in two of those finals. Nadal was 25 at the time and defending champion in both tournaments - so in his prime.
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