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About Jaak

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  1. Jaak

    Did Meleys fight on the Stepstones?

    With all the dragons in the world on the same side, there IS a place for women and children on a battlefield. Above the battlefield, above bowshot and safe from whatsoever the enemies might try. A pair of eyes and a human mind a furlong above trees, houses and hills, like Orell´s eagle, is useful even when the human mind is that of a seven year old girl.
  2. Blood claims were still an issue, and Tsar´s word was not everything. Peter I said it was, but then did not actually say what it was. Neither Anna Ivanovna nor Jelizaveta Petrovna got their choices to stick, however.
  3. Something to note: The Starks of Winterfell would have had little reasons to remember the prehistory of Starks of Reach before Brandon the Builder. It would have concerned petty feuds and alliances with the unimportant and now remote Reach noble houses. But these Reach noble houses would have had a reason to remember. "Starks were OUR bannermen before they went away to North", "We beat Brandon the Builder" - these would be memorable boasts for a petty noble family in Reach that did hear of distant Winter Kings and Night Watch, like Manderly or Peake. Do we hear the name of Brandon the Builder's overlord? Especially if he was not a Gardener?
  4. Jaak

    Crownlands Makes No Sense

    Indeed. Why did he ever try to conquer Westeros?
  5. Jaak

    Crownlands Makes No Sense

    And to a degree, the problem must have been that the kingdoms were somewhat institutional communities. But only to a degree. We do not see much of those institutions 300 years later, other than paramount lords, their castles and families. Only Dorne has much in the way of national officials (justiciars, treasurer and bailiffs). At Winterfell and Eyrie, these officials are pretty obviously missing. Yet one option could have been to build up and take control of Kingdom-level institutions. Aegon managed to recruit a number of appointed, non-hereditary servants from Westeros - and these even at the cost of celibacy! The seven Kingsguard were celibate, yet Aegon´s ones earned a reputation (though Maegor´s Owen Bush would draw some criticism). Aegon also used to go on progresses with 6 maesters - also celibate. After Aegon, Kings of Iron Throne are no longer attested as employing multiple maesters. Just the lone Grand Maester - first attested when Aenys died. Submission of Kingdoms tied Aegon´s hands somewhat. He was honour bound to allow some autonomy to those who bent the knee. But by luck or design, he destroyed Harren, Argilac and also Gardeners. It is odd that Mern did not have some three year old grandson or niece safe at Highgarden. Why create paramount lords so equal to the former kings? Instead, the logical move would have been recruit teams of nonhereditary, appointed officials and build up royal castles as bases for them. One obvious spot could have been some port on Ironman´s Bay. Create a Warden of West, a royal Sunset Navy with a separate Master of Ships for the Sunset Sea (a long sail around Dorne...) and authorize the team of admirals and household knights based there to deal with trouble arising on either Iron Islands or Westerlands, and mobilize the lords as necessary. And maesters for medical care and raven network. If trouble arises, King or some queen are likely to show up on dragonback soon.
  6. Jaak

    Crownlands Makes No Sense

    How would Tarlys get the money to pay taxes to Tyrells? No minerals either. We quite simply do not have the breakdown of Tyrell revenues - how much is demesne incomes, how much is taxes from bannermen. And that includes both ends of range as options - it is possible that Tyrells "live on their own" and bannermen are purely military allies, or that Tyrells are landless and every stag comes from some bannerman. We don´t actually hear it. The only overlord we hear of specifically having had a demesne was Starks. Because when Alysanne made Alysanne´s Gift to Watch, we do not hear of any lords dispossessed from Gift, nor of any lords becoming bannermen of Watch. Therefore the whole New Gift was previously Stark demesne with no lord but Stark in the distant Winterfell. Only one. Signally the other revolts failed or never happened. Um? The Empire held together. And easily weathered even Spanish Succession. Lasted till about 1821. Need I also remind you that NOT A SINGLE RULER OF THE INDIES wanted to cast off their crown and swear fealty to Carlos either? And it is not only the Indians like Montezuma and Atahuallpa who did not get to keep hereditary rule over their realms as vassals of Carlos. Henry IV had been enfeoffing various Crown incomes and privileges to Castilian nobles on hereditary basis. Cortez, Pizarro and their followers hoped to become hereditary lords of the lands they conquered for Christianity and Carlos. Did not happen. Gonzalo Pizarro lost his head for trying. Cortez got to keep his head, but his son was packed off to Spain with some pension from his marquessate of Oaxaca, on condition that he never show up in Indies. Ditto about Duke of Montezuma (heir of, well, Montezuma) and Duke of Veragua (heir of Columbus). By the time of Philip II, and two and a half centuries thereafter, the governors of Spanish possessions, from Puerto Rico to Philippines and from New Mexico to Chiloe, were nonhereditary appointees serving for a few years at one post, appointed by a stroke of pen in Madrid. Even though the letter travelled at the speed of a sailing ship at a suitable season, no raven, and took over a year from Madrid to Philippines. Modest one. Riders with letters were not much faster in 16th, or indeed 19th, century than in 12th. Look at the tremendous difference in the political environment of Castile of 1460s of Henry IV, vs. Spain of 1530s of Carlos I. Or England of 1450s of War of Roses vs. England of 1540s, Henry VIII-s Reformation Parliament and Disillusion of Monasteries. But this is not even a Renaissance issue. William the Bastard could dispossess almost all landowners of England, and that with 11th century technology. He did provoke resistance, but this he successfully harried. Then specify what you think dragon speed is. Rhaenyra racing Daemon King´s Landing to Dragonstone and back supports speeds comparable to ravens.
  7. Jaak

    Crownlands Makes No Sense

    But Iron Throne does not "own" Crownlands either. Darklyn of Duskendale, Stokeworth, Rosby or Velaryon are as much owners of their lands as Arryns, Tullys, Tyrells or Baratheons are. It worked for Philip II. And dragons made a difference. Say King of Reach is in Oldtown when trouble, like a foreign war, starts 1200 miles away near Tumbleton. What could a dragonless Gardener do? Get news by raven mail. Say 400 miles per day. So 3 days. Then what? If the Reach forces near at hand are confused as to what to do or who to be led by, then the King can reply by raven. That´s 3 days in return. So the raven is back on day D+6... but that´s just raven. The King might take command himself or send a trusted commander to take command. Assuming that it is a few men riding hard and taking changes of horses... Napoleon, in December 1812, sustained average 100 miles per day for 13 days. But he was using coaches, too. A big difference. He could nap while being driven. If Reach had roads, coaches and relay stations then Gardener King might be in Tumbleton on D+15... again, to take command of just the forces that are already there. A force of infantry, or of cavalry that has to feed the horses and let them graze, is limited to perhaps 15 miles per day, The real full forces of Gardeners would be in Tumbleton by D+83. And now compare dragonrider. News still travel at raven speed, so reach the King at D+3. But the King on dragonback will sustain the same speed as a raven. So on D+6, Tumbleton gets answer by dragon, not raven. The King is at Tumbleton on D+6, not D+15. And that´s not a lone man in command of forces already there. The infantry does still take till D+83 to arrive. But the King´s dragon is a significant force balance in ways that King´s person is not. So... the difference is between having a rebellion forcefully answered on D+83 or on D+6. A significant deterrent, that.
  8. Jaak

    Crownlands Makes No Sense

    Riverlands also has navigable rivers - Trident with its forks. The question is how to connect Trident basin with Blackwater basin. Yes - but he had a Hand. Which the pre-Conquest Kings are not mentioned as having. Actually, the Gardeners of Reach, rulers of the biggest single realm (apart from Stormlands-plus-Riverlands of Durrandons) did not have Hands, but did have Stewards. Is that a coincidence? How did the division of business between King Mern and Steward Harlan compare with the division of business between King Aegon and Hand Orys?
  9. Jaak

    Crownlands Makes No Sense

    Yes, but Reach is bigger than Crownlands, and WAS held together for millennia. Size of land or population was not THAT limiting. Stormlands and Riverlands combined was comparable size to Reach, and had just been held together for three centuries. Aegon might have reassembled the Durrandon kingdom without splitting away most of it to Tully and Baratheon.
  10. Jaak

    Shaera in Aerys´ rule

    Or a decent pretext. Because the treatment of Lady Whent undermined the whole message. The lords were not outright attainted. They were invited to show up at court to swear allegiance... and then, at the same breath, assign Lady Whent´s Harrenhal to Janos Slynt. Why? If Lady Whent took the option to show up and bend the knee to Joffrey, what were they going to do with Harrenhal? With Janos? Listing Lady Whent in summons, and then ignoring the summons and attainting her regardless, made the invitation to surrender an insult, undermining expectation for it to be a serious offer.
  11. I find the same inconstistency. For me, a solution is that replacement of Old Tongue by Common Speech happened not with Andal conquest, but after Long Night. Starks were not replaced nor subjugated by Andal conquest, but they were outsider newcomers in North after Long Night.
  12. Um. Royces bent their knee to Arryn 6000 years ago. Starks did not. Why should Starks have changed their language? On the other hand, if Brandon the Builder came from Reach with his Reach followers after Long Night, speaking a different tongue than the northerners who had survived the Long Night... then it would have made sense for his subjects and bannermen to adopt his language and forsake the Old Tongue.
  13. When First Men adopted Andal writing, what became of tradition of runes?
  14. Sure. But why is the full story of Brandon the Builder not "known" the way the full story of Odysseus or David is "known" - that is, a single universally recognized account that no one is going to contradict? Did the Westeros of Andal Conquest write down any history that gained as general acceptance as Illiad and Odyssey, or Books of Moses, Samuel and Kings?
  15. One thing: not all victims of these atrocities survived. A lot of perpetrators found it easy to forget about their evil deeds, because their victims did not live to tell their tales, and bystanders did not care. Another: think of the factions which survived Long Night, but did not survive Andal conquest. Like Mudds who died in Andal conquest, or Casterlies who were replaced before Lannisters continued in Lydden line. The Houses that went extinct while illiterate never got to write their side of story. Oddly, the Lannister history in World Book does give a founding story for Casterlies. Some oral history was carried over. But the histories that became Someone Else´s History before or during Andal conquest were prime candidates to be forgotten rather than written down.