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C.T. Phipps

The Ironborn history is nightmarish, isn't it?

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It's the funny thing but Aeron doesn't seem like all that bad of a guy personally.

He's a buzzkill, which is the worst thing you can be in my book :D At least Euron understands that being a pirate/viking/Cthulu-worshipper should be fun.

But in all seriousness, Aeron isn't sadistic or depraved but he is the most close-minded and fanatical of the Greyjoys which supports my point about the Ironborn priests in general

It's hard for me to blame the Drowned God's priests for the excesses of the Ironborn since all of the ones we meet are less motivated by religious fury than, well, money and slaves.

Then again, religion reflects culture as much as influences it.

But real reform would be much easier for the Ironborn without the priests' influence. It just seems like they are always the ones leading the counter-revolution. But I agree that a wider cultural chauvinism and love of violence also play a role

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Any revolution diminishes the power of the priests, which is rooted in their maintenance of IB traditions. This is a believable human reaction, and I firmly believe that the immortality of art lies in its ability to speak to things we instinctively recognize.



Some priests are probably power-hungry; they will consciously cling to their power. Others would be concerned by a "loosening of morality", and would cling to their power to prevent such, from their point of view, without realizing it's stifling change.



Fanatics are like that. Both those that advocate change and those who advocate stasis. The honest ones are afraid to let go of power because they trust their own honesty, the dishonest because they value power for its own sake.



Martin represents this well.


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I was horrified that Kings and Lords have time and time again tried to reform and gentrify the Islands only to be rebuffed brutally and their society regress terribly immediately after. The Damphair needs to die before he can raise any fanaticism and be the Shrike2 . But what will happen is Euron will pull some awesomeness out of his ass, get killed and the priests will lead the Ironborn back to hell.


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Are they still a force?

The depiction of the Ironborn in the book implies they're a bunch of weirdo religious fanatics dwelling in poverty and isolation for the past three centuries.

As someone said, they're the Taliban of Westeros.

Well that would actually make for a more believable story, but they're not just a localised threat. The Iron Fleet is a 100 ships strong and that's just the Seastone Chair's strength. All the main houses on the islands have their own fleets to boot. And they're expert fighters at sea, which is a serious strength multiplier for them.

So they're clearly set up as a serious naval force. And that's the bit that's perhaps not entirely believable if they've used their naval strength to reave and pillage at repeating intervals over thousands of years. As unlikely as a mainland alliance would have been, at some point it would have surely happened.

In any case, they've been conquered! As recently as Balon's rebellion... And we know Robert loves to forgive, but if the ironmen kept pulling the kind of shit they kept pulling, a non-Robert king would have been like "shoot em all and let god sort em out".

ETA: it's of course ridiculous to say GRRM "should have" written it one way or another. It's his book. The above is just in the context of how plausible and internally consistent (in a brutal world where punishment is severe) the iron islands story is.

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But real reform would be much easier for the Ironborn without the priests' influence. It just seems like they are always the ones leading the counter-revolution. But I agree that a wider cultural chauvinism and love of violence also play a role

Historically, getting involved in fights with the clergy is an uphill struggle at the best of times. Ironically, some of the most successful reforms happen when you get them BEHIND you.

It'd be easier if the reformers could AVOID offending the Drowned God church.

Not try to tackle, head on, something deeply important to the populace.

Arguably, more so than the raiding and salt wife taking.

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The Ironborn are like their name. Hard, but brittle.

They are not tempered steel like the North.

Which really irritates them.

What makes you say that? Maybe the Northmen are Bronze and the Iron Born are steel.

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What makes you say that? Maybe the Northmen are Bronze and the Iron Born are steel.

Do the Ironborn ever win...anything?

Like...ever?

They're a collection of guys who's chief warrior culture is preying on the helpless.

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Do the Ironborn ever win...anything?

Like...ever?

They're a collection of guys who's chief warrior culture is preying on the helpless.

They're doing better than the North. They kicked the Stormmen out of the Riverlands and had a King wo was feared troughout Westeros.

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Do the Ironborn ever win...anything?

Like...ever?

They're a collection of guys who's chief warrior culture is preying on the helpless.

I suspect that the Ironborn would call that cleverness.

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"... and not a soul to hear."

Judging from people like Jaime, Kevan, Daven, Tytos and the history of Lannisters in general, Tywin seems to be more of an outlier.

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Yes and what was funny is that even Harren the Black and the rest of the Hoares were progressive and enlightened and even Balon and his father were in comparison thus the introduction of maestars to the Iron Islands as healers. I would have to say that the Greyirons and thier predecessors were downright awful though.


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I suspect that the Ironborn would call that cleverness.

It's what screws up Theon because he has a Northern view of bravery when the Ironborn view of it is, "slit a man's throat while he's sleeping and kidnap his daughters as slaves."

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It's what screws up Theon because he has a Northern view of bravery when the Ironborn view of it is, "slit a man's throat while he's sleeping and kidnap his daughters as slaves."

Didn't Robb attack people in their sleep?

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Didn't Robb attack people in their sleep?

It's a good tactic.

I'm just saying Robb wouldn't call it brave.

:-)

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It's a good tactic.

I'm just saying Robb wouldn't call it brave.

:-)

I don't think the Greyjoys would call it brave either, but wars aren't about being fair. The Northmen and IB are both okay with killing people in their sleep.

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I don't think the Greyjoys would call it brave either, but wars aren't about being fair. The Northmen and IB are both okay with killing people in their sleep.

The Northmen don't extoll reaving and preying on other cultures as their highest calling, though. They still do it in times of war, but it isn't their pastime

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Balon's father was kind of okay though.

Yup. He understood that their culture of pillage and rape was outdated and wanted to turn the Iron Islands into a trading power.

How come he spawned such a litter of throwbacks? Maybe he had them fostered by other lords and didn't bother to take any part in their education?.

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The Northmen don't extoll reaving and preying on other cultures as their highest calling, though. They still do it in times of war, but it isn't their pastime

Everyone does it. The Iron Born are just honest about it?

I love Quellon though.

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