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redtree

North vs Reach, who has the best fighter ?

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That's the thing though you would think that the reach would be better fighters but you have to think about where the northerners are being trained and where the reaches the northerners have a distinct advantage because they are trained in colder weather all freaking year long they have built up better stamina they probably have better insurance t and might obvious and then you put them in a southern setting all it takes twice as much energy to make your muscles work when fighter in the South who's been trained in the north all that extra energy that they would have to expend to ass ass 

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Poison darts are useless against a fully armoured knight though, unless you are lucky/a really good aim 

Depends on the type of armour, arrows from good bows are known to get through mail which was what many wore (I dont know what the standard Reachmen armour is). If it's full plate armour, on the other hand, I agree with you. 

 

Also don't forget Howland used a polearm, an ideal weapon for fighting heavy armour. 

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Evidence that they are miles ahead of him in terms of skill?? Do you know the greatjons skill level?? Is it mentioned anywhere?? All we know is that the guy is big, strong, powerful and has survived 3 major wars and numerous wildling skirmishes unscathed. He is more than twice the age of either garlan or loras and has 10 times the experience. For all we know he could be extremely well skilled as well.

The man laughs when a giant wolf eats his fingers for crying out loud!!!

Eddard, Catelyn, and Robb all don't think that the Greatjon is cunning. They all think that he's just a big strong guy to be sent in as a wrecking machine, not someone you use to actually maintain any sense of strategy or do anything skillful or intelligent. He's a brawler through and through. He is skilled and knows what end of the sword to use, but he's not going to ever be doing anything skillful. He does rely on his size, strength, and ferocity to win. That doesn't make him a bad warrior as he's clearly not, but skillwise it does mean that he's lacking in that department.

People often compare him to Gregor, but it's a false comparison. Gregor isn't some man who happens to have some skill that's augmented greatly by huge size, strength, and ferocity like the greatjon. He's actually extremely skilled and understands warfare very well.

  • He's great enough at jousting that Loras, one of the best jousters in the realm who's victories and skill are known all the way in the North according to Catelyn, feels that he needs to cheat against him. That tells you a lot, beyond the very fact that he was even in the semi-finals of the Hand's Tourney which was set up to attract the greatest knights in the realm.
  • During his fight with Oberyn when he can't get by Oberyn's spear which has 2ft of reach on him, but Oberyn's spear can't piece any part of his plate, Gregor simply runs himself right into Oberyn's spear. Might sound stupid to intentionally run yourself into your opponent's weapon, but the spear as usual does nothing because of his armor and now suddenly Gregor has Oberyn where Oberyn's spear is now utterly useless with Gregor inside his reach and Oberyn is now having to basically flat out run to stay away from Gregor. That showed cunning and skill to figure out how to get past Oberyn's spear which had previously kept him completely out of even remotely touching Oberyn.
  • Again during his duel with Oberyn, the duel takes place on a cloudy day. When the sun breaks through the clouds during the duel, Gregor, not Oberyn is the one who first puts the sun at his back as a warrior should. It is better to have the sun at your back because it keeps it out of your eyes, while blinding your opponent. Admittedly, Oberyn eventually uses his burnished shield to flash the sun light coming at him into Gregor's eyes which gets him his first wound on Gregor, but that's more of just a completely unrealistic situation that GRRM created where someone could ever aim the sun into their opponents eyes with their shield during an intense duel where both guys are constantly moving and you'd only have like a second. Not to mention that Gregor's helm is noted as having a really small eye slit which would it even more impossible that Oberyn did what GRRM wrote that he did.
  • And of course during the duel, Gregor instantly reacted to Oberyn's mistake of getting too caught up in the moment and coming into Gregor's reach just because he thought the duel was over and he still wanted a confession. He won by his skill and recognition of Oberyn's mistake just as much as he did by having the strength to punch a whole through Oberyn's face.
  • During the Sack of King's Landing, Gregor is sent to kill Aegon and Rhaenys as we know. What doesn't get talked about very often though is how he even got into Maegor's holdfast in the first place: he scaled the wall. He didn't force the gates which we know, at least judging by how Maegor's holdfast is defended in our story, is how the building is defended by having the guards posted there. He went right over them in a place that we've never heard of being defended. Nor did we hear about how Gregor butchered dozens of people, or anybody at all, before killing Elia and Aegon. He simply bypassed them entirely.
  • When Beric and his men ride out to kill him, Gregor instead springs a trap on them which kills almost everybody, including Beric himself by Gregor's own lance.
  • When Tywin attempts to head west, he stages mu;tiple crossings along the Trident to try and get past, with the main assault being the one headed by Gregor. The Tullys and Riverlords had all the advantages on their side of the river, and yet Gregor's battle still proved the most successful against them of all the assaults. The Riverlords eventually throw his army back, but Gregor still pressed them harder than any other Westernland commander did.

Gregor's not just big, he actually really knows what he's doing when it comes to fighting.

Poison darts are useless against a fully armoured knight though, unless you are lucky/a really good aim 

This is true for the most part, but it does say something that when Roose travels through Moat Cailin is the only time that he ever wears his full set of armor.

Back where the press was thickest at the center of the column rode a man armored in dark grey plate over a quilted tunic of blood-red leather. His rondels were wrought in the shape of human heads, with open mouths that shrieked in agony. From his shoulders streamed a pink woolen cloak embroidered with droplets of blood. Long streamers of red silk fluttered from the top of his closed helm. No crannogman will slay Roose Bolton with a poisoned arrow, Reek thought when he first saw him. An enclosed wagon groaned along behind him, drawn by six heavy draft horses and defended by crossbowmen, front and rear. Curtains of dark blue velvet concealed the wagon's occupants from watching eyes.

He never wears that much armor in any battle or any other time we see him so there's the possibility that someone could enter the duel not entirely decked out if Roose never bothers to fully armor himself in other life threatening situations. Roose only fully enclosed himself when he knew that there was a chance that he could be shot by a poisoned arrow. If the fighters didn't know that there was a chance that they could be facing a poisoned arrow, they might not fully armor themselves.

Oberyn after all went into his duel with Gregor wearing leather because he knew that Gregor, besides his own huge size which gave him great reach, was wielding a 6ft long greatsword so he needed to be faster than him as he wouldn't be able to go toe to toe with him. And Barristan doesn't wear his helm when he goes to arrest Hizdahr because he thinks that it will just get in the way if it comes to a fight as it blocks his vision and can catch a sword or axe. That's mainly design flaws really, but he thinks that the helm's fine for tourneys so it's still a perfectly good helm, just not what he wants to wear. While a fully armored knight will stop most blows no matter the weapon, it's really more whether the opponent would even show up like that because it ultimately depends on what's practical for them and how they like to fight. There probably would be quite a few guys who wouldn't come in fully armored which could be exploited.

The main problem with a crannogman going into this duel with poisoned darts is that I don't think that you'd ever be allowed to bring a bow/dart gun to a duel lol. Gregor and Oberyn's duel started with them at 50 yards away from one another. No idea if that's a fairly standard practice or just that's how things played out due to the arena chosen for their fight, but imagine what a great archer like Anguy or Ulmer could do with 50 yards between them and their opponent. It pretty much ruins the fight if you can just pick off your opponent before the fight can even start. Unless maybe it was like an archers only duel like how duels later came to be between pistols in our history.

Simply because of the number of fighters to choose from, the obvious answer is the Reach but with that said, I think it's unfair to write off the North simply based on the renoun of the fighters. Renoun in the current day and age in the ASOIAF universe comes from Tourneys and very, VERY, slightly from a few isolated events during the War of the 5 Kings. The North is isolated and we simply don't know near as much about them or their fighters as we do the other Kingdoms, especially the Reach since the names I see coming up constantly are the two Tyrell's and Loras is a major player (in relative comparison to others) throughout the books. 

Still going with the Reach for reasons stated above but the North is no joke or to be taken as lightly as I've got the impression from some of the above posts. The GreatJon is a one man wrecking crew and even though he's old (by ASOIAF standards), Hugo Wull seems and sounds like a flat-out badass and if he's not, he sure talks a good game. We simply don't have the pertinent info to completely write them off so quickly. Then again, this is only my opinion and view on the subject.

Completely off topic since he's not from either region but I would bet my last dollar on Victarion in his plate against just about any knight from any of the 7K's. 

But isn't this kind of a problem? Sure we know about a lot of fighters from their tourney renown which plays in the Reach's favor, but seeing as northerners don't really fight in tourneys, we should be looking to their battles to hear about the great feats that show their skill... and there's none. Or at least nothing really that I can think of.

What northern fighter fought to acclaim during Robert's Rebellion? The only feat I can think of off is Eddard's victory at Stoney Sept (which still relied on Hoster Tully's army and Robert's timely aid) or maybe how Ser Bartimus saved Wyman Manderly's life at the Trident. Nothing about how the Greatjon killed many men at Stoney Sept or how Jory Cassel fought brilliantly at the Trident. Or anything really. No one has any deeds really unless I'm missing something. Compare that to Robert who has like 13 known single combat kills across the Rebellion, Lyn Corbray who broke the Dornish forces and killed Lewyn Martell at the Trident, Jason Mallister who killed 3 of Rhaegar's bannermen at the Trident, Jon Connington who killed Denys Arryn and defeated Hoster Tully at Stoney Sept, Barristan who killed 12 men at the Trident, etc.

And during the Greyjoy Rebellion? There's Jorah being one of the first men through the breached walls of Pyke and how he got his knighthood for bravery during the battle. On the other hand there's Thoros who actually was the first man through the walls and killed many ironborn with his flaming sword, Barristan conquering Old Wyk, Stannis defeating Victarion and the Iron Fleet at Fair Isle, Stannis conquering Great Wyk, Jason Mallister killing Rodrik Greyjoy, Tywin defeating some island, Jacelyn Bywater who earned a knighthood during the battle, etc..

It's not that northerners haven't garnered renown because they don't participate in tourneys, it's that they haven't garnered any really anywhere. They just seem to be there for the fight and do their thing, but nothing of note. At least not that we ever really hear about. Maybe we've just gotten far more stories of other people, but there's just a lack of noteworthy deeds by northerners in general.

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On 4-12-2015 at 4:01 PM, Hrulj said:

 

Experience is gained fighting. . Numbers enable them to do what others cant. As I said, they can march and army up the neck while sending another one on the ships without any difficultry. 

North doesnt have time to build a navy. Building a navy takes time. If they start building one when war starts its too late.

You dont need fighters, but comanders. Tarly's and Tyrells are more than enough to defeat the Northern ones

 

On 7-12-2015 at 3:55 AM, King of the Narrow Sea said:
 

(...) Maybe we've just gotten far more stories of other people, but there's just a lack of noteworthy deeds by northerners in general.

The weird thing we have stories of great deeds on northerners told to us ... but not of things they did in the south. But in Jon's chapters we have several mentions of the Stark Lords (and Umbers) fighting against the wildlings, ... It is just a different culture. Nowhere people tell stories of Benjen Stark, the first ranger, who is in fact heavily respected by the Watch, or Qhorin the Halfhand who is a legend in the Watch. 

Bran knows about Howland. He knows Howland saved his father but that story is never told in the south. Wyman did won some acclaim in the lists. Northeners are apparently know as good house riders (if we have Harwin to believe). The Dustins and the Ryswells have probably an entire tradition built on it. And as we learn from Loras, horsemanship is very important in jousts. Domeric Bolton was an amazing rider and he was believed to have the making of a tournament champion (sadly he died before he could be). Brandon was also very talented swordsman and jouster. You have the KotLt. Do we hear that story heard in the South? He was actually one of the last champions in the tourney of Harrenhal? (And he was actually either a girl, a young boy or a crannogman.) Jory lost against Lothor Brune, who is a good fighter, only after a decision made by King Robert. Is Jon also not a skilled swordsman? How would a Reachman do against its fight if Jon gets in a berserker moot. 

We know Theon killed several men at the Wispering Wood as he likes to tell people. But do we know who the Northmen killed? Greatjon probably killed several people, ... Do we hear tales about the She-Bears, who are women and good warriors in their own right. You could write an amazing song about them, no? The only song we know is being made in the one with the Young Wolf in the night? 

The Freys had to give a large of amount alcohol to the Northerners before they even dared to attack them, Robb could only be slain at that wedding, ... Ned was still the one who according to Robert was the reason why they won at the stoney sept, he was the leader of Robert's army at King's Landing, he was leading from the front. 

It is actually very easy to say that Northmen are bad fighters based on the results of tourneys. Yes, the tourneys are heavily won by southerners but the northmen does not really participate. But if they do, they are not really bad at it? You have Jorah, Jory, Wyman, Alyn, Brandon, ...(?) And they were not bad at it.

When do people in the south talk/sing of people from the North? The renoun is most of the times made by the singers and they sing the songs to glorify the ones who they serve. The songs of the North and the south are different about subject. In the North they sing songs of the Wall and fighting the Wildlings, in the south they sing of knights. Everyone says that Robert won the stoney sept while apparently it was actually thanks to Ned. A large part of it just depends on what songs people are going to sing.

Still who will a 1 to 1 depends on what you are going to fight: 

- a wrestling match: I put my money on the Greatjon

- sword fighting: Garlan the Galant

- jousting: Loras (except if there is also a cousin of Domeric who is also talented in horseriding) ... maybe still Loras then

- melee Reachmen v. Northeners: Sigh; to be honest, I actually see the Northeners the melee drunk, so it might be the Reachmen. But I think one of the greatest strengths in the melee is maybe the ferocity of the fighters (which was why probably Robert was very good at it) and the Northerners might have more ferocity than the Reachmen. I don't know.  

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What does having the best fighter means exactly and how that can be judged? First of all geniuses (ex Sir Arthur Dayne or Selmy) or freaks of nature (ex Gregor Clegane) can pop up in any region. You only have to be lucky that this genius happen to be the right family which can finance his training. I doubt that Gregor or Sir Arthur Dayne would be that terrifying if he spent much of their existance cleaning dishes. Also there's many types of fighting. There's jousting, duels and the real battlefield (ie which is mostly street fighting as knights would have little space to manouver or use their cool moves). I doubt Sir Arthur could do much if he ends up trapped in a restricted environment and at the receiving end of Robert's Baratheon's warhammer.

Now lets take the two regions at a closer glance. The reach is rich and therefore more overpopulated. That should better their chances in having more geniuses around. However in a medieval setup wealth and numbers rarely meant anything. The Mongols were poor and vastly outnumbered and they were able to ridicule most of the known world. Same with the vikings a few centuries earlier. The reason to that is that if someone is rich then he will probably delegate the gruesome stuff to others. Also not even Sir Arthur or the great john can knock 20 conscripted militia especially if well armed and decently trained (good luck for them to avoid twenty bolts).

The north is much less populated and poorer however that can play as an advantage. Less money and connections means more reliance on quality (they cant afford having a big army ready to defend them so if they can only afford 20 permanent soldiers then they better be good). If the Greyjoys invade then it will the other bannermen months to organize themselves and fight against them so the lands affected have to keep the fort mostly by themselves. Having said that horses are expensive and not suited for extreme weather or hilly places so I guess that the Northern cavalry isn't that great either. Therefore on that regard I think the Starks have better infantry while the reach have better cavalry. 
 

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The much often-repeated wealth of the South,especially the Reach and Lannister, definitely makes some of us quickly conclude that the reach has an advantage over the northerners. This might be true, given the south's advantages in almost everything from manpower and wealth to equipment and training. But, I don't think the North is very much behind. In fact, it has been described time and again that they are of sturdy breed, disciplined on battlefields and hardened from many fight against wildlings over the course of centuries. I maintain that when it comes to equipment they wont be much inferior either, because they knew how to make glass gardens and heating system using hot spring water. The Starks are certainly not playing catch up in what we would call technology and development sector. They might be poor, but doesn't mean they can't beat the more wealthy regions. Just a look at china history might be sufficient. There were many times when an "inferior and barbaric" race threatened the dominant Han and in some cases even overthrew and established might dynasties such as "Yuan dynasty by Mongols" and "Qing dynasty by Manchus" . 

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11 hours ago, devilish said:

I guess that the Northern cavalry isn't that great either. Therefore on that regard I think the Starks have better infantry while the reach have better cavalry. 

Actually Harwin believes Northmen are amazing horse-riders. You have Domeric Bolton, Brandon Stark, Lyanna Stark, Arya Stark, Harwin, ... 

Arya could outride the BwB except for Harwin. Probably on a horse from the North? (the Boltons? Present from the Ryswells?) Just like house Bracken, the Ryswells have a horse on their banner? The Rills are probably a great place to breed horses? You have Lord Dustin's red stallion. The Northerners have actually more place to graze their horses, the Reach need all their ground for agriculture to feed their population while the problem of the North is probably they just don't have enough people?

So I think you should not underestimate the quality of their cavalry?  

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1 hour ago, Tijgy said:

Actually Harwin believes Northmen are amazing horse-riders. You have Domeric Bolton, Brandon Stark, Lyanna Stark, Arya Stark, Harwin, ... 

Arya could outride the BwB except for Harwin. Probably on a horse from the North? (the Boltons? Present from the Ryswells?) Just like house Bracken, the Ryswells have a horse on their banner? The Rills are probably a great place to breed horses? You have Lord Dustin's red stallion. The Northerners have actually more place to graze their horses, the Reach need all their ground for agriculture to feed their population while the problem of the North is probably they just don't have enough people?

So I think you should not underestimate the quality of their cavalry?  

Winter has only just started in the North and we can already see how useless the horses with Stannis' army are, much to the surprise and frustration of the soldiers (which makes it clear that these conditions don't occur in the South). This would put a dampener on large horse breeding (destriers at least) in the North considering how useless they are for long periods of time.

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7 hours ago, Tijgy said:

Actually Harwin believes Northmen are amazing horse-riders. You have Domeric Bolton, Brandon Stark, Lyanna Stark, Arya Stark, Harwin, ... 

Arya could outride the BwB except for Harwin. Probably on a horse from the North? (the Boltons? Present from the Ryswells?) Just like house Bracken, the Ryswells have a horse on their banner? The Rills are probably a great place to breed horses? You have Lord Dustin's red stallion. The Northerners have actually more place to graze their horses, the Reach need all their ground for agriculture to feed their population while the problem of the North is probably they just don't have enough people?

So I think you should not underestimate the quality of their cavalry?  

Im not referring to noblemen but to the army as a whole. Horses and knights are  god damn expensive something poorer houses cant afford very much

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