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TimJames

You're a Thrall in the Iron Islands, how do you win your freedom?

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You are a thrall. You were kidnapped from your village and taken to The Iron Islands to do manual labor for neither pay nor protection. The only way you're really different from a slave is that you can't buy your freedom. But you don't want to be a thrall anymore, and you are willing to risk your life and even end the lives of others in order to break your chains.

How do you go about winning your freedom?

Will you try and run away to Mainland Westeros? Will you try to rally your fellow thralls for a rebellion against The Ironborn? Or do you have another plan for obtaining freedom?

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Well... slavery is not permitted in Westeros, and the Ironborn are clear about the fact that Thralls aren't slaves, and therefore can't be bought, so I think getting rich and buying yourself won't work.

A rebellion against the Ironborn is really risky, because chances are they are much better armed and organized and you never know who of your fellow Thralls might actually be spying on you in hopes of earning themselves a better position.

If you have the guts to do it, I think gathering supplies, stealing a ship and trying to run for the Mainland is your best choice. Otherwise, get used to the life as a Thrall and take comfort in the fact that your children will be regarded as proper Ironborn.

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19 minutes ago, TimJames said:

You are a thrall. You were kidnapped from your village and taken to The Iron Islands to do manual labor for neither pay nor protection. The only way you're really different from a slave is that you can't buy your freedom. But you don't want to be a thrall anymore, and you are willing to kill to break your chains.

How do you go about winning your freedom?

Will you try and run away to Mainland Westeros? Will you try to rally your fellow thralls for a rebellion against The Ironborn? Or do you have another plan for obtaining freedom?

I bide my time, then when the moment comes, I run for the ocean and hurl myself into the sea, hoping I drown quickly.

"When a free man dies, he loses the pleasure of life. A slave loses his pain. Death is the only freedom a slave knows. That's why he's not afraid of it."

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work lazy (not to lazy to get punished) and wait for the next Greyjoy Rebellion. The Greyjoys rebell every now and then and get kicked back into submission thereafter. Right now they are in rebellion of course. But when the war of the five kings is over and the Others are driven back to some snowy hills it will be this time again and the next chance to leave for a thrall.

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1 hour ago, TimJames said:

You are a thrall. You were kidnapped from your village and taken to The Iron Islands to do manual labor for neither pay nor protection. The only way you're really different from a slave is that you can't buy your freedom. But you don't want to be a thrall anymore, and you are willing to kill to break your chains.

How do you go about winning your freedom?

Will you try and run away to Mainland Westeros? Will you try to rally your fellow thralls for a rebellion against The Ironborn? Or do you have another plan for obtaining freedom?

Slaves aren't free to marry. Thralls can marry and their children are considered Ironborn. Which is a significant difference.

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4 hours ago, It'sAlwaysWinterInScotland said:

Slaves aren't free to marry. Thralls can marry and their children are considered Ironborn. Which is a significant difference.

Where does it say anything about marriage? The wiki doesn't say that. Salt Wives certainly are not free to marry, and appearently they can be murdered by their owner without legal ramifications.

While the children of thralls are free, this only applies if thralls allow their children to be raised in the tradition of the Drowned God (aka The faith that treats rape and slavery as commendable).

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5 hours ago, Hodor's Aunt said:

work lazy (not to lazy to get punished) and wait for the next Greyjoy Rebellion. The Greyjoys rebell every now and then and get kicked back into submission thereafter. Right now they are in rebellion of course. But when the war of the five kings is over and the Others are driven back to some snowy hills it will be this time again and the next chance to leave for a thrall.

This is a good plan. In the Antebellum American South, slaves often resisted by doing as little work as they could get away with (working slowly, pretending to not understand how to work machines, etc). 

Likewise, a Thrall who sided with The Royal Army during the First Greyjoy Rebellion could expect to be rewarded or at the very least set free.

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1 hour ago, TimJames said:

Where does it say anything about marriage? The wiki doesn't say that. Salt Wives certainly are not free to marry, and appearently they can be murdered by their owner without legal ramifications.

While the children of thralls are free, this only applies if thralls allow their children to be raised in the tradition of the Drowned God (aka The faith that treats rape and slavery as commendable).

And you don't see that as a bit of a difference? Children of slaves are slaves; not so for thralls. There's an opportunity for their children to become Ironborn. (Your moral objections to their culture notwithstanding.)

Thralls aren't free to leave. I never posted that they were. But that's the only way a thrall is getting out of their indentured servitude. Either that or death. 

 

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1 hour ago, It'sAlwaysWinterInScotland said:

And you don't see that as a bit of a difference? Children of slaves are slaves; not so for thralls. There's an opportunity for their children to become Ironborn. (Your moral objections to their culture notwithstanding.)

Thralls aren't free to leave. I never posted that they were. But that's the only way a thrall is getting out of their indentured servitude. Either that or death. 

Even if taking thralls was the worst thing The Ironborn did, I still would not want my children continuing the cycle of binding human beings. Not only are they not free to leave: they're not free at all. They're essentially slaves; Thralls are the legal property of their captors and are forced to obey. Making a distinction is hair-splitting.

But in any case, there are always ways to escape. Stow away on a merchant ship and get out when on The Mainland. Construct a crude ship in secrecy and sail to Seaguard at nighttime. Organize and launch a Thrall Uprising when The Iron Islands are at war. Try and find out if there is anyone sympathetic to your plight and willing to guide you to freedom. Perhaps a dragon rider will show up and order her army of eunich super-soldiers to kill every Reaver on the archipelago. Where there's a will, there's a way.

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37 minutes ago, TimJames said:

Even if taking thralls was the worst thing The Ironborn did, I still would not want my children continuing the cycle of binding human beings. Not only are they not free to leave: they're not free at all. They're essentially slaves; Thralls are the legal property of their captors and are forced to obey. Making a distinction is hair-splitting.

But in any case, there are always ways to escape. Stow away on a merchant ship and get out when on The Mainland. Construct a crude ship in secrecy and sail to Seaguard at nighttime. Organize and launch a Thrall Uprising when The Iron Islands are at war. Try and find out if there is anyone sympathetic to your plight and willing to guide you to freedom. Perhaps a dragon rider will show up and order her army of eunich super-soldiers to kill every Reaver on the archipelago. Where there's a will, there's a way.

It's actually not hair-splitting. You can't buy and sell thralls like property - which you can slaves. Slaves are commodities which can be sold like cattle. Thralldom is indentured servitude, albeit enforced, but they can't be sold like slaves. Your personal disdain for it doesn't make that any less of a significant difference.

Just like the children of thralls being Ironborn if brought up in the religion of the Drowned God is a significant difference to how children of slaves are treated. Those children are free. They can join Ironborn ship crews as free men; the children of slaves cannot. The children of slaves cannot eventually go on to form a House of their own; House Codd descends from thralls.

The thrall uprising probably isn't a great idea. Didn't ultimately pay off before, and it's unlikely that any Ironborn lord will be sympathetic. You can try to escape the islands, but it's risky.

In this hypothetical scenario if I could read & write, count etc and was one of the thralls that some Ironborn may use in place of a maester, then I'd probably not risk getting an axe in my head for trying to escape.

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20 minutes ago, It'sAlwaysWinterInScotland said:

It's actually not hair-splitting. You can't buy and sell thralls like property - which you can slaves. Slaves are commodities which can be sold like cattle. Thralldom is indentured servitude, albeit enforced, but they can't be sold like slaves. Your personal disdain for it doesn't make that any less of a significant difference.

The dictionary definition of slave is, and I quote, "someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay". 

While Thralldom is less severe than chattel-slavery, that doesn't make it not-slavery. It's not just personal opinion: nobody likes being kidnapped and forced to work without pay. 

You might not fill a Maester-like position: you might be forced to work in fields or in mines. Not so fun now, is it? And what if you had family members on the mainland whom you'll never see again?

Of course there's risk in trying to escape or rebel, but I'd say the reward potential outweighs it.

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7 hours ago, TimJames said:

The dictionary definition of slave is, and I quote, "someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay". 

While Thralldom is less severe than chattel-slavery, that doesn't make it not-slavery. It's not just personal opinion: nobody likes being kidnapped and forced to work without pay. 

You might not fill a Maester-like position: you might be forced to work in fields or in mines. Not so fun now, is it? And what if you had family members on the mainland whom you'll never see again?

Of course there's risk in trying to escape or rebel, but I'd say the reward potential outweighs it.

I'm aware of what the dictionary definition is. Dictionary definitions aren't taking ASOOAF cultural differences into account.

I'm not really sure what the rest of your point actually is tbh. "Slavery is bad"? Erm....ok?

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Given it some thought and I'd probably just stay. Ironborn tend to take smallfolk as thralls, so I'm not trained at arms. Assuming I'm doing farmwork then I'll stay and just try to be as valuable as I can to avoid catching a beating.

If I work the mines then maybe I'll try to sneak to the harbour and either hide aboard a merchant ship or try to bribe or plead a merchant into taking me on board. All I can offer is identured servitude, but at least it'd be to pay off a debt with a view to freedom.

If I'm staying on the Iron Islands then any sons will probably be raised in the religion of the Drowned God. I may secretly tell them of the Old Gods of The First Men, but my main concern is encouraging him to kill my lord or make for the mainland as soon as he can.

(Figured I should at least try to answer your question after derailing the thread! ;) )

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I'd try to develop and show some ability in weapons somehow.
I'm big, I could impress some ship captain in bad conditions into giving me a chance - and that would mean chances to be out of islands on a semi-regular basis, and to learn something about sail and navigation.
I'm quite sure it would backfire at some point, some ironborn wouldn't like the idea of a thrall be as good as them at their game. And some more expert warrior than me in that camp would take action on the matter sooner or later.
But hey, if things went straight, I could even get into a position where I wouldn't want to leave.
 

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Since Ironmen got me, I probably grew in coastal village and thus am more or less familiar with sea. I'll steal a fishing boat and sail into horizon.

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