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Floki of the Ironborn

A question about a region's fighting strength (particularly the North)

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3 minutes ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

43,000 is the bare minimum not outright disproven by the books. Going for the average, I say ~70,000.

Wow, then the Reach and Westerlands are even stronger than I assumed. Take the numbers we see in the books (41k) and add 30k, you get at least the same amount. I wonder what those 30k will do in winds of winter, I thought the Lannisters were finished, but it seems like the still outnumber the Targaryens. 

 

I think the northern numbers are pretty clear: 

20k went with Robb

2k with Rodrick Cassel 

Bolton has maybe 7k men at Winterfell, 2k of them Freys and 4k of them survivors from Robb's host, so maybe we can add 1k men

Stannis has 5k men, 1k of them southeners and a few hundred of them survivers of Rodrick's host, but I'll be generous and add 4k northern men

So we are at 28k men, and that's including boys, old men and the Mountain Clans. That's all of the forces we see in the books. Compare that to the 41k we see from the Westerlands.

Then another 4k for Manderly, 4k for Rhyswell and Dustin and 1k for each of the three skagosi houses and we have 38k. Add another 2k for the Manderly and Bolton forces fighting over the Hornwood lands (which is a generous estimate), and we just scratched 40k. I don't know where another 30 are supposed to come from. 

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8 hours ago, thelittledragonthatcould said:

Yup just under 3k

Greater than the Karstarks? Clearly not. There was 12k at Winterfell. Now the Karstarks brought 2,300 of that and I'd say the Boltons and Starks (including Glovers and Tallharts) had at least 6k between the two of them. That leaves 3,700 between the Umbers, Hornwoods, Mormonts, Cerwyns and Mountain Clans.

It seems very unlikely that the Umbers had as many men as the Karstarks did.

Sure 3k, many of whom are not trained or equipped and have merely left to sacrifice themselves because its winter and don't have the resources to fight in the South. I'm really not sure you can call them soldiers. Every adult male in Kings Landing could fight if they were out of options (like the Mountain Clan members are) but I would not say that they have a 150,000 army.

But for the sake of argument you can call them 3k.

Sure, seems reasonable.

That 600 with Ramsay may well have been the force that was fighting in the Hornwood lands.

What evidence do you have that the men with Ramsay were separate to the soldiers fighting in the Hornwood lands? It was not a simultaneous battle

You know this how? Maybe Roose took many of his raw recruits South and left his lands strongly protected with decent soldiers. Something that Robb should probably have done.

Sorry, that is not clear at all.

Nope the signs don't point to that.

 

The only trend we have seen is you exaggerate your estimates.

How do you know their territory is larger? Where is that said in the books? Which maps have the Dustins and Karstarks borders in them? When did GRRM reveal the populations of their various regions?

You seem to be making a lot of assumptions based on nothing more than that the Dustins are a little more South than the Karstarks.

Sure possibly equal and possibly wealthier.

Of course they can.

How many thousands of years ago was this? Can you not see how they could have changed in all that time?

Nope. 1k is the lowest estimate for them as that is what Jeor states in relation to Lordly Houses in the North. Any other 'lowest estimation' is wishful thinking trying to prove an agenda.

Really? Can you name the passage in the books that states they rule the most populace territory in the North?

If the Manderlys 'must' approach 6k then why did Robb not ask them to help and attack the Ironborn for him? Why did Robb accept so few soldiers from the Manderlys if they has so many? Why did they not send more than a few hundred to help the Northern capital when it was captured? Why is Roose not more concerned that Wyman only brought 300 men when he has 3-4k hiding somewhere else?

I'm sorry dude, but nowhere is it stated that the Manderlys command more soldiers than the Boltons and ruling a populated city does not translate into having more soldiers.

True

 

Maybe, though we are talking about soldiers. None of the Umber army we see in ADWD seem capable of fighting any wars South.

"Mors took the green boys and Hother took the greybeards. All the real men went with the Greatjon and died at the Red Wedding. Is that what you wanted to know, Your Grace?"

Though for the sake of argument I'll accept it.

Like the Umbers I'll accept it despite the fact that many seem to not actually be soldiers.

Nope, 3k is a minimum.

Not that we know of but sure, have it.

No evidence has shown it to be that many so far. 1k

There is zero indication in the text that they have that many. 1,500 with Robb, 300 with Wyman, a few hundred sent to Winterfell with Rodrik. Just were is this mysterious 4k?

I'm sorry but there is actually going to have to be more evidence from the books. You really wanting them to have 6k simply does not cut the mustard.

The Freys are the most powerful Houses in the Riverlands and have 4k.

The Royces, the most powerful vassals in the Vale, have around 4-5k as we are told that he and his friends can raise almost 20k. 

"He means to come in force. Symond Templeton will join him, do not doubt it. And Lady Waynwood too, I fear."
"And Lord Belmore, Young Lord Hunter, Horton Redfort. They will bring Strong Sam Stone, the Tolletts, the Shetts, the Coldwaters, some Corbrays."
 
Based on this I figure the Manderlys, as one of the two most powerful vassals in the North, may have around 4k.

Except it is not. It is around 19k.

Call it 4k when we include their Materly Houses Glover and Tallhart.

23k

Except there is not 11 remaining Lords. Locke, Hornwood, Cerwyn, Reed, Mormont, Flint and Flint.

So 30k.

We actually don't know that. It could well be that 8 of the Northern Lordly Houses can only raise 1k. 1k is still an impressive amount of soldiers, I'm not sure why you belittle that amount. For example the Florents a prestigious House in the Reach are said to be able to raise

"House Florent can field two thousand swords at best."

Lord Westerling certainly had nowhere near 1k men and Lord Tarbeck initially had far fewer than 1k in his ranks (though that changed after marrying Ellyn) The truth is many of the Lords of Westeros will have less than 1k.

Until further evidence about their numbers can be brought forward (as 5 books have shown the reader scant evidence that any of those Houses can raise more than 1k) then I will go with Jeor's estimation.

More wishful thinking. Until we are told otherwise they both sit around 1k.

Nope, 1k unless you can provide actual evidence rather than wishful thinking. Can you?

Size does matter, otherwise Canada would have a larger population than America.

Bear Island rests on the Sunset Sea, Skagos resides on the Shivering Sea. I'm guessing those names mean something.

Based on more wishful thinking.

Nope, not clear at all. We have no idea the details of that war and competency of the Stark or Skagos leaders.

You are basing your estimates on zero evidence.

We got to around 30k. I'm guessing there is probably a few thousand more given the North, at maximum capacity, an fighting capacity of just under 35k.

 

:agree:

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You underestimate the Boltons (Roose's 4,000, Ramsay's 2,000), the Manderlys (more heavy cavalry left than anybody else and cavalry-heavy losses in the south imply an even larger total, add the crew of his fifty ships), the Dustins (about the same number as the Boltons), three kinds of Flints, scattered Hornwoods, three Skagosi houses, none with less than 1,000 men, Glovers and Tallharts, Cerwyns, 1,000+ Umbers with Whoresbane and Crowsfood, Karstarks with Arnolf and at Karhold etc. pp.

 

In comparison to that, the Westerlands are indeed spent and have been spent ever since Oxcross. They actually could call up pretty much their entire force early in the war - and lost most of it.

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18 minutes ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

You underestimate the Boltons (Roose's 4,000, Ramsay's 2,000), the Manderlys (more heavy cavalry left than anybody else and cavalry-heavy losses in the south imply an even larger total, add the crew of his fifty ships), the Dustins (about the same number as the Boltons), three kinds of Flints, scattered Hornwoods, three Skagosi houses, none with less than 1,000 men, Glovers and Tallharts, Cerwyns, 1,000+ Umbers with Whoresbane and Crowsfood, Karstarks with Arnolf and at Karhold etc. pp.

 

In comparison to that, the Westerlands are indeed spent and have been spent ever since Oxcross. They actually could call up pretty much their entire force early in the war - and lost most of it.

Roose Bolton's 4k are included in Robb's 20k. Ramsay doesn't have another 2k, we only ever hear of 600 men he used to take Winterfell and some unknown amount of soldiers fighting over Hornwood lands, these 600 might have been part of that. If the Manderlys had more men than the Boltons Wyman would have told Davos, since he only boasted of having more cavalry it is reasonable to assume he has more cavalry, but not more men overall. Since the Manderly lands are farther south and richer than the Bolton lands, added to the fact that there are more knights in service of House Manderly, it's not surprising they have a higher cavalry to footman ratio than the Boltons, without necessarily having more men overall. And oarsmen aren't soldiers. 

Where does it say that the Dustins have the same number as the Boltons?

Three Flints? The Flints already sent a large portion of their men south with Robb, some of them are considered Manderly's men and the Flints of the mountains are included in the numbers for the Mountain Clans. But sure, for the sake of argument I'll give you 2k additional Flint soldiers. 

The Umbers and the Karstarks with Arnolf are already included in the estimates for Stannis' and Roose's host, respectively, and I mentioned 3k skagosi. Glovers and Tallharts went south with Robb as well and make up some part of the strenght at Winterfell or are with Stannis outside of it. Both can't have that many men left considering they couldn't defend their lands and castles from the Ironborn. 

So we're left with 2k more men than I estimated (which is generous), so we have 42k. Barely more than we have seen from the Lannisters, who probably have a considerable amount of men left, for example at the Golden Tooth or at Casterly Rock considering that Robb didn't dare attack them. 

So where do the other 28k come from?

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And that's wrong. Ramsay's 2,000 are the men he takes against the Ironborn. Manderly's sons took a force with about 30% knights with Robb and lost it in the South. That's an incredible high percentage for anybody, about 5% should be the average. So the remaining forces have to be cavalry-light.

Oarsmen are lightly armed sea-soldiers. White Harbour isn't Volantis Add the assault troops and archers necessary for 50 ships and we are talking about 10,000 or more.

 

Lady Dustin sent barely any troops with Robb. She is the Lady of Barrowtown and the ancient Barrowkings were one of the two main rivals for the Starks. And Roose has to woo her.

 

First Flints, Flints of Flints Finger, Flints of Widow's Watch. The latter two Lords in their own right. Influenced by Manderly, but not part of his forces.

 

Nope, Stannis 5,000 men (including 1,000 Southern veterans) were counted months before the Karstarks joined him and the Umbers haven't even joined up yet.

Nor were the Umbers currently in Winterfell counted among the 4,000 men Roose brought from the South nor among Ramsay's troops.

Glovers and Tallharts haven't had time to gather a second or third wave of recruits. Stannis has just recently freed Deepwood Motte and Torrhen's Square is still under Ironborn control. They haven't been able to do anything for two years. Not for lack of men, but because the Ironborn took their castles and held the families hostage.

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19 minutes ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

And that's wrong. Ramsay's 2,000 are the men he takes against the Ironborn. Manderly's sons took a force with about 30% knights with Robb and lost it in the South. That's an incredible high percentage for anybody, about 5% should be the average. So the remaining forces have to be cavalry-light.

Oarsmen are lightly armed sea-soldiers. White Harbour isn't Volantis Add the assault troops and archers necessary for 50 ships and we are talking about 10,000 or more.

 

Lady Dustin sent barely any troops with Robb. She is the Lady of Barrowtown and the ancient Barrowkings were one of the two main rivals for the Starks. And Roose has to woo her.

 

First Flints, Flints of Flints Finger, Flints of Widow's Watch. The latter two Lords in their own right. Influenced by Manderly, but not part of his forces.

 

Nope, Stannis 5,000 men (including 1,000 Southern veterans) were counted months before the Karstarks joined him and the Umbers haven't even joined up yet.

Nor were the Umbers currently in Winterfell counted among the 4,000 men Roose brought from the South nor among Ramsay's troops.

Glovers and Tallharts haven't had time to gather a second or third wave of recruits. Stannis has just recently freed Deepwood Motte and Torrhen's Square is still under Ironborn control. They haven't been able to do anything for two years. Not for lack of men, but because the Ironborn took their castles and held the families hostage.

You realize Ramsay was joined by Rhyswells, Umbers, and Dustin when he attacked Moat Cailin?

Yet Manderly failed to mention he had more men than Roose Bolton? Seems unlikely since he tried to win over Davos. 

We don't know if there are any assault troops on his 50 galleys, and then they could be Manderly's regular men-at-arms. Certainly no 10k. But of course, going by that estimate, the Lannisters have even more men left than I expected, since Tywin had at least 4k cavalry at the Green Fort (the normal ratio is 5%, you say? So the Lannisters have at least 80k men?), as well as thirty war galleys which would be another 6k. And that's not even counting the ships their vassal lords command. 

Doesn't mean she is as strong as Roose Bolton. Of course he has to woo her, she effectively commands the Rhyswells and Dustins and Roose has no other allies except for a spent Karstark. 

Again, the First Flints are part of the Mountain Clans. So we are left with the Flints of Flint's Finger and the Flints of Widows' Watch, who sent some of their men south with Robb. But I gave them already 2k more, so that should suffice. 

The Karstarks are 300 men. And the Umbers mostly green boys who "won't hold Ramsay for long". So probably a few hundred men who can barely be called soldiers. 

I know, I went by Theon's estimate in his preview chapter. He said Bolton had more than 6k, so I gave him 7k. 6k of which were either part of Robb's 20k or Freys. 

Where are these men?

 

 

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way:

@Free Northman Reborn talked about strongholds of the clansmen. Are any such ever mentioned? Could be that those exist, but I wonder whether those clans not just live in some huts/villages/halls, keeping each other warm and close in the lands they control. They seem to be closest to the good old First Men lifestyle the wildlings still practice.

Some info from SSM:

Quote

And one question: interesting about the Liddles and Norrey and so on, these mountain "clans." I think everyone expected them to be rather like the clansmen of the Mountains of the Moon, but they're more like the Scottish highlander clans it seems. We're wondering if perhaps we should move them to something of a separate section in the heraldry listing - like the Skagosi - because it doesn't look like they quite fall under the ** (landless swords and lances) as others do?

That might be appropriate. They do have lands and holdfasts, so at the least they would *** houses and not ** houses. Some may have fastnesses big enough to be called castles, even, though they would be small and rude by comparison to the great castles of the south.

 

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3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

You underestimate the Boltons (Roose's 4,000, Ramsay's 2,000),

There is zero evidence for 4k Boltons with Roose. He returns North with around 4k but they are not all Bolton men.

 

There is zero evidence of 2k with Ramsay. You have plucked that number out of thin air. Time and time again we have this discussion were you claim there was a 2,000 army with Ramsay and time and time again you fail to provide any quotes from the books to show that there was 2k.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

 

the Manderlys (more heavy cavalry left than anybody else and cavalry-heavy losses in the south imply an even larger total,

It implies he has a larger cavalry than everyone else, not that he has a larger army. If he had a larger army he sure as shit would have said so.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

add the crew of his fifty ships),

What crew? He is sending Davos to retrieve Rickon not any of these phantom crews he has in his newly built Navy.

More importantly you would not add the crew of these ships to Manderlys numbers as they would come directly from his army.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

the Dustins (about the same number as the Boltons),

Evidence for this?

 

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

three kinds of Flints,

Two kinds of Flints and the Flints that are part of the Mountain Clans. And they have all been included in peoples estimates.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

scattered Hornwoods,

Again most have included them but clearly they are not a large number given that they could not protect their lady from the Ramsay Bolton.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

three Skagosi houses, none with less than 1,000 men,

The author calls it a Baclwater. No one considers them real nobility. There is no evidence that they have 3k.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

 

Glovers and Tallharts,

Masterly Houses. The Glovers and Tallharts were pretty weak when confronted by less than 1,300 Ironborn men.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

Cerwyns,

300 men left in the North. I'm not sure how much they contributed to the 12k raised at Winterfell. Certainly less than the Starks, Boltons, Karstarks and Umbers. I'd be hugely surprised if they sent more than a 1k with Robb.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

 

1,000+ Umbers with Whoresbane and Crowsfood,

lol no. 400 old men with Crowfood. There is no such quote in the books that Whoresbane has more than 600. This is another casee of you plucking random numbers out of thin air.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

 

Karstarks with Arnolf and at Karhold etc. pp.

450. That has been covered.

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

 

In comparison to that, the Westerlands are indeed spent and have been spent ever since Oxcross.

Not according to the books. After the Blackwater we are told that Tywin has still around 20k

"Then take a good sniff, my lord. Fill up your nose. Half a million people stink more than three hundred, you'll find. Do you smell the gold cloaks? There are near five thousand of them. My father's own sworn swords must account for another twenty thousand. And then there are the roses. Roses smell so sweet, don't they? Especially when there are so many of them. Fifty, sixty, seventy thousand roses, in the city or camped outside it, I can't really say how many are left, but there's more than I care to count, anyway."

So the books contradict your statement that the West is spent. And that number at Kings Landing ignores the Westerland navy, the troops with Forely Prester at the Golden Tooth, the surviving troops from Oxcross with Daven Lannister and the troops at Lannisport and Golden Tooth; so many that Robb stated that he did not have the numbers to threaten either settlement. And then there would be the settlements at the various important settlements throughout the Westerlands. If a poor House like the Westerlings who's settlement is more ruin than castle can have more than 50 as a garrison then many of the Lordships in the West would have a larger one.

All in all that is a conservative 30k Westerland army after Oxcross. That is far from spent.

 

3 hours ago, Bright Blue Eyes said:

 

They actually could call up pretty much their entire force early in the war - and lost most of it.

lol no, they really didnt. They had considerable losses but they did not lose most of their entire force.

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Fact is, it's a fantasy setting and so we can't use real world logic (4 people per x cubic mile, or whatever it is) to estimate the population of the North. It's a world we the top half is constantly winter, and season's last for years. The North is very large, but it is also very sparsely populated. So to work out the strength, you'd have to use the numbers given in the books and some educated estimates.  

If the question is what is the scraping the barrel maximum number of men the North could call up (including the cripples, old men and green boys), then I'd say between 40-50k. Robb only had 20k with him because of time. He couldn't afford to wait for years like Cregan did, he had to move with what he had.

Jeor says that even the smallest Northern houses can call up more men than the Night's Watch, and as far as I can tell, the smallest is the Mormonts. So lets say 1k for them.

Glover and Tallhart are Masterly houses (lower rank) and so probably command less influence, but do rule a large portion of land; maybe 2k each?

The Umber's, I think (and I may be wrong, please correct me if I am) send 2300 men to Winterfell. Mors and Hother have 400 men each so around about 3k. GreatJon says that no Umber would ever march behind a Cerwyn or Hornwood, indicating some sort of rivalry. I've noticed that rivalries among the non-Great Houses tend to occur between those that are of a similar strength, so if we say 3k for both house's, it seems like a fair estimate.

I'd put the Flints, Locke's and Ryswell's in between the Mormonts and the Umber's so perhaps 2k each as well.

The Bolton's were the biggest rivals to the Starks and hold what seems to be a large expanse of land. Given that Roose's are mentioned to have been made up nearly 1/4 of the total Northmen on the Green Fork, then I'd say he had maybe 3.5k in the South, plus Ramsay's 600 in the North (probably the force fighting in Hornwood) Bolton could have around 4k himself.

The Manderly's a hard house to pinpoint the exact strength of. He says he has more heavy horse left than any other house in the North, and considering the relative lack of Bolton losses, indicates a fairly formidable strength. Presumably he has a proportionate number of infantry. On an estimate, about 1/4 of the Northern host was cavalry, so if Roose (based on 4k estimate) still retained most of his cav (but not all of his 1k), Manderly would have at least 1k left. 1/3 of his 1500 in the South was cav, so in total I'd give him 1500 cav before the war. x4 (based on what we've seen of the Northern cav:foot ratio) and he'd have 6k total (pre war).

Dustin was the other big rival to the old Kings of Winter and Barbrey did keep most of her levies back when Robb called the banner's. I'd say at least equal to the Bolton's.

The Mountain clans sent men with Robb, but not a lot, it doesn't seem. 3k with Stannis, maybe 500 to stay in the mountains, and another 500 with Robb. 4k.

Karstark sent 2700 to Winterfell. 700 (I think) came back with Roose and are in Winterfell, plus 500 (roughly) with Stannis and whatever they left to defend Karhold in Dance. That's around 3500?

Skagos is bigger than Bear Island but also more rocky and a bit further North. I'd assume about 2k.

The Neck has men, but they didn't march south because their physical stature makes conventional warfare difficult. The Neck is very sparse, but contains quite a few minor houses. Maybe another 2k for the Reed's?

Stark's themselves, from the area around Winterfell, I'd guess at maybe 2-3k. It's feudalism so most of their strength comes from their vassals.

So that's:

Bolton and Dustin- 8k total (4k each)

Manderly- 6k

Umber, Hornwood, Cerwyn- 9k total (3k each)

Flint, Flint, Locke, Ryswell, Reed, Glover and Tallhart- 14k total (2k each)

Mountain Clans- 4k

Skagos- 2k

Mormont- 1k

Karstark- 3500

Stark- 2500

In total, 50k, including Grey Beards and Green Boys.

P.S Sorry for how long this was

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20 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Let's cut to the chase. You think I over-estimate the North's strength. I think you willfully ignore reasonable evidence to the point of extreme stubborness, due to some weirdly motivated desire to allocate the minimum possible strength to the North.

And I do the same for every region. I look at what is provided in the text and base my assumptions on just that.

I think the Westerlands has around 40k soldiers, the Riverlands around 30k (at a maximum), the Stormlands and Dorne around 25k, Crownlands and Iron Islands less than 20k and the Vale around 35k.

I am not picking on the North like you constantly suggest, just pointing out that after 5 books it is very difficult to see them having a surplus of 20k soldiers that have not shown up in the books. The North has been in a precarious situation for 4 of the 5 books, Robb needed more men, the Ironborn were attacking the Western coast and the Wall was desperate for help and we saw very little from the Northern Lords to suggest that have these numbers.

Quote

Whenever in doubt, you assign the minimum possible strength to a Northern House, until proven otherwise. Why the desire to take that position? Can  you not see that it is biased to the lower end of the spectrum?

lol no I don't. I pointed out what we have seen the North use in the 5 books (around 28k) and added a further unseen 7k on top of that. I could have made my estimation much smaller.

Quote

When one has no idea what the strength of a House is, but you know what the absolute minimum possibility is

That is where you are wrong. I'm sorry, but you are. Once again you have jumped to conclusions rather than read what is actually said in the books.

Jeor tells Tyrion:

The Night's Watch is dying. Our strength is less than a thousand now. Six hundred here, two hundred in the Shadow Tower, even fewer at Eastwatch, and a scant third of those fighting men.

While he later tells Jon:

Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help?

So he is not saying that the bare minimum for a Lord in the North is 1,000 swords/fighting men but actually 3-400.

Quote

 

while also knowing the maximum possibility based on the strength of other similar Houses, why not instead take the middle ground and assign a reasonable median number to the unknown House in question?

I actually have taken the middle ground allowing an average Northern House to have 1k rather than 400 that Jeor labels them as.

Quote

 

That is far more likely to get one to number close to the truth. It is illogical to assume the lowest possible number until proven otherwise, unless it is your specific agenda to arrive at as low an overall total as possible.

I have no agenda, we are 5 books (and a few sample chapters) into a 7 book series. In that time we have spent quite a bit of time in the North and they seem to be consistently lacking in men.

Quote

If there are some Northern Houses at 4000, with the minimum strength being 1000,

That is not the minimum though. Not if you actually read what Jeor actually said in regards to fighting men/swords.

 

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21 hours ago, GallowsKnight said:

 

Though with the quote from the Old bear about Northern Lords having at least a 1000 men.

Except he doesn't actually say this.

Jeor tells Tyrion:

The Night's Watch is dying. Our strength is less than a thousand now. Six hundred here, two hundred in the Shadow Tower, even fewer at Eastwatch, and a scant third of those fighting men.

While he later tells Jon:

Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help?

 

 

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13 hours ago, thelittledragonthatcould said:

And I do the same for every region. I look at what is provided in the text and base my assumptions on just that.

I think the Westerlands has around 40k soldiers, the Riverlands around 30k (at a maximum), the Stormlands and Dorne around 25k, Crownlands and Iron Islands less than 20k and the Vale around 35k.

I am not picking on the North like you constantly suggest, just pointing out that after 5 books it is very difficult to see them having a surplus of 20k soldiers that have not shown up in the books. The North has been in a precarious situation for 4 of the 5 books, Robb needed more men, the Ironborn were attacking the Western coast and the Wall was desperate for help and we saw very little from the Northern Lords to suggest that have these numbers.

lol no I don't. I pointed out what we have seen the North use in the 5 books (around 28k) and added a further unseen 7k on top of that. I could have made my estimation much smaller.

That is where you are wrong. I'm sorry, but you are. Once again you have jumped to conclusions rather than read what is actually said in the books.

Jeor tells Tyrion:

The Night's Watch is dying. Our strength is less than a thousand now. Six hundred here, two hundred in the Shadow Tower, even fewer at Eastwatch, and a scant third of those fighting men.

While he later tells Jon:

Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help?

So he is not saying that the bare minimum for a Lord in the North is 1,000 swords/fighting men but actually 3-400.

I actually have taken the middle ground allowing an average Northern House to have 1k rather than 400 that Jeor labels them as.

I have no agenda, we are 5 books (and a few sample chapters) into a 7 book series. In that time we have spent quite a bit of time in the North and they seem to be consistently lacking in men.

That is not the minimum though. Not if you actually read what Jeor actually said in regards to fighting men/swords.

 

LoL. Well this is an interesting change of course.

Because a page back on this thread you were arguing from a position of 1000 men as a minimum strength for a Northern lord, based on Jeor's quote. Now that you have your back against the proverbial wall on that front, you have decided to change course by reinterpreting the minimum as being "one third" of 1000, based on Lord Mormornt's casual use of the word "swords" instead of "men".

As I said interesting. But again, not  fitting with the textual evidence.

Your new attempted curve ball prompted me to go back and find another, similar reference to the historical strength of the Watch, using the same terminology as Jeor's comment to Jon. And I found it. It is from Maester Aemon, talking to Jon, only a few chapters earlier.

"When Aegon slew Black Harren and claimed his kingdom, Harren's brother was Lord Commander on the Wall, with ten thousand swords to hand. He did not march."

Now, going by your logic, and the breakdown of stewards, rangers and builders presented to us, if swords refer only to Rangers, then Aemon's quote would mean that the Watch had 30,000 men on the Wall at that time. 30,000. I'm sure no one is seriously entertaining that idea. Common sense tells us that the casual reference to total swords manning the Wall refers to the total manpower of the Watch.

Again, this is only bolstered by a logical, reasonable interpretation of the context presented to us in the books. We have the Karstarks raising 3000 men. The Boltons clearly stronger than them, almost certainly at 4000. For Jeor's comment to refer to only the 300 rangers at the Wall, would mean that the weakest Stark Bannerlord can raise only a tenth of the strength of the likes of the Karstarks, and only a thirteenth the strength of the Boltons. Really? A petty lord in service of the Boltons could likely raise that much.

Here we are talking about a Primary Bannerlord, with his own petty lords, clans and landed knight equivalents sworn to him in turn. This when even the Cerwyns have demonstrated in excess of 1000 troops to date. In fact, the numbers that we do have show Bannerlords at levels of 3000, 4000, and the Manderlys almost certainly with even more than that.

Lord Stout - a petty lord in service to House Dustin - contributes a not insignificant amount of men to the 600 that Roose leaves at the Ruby Ford, to the extent that it is specifically mentioned that the force consisted of Stout and Cerwyn men. Note too that they are referred to as Stout men, not Dustin men. So it seems highly likely that a petty lord like House Stout, in his own right can raise men numbering in the low hundreds.

And you want to suggest that the minimum strength for a primary Northern Bannerlord is a mere 300-400 men? Really?

Come on. Admit you are treading water here and that you have been underestimating the men available in the North. There is no embarrassment in that. To paraphrase a character not totally unconnected to this debate, You fought. You lost. Now you can rest.

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Te norths numbers do not match their size . But the quality of their warriors is hinted superior by many things . 
"Ride like a northman " is a term used to compliment a riders skill on multiple occasions and the northern cavalry is mentioned to be just as good s the knights of the south . Only their are more men at arms in the north than knights in any of the the other regions (debatable in the reach as they have many many horses though most are light cavalry ). The northmen also have blood of the first men and are often very tall,broad and strong compared to the Andal men ( yes i know there are big southerners but alot of those have the blood of the first men , like house Royce for instance) . The leaders are also very skilled tacticians as seen with Ned and Robb who despite not being the best swordsman around are both renown commanders . The northerners also practice at melee for sport ,which are like mini battles that often kill many of the combatants and are complete carnage . Where the southerners prefer the much more civil jousting tourneys . One prepares for battle the other isn't battle at all . So the culture of the north promotes battlefield practice over a the fanciful and sporting jousting. 

There are many things the northerners hold an advantage in . But the southerners hold just as many advantages if not more . They are for the most part far richer than the north( so can arm peasants in quality armor and weapons ) . They have better navies and far more fertile land for crops so should be better equipped in a war of attrition . Simply put . The north is great and the warriors are brave, bold , cunning and strong . But the south will always beat them in the end . They just have more of everything . More men , more money , more food and more political prowess. 

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@Free Northman Reborn

Actually, I find @thelittledragonthatcould argument pretty convincing.

But the crux in Mormont's sentence there is not so much the talk about the numbers it is what he means by 'lord'. The idea that any lordly house - even the smallest - should be able to raise at least 1,000 men is clearly false. For instance, we know seven of mountain clans but we do also know that they can raise together only 3,000 men, so neither of those families can raise 1,000 men individually.

And if you check the list of known noble houses in the North you'll realize that the North would have at least 69,000 men because we know the names of 69 noble houses in the North. But that is clearly false (even if we exclude the non-lordly houses we would still get to pretty big number).

Keep in mind how many troops Lady Webber had in TSS. She was a Ruling Lady in her own right, not some petty lord. This type of lord must exist in the North as well and those would never have 1,000 men.

@thelittledragonthatcould

Shouldn't the Westerlands at least creep up to 60,000 men or more? Didn't Tywin have 40,000 men between him and Jaime, and Stafford was raising another 20,000 at Lannisport? Or was the last host only 10,000? I don't remember. However, I seem to recall that Stafford didn't have much time and mainly focused on the Lannisport region. There is no hint to believe that the entire West is spent. The idea that the lack of levies the Westerlings bring to Robb is a hint in that direction makes little sense in light of the fact that Lady Sybell never intended to actually join Robb.

Thinking about that, we know from a history as well as AFfC that the Farmans of Fair Isle are among the more powerful Lords of the West. But Lord Sebaston Farman has yet to show up in the books, and I do not recall any Fair Isle levies being mentioned in the Lannister armies.

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11 minutes ago, WildWolfsBastard said:

Te norths numbers do not match their size . But the quality of their warriors is hinted superior by many things . 
"Ride like a northman " is a term used to compliment a riders skill on multiple occasions and the northern cavalry is mentioned to be just as good s the knights of the south . Only their are more men at arms in the north than knights in any of the the other regions (debatable in the reach as they have many many horses though most are light cavalry ). The northmen also have blood of the first men and are often very tall,broad and strong compared to the Andal men ( yes i know there are big southerners but alot of those have the blood of the first men , like house Royce for instance) . The leaders are also very skilled tacticians as seen with Ned and Robb who despite not being the best swordsman around are both renown commanders . The northerners also practice at melee for sport ,which are like mini battles that often kill many of the combatants and are complete carnage . Where the southerners prefer the much more civil jousting tourneys . One prepares for battle the other isn't battle at all . So the culture of the north promotes battlefield practice over a the fanciful and sporting jousting. 

There are many things the northerners hold an advantage in . But the southerners hold just as many advantages if not more . They are for the most part far richer than the north( so can arm peasants in quality armor and weapons ) . They have better navies and far more fertile land for crops so should be better equipped in a war of attrition . Simply put . The north is great and the warriors are brave, bold , cunning and strong . But the south will always beat them in the end . They just have more of everything . More men , more money , more food and more political prowess. 

 

I think Northmen vary in size from giants like the Umbers to small folk like the Crannogmen.

I don't think they are superior warriors to the Southroners.

There may be evidence that they are hardier and therefore able to withstand the hardship of low provisions, bad weather and forced marches very well, which may have contributed to Robb's strategic successes. But in terms of fighting skills I think they vary from poor to excellent, just like men from the South.

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15 hours ago, thelittledragonthatcould said:

Jeor tells Tyrion:

The Night's Watch is dying. Our strength is less than a thousand now. Six hundred here, two hundred in the Shadow Tower, even fewer at Eastwatch, and a scant third of those fighting men.

While he later tells Jon:

Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help?

So he is not saying that the bare minimum for a Lord in the North is 1,000 swords/fighting men but actually 3-400.

Assuming that Jeor is talking about fighting men in the watch and not just using "swords" as a substitute for "men" (which has been done in the series before), then there is still the fact that he says "any one of his lords bannermen" which means he is including the much smaller, minor houses in this. If each minor house had about 400 men, and each noble lord had about 4 minor houses sworn to them, that still gives the weakest noble house a force of 1600, not counting their own strength (likely twice as big as a minor house)

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21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

@Free Northman Reborn

Actually, I find @thelittledragonthatcould argument pretty convincing.

But the crux in Mormont's sentence there is not so much the talk about the numbers it is what he means by 'lord'. The idea that any lordly house - even the smallest - should be able to raise at least 1,000 men is clearly false. For instance, we know seven of mountain clans but we do also know that they can raise together only 3,000 men, so neither of those families can raise 1,000 men individually.

And if you check the list of known noble houses in the North you'll realize that the North would have at least 69,000 men because we know the names of 69 noble houses in the North. But that is clearly false (even if we exclude the non-lordly houses we would still get to pretty big number).

Keep in mind how many troops Lady Webber had in TSS. She was a Ruling Lady in her own right, not some petty lord. This type of lord must exist in the North as well and those would never have 1,000 men.

@thelittledragonthatcould

Shouldn't the Westerlands at least creep up to 60,000 men or more? Didn't Tywin have 40,000 men between him and Jaime, and Stafford was raising another 20,000 at Lannisport? Or was the last host only 10,000? I don't remember. However, I seem to recall that Stafford didn't have much time and mainly focused on the Lannisport region. There is no hint to believe that the entire West is spent. The idea that the lack of levies the Westerlings bring to Robb is a hint in that direction makes little sense in light of the fact that Lady Sybell never intended to actually join Robb.

Thinking about that, we know from a history as well as AFfC that the Farmans of Fair Isle are among the more powerful Lords of the West. But Lord Sebaston Farman has yet to show up in the books, and I do not recall any Fair Isle levies being mentioned in the Lannister armies.

Lord Varys

Give credit where it is due in that I certainly have never tried to claim that Mormont was referring to every single lord, including petty lords, but rather to Primary Bannerlords. He refers specifically to Robb Stark's lords bannermen. These are listed in the Appendix to almost every book.

They do not include petty lords. And in the quote from Martin mentioned upthread, he specifically calls the Mountain Clan chiefs "petty lords". Which places them in the same category as House Stout who is sworn to House Dustin, and in the same category as the dozen petty lords sworn to House Manderly.

These petty lords are the bannermen to the bannermen of House Stark. They are not lords bannermen to House Stark itself. That distinction is very clear. So there is no possibility of confusion there as far as Lord Mormont's statement is concerned. He says that each of House Stark's lords bannermen can raise more men than the entire Watch.

As for Lady Webber. You are incorrect. She was a petty lord. Sworn to House Rowan. House Rowan were the lords bannermen to House Tyrell. So it all fits perfectly with Lord Mormont's statement.

As for the Lannisters. It is specifically stated that they are down to potboys and street urchins pulled from the alleys of Lannisport, when they assemble the Oxcross host. This after Tywin had taken 35,000 men into the Riverlands. The size of the Oxcross host is also never mentioned, although a number of 10,000 seems to float around the forums. But it is believed to have consisted of at least a portion of the men that retreated from the Battle of Riverrun (4000 or so), so that would mean around 6000 new fighters, bringing the total to around 41000 men raised by the Westerlands to date. Importantly though this number includes potboys and urchins from Lannisport, as well as an unknown number of foreign mercenaries in Tywin's original host.

So the bulk of the men in Stafford's Oxcross host were no different to the green boys and greybeards raised by the Umbers in Dance. So it seems the West has maxed out at the numbers we have seen in action to date. Maybe 45,000 for their total strength.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Assuming that Jeor is talking about fighting men in the watch and not just using "swords" as a substitute for "men" (which has been done in the series before), then there is still the fact that he says "any one of his lords bannermen" which means he is including the much smaller, minor houses in this. If each minor house had about 400 men, and each noble lord had about 4 minor houses sworn to them, that still gives the weakest noble house a force of 1600, not counting their own strength (likely twice as big as a minor house)

The lords bannermen to House Stark are the Houses sworn directly to them. Houses sworn to House Manderly, for example, are their (House Manderly's) bannermen. It is House Manderly who is the bannerman of House Stark.

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52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

LoL. Well this is an interesting change of course.

Because a page back on this thread you were arguing from a position of 1000 men as a minimum strength for a Northern lord, based on Jeor's quote.

Yes. Stupidly I did not actually research the Jeor quotes and took both peoples word on this forum and the Concordance that the Watch had just under 1,000 swords. That is certainly my fault. But that does not change the fact that the quotes do not state that the minimum strength a Lord has in a 1,000 fighting men.

Jeor tells Tyrion:

The Night's Watch is dying. Our strength is less than a thousand now. Six hundred here, two hundred in the Shadow Tower, even fewer at Eastwatch, and a scant third of those fighting men.

While he later tells Jon:

Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help?

That quote is saying that all the Northern Lords have more than 333 swords/fighting men, not a 1,000.

52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

 

Now that you have your back against the proverbial wall on that front, you have decided to change course by reinterpreting the minimum as being "one third" of 1000, based on Lord Mormornt's casual use of the word "swords" instead of "men".

How do I have my back against the wall? Even when I thought he said 1,000 I still stated that the Northern Lords have 35k or less. That has not changed. I have based my analysis on what we have actually seen in the books.

Robb raised 12k at Winterfell from Houses Stark, Hornwood, Bolton, Karstark (2,300), Cerwyn, Umber, Mormont and Tallhart and Glover (Masterly Houses).

At Moat Cailin he was joined by a further 6-8k from the Lockes, Dustins, Manderlys (1,500), Ryswells and both Flint Houses.

Total: 18-20k

Battle of Winterfell involved just under 2,000 with Rodrik from Houses Stark (600), Karstark, Hornwood, Flints, Cerwyns (300), Manderlys and Tallharts. Who faced 600 Boltons.

Total: 20.5k- 22.6k

Then we have what we have seen raised afterwards, around 3k Mountain Clan members (though a good portion don't actually seem to be real soldiers), survivors of the Rodrik's host joining Stannis, an unknown number of Mormonts and Umbers, 450 Karstarks, 300 Manderlys at Winterfell, 400 Umbers at Winterfell, an unknown number of Dustins and Ryswells at Winterfell though given that we know the number at Winterfell from Theon ("Five thousand. Six. More." He gave the king a ghastly grin, all shattered teeth and splinters. "More than you.") and that number included the Freys and the Bolton numbers as well as the Umbers and Manderlys then there can be no more than 1k brought from the Dustins and Ryswells.

Total 26k-29k

Now while there is almost certainly more men available in the North we also know that the regions the Starks, Umbers, Karstarks, Hornwoods, Cerwyns, Glovers, Boltons and Tallharts are tapped out.

Another 5-10k is likely (at a push) Anything more is asking too many questions of just what these soldiers have been doing for the previous 5 books.

52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

As I said interesting. But again, not  fitting with the textual evidence.

By all means list numbers from the text to back up your argument.

52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

And you want to suggest that the minimum strength for a primary Northern Bannerlord is a mere 300-400 men? Really?

 

I'm not suggesting it, the author and Lord Mormont are. Sorry!

31 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Shouldn't the Westerlands at least creep up to 60,000 men or more? Didn't Tywin have 40,000 men between him and Jaime, and Stafford was raising another 20,000 at Lannisport? Or was the last host only 10,000?

Tywin had more than 35k but, I'd imagine, less than 40k in the Riverlands. We are told that Jaime had 15k at Riverrun, 20k at the Inn when Tyrion arrived and logically an unknown amount holding Harrenhal, Raventree Hall and other Riverland regions that were under Lannister occupation.

When it come to Stafford's host we are given zero numbers. I think the fandom, in a rush to swell Robb's victories, invented these 10-20k army to make him look more impressive. Now though the number is unknown we do know that it was based on sellswords and green boys from Lannisport as well as some of the 4k survivors of Jaime's host that retreated to the Golden Tooth while Prester remained at the Goldent Tooth with a portion of that number. I really don't think there was too many new soldiers in that host, possibly a few thousand.

Of course I'm not really counting the men that were left behind at Lannisport and Casterly Rock. More than enough men that Robb was unwilling to attack them and I'm also not counting the men who are part of the  Westerland Navy as the Westeros Navies don't seem to multitask like the Ironborn.

I'd say the Westerland soldiers are 40k without pushing into the Green boys and Greybeards.

 

51 minutes ago, WildWolfsBastard said:

 
"Ride like a northman " is a term used to compliment a riders skill on multiple occasions

It is said once

https://asearchoficeandfire.com/?q=Ride+like+a+northman

By Harwin to Arya.

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30 minutes ago, thelittledragonthatcould said:

Yes. Stupidly I did not actually research the Jeor quotes and took both peoples word on this forum and the Concordance that the Watch had just under 1,000 swords. That is certainly my fault. But that does not change the fact that the quotes do not state that the minimum strength a Lord has in a 1,000 fighting men.

Jeor tells Tyrion:

The Night's Watch is dying. Our strength is less than a thousand now. Six hundred here, two hundred in the Shadow Tower, even fewer at Eastwatch, and a scant third of those fighting men.

While he later tells Jon:

Any one of his lords bannermen commands more swords than you'll find in all the Night's Watch. Why do you imagine that they need your help?

That quote is saying that all the Northern Lords have more than 333 swords/fighting men, not a 1,000.

How do I have my back against the wall? Even when I thought he said 1,000 I still stated that the Northern Lords have 35k or less. That has not changed. I have based my analysis on what we have actually seen in the books.

Robb raised 12k at Winterfell from Houses Stark, Hornwood, Bolton, Karstark (2,300), Cerwyn, Umber, Mormont and Tallhart and Glover (Masterly Houses).

At Moat Cailin he was joined by a further 6-8k from the Lockes, Dustins, Manderlys (1,500), Ryswells and both Flint Houses.

Total: 18-20k

Battle of Winterfell involved just under 2,000 with Rodrik from Houses Stark (600), Karstark, Hornwood, Flints, Cerwyns (300), Manderlys and Tallharts. Who faced 600 Boltons.

Total: 20.5k- 22.6k

Then we have what we have seen raised afterwards, around 3k Mountain Clan members (though a good portion don't actually seem to be real soldiers), survivors of the Rodrik's host joining Stannis, an unknown number of Mormonts and Umbers, 450 Karstarks, 300 Manderlys at Winterfell, 400 Umbers at Winterfell, an unknown number of Dustins and Ryswells at Winterfell though given that we know the number at Winterfell from Theon ("Five thousand. Six. More." He gave the king a ghastly grin, all shattered teeth and splinters. "More than you.") and that number included the Freys and the Bolton numbers as well as the Umbers and Manderlys then there can be no more than 1k brought from the Dustins and Ryswells.

Total 26k-29k

Now while there is almost certainly more men available in the North we also know that the regions the Starks, Umbers, Karstarks, Hornwoods, Cerwyns, Glovers, Boltons and Tallharts are tapped out.

Another 5-10k is likely (at a push) Anything more is asking too many questions of just what these soldiers have been doing for the previous 5 books.

By all means list numbers from the text to back up your argument.

Do you mind confirming your understanding of Maester Aemon's reference to 10,000 swords under the Lord Commander Hoare 300 years ago? For consistency's sake, do you read that to mean that the Wall was manned by 30,000 men in total back then?

A few other points, as we have hashed and rehashed these many times before.

On what do you base the idea that the Mountain Clansmen weren't real soldiers? The poor state of their armor? Because Jon already told us these men were poor, fierce and proud. Where does this evidence come from that they are supposedly the dregs that were left to go and die in Winter? It was just the one lord who made that statement, speaking for himself, due to his age. The rest of the men are hardly ever described in detail, other than the poor level of equipment they have, which is proof of their lack of wealth, nothing else. They certainly aren't generally described as being particularly old or particularly young. Unlike the Umber green boys and greybeards.

Anyway, that is just a pet peeve I've had for a long time about how these men are characterized by some. Moving on.

Be honest with me on the following question. Imagine that you come from a totally neutral position:

If we had never gotten the Karstark numbers, but instead were given the Dustin numbers as being 3000 to date, and given 3000 horse-tribesmen from the Rills, instead of the Mountain Clans. Would your argument not almost certainly have been that the Karstark and Mountain Clan numbers must surely be significantly less than those, because they are located much farther to the North, and in cold, inhospitable Mountains compared to the southerly locations of the Ryswells and the Dustins?

In actual fact, we are in a very peculiar position, as far as the North is concerned. The Houses that we have the most numerical information about, are ironically located in the Northern half of the North. We know the Karstarks have 3000. We know the Mountain Clans have at least 3000. And we have  good reason to place the Boltons at 4000.

It is in fact the more southern Houses that we have almost no information on. The Flints of Widow's Watch. The Lockes. The Slates. The Dustins, Ryswells, Flints of Flint's Finger, Tallharts and Reeds.

The one "southern" House that we do have information on, are the Manderlys. And they have shown us 1500 men with Robb, 300 men with Lord Manderly at Winterfell, and a few hundred more with Ser Rodrik, bringing it to 2000 to date. But from the way Lord Manderly speaks to Davos, he clearly has a lot more left on top of that. More heavy horse in fact, than even the strongest other House in the North - the Boltons - who have lost almost no men yet in the war.

Heck, even House Cerwyn who is located just half a day's ride from Winterfell, has raised 1000 men to date. So who are these Houses that you think may be in the 400 men range? It simply makes no sense.

Which brings us back to Maester Aemon's statement at the start of my post. If you take Lord Mormont's statement as referring only to Rangers, then you must do the same for Maester Aemon. And surely no one can believe that the Watch had 30,000 men at the Wall 300 years ago?

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