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Oakhearts head

Would Ned and/or Robb be cool with letting the Wildlings through the Wall?

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They would be in danger in the North. Crowfood Umber demanded Mance's skull as a cup. The mountain clans only acquiesced to Jon only after he told them he had demanded hostages. And that was about settling wildling in the gift which is not their land.

Such a prospect would take quite a bit of maneuvering and it would not be pleasant for the wildlings.

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As it is already being said, i agree that Ned and Robb would had let them settle down. 

However i am quite certain that Ned would consider the fact that winter was comming. So the splitting if the wildlings into smaller groups would have being a necessity for survival. There is no way the Gift could support more than a couple of thousands, not as it is. The land was untended for years!

So yes, splitting them up. Placing people who know how to fish and hunt together in Wolfswood, Sea Dragon Point, maybe to Moat Cailin and Cape Craken down south to start farming and have some months a heads start. 

Ned would have a more easier time to convince lords and masters about the matter. Robb would have a more defficult time by houses like the Umbers.

But lets not forget that the North does have some....  less civilized residents to begin with. The North Mountain clans are a good example of how the north can include people that would had been considered as savages in the other parts of Westeros.

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1 hour ago, The Sleeper said:

 

As far as I can tell the only mention of a hundred thousand is by Satin on the morning after the first assault, from the top of the Wall.

The scouts who counted thirty thousand could be off, but not that off. As far as I skimmed through Jon he doesn't mention numbers only proportions which where I got the three thousand warriors.

Do you remember anywhere else mentioning wildling numbers in the books?

I don't remember the wildling numbers being mentioned anywhere else other than what you mentioned. In the show, they say it's one hundred thousand several times, so i suppose i just assumed it was the same in the books. Though, i swear i remember someone in the books saying it was a hundred thousand. 

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3 hours ago, Storm Lords Bane said:

As it is already being said, i agree that Ned and Robb would had let them settle down. 

However i am quite certain that Ned would consider the fact that winter was comming. So the splitting if the wildlings into smaller groups would have being a necessity for survival. There is no way the Gift could support more than a couple of thousands, not as it is. The land was untended for years!

For comparison, Lapland has roughly the same surface as the Gift and currently hsts 180k inhabitants. Far less in old times to be sure, but the Gift and New Gift should be pretty usable to house all the Mance's people. Norway around year 1,000 AD housed some 450,000 inhabitants on a surface of roughly 4 Gifts or 2 Gift+New Gifts. Lack of infrastructure would hurt, on the other hand Queenscrown is hardly the only place there where remnants of the village are relatively visible - and after all Mance's host survived a long march in rather cold weather already, so the Wildlings have what it takes to get by.

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They wouldn't be "cool" with it but we can presume they would have come to the same realisation as Jon if without the same level of desparation.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, even if they were previously an enemy themselves.  It's the same reason the US & UK allied with Soviet Russia against the Axis to deal with the greater threat first and then saw where they stood with their troublesome allies (and the Wildlings are hardly the Red Army).

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2 hours ago, Runaway Penguin said:

For comparison, Lapland has roughly the same surface as the Gift and currently hsts 180k inhabitants. Far less in old times to be sure, but the Gift and New Gift should be pretty usable to house all the Mance's people. Norway around year 1,000 AD housed some 450,000 inhabitants on a surface of roughly 4 Gifts or 2 Gift+New Gifts. Lack of infrastructure would hurt, on the other hand Queenscrown is hardly the only place there where remnants of the village are relatively visible - and after all Mance's host survived a long march in rather cold weather already, so the Wildlings have what it takes to get by.

I could agree about the surface of the Gift(in my post i was considering the New Gift because, well, it is what the NW owns), but there can be no comparison with real life scandinavia countries. The reason is simply because we know the eratic nature of winters in ASoIaF.

Yes, there is space, yes the infrastracture can be rebuild, but there is no time, every body in the north have the feeling that winter is about to come upon them. Since they have no way to know how long it will last, puting a lot lik people who know how to hunt in one place and you make sure there will be no game in a couple of hard winter years.

Dispersing them is the most logical thing to do. Maybe they will not bent the knee to local lords and hold their fealty to the Starks or the Lord Commander, but the north does has thinly populated areas were they could scratch a living. 

Being free folk they do have what it takes that much is certain. But they lack the skills to organize and maintain a large community, and i mean regardles their tendecies to stic to clan and group. Their logistics must be a nightmare. Relocate the said camp to the Gift and you have the same troubles. Well, yes the conditions are better than beyond the Wall, but winter is coming.

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The point is: You can disperse them in the Gifts, they do not need to kneel and at the same time are isolated form the NOrthern lords.

They already lived in a very cold place and they survived a long march through wintry landscape (even as it was remarked it was unusually free of game etc.) - even in winter Gifts will be considerably better place than Frostfangs. 

You do not need to rebuild village right away. But house walls and bases will provide you with a far better place to pitch your tent than random wilderness - and villages tend to be built where there is good ground and where you can survive winters. Take Queenscrown (well, the only example we have, really): Small village, but with a stone tower and by the lake -> you can go ice fishing, you have a stone building and you have presumably game in the forest. That should sustain you better than Haunted Forest untilfirst false spring comes. Settle a clan there - there you go. Rinse and repeat all over the Gift. To stop them making nuisance out of themselves, cosnscript bulk of military age males and raiders to the Wall, to keep them busy.

They do not have to organize and maintain large community. They are rather similar to the mountain clans and they have a HUGE space to spread out in, where they do not have to build and maintain large communities.

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Alrighty then, they will be fairly close to each other to organize a new march if things get to hard. They ll know a thing or two about fighting southrons since they ll be conscripted en mass to the Wall.  They ll be outnumbering the NW... 3 to 1? A mutiny and is over. They ll have a couple thousands steel weapons afterwards too. 

Now, i dont know about how good the soil is at the Gift. But i do know that you just cant grow crops in the middle of winter. I point out again, the land has being neglected for years. To some parts for centuries likely. It would have been difficult to work in the summer and impossible during winter. As a matter of fact, how do we know the free folk know about farming. The same can be said about fishing and hunting. You ll have to bring in cattle. No one will simply hand over his much needed herds. And you need supplies so the animals can survive the winter.

The Gift could be habitable if they had time. As it is you ll have to sent them where is food, just as they did beyond the Wall or they ll just go find it without bothering to ask.

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I doubt any of them would want to settle in the gift, under the shadow of the wall and the supernatural army that's going to be attacking it. 

They're fleeing and probably had every intention of raiding and looting as they fled South. 

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On 9/23/2016 at 7:04 PM, Oakhearts head said:

Assuming Eddard or Robb Stark were still in power when the threat of the Others became more readily apparent, and assuming those in the Night's Watch (Jon Snow, maybe Jeor Mormont) came to a similar resolution as Jon did in A Dance with Dragons, would the Starks and other prominent Northern lords be able to come to a reconciliation with the Night's Watch? Something tells me the Umbers and the Wildlings would not be great neighbours.

Yes, for several reasons both in-story and in real life (Ugh, I hate that place:ack:)

"A villain is a hero of the other side, as someone said once, and I think there’s a great deal of truth to that, and that’s the interesting thing."- George interview here

First, if Jon or Jeor came to Ned and told them of the findings and new information, I do believe he would have listened because the Starks have always been a friend to the NW, and vice versa. Ned and/or Robb would trust Jon and/or Joer, or almost any LC from the Watch. Plus, the story starts with finding the direwolves, which have not been seen for 200 years (coincinding with (NOT) Good Queen Alysanne sealing off magic from the north), and with Gared fleeing the NW. This alone makes Ned wonder what is happening.

Plus, there is a ton of miscommunication and mis-translation between the Free Folk/wildlings and those south of the wall. The most common is the miscommunication on the term "stealing", and what it actually means. Ned doesn't even get it right:

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn I

"He was the fourth this year," Ned said grimly. "The poor man was half-mad. Something had put a fear in him so deep that my words could not reach him." He sighed. "Ben writes that the strength of the Night's Watch is down below a thousand. It's not only desertions. They are losing men on rangings as well."
"Is it the wildlings?" she asked.
"Who else?" Ned lifted Ice, looked down the cool steel length of it. "And it will only grow worse. The day may come when I will have no choice but to call the banners and ride north to deal with this King-beyond-the-Wall for good and all."

 

Same with Jon and Bran, at first, but after Jon's time with them he realizes that they are not what he was taught. Same with Bran in the opening of the story. Southroners are taught to fear wildlings:

A Game of Thrones - Bran I

The man had been taken outside a small holdfast in the hills. Robb thought he was a wildling, his sword sworn to Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall. It made Bran's skin prickle to think of it. He remembered the hearth tales Old Nan told them. The wildlings were cruel men, she said, slavers and slayers and thieves. They consorted with giants and ghouls, stole girl children in the dead of night, and drank blood from polished horns. And their women lay with the Others in the Long Night to sire terrible half-human children.
But the man they found bound hand and foot to the holdfast wall awaiting the king's justice was old and scrawny, not much taller than Robb. He had lost both ears and a finger to frostbite, and he dressed all in black, the same as a brother of the Night's Watch, except that his furs were ragged and greasy.
 

A Clash of Kings - Jon III

Craster's sheepskin jerkin and cloak of sewn skins made a shabby contrast, but around one thick wrist was a heavy ring that had the glint of gold. He looked to be a powerful man, though well into the winter of his days now, his mane of hair grey going to white. A flat nose and a drooping mouth gave him a cruel look, and one of his ears was missing. So this is a wildling. Jon remembered Old Nan's tales of the savage folk who drank blood from human skulls. Craster seemed to be drinking a thin yellow beer from a chipped stone cup. Perhaps he had not heard the stories.
  • Sidenote: Yes, Craster is a nasty old man who commits abominations, but he also does not fit what is taught about wildlings in general.

 

And we learn later, if we hadn't figured it out by now, that even though there are some real assholes amongst the wildlings, they really are not that different from those south of the wall. Look at the horror Tywin released with Gregor Clegane as just one of many examples of southron atrocities. Raping, piliging, stealing lands, horses and other goods, as well as burning the crops of the smallfolk (which is the biggest idiot idea ever):

A Dance with Dragons - Jon V

Not all the fighting men were broken, though. Half a dozen Thenns in bronze scale armor stood clustered round one cellar stair, watching sullenly and making no attempt to join the others. In the ruins of the old village smithy Jon spied a big bald slab of a man he recognized as Halleck, the brother of Harma Dogshead. Harma's pigs were gone, though. Eaten, no doubt. Those two in furs were Hornfoot men, as savage as they were scrawny, barefoot even in the snow. There are wolves amongst these sheep, still.
Val had reminded him of that, on his last visit with her. "Free folk and kneelers are more alike than not, Jon Snow. Men are men and women women, no matter which side of the Wall we were born on. Good men and bad, heroes and villains, men of honor, liars, cravens, brutes … we have plenty, as do you."
She was not wrong. The trick was telling one from the other, parting the sheep from the goats.
 
Ok, now for the real world junk. George is no doubt writing a modern day tale that reflects his personal values. There are many common themes throughout all of his books, and valuing the underdog is one of them. Just look at his recent September 14 blog post that is a "Salute to Immigrants", where he says in the comments:
 
"The idea that the present wave of immigrants is somehow different from all previous waves of immigrants, and THESE people are "not like us" and will not assimilate... this is the myth that will not die. It has been applied to pretty much every group of immigrants ever to come to our shores. Assimilation does not take place overnight, no. It is sometimes the work of generations. But it does happen. I believe in the power of the melting pot."
 
Quote

On a related note, can we expect the Free Folk being allowed through the Wall, and specifically the marriage of House Karstark to the Thenns, to have any lasting effect (negative or positive) on the North in the upcoming books or in the distant future?

Yes, they will assimilate and things will work, but as George himself notes, it will take some time.

In the story, the north is thinly populated as it is, but factor in those who were lost to the Battle of 5 Kings, and presumably the upcoming battle at Winterfell and the Others invasion, George has set it up that the north NEEDS new people... and the Free Folk are the blood of the first men and share the same gods, so assimilating won't be that hard for too long. The Thenns already married in are described as the more "obediant" of the wildlings, so while there will be some backlash and culture shocks, when a clan has its leader marry into a new family, that clan leader is going to set the example for the rest and will have to enforce laws.

Besides, George will probably lessen the chances of too much negative feedback by killing off the "bad" wildling we have left, just to keep the story moving along and not stalling on one small point.

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Knowing that the Others were coming I think they both wouldve seen the necessity of allowing the Wildlings through.  That said, I think it wouldve taken more for them to reach that decision than it did Jon because they wouldnt have spent time with them the way Jon had. Better to have them with you, than against you.  Its already hard to kill Wights (especially since everyone seems to have forgotten) so adding thousands more to the army of the dead isnt a good idea.

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On 9/24/2016 at 8:58 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

Yes, for several reasons both in-story and in real life (Ugh, I hate that place:ack:)

"A villain is a hero of the other side, as someone said once, and I think there’s a great deal of truth to that, and that’s the interesting thing."- George interview here

First, if Jon or Jeor came to Ned and told them of the findings and new information, I do believe he would have listened because the Starks have always been a friend to the NW, and vice versa. Ned and/or Robb would trust Jon and/or Joer, or almost any LC from the Watch. Plus, the story starts with finding the direwolves, which have not been seen for 200 years (coincinding with (NOT) Good Queen Alysanne sealing off magic from the north), and with Gared fleeing the NW. This alone makes Ned wonder what is happening.

Plus, there is a ton of miscommunication and mis-translation between the Free Folk/wildlings and those south of the wall. The most common is the miscommunication on the term "stealing", and what it actually means. Ned doesn't even get it right:

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn I

"He was the fourth this year," Ned said grimly. "The poor man was half-mad. Something had put a fear in him so deep that my words could not reach him." He sighed. "Ben writes that the strength of the Night's Watch is down below a thousand. It's not only desertions. They are losing men on rangings as well."
"Is it the wildlings?" she asked.
"Who else?" Ned lifted Ice, looked down the cool steel length of it. "And it will only grow worse. The day may come when I will have no choice but to call the banners and ride north to deal with this King-beyond-the-Wall for good and all."

 

Same with Jon and Bran, at first, but after Jon's time with them he realizes that they are not what he was taught. Same with Bran in the opening of the story. Southroners are taught to fear wildlings:

A Game of Thrones - Bran I

The man had been taken outside a small holdfast in the hills. Robb thought he was a wildling, his sword sworn to Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall. It made Bran's skin prickle to think of it. He remembered the hearth tales Old Nan told them. The wildlings were cruel men, she said, slavers and slayers and thieves. They consorted with giants and ghouls, stole girl children in the dead of night, and drank blood from polished horns. And their women lay with the Others in the Long Night to sire terrible half-human children.
But the man they found bound hand and foot to the holdfast wall awaiting the king's justice was old and scrawny, not much taller than Robb. He had lost both ears and a finger to frostbite, and he dressed all in black, the same as a brother of the Night's Watch, except that his furs were ragged and greasy.
 

A Clash of Kings - Jon III

Craster's sheepskin jerkin and cloak of sewn skins made a shabby contrast, but around one thick wrist was a heavy ring that had the glint of gold. He looked to be a powerful man, though well into the winter of his days now, his mane of hair grey going to white. A flat nose and a drooping mouth gave him a cruel look, and one of his ears was missing. So this is a wildling. Jon remembered Old Nan's tales of the savage folk who drank blood from human skulls. Craster seemed to be drinking a thin yellow beer from a chipped stone cup. Perhaps he had not heard the stories.
  • Sidenote: Yes, Craster is a nasty old man who commits abominations, but he also does not fit what is taught about wildlings in general.

 

And we learn later, if we hadn't figured it out by now, that even though there are some real assholes amongst the wildlings, they really are not that different from those south of the wall. Look at the horror Tywin released with Gregor Clegane as just one of many examples of southron atrocities. Raping, piliging, stealing lands, horses and other goods, as well as burning the crops of the smallfolk (which is the biggest idiot idea ever):

A Dance with Dragons - Jon V

Not all the fighting men were broken, though. Half a dozen Thenns in bronze scale armor stood clustered round one cellar stair, watching sullenly and making no attempt to join the others. In the ruins of the old village smithy Jon spied a big bald slab of a man he recognized as Halleck, the brother of Harma Dogshead. Harma's pigs were gone, though. Eaten, no doubt. Those two in furs were Hornfoot men, as savage as they were scrawny, barefoot even in the snow. There are wolves amongst these sheep, still.
Val had reminded him of that, on his last visit with her. "Free folk and kneelers are more alike than not, Jon Snow. Men are men and women women, no matter which side of the Wall we were born on. Good men and bad, heroes and villains, men of honor, liars, cravens, brutes … we have plenty, as do you."
She was not wrong. The trick was telling one from the other, parting the sheep from the goats.
 
Ok, now for the real world junk. George is no doubt writing a modern day tale that reflects his personal values. There are many common themes throughout all of his books, and valuing the underdog is one of them. Just look at his recent September 14 blog post that is a "Salute to Immigrants", where he says in the comments:
 
"The idea that the present wave of immigrants is somehow different from all previous waves of immigrants, and THESE people are "not like us" and will not assimilate... this is the myth that will not die. It has been applied to pretty much every group of immigrants ever to come to our shores. Assimilation does not take place overnight, no. It is sometimes the work of generations. But it does happen. I believe in the power of the melting pot."
 

Yes, they will assimilate and things will work, but as George himself notes, it will take some time.

In the story, the north is thinly populated as it is, but factor in those who were lost to the Battle of 5 Kings, and presumably the upcoming battle at Winterfell and the Others invasion, George has set it up that the north NEEDS new people... and the Free Folk are the blood of the first men and share the same gods, so assimilating won't be that hard for too long. The Thenns already married in are described as the more "obediant" of the wildlings, so while there will be some backlash and culture shocks, when a clan has its leader marry into a new family, that clan leader is going to set the example for the rest and will have to enforce laws.

Besides, George will probably lessen the chances of too much negative feedback by killing off the "bad" wildling we have left, just to keep the story moving along and not stalling on one small point.

 
 
 
 

Which makes me think whether there is this special reason why political map in the North changes. 

Did you notice how heads of the northern houses are women? House Mormont, House Cerwyn, House Flint of Widow's Watch, House Dustin (and if Ryswells die off, then Barbrey will be Lady of Rills as well), House Glover (Robett and Galbart are away), House Tallhart. Not to mention that Hornwood lands are still without Lord or Lady Hornwood and under right circumstances can be given to Larence Snow, a bastard just like Jon. You already have Alys Karstark married with Thenns.

What I am getting at is that assuming Jon gets resurrected and decides to go take Winterfell from whoever holds it (and I am pretty sure that he will have to take it by force, no one will allow him to take his home without blood) WITH wildlings, then after his success at Winterfell and coronation as King in the North (come on, it is bound to happen), he will surround himself with people he trusts the most (and Ghost), especially after his lesson with Bowen Marsh. He will need to assimilate his main political backing power, the wildlings, into the North, and do it quickly since winter is coming.

I believe Jon marrying Alys Karstark to Sigorn Thenn was just a start. He will marry off wildling leaders (most respected among their people, since wildlings follow strength) to these northern noble ladies, by which he will bring fresh blood into the North and infuse wildling mentality of "no kneeling" and "choosing and following your leader not based on blood, but merits and qualities".

Jon, in big ways, is a reformator, and I think he will start the process of destroying feudal system and establishing more democratic one, where people get to choose who to follow, not forced to. He will become King in the North not because they will find Robb's will (if it comes back to the story, it will only solidify how much Jon deserves this title), but because he will earn the trust of the people he commands and leads, like a true king. His Stark heritage is an added bonus, so to speak, where his blood right AND personal qualities and merit make him the perfect King in the North for the upcoming winter.

I just believe all these noble houses and feudal society in the North will disappear during Long Night, and Jon will play a crucial role in it.

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Does anyone think he was the one that had Bran attacked with his bag of silver?  To start a war enabling the wildlings to enter?

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If Ned had still been in the North when the Wight attacked Joer, then he would have gone to Ned instead of sending Thorne to Kings Landing.  Joer may have resisted the urge to go North of the wall but instead wait for Ned and reinforcements.  Mance may not have risked his attack but instead attempted to make a deal.  

I think Ned would have allowed them to settle the Gift, but hostages would have been required and the Wall defended. 

Robb would not have had the same guts to do this

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