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Anarch Half-Hoare

Unowned lands and keeps

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Hey there, I'm a long-time lurker, first time poster, and these boards have often been a good source of information along with A Wiki of Ice and Fire. Trying to gather correct information on the workings of Westeros and it's laws and customs is quite important to me as I'm a very active ASOIAF role player and spend most of my spare time on it in an online community.

Certain laws aren't entirely clear to me though and despite a good search through the books and various sites (including this forum) I haven't been able to find an answer to the following question:

What happens to the land and keep(s) of a House when the last family member dies?

The assumption my role play community currently goes by is that the lands become owned by the crown, who can then decide to hand it out to whomever they'd like. But I kinda always felt that this creates a bit of conflict with the Lord Paramounts of a region. Say for example lands in the Reach fall without owner and the crown decides to hand it to a close friend in King's Landing, it might perhaps annoy the Tyrells that they suddenly have to accept a vassal in their region whom they're not entirely agreeable with?

 

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I have seen more knowledgeable members assert that "only the Crown can make new Lords".

I see the possible conflict between the Crown and Great House - with the Throne being capable of assigning the "free lands" to someone not agreeable to the local Great Lord - is part of the the System.

"Don't piss off the King or you will end up with the lands of freshly extinct House X being given to somebody you do not like".

This only extends to Lordly/Major Houses, however, with the assignement of lands to Masterly/Minor/Landed Knight Houses being at the Great Lord's pleasure.

I do not believe that Tytos had to consult the Crown to grant land to and to elevate the "original Clegane" to Landed Knight.

I could be wrong and I will gladly learn about this issue to :)

 

 

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I had assumed the lords paramount had jurisdiction over assigning lordshipd and lands, but probably not. Both in ASoIaF and the sworn swords assignments are made by the Crown. Giving Brightswater Keep to Garlan Tyrell was a concession won by the Tyrells which indicates that they couldn't just take it as their lieges.

Of course, Tywin dispossessed the Reynes and Tarbrecks in a rather dramatic fashion rendering the point moot.

7 hours ago, TMIFairy said:

This only extends to Lordly/Major Houses, however, with the assignement of lands to Masterly/Minor/Landed Knight Houses being at the Great Lord's pleasure.

I do not believe that Tytos had to consult the Crown to grant land to and to elevate the "original Clegane" to Landed Knight.

I could be wrong and I will gladly learn about this issue to :)

 

Knighthood can be bestowed even by another knight. The knights themselves are to certain extent retainers to the lords they serve so they may be able to grant them lands. Manderly at one point mentions that he has the fealty of a hundred landed knights, so it could be that he made them himself.

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28 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

Of course, Tywin dispossessed the Reynes and Tarbrecks in a rather dramatic fashion rendering the point moot.

A man could make a point that eliminating a Lordly House and creating a new Lordly House are two different things :)

IIRC the Reyne and Tarbeck lands were annexed and added to Lannister Lands, hence no activation of the "create new Lordly House"  procedure.

Thinking about it, the Crown having a say over the creation of new Landed Knightly/Masterly Houses would be micro-management not possible in a "quasi Medieval" environment.

Here I could imagine the Starks possibly having something to say about Lord Manderly creating landed Knight House no.103. But I really do not see the Crown as stooping that low.

Back to Reyne and Tarbeck lands - technically/legally Tyiwn handing them out to Landed Knights would again be under the Crown's radar?

As Master/Knight does not have the right to "pits and gallows" I can imagine that having too many Master/Knightly Houses could become an administrative burden. Especially for "he who passes the sentence swings the sword micromanagment freaks" - think of Ned riding out to behead NW deserters ... at a certain point he would spend all his time on the road meting out capital punishment sentences.

 

Edited by TMIFairy

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6 minutes ago, TMIFairy said:

A man could make a point that eliminating a Lordly House and creating a new Lordly House are two different things :)

IIRC the Reyne and Tarbeck lands were annexed and added to Lannister Lands, hence no activation of the "create new Lordly House"  procedure.

Thinking about it, the Crown having a say over the creation of new Landed Knightly/Masterly Houses would be micro-management not possible in a "quasi Medieval" environment.

Here I could imagine the Starks possibly having something to say about Lord Manderly creating landed Knight House no.103. But I really do not see the Crown as stooping that low.

Back to Reyne and Tarbeck lands - technically/legally Tyiwn handing them out to Landed Knights would again be under the Crown's radar?

As Master/Knight does not have the right to "pits and gallows" I can imagine that having too many Master/Knightly Houses could become an administrative burden. Especially for "he who passes the sentence swings the sword micromanagment freaks" - think of Ned riding out to behead NW deserters ... at a certain point he would spend all his time on the road meting out capital punishment sentences.

 

Well, they fall under the same heading. The other side of the coin of making lords is unmaking them. Legally speaking, it could be argued that Tywin did not dispossess the Reynes and Tarbrecks, but destroyed them as Rebels during a war. It should also be noted that their lands remained empty for decades, until Tywin was Joffrey's Hand. I think they actually reverted to the Crown.

Apart from the micromanagement issue, even Bonifer Hasty, himself a landed knight promises land to recruit followers.

Ultimately, everything is done "in the name of the king" and such. I think the lords paramount do have a certain amount of discretion, with sending a raven for confirmation to King's Landing.

I think deserters count as outlaws,  but still you make a point. As both Tallhearts and Glovers are masters rather than lords, Ned would appear to have to judge every capital case in the western shore. But then it does appear that it is really sparsely populated and the heads of the mountain clans are accounted as lords.

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10 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

the heads of the mountain clans are accounted as lords.

Excellent point - not having them as lords would be an administrative nightmare for the Stark in Winterfell :)

I also do wonder about the Glovers and Tallharts too - their Masterly (and not Lordly) status and the associated paperwork :) could be one of those things which one should not look into too closely

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As it was said before, any knight can make another knight, and only the king can make a lord. Enfeoffing land should go along with this guideline. If a great lord has some extinct vassals, he can grant their lands to a knight (or several knights, if it's too much for one knight), but if he wants another lordly house, he has to petition the king for that.

Knights can be made and enfeoffed with land any time. Even a landed knight can, in turn, enfeoff some land to a sworn landless knight in his service. Ser Eustace Osgrey could, if he wanted, give one of three his villages to Dunk, creating a very tiny House Tallman of the Reach.

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since the crown has given lordships like Harrenhal, Brightwater Keep, and Derry away in the span of the books, I would definitely guess lordships are the crowns duty. You'd assume it's customary to consult with the lord paramount of the region though. 

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Well Harrold Hardyng is considered "Harry the Heir" to the Eyrie. He isn't an Arryn, but is somehow distantly related. My guess is that a castle would go to whichever distant blood relative, cousin, 3rd cousin, etc... could make the best claim. And have the power to back up that claim if needs be.

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Posted (edited)

Well, we do learn from Jon that Ned intended to raise new lords for the abandoned holdfasts in the Gift, and allow them to pay taxes to the Watch instead of to Winterfell. Although they are referred to as "lordlings" by Jon, this is probably  just a way for Jon to express that they were of lower level than the Starks themselves.

Since we are not aware of any legal distinction between lords lower than Lord Paramount level (whether you are House Rowan or House Webber, you are still a lordly House), this implies to me that if Ned can raise lords in the Gift, he can raise any type of lord anywhere else in his domain as well.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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Corbrays were and probably are Lords of the Fingers. LF's ancestor was a sellsword employed by Corbray's. LF is the LORD of a single village on the smallest finger.

When the old houses w(h)ent extinct, Harrenhal is handed out to new houses over and over again by the crown and not Tullys.

Florent lands, Caron lands and others are given by the crown as rewards.

Ned wants to raise new Northern lords in the gift that will pay taxes to NW.

So go figure.

My bet is any lord can hand out any land he has to anyone and even make new lords in his own land. When a house goes extinct or declared traitors and stripped of their titles however, then it falls to the crown to determine what'll happen.

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Lords cannot make lords, that much is clear. There isn't even an indication that lords can hand out land to other lords. That would all be done by the Crown. Lords can give land to knights and make them landed knights, presumably, but even that's not clear. There might be limits to how many lands you can give to a knight as a lord. 

Jon Connington's memories tell us that his father sucked up to Rhaegar because he desired to have the royals on his side in his conflict over land with his neighbors. If such conflicts were usually moderated and decided by the lords paramount then Lord Connington should have been sucking up to Steffon/Robert Baratheon, not Aerys/Rhaegar Targaryen.

Ned's plans would have involved both King Robert and the Night's Watch leadership and would have gone nowhere if Mormont and Robert had rejected his ideas. But considering that no King on the Iron Throne gives crap about what happens in the North, any suggestions the Lord of Winterfell makes would most likely accepted by the Crown without a second thought unless they were of the opinion that the Lord Stark had taken leave of his senses.

And Ned also has the advantage to be the king's best buddy - he can make more ambitious plans because he knows he has the ear of the king.

The Corbrays once ruled the Fingers - I'd not bet that they still do. Littlefinger's ancestor served Lord Corbray once, and he still has ties to that house, but it would have been the Crown who gave House Baelish its lordship, not Lord Corbray.

Once a line goes extinct the lands and castle go back to the Crown. When the succession is muddied because obscure claimants come forth claiming the title, it falls to the Crown to mediate that, too, although one assumes a lord paramount rules on that if we are talking about a minor lordship in the middle of nowhere.

The lords paramount are not little kings in their domains, at least not legally. They have none of the royal prerogatives that make you a king. We see this very well in the difference between Robb the Lord and Robb the King. These are completely different spheres of power and authority. 

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Lords cannot make lords, that much is clear. There isn't even an indication that lords can hand out land to other lords. That would all be done by the Crown. Lords can give land to knights and make them landed knights, presumably, but even that's not clear. There might be limits to how many lands you can give to a knight as a lord. 

Jon Connington's memories tell us that his father sucked up to Rhaegar because he desired to have the royals on his side in his conflict over land with his neighbors. If such conflicts were usually moderated and decided by the lords paramount then Lord Connington should have been sucking up to Steffon/Robert Baratheon, not Aerys/Rhaegar Targaryen.

Ned's plans would have involved both King Robert and the Night's Watch leadership and would have gone nowhere if Mormont and Robert had rejected his ideas. But considering that no King on the Iron Throne gives crap about what happens in the North, any suggestions the Lord of Winterfell makes would most likely accepted by the Crown without a second thought unless they were of the opinion that the Lord Stark had taken leave of his senses.

And Ned also has the advantage to be the king's best buddy - he can make more ambitious plans because he knows he has the ear of the king.

The Corbrays once ruled the Fingers - I'd not bet that they still do. Littlefinger's ancestor served Lord Corbray once, and he still has ties to that house, but it would have been the Crown who gave House Baelish its lordship, not Lord Corbray.

Once a line goes extinct the lands and castle go back to the Crown. When the succession is muddied because obscure claimants come forth claiming the title, it falls to the Crown to mediate that, too, although one assumes a lord paramount rules on that if we are talking about a minor lordship in the middle of nowhere.

The lords paramount are not little kings in their domains, at least not legally. They have none of the royal prerogatives that make you a king. We see this very well in the difference between Robb the Lord and Robb the King. These are completely different spheres of power and authority. 

For someone who professes to make no conclusions unless the books explicitly state something to be the case,  you are (once again) remarkably quick to assume a position as long as it fits your preferences. Really lord Varys. This is getting rather predictable.

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6 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

For someone who professes to make no conclusions unless the books explicitly state something to be the case,  you are (once again) remarkably quick to assume a position as long as it fits your preferences. Really lord Varys. This is getting rather predictable.

LOL, if lords could make lords there would be dozens of examples in the history of Westeros where it would have made sense for a lord to make a lord, yet never did a lord make a lord.

Why did Mace Tyrell need King Joffrey to grant Brightwater to Garlan if he could have done that himself? Why do only kings promise lordships as rewards? Why do we only see kings raising men to lordships? Why do we see only kings attaint lords?

Your 'evidence' is the plan of a man which never led to anything, a man with close ties to the king who could have done anything he wanted to do in his name.

I mean, the very idea that Ned could just interfere with the inner working of the NW on a whim, without the permission of the king is preposterous. The NW is an institution supported by all the Seven Kingdoms and ultimately subject on to the Iron Throne, not the Lord of Winterfell. It isn't even part of the domains of the Starks - and even on their own domains they cannot make and unmake lords on a whim.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

LOL, if lords could make lords there would be dozens of examples in the history of Westeros where it would have made sense for a lord to make a lord, yet never did a lord make a lord.

Why did Mace Tyrell need King Joffrey to grant Brightwater to Garlan if he could have done that himself? Why do only kings promise lordships as rewards? Why do we only see kings raising men to lordships? Why do we see only kings attaint lords?

Your 'evidence' is the plan of a man which never led to anything, a man with close ties to the king who could have done anything he wanted to do in his name.

I mean, the very idea that Ned could just interfere with the inner working of the NW on a whim, without the permission of the king is preposterous. The NW is an institution supported by all the Seven Kingdoms and ultimately subject on to the Iron Throne, not the Lord of Winterfell. It isn't even part of the domains of the Starks - and even on their own domains they cannot make and unmake lords on a whim.

Maybe read the passage before commenting. Ned stated that the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch would have to agree. Not the King. It would be a matter of negotiation between Winterfell and Castle Black, down to who the new lords’ taxes would be paid to.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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2 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Maybe read the passage before commenting. Ned stated that the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch would have to agree. Not the King. It would be a matter of negotiation between Winterfell and Castle Black, down to who the new lords’ taxes would be paid to.

And how do you know that Ned has the authority to do any of that without the king's leave? We never get Ned Stark's detailed plan from Ned Stark himself, or do we?

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And how do you know that Ned has the authority to do any of that without the king's leave? We never get Ned Stark's detailed plan from Ned Stark himself, or do we?

So that’s why my position is that we don’t know for a fact whether Lords Paramount can or cannot raise lords. We have evidence that the King can. But then, that is not really a revelation one way or another. What we don’t have, is evidence that Lords Paramount cannot.

Based on Jon’s memory, there is at least cause to keep the matter open for debate.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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18 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So that’s why my position is that we don’t know for a fact whether Lords Paramount can or cannot raise lords. We have evidence that the King can. But then, that is not really a revelation one way or another. What we don’t have, is evidence that Lords Paramount cannot.

Based on Jon’s memory, there is at least cause to keep the matter open for debate.

Not really. Again - we have every reason to expect that Ned would have acted with King Robert's permission and his agent in this scenario. It is pretty clear that Robert would never have moved his fat ass to the North to choose new lords by himself, so the details would be left to Ned in any case.

To make a case that a lord paramount (or any lord for that matter) can raise a lord you would need a scenario where it is clear that said lord would act on his own authority alone - or better still, against the interests/wishes of the king.

But that's not the case in this scenario.

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4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Not really. Again - we have every reason to expect that Ned would have acted with King Robert's permission and his agent in this scenario. It is pretty clear that Robert would never have moved his fat ass to the North to choose new lords by himself, so the details would be left to Ned in any case.

To make a case that a lord paramount (or any lord for that matter) can raise a lord you would need a scenario where it is clear that said lord would act on his own authority alone - or better still, against the interests/wishes of the king.

But that's not the case in this scenario.

Thank you. And there we have it. Due to a weight of evidence, you choose the scenario that best fits said evidence, without it being explicitly stated to be so in the text.

Whereas, in cases where the North's military strength or population is the topic of debate, you refuse to do so, instead requiring explicit numbers to be stated in the text before being willing to consider what makes sense based on supporting evidence.

Your inconsistency depending on what fits your preferred narrative is glaring, Lord Varys.

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Quote

"I am dancing as fast as I can." He wanted to laugh, but that would have ruined the game. Plumm was enjoying this, and Tyrion had no intention of spoiling his fun. Let him go on thinking that he's bent me over and fucked me up the arse, and I'll go on buying steel swords with parchment dragons. If ever he went back to Westeros to claim his birthright, he would have all the gold of Casterly Rock to make good on his promises. If not, well, he'd be dead, and his new brothers could wipe their arses with these parchments. Perhaps some might turn up in King's Landing with their scraps in hand, hoping to convince his sweet sister to make good on them. And would that I could be a roach in the rushes to witness that.

...

Brown Ben's note was the last. That one had been inscribed upon a sheepskin scroll. One hundred thousand golden dragons, fifty hides of fertile land, a castle, and a lordship. Well and well. This Plumm does not come cheaply. Tyrion plucked at his scar and wondered if he ought to make a show of indignation. When you bugger a man you expect a squeal or two. He could curse and swear and rant of robbery, refuse to sign for a time, then give in reluctantly, protesting all the while. But he was sick of mummery, so instead he grimaced, signed, and handed the scroll back to Brown Ben. "Your cock is as big as in the stories," he said. "Consider me well and truly fucked, Lord Plumm."

Tyrion handing out land and lordship as promise for help making good on his claim.

Clear enough I'd say.

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