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Stormking902

Why is the North talked about as if its impossible to invade ?

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On 12/14/2017 at 8:16 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

So, does this mean that fire and blood will  get published before winds? 

Bingo 

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If you have a powerful naval force and the means to weaken Winterfell/the Starks then an invasion of the North is actually pretty easy. Whether you can hold it after that is another question, but we see how smoothly it goes with Balon.

The North is essentially held together by Winterfell. The Starks are the only authority all the Northmen (or rather, a significant portion of them grudgingly) accept as their rulers. With them gone, the North no longer exist as a political entity. The houses attacked by the Ironborn cannot expect help or assistance from the Umbers, Boltons, Karstarks, Manderlys, etc. Nobody comes and helps them in ACoK or ASoS.

And if Balon Greyjoy hadn't died and Victarion and Asha hadn't returned to the Iron Islands with the bulk of their strength Roose Bolton and his cronies would have never returned back home, nor would Stannis have been able to free Deepwood Motte.

The Ironborn are likely not capable of conquering the entire North, but they are not unlikely to swallow a decent portion of it - perhaps even half of it - and take it if they put their entire force and determination behind such an enterprise.

And a much stronger naval power - one who also commands many armored knights and other powerfully equipped forces - could very well invade and conquer the entire North.

There is no question about this.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If you have a powerful naval force and the means to weaken Winterfell/the Starks then an invasion of the North is actually pretty easy. Whether you can hold it after that is another question, but we see how smoothly it goes with Balon.

Did it go smoothly?

How smooth did it go? Asha made her way with less than twenty men to WF to tell Theon what?

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

And a much stronger naval power - one who also commands many armored knights and other powerfully equipped forces - could very well invade and conquer the entire North.

There is no question about this.

Let’s put a bit of historical spin on the invasion of martin’s northerners. Why did the Brit’s have such a hard time bringing the Scot’s to heel? The Brit’s had an armada.

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On 12/14/2017 at 4:08 PM, Ran said:

F&B v. 1 will mention in passing the the "winter armies" of the North that customarily marched south to pillage and plunder and find a worthy end.

 

On 12/14/2017 at 8:16 PM, Dorian Martell's son said:

So, does this mean that fire and blood will  get published before winds? 

On 12/15/2017 at 2:27 AM, Ran said:

It just means I’ve seen the relevant material since it was written for TWoIaF.

Look at the time stamps. The woiaf was published in 2014.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

If you have a powerful naval force and the means to weaken Winterfell/the Starks then an invasion of the North is actually pretty easy. Whether you can hold it after that is another question, but we see how smoothly it goes with Balon.

The North is essentially held together by Winterfell. The Starks are the only authority all the Northmen (or rather, a significant portion of them grudgingly) accept as their rulers. With them gone, the North no longer exist as a political entity. The houses attacked by the Ironborn cannot expect help or assistance from the Umbers, Boltons, Karstarks, Manderlys, etc. Nobody comes and helps them in ACoK or ASoS.

And if Balon Greyjoy hadn't died and Victarion and Asha hadn't returned to the Iron Islands with the bulk of their strength Roose Bolton and his cronies would have never returned back home, nor would Stannis have been able to free Deepwood Motte.

The Ironborn are likely not capable of conquering the entire North, but they are not unlikely to swallow a decent portion of it - perhaps even half of it - and take it if they put their entire force and determination behind such an enterprise.

And a much stronger naval power - one who also commands many armored knights and other powerfully equipped forces - could very well invade and conquer the entire North.

There is no question about this.

So basically you are saying if the Starks are removed, the North becomes vulnerable. I can agree with that.

 

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12 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Did it go smoothly?

How smooth did it go? Asha made her way with less than twenty men to WF to tell Theon what?

That was the taking of Winterfell with too few men and with no proper supply line. Balon's predicted that Winterfell would be able to resist them perhaps a year. And he may have been right there if his men had worn the Northmen in the west down in the months after their initial successes.

12 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Let’s put a bit of historical spin on the invasion of martin’s northerners. Why did the Brit’s have such a hard time bringing the Scot’s to heel? The Brit’s had an armada.

They did bring them to heel eventually, just as the British Empire later brought to heel entire continents.

Being an enormous naval power gives you enormous power in the kind of world we are looking at. And the North as we know it would be completely defenseless against such attacks.

And keep in mind - once the head of the enemy is cut off - once the Starks are dealt with - an invader could conquer the North piece by piece. Those quarrelsome houses won't help each other. Instead, they will try to carve out small kingdoms of their own while the invader helps to crush their enemies for them.

I mean, it is House Bolton - a Northern house! - that committed the worst betrayal in living memory against their liege house at the Red Wedding. No other house in the south ever committed a betrayal of that level. No Hightower, Reyne, Royce, Yronwood (or Martell), etc. ever turned against their lieges in a comparable manner.

The Reach, the West, the Vale, etc. are much smaller kingdoms. Should the central power there be weakened or destroyed the kingdom as such would not break into pieces because some other central power would arise. But in the North things are different. The Umbers or Manderlys would not simply accept a Bolton king (or vice versa).

In a sense, the North is basically a smaller version of the Targaryen Realm - one conquering house keeping the sharks in line. And when the direwolf (or the dragon) is gone the petty animals think they can play at being king now, too.

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16 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So basically you are saying if the Starks are removed, the North becomes vulnerable. I can agree with that.

Basically, yes. A lack of central power in the North shows in ACoK and ASoS how weak the North can be. But, of course, if a vast armada came, binding power of the Starks at the coasts, while marching another army up the causeway a military victory against a powerful Stark king would be possible, too. And, of course, victory could be ensured if a resourceful enemy actually convinced some powerful Stark bannermen to switch allegiance and declare for the invader.

The Boltons, for instance, would be likely very susceptible to such offers. If some foreign king with a good chance to win promised some lord whose family grudgingly accepted Stark oppression to double or triple his lands it is not likely such men would think about such offers too long. Especially not if they happened to be near the invasion corridor of the enemy - or close to the lands the invading armada had landed.

The reason why something like that never happened most likely is indeed that nobody thought the North was worth the effort. And the armies attacking Moat Cailin would have been, in no small part, Andal petty kings from the Riverlands. Certainly there would also have been not-so-petty River kings from the lines of the Mudds, Justmans, and Teagues, but even those would have only commanded the allegiance of (a good portion) of the Riverlands. It should have been much easier for the Northmen to throw them back than a determined army led by a king ruling the entire south of Westeros.

The Vale, the Iron Islands (and the Westerlands, if they ever warred with the North) would have attacked the North by ship - they would have rarely marched up the causeway, if at all. It is imaginable that this kind of thing happened during one of the anarchic interregnums in the Riverlands, or if the Arryns or the Lannisters made common cause with River kings for some reason.

Those winter armies @Ran mentioned above could have affected not only the Riverlands. Such armies could have also made common cause with the Riverlands against the Westermen, the Reach, the Vale, and the Stormlands.

Lord Cregan assembles an army full of men who want to die in battle, presumably for a worthy cause. Some of those attacks could also have been raids for food and provisions, of course, but the men following Cregan's example could have fought in this or that war the Riverlanders were fighting with their neighboring kingdoms, and one can assumes that the Lannisters, Arryns, Gardeners, and Durrandons wouldn't have been all that happy if some foreigners from the North presumed to assist their enemies and attack the lands for literally no reason.

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19 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That was the taking of Winterfell with too few men and with no proper supply line. Balon's predicted that Winterfell would be able to resist them perhaps a year. And he may have been right there if his men had worn the Northmen in the west down in the months after their initial successes.

To few men and no proper supply line kinda makes taking the northern lands difficult. Balon's predictions without a quote are nada.

26 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

They did bring them to heel eventually, just as the British Empire later brought to heel entire continents.

Being an enormous naval power gives you enormous power in the kind of world we are looking at. And the North as we know it would be completely defenseless against such attacks.

Did the Brit's bring actually the Scot's to heel? Give a nickle get a nickle.

28 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And keep in mind - once the head of the enemy is cut off - once the Starks are dealt with - an invader could conquer the North piece by piece. Those quarrelsome houses won't help each other. Instead, they will try to carve out small kingdoms of their own while the invader helps to crush their enemies for them.

In this story the head of the enemy has not been cut off. The Houses are seeming to me to be gathering.

31 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean, it is House Bolton - a Northern house! - that committed the worst betrayal in living memory against their liege house at the Red Wedding. No other house in the south ever committed a betrayal of that level. No Hightower, Reyne, Royce, Yronwood (or Martell), etc. ever turned against their lieges in a comparable manner.

Thank you.

32 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The Reach, the West, the Vale, etc. are much smaller kingdoms. Should the central power there be weakened or destroyed the kingdom as such would not break into pieces because some other central power would arise. But in the North things are different. The Umbers or Manderlys would not simply accept a Bolton king (or vice versa).

Agree.

33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

In a sense, the North is basically a smaller version of the Targaryen Realm - one conquering house keeping the sharks in line. And when the direwolf (or the dragon) is gone the petty animals think they can play at being king now, too.

I got nuttin.

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On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 6:28 AM, Stormking902 said:

Yes MC is impregnable from land cool, as long as an army has a strong fleet the North could never repel an invading force from at least LANDING there army in Northern territory. The Norths shores are only defended at White Harbour on the East coast, the West coast isnt defended AT ALL so a beef with say the Lannisters or the Reach and you could see them sail and land a fleet rather easily. Not to mention before AGOT the Manderlys barely had a fleet at all definitely not one that could repel a foreign invasion from Essos or even if the Vale wanted to take Whites Harbour they could. The cold weather is an advantage and disadvantage for Northern lords because they also need to eat and stay warm which could be a problem if your sieged in your castle and don't have a huge grainery like WF and dreadfort etc.......... 

I see the North and Vale always talked about as the hardest to invade but I would put Dorne, Westerlands above the North as well due to there natural boarders of mountains and desserts. Even the SL might be harder due to landing a fleet at there shores is tricky business due to rocks and storms so a lord could concentrate his forces at the boarder and fend off there foes, and if a force did land in the Stormlands you can probably cut there fleet in half due to the numbers they would lose in the attempt. 

Invading the north is easy , conquering and holding is another thing .

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IMO, a Roman level of logistics and organisation would be required to conquer the North. I don't think we've seen any army establish a supply line, armies in Westeros tend to live off the land, except in small cases( Ryman Frey in the siege of Riverrun) . And that's not counting the inevitable insurgency following the conquest. And when winter comes, well,....

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2 hours ago, The South Forgets said:

IMO, a Roman level of logistics and organisation would be required to conquer the North. I don't think we've seen any army establish a supply line, armies in Westeros tend to live off the land, except in small cases( Ryman Frey in the siege of Riverrun) . And that's not counting the inevitable insurgency following the conquest. And when winter comes, well,....

Yes, you definitely get the sense of the North as being comparable to Russia- too large a landmass, too extreme weather, not enough of a reward to make invading worthwhile, or maybe even possible in Westerosi terms.  Agreed with @Lord Varys above that if you could take out the Starks, the North becomes much more vulnerable to invasion, but I don't think it changes the general calculus that says actually holding the North after invasion would not make sense and would be close to impossible.  

You sort of see this play out with the Ironborn, although admittedly they are beyond weak compared to a hypothetical occupying force that would actually have a chance to hold the North.  Nevertheless, you still see the effort expended to essentially gain some pinecones (paraphrasing Asha).

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26 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

Yes, you definitely get the sense of the North as being comparable to Russia- too large a landmass, too extreme weather, not enough of a reward to make invading worthwhile, or maybe even possible in Westerosi terms. 

In Soviet Westeros you do not invade the North, the North invades you.

Even with the Starks out of picture it is impossible. What castles Ironborn held are very close to water; Derpwood motte is 15 miles away and Moat Cailin is 20. And even then they lose it all as soon as someone decides to take it back.i

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Iv seen some suggest that with out the Starks the other houses wont give aid to other Northern houses during an attack which is false, of course your gonna help your neighbor against an invading threat its only logical to assume your lands are next. 

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2 hours ago, Stormking902 said:

Iv seen some suggest that with out the Starks the other houses wont give aid to other Northern houses during an attack which is false, of course your gonna help your neighbor against an invading threat its only logical to assume your lands are next. 

Agreed and this is exactly what happens. Mormonts have already made their move on Asha before Stannis arrived with his clan buddies.

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On 29/04/2018 at 11:57 PM, Lord Varys said:

They did bring them to heel eventually, just as the British Empire later brought to heel entire continents.

To paraphrase one of my people's most celebrated philosophers: Did they, aye?

Scotland was never "brought to heel" in the manner you're suggesting. Our King inherited the English throne, creating a demand for a political Union, which our nobility eventually agreed to. They'd just flushed our economy down the toilet and thought (rightly) that they'd profit greatly from a Union with England. A partnership, entered willingly, isn't really being "brought to heel" is it?

We're basically Dorne. We've even retained our own laws.

On 30/04/2018 at 6:13 PM, Corvo the Crow said:

Even with the Starks out of picture it is impossible. What castles Ironborn held are very close to water; Derpwood motte is 15 miles away and Moat Cailin is 20. And even then they lose it all as soon as someone decides to take it back.

I don't know if that's fair. The Iron Born essentially abandoned the North when the Kingsmoot was called. Deepwood Motte was held by Asha and her men, who had fled from Euron's rule, and Moat Cailin was held by a skeleton garrison. Even then, despite the limited numbers, lack of supplies and sickness caused from poison, they were still able to hold off three Northern attacks before Ramsay sent Theon in to negotiate a surrender.

If they could hold out with so little men then you've got to think that a full garrison, who were well supplied, could've held out for much much longer.

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