Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
newbieone

Any non-paramount lords with two tiers of lords below them?

Recommended Posts

The usual structure is:

Iron Throne > lord paramount > your usual lord, great or small, with only landed knights below

Sometimes — e.g. Hightower, Rowan, Royce, Manderly, Frey (which are incidentally all I can think about) — there is one more link in the chain:

Iron Throne > lord paramount > great lord > small lord

So for example:

IT > Tyrell > Rowan > Webber (petty lord)

IT > Tyrell > Hightower > Beesbury (relatively big lords, former kings), Bulwer, Costayne, Cuy, Mullendore

IT > Tully > Frey > Charlton, possibly Erenford

IT > Stark > Manderly > a handful of petty lords

IT > Arryn > Royce > Coldwater, Shett (former kings) and Tollett

IT > Greyjoy > Harlaw > Harlaw branches and several houses, if they are actually lords at all

Of course, even petty lords are likely to be done fealty by landed knights with a keep or small castle of their own (or small clan chiefs in the North), but that's not what I'm asking about. Lords only.

I'm pretty sure I must have seen a feudal chain with four lords (below the IT) somewhere, but can't find the information any more. Anyone?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you mean Lords who also have Lords as their vassals?

Hightower is the most powerful example, then there would be Royce. In the Riverlands there are only two examples, the Freys and the Vances of Wayfarer's Rest, House Baratheon of Dragonstone and House Harlaw. These are the only confirmed examples. 

It is possible that Yronwood and maybe Fowler also fall into the category, possibly Peake before they were stripped of much of their lands and titles and maybe one of Caron or Swann. 

Edited by Bernie Mac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Do you mean Lords who also have Lords as their vassals?

Hightower is the most powerful example, then there would be Royce. In the Riverlands there are only two examples, the Freys and the Vances of Wayfarer's Rest, House Baratheon of Dragonstone and House Harlaw. These are the only confirmed examples. 

It is possible that Yronwood and maybe Fowler also fall into the category, and possibly Peake before they were stripped of much of their lands and titles. 

He asked if there are Lords who have Lords who have Lords, not Lords who have Lords.

Yes, I know how weird it sounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

He asked if there are Lords who have Lords who have Lords, not Lords who have Lords.

Yes, I know how weird it sounds.

Yeah, Iron Throne > Lord Paramount > great lord > small lord > even smaller lord, for example:

IT > Tyrell > Hightower > Beesbury > Petty Lord X, except there's no mention of any Beesbury vassal in the books.

But it seems unlikely to me now. If even the largest vassals of the Hightowers (as the most powerful non-paramount Great House) don't have their own lordly vassals, then I don't think anyone else would have three tiers below them except by some freak accident. On the other hand, nothing in the books makes this impossible, either. Hightower and possibly Royce vassals (like House Beesbury) generally appear to be powerful enough to have the fealty of one or two very petty lords (like a lord of one castle), it's just that none are named or hinted. But maybe I'm missing something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plenty of lords have lords as vassals. The Manderlys for example have a dozen lords sworn to them. The question is whether any of those dozen in turn have vassal lords below them. It would seem not, from the evidence presented so far. They would have landed knights sworn to them, but apparently not lesser lords.

Whether any other non-Paramount lords have more than one sub-tier of lords below them is unknown. Perhaps the Hightowers, and outside chance the Redwynnes. But again, we don't know for sure.

Martin has said: "The lords have vassals, and the vassals have vassals, and sometimes the vassals of the vassals have vassals, right down to the man who can raise five friends"

The context he was speaking of, though, was with reference to the Karstarks, Boltons and Freys, if I recall. So the first "lord" in his reference was at the level of Lord Karstark. And he said these lords have vassals. These vassals would be at the level of the dozen lords Lord Manderly mentions as being sworn to him. Or House Stout (sworn to House Dustin) and House Webber (Sworn to House Rowan), as examples in the books.

The vassal of the vassal would then in most cases presumably be a landed knight sworn to say House Stout or House Webber, or to one of the dozen lords sworn to House Manderly.

The interesting part is the bit where Martin adds that "sometimes the vassals of the vassals would have vassals, down to the man who can raise five friends". So it would seem that he is referring to a level below that of the landed knight sworn to a petty lord, sworn to House Manderly, for example. Suggesting that there is indeed another tier even lower down (in some cases).

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Plenty of lords have lords as vassals. The Manderlys for example have a dozen lords sworn to them. The question is whether any of those dozen in turn have vassal lords below them. It would seem not, from the evidence presented so far. They would have landed knights sworn to them, but apparently not lesser lords.

Whether any other non-Paramount lords have more than one sub-tier of lords below them is unknown. Perhaps the Hightowers, and outside chance the Redwynnes. But again, we don't know for sure.

Martin has said: "The lords have vassals, and the vassals have vassals, and sometimes the vassals of the vassals have vassals, right down to the man who can raise five friends"

The context he was speaking of, though, was with reference to the Karstarks, Boltons and Freys, if I recall. So the first "lord" in his reference was at the level of Lord Karstark. And he said these lords have vassals. These vassals would be at the level of the dozen lords Lord Manderly mentions as being sworn to him. Or House Stout (sworn to House Dustin) and House Webber (Sworn to House Rowan), as examples in the books.

The vassal of the vassal would then in most cases presumably be a landed knight sworn to say House Stout or House Webber, or to one of the dozen lords sworn to House Manderly.

The interesting part is the bit where Martin adds that "sometimes the vassals of the vassals would have vassals, down to the man who can raise five friends". So it would seem that he is referring to a level below that of the landed knight sworn to a petty lord, sworn to House Manderly, for example. Suggesting that there is indeed another tier even lower down (in some cases).

Yes, there probably are some Lords who have Lords who have Lords, but problem is(unless I forgot about something) that there are no such examples in Westeros about what we know. Until Martin give us some actual proof, we can only sepculate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Only 89 selfies today said:

IT > Paramount House Baelish > House Frey of the Crossing > cadet House Frey of Riverun > the lord vassals who answer to Riverun

That is the most contrived and artificial setup imaginable. And utterly temporary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would depend how the feudal landscape is organized on the lowest level. Has a lord holding land in the name of the king parceled out those lands more or less equally, giving them out to other lords, petty lords, landed knights, and peasants with all of them being directly sworn to him, or do we have a more hierarchic structure there, with the lord giving a huge chunk of land to another lord, and that lord giving parts of that land to a number of petty lords who then also have some tracts of land left to give to some landed knights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Only 89 selfies today said:

IT > Paramount House Baelish > House Frey of the Crossing > cadet House Frey of Riverun > the lord vassals who answer to Riverun

Emmon Frey isn't vassal of his father.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually we know almost nothing about houses sworn to houses Bolton or Dustin. Both of those are major players in the North and it seems that either of those can call at arms thousands of warriors. So I assume that either of those should have at least half dozen petty lords and maybe even hundreds of "masters" sworn to them.

After all all those heavy cavalry men and another soldiers in their service had to came from somewhere most likely from their own towers, manors and farms. Or I simply do not believe that either houses can afford to keep so large and expensive standing army just standing around. So they almost certainly follow similar feodal model than all other houses in the north. And so they hire warriors by giving them land or another privilegies like hunting or fishing rights.

Another oddity are houses Tallhart and Glover. Both are "only" master level but either seemed to be able to call at arms hundreds of soldiers and at least house Glover seemed to have a lot of houses sworn to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if they are petty lords those 5 lordly Hightower vassals seem quite prominent as 3 of them defied their overlords in the Dance and Renly mentions them among other prominent houses supporting him so chances of them having vassal lords are there but  there’s no term for lords sworn to a petty lord so it’s unlikely

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Only 89 selfies today said:

IT > Paramount House Baelish > House Frey of the Crossing > cadet House Frey of Riverun > the lord vassals who answer to Riverun

Nope.

Emmon Frye asserts that he intends to be a just overlord for the Riverlands.  Emmon has given himself the impression that he is now Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, with even his own father among his bannermen.

Quote

“Ser Jaime, your lord father’s faith in me was well placed, you shall see. I mean to be firm but fair with my new vassals. Blackwood and Bracken, Jason Mallister, Vance and Piper, they shall learn that they have a just overlord in Emmon Frey. My father as well, yes. He is the Lord of the Crossing, but I am the Lord of Riverrun. A son has a duty to obey his father, true, but a bannerman must obey his overlord.”
Oh, gods be good. “You are not his overlord, ser. Read your parchment. You were granted Riverrun with its lands and incomes, no more. Petyr Baelish is the Lord Paramount of the Trident. Riverrun will be subject to the rule of Harrenhal.”
That did not please Lord Emmon.

So it's IT>House Baelish of Harrenhall>Errrrrrbody in the Riverlands.  Lords that used to swear fealty to House Tully now swear fealty to House Baelish, not Frey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It would depend how the feudal landscape is organized on the lowest level. Has a lord holding land in the name of the king parceled out those lands more or less equally, giving them out to other lords, petty lords, landed knights, and peasants with all of them being directly sworn to him, or do we have a more hierarchic structure there, with the lord giving a huge chunk of land to another lord, and that lord giving parts of that land to a number of petty lords who then also have some tracts of land left to give to some landed knights.

Martin has answered that. He stated that it is a standard feudal structure. With vassals, vassals of vassals and vassals of vassals of vassals. It is clear that Martin has a rigid hierarchical structure in mind.

House Stark has "primary" banner lords, such as House Karstark, House Karstark has vassal lords, and the vassal lords have vassals in turn (likely Masterly Houses in the vast majority of cases) sworn to them.

It would seem that in some rarer cases, an extra vassal lord exists to add an additional level below the primary banner House. But we are yet to see an actual example of that on page.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Martin has answered that. He stated that it is a standard feudal structure. With vassals, vassals of vassals and vassals of vassals of vassals. It is clear that Martin has a rigid hierarchical structure in mind.

House Stark has "primary" banner lords, such as House Karstark, House Karstark has vassal lords, and the vassal lords have vassals in turn (likely Masterly Houses in the vast majority of cases) sworn to them.

It would seem that in some rarer cases, an extra vassal lord exists to add an additional level below the primary banner House. But we are yet to see an actual example of that on page.

It is not that easy. The Rosbys and Stokeworths and Hayfords are directly sworn to the Iron Throne, aren't they? And what about the clansmen? They are directly sworn to Winterfell, too, and have no bannermen or vassals of their own.

The point I'm making is that we simply have no clue how the various houses have organized their lands, nor do we know how many vassals they have, nor what ranks and titles those vassals have, or how many vassals those vassals have.

We simply don't know that.

George has never laid out any of that, and he is not likely going to do that in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not that easy. The Rosbys and Stokeworths and Hayfords are directly sworn to the Iron Throne, aren't they? And what about the clansmen? They are directly sworn to Winterfell, too, and have no bannermen or vassals of their own.

The point I'm making is that we simply have no clue how the various houses have organized their lands, nor do we know how many vassals they have, nor what ranks and titles those vassals have, or how many vassals those vassals have.

We simply don't know that.

George has never laid out any of that, and he is not likely going to do that in the future.

You are using the exceptions to try and disregard the rule in its entirety. We know there are exceptions. They simply make the setting a bit richer. We know about the Clansmen. And the Skagosi. And the Glovers and Tallharts as Masterly Houses, just like House Templeton. As we do about various other exceptions that don't quite fit the general rule.

But in terms of the general setup, Martin's view seems clear. It is a hierarcical feudal structure. Even the exceptions fit into this structure, they just skip a step or two to be sworn directly to the Lords Paramount for the most part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

But in terms of the general setup, Martin's view seems clear. It is a hierarcical feudal structure. Even the exceptions fit into this structure, they just skip a step or two to be sworn directly to the Lords Paramount for the most part.

You cannot say there is a general rule when we don't know that this is a general rule. I mean, do we know any vassals of House Umber? No, we don't. But we do know that 'the Umbers' keep a lot of sheep on their lands. The Umbers, not the bannermen, lords, or vassals of the Umbers. That makes it not unlikely that the Umbers might be, more or less, organized like a clan, which would imply a flat hierarchy, similar but not identical to the clan structures.

The fact just is that we do not know whether or how many vassals this or that lord has until we get precise information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

You cannot say there is a general rule when we don't know that this is a general rule. I mean, do we know any vassals of House Umber? No, we don't. But we do know that 'the Umbers' keep a lot of sheep on their lands. The Umbers, not the bannermen, lords, or vassals of the Umbers. That makes it not unlikely that the Umbers might be, more or less, organized like a clan, which would imply a flat hierarchy, similar but not identical to the clan structures.

The fact just is that we do not know whether or how many vassals this or that lord has until we get precise information.

My goodness. That is such an unfounded assumption. Martin specifically used the Karstarks in his example of vassals with vassals with vassals. And yet you would suggest that the Umbers for some reason would not follow that same structure. Because "sheep"? Really now.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Lordth said:

Even if they are petty lords those 5 lordly Hightower vassals 

They are not petty lords, but Lords in their own right. There seems a clear distinction in the Appendix's with Lords having a capital L while petty lords, such as House Stout, having a lower case l. It is incredibly confusing, I imagine GRRM did not realise how popular these books would be and how much scrutiny the future internet would give to details like this when he wrote the first book more than two decades ago. 

 

GRRM: As I see it, the title "lord" -- when used formally, and not simply as an honorific --conveys not only prestige, but certain legal rights as well. The right of pit and gallows, as they were once called, for instance -- i.e. authority to hang people and toss them into dungeons.A landed knight has rather less prestige...

The confusion stems from pretty much every male noble being referred to as 'lord' by people under him, even men who are not technically a lord such Galbert Glover who is the head of a Masterly House rather than Lordly House. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×