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John Suburbs

Strange Thing About the Twins

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Looking at the map, it really doesn't seem all that strategic to me. We're told that House Frey has grown into one of the most powerful Tully bannermen by exacting tolls across the river, But aside from a relatively unique circumstance like the King of the North needed to cross in order to launch a sneak attack at Riverrun, I don't see why many people would feel the need to cross there.

Let's say you're a trader heading north on the Kingsroad. The Twins give you easier access to Seaguard, but that's about it. There's nothing of note north of there that wouldn't be easier to reach just sticking to the Kings Road past Moat Cailen. If you're coming south, I'm sure there are small roads leading to RR, but if the tolls are exorbitant, it would probably make more sense to head to KL or to the Eyrie. The only possibility I see is if someone wanted to cut from the Bite to Seaguard and then take ship to the wealthy areas in the westerlands and the Reach, but this means you are taking your chances past the Iron Isles, and if this were the case then surely there would be a thriving seaport on the western edge of the Bite.

From a military standpoint, the prospects are equally sketchy. The Twins are only about 600 years old, long after seven great houses had established their domains. So it's not like there are numerous northern kingdoms, river lords, western houses, etc., all warring against each other having to cross the Green Fork. So a Stark host wanting to attack Riverrun would want to cross, but the Freys are not likely to still be bannermen to Riverrun if they charged tolls in this situation to let the enemy cross. By the same token, a Stark king in alliance with a Tully would work, but then the Freys wouldn't be expected to charge a huge toll to allow friendly forces to cross. True, Walder got a marriage pact from Robb, but I don't see any Frey brides for Starks prior to this. **Side note: I wonder if Ned crossed at the Twins? He hooked up with Arryn and Tully and then relieved Rob at the Stony Sept, but did Ned have to go to the Twins first, or just follow the Kingsroad across the Trident (I'm assuming there is a bridge here) and then west into the Riverlands?** In any event, these situations don't happen all that often, and for the 280-odd years before Robert's Rebellion they didn't happen at all.

So how do the Twins generate such a vast income for the Freys that they become one of the top bannermen to Riverrun?

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Posted (edited)

I have raised this issue at length before. The Freys supposesly got rich from charging regular merchants and traders tolls for crossing the river. But as you pointed out above, their bridge does not really connect a lot of busy trading destinations. 

Basically it connects Northern traffic with the Riverlands. That's it. But consider that any such traffic would have to pass through Moat Cailin too, then Moat Cailin should be an equally rich customs or toll generator. And yet we see that it is nothing of the sort.

In fact, Moat Cailin should be busier than the Twins, because on top of North-Riverlands travellers, it would also carry North-Vale and North-Crownlands travellers.

Frankly, the Twins only real value is to connect the bulk of the Riverlands to the remote Northeastern corner of the Riverlands, up along the Kingsroad below the Neck. An area that we don't even know is ruled by any major lords that I can recall.

So the Freys would not be even remotely close to Lord Manderly's wealth level, for example, going by volume of trade through their respective domains.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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22 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Looking at the map, it really doesn't seem all that strategic to me. We're told that House Frey has grown into one of the most powerful Tully bannermen by exacting tolls across the river, But aside from a relatively unique circumstance like the King of the North needed to cross in order to launch a sneak attack at Riverrun, I don't see why many people would feel the need to cross there.

Let's say you're a trader heading north on the Kingsroad. The Twins give you easier access to Seaguard, but that's about it. There's nothing of note north of there that wouldn't be easier to reach just sticking to the Kings Road past Moat Cailen. If you're coming south, I'm sure there are small roads leading to RR, but if the tolls are exorbitant, it would probably make more sense to head to KL or to the Eyrie. The only possibility I see is if someone wanted to cut from the Bite to Seaguard and then take ship to the wealthy areas in the westerlands and the Reach, but this means you are taking your chances past the Iron Isles, and if this were the case then surely there would be a thriving seaport on the western edge of the Bite.

From a military standpoint, the prospects are equally sketchy. The Twins are only about 600 years old, long after seven great houses had established their domains. So it's not like there are numerous northern kingdoms, river lords, western houses, etc., all warring against each other having to cross the Green Fork. So a Stark host wanting to attack Riverrun would want to cross, but the Freys are not likely to still be bannermen to Riverrun if they charged tolls in this situation to let the enemy cross. By the same token, a Stark king in alliance with a Tully would work, but then the Freys wouldn't be expected to charge a huge toll to allow friendly forces to cross. True, Walder got a marriage pact from Robb, but I don't see any Frey brides for Starks prior to this. **Side note: I wonder if Ned crossed at the Twins? He hooked up with Arryn and Tully and then relieved Rob at the Stony Sept, but did Ned have to go to the Twins first, or just follow the Kingsroad across the Trident (I'm assuming there is a bridge here) and then west into the Riverlands?** In any event, these situations don't happen all that often, and for the 280-odd years before Robert's Rebellion they didn't happen at all.

So how do the Twins generate such a vast income for the Freys that they become one of the top bannermen to Riverrun?

Do keep in mind that they didn't have diesel engines back then.  Most goods are transported through carts and wagons.  In other words, they have to take the path of least resistance.  Strong river currents make transportation by barge risky.  It's much easier to cross over the bridge.  Exorbitant toll is a matter of opinion.  Evidently, the people crossing think its exorbitant but they still pay it anyway and just mark up their prices.  It's just the cost of business.  The Freys are not "one of the top bannermen to Riverrun."  They are the top bannermen to Riverrun and they are probably richer than the Tullys.

 

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23 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

The Twins give you easier access to Seaguard, but that's about it.

Maybe. But Seaguard is the only larger harbor in the region and the last reachable harbor for going north. Good luck reaching Flint's Finger.

 

And it's the same the other way round. Seaguard is the first western harbor coming from the North. 

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18 minutes ago, Texas Hold Em said:

The Freys are not "one of the top bannermen to Riverrun."  They are the top bannermen to Riverrun and they are probably richer than the Tullys.

 

Well if the Freys are richer than the Tullys from their bridge to nowhere, which would carry maybe 5% of the extermal trade of the Riverlands,  then the Manderlys must be vastly wealthy from their port city which likely carries 80-90% of the external trade of the entire North.

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The thing is, the Twins don't have to take a majority of the crossings to become rich by charging a toll. They just need enough people going back and forth between certain points. No one is claiming they are Lannister-rich.

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4 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 

So how do the Twins generate such a vast income for the Freys that they become one of the top bannermen to Riverrun?

The Twins has made them wealthy and extra means of income ontop of the lands they have which borders two of the three forks of the Trident, an income in Winter time when most Riverlords are digging into their savings, but their status as the Riverlands most powerful vassal House likely comes down to the huge amount of lands they rule. 

Map of the Riverlands

Now we know from Robb's travels to the Twins and from Chett's arrest that villages on the Blue Fork are under the jurisdiction from the Freys and that the Freys are the most furthest Northern Riverlords. That is a substantial amount of land and owning such fertile land is going to make the powerful regardless of their incomes from the Bridge. 

It is also likely that the the Targaryens bringing peace has meant less wars between the various realms, and seen a population boom in places such as the  Frey lands which would have been vulnerable to Southern armies invading the North, Northern armies invading the South, the Ironborn invading the Riverlands and various raids from the pirates of the Three Sisters. 

5 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Let's say you're a trader heading north on the Kingsroad. The Twins give you easier access to Seaguard, but that's about it. There's nothing of note north of there that wouldn't be easier to reach just sticking to the Kings Road past Moat Cailen.

If you are a merhcant from the Westerlands or Southern Riverlands heading North or a Northern merchant heading to the Southern Riverlands or the Westerland than it is going to be far easier paying a toll and travelling through the Frey lands than taking a couple of hundred miles detour. 

Seagard would be a better option if it was not for the Ironborn. 

 

4 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Well if the Freys are richer than the Tullys from their bridge to nowhere,

It is not a bridge to nowhere. Where has the author claimed that?

4 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

 

which would carry maybe 5% of the extermal trade of the Riverlands,  then the Manderlys must be vastly wealthy from their port city which likely carries 80-90% of the external trade of the entire North.

Except we know that the Manderly's are paying port tolls to the Crown. And come on, 80-90%? What have you based those figures on? Are you ignoring the Kingsroad and its importance? 

"We should butcher all but a few breeding pairs. It's past time. In winters past, food could be brought up the kingsroad from the south, but with the war … it is still autumn, I know, but I would advise we go on winter rations nonetheless, if it please my lord."

Even as far as the Wall they talk about the Kingsroad being the primary route in Winter. Perhaps the dangerous waters in winter time is the reason (thus explaining why Manderly has to resort in making a deal with Davos) why trade this way is preferred.

 

5 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

 

Basically it connects Northern traffic with the Riverlands. That's it.

And the Westerlands. It is going to be easier for the Westerlands to use the Riverroad and then straight to the Twins than travelling a few hundred extra miles to around the Trident to get to the Kingsrroad. 

5 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

 

But consider that any such traffic would have to pass through Moat Cailin too, then Moat Cailin should be an equally rich customs or toll generator. And yet we see that it is nothing of the sort.

 No one rules Moat Cailin. The lands are not good enough to support a Lordship, a standing army and the cosr that would be needed to repair it. The Freys, thanks to their rich and fertile lands, already have the men needed to repair their bridge and to protect it. 

Why would the Starks do this? When all it would do is make it less profitable for the Northern merchants, who pay already pay the Starks taxes or the Southern merchants who may choose to sell their food elsewhere in Winter. 

The Starks would only be hurting the North by making trade more expensive. The Freys have no such worries, they don't rule the Riverlands, Westerlands or North so have no responsibility to their merchants nor are they hurting themselves come winter by charging a (clearly affordable) toll. 

 

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I think there is a rather large over estimation of the volume of overland trade that takes place in a society at this technology level. The vast majority of trade will happen by ship. Very few merchants will be travelling by cart from the Westerlands up to the North - a distance of a couple of thousand miles.

I would guess that 9 out of 10 travellers crossing the Twins will be local Riverlanders travelling relatively short distances. So basically, lord Frey's own people.

 

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51 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I think there is a rather large over estimation of the volume of overland trade that takes place in a society at this technology level. The vast majority of trade will happen by ship. Very few merchants will be travelling by cart from the Westerlands up to the North - a distance of a couple of thousand miles.

I would guess that 9 out of 10 travellers crossing the Twins will be local Riverlanders travelling relatively short distances. So basically, lord Frey's own people.

That still gives them ship traffic that is paying the toll(s). That said, how much they can actually generate from traffic I would be skeptical on. IMO their wealth should derive from the amount of land they own as opposed to the bridge itself. If it were down by the Ruby Ford, it would make a lot more sense. Then again, I find myself rueing GRRM and his awesome stories because I'd rather be reading new work than debating something that is utterly irrelevant to 99% of the plot.

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2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I think there is a rather large over estimation of the volume of overland trade that takes place in a society at this technology level. The vast majority of trade will happen by ship. Very few merchants will be travelling by cart from the Westerlands up to the North - a distance of a couple of thousand miles.

We are talking about a fictional universe with dragons, icemen and a 300 mile 700 feet tall wall that was man made. Not everything is going to be based on out logic. 

2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I would guess that 9 out of 10 travellers crossing the Twins will be local Riverlanders travelling relatively short distances. So basically, lord Frey's own people.

But you don't need to guess, GRRM has given us specific details. When the Watch talks about food they receive in winter time they talk about it coming from the South via the Kingsroad. 

You can argue that it is not realistic, that it would rarely happen in our own middle ages but GRRM has said it happens in his fictional world.

He has even given plausible reasons why the Kingsroad would be preferred in Winter as we see from the shipwrecks (pre Winter) just how dangerous the Northern coast can be to sail to. Plus given that much of the North is inland these merchants would have to be landing on coasts and buying cattle and other items to transfer their goods or sell their items directly to Northern merchants at a reduced rate. 

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1 minute ago, Bernie Mac said:

We are talking about a fictional universe with dragons, icemen and a 300 mile 700 feet tall wall that was man made. Not everything is going to be based on out logic. 

But you don't need to guess, GRRM has given us specific details. When the Watch talks about food they receive in winter time they talk about it coming from the South via the Kingsroad. 

You can argue that it is not realistic, that it would rarely happen in our own middle ages but GRRM has said it happens in his fictional world.

He has even given plausible reasons why the Kingsroad would be preferred in Winter as we see from the shipwrecks (pre Winter) just how dangerous the Northern coast can be to sail to. Plus given that much of the North is inland these merchants would have to be landing on coasts and buying cattle and other items to transfer their goods or sell their items directly to Northern merchants at a reduced rate. 

It is stated in the books that storms in Autumn are more frequent, while storms in Winter are more severe. Since there is clearly still sea trade in Autumn, logic dictates that there would be longer periods of calm between storms in Winter, then, signifying large windows for ships to sail from port to port.

It is also not a convincing argument to call on the existence of dragons, ice walls and magic to try and hand wave other logical requirements away when an argument does not hold water. Else we might as well not debate anything about this world. We could just fall back on magic and let it be.

I'm not saying no trade happens overland. Obviously it has to, else no inland communities would receive any trade goods. What I am saying is that we know how busy Moat Cailin is. And the answer is - not very busy at all. And any overland trade from the Westerlands or Riverlands, bound for the North would have to pass through Moat Cailin too. So Moat Cailin would have to be at least as busy as the Twins as far as that traffic is concerned. Not to mention traffic also coming from the Vale, Crownlands, and even the Reach and Dorne, if we are sticking with this inter-kingdom overland trade concept. Traffic which would go through Moat Cailin but not through the Twins.

So we can safely say that Moat Cailin should have a far larger volume of inter-kingdom trade than the Twins would have.

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52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

It is stated in the books that storms in Autumn are more frequent, while storms in Winter are more severe. Since there is clearly still sea trade in Autumn, logic dictates that there would be longer periods of calm between storms in Winter, then, signifying large windows for ships to sail from port to port.

Can the Westerosi predict storms?

I'm not sure what you are trying to argue here. The books are clear, during Winter food regularly comes to the Wall from the South via the Kingsroad. Are you really arguing that GRRM is wrong about this?

52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

It is also not a convincing argument to call on the existence of dragons, ice walls and magic to try and hand wave other logical requirements away when an argument does not hold water. Else we might as well not debate anything about this world. We could just fall back on magic and let it be.

We are not aware of all the facts. But when the books are clear about something, such as food regularly coming North via the Kingsroad during Winter then it is best to accept them. 

52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I'm not saying no trade happens overland. Obviously it has to, else no inland communities would receive any trade goods. What I am saying is that we know how busy Moat Cailin is.

No, we don't. We have only seen Moat Cailin during a civil war, we have no idea how busy it during peacetime or even during winter. 

52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So we can safely say that Moat Cailin should have a far larger volume of inter-kingdom trade than the Twins would have.

Sure. I agree with that, but there is nothing in the books that let us, the reader, know how much traffic comes through Moat Cailin. 

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3 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Can the Westerosi predict storms?

I'm not sure what you are trying to argue here. The books are clear, during Winter food regularly comes to the Wall from the South via the Kingsroad. Are you really arguing that GRRM is wrong about this?

We are not aware of all the facts. But when the books are clear about something, such as food regularly coming North via the Kingsroad during Winter then it is best to accept them. 

No, we don't. We have only seen Moat Cailin during a civil war, we have no idea how busy it during peacetime or even during winter. 

Sure. I agree with that, but there is nothing in the books that let us, the reader, know how much traffic comes through Moat Cailin. 

I am not disputing that food can come up the King's Road. A wagon train with food on it can probably move up the Kingsroad at about the pace that Robert's wheel house travelled. How much food the animals would consume along the way is something I cannot calculate, but I believe guys like Bright Blue Eyes (where is he these days?) have cited evidence that beyond a certain distance beasts of burden would start to consume more food than they were originally transporting.

Anyway, we know that the vast bulk of trade goods in a medieval and ancient setting would be transported by ship. In this respect, river transport must be included, for inland transport purposes. Overland transport is far less efficient.

To try and marry these positions, I would not discount a scenario where food is transported in bulk to White Harbor, after which it is transported by barge up the White Knife (as Manderly transported his massive quantities of food most of the way to Winterfell), and from there it is then transported up the Kings Road for the last stretch to Castle Black.

There is just no sense in trying to transport bulk quantities of food by wagon train up through the Neck if White Harbor - which remains ice free even in Winter - is available as a drop off point instead. So I think this is likely the best compromise position. And probably used only in cases where Eastwatch by the Sea is not usable due to the harbour icing up or some such reason.

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3 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I am not disputing that food can come up the King's Road. A wagon train with food on it can probably move up the Kingsroad at about the pace that Robert's wheel house travelled. How much food the animals would consume along the way is something I cannot calculate, but I believe guys like Bright Blue Eyes (where is he these days?) have cited evidence that beyond a certain distance beasts of burden would start to consume more food than they were originally transporting.

But I don't think GRRM has done the same amount of research that BBE has done on the subject. Just like the logic of the Wall makes little sense when properly looked into or some of the distances travelled in short times. If BBE is right, and I have no idea nor am I going to research it, and there are no other details that are too insignificant for the book to have mentioned for why the Kingsroad is used then GRRM has simply made a mistake. 

GRRM is a great writer but somethings are not going to add up as we, the fandom, have had two decades to scrutinise and fact check every detail. He would not have had the same time (at least not on the first 3 books) to do that. 

3 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Anyway, we know that the vast bulk of trade goods in a medieval and ancient setting would be transported by ship. 

Westeros is not our medieval world. Perhaps one of the reasons they seem to have been in their middle ages for so long is because they are not as smart as we are and still rely on delivery via roads than boats. 

All we know is that the Lord Steward, when talking about supplies from the South highlights the roads, and not ships, as the means of transport. 

Now I am not suggesting any number, or even that there is more trade via road than there is boat but going by what is written then your claim of 80-90% via White Harbor looks wrong given what the books say. 

3 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

To try and marry these positions, I would not discount a scenario where food is transported in bulk to White Harbor, after which it is transported by barge up the White Knife (as Manderly transported his massive quantities of food most of the way to Winterfell), and from there it is then transported up the Kings Road for the last stretch to Castle Black.

But that is not what the quote says

 In winters past, food could be brought up the kingsroad from the south

The books are very specific. I don't know why you can accept the Starks having ruled for 6,000 years but you can't accept this. Both facts seem outlandish, but both are true of the fictional world GRRM has created. 

 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

But I don't think GRRM has done the same amount of research that BBE has done on the subject. Just like the logic of the Wall makes little sense when properly looked into or some of the distances travelled in short times. If BBE is right, and I have no idea nor am I going to research it, and there are no other details that are too insignificant for the book to have mentioned for why the Kingsroad is used then GRRM has simply made a mistake. 

GRRM is a great writer but somethings are not going to add up as we, the fandom, have had two decades to scrutinise and fact check every detail. He would not have had the same time (at least not on the first 3 books) to do that. 

Westeros is not our medieval world. Perhaps one of the reasons they seem to have been in their middle ages for so long is because they are not as smart as we are and still rely on delivery via roads than boats. 

All we know is that the Lord Steward, when talking about supplies from the South highlights the roads, and not ships, as the means of transport. 

Now I am not suggesting any number, or even that there is more trade via road than there is boat but going by what is written then your claim of 80-90% via White Harbor looks wrong given what the books say. 

But that is not what the quote says

 In winters past, food could be brought up the kingsroad from the south

The books are very specific. I don't know why you can accept the Starks having ruled for 6,000 years but you can't accept this. Both facts seem outlandish, but both are true of the fictional world GRRM has created. 

 

I don't agree that this quote is specific at all. It does not specify which part of the Kingsroad Marsh is talking about. Nor what constitutes "south" in this context. To Castle Black, the Last Hearth is south too.   And if he is talking about the South (capital letter) then if it is shipped to White Harbor and transported along the Kingsroad from Winterfell, that is still "bringing it up the Kingsroad".

Besides, the Kingsroad didn't even exist 300 years ago, and surely there was many a hard Winter over the preceding 7700 years where food was imported to the Wall too.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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Several things I'd like to add;

There is at least one army that must have used the crossing before Late Lord was even born; Torrhen "who knelt" with his 30000 northerners, unless he took his time to built barges, he must have certainly used the bridge, and since we don't read of any assault on Twins, he crossed it peacefully(which is curious Since Freys have declared for Egon)

Seagard has a port, evident with both the galleys Mallisters have and the trade ships that visit it. There's also some trade on the western side of the North, proven by both Jorah being able to sell poachers off to slavers and the ship that the red silk of Mance's cloak came from, so instead of taking the time on King's road and also crossing through the not so hospitable terrain of the Neck which also lacks inns and such, a trader may just pay his toll to cross the twins, bring his goods from say, Saltpans to Seagard and then ship them to Bear Island or whatever other place on western North.

Freys apparent lack of a town is also interesting, especially on the eastern side of Green Fork where the bulk of their lands lie and there is no town up to the point where the forks meet. Especially considering all the traffic that supposedly passes both through the Twins and the King's Road.

I can't quote it now but somewhere it said Freys have grown very powerful under Walder's rule. Could it be that much of their wealth comes from the dowries of the many brides of Walder and his sons?

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57 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I don't agree that this quote is specific at all.

 

In winters past, food could be brought up the kingsroad from the south

That is very clear. You made a point and the text disproves the point you had made. Like a good sport you are instead going to ignore what is said. Very grown up.  

Quote

 

It does not specify which part of the Kingsroad Marsh is talking about.

It specifies that it was brought up South via the Kingsroad. 

How are you confused by this statement? What part of that statement makes you think ships and seatravel is the meaning of this? 

This is why I can never take your discussions on the North's population and army sizes seriously as even when the text points something out you will just ignore it or pretend that a sentance has another meaning. 

Quote

 

Nor what constitutes "south" in this context. To Castle Black, the Last Hearth is south too.   And if he is talking about the South (capital letter) then if it is shipped to White Harbor and transported along the Kingsroad from Winterfell, that is still "bringing it up the Kingsroad".

"BROUGHT UP THE KINGSROAD FROM THE SOUTH"

 

Quote

Besides, the Kingsroad didn't even exist 300 years ago, and surely there was many a hard Winter over the preceding 7700 years where food was imported to the Wall too.

Considering Bowen Marsh was not the Lord Steward or even alive back then why do you think he would need to clarify the route that was taken three centuries ago?

Sorry mate, once again you are grasping at straws because you don't like something the text says about the North. 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

 

In winters past, food could be brought up the kingsroad from the south

That is very clear. You made a point and the text disproves the point you had made. Like a good sport you are instead going to ignore what is said. Very grown up.  

It specifies that it was brought up South via the Kingsroad. 

How are you confused by this statement? What part of that statement makes you think ships and seatravel is the meaning of this? 

This is why I can never take your discussions on the North's population and army sizes seriously as even when the text points something out you will just ignore it or pretend that a sentance has another meaning. 

"BROUGHT UP THE KINGSROAD FROM THE SOUTH"

 

Considering Bowen Marsh was not the Lord Steward or even alive back then why do you think he would need to clarify the route that was taken three centuries ago?

Sorry mate, once again you are grasping at straws because you don't like something the text says about the North. 

And as usual, a civil discussion with you cannot last more than a couple of posts.  Pity. Because this is actually an interesting conversation.

Let's just clarify. I am not and have not said that no food is transported via the Kingsroad. And it might well be that Eastwatch by the Sea is impassable for ships in Winter, due to ice flows or other hazards. In that case, Castle Black would indeed need to transport imported food up the Kingsroad. But half the Kingsroad runs through the North, and 600 miles of it is North of Winterfell.

Similarly, I can easily imagine scenarios where food from the Riverlands can be transported straight up the Kingsroad rather than first being shipped to say Maidenpool, loaded on a ship, then transported around the Fingers before being offloaded at White Harbor and then having to start a new overland journey up through the North. In cases like that sure, there might be scenarios where the food is rather transported via the Neck, although even there I still question the logistics around the land transport of bulk foodstuffs over thousands of miles.

But it seems clear to me, that like Jon's financing agreement with Tycho Nestoris is surely intended to achieve, by far the most efficient way to transport bulk quantities of food over long distances is by ship. And indeed we see that this is deemed possible, else Jon would not have signed such a deal with the Iron Bank.

I am reading Marsh's quote through the lens of logic. Sure, it can be interpreted to mean that food is loaded onto a wagon in Oldtown and pulled 3000 miles up the Kingsroad by oxen to get to the Wall. Or, with just a bit of common sense added, it can be interpreted to mean that the food was sourced from the South, shipped as far North as possible (say White Harbor and up the White Knife), and then transported up the Kingsroad the rest of the way.

That at least makes it a tad more realistic.

 

 

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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I'm looking at a map showing that there are some more interesting destinations along the road crossing the Twins. Further than Seagard, there's Riverrun, and further still, Casterly Rock and Lannisport. Bypassing the Twins to get from/to there, would cost several days.

As long as the bridge toll is reasonable (which it should be most of the time, unless you have an army and need to get to Riverrun very very quickly), the traffic should flow.

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10 minutes ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

I'm looking at a map showing that there are some more interesting destinations along the road crossing the Twins. Further than Seagard, there's Riverrun, and further still, Casterly Rock and Lannisport. Bypassing the Twins to get from/to there, would cost several days.

As long as the bridge toll is reasonable (which it should be most of the time, unless you have an army and need to get to Riverrun very very quickly), the traffic should flow.

Sure, those are on the western side. Who would be the people travelling from the eastern side to these destinations? Really, you are only talking about overland travellers from the North.

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