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Most Powerful Houses- what evidence?

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

But then we are told that at least one of the Ryswell castles are located in the Barrowlands

"Old ghosts, from before the Old King, even before Aegon the Dragon, seventy-nine deserters who went south to be outlaws. One was Lord Ryswell's youngest son, so when they reached the barrowlands they sought shelter at his castle, but Lord Ryswell took them captive and returned them to the Nightfort. - ASOS

So it can't be entirely correct that they rule all of the barrowlands

 

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post upthread, if you look at the maps from the early books, there were no Rills (the river separating the two regions didn’t even exist on the map), and the Barrowlands were shown to stretch all the way to the Sunset Sea. 

It is only in the later books that Martin inserted the river, created the Rills and separated the two territories.

One of the better examples of how George only fleshed out the details of the Dustins and Ryswells later in the series.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Whatever implications we have implies that Cape Kraken is - more or less - the place where the name is written, not the place farther away from it. We all agree, I assume, that the Barrowlands are definitely the parts where 'the Barrowlands' is written, right ;-)?

Like i said on some maps it is written over a lager area then on others for instance on the map of the North in TWoIaF the name extends sligthly beyond Flint's Finger thus including it into Cape Kraken.

 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Because the name of the castle might not, in fact, be named after a pool. After all, those large lakes are not likely to be called pools, either, no?

Actually pool means a "body of standing water" they only difference with the word lake is that a lake is a body of water where there is a current in the water. Therefore i respectively have to disagree with you that Blackpool can not what we in modern times would call a lake, simply because in modern times the word pool is associated whit swimming pools and no longer with standing body's of water.

 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Roose is fighting a war and is surrounded by men he cannot trust. He should trust the maesters he allows to handle his ravens. If he can't, he is pretty much finished.

And why should he not be able to trust Henly just because he is Lord Slates maester? If we consider him to be untrustworthy because of that then Rodry who is the Cerwyn maester can also not be trusted, the Cerwyn's only follow Roose because Lady Jonelle is basically Roose his hostage. And maester Medrick would be even more untrustworthy, because he was the Hornwood maester and would like most Hornwood men have little love for the Bolton's after what happened to Lady Donella.

Since these are the three maesters Roose puts in charge of his ravens he must simply have great faith in the fabled neutrality of the maesters of the citadel. They supposedly serve whoever is in charge regardless of who that is, or the relation to who they served before.

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15 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

FNR has the right of it with slates, I think. Not only most lords we know to have held the den are from that area, but we also never get a mention of Slates in Winterfell while even Tallharts are seen. We don't see the mountain clans either but they have on average 100 men per clan, at most.

FNR actually agreed with me that it was possible they lived near the lakes, i guess you missed that post, see quote below.

16 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Yeah thats certainly possible. 

As to not seeing them, we also did not see the Dustin's and The Ryswell's in Winterfell, so not seeing them there does not say much. The Slates where created quite late in the books they first appear in ADwD, however when they where mentioned it is said they lost men in the South with Robb.  So this is more a case of them being a late addition to the houses of the North just like the Dustin's and the Ryswells beeing prominent houses in the latter books where the where not in they early ones then anything else.

A Dance with Dragons - A Ghost in Winterfell

"I do not claim Lord Wyman does the deeds himself. He brought three hundred men with him. A hundred knights. Any of them might have—"
"Night work is not knight's work," Lady Dustin said. "And Lord Wyman is not the only man who lost kin at your Red Wedding, Frey. Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them, as Lady Hornwood ate her fingers. Flints, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Slates … they all had men with the Young Wolf."
"House Ryswell too," said Roger Ryswell.
 

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3 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

But then we are told that at least one of the Ryswell castles are located in the Barrowlands

"Old ghosts, from before the Old King, even before Aegon the Dragon, seventy-nine deserters who went south to be outlaws. One was Lord Ryswell's youngest son, so when they reached the barrowlands they sought shelter at his castle, but Lord Ryswell took them captive and returned them to the Nightfort. - ASOS

So it can't be entirely correct that they rule all of the barrowlands

 

 

We get no mention of Rills until ASOS Jon II, Rills don't exist in older maps and we only get a mention of Rills and Ryswell together in ADWD Theon Chapters.

The area of the Rills was part of Barrowlands and Rills was not set on the map, just like Blackpool is now.

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2 minutes ago, direpupy said:

FNR actually agreed with me that it was possible they lived near the lakes, i guess you missed that post, see quote below.

Name of their seat indicates they live near a pool, but there are plenty of bodies of water we read about but don't see on map. Many rivers we see in RL chapters such as Darry and Blackwood/Bracken border river and Leafy Lake in Reach for examples of it.

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21 minutes ago, direpupy said:

FNR actually agreed with me that it was possible they lived near the lakes, i guess you missed that post, see quote below.

As to not seeing them, we also did not see the Dustin's and The Ryswell's in Winterfell, so not seeing them there does not say much. The Slates where created quite late in the books they first appear in ADwD, however when they where mentioned it is said they lost men in the South with Robb.  So this is more a case of them being a late addition to the houses of the North just like the Dustin's and the Ryswells beeing prominent houses in the latter books where the where not in they early ones then anything else.

A Dance with Dragons - A Ghost in Winterfell

"I do not claim Lord Wyman does the deeds himself. He brought three hundred men with him. A hundred knights. Any of them might have—"
"Night work is not knight's work," Lady Dustin said. "And Lord Wyman is not the only man who lost kin at your Red Wedding, Frey. Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them, as Lady Hornwood ate her fingers. Flints, Cerwyns, Tallharts, Slates … they all had men with the Young Wolf."
"House Ryswell too," said Roger Ryswell.
 

Yeah, I think many of the newly prominent northern Houses in Dance were late creations or at least greatly fleshed out compared to their conceptual nature earlier in the books.

In the case of the Slates I think Blackpool could be located anywhere from the Long Lake region, down to the southeast coast, and west into the lake country around Torrhen Square. So a large potential area indeed.

Now that I examined the various books original versions of the map a bit more closely (thanks Corvo for those map links) it is actually amazing how much the map of the North has evolved over the years. Heck, Barrowton, the 2nd largest settlement in the North, was not even on the original map, signifying how Martin fleshed out the detail later in the series.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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1 hour ago, direpupy said:

Actually pool means a "body of standing water" they only difference with the word lake is that a lake is a body of water where there is a current in the water.

Wiktionary also says this for pool:

A small and rather deep collection of (usually) fresh water, as one supplied by a spring, or occurring in the course of a stream; a reservoir for water.

Occuring in the couese of a stream could very well mean White Knife, Broken Branch or one of the Rills Rivers(one of which has 2 lakes on it's course) My bet is on broken branch since men from white knife and rills are mentioned but no mention of broken branch.

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11 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

You keep asking whether other lords rule some areas in the North, such as Cape Kraken or parts of the Barrowlands etc.

What are you suggesting with such questions?

The point just is to point out that there is no point in discussing or speculating about the size of the lands of lords we have been given no information by the author, nor about the rulers of territories about whose rulers we have no idea.

Your idea about the North being simpler in its feudal landscape and somehow different from the south in that respects makes little sense. Skagos and the Three Sisters are directly sworn to their overlords, just as the clansmen are directly sworn to Winterfell.

3 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

As I mentioned in an earlier post upthread, if you look at the maps from the early books, there were no Rills (the river separating the two regions didn’t even exist on the map), and the Barrowlands were shown to stretch all the way to the Sunset Sea. 

It is only in the later books that Martin inserted the river, created the Rills and separated the two territories.

One of the better examples of how George only fleshed out the details of the Dustins and Ryswells later in the series.

That doesn't actually change the fact that as per canon at least one Ryswell castle (there seem to be different lordly branches of that house) is located in the Barrowlands.

1 hour ago, direpupy said:

Like i said on some maps it is written over a lager area then on others for instance on the map of the North in TWoIaF the name extends sligthly beyond Flint's Finger thus including it into Cape Kraken.

Considering the maps in TWoIaF are not exactly all that detailed I go with the maps in the main books. But then, even if Flint's Finger were on Cape Kraken then this would still not be confirmation that the Flints do rule Cape Kraken, no?

1 hour ago, direpupy said:

Actually pool means a "body of standing water" they only difference with the word lake is that a lake is a body of water where there is a current in the water. Therefore i respectively have to disagree with you that Blackpool can not what we in modern times would call a lake, simply because in modern times the word pool is associated whit swimming pools and no longer with standing body's of water.

I wasn't talking about swimming pools there, I just pointed out that a pool is usually not a word used to describe a lake as large as the ones you are talking about here. Just as the word 'house' is usually not used to describe a castle...

But even if Blackpool was a castle close to a body of water it doesn't have to have the same name as said lake. It might be just the castle has the name 'Blackpool' while the lake has a completely different name.

1 hour ago, direpupy said:

And why should he not be able to trust Henly just because he is Lord Slates maester? If we consider him to be untrustworthy because of that then Rodry who is the Cerwyn maester can also not be trusted, the Cerwyn's only follow Roose because Lady Jonelle is basically Roose his hostage. And maester Medrick would be even more untrustworthy, because he was the Hornwood maester and would like most Hornwood men have little love for the Bolton's after what happened to Lady Donella.

The Boltons could have taught those maesters loyalty by then, no? Especially the Hornwood maester...

1 hour ago, direpupy said:

Since these are the three maesters Roose puts in charge of his ravens he must simply have great faith in the fabled neutrality of the maesters of the citadel. They supposedly serve whoever is in charge regardless of who that is, or the relation to who they served before.

Roose isn't as stupid as that. Nobody seems to be as stupid as that, actually...

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29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The point just is to point out that there is no point in discussing or speculating about the size of the lands of lords we have been given no information by the author, nor about the rulers of territories about whose rulers we have no idea.

Your idea about the North being simpler in its feudal landscape and somehow different from the south in that respects makes little sense. Skagos and the Three Sisters are directly sworn to their overlords, just as the clansmen are directly sworn to Winterfell.

That doesn't actually change the fact that as per canon at least one Ryswell castle (there seem to be different lordly branches of that house) is located in the Barrowlands.

Considering the maps in TWoIaF are not exactly all that detailed I go with the maps in the main books. But then, even if Flint's Finger were on Cape Kraken then this would still not be confirmation that the Flints do rule Cape Kraken, no?

I wasn't talking about swimming pools there, I just pointed out that a pool is usually not a word used to describe a lake as large as the ones you are talking about here. Just as the word 'house' is usually not used to describe a castle...

But even if Blackpool was a castle close to a body of water it doesn't have to have the same name as said lake. It might be just the castle has the name 'Blackpool' while the lake has a completely different name.

The Boltons could have taught those maesters loyalty by then, no? Especially the Hornwood maester...

Roose isn't as stupid as that. Nobody seems to be as stupid as that, actually...

Simply put, you are being ridiculous. The Ryswells rule the Rills. Even the passage you cling to - which is clearly a left over error from the early days before the Rills were split from the Barrowlands, does not expressly state that the Ryswells rule any part of the Barrowlands. It merely states that on his flight South, the deserter eventually reaches the Barrowlands, at which point he sought refuge with his father rather than continue heading away from the Wall.

But if you would use simple logic for once rather than using this weird self defined reverence for “canon”, even against Martin’s own statements, you would ackowledge that the map changed by the time of Dance, with the Rills now being clearly distinct from the Barrowlands which was not the case originally.

I really don’t care to argue this point with you, because it is so blatantly obvious that one has to be particularly disingenuous to try and deny it merely for the sake of not backing down from a minor argument in which you are clearly in the wrong.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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48 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That doesn't actually change the fact that as per canon at least one Ryswell castle (there seem to be different lordly branches of that house) is located in the Barrowlands.

Even if GRRM has decided that some Ryswell branch is not located in the Rills but is in Barrowlands, they may still be sworn to Barrowton. Remember the fact that Ryswells were upjumped by the Starks, Rills belonged to Ryders before that. Ryswells may just have been the best canditate to instate over Rills. It's also not like we haven't seen such a situation elsewhere either;

Farwynds are all over western II, some are sworn directly to Greyjoys while some are not.

Strongs were given Harrenhal but they existed before that, so it's reasonable there is still a branch of Strongs holding their original seat.

There are two Shetts one sworn to Graftons while the other is sworn to Royces.

There are multiple branches of Arryns that may or may not be sworn to Eyrie directly. 

There are multiple Vance branches of which we only see the two major ones, smaller ones may very well be sworn to houses other than Tully, perhaps may even be sworn to one of the two main branches.

There are currently at least 3 Stark cadets and only one is sworn to Winterfell, Barrowton and White Harbor branches would be sworn to Dustins and Manderlys.

There are several Royce Branches, we only saw two.

There are two Kennings, one in II one in Westerlands.

So not only two different branches may be sworn to two different lords, but they may be sworn to different lords in different regions as well.

 

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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8 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Even if GRRM has decided that some Ryswell branch is not located in the Rills but is in Barrowlands, they may still be sworn to Barrowton.

Or not. Because we have no confirmation that the Dustins rule all the lands that are called 'the Barrowlands'.

8 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Remember the fact that Ryswells were upjumped by the Starks, Rills belonged to Ryders before that. Ryswells may just have been the best canditate to instate over Rills. It's also not like we haven't seen such a situation elsewhere either.

Sure, perhaps the entire lineage of House Ryswell as such are sworn to Barrowton. We don't know that, either. We have no clue whether there is a Lord Ryswell ruling all the Rills or whether 'the Rills' (and part of the Barrowlands) are controlled by various branches of that house who all have more or less influence there. We don't even have a name for a Ryswell castle.

8 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Farwynds are all over western II, some are sworn directly to Greyjoys while some are not.

Strongs were given Harrenhal but they existed before that, so it's reasonable there is still a branch of Strongs holding their original seat.

There are two Shetts one sworn to Graftons while the other is sworn to Royces.

There are multiple branches of Arryns that may or may not be sworn to Eyrie directly. 

There are multiple Vance branches of which we only see the two major ones, smaller ones may very well be sworn to houses other than Tully, perhaps may even be sworn to one of the two main branches.

There are currently at least 3 Stark cadets and only one is sworn to Winterfell, Barrowton and White Harbor branches would be sworn to Dustins and Manderlys.

There are several Royce Branches, we only saw two.

There are two Kennings, one in II one in Westerlands.

So not only two different branches may be sworn to two different lords, but they may be sworn to different lords in different regions as well.

 

As to the branches stuff, you are making the mistakes to assume that anybody with a lordly name is also part of a lordly branch of a house. The lesser Arryn, Stark, Royce, etc. branches only have a name, they do not necessarily have titles, castles, lands, or feudal responsibilities of note.

Such who are pretty much landless wouldn't be sworn to anyone in a meaningful sense. Even the second son of a second son is basically a nobody without lands, titles, or incomes. The fourth son or the fourth of the fourth son of the Lord of Winterfell or the Eyrie is basically a non-entity.

The idea that those Gulltown Arryns or the speculative Starks in White Harbor or Barrowton would actually have 'a seat' makes pretty much no sense. They would have houses and live more or less like the other townfolk around them.

It is similar with the Royces. There is only one lordly branch of House Royce - the line of the Royces of Runestone. The others are there, but they don't have a (lordly) seat we know of. There might be petty lords or landed knights among them, who are sworn to other greater houses of the Vale - but they might just as well be landless nobodies with a big name. Nestor Royce is just a landless dude in the service of Jon Arryn until Littlefinger grants him the Gates of the Moon.

And the Strongs are extinct, we know that. We have no reason to assume that some of them might still be alive. In fact, while they are an old family there is no evidence that they were a lordly family before got Harrenhal. They may have been just a knightly family up until that point.

Or, who knows? Perhaps they once had a strong castle in the Riverlands, but it was destroyed by the Durrandons or Hoares during the wars fought in the Riverlands?

As to families moving around:

That as such isn't an issue. I'm reasonably confident that the Towers of Harrenhal are the Towers from the North. The Walton Towers fellow has a name we see in Steelshanks Walton, so he may have been a man from the North. Maegor had his cronies fight for Harrenhal, so the guy winning could simply have been some younger son of House Towers from the North (assuming it exists in some form) serving King Maegor as a household knight - and thus is a lordly branch of a house created.

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4 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Name of their seat indicates they live near a pool, but there are plenty of bodies of water we read about but don't see on map. Many rivers we see in RL chapters such as Darry and Blackwood/Bracken border river and Leafy Lake in Reach for examples of it.

I agree that's why in my original post i kept they option of it being a place we had not heard of open, see quote below

20 hours ago, direpupy said:

If it was at the shores of Long Lake then why call it Blackpool? No if you are going to call a seat after a pool then it will be because it is next to a pool or lake by that name, so that would be one of the as yet unnamed lakes north of the Barrowlands and the Rills, or perhaps even a lake or pool that we do not yet know about.

 

Edited by direpupy

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2 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Wiktionary also says this for pool:

A small and rather deep collection of (usually) fresh water, as one supplied by a spring, or occurring in the course of a stream; a reservoir for water.

Occuring in the couese of a stream could very well mean White Knife, Broken Branch or one of the Rills Rivers(one of which has 2 lakes on it's course) My bet is on broken branch since men from white knife and rills are mentioned but no mention of broken branch.

 Wiktionary like all wiki's is not very reliable i would use the Cambridge dictionary which can be found online if you want to get an accurate definition, and i was also talking about the historical definition of pool which differs from the modern one, sorry if that was not clear from the post.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Considering the maps in TWoIaF are not exactly all that detailed I go with the maps in the main books. But then, even if Flint's Finger were on Cape Kraken then this would still not be confirmation that the Flints do rule Cape Kraken, no?

O i agree with that, my point was that we do not know how much of the peninsula is considered to be Cape Kraken, if you read back my posts you will see that i never make any statements about who does or does not own that peninsula.

As a matter of fact i actually agree with you on there probably being more then one house there, since the tower of the blind Lord is mentioned as being on top of the Flint Cliffs which are on the opposite side of the peninsula from Flint's Finger.

 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I wasn't talking about swimming pools there, I just pointed out that a pool is usually not a word used to describe a lake as large as the ones you are talking about here. Just as the word 'house' is usually not used to describe a castle...

It is historically so i have to disagree.

 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Boltons could have taught those maesters loyalty by then, no? Especially the Hornwood maester...

Not unless he is missing a few fingers and toe's like Reek/Theon, and even if they attempted it the loyalty would not be assured so this is no evidence for the Slates being anywhere near the Boltons in location. Mind you its not evidence against it either, it just ilustrates we do not know anything about the Slates apart from being former kings and there seat being named Blackpool.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, direpupy said:

 Wiktionary like all wiki's is not very reliable i would use the Cambridge dictionary which can be found online if you want to get an accurate definition, and i was also talking about the historical definition of pool which differs from the modern one, sorry if that was not clear from the post.

In my view the reference to Blackpool is probably not related to a major lake or similar body of water. Think of the pool at the center of Winterfell's godswood. In an alternative history, Winterfell might well have been called Firepool, Deeppool, or some such reference to the warm springs or weirdly cold pool at its centre. And those pools aren't even large enough to be on the map.

So that's why Blackpool could probably be pretty much anywhere in the North, I guess.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

It is similar with the Royces. There is only one lordly branch of House Royce - the line of the Royces of Runestone. The others are there, but they don't have a (lordly) seat we know of. There might be petty lords or landed knights among them, who are sworn to other greater houses of the Vale - but they might just as well be landless nobodies with a big name. Nestor Royce is just a landless dude in the service of Jon Arryn until Littlefinger grants him the Gates of the Moon.

I agree with most of your response to Corvo, but do have one minor nitpick Nestor Royce is not a landless nobody he is called a formidable Lord in his own right before getting the gates of the Moon

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn VI

Catelyn dismounted to stand before him. "Lord Nestor," she said. She knew the man only by reputation; Bronze Yohn's cousin, from a lesser branch of House Royce, yet still a formidable lord in his own right. "We have had a long and tiring journey. I would beg the hospitality of your roof tonight, if I might."
 

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3 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

In my view the reference to Blackpool is probably not related to a major lake or similar body of water. Think of the pool at the center of Winterfell's godswood. In an alternative history, Winterfell might well have been called Firepool, Deeppool, or some such reference to the warm springs or weirdly cold pool at its centre. And those pools aren't even large enough to be on the map.

So that's why Blackpool could probably be pretty much anywhere in the North, I guess.

In all honesty that is as good a guess as any other.

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On 6/15/2018 at 8:33 PM, Lord Varys said:

I think you guys overestimate the strength of House Bolton above. We never get numbers on the men Roose takes with him down south. We only get numbers on the garrison Ramsay brings to Winterfell, and Theon's guesstimates on the numbers of the men returned from the Twins - but the latter aren't all Bolton men, nor does it mean that all those men who are 'Bolton men' in that army started as 'Bolton men' when they set out.

Men can and do change their allegiances during war. Many a freerider and a levy may have ended up changing his liege during the war, especially after their liege lords died (which happened after the Green Fork and at Harrenhal while Roose had command over the army).

In that sense, our guess about the strength of House Bolton isn't really clear (unlike with the Karstarks, say).

In relation to overall importance it seems pretty clear to me that the Dustins and Manderlys are the most prominent Northern houses after the Starks.

The Boltons and Karstarks are powerful, too, but, by and far, they seem to be of lesser importance than the other two.

 

Coming back to the strength of House Bolton, going by what is told to us in the books, at the time of the Red Wedding Bolton men are the majority of the 3500 men that return to the Twins. And this without the 200 Bolton horse that accompanied Steelshanks Walton to escort Jaime to King's Landing.

Similarly, they are the obvious majority (obvious enough to be instantly noticeable as such) of the 4000 Northmen that return up the Neck in Dance. This allows them to be anything from around 2100 returning men to maybe 3000 or more. Even if you go with the lowest estimate there, that is their strength at the end of a long campaign. No matter how well you protect your men, there will be losses along the way to desertion, disease, accident and battle.

10-15% losses over such a bloody campaign, covering so much territory, would probably be a very conservative estimate, but let's go with that. So for the returning Boltons to be around 85% or higher of the original Bolton host, you are probably looking at no less than say 2500 Boltons in the original Stark host.

And that's if we assume pretty much the minimum possible number of returning Boltons, to give truth to the statement that they are the majority of the returning 4000.

Now, while these 2500 were in the South, Ramsay was warring with the Manderlys in the Hornwood lands, where we know men were lost, from Ser Rodrik's statement that:

" meantime we have Manderly knights and Dreadfort men killing one another in Hornwood forests"

So we don't know how many Bolton men in total were involved in that fighting, but we know there were more at the start than at the end. And we know at the end Ramsay has 600 elite Bolton soldiers to bring to Winterfell. So those 600 are merely the remnants of the original forces deployed in the Hornwood forests. Furthermore, it is expensive to keep an army marshalled in one place, so it is unreasonable to expect Ramsay to have kept the entire Bolton host together and fed at the Dreadfort after the Hornwood conflict subsided. So it is quite reasonable to suggest that most of those men were disbanded and sent back to their homes.

Indeed, Ramsay states that the 600 men he brought to Winterfell were no peasants with pitchforks, but his lord father's own garrison. Add those 600 to the conservative estimate of 2500 men with Roose, and you get to around 3100 Boltons.

But Ramsay's statement suggests that these are merely the elite forces of the Boltons. They have not tapped into their lesser forces yet. We saw the Umbers raise approximately 800 additional men in Dance, after the Greatjon took their elite warriors South. And that's on a base that almost certainly was not as big as the Karstark host of 2300.  In other words, easily an additional 30% or so. Maybe even 50%, if the Umbers only provided around 1600 men originally, which seems to fit with the 12000 host gathered at Winterfell.

Add 30% to the Bolton's primary force of around 3000, and you easily get to 4000 men. And that's if you put the returning Boltons as only barely the majority of the returning 4000, which may even be an underestimate.

In any case, the Bolton numbers seem pretty easy to put at around 4000 men, going by a reasonable interpretation of the evidence in the books. And that's without the issue of likely heavy cavalry contributions to the 3300 armoured lances gathered at Winterfell in Book 1, which at a reasonable breakdown given the lords assembled there, gives the Boltons at least 600 armoured lances at Winterfell, and when added to Ramsay's forces, makes it difficult to see the Boltons with less than 800 heavy horse. Which, at the Northern infantry to cavalry ratio of around 4-1, again brings you back to the 4000 number pretty easily.

In short, 4000 seems a fair estimate for House Bolton's strength, all things considered.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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56 minutes ago, direpupy said:

It is historically so i have to disagree.

The point there would only be relevant if you know whether GRRM cared about the historical meaning of the word 'pool' when inventing the name 'Blackpool' (or that he actually knows or cares where this place is). Do you know any of that?

56 minutes ago, direpupy said:

Not unless he is missing a few fingers and toe's like Reek/Theon, and even if they attempted it the loyalty would not be assured so this is no evidence for the Slates being anywhere near the Boltons in location. Mind you its not evidence against it either, it just ilustrates we do not know anything about the Slates apart from being former kings and there seat being named Blackpool.

Fear may have helped with that, too. You don't need to torture anyone to keep them in line. The Hornwood maester, for instance, would have been there when Ramsay put down Lady Donella. The Cerwyn maester might know what's going to happen to Lady Cerwyn and all her kin if he misbehaves, etc.

53 minutes ago, direpupy said:

I agree with most of your response to Corvo, but do have one minor nitpick Nestor Royce is not a landless nobody he is called a formidable Lord in his own right before getting the gates of the Moon

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn VI

Catelyn dismounted to stand before him. "Lord Nestor," she said. She knew the man only by reputation; Bronze Yohn's cousin, from a lesser branch of House Royce, yet still a formidable lord in his own right. "We have had a long and tiring journey. I would beg the hospitality of your roof tonight, if I might."
 

That seems to be an inaccuracy or a tidbit that comes with Nestor's duties as High Steward of the Vale. The man holds a lordly office of considerable importance, effectively ruling the Vale while Jon Arryn was at court. While it is possible that Nestor had a minor seat of his own (a keep, say, or some tower), there is no indication that the man holds two castles now that Littlefinger has granted him the Gates of the Moon.

And we should keep in mind that Tyrion is referred to as 'Lord Tyrion' throughout AGoT, too, yet he was never lord of anything - yet still a man from a lordly family.

@Free Northman Reborn

Man, you are talking about the Bolton strength after a war where Roose Bolton was in a prime position to actually draw men to his banner and recruit them.

The fact that Theon judges most of the men that return with Roose to be Bolton men doesn't mean they were Bolton men at the beginning of the war. It is pretty clear those men were then, at this point, loyal to Roose Bolton, but this doesn't mean all of them were from the start.

Roose could have recruited many of the freeriders, men-at-arms, etc. previously in the service of other lords to his cause at Harrenhal. While we don't know how many men Roose brought with him from the Dreadfort in the beginning of the war, how many he lost during the war, how many he gained during the fighting, etc. we really don't have a good basis for speculation there.

Historically, there are a lot of signs by now that the Dustins and Manderlys both are more prestigious/powerful Northern houses than the Boltons (or any of the others).

As a I said - Roose only got the chance to do what he did because Robb the Moron gave him command of the largest part of his army, and because there were no impressive Dustins/Manderlys in his army demanding the supreme command. And that puts the relative power of the Boltons into perspective.

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5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The point there would only be relevant if you know whether GRRM cared about the historical meaning of the word 'pool' when inventing the name 'Blackpool' (or that he actually knows or cares where this place is). Do you know any of that?

Fear may have helped with that, too. You don't need to torture anyone to keep them in line. The Hornwood maester, for instance, would have been there when Ramsay put down Lady Donella. The Cerwyn maester might know what's going to happen to Lady Cerwyn and all her kin if he misbehaves, etc.

That seems to be an inaccuracy or a tidbit that comes with Nestor's duties as High Steward of the Vale. The man holds a lordly office of considerable importance, effectively ruling the Vale while Jon Arryn was at court. While it is possible that Nestor had a minor seat of his own (a keep, say, or some tower), there is no indication that the man holds two castles now that Littlefinger has granted him the Gates of the Moon.

And we should keep in mind that Tyrion is referred to as 'Lord Tyrion' throughout AGoT, too, yet he was never lord of anything - yet still a man from a lordly family.

@Free Northman Reborn

Man, you are talking about the Bolton strength after a war where Roose Bolton was in a prime position to actually draw men to his banner and recruit them.

The fact that Theon judges most of the men that return with Roose to be Bolton men doesn't mean they were Bolton men at the beginning of the war. It is pretty clear those men were then, at this point, loyal to Roose Bolton, but this doesn't mean all of them were from the start.

Roose could have recruited many of the freeriders, men-at-arms, etc. previously in the service of other lords to his cause at Harrenhal. While we don't know how many men Roose brought with him from the Dreadfort in the beginning of the war, how many he lost during the war, how many he gained during the fighting, etc. we really don't have a good basis for speculation there.

Historically, there are a lot of signs by now that the Dustins and Manderlys both are more prestigious/powerful Northern houses than the Boltons (or any of the others).

As a I said - Roose only got the chance to do what he did because Robb the Moron gave him command of the largest part of his army, and because there were no impressive Dustins/Manderlys in his army demanding the supreme command. And that puts the relative power of the Boltons into perspective.

Lol. This is a new low. Arguing that a lord’s host at the end of a long campaign should logically be larger than at the start. Come on Lord Varys, for once just back away with grace from an argument that is clearly flawed, rather than digging yourself deeper with far fetched backup notions.

We are told they are Dreadfort men. There is no reason to suggest otherwise.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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