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How powerful were the Manderlys in the Reach?

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

The wrong done to them was their exile. And they wanted redress for that.

And we are told they were promised it in the form of a marriage alliance with the Crown. 

he spoke of the wrong that had been done to us and promised to make redress. In pledge of that, His Grace offered the hand of his daughter Princess Viserra to my great-grandsire

There is zero mention of lands, not in Jaehaerys time or Jacaerys, the compensation was the marriage. 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

The story as told by Lord Desmond does not reflect the story told by Gyldayn about Viserra's betrothal. The Old King didn't visit Lord Theomore around the time the betrothal was made nor was this betrothal made as a means to offer redress to the Manderlys for the wrongs done to them by houses Gardener and Peake in ancient days.

Where in Fire & Blood was there a promise of lands in the Reach to the Manderlys made? 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is not confirmed that the Peakes did lose lands, but it is not denied, either. This sentence

lol come on. You make up a claim not suggested in the book and you think no one in the book denying a claim you made up after publication is evidence? 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

does not confirm that they Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor, Jaehaerys I, and Viserys I allowed them to keep all the lands they had back in the days of the Gardeners. All it says is that they had wide and well-peopled lands in the days of Lord Unwin.

If the Peakes had lost lands surely that would have been pertinent in GRRM describing the Peakes in the regency chapters. There is zero suggestion they had lost lands in that period. 

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13 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

And we are told they were promised it in the form of a marriage alliance with the Crown. 

he spoke of the wrong that had been done to us and promised to make redress. In pledge of that, His Grace offered the hand of his daughter Princess Viserra to my great-grandsire

There is zero mention of lands, not in Jaehaerys time or Jacaerys, the compensation was the marriage.

I never said anyone promised them lands. I just said that the Viserra story as told by Lord Desmond via Gyldayn seems to be at odds with the Viserra story told by Gyldayn in detail in the previous chapter. Because in the former Lord Desmond talks about a visit of the king and Jaehaerys I making his great-grandsire promises whereas Gyldayn gives us a story from Jaehaerys' own lips in the latter that he had literally nothing to do with Viserra's Manderly match and would not interfere in the marriage sphere which, according to him, have always been the sphere of his sister-wife the queen.

13 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

 lol come on. You make up a claim not suggested in the book and you think no one in the book denying a claim you made up after publication is evidence? 

I don't make a claim. I point out that the claim you made - that the Peakes did not lose any lands between the Conquest and the Dance - is not actually supported by the quote you gave to back up that claim.

I didn't say I believe or know the Peakes lost any lands in that period. Might be, or not. It is obviously not impossible (or even unlikely) that this happened. After all, the Peakes stood with Maegor against Aegon the Uncrowned. That likely didn't make them popular with Jaehaerys I. Still, we have no reason to assume that the Peake holdings remained the same as there were between Conquest and Dance. In fact, we have no reason to assume that their holdings remained the same between the times they got Dunstonbury and the Dance. Those feudal relations and lands are always in a state of flux as FaB makes clear in various cases.

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So, with the Hightowers likely at 20k max, the “thrice the men of the next Tyrell vassal” quote puts the next most powerful Reach House at around 6k men.

Are the Manderlys today in that range? I believe so, easily. As I have postulated before, they have likely lost a couple of hundred heavy horse already over the course of the wars to date, and yet have more heavy horse than even the Boltons, who seem to have around 600-700.

How much more we don’t know, but to make that statement as confidently as Manderly did I would assume the margin is fairly clear. They could easily have 1000 heavy horse left at this stage, putting their original heavy horse well above 1000.

At any realistic horse to foot ratio, that puts their strength well above 5000, and quite likely at 6000+.

I have previously laid out the evidence for believing they are significantly richer than the Freys, who are the richest and most powerful Riverland house.

Hence, it seems unlikely to me that they are less powerful today than they were back in the Reach.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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Connecting a throwaway line of Samwell Tarly's to the state of affairs in the Reach a thousand years ago makes no sense.

Nor does the assumption the state of affairs back then can even remotely reflect the power of the Manderlys a thousand years later in the North.

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3 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

So, with the Hightowers likely at 20k max, the “thrice the men of the next Tyrell vassal” quote puts the next most powerful Reach House at around 6k men.

Are the Manderlys today in that range? I believe so, easily. As I have postulated before, they have likely lost a couple of hundred heavy horse already over the course of the wars to date, and yet have more heavy horse than even the Boltons, who seem to have around 600-700.

How much more we don’t know, but to make that statement as confidently as Manderly did I would assume the margin is fairly clear. They could easily have 1000 heavy horse left at this stage, putting their original heavy horse well above 1000.

At any realistic horse to foot ratio, that puts their strength well above 5000, and quite likely at 6000+.

I have previously laid out the evidence for believing they are significantly richer than the Freys, who are the richest and most powerful Riverland house.

Hence, it seems unlikely to me that they are less powerful today than they were back in the Reach.

I can see them having 5-6k alright but with how big a land? They seem to control an area as big as Hightower lands if not bigger yet their army is only a third or fourth as big.

Also power in what sense? We have houses aplenty that don’t have vast tracts of land or huge armies but are rather wealthy.

 

@Lord Varys

All the cities and most of the major towns are located near the sea. Highgarden is far away from there. Perhaps where Mander ended belonged to so many smaller lords that prevented them from gaining any power over the others and Manserlys only gradually reached the sea.

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Redwyne (we have no idea how many castles and other seats there are on the Arbor, do we?)

In Aeron chapter from Winds of Winter there were some hanged Rewdynes in the hall, probably some distant cousins ruling one of the small nearby isles like Stonecrab Cay, Isle of Pigs or Mermaid's Palace. 

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2 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

I can see them having 5-6k alright but with how big a land? They seem to control an area as big as Hightower lands if not bigger yet their army is only a third or fourth as big.

Also power in what sense? We have houses aplenty that don’t have vast tracts of land or huge armies but are rather wealthy.

 

@Lord Varys

All the cities and most of the major towns are located near the sea. Highgarden is far away from there. Perhaps where Mander ended belonged to so many smaller lords that prevented them from gaining any power over the others and Manserlys only gradually reached the sea.

What is the issue you are contesting? I specifically give them far less men than the Hightowers to account for the higher population density of the Hightower lands.

As for wealth, wealthier than the richest Riverland house, the Freys.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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6 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

@Lord Varys

All the cities and most of the major towns are located near the sea. Highgarden is far away from there. Perhaps where Mander ended belonged to so many smaller lords that prevented them from gaining any power over the others and Manserlys only gradually reached the sea.

And Paris and London and Rome are not exactly at the coast, either. Yet become important cities, too. Highgarden was the seat of the greatest kings of Westeros for millennia. It makes little sense that this is just a castle amidst green fields.

Whether the Manderlys ever held lands near the mouth of the Manderly is not clear. They could have just had vast lands along the Mander south or north of Highgarden.

Not sure if there is any evidence that the Manderlys are richer than the Freys. I'm not even sure it is confirmed that the Freys are the richest house in the Riverlands.

4 hours ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

In Aeron chapter from Winds of Winter there were some hanged Rewdynes in the hall, probably some distant cousins ruling one of the small nearby isles like Stonecrab Cay, Isle of Pigs or Mermaid's Palace. 

Don't recall there any actual Redwynes being mentioned. Those were men sworn to the Arbor, but they are nowhere identified as actual Redwynes.

My point was merely that we have basically no clue where exactly on the Arbor Lord Paxter lives and how many castles, seats, towns, and villages there are on the Arbor.

Driftmark got very crowded in FaB...

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23 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

What is the issue you are contesting? I specifically give them far less men than the Hightowers to account for the higher population density of the Hightower lands.

As for wealth, wealthier than the richest Riverland house, the Freys.

That they may probably be not as rich as they were in the Reach or perhaps they are indeed richer but they are not as rich as they could’ve been in the Reach had they stayed.

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18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not sure if there is any evidence that the Manderlys are richer than the Freys. I'm not even sure it is confirmed that the Freys are the richest house in the Riverlands.

And Istanbul was located near the sea. Many, by then, populated cities/towns of the Ottoman empire was located near the sea.

Any lord with a thriving port will no doubt be the richest in his area, if he has the single worth noting port in his entire region, he would no doubt be the richest there. We don’t get to see Seagard but even.

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4 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

That they may probably be not as rich as they were in the Reach or perhaps they are indeed richer but they are not as rich as they could’ve been in the Reach had they stayed.

My point is that the Hightowers appear to rule more land than any other current Reach lord. And that no other Reach lord seems to exceed 6000 men, today.

The Manderlys never rivalled the Hightowers when they were in the Reach and at best would have been in the next level of Reach lord category, which today does not exceed 6000 men in power.

 Nor do any Reach lords other than the Hightowers rule a city.

So the Manderlys today are likely stronger than they would have been had they remained in the South.

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18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

Not sure if there is any evidence that the Manderlys are richer than the Freys. I'm not even sure it is confirmed that the Freys are the richest house in the Riverlands.

O no, not this issue again.

Bridge to nowhere vs port city with tens of thousands of citizens. Nuff said.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

My point is that the Hightowers appear to rule more land than any other current Reach lord. And that no other Reach lord seems to exceed 6000 men, today.

The Manderlys never rivalled the Hightowers when they were in the Reach and at best would have been in the next level of Reach lord category, which today does not exceed 6000 men in power.

 Nor do any Reach lords other than the Hightowers rule a city.

So the Manderlys today are likely stronger than they would have been had they remained in the South.

I'm not asking to be pedantic or quibble or anything, I generally don't get involved in population discussion. But is this difference in numbers accounting for the stated population boom over time? Wouldn't (as an example) ability to muster 200 men in Maderly's Reach days be different to the ability to muster 200 in 300 AC?

 

ETA; doesn't necessarily contradict you even if true I'm just wondering if and how you account t for that

Edited by HelenaExMachina

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On 12/19/2018 at 4:27 PM, Joey Crows said:

Seems like they were gaining enough power to be a threat, but obviously not enough to avoid being kicked out of the Reach. As that hasn't happened to any other house that I'm aware of, I'd say they probably weren't in the top five most powerful houses in that part of the realm and really pissed off those houses ahead of them. Trading the bounty of the Reach for the cold of White Harbor notwithstanding, they've made a strong position for themselves in the sparse North. 

Don't recall the reason for it ever explained, but the Blackwoods are an exiled House from the North

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5 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Don't recall the reason for it ever explained, but the Blackwoods are an exiled House from the North

Where they kicked out of the North? I thought they were just the lone house south of the Neck to keep the old gods after the Andal invasion and the rise of the Seven. Because at one point everyone (mostly) worshipped the old gods thanks to the pact between the Children and the First Men. 

 

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It is not clear whether the Blackwoods are truly from the North. They claim they are, but that's in rumors/songs/weirdo claims about the distant past territory.

9 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

And Istanbul was located near the sea. Many, by then, populated cities/towns of the Ottoman empire was located near the sea.

George's world is very unbelievable in the way he spread harbor towns/cities across his world.

There is a city at the mouth of the Honeywine but not at the mouth of the Mander? KL grows at the mouth of the Blackwater but the Blackwater is not exactly all that great a waterway... Duskendale is supposed to be a great port yet it has no waterway to bring goods deep into the Riverlands, unlike Maidenpool at the Bay of Crabs/Trident. Saltpans at the actual mouth of the Trident should also have more significance simply because it protects the mouth of this major waterway of the Riverlands.

We do know that trade in the Riverlands goes mostly by ship and boat across the various forks of the Trident.

Medieval cities grow at crucial places, and most of George's cities are not exactly at places where great cities would have developed in the real world.

As for the wealth of the Manderlys as compared to the Freys:

The Riverlands are a very rich region. The Butterwells are rich as hell and the Freys, too. Just because the Manderlys do have a city doesn't mean they are richer than those two houses - just as the Graftons don't have to be richer than the Redwynes, say, despite the fact that they control a city and the Redwynes don't.

As long as we don't have any information who is richer there it makes little sense to pretend that we know things like that.

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11 hours ago, Joey Crows said:

Where they kicked out of the North? I thought they were just the lone house south of the Neck to keep the old gods after the Andal invasion and the rise of the Seven. Because at one point everyone (mostly) worshipped the old gods thanks to the pact between the Children and the First Men. 

 

Quote

Amongst the houses reduced from royals to vassals we can count the Flints of Breakstone Hill, the Slates of Blackpool, the Umbers of Last Hearth, the Lockes of Oldcastle, the Glovers of Deepwood Motte, the Fishers of the Stony Shore, the Ryders of the Rills...and mayhaps even the Blackwoods of Raventree, whose own family traditions insist they once ruled most of the wolfswood before being driven from their lands by the Kings of Winter (certain runic records support this claim, if Maester Barneby's translations can be trusted). (TWOIAF)

 

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On 12/22/2018 at 5:47 AM, Nittanian said:

quote from twoiaf

Thanks!

@Joey Crows The Blackwoods claim it with insistence, and there is runic evidence for it. And then there's Maester Yandel who tries to frame it as doubtful, including a fellow maester's translation abilities. Now, why would a House that has always been part of a realm south of the Neck, claim and lie they are Northern exiles? Being an exiled House after all isn't the best of PRs, especially in a neck of the woods that's been conquered by Andals. Lying about it, just makes no sense. Meanwhile being truthful makes every bit of sense, especially from Northerners - they have a rather typical Northern pride scoffing at PR, be proud they stem from Northern stock even if it means you're an exiled House.

As for Maester Yandel and him throwing a shade of doubt on such claims and runic translations (I effing doubt maester Yandel can translate runes himself), we should never forget a part of his agenda. He wrote tWoIaF to gift to a king whose mother Cersei Lannister is a regent and hates Starks and the North deeply. Maester Yandel has to keep his head after all. And he does that in a clever way. First he uses tidbits of dislike from some Stark towards the IT and Targs to portray them as always rebellious. For example, on the match between Torrhen's daughter and the misfortunate first Lord Arryn in the united realm, Yandel holds a magnifying lens onto the anger of her brothers over it, but ignores Torrhen's agreement to it. More, Yandel claims there are "letters" (but not who wrote the letters, when he easily does cite the source of letters whenever he otherwise can), and tries to make something that is uncertain and likely hearsay sound as something sure and some big protest. Yandel uses the exact same tactic when it comes to the New Gift. In F&B the negotiations for the New Gift between Alaric Stark and Alysanne Targaryen are portrayed in a way we recognize the hard bargaining tactics that Starks are known for (in aSoIaF exemplified by Jon making a deal with Tycho Nestoris). In tWoIaF, we have no mention whatsoever of Alaric, but instead Yandel picks out a much later Lord Stark who didn't like what his predecessor agreed to, this time with the confirmed source of letters written to the Citadel itself by the brother of Alaric's descendant to protest against the deal made.

What does this to do with Yandel trying to put a seed of doubt on the Blackwoods' claim? Well, in aSoIaF, the Lannisters made peace with the rebelling Blackwoods. Jaime brokers it in aFfC, but it requires a stamp by King Tommen, to whom the book tWoIaF is gifted. This poses a conundrum - on the one hand you have Blackwoods who bent the knee to King Tommen and (in name) Tommen forgiving them, and on the other hand they insist on being Northern stock, the part of the realm that Yandel tries to portray as natural rebels. So, what does Yandel do? He creates a doubt on this claim, so that Tommen isn't discredited for forgiving the Blackwoods. 

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The section on the North mentions the Stark Kings of Winterfell driving out either the Warg King or Wolf King of the Wolfswood, and instituting the policy of taking a defeated foe's daughter to wife. The W. King "fled". The Blackwoods, a family producing at least one notable Warg through a daughter, have the story above. Methinks the Bracken-Blackwood feud stems from the Blackwoods toppling the Bracken king and seizing some of his lands.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure if the Manderlys were necessarily the most powerful of the Reach families, but certainly one of the most powerful (maybe second only to the Tyrells and Hightowers). I get the feeling that the main probably was they overreached themselves, in a similar manner to the Reynes and Tarbecks in the Westerlands. But instead of being destroyed root and stem, they were forced into exile. It's happened to other Houses; the Blackwoods claim to have been driven from the Wolfswood by House Stark. 

Arguably the Manderlys hold more influence in the North (being the wealthiest house and controlling the major port) than they ever were in the Reach (where House Hightower claims those benefits). 

Edited by LucionLannister

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