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Lord Varys

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It's a small criticism.  But a country as large as populous as  Westeros ought to be run by an efficient bureaucracy, like China or Bzyantium, or else dissolve into its constituent parts.

 

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20 minutes ago, SeanF said:

It's a small criticism.  But a country as large as populous as  Westeros ought to be run by an efficient bureaucracy, like China or Bzyantium, or else dissolve into its constituent parts.

The Targaryen Realm would have never been kept together or developed any sense of unity in the real. Even a kingdom like the North or the Reach wouldn't have had more than nominal kings.

Without a proper bureaucracy there is no sense of a kingdom or an empire whatsoever. And even then it quickly erodes and crumbles when there are crises.

The fact that no kingdom in Westeros ever collapsed but was always integrated into another kingdom through conquest is, perhaps, one of the most glaring fantasy aspect there. That's idealism in the extreme.

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2 hours ago, SeanF said:

It's a small criticism.  But a country as large as populous as  Westeros ought to be run by an efficient bureaucracy, like China or Bzyantium, or else dissolve into its constituent parts.

 

Hmm? How would bureaucrats keep things together whereas the current way of government cannot?

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10 hours ago, Ran said:

Yes, Littlefinger and his father were "the smallest of small lords", as Tyrion noted in ACoK.

And @Jaak, thanks for that PDF. Very interesting, and it underscores, I think, that Scottish history has a lot of influence on George's vision of Westeros. Scotland's monarchy was much less powerful and pervasive than that of England, and that decentralizing effect includes lords having the right of "pit and gallows" in a way that their counterparts down south of the border did not have, and this seems to have been more what George was aiming at for Westeros.

Possibly Scotland, possibly others. France, neither-Holy-nor-Roman-nor-Empire... England was unusually centralized, and decentralized kingdom with more powerful lords was the more common in medieval Europe.

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Posted (edited)

If you look at GRRM's statements as to his areas of interest, he's always singled out Scotland and England because of the literature all being in English. He knows less about the HRE and France, especially when it gets to the level of their inner legal and bureaucratic workings. Also, his notions of the law are more in the direction of the common law.

So articles like the above, contrasting royal power between GRRM's two chief areas of interest, are especially germane.

Edited by Ran

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Posted (edited)

Whatever some supporters of an all-powerful Iron Throne choose to believe, the reality of the setting quite clearly vests tremendous power and independence with the Lords Paramount. Else events like Robert's Rebellion could not even be contemplated, let alone succeed.

Whatever the intentions of Aegon and Jahaerys, the fact is they failed to weaken in any significant way the intrinsic power of the Lords Paramount - who are basically kings of their regions in all but name.  When Aerys alienated three of these Lords Paramount - and they then brought a fourth (Hoster Tully) into their alliance via marriage pacts - they brought down the Iron Throne. That could not be possible if their lords truly held themselves loyal first to House Targaryen and only secondarily to their respective Lords Paramount.

We know even Roose Bolton served House Stark in the Rebellion. And the Boltons are hardly a prime example of passionate Stark bannermen.

Nope, Westeros is a confederation of powerful regional lords whose support keep the Targaryen on the Iron Throne in his place, rather than the other way around. The Lords Paramount are the true power in Westeros.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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52 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Whatever some supporters of an all-powerful Iron Throne choose to believe, the reality of the setting quite clearly vests tremendous power and independence with the Lords Paramount. Else events like Robert's Rebellion could not even be contemplated, let alone succeed.

Whatever the intentions of Aegon and Jahaerys, the fact is they failed to weaken in any significant way the intrinsic power of the Lords Paramount - who are basically kings of their regions in all but name. 

On the balance, they might have ended up strengthening it in some ways. Lords Paramount got a recourse against their bannermen´s rebellions that they had lacked as Kings. And Jaehaerys eliminated Faith courts and Faith militant - without creating any replacement, just expanding the powers of lords.

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2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Whatever some supporters of an all-powerful Iron Throne choose to believe, the reality of the setting quite clearly vests tremendous power and independence with the Lords Paramount. Else events like Robert's Rebellion could not even be contemplated, let alone succeed.

Whatever the intentions of Aegon and Jahaerys, the fact is they failed to weaken in any significant way the intrinsic power of the Lords Paramount - who are basically kings of their regions in all but name.  When Aerys alienated three of these Lords Paramount - and they then brought a fourth (Hoster Tully) into their alliance via marriage pacts - they brought down the Iron Throne. That could not be possible if their lords truly held themselves loyal first to House Targaryen and only secondarily to their respective Lords Paramount.

We know even Roose Bolton served House Stark in the Rebellion. And the Boltons are hardly a prime example of passionate Stark bannermen.

Nope, Westeros is a confederation of powerful regional lords whose support keep the Targaryen on the Iron Throne in his place, rather than the other way around. The Lords Paramount are the true power in Westeros.

The problem also lies in relatively small royal demesne compared to other regions. In terms of power I think Crownlands may be least powerful of all regions. At least Harrenhal and perhaps Maidenpool should stay directly under King and not Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. Army structure should also be reformed and permament army should be created.

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21 minutes ago, Paxter Redwyne said:

The problem also lies in relatively small royal demesne compared to other regions. In terms of power I think Crownlands may be least powerful of all regions. At least Harrenhal and perhaps Maidenpool should stay directly under King and not Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. Army structure should also be reformed and permament army should be created.

Well, the above assumes one supports a more powerful central Throne. If, like me, you find the story far more interesting with strong consituent regions then the current situation is preferable.

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21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not really, considering that this only applies to lords - and likely no longer to attainted/outlawed lords. And if we think of Jonos' rebellion again for a moment, then there is no confirmed lord among his people. Jonos himself is the brother of Lord Ronnel, not a lord himself, and while there highborn accomplices among his supporters, we don't know whether any proper lords were among them or not.

You are still missing my point, namely that it is lesson in how ineffective it is to not have someone in a region that can act on behave of the king without first having to send a message to the king, and this would be a lesson that would not be lost on the likes of Barth and Jaehaerys.

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

No, if Gyldayn is correct there then this means that a lord is not allowed to put to death another lord. He would either ask the king to do it - and that might perhaps be done by letter - or he has to hand over such a lord to the king to have him or his Hand sit in judgment over such a lord.

And the the differs with what i said is? He commits a crime the punishment under law is death you then appeal to the king who either confirms the sentence or shows mercy.

 

21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

How often do we see a lord rebelling only against his liege lord (and not the king also)? The only case we know seems to be the Reyne/Tarbeck rebellion.

And is there any case in the history of Westeros we know where a lord put to death another lord in a scenario in which guilt first has to be established in a trial? That's the scenario we are talking about here. Cregan Stark didn't seize and execute some rebels who took up arms against their liege or king and everybody knew this. He arrested men he suspected of poisoning the king and then conducted investigations and trials to establish their guilt.

That kind of scenario seems to be very rare indeed in Westeros. No lord we know of is ever accused of a mundane crime like murder - in the sense of it not being part of a rebellion or war. And that's not necessarily were 'normal peace rules' apply.

In that sense, my guess is that Gyldayn talks about the right of a lord to be immune to arbitrary rule/tyranny of another lord, his liege lord included.

But as I repeatedly said - if you break the King's Peace (i.e. rebel against the lawful authority by either going to war without the king's leave or going to war against the king) then you basically outlaw yourself. That is what the First Law of the land states, as per Gyldayn's account of Aegon I's reign. If you no longer are a lord you no longer have the right to be treated as a lord, presumably.

Even if this were not so by default - attainders are very quickly issued by the kings in Westeros - just remember who King Joffrey attaints back in AGoT when he takes his throne. And once you are attainted you and your family are neither lords nor noblemen. They are nobody, with no lawful lands, titles, offices, etc.

 And how does this change or affect my point that when a Lord breaks the law he needs to be dealt with quickly because with an army at his back he could do a lot of damage while you are waiting for that attainder you speak off, it doesn't you are trying to stear away from the point i was making because you have no real argument against it.

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The Law Alysanne put in about widows really stood out to me didn't think it was a common occurrence for an heir who become lord to dismiss the wife with no station. So even Lords that remarry could just forfeit their kids from a previous marriage before Alysanne convince Jeahearys to rectify that.

 

Hmm not sure about the Lord cannot execute another lord or judge them without the King's leave i mean Roose was scared of Rickard Stark finding out he indulges in First Night 

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3 hours ago, direpupy said:

You are still missing my point, namely that it is lesson in how ineffective it is to not have someone in a region that can act on behave of the king without first having to send a message to the king, and this would be a lesson that would not be lost on the likes of Barth and Jaehaerys.

Who cares about effectiveness? Is there any reason to believe that the ridiculously splintered feudal landscape of the Seven Kingdoms was set up by the guiding principles of effectiveness or efficiency?

I agree that what you say would be more effective - but our effectiveness standards are irrelevant.

We are also not under the impression that Jaehaerys and his advisers make up new laws or take away rights and privileges from the lords. They just unify the laws of the land by collecting all the laws they want to keep. If it were universally accepted that a lord cannot be put to death by another lord - as it is when Cregan Stark has to become Hand - then Jaehaerys I couldn't have changed that.

3 hours ago, direpupy said:

And the the differs with what i said is? He commits a crime the punishment under law is death you then appeal to the king who either confirms the sentence or shows mercy.

If that were how it went why on earth didn't they use Aegon III as a puppet judge in FaB? Why couldn't Cregan as a mere lord sentence them all to death and then they could appeal to the Uncrowned King?

3 hours ago, direpupy said:

 And how does this change or affect my point that when a Lord breaks the law he needs to be dealt with quickly because with an army at his back he could do a lot of damage while you are waiting for that attainder you speak off, it doesn't you are trying to stear away from the point i was making because you have no real argument against it.

You are ignoring what happened in the books. King Joffrey pretty much attaints all the lords and their heirs who don't show up for his coronation. Stannis, Renly, the Starks, Tyrells, Martells, Arryns, etc. are all attainted long before they actually meet the king's armies in battle. That is done pretty quickly.

You don't have an argument here at all. You come up with arbitrary rules of effectiveness and pretend those are/must be the rules and principles by which Westeros is ruled - when you really have no evidence that this is the case.

If it were a lordly privilege - as it is - that a lord cannot put another lord to death - then the lords would collectively protect that prerogative and not allow the king to take that away.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 If it were universally accepted that a lord cannot be put to death by another lord - as it is when Cregan Stark has to become Hand - then Jaehaerys I couldn't have changed that.

Honestly, Cregan's statement sounds more like him wanting to make his coming executions look more legitimate than simply a case of the victor exercising his power to judge and execute the lords who were on the losing side. Because on what basis other than "to the victor the spoils" can a Lord Stark ever  judge any lord south of the Neck? Even if there was no so-called royal decree to the contrary.

This is actually quite interesting. Pray tell, before this passage in Fire and Blood, how else did you expect judgment rights may have worked? Frankly, I don't see any situation where a non liege lord could ever judge any other lord. Even in the pre-Targaryen days, on what basis could a King Stark march into the Riverlands and judge a lord outside his own kingdom? Sure, he could execute him, but that would be because he happened to be in a position of greater physical power (i.e. had a bigger army on hand).  But on what legal basis would you have proposed Cregan Stark could ever have judged a southron lord?

No such legal basis is ever provided to us. Other than "might makes right". And in this case, Cregan certianly had the might. But he wanted his actions to be more legitimate than "I judged and executed Lord Velaryon at sword point". Hence wanting to assign royal legitimacy to it.

But as far as his own vassals are concerned, I am convinced this passage does not contradict his right to judge and execute them in the slightest.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Who cares about effectiveness? Is there any reason to believe that the ridiculously splintered feudal landscape of the Seven Kingdoms was set up by the guiding principles of effectiveness or efficiency?

I agree that what you say would be more effective - but our effectiveness standards are irrelevant.

We are also not under the impression that Jaehaerys and his advisers make up new laws or take away rights and privileges from the lords. They just unify the laws of the land by collecting all the laws they want to keep. If it were universally accepted that a lord cannot be put to death by another lord - as it is when Cregan Stark has to become Hand - then Jaehaerys I couldn't have changed that.

Aegon had created the position of Hand. We don´t hear of the Kings he conquered having had Hands, and neither did Robb or Balon.

B C it was universally accepted that Stark, Hoare, Arryn, Durrandon etc. could judge Lords to death, because they were Kings. Aegon took away their crowns and made them just lords. Who could execute lords now?

If Jaehaerys wanted, he could have gone back on Aegon´s laws and explained that Arryn was no longer King and Jaehaerys was not giving back the Falcon Crown, but that Arryn´s new office of Warden of East included the right, like Hand, to judge lords to death.

Which Warden has command in Riverlands? It has common borders with all four... Stark Warden of North, Arryn Warden of East, Tyrell Warden of South, Lannister Warden of West, but Tully is not Warden. (Cregan would have had problems trying Lord Larys under his capacity of Warden of North unless his jurisdiction included Riverlands. Warden of West was a Green, and a woman; Warden of South was a baby, and neutral; Warden of East was a loyal Black, but also a woman.)

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7 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Honestly, Cregan's statement sounds more like him wanting to make his coming executions look more legitimate than simply a case of the victor exercising his power to judge and execute the lords who were on the losing side.

Corlys Velaryon and Larys Strong were on the winning side in the Dance, not the losing side. Cregan Stark made himself the defender of the royal inviolability by punishing the murderers of Aegon II - a king he himself wanted to see cast down and dead (but not by poison and betrayal).

7 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Because on what basis other than "to the victor the spoils" can a Lord Stark ever  judge any lord south of the Neck? Even if there was no so-called royal decree to the contrary.

Lord Cregan took the reins of power in KL as a simple lord, just as he and his men arrested the lords they accused of regicide without any authority but their army - yet when Lord Cregan actually conducted trials that would result in death sentences he decided to make himself the Hand of the Uncrowned King because lords do not put other lords to death.

That indicates that there is a strong and poignant difference in arresting a lord and executing a lord. The former a lord can do without pushing the boundaries too far, but the latter he can't.

7 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

This is actually quite interesting. Pray tell, before this passage in Fire and Blood, how else did you expect judgment rights may have worked? Frankly, I don't see any situation where a non liege lord could ever judge any other lord. Even in the pre-Targaryen days, on what basis could a King Stark march into the Riverlands and judge a lord outside his own kingdom? Sure, he could execute him, but that would be because he happened to be in a position of greater physical power (i.e. had a bigger army on hand).  But on what legal basis would you have proposed Cregan Stark could ever have judged a southron lord?

The lords all have the right of pit and gallows on their own land. If lords could put other lords to death this would a lord accused of a crime that warrants capital punishment who is accused and arrested on the lands of another lord could be tried and executed by said lord.

That would mean that Lord Dustin could try and execute Lord Bolton if the latter were accused and arrested and tried for murder on Lord Dustin's land. Such things would happen since lords actually do travel.

It could happen in any possible constellation - Lord Hightower being arrested and executed on the lands of Lord Rosby, say.

The idea that the liege lord of a lord has the right to demand jurisdiction over a case in which one of his bannermen or vassals is involved isn't established anywhere. The right of pits and gallows on a lord's own land is.

If you wanted to see a lord punished for a crime who had returned to the safety of his own lands you would like have to go through the liege lord of that lord - or better still, the king.

But as it happens a lord cannot put another lord to death, so when there is a crime/case/trial where a lord is accused of a crime that calls for capital punishment such a case is handed over to the king.

7 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

No such legal basis is ever provided to us. Other than "might makes right". And in this case, Cregan certianly had the might. But he wanted his actions to be more legitimate than "I judged and executed Lord Velaryon at sword point". Hence wanting to assign royal legitimacy to it.

If that were the case then Lord Cregan could have still conducted the trial and the execution as Lord of Winterfell - all he would have needed to do was to force the boy king to sign and seal the sentences. Then those executions would not have been Lord Cregan's but rather King Aegon III's.

7 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

But as far as his own vassals are concerned, I am convinced this passage does not contradict his right to judge and execute them in the slightest.

Such a right has nowhere been established.

The case of Jorah Mormont never actually happened. And even if it did happen the easiest way to get around that would have to attaint Lord Jorah and make him Ser Jorah - i.e. take Bear Island from him and name Lady Maege Mormont the new Lady of Bear Island. Then Jorah Mormont is no longer a lord.

2 hours ago, Jaak said:

Aegon had created the position of Hand. We don´t hear of the Kings he conquered having had Hands, and neither did Robb or Balon.

B C it was universally accepted that Stark, Hoare, Arryn, Durrandon etc. could judge Lords to death, because they were Kings. Aegon took away their crowns and made them just lords. Who could execute lords now?

Obviously kings. Lord Cregan is effectively the king when he conducts those trials. The Hand speaks with the King's Voice.

2 hours ago, Jaak said:

If Jaehaerys wanted, he could have gone back on Aegon´s laws and explained that Arryn was no longer King and Jaehaerys was not giving back the Falcon Crown, but that Arryn´s new office of Warden of East included the right, like Hand, to judge lords to death.

That is not clear. It might be that the Wardens could do that. The wardens could not only be military but also judicial offices, representing the king both as military leader and supreme justice.

Or not. As I lay out above - Jorah Mormont could easily be attainted should the need arise to execute him. That way Lord Eddard could both conduct a trial against him and later execute him. If he is found guilty and should be sentenced to death, all Ned needs is an attainder issued by King Robert or his Hand. Then he can continue.

2 hours ago, Jaak said:

Which Warden has command in Riverlands? It has common borders with all four... Stark Warden of North, Arryn Warden of East, Tyrell Warden of South, Lannister Warden of West, but Tully is not Warden. (Cregan would have had problems trying Lord Larys under his capacity of Warden of North unless his jurisdiction included Riverlands. Warden of West was a Green, and a woman; Warden of South was a baby, and neutral; Warden of East was a loyal Black, but also a woman.)

One assumes that both the Riverlands and the Stormlands are directly under the jurisdiction of the king in this entire warden-sphere. The Warden of the East has only the Vale, the Warden of the North only the North, the Warden of the West only the West (and, perhaps, also the Iron Islands), and the Warden of the South only the Reach.

The Stormlands and the Riverlands are the backyards of KL. We often see the Targaryen kings directly interfere in those regions in FaB, and many of the southern Riverlords seem to be more closely connected to KL than Riverrun (the Darrys, Mootons, various Lords of Harrenhal, etc.).

8 hours ago, Destiny Arrives said:

The Law Alysanne put in about widows really stood out to me didn't think it was a common occurrence for an heir who become lord to dismiss the wife with no station. So even Lords that remarry could just forfeit their kids from a previous marriage before Alysanne convince Jeahearys to rectify that.

A funny undercurrent here is that the Widow's Law can also be cited as support of Rhaenyra's claim to the Iron Throne. She is the only child of the king by his first wife and is named the heir before the king remarries. So she cannot be disinherited in favor of the children born by the second wife. Or so one could argue.

8 hours ago, Destiny Arrives said:

Hmm not sure about the Lord cannot execute another lord or judge them without the King's leave i mean Roose was scared of Rickard Stark finding out he indulges in First Night 

No hint that he was afraid for his life. Just afraid of Rickard as such. And I think the real problem there is not the First Night thing but rather that Roose actually murdered the miller.

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On 1/2/2019 at 9:22 AM, Lord Varys said:

Alysanne's arguments make it pretty obvious how people were forced to end this thing. It was adultery, plain and simple, something both the women being deflowered as well as the lady wives of the lords would have resented. Not to mention the husbands of all those poor girls and women who were subjected to this legally sanctioned rape.

Her point of men sullying their own virtue isn’t taking into account most people have a understanding of men being horn-dogs, who can’t be expected to totally monogamous. Hell Catelyn herself, he was in the end a pretty pious  southern woman, thought it totally normal for Ned to have committed adultery during the war because he’s a man.  Yeah, I don’t really see most Ladies being all that shook up about this. Most(like Cat) should expect their husbands to cheat on them to some degree at some point and I think most would see the peasant woman in question as subhuman so, who cares about her. Truth be told I thought this particular argument to have been poorly thought out given who she had to convince; which was Jaererys who wasn’t particularly religious. 

On 1/2/2019 at 9:22 AM, Lord Varys said:

And even in the North of today it don't seem the First Night is still a regular thing. Roose used the First Night as a pretext to rape a woman whose husband had married without his permission - and he just claims that the Umbers practice it, too. I don't doubt that some lords do forbidden things when they can get away with them, but the First Night is no longer a thing any lord has a right to. If they want to rape the wives of their smallfolk they have to do that (more or less) in secret because the whole thing will have consequences if the smallfolk in question has a chance to complain.

Yeah, the problem is who exactly are the small folk are going to complain to and how do they know the person they’resupposed to tell will listen. Like, this practice has been going around for thousands of years with no complaint from House Stark. I think its safe to assume some Stark lords have enjoyed the practice as well. Alyanne and Jaehaerys really should have checked with Lord Alaric to gage whether he will try to enforce the will of the Ironthrone in this regard or basically, choose to ignore it because he doesn’t want to quarrels with his vassals, Hell its not out of the realm of possibility, that some or even many of the lords who practice the First night are his friends. Powerful people who profit or take pleasure in some action rarely take steps to alter their behavior according to new laws unless their constantly under watch.  It’s just odd we don’t hear about some lord having to lose his head. 

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On 1/5/2019 at 10:46 PM, Jaak said:

Which Warden has command in Riverlands? It has common borders with all four... Stark Warden of North, Arryn Warden of East, Tyrell Warden of South, Lannister Warden of West, but Tully is not Warden. (Cregan would have had problems trying Lord Larys under his capacity of Warden of North unless his jurisdiction included Riverlands. Warden of West was a Green, and a woman; Warden of South was a baby, and neutral; Warden of East was a loyal Black, but also a woman.)

My understanding of the matter is that the main responsibility of a Warden would be to protect the borders of the realm against the invasions coming from their side. The main responsibility of the Warden of the North would be to repel the wilding incursions, the Warden of the East would look after invasions from Essos, the Warden of the West would defend the coasts in the Sunset Sea (easiest job), and the Warden of the South would protect the Dornish frontier (originally), and raids coming from Sothyros or the Summer Islands.

This would be supported by the fact that Robert didn't want to name Robert Arryn as Warden of the East because he was afraid of the Dothraki invasion, and we see that Lord Arryn was commanding the Red Dragon army in the Redgrass Field.

For this reason, The Riverlands wouldn't depend on any specific Warden. They would be expected to support Lord Lannister, Stark, Arryn or Tyrell depending on from which side Westeros was attacked.

 

On 1/6/2019 at 1:45 AM, Lord Varys said:

The case of Jorah Mormont never actually happened. And even if it did happen the easiest way to get around that would have to attaint Lord Jorah and make him Ser Jorah - i.e. take Bear Island from him and name Lady Maege Mormont the new Lady of Bear Island. Then Jorah Mormont is no longer a lord.

This is absurd. If you claim that a lord can't execute a vassal lord, but then you admit that he can attaint him and then execute him as he is no longer a lord... then he can execute him in the first place.

There's no need to take a sentence from Fire and Blood and interpret it in the most restrictive way, when there are other possible interpretations that fit better with what we see in the text.

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 5:24 PM, Lord Varys said:

Who cares about effectiveness? Is there any reason to believe that the ridiculously splintered feudal landscape of the Seven Kingdoms was set up by the guiding principles of effectiveness or efficiency?

I agree that what you say would be more effective - but our effectiveness standards are irrelevant.

We are also not under the impression that Jaehaerys and his advisers make up new laws or take away rights and privileges from the lords. They just unify the laws of the land by collecting all the laws they want to keep. If it were universally accepted that a lord cannot be put to death by another lord - as it is when Cregan Stark has to become Hand - then Jaehaerys I couldn't have changed that.

If that were how it went why on earth didn't they use Aegon III as a puppet judge in FaB? Why couldn't Cregan as a mere lord sentence them all to death and then they could appeal to the Uncrowned King?

You are ignoring what happened in the books. King Joffrey pretty much attaints all the lords and their heirs who don't show up for his coronation. Stannis, Renly, the Starks, Tyrells, Martells, Arryns, etc. are all attainted long before they actually meet the king's armies in battle. That is done pretty quickly.

You don't have an argument here at all. You come up with arbitrary rules of effectiveness and pretend those are/must be the rules and principles by which Westeros is ruled - when you really have no evidence that this is the case.

If it were a lordly privilege - as it is - that a lord cannot put another lord to death - then the lords would collectively protect that prerogative and not allow the king to take that away.

Look this angry respons only proves you are feeling cornered and that is because your arguments are flawed and you know it, just in case you have not noticed nobody in this tread agrees with you maybe you should take that as a hint about how believeworthy your views are.

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 2:44 AM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Hmm? How would bureaucrats keep things together whereas the current way of government cannot?

Given the primitive communications of the time, superstates in the pre-industrial period tended to split into their constituent parts, after the death of the King who put them together, unless there was a strong bureaucracy to keep the local lords on the leash (eg the Frankish Kingdom after Clovis or Charlemagne, or Cnut's empire.)  A strong bureaucracy enables the superstate to survive a weakling on the Throne.

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12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

This is absurd. If you claim that a lord can't execute a vassal lord, but then you admit that he can attaint him and then execute him as he is no longer a lord... then he can execute him in the first place.

I didn't say a lord would issue the attainder. The lord would have to ask the king to do that, allowing then the lord to continue with trial against the criminal lord - or put him to death if the trial has already been concluded and guilt has been established. That could help things be more 'efficient' if a king doesn't give a rat's ass about a trial against some petty lord at the end of the world.

But again - Jorah never got a trial. And his life does not seem to be forfeit because he sold some people but rather because he fled Westeros and thus outlawed himself. We don't hear anything about lords being sentenced to death on regular basis - or at all - for what Jorah did there. Could be that execution is the only possible sentence there, perhaps not. 

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

There's no need to take a sentence from Fire and Blood and interpret it in the most restrictive way, when there are other possible interpretations that fit better with what we see in the text.

There is no need to pretend that this society works effectively or that it is not the case that in societal contexts where the rights and privileges of the nobility should play a great role this is not the case because things would then be easier, more effective, more efficient, etc.

If that were the case then feudalism would no longer be a thing in this world.

And it is not that the books do not imply an individual is not beholden to the king or does not have his personal relationship with his king, never mind whether he is directly sworn to the Iron Throne or not. Walder Frey claims that he has sworn vows to the king, too. The view that the society is set up as a hierarchical pyramid with every guy on the feudal tier effectively being a little king in his dealings with the guy(s) beneath is not really true.

23 minutes ago, direpupy said:

Look this angry respons only proves you are feeling cornered and that is because your arguments are flawed and you know it, just in case you have not noticed nobody in this tread agrees with you maybe you should take that as a hint about how believeworthy your views are.

I'm not angry. I just point out where your reasoning is flawed. You have a tendency to not be aware of the (implicit) presuppositions you drag into an argument. We have no reason to assume that a society whose legal and judicial framework grew out of countless conflicting feudal traditions cares much about efficiency - nor do we have any reason to believe that lords are accused of crimes that warrant the death penalty often enough for efficiency or effectiveness calling for a change in the legal framework that lords must be put to death by other lords or else the legal system breaks down.

This is a society where lords apparently do have 'gods given rights and privileges' as per a quote by an unknown lord given by Yandel.

This all also has nothing to do with the way laws, rights, and privileges may be ignored during open war. A lord rising against his liege or king in open rebellion may not be treated the way he could expect to be treated if he were to peacefully subject him to a trial conducted by his lord or king if he stands accused of a crime.

Facts are also not subject to majority rule. I'm not going to change my view on that matter just because people choose to view things differently, especially not when most of the arguments they give revolve around hypothetical scenarios or made up ad hoc rationalizations. If George had meant that lords can be put to death his own lords bannermen or vassals he should have written that. He did not.

As for the Warden thing:

I can play the effectiveness thing there, too. It is quite clear that the Warden duty (also) revolves around supreme military command in a war-like situation - just as the 'Protector of the Realm' title also refers to the king as the guy upholding the peace in the kingdom. If the king were to call upon one of his wardens to raise an army to restore the King's Peace - as Rhaenyra Targaryen did when she asked Lord Cregan an army during the Dance - then it makes no sense that such a person should only have the right to exert the power to restore the peace in the region he is warden of. Meaning Lord Cregan's duty to restore the King's Peace would prevail wherever he is, not just in the North. If it could only prevail in the North no king could ever invite him to intervene in any other geographical region.

4 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Given the primitive communications of the time, superstates in the pre-industrial period tended to split into their constituent parts, after the death of the King who put them together, unless there was a strong bureaucracy to keep the local lords on the leash (eg the Frankish Kingdom after Clovis or Charlemagne, or Cnut's empire.)  A strong bureaucracy enables the superstate to survive a weakling on the Throne.

Not only that, but if such a sense of unity in a given kingdom or realm does not exist or is established during the rule of a conqueror it should fragment again, even if the conqueror put a bureaucracy in place.

Most of the fancy noble titles of medieval nobility actually were originally the names of military or bureaucratic offices, in part established by early kings, in part going back to Roman days - offices that quickly became hereditary. Once an office is hereditary and feudal rights are invented and claimed any real power a king claims in that regions actually pretty disappears. That is why all the medieval where kings who (eventual) had real power in their lands only established that by establishing a bureaucracy that was actually beholden to them.

The least believable part in George's setting is that any self-respecting lord or king actually gives a rat's ass to vows sworn to some conqueror - be he a dragonlord or just mundane conquering king or lord. Real people in the real world would pay lip service when they have to and return to the way things were always done as soon as this 'king' left their lands.

Especially in a world as brutal and savage as Westeros - which by and far is a dialed-up version in brutality, betrayal, and atrocity when compared to the actual middle ages. After all, most stubborn noble rebels and the like never mind as cruel ends as Robb Stark or the Reynes of Castamere. The way to deal with troublesome nobles was not to try to physically eradicate them. They were humbled, exiled, imprisoned, etc. But very rarely actually killed - and the eradication of entire noble bloodlines happened almost never.

The idea that men feel beholden to vows when the powerful always stab each other in the back is just not very believable.

Readers are very aware of that cognitive dissonance as is seen by countless discussions about who wields the actual power - the (great) lords or the kings? The problem is that no Targaryen/Baratheon king is actually ever viewed as a mere figurehead. They have a very real power, with or without dragons. 

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