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Lord Varys

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1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

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.

 

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.

Im not sure what my basis for thinking this is, whether it comes from the books or just online discussion, but inthought eg primary role of the Wardens was to marshal Andy command the armies under their, uh, Wardenship(?). In which case the Riverlands question remains relevant.

But as I say I no longer remember where that comes from so I could well have made it Up!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But again - Jorah never got a trial.

Jorah says to Dany: "When I heard that Eddard Stark was coming to Bear Island, I was so lost to honor that rather than stay and face his judgment, I took her with me into exile."

He didn't get a trial, but it seems clear that it was Eddard who would have decided whether Jorah kept his head, was sent to the Wall, or was pardoned.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

Eddard says that Jorah "escaped Ice", which implies that he would have condemned him to death for poaching.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

I don't think the Westerosi society is efficient at all. I've never claimed that. It's a continent sized kingdom, with limited means of communication, separate traditions, and thousands of lords, both great and small, competing to preserve their privileges. It's never going to be efficient.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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. 

I don't think anyone is claiming that either. Surely not me. It's been established that Walder should respond to both Lord Tully and the King, just as Jorah responded to both Lord Stark and the king, and Osgrey responded to both Lord Rowan and the king.

I'm not even claiming that I have knowledge of how the complex different levels of authority work in Westeros, in theory or in practice. I don't.  The information is not in the books, and we can only infer or speculate. I'm only saying that you are taking for granted conclusions that you are drawing from a statement that it's open to interpretation.

Edited by The hairy bear

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1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

Jorah says to Dany: "When I heard that Eddard Stark was coming to Bear Island, I was so lost to honor that rather than stay and face his judgment, I took her with me into exile."

He didn't get a trial, but it seems clear that it was Eddard who would have decided whether Jorah kept his head, was sent to the Wall, or was pardoned.

It is clear that Ned could have conducted a trial against Jorah. That is not in doubt. However, it is not clear whether a death sentence was the only possibly sentence for his crime. In the regicide case of Aegon II a death sentence seems to have been the possible sentence for the men who were found guilty of the crime.

I do not claim to know how exactly Ned would have proceeded had he actually been able to take Jorah into custody and conduct a proper trial, but there is no reason to take a trial that never took place as confirmation that a lord can put another lord to death. There are a number of possibilities how Ned could have proceeded if he truly wanted to see Jorah dead.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

Eddard says that Jorah "escaped Ice", which implies that he would have condemned him to death for poaching.

Not for poaching. For selling captured poachers into slavery.

This is a statement made after a trial that never took place. As far as we know Ned never conducted a proper trial, so his opinion there might reflect his certainty that Robert would have allowed him to execute Jorah.

But there are a number of ways to reconcile that with the facts. 

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

I don't think anyone is claiming that either. Surely not me. It's been established that Walder should respond to both Lord Tully and the King, just as Jorah responded to both Lord Stark and the king, and Osgrey responded to both Lord Rowan and the king.

I just wanted to stress the fact that such vows between king and lesser lord establish a bond which may be reflected by Gyldayn's statement that a lord cannot put another lord to death. It might be one of gods given rights and privileges the lords have since time immemorial.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

I'm not even claiming that I have knowledge of how the complex different levels of authority work in Westeros, in theory or in practice. I don't.  The information is not in the books, and we can only infer or speculate. I'm only saying that you are taking for granted conclusions that you are drawing from a statement that it's open to interpretation.

As I point out, that also goes for this Jorah example. 

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8 hours 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.

It does not have to be quite a "bureaucracy" But Frankish kingdom after Clovis survived minorities, the way that IIRC Visigoths and Lombards did not.

The key to persistence of a state is the institutions of court. Enough people need to be fighting to control the court, rather than break free from it.

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Posted (edited)

Just a point about the "primitive communications", but Westeros actually has quite sophisticated communication.  The closest real world analogy to to Ravens are homing pigeons, which were not even observed by Europeans until the 15th century even if their first use by Muslims was 12th century.  Even in comparison, Ravens were vastly superior as homing pigeons could only carry messages one way (to home) or very limited "round trip" routes of at best 100 miles and at speeds of about 60 miles per hour.  The next best analogy would be an efficiently set up pony express system would average about 75 miles per day, and best case 200.

So as an example, sending a missive to the Wal from Kings Landingl via pigeon or Raven would be comparable in speed (figure 2-3 days providing for time for a raven/pigeon to rest) but with the advantage of a Raven being omni-directional.  Alternatively, a pony express system would take  between 10-25 days to send a one way message.  Westeros is actually quite ahead of 18th century American and European communication, despite being a medieval society.

Edited by wendelsnatch

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23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

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.

This is what i mean by you trying to change the subject, i never commented on the Wardens i have only talked about Lord Paramounts. You drag other things into it when you feel cornered.

But to comment on the Warden thing i agree with you on this so we have common ground in that.

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13 minutes ago, direpupy said:

This is what i mean by you trying to change the subject, i never commented on the Wardens i have only talked about Lord Paramounts. You drag other things into it when you feel cornered.

This was not addressed to you, nor had it anything to do with you, nor were you under any obligation to respond to that. I marked it especially as a new subject of this discussion by introducing using 'As for the Warden thing:' and by starting a new paragraph.

If you were actually following this thread as closely as you should if you are participating (you give ample evidence above that you overlooked things that were discussed) then you would be aware that the Warden thing was brought up earlier in the thread, and I was elaborating/commenting on something I and others mentioned earlier.

Not sure why you are sharing your speculations on my emotional state and my (hidden) motivations. I'm certainly not interested in them, and I doubt this is the right place to share them with others who might be interested.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

This was not addressed to you, nor had it anything to do with you, nor were you under any obligation to respond to that. I marked it especially as a new subject of this discussion by introducing using 'As for the Warden thing:' and by starting a new paragraph.

If you were actually following this thread as closely as you should if you are participating (you give ample evidence above that you overlooked things that were discussed) then you would be aware that the Warden thing was brought up earlier in the thread, and I was elaborating/commenting on something I and others mentioned earlier.

Not sure why you are sharing your speculations on my emotional state and my (hidden) motivations. I'm certainly not interested in them, and I doubt this is the right place to share them with others who might be interested.

Anger is not helping you at all here you know and you did not mark it al clearly as you say you did, i also responded to it because it followed on you rant against me and as said you did not mark it clearly as a new thing at all, now if you had actually put the name of the person you where addresing there then it would have been clear but the way you put it now its certainly not clear.

perhaps you are better off not coming onto this forum if you can not stand critique.

 

Edited by direpupy

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Ran said:

Guys, keep it civil or I'll just start removing posts. If you have nothing constructive about the topic, but want to hash out personal issues, take it to PMs.

Sorry about that. i guess it is threatening to get out of hand, so thanks for the wake up call.

Edited by direpupy

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9 hours ago, wendelsnatch said:

I could see Lords feuding against others despite the Kings Peace like this guy Götz von Berlichingen.  Not that there is any proof, but it kind of works in my head canon

Doesn't sound like something the Targaryens would allow. Westeros isn't the HRE. Prior to the Conquest stuff like that might not have been uncommon, but Gyldayn tells us that the King's Peace was, for the overwhelming part, not broken once Aegon the Conqueror had established it.

Lords were no longer routinely resolving their differences by going to war against their neighbors - which they did prior to the Conquest, indicating that the idea/concept of the King's Peace was either Aegon's invention or only (nearly) universally enforced by Aegon and his successors - whereas the earlier kings lacked the strength to do this.

That the King's Peace was pretty much accepted by everyone is hinted at, for instance, by the fact that Lord Armond Connington did not try to settle the disputes over land he had with his lordly neighbors by means of local conquest - that kind of thing only happened when lord/royal power completely declined - like it did in the West under Tytos.

If the King's Peace had pretty much no teeth then various noble houses would be constantly at war with each other and the Iron Throne - and the great houses they are sworn to - would be powerless to stop the violence. Then the Seven Kingdoms would be neither proper kingdoms on an individual level nor collectively. But they are.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Doesn't sound like something the Targaryens would allow. Westeros isn't the HRE. Prior to the Conquest stuff like that might not have been uncommon, but Gyldayn tells us that the King's Peace was, for the overwhelming part, not broken once Aegon the Conqueror had established it.

Lords were no longer routinely resolving their differences by going to war against their neighbors - which they did prior to the Conquest, indicating that the idea/concept of the King's Peace was either Aegon's invention or only (nearly) universally enforced by Aegon and his successors - whereas the earlier kings lacked the strength to do this.

That the King's Peace was pretty much accepted by everyone is hinted at, for instance, by the fact that Lord Armond Connington did not try to settle the disputes over land he had with his lordly neighbors by means of local conquest - that kind of thing only happened when lord/royal power completely declined - like it did in the West under Tytos.

If the King's Peace had pretty much no teeth then various noble houses would be constantly at war with each other and the Iron Throne - and the great houses they are sworn to - would be powerless to stop the violence. Then the Seven Kingdoms would be neither proper kingdoms on an individual level nor collectively. But they are.

I am not really sold on how "peaceful" the Targaryen rule was as I am still making my way through F&B.  There very well could be little challenge to the Kings Peace and their rule may well has been a time of unparalleled peace.  There may also be numerous small feuds and battles between Lords that may not warrant mention because on average it was a more peaceful period relatively... but not "peaceful".  These little feuds while technically breaking the kings peace may be dealt with in wildly different ways possibly depending on the "strength" of the ruling king.  Fines may be the preferred punishment, loss of "status", ban from court, etc.  Again, I am just spitballing here and will hone or modify or flat out change what I think as I read through the remainder of F&B.

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:07 PM, wendelsnatch said:

I am not really sold on how "peaceful" the Targaryen rule was as I am still making my way through F&B.  There very well could be little challenge to the Kings Peace and their rule may well has been a time of unparalleled peace.  There may also be numerous small feuds and battles between Lords that may not warrant mention because on average it was a more peaceful period relatively... but not "peaceful".  These little feuds while technically breaking the kings peace may be dealt with in wildly different ways possibly depending on the "strength" of the ruling king.  Fines may be the preferred punishment, loss of "status", ban from court, etc.  Again, I am just spitballing here and will hone or modify or flat out change what I think as I read through the remainder of F&B.

There's no evidence of this in canon, though. The only violations of the king's peace we have seen are the two Greyjoy raiding periods and the Lannisters attacking the Riverlands in GOT. There were probably some small potatoes stuff like the Osgrey/Webber feud in the Sword Sword in turbulent times, however, but that's not at the level of what was described pre-Conquest. Of course it's worth considering that this is Targ propaganda but we've seen from multiple sources that the pre-Conquest era was more chaotic so it's probably true. The end of Ironborn raiding alone probably brought a lot of peace.

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So, I have read F&B up to the point of the Dance, and I certainly feel Westeros was by no means a peaceful place.  In comparison to pre-conquest Westeros, it was more peaceful, but far from peaceful.  There is no longer multiple warring kings, and the kings peace did seem to have some effect on military action between quarreling lords.  That being said, there seems to have been numerous Dornish raids, and 4 actual "wars".  In fact Dornish raid only seem to diminish to a degree and for a short time only after a major Dornish defeat.  In effect pre-Dance we have 129 years of essentially un-inturupted conflict with Dorne.

We also have a couple instances where Mountain Clan actions are specifically mentioned in the Vale.  These only bear mention in the text due to the involvement of notable people.  I firmly believe that there is more low level conflict in the Vale with the Mountain Clans that is just not text worthy.  Similarly, I would expect low level conflict with raiders from the Iron Islands.  Nothing "sanctioned" by the sea stone chair, but something that seaside villages from the North to the Reach would be concerned about.  The North would also have to contend with Wildling raiders.

We also know that the roads are dangerous places be it from robber knights, to poor fellows, to run of the mill brigands and outlaws.  This was an overriding reason Jaehaerys began building real roads, and even this did not completely solve the problem.

Overt war was rare and for good reason, they had Dragons!  It does seem that there is low level warfare on a nearly consistent basis.

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9 hours ago, wendelsnatch said:

So, I have read F&B up to the point of the Dance, and I certainly feel Westeros was by no means a peaceful place.  In comparison to pre-conquest Westeros, it was more peaceful, but far from peaceful.  There is no longer multiple warring kings, and the kings peace did seem to have some effect on military action between quarreling lords.  That being said, there seems to have been numerous Dornish raids, and 4 actual "wars".  In fact Dornish raid only seem to diminish to a degree and for a short time only after a major Dornish defeat.  In effect pre-Dance we have 129 years of essentially un-inturupted conflict with Dorne.

Sure, but that eventually ended when Dorne was brought into the Realm. The border between Dorne and the Marches is pretty short, meaning those conflicts usually affected only a tiny fraction of the population of the Seven Kingdoms. A place like Oldtown is only threatened during the major First Dornish War. The various Vulture Kings following the first were all jokes.

9 hours ago, wendelsnatch said:

We also have a couple instances where Mountain Clan actions are specifically mentioned in the Vale.  These only bear mention in the text due to the involvement of notable people.  I firmly believe that there is more low level conflict in the Vale with the Mountain Clans that is just not text worthy.  Similarly, I would expect low level conflict with raiders from the Iron Islands.  Nothing "sanctioned" by the sea stone chair, but something that seaside villages from the North to the Reach would be concerned about.  The North would also have to contend with Wildling raiders.

The clansmen of the mountains are basically a foreign force who do not acknowledge either the King's Peace or the Targaryen rule. Thus it is not surprising that they continue to do what they always did. However, we only learn things about foolish Arryns getting themselves killed in campaigns against them, not that they actually threatened the integrity of the Vale on a large scale.

Wildlings invasions in winter would also be foreign invasions, having nothing to do with the King's Peace.

Ironborn raids at Westerosi coasts seem to have ended with the Conquest. They only started again with the Red Kraken. Whether they completely seized thereafter until Dagon Greyjoy is unclear at this point. I'm inclined to believe that the lack of the dragons emboldened the Ironborn.

9 hours ago, wendelsnatch said:

We also know that the roads are dangerous places be it from robber knights, to poor fellows, to run of the mill brigands and outlaws.  This was an overriding reason Jaehaerys began building real roads, and even this did not completely solve the problem.

Overt war was rare and for good reason, they had Dragons!  It does seem that there is low level warfare on a nearly consistent basis.

You play up the situation here in the years after the constant warfare during Maegor's reign. That would have changed much infrastructure and caused people to steal and raid to survive - for a time, that is.

But, sure, as large a land as Westeros would always have some outlaws and the like, but they were no big deal.

The difference between before and after the Conquest is that prior to the Conquest the lords basically did what they wanted, both to their smallfolk (which they taxed and exploited at will) and their neighbors (with whom they warred whenever they wanted and could). There was no King's Peace, and the great houses of the various kingdoms apparently didn't really turn to their kings for justice or arbitration if they were challenged by their neighbors - they took justice and vengeance in their own hands, acting as little kings.

We also see the difference when Gyldayn elaborates on the feelings of the rebels who challenged the Targaryens after the death of the Conqueror. They were looking back to the time when men could still raise very high simply with a sword - something that very much implies that there was constant warfare and the various lords were vying for the allegiance of all the warriors they could draw to their banners - especially professional men-at-arms, freeriders, sellswords, etc.

Before the Conquest a man like Bronn could not just rise as high as Lord Stokeworth, he could rise much higher than that, possibly even conquering his own lordship by helping some great lord or king to extinguish a rival family and then seizing all or a decent fractions of the free lands for himself.

Especially in the Riverlands such things should have been very common.

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Let me put it this way.  The Lords and the Knights of the 7 kingdoms for the most part can be stereotyped as greedy, power hungry, and glory seeking.  We see this in the constant wars between Kings pre conquest, and in individual kings even when strong not being able to have the power consolidated from one generation to the next, as others challenge it in their pursuit of more power.  These attitudes will not change rapidly and at the very least will need an outlet.  These Lords and Knight still need some way to sate their desire for greed, power and glory.  Tourneys can only go so far and without other martial diversions the Lords and Knights will get restless.  The King Peace is great in principle, but bad in practice.  In all honesty, Wildling, Ironborn, Dornish, and Mountain Clan raiding serve as and additional method to sate the martial need of the Lords and Knights.  Regarding the situation on the roads and the level of banditry, I do not feel I am playing it up.  There are multiple examples of "robber knights", bands of poor fellows, outlaws, etc.  This was the case pre-conquest and it continued through the reign of Jaehaerys.  The only difference was who was more likely to rape/rob/or kill you.  F&B states that even Lords traveled the roads with heavy escort for this reason.  I would have no trouble believing that some part of this banditry was actually sponsored by one Lord targeting another.  Turning overt conflict into covert conflict.

Another point cementing that there was still a fair amount of warfare going on despite the Kings Peace (granted far less warfare then pre-conquest) is that there is plenty of instances in F&B describing people as a "seasoned commander", "daring and bloodthirsty", "proven in battle", etc.  Then we have Rodrick Dustin and his Winter Wolves, "every man a seasoned warrior".  I would question where all this experience comes from if the Kings Peace was followed.  If the Kings Peace were followed as it should have been, we should have seen a decrease in the martial traditions of the Nobility and Gentry, a turning of swords into plowshares if you will.  Yes the population boom shows this to a certain degree but Westeros is still a highly militarized and violent society.

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