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Feather Crystal

A Faithful Knight in Winterfell

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1 hour ago, Ser Leftwich said:

This is either deliberately misleading or wrong. Catelyn was 12 when she was promised, not Brandon, he was 14 or 15. So The way the sentence, "Ned was 8 years old at the time" implies it was at the same time, as the arranged marriage, which is incorrect, Ned went to Jon Arryn ~4-5 years before the arranged marriage. We don't know the why, anything else is speculation.

We have already gone over this and established that Brandon was two years older than Catelyn, so when Rickard and Hoster negotiated their engagement Catelyn was 12 and Brandon was 14. Ned was around 18 years old when Robert's Rebellion began in 282 - placing his birth year close to 264, although depending upon what month he was born and which month the Rebellion began, this could be off a year. In The World of Ice and Fire in Aerys II's chapter it is said Ned was a year younger than Brandon, which would make him between Catelyn and Brandon in age pushing his being sent to Jon Arryn a lot earlier than I thought. Ned said he was 8 when he was sent to Jon Arryn:

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"I was eight when my father sent me to foster at the Eyrie," Ned said. "Ser Rodrik tells me there is bad feeling between Robb and Prince Joffrey. That is not healthy. Bran can bridge that distance. He is a sweet boy, quick to laugh, easy to love. Let him grow up with the young princes, let him become their friend as Robert became mine. Our House will be the safer for it."

If Ned was 18 in 282, then he was sent to Jon Arryn ten years prior to the Rebellion, which is still way too early to have anything to do with the Rebellion, which was the main point. Ned being fostered with Jon Arryn is frequently used as evidence of a grand conspiracy. I dispute that. It has also been suggested that he was a ward. A ward indicates he's a prisoner. I also dispute that, as there were no conflicts between the North and the Vale leading into the time period when he was sent. I have offered my own explanation which is a theory - that Rickard sent Ned to train as Jon Arryn's squire.

1 hour ago, Ser Leftwich said:

This is also misleading/wrong. Ned was not still living in the Eyrie. He was a sometimes guest of Jon after he turned 16. (Also, GRRM explicitly says Ned is not training for knighthood, so therefore, he is not. And it is not a little white lie.) SSM

"He was fostered, not exiled. Yes, certainly he returned home. Less frequently the first few years, when he would have been performing the duties of a page and then a squire, more often and for longer periods later. During his "squire" years (he wasn't a squire in the strict sense, since he wasn't training for knighthood, but he was acting as one), he would also have accompanied Jon Arryn on many travels out of the Vale. And once he reached the age of sixteen he was a man grown, free to come to go as he liked... which would have included both time at home and in the Vale, since Jon Arryn had become a second father. The same was true of Robert, who divided his time between Storm's End and the Vale after reaching manhood, not to mention dropping in on tourneys and whatever choice fights he could find."

The reason why I think GRRM is trying to twist his words here - which I have called a little white lie - is because he appears to be 'squirming' in his choice of words. He says Ned started out as a page, and then a squire, but not a squire in the strict sense, since he wasn't training for knighthood, but he was acting as one... - this is a lot of exceptions. And then he says Ned wasn't free to leave until he was sixteen. To me this all sounds a bit fishy.

1 hour ago, Ser Leftwich said:

We don't know that Rickard was involved at all. This is not supported in the text anywhere and is pure speculation/fan fic.

I am relying on A World of Ice and Fire for this one. In the Jaehaerys II chapter it states that the Band of Nine was a threat to the Seven Kingdoms (which includes the North), and that he called upon his lords bannermen. I took this to mean the lords of each of the seven great houses. This idea seems to be supported when reading a small window regarding Lord Ormund Baratheon on page 230 where it is said he fought and died beneath the Targaryen banner on the Stepstones during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. To me this indicates that each house didn't fight under their own banner, but rather all the lords of the seven kingdoms and their men fought as a unified army under a single banner: Jaehaerys's Targaryen one.

1 hour ago, Ser Leftwich said:

Just as likely to have come from Septa Mordane and Septon Chayle, who also tutored Bran and the other children. (Also, remember, Ned had the sept built for Catelyn. If Rickard was devout of the 7, wouldn't he have had one built?)

 

Luwin, Chayle, Mordane - they are all influencers at Winterfell, and having additional influencers only strengthens the case that the Starks were influenced by people who followed the Faith of the Seven. 

I had thought about that little sept that Catelyn says Ned built, and we had also discussed upthread about the religious aspect of knighthood, and I had already backed off a bit about the conversion. While there are hints, I cannot point to anything solid to say Rickard converted his faith, even though I suspect the old gods had become relegated to fairy tales, because of the way Ned scoffed at his children for believing in too many of Old Nan's tales.

Quote

 

"He was a wildling," Bran said. "They carry off women and sell them to the Others."

His lord father smiled. "Old Nan has been telling you stories again. In truth, the man was an oathbreaker, a deserter from the Night's Watch. No man is more dangerous. The deserter knows his life is forfeit if he is taken, so he will not flinch from any crime, no matter how vile. But you mistake me. The question was not why the man had to die, but why I must do it."

 

 

1 hour ago, Clegane'sPup said:

What difference does it make to the story whether Rickard or Brandon are knights.? A knight can make a knight as per Dunk in one of the short story's. My feeble memory does not remember how Jorah became a knight. 

I have already provided my opinion as to why it would be important if Rickard and Brandon had become knights, but I will repeat an abbreviated train of thought: If Brandon had not become a knight, he and his siblings may not have traveled to the tourney at Harrenhal to enter the lists. If they hadn't attended, Lyanna wouldn't have been crowned queen of love and beauty and she may not have been abducted, and if she hadn't been abducted then Brandon and Rickard would have never been executed. 

Jorah earned his spurs during the Greyjoy Rebellion. 

Quote

Ser Jorah nodded. "By then my father had taken the black, so I was Lord of Bear Island in my own right. I had no lack of marriage offers, but before I could reach a decision Lord Balon Greyjoy rose in rebellion against the Usurper, and Ned Stark called his banners to help his friend Robert. The final battle was on Pyke. When Robert's stonethrowers opened a breach in King Balon's wall, a priest from Myr was the first man through, but I was not far behind. For that I won my knighthood.

Interesting you brought up Jorah, because the Dothraki call him Jorah the Andal. Is he called "Andal' because they know he's of Andal ancestry, or is it because he's a knight and know that knighthood is an Andal thing? I am being like the Dothraki with regards to Rickard. I see the trappings of a knight, but was he really a knight or dressing and acting like one?

1 hour ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Looking at the below Arya stuffies in the first book Arya calls Sandor a knight. It revealed later that Sandor isn't a knight and does not want to be a knight.  When Joff and Cersei replaced Barry with  Sandor, Sandor refused to say the KG vows. Sandor was given the white cloak anyway.

I'm growing weary of the whole Sandor angle, because my position isn't so much that Sandor is a knight, but rather people believe he is a knight. It's apparent that people accepted him as a knight, otherwise he wouldn't feel the need to keep correcting people.

1 hour ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Please do not try to bait me by questioning my reading comprehension. Would you say that to a poster in Heresy.  No, I think not.  BTW, I find nothing faulty with @kissdbyfire reading comprehension.

I was refraining from listing all the times kissdbyfire misread what I wrote, but it just felt too petty to post a list. I finally resorted to listing her last one, but it's by no means her only instance. When it happens repeatedly it feels like she was purposely baiting me. I never said 'all houses' had a master-at-arms that was a knight. I said all 'great' houses had knights for their master-at-arms, which was a detail that I got from the wiki. But somewhere in between the time period where I made that assertion up until today, someone has changed the wording in the wiki and removed the citing, so I don't know where or how the original wording cited its claim. 

I didn't want this discussion to turn into an argument, but it has. This is why I've asked for this thread to be locked.

I saw something that seemed strange - specifically the way Rickard dressed for his trial by combat. He's dressed as a knight complete with spurs. It seems in stark (har!) contrast to the traditional image of a northman. The northmen are portrayed as being like the Danes from medieval England during the reign of King Albert. The Danes wore furs and boiled leather. (here's another subject that kissdbyfire misread what I had said) The only armor they had were spare parts taken off the slain. This is how I see the Starks and all the other houses of the north. And I view Rickard as a man that brought significant changes to Winterfell by bringing on a knight as his master-at-arms, sent his second son to train under Jon Arryn's guidance, sent Brandon to foster with house Dustin - a house that Domeric Bolton was also sent to foster at, which makes me wonder if the Dustin's also practiced knighthood. By the time Brandon rides to Kings Landing, he has his own squire. The Starks adopted the military training and practices of knighthood, and I think it's all due to Maester Walys's influence on Rickard. 

Edited by Feather Crystal

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9 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Interesting you brought up Jorah, because the Dothraki call him Jorah the Andal. Is he called "Andal' because they know he's of Andal ancestry, or is it because they know he's a knight and know that knighthood is an Andal thing?

No. It's because the Dothraki associate everyone from the 7 kingdoms as Andals.

Dany I,

Quote

The Dothraki called that land Rhaesh Andahli, the land of the Andals. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Jorah earned his spurs during the Greyjoy Rebellion. 

Thanks for that though I've got to be a bit nit picky.

26 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:
Quote

Ser Jorah nodded. "By then my father had taken the black, so I was Lord of Bear Island in my own right. I had no lack of marriage offers, but before I could reach a decision Lord Balon Greyjoy rose in rebellion against the Usurper, and Ned Stark called his banners to help his friend Robert. The final battle was on Pyke. When Robert's stonethrowers opened a breach in King Balon's wall, a priest from Myr was the first man through, but I was not far behind. For that I won my knighthood.

This the way I see or read stuff. Don't mean much in the long run. Earning ones spurs does not equate to winning ones knighthood.

Little Tommen had spurs.

A Clash of Kings - Sansa I    Yet Tommen put his spurs into his pony and galloped headlong across the yard, shouting with glee.

26 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

This is why I've asked for this thread to be locked.

What you are actually doing is locking down discussion. I made an assumption from faulty memory that Brandon was a ward of Tully. Someone corrected me. I asked who knighted Brandon. Does anyone know that?

26 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

I'm growing weary of the whole Sandor angle, because my position isn't so much that Sandor is a knight, but rather people believe he is a knight. It's apparent that people accepted him as a knight, otherwise he wouldn't feel the need to keep correcting people.

Yes, it appears that people do think that Sandor is a knight.

Then you and I have to delve into the definition of what a knight is.

As you and I know martin's use of words is ambiguous.

:P I almost messed up on names again --- Tommen vs Tormund.

Edited by Clegane'sPup
now matter how careful I try to be I mess up stuffies

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20 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

A ward indicates he's a prisoner.

No it doesn't, to be someone's ward just means you are under their protection.  that is all.  The basis for Theon being Eddard's ward and Ned being Jon Arryn's ward can be completely different. but they are still wards nonetheless.

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2 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Little Tommen had spurs.

A Clash of Kings - Sansa I    Yet Tommen put his spurs into his pony and galloped headlong across the yard, shouting with glee.

The phrase 'earned his spurs' is widely accepted to mean that someone was knighted on the battlefield.

2 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

What you are actually doing is locking down discussion. I made an assumption from faulty memory that Brandon was a ward of Tully. Someone corrected me. I asked who knighted Brandon. Does anyone know that?

I just don't have the patience or will to continue this discussion. Discussion should be fun and friendly and this one is turning ugly. I don't want the stress.

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1 minute ago, Feather Crystal said:

The phrase 'earned his spurs' is widely accepted to mean that someone was knighted on the battlefield.

I just don't have the patience or will to continue this discussion. Discussion should be fun and friendly and this one is turning ugly. I don't want the stress.

Then ignore the thread and let the minions sally forth. :cheers:

You don't have to reply --- just let someone spill the beans about who knighted Brandon.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Igziabeher said:

I can't believe we need to differentiate between the phrase "earned your spurs" and merely owning a pair of spurs, yet here we are.

weeel boyo there it is

spin, twist and turn --- then back flip

20 minutes ago, Igziabeher said:

No it doesn't, to be someone's ward just means you are under their protection.  that is all.  The basis for Theon being Eddard's ward and Ned being Jon Arryn's ward can be completely different. but they are still wards nonetheless.

tis not that simple

there are wards and there are hostages

although Eddard treated Theon reasonably well Theon was a hostage

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I understand there is a huge difference between ward and hostage, but being a ward doesn't imply being a hostage is all I'm saying.

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5 minutes ago, Igziabeher said:

I understand there is a huge difference between ward and hostage, but being a ward doesn't imply being a hostage is all I'm saying.

Same goes for knighthood. A knight can knight a knight.

As in a knight via martin's words can bestow knighthood on who he wants to.

Unless there is an anointment requirement.

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Let’s consider the word ward then. The Wall is ‘warded’ and iron swords and iron bars ‘ward’ the Winterfell crypts. The wards on the Wall presumably are preventing anyone from reversing the spells that were keeping magic contained. Likewise, the iron swords are wards that prevent the dead from rising. So keeping in line with the definition of these two wards - IMO a human ward means basically the same thing. They prevent the family of the ward from rising against whomever holds the ward. It’s a preventative measure to protect against something bad happening, therefore I don’t believe Ned was a ward.

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5 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Let’s consider the word ward then.

Darling you be way to smart.

As an aside dunna threaten to call in the mods or report those that disagree wit ya or shut down a thread unless you mean it.

You typed in the above opening thread:  If we have confirmation that Brandon was a knight with his own squire, then that gives credence to my theory that Rickard was also a knight, and that the reason why Ned was sent to the Vale was to become Jon Arryn's squire. Ned trained along side Jon's other squire, Robert Baratheon. They both remained in the Eyrie up until the Rebellion, because neither one of them had been knighted yet.

Third, maybe forth time I have asked, who knighted Brandon?

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2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

We have already gone over this and established that Brandon was two years older than Catelyn, so when Rickard and Hoster negotiated their engagement Catelyn was 12 and Brandon was 14. Ned was around 18 years old when Robert's Rebellion began in 282 - placing his birth year close to 264, although depending upon what month he was born and which month the Rebellion began, this could be off a year.

Brandon was born in 262 AC, Ned in 263, Catelyn in 264 or 265 AC. Ned was not 18 in 282 but in 281 AC.

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3 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

Darling you be way to smart.

As an aside dunna threaten to call in the mods or report those that disagree wit ya or shut down a thread unless you mean it.

You typed in the above opening thread:  If we have confirmation that Brandon was a knight with his own squire, then that gives credence to my theory that Rickard was also a knight, and that the reason why Ned was sent to the Vale was to become Jon Arryn's squire. Ned trained along side Jon's other squire, Robert Baratheon. They both remained in the Eyrie up until the Rebellion, because neither one of them had been knighted yet.

Third, maybe forth time I have asked, who knighted Brandon?

I don’t know, but there are two possibilities. If Brandon was sent to Lord Dustin to train as his squire, then Lord Dustin could have knighted him. Alternately if Rickard was the one to bring Ser Cassel to Winterfell, then he could have performed the dubbing.

It doesn’t bother me when people disagree with me, but I do take issue when my words get twisted or am repeatedly asked about a point that I’ve already offered an explanation for. If you don’t think I’ve provided sufficient evidence - fine. Say why you think so and then move along.  I find sweeping dismissals extremely frustrating and rude, because they give the impression that the person doing it didn’t consider the evidence provided fairly and only stopped by to take a giant crap.

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3 hours ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

Brandon was born in 262 AC, Ned in 263, Catelyn in 264 or 265 AC. Ned was not 18 in 282 but in 281 AC.

Ned’s birth year is estimated and doesn’t take into consideration for months. My own birthday is in December and people frequently assume I’m a year older than I am, not realizing I don’t turn another year older until the end of the year.

We have to rely on the World book to tell us Ned was a year younger than Brandon, but what month was Brandon born? It’s all a crap shoot and really not that important. What is important is how many years prior to the Rebellion was Ned sent to Jon Arryn. The further back in time, the less likely it had any connection to a conspiracy.

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3 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Ned’s birth year is estimated and doesn’t take into consideration for months. My own birthday is in December and people frequently assume I’m a year older than I am, not realizing I don’t turn another year older until the end of the year.

We have to rely on the World book to tell us Ned was a year younger than Brandon, but what month was Brandon born? It’s all a crap shoot and really not that important. What is important is how many years prior to the Rebellion was Ned sent to Jon Arryn. The further back in time, the less likely it had any connection to a conspiracy.

You made a wrong statement and I thought it would be interesting for you to know that, even when it does not change anything. Ned was not 18 in 282 when the rebellion started. Ned was 18 in 281 AC when the tourney at Harrenhal took place. So he can not have been born in 264. 

And you do not have to count the months when it comes to the Worldbook. Elio told us Yandel just looks at the year of birth and does not care for the exact timing within the year. But in Ned's case it does not matter anyway.

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Just now, Feather Crystal said:

We have already gone over this and established that Brandon was two years older than Catelyn, so when Rickard and Hoster negotiated their engagement Catelyn was 12 and Brandon was 14.

My take on the engagement is that it wasn't publicly announced until later and Brandon had just flat-out lied to Barbrey to get into her pants and then to break it up without looking like a jerk that he was. He had known that he was already betrothed to Cat when he took up with her, but he wanted to have some fun with a gullible noble girl in the meantime. IMHO, he also did something similar with Ashara Dayne later.

 

Just now, Feather Crystal said:

 He says Ned started out as a page, and then a squire, but not a squire in the strict sense, since he wasn't training for knighthood, but he was acting as one... - this is a lot of exceptions. And then he says Ned wasn't free to leave until he was sixteen. To me this all sounds a bit fishy.

So, let me ask you a question - how do you think the northeners handle the training of boys who become warriors? Or  do you think that their "armored lances" handle their kit without help? IMHO, the whole thing is just less formalized in the North, but the boys still need to learn the skills somehow. And there is nothing "fishy" about a ward/fosterling being unable to leave without express orders from his family until he reaches the age of majority - the whole point of fosterage is that they are responsible for him until he reaches adulthood.

 

Just now, Feather Crystal said:

I have already provided my opinion as to why it would be important if Rickard and Brandon had become knights, but I will repeat an abbreviated train of thought: If Brandon had not become a knight, he and his siblings may not have traveled to the tourney at Harrenhal to enter the lists.

See, this doesn't make sense, because the tourney of Ashford was the only one mentioned in all the books where non-knights were prohibited from entering the lists and even there, IIRC, they were free to enter the melee  competition, so there would have been something for Brandon to participate in even so, in the unlikely case that they would have refused to wave the rules for him. There are numerous examples of other tourneys where non-knights competed in jousting, and, in fact, a number of Targaryen princes have only been knighted after proving themselves in the lists. Not to mention that the Bracken and Blackwood feud during the D&E novellas exploded again because of the tourney mishap where Ser Otto Bracken killed his Blackwood opponent.

Oh, and while in the North only the Manderlies stage proper tourneys, the northeners also have melee events, BTW, - Theon remembers taking part in one.

 

Just now, Feather Crystal said:

If they hadn't attended, Lyanna wouldn't have been crowned queen of love and beauty and she may not have been abducted, and if she hadn't been abducted then Brandon and Rickard would have never been executed. 

Nor do you need to take part in a tourney in order to attend. Tywin Lannister never competed himself, as far as we know, but he spectated and staged a lot of tourneys. There is also no indication that Brandon and his siblings came just so Brandon could enter the lists - after all, neither Ned nor Robert did and they were also present. Robert entered melee, which Brandon would have been free to enter even if the rules had been as stupidly strict as at Ashford.

 

Just now, Feather Crystal said:

Jorah earned his spurs during the Greyjoy Rebellion. 

Yes, it seems that after Robert's and Greyjoy's Rebellions there was a number of old-gods-worshiping northeners who were knighted for valor, without having to change their religion, and they wore their titles as a badge of honor. I.e. - Ser Jorah Mormont, Ser Barthimus, Ser Helman Tallhart, Ser Mark Ryswell (Barbrey's brother? or cousin?), Ser Roderik Cassel. This may have been something new that Robert introduced when he became king.  Note, that this doesn't mean that their families adopted the "knightly lifestyle", as in none of the cases did the younger male family members also become knights in their turn.  

 

Just now, Feather Crystal said:

I saw something that seemed strange - specifically the way Rickard dressed for his trial by combat. He's dressed as a knight complete with spurs. It seems in stark (har!) contrast to the traditional image of a northman. The northmen are portrayed as being like the Danes from medieval England during the reign of King Albert.

But they are not, apart from the mountain clansmen, who are paticularly poor and live in places not suited for larger horses. You are thinking about the Ironborn, or maybe about the show, rather than the books. As Luwin specifically pointed out to Bran during the gathering of troops at Winterfell in AGoT, the northern "armored lances" are functionally the same as knights. Tyrion thought so too, during the battle at the Green Fork, where he faced a number of well-armored and well-armed opponents. Robb's expeditionary force to the Westerlands consisted _only_ of heavy cavalry and most of them were northeners. Etc., etc.

Finally, a ward is not necessarily a hostage, but a synonym for a fosterling.

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10 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I saw something that seemed strange - specifically the way Rickard dressed for his trial by combat. He's dressed as a knight complete with spurs. It seems in stark (har!) contrast to the traditional image of a northman. The northmen are portrayed as being like the Danes from medieval England during the reign of King Albert. The Danes wore furs and boiled leather. (here's another subject that kissdbyfire misread what I had said) The only armor they had were spare parts taken off the slain. This is how I see the Starks and all the other houses of the north.

 

The Cassels are a northern house, but Jory Cassel wears plate armor, not furs and leather or bits he scavenged from battle and Jory's uncle, Rodrik, chose to be knighted, but the rest of the family seems not to hold it in much high regard. So, I think basing your determination of a whole culture on the personal choices of individuals is a bit skewed. Just because Brandon preferred the trappings of a knight doesn't mean he was knighted.

 

10 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

And I view Rickard as a man that brought significant changes to Winterfell by bringing on a knight as his master-at-arms, sent his second son to train under Jon Arryn's guidance, sent Brandon to foster with house Dustin - a house that Domeric Bolton was also sent to foster at, which makes me wonder if the Dustin's also practiced knighthood. By the time Brandon rides to Kings Landing, he has his own squire. The Starks adopted the military training and practices of knighthood, and I think it's all due to Maester Walys's influence on Rickard. 

 

Learning to squire doesn't necessarily lead to knighthood. Historically, many men were squires for their entire military career. Learning the intricacies of horse, armor and sword would be important for any warrior in Westerosi cultures and some cross culture influence/training doesn't seem out of place in a world that has had these people living close to each other for millennia.

So, Rickard and Brandon could be knighted (it would play into the "southron ambitions" rumor), but why hide the fact? No one refers to them as Ser AFAIK and since Ser Rodrik and Ser Jorah don't shy away from the title...

 

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6 hours ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

You made a wrong statement and I thought it would be interesting for you to know that, even when it does not change anything. Ned was not 18 in 282 when the rebellion started. Ned was 18 in 281 AC when the tourney at Harrenhal took place. So he can not have been born in 264. 

And you do not have to count the months when it comes to the Worldbook. Elio told us Yandel just looks at the year of birth and does not care for the exact timing within the year. But in Ned's case it does not matter anyway.

Sure, thank you. As for Maester Yandel, me thinks he just doesn't want us to look at the timeline too closely. ;)

4 hours ago, Maia said:

My take on the engagement is that it wasn't publicly announced until later and Brandon had just flat-out lied to Barbrey to get into her pants and then to break it up without looking like a jerk that he was. He had known that he was already betrothed to Cat when he took up with her, but he wanted to have some fun with a gullible noble girl in the meantime. IMHO, he also did something similar with Ashara Dayne later.

Agreed. This is a reasonable interpretation of Brandon's motivations, although we cannot know for sure since he's dead before the story begins and only get Barbary's side. 

I actually think Ned and Ashara had a romantic affair. Neither of them were promised at the time, so why not? Ned may be honorable, but he's not immune to teen hormones!

4 hours ago, Maia said:

So, let me ask you a question - how do you think the northeners handle the training of boys who become warriors? Or  do you think that their "armored lances" handle their kit without help? IMHO, the whole thing is just less formalized in the North, but the boys still need to learn the skills somehow. And there is nothing "fishy" about a ward/fosterling being unable to leave without express orders from his family until he reaches the age of majority - the whole point of fosterage is that they are responsible for him until he reaches adulthood.

Of course I would expect the northerners to have their own training programs, but what I wouldn't expect is for them to also have pages and squires. Again I look to the Danes/Vikings for examples. Of course they trained and had their techniques. It's what made them successful against the armored English. I don't know how factual The Last Kingdom depicted English and Dane conflicts, but on the show it demonstrated that the English picked up on the Dane's signature shield wall technique. I think both sides learned from each other adopting techniques that were especially effective. I would expect nothing less from GRRM's world, but its kind of my point. How far back did the north begin implementing Andal fighting techniques? Perhaps Rickard ignored the religious aspect, but went full on with the training of knights? Maybe he was the first to bring on a knight for his master-at-arms so that he could implement the page, squire, to knight program. But when he began negotiating marriage contracts outside the north in order to make alliances, Lady Barbary thought that was a step too far in the Andal direction.

4 hours ago, Maia said:

See, this doesn't make sense, because the tourney of Ashford was the only one mentioned in all the books where non-knights were prohibited from entering the lists and even there, IIRC, they were free to enter the melee  competition, so there would have been something for Brandon to participate in even so, in the unlikely case that they would have refused to wave the rules for him. There are numerous examples of other tourneys where non-knights competed in jousting, and, in fact, a number of Targaryen princes have only been knighted after proving themselves in the lists. Not to mention that the Bracken and Blackwood feud during the D&E novellas exploded again because of the tourney mishap where Ser Otto Bracken killed his Blackwood opponent.

Oh, and while in the North only the Manderlies stage proper tourneys, the northeners also have melee events, BTW, - Theon remembers taking part in one.

 

Entering the lists means to joust, which is reserved for knights. I suppose a northern warrior who also owned a full set of armor could try and enter, but if he were not trained in jousting - which is likely part of knighthood training - then he's going to get creamed.

Lady Barbary talked about how Brandon loved his sword:

Quote

 

It was true. "Someone has been down here stealing swords. Brandon's is gone as well."

"He would hate that." She pulled off her glove and touched his knee, pale flesh against dark stone. "Brandon loved his sword. He loved to hone it. 'I want it sharp enough to shave the hair from a woman's cunt,' he used to say. And how he loved to use it. 'A bloody sword is a beautiful thing,' he told me once."

 

She makes it sound like he was talking about his dick at the same time, but it gives a little insight into his personality and possibly his motivations in wanting to try his skills in the tourney. 

4 hours ago, Maia said:

Nor do you need to take part in a tourney in order to attend. Tywin Lannister never competed himself, as far as we know, but he spectated and staged a lot of tourneys. There is also no indication that Brandon and his siblings came just so Brandon could enter the lists - after all, neither Ned nor Robert did and they were also present. Robert entered melee, which Brandon would have been free to enter even if the rules had been as stupidly strict as at Ashford.

True, but it's a god-awful long way to go just to watch. Harrenhal is closer to Kings Landing than it is to Winterfell - a journey that could've taken a month. Ned, Lyanna, and Benjen would've been excited to watch their brother show off his skills. What fun is a 'game' if you don't have someone to root for?

While I cannot prove with certainty the reason why Ned didn't participate, it is possible that it's because he wasn't a knight. 

The Knight of the Laughing Tree had to fight the three knights of the three squires, because the squires weren't allowed to enter. 

4 hours ago, Maia said:

But they are not, apart from the mountain clansmen, who are paticularly poor and live in places not suited for larger horses. You are thinking about the Ironborn, or maybe about the show, rather than the books. As Luwin specifically pointed out to Bran during the gathering of troops at Winterfell in AGoT, the northern "armored lances" are functionally the same as knights. Tyrion thought so too, during the battle at the Green Fork, where he faced a number of well-armored and well-armed opponents. Robb's expeditionary force to the Westerlands consisted _only_ of heavy cavalry and most of them were northeners. Etc., etc.

GRRM said armor was very expensive, so the armored lances of Winterfell were probably outfitted by the Lord of Winterfell. And since it appears Rickard adopted the knighthood program, the men were properly trained.

4 hours ago, Maia said:

Finally, a ward is not necessarily a hostage, but a synonym for a fosterling.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, because I think there is a difference. A human ward is taken against will while a fosterling is sent voluntarily.

4 hours ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

The Cassels are a northern house, but Jory Cassel wears plate armor, not furs and leather or bits he scavenged from battle and Jory's uncle, Rodrik, chose to be knighted, but the rest of the family seems not to hold it in much high regard. So, I think basing your determination of a whole culture on the personal choices of individuals is a bit skewed. Just because Brandon preferred the trappings of a knight doesn't mean he was knighted.

I concede that I don't have concrete evidence, but I think I've picked up on something. I understand the author tends to reveal things in waves of three: 1) hinted at, 2) a little more information, and 3) spelled out. I think we're on wave two. We have a lot of information about knighthood. We just don't have the spelled out confirmation of what Rickard did.

4 hours ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

So, Rickard and Brandon could be knighted (it would play into the "southron ambitions" rumor), but why hide the fact? No one refers to them as Ser AFAIK and since Ser Rodrik and Ser Jorah don't shy away from the title...

Since a Lord is above a knight in society, Rickard wouldn't have taken that title, while Brandon was the heir - a position that was also likely higher than a knight.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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