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DominusNovus

The Night’s Watch and the Gift(s) don’t make sense

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On 2/10/2019 at 8:45 AM, DominusNovus said:

Because you’re picking at the examples, rather than the actual position. Thats rabbit hole territory, which gets us sucked down into debating how bad a winter has to be for the Trident to freeze over.

Fair enough.  I will agree with that.  

So I guess that I don't really understand the actual position.  I've read the OP at least 3 times and it seems like you were saying that the numbers of the Night's watch don't make sense-- meaning what, they should be higher? Also that the Gift(s) don't make sense, meaning why aren't there men/knights/petty lords to command the holdfasts?  Is this correct?

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1 hour ago, Wolf of the Steppes said:

Fair enough.  I will agree with that.  

So I guess that I don't really understand the actual position.  I've read the OP at least 3 times and it seems like you were saying that the numbers of the Night's watch don't make sense-- meaning what, they should be higher? Also that the Gift(s) don't make sense, meaning why aren't there men/knights/petty lords to command the holdfasts?  Is this correct?

More or less, but largely from the perspective that the Gift should be better populated (though I do think Westeros has a high enough population that the Watch should be far higher, even if its just a glorified penal colony, but thats not my argument here). 

Ultimately, it boils down to feudal obligations: those imposed on the inhabitants of the gift are preferable to those imposed by their neighbors in the North, and they’re sworn to neutrality theough the wars of the realm. Therefore, the population should be higher.

We get hints that the North has seen better days in general (note that parts of Winterfell are abandoned), but not that its on particularly hard times, prior to the Wot5K. Meanwhile, we get indications that the Gift is all but abandoned, with empty strongholds (the last places to be abandoned, logically). To me, it should be the reverse.

Additional thought:

Hell, every time a war starts, the contrast should be even more people running to the Gift. Imagine your a small freeholding farmer in the North, and your local lord comes by to tell you that his lord has called his banners because his lord has called his banners because the Targaryens are fighting somebody. The men of fighting age in your area are expected to head south for a year or more, especially those with skill at arms. This war is not a secret, and you know that the Wildlings will find out and pick up their raids long before the survivors get back. During wartime, its the imhabitant south of the Gift that should be more vulnerable to raids - their neighbors living under the rule of the Watch don’t have to send men south to fight.

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1 hour ago, DominusNovus said:

We get hints that the North has seen better days in general (note that parts of Winterfell are abandoned), but not that its on particularly hard times, prior to the Wot5K. Meanwhile, we get indications that the Gift is all but abandoned, with empty strongholds (the last places to be abandoned, logically). To me, it should be the reverse.

Well, more than hints, really.  The fact that they existed at all would mean that they were once populated.  I thought I explained why there was a decline and why things are the way they are now (obviously I didn't succeed in persuading you).  Which is fine, but if you agree with those points, I fail to see what your argument is.

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4 minutes ago, Wolf of the Steppes said:

Well, more than hints, really.  The fact that they existed at all would mean that they were once populated.  I thought I explained why there was a decline and why things are the way they are now (obviously I didn't succeed in persuading you).  Which is fine, but if you agree with those points, I fail to see what your argument is.

I think we’re talking at cross purposes here, then.

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