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Posted (edited)

So I was reading AWOIAF family trees at the back and looked at House Stark. Cregan Stark’s son by his second wife (who was also a Stark), named Edric, married Cregan’s granddaughter(Serena) by his third wife. So Edric basically married his niece!

Secondly, we have Cregan’s other son Jonnel, who married Serena’s sister.

But that’s not all! Let us take Lord Beron Stark, he had 7 kids. 2nd son Willam married and fathered Edwyle. 7th son Rodrik married and fathered Lyarra. Then Edwyle fathered Rickard, and Rickard married Lyarra! This is also the same Rickard burned alive by Aerys (Ned’s dad). 

So to recap we have two cases of uncle marrying niece (or half niece or whatever), and one case of woman marrying her cousin’s kid. And Cregan’s wife was a Stark too, but it isn’t made clear if she is from main branch or not. This is only in the past 11 generations of House Stark as well, so R’hllor knows how much incest there has been before then.

Thanks for reading :) 

 

Edited by McGuv19
Enforcing R’hllor’s will

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Cousins aren't considered incest in their world. Tywin and Joanna were cousins, no on cared. As you say, the Cregan Stark heirs seemed to be a case of consolidating claims and even then they weren't full uncles so there is some wiggle room, They are most definitely not in the Targaryen business.

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There is a stark tendency in House Stark to marry their own - not sibling incest, of course, but close relations. Cregan Stark's third wife Lynara was a born Stark as well, possibly a daughter of one of Cregan's first cousins - the ones he imprisoned along with their father Bennard when he finally took power in Winterfell.

And note that the family tree only indicates such marriages through the male line - how many female line Starks were married to their male line Stark uncles, nephews, first and second cousins is completely unclear. We can only guess at how many a Stark daughter married into a great northern house only to see her daughter or granddaughter becoming the bride of her lord nephew or lord grand-nephew.

This is all not incest by the standards of Westeros - nor by the standards of most cultures and countries of the real world (where first cousin matches are totally fine) - but it is a striking confirmation that the nobility of Westeros are inbred to a very high degree.

I mean, just think of the fact that there were nine Tyrell-Gardener marriages since the Tyrells became stewards at Highgarden, yet after the Conquest the great houses of the Reach did not view the Tyrells as close kin of the Gardeners - what does this imply for the degree of interrelatedness between the Gardeners and the great houses of the Reach? Most likely that they are all first cousins a dozen times over...

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Posted (edited)

You are correct that those 2 half uncles married their nieces. We don't know the full story, but it's pretty clear this was related to a power grab by the half-uncles, and it caused great turmoil in the North (we know it's been stated by text that turmoil followed in the North after Rickon Stark's death in Dorne).

Serena and her sister were first in line to inherit. Their father was the first son, first child, of the first wife of Cregan Stark. He would have been lord of WF after Cregan. But he went off to fight for the Daeron Targaryen king who conquered Dorne in no time, but both Daeron and Cregan's eldest son got killed there.

Cregan Stark married Black Ally whom he met during the Hour of the Wolf in KL, in the aftermath of the Dance of Dragons. She gave him four daughters.

Then he married a Lynara Stark, who at best is a far cousin, who gave him four sons and a daughter. She certainly is not a granddaughter of Bennard Stark, for all three nephews of Cregan died before being wed, and if George had wanted to make her a legitimized bastard daughter of either Benjen, Brandon or Elric Stark, George could have done so, He didn't.

Because Rickon Stark was Cregan's heir, Serena would have inherited WF. A daughter comes before a brother. It requires a will from a Lord of WF to scrap a woman as heir. And that it wasn't Cregan's intention to wed Serena to his younger sons is made clear by the fact that Serena was first wed to Jon Umber and Jonnel Stark was wed to Robyn Ryswell.

With at least one granddaughter grown, and four daughters with Black Aly, Cregan must have been an older or senior man by the time he wed his 3rd wife. Notice that none of Black Aly's 4 daughters were wed to anyone. You really think they died of illness? There is a huge chance all four were murdered. Nor do we know the circumstances on how Jon Umber, Serena's first husband, died. It is likely he too had some foul accident not long after being wed to Serena, for Serena had no children by him, and yet she had four children by her half-uncle Edric. 

Then Jonnel and Edric Stark, two brothers, the eldest of the 4 sons, married Serena and Sansa Stark. The second sister shares Sansa's name, who is coveted as a bride in the 7k for Winterfell. This is the nice that Jonnel, the eldest half-uncle weds. That should be a huge hint. And Jonnel Stark became Lord of WF. Jonnel was Lord of WF just long enough for his brother Edric to father twin boys and 2 daughters upon Serena Stark.

Then Edric dies before Jonnel, since Edric never got to be Lord of WF, and Jonnel died as well, since the third brother Barthogan got to be Lord of WF, despite the fact that Edric's twin boys and daughters would also have come before him. Guess those twin boys either died of sickness, problematic genes or were killed. Barthogan didn't live long either though. We know he died due to a Skagos uprising. And so, only one more son was left, Brandon Stark who was wed to someone not-Stark (Karstarks are a far removed branch), and he became Lord of WF. Serena's two surviving daughters, who normally should have been considered as heirs, were wed off to an Umber and a Cerwyn.

Serena's daughters by Jonnel though must have been scrapped from the line of inheritance through a will, for when Robb and Cat discuss potential Stark relations, Cat mentions potential heirs in the Vale, but Umbers and Cerwyns are never brought up.

Conclusion: Jonnel and Edric wanted to take an example after the Targs, and for power grab reasons forced their nieces to wed them and it caused a great civil unrest in the North that led to the death of three Stark brothers and a Stark branch stricken forever out of consideration. So, nope, the incest was not acceptable. When that many brothers Stark end up being Lord of WF one after the other (one generation time) and that many daughters Stark go unwed, something really bad happened. It's a worse kill off than what caused Eddard Stark to be lord of WF in the time of Robert's Rebellion.

There's a reason why Alys Karstark frames her great-uncle trying to wed her to Cregan Karstark as an "uncle-niece" power grab, even though Cregan Karstark should be considered a cousin.

 

Edited by sweetsunray

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It was a one off power grab by the Manderly’s of the time. It was NOT a normal occurrence. 

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3 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Then he married a Lynara Stark, who at best is a far cousin, who gave him four sons and a daughter. She certainly is not a granddaughter of Bennard Stark, for all three nephews of Cregan died before being wed, and if George had wanted to make her a legitimized bastard daughter of either Benjen, Brandon or Elric Stark, George could have done so, He didn't.

There is no evidence for the bolded claim. Those family trees are not complete (e.g. the younger brother who apparently reminded Lord Cregan of Jacaerys which already existed when TWoIaF - because he was part of the original FaB TDotD manuscript). Ran has also gone on record saying that many of the Starks in the family tree - especially the many daughters - actually were married but George wasn't in the mood to invent names for all those spouses.

2 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

It was a one off power grab by the Manderly’s of the time. It was NOT a normal occurrence. 

You mean of Lynara Stark and/or the sons who married their half-nieces, right?

But there isn't really any evidence to any of that at this point. For all we know Lord Cregan couldn't possibly see a mere granddaughter of his to rule over Stark men, Winterfell, and the entire North, thus decreeing that said granddaughter(s) marry his sons by Lynara Stark. But even that's unclear considering we have no idea who Serena Stark's first spouse was - her Stark half-uncle or the Jon Umber who gave her four children.

The power grab scenario is also somewhat strange in light of the fact that Lynara's oldest son, the future Lord Jonnel Stark, did marry his younger half-niece Sansa rather than the older half-niece Serena. Also, it is rather obvious that the succession of Lord Cregan's would have been resolved by the Old Man of the North himself after his son and heir Rickon had died in Dorne. He would have named his heir, nobody else, and it seems rather obvious that he did not name either of his granddaughters by Rickon. If he had done that then Serena Stark would have ruled the North as Lady of Winterfell, not Jonnel One Eye.

Considering the rather weak and insignificant position of Stark women in the North - George confirming that no woman ever ruled as Queen of Winter, Queen in the North, or Lady of Winterfell, meaning there is no actual precedent a daughter of Rickon could cite to back her claim to Winterfell.

In that sense, this whole thing was most likely not a power grab - because no male Stark would ever have a need to marry a niece or another female relation to strengthen his own claim - but rather a means to keep the family together, to allow Rickon's daughters to actually share in the rule of the North. This way a proper war of succession - like it happened after the death of Lady Jeyne Arryn - was avoided in the North.

Overall, it is quite clear that marriages among close kin are rather common among the Starks if also consider Cregan-Lynara and Rickard-Lyarra - and don't forget all those Manderlys, Lockes, Royces, etc. the Starks frequently pick brides from. They are not only interbred through the male line but also through the female line, just as the Tyrells and Redwynes are.

It is quite clear, though, one assumes, that avuncular marriages like Jonnel-Sansa and Edric-Serena are not that common (although possibly not unlikely when the family branches out too far and a long-lived lord like Cregan has too many heirs) but (first) cousin marriages are common. Keep in mind that neither Sansa nor Lysa have any issue with Sansa's degree of kinship to her first cousin Lord Robert Arryn when that betrothal is put on the table.

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Posted (edited)

Hey LV,

you’re looking at it from the Stark side, which is the misdirection. The reader should be looking at it from the Manderly side. The two girls were half Manderly, and whoever momma/poppa Manderly at the time wanted in to the Stark family so badly that they warped the situation.  A recent reread of the Sworn Sword shows a very similar issue with poppa(?) Manderly in that story as well. 

The Starks did not repeat the close relation marriage ever, not before and not after. Those two incest lines died out almost immediately, because in Martinworld incest leads to downfalls of a dynasty and it seems Martin needed the Starks around for a while. Second cousins once removed seems to be the defining line. 

Its late and I’m bushed, so I’ll (hopefully) have time tomorrow to respond more. 

Oh, the stuff with Lysa, yeah, she is quite mentally unstable... all that one needs to know. 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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7 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Hey LV,

you’re looking at it from the Stark side, which is the misdirection. The reader should be looking at it from the Manderly side. The two girls were half Manderly, and whoever momma/poppa Manderly at the time wanted in to the Stark family so badly that they warped the situation.  A recent reread of the Sworn Sword shows a very similar issue with poppa(?) Manderly in that story as well. 

Sorry, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that (1) Rickon's wife Jeyne Manderly was still alive when her daughters married their half-uncles, or (2) that she had any hand in the marriages of her daughters. This whole thing did happen while Lord Cregan Stark was still alive and would have been done with his permission.

And as I laid out, a power grab scenario would only make sense if anybody in the North considered Serena and Sansa the rightful heirs to Winterfell - which is exceedingly unlikely because they were female and no woman had ever ruled Winterfell or the North in her own right. Not to mention that Lord Cregan himself would have ruled on his own succession, naming and grooming a new heir after his oldest son Rickon had died in Dorne.

Do you think Lord Cregan had to marry his granddaughters to his sons to name them his heirs? I don't think so. Instead I assume he married his granddaughters to his sons to please both his chosen heirs - his sons by Lady Lynara Stark - and the daughters of his late heir and eldest son, Rickon.

The really tricky stuff only starts after Cregan's death - when Lord Jonnel One Eye Stark is succeeded by his brother Barthogan Black Sword Stark rather than his brother Edric or the children Edric had with his wife and half-niece Serena. But that would have happened long after the uncles married their half-nieces and after Lord Cregan himself was dead.

According to the MUSH Serena and Cregan's second son, Jonnel, were both born in 150 AC, making them both seven years old when Rickon died at Sunspear in 157 AC. The children likely grew up together, there is no indication that either side wanted to dominate the other by those marriage.

But if we were to pretend for a moment that the thing was a power grab then Rickon's wife Jeyne Manderly wouldn't have had anything to do with it - rather Lady Lynara Stark and/or her sons Jonnel and Edric. Because if we go by primogeniture then Winterfell should have passed from Cregan to Serena and Sansa, meaning that their half-uncles had to marry them to share in their power. If such marriages among close kin were problematic then Lady Jeyne Manderly - Serena and Sansa's mother - would have opposed such marriages whereas Lady Lynara Stark and her sons would have insisted on them to ensure that the male line take power in the North.

7 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

The Starks did not repeat the close relation marriage ever, not before and not after. Those two incest lines died out almost immediately, because in Martinworld incest leads to downfalls of a dynasty and it seems Martin needed the Starks around for a while. Second cousins once removed seems to be the defining line.

The bold is not making sense - if you check the family tree you know that Serena Stark had four children by her half-uncle Edric, the sons Cregard and Torrhen Stark and the daughters Arrana and Aregelle Stark, with the latter two marrying Osric Umber and Robard Cerwyn, respectively, and the family tree confirming that these unions produced issue as well, issue that could very well be the direct ancestors of the present-day Cerwyns and Umbers.

It might be that Cregard and Torrhen predeceased Lord Cregan, explaining why Winterfell did pass to Jonnel and then Barthogan rather than Edric's sons, but there is no evidence for this at this point. Lord Cregan could have just decided to prefer the sons of his own body to his grandsons who also happened to be his great-grandsons - like Jaehaerys I always preferred his sons over his grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

It is quite clear that the female line of Edric and Serena did not die out.

You also have to keep in mind that originally, it seems, Winterfell passed from Lord Cregan to Jonnel One Eye and his half-niece wife Sansa. Thus Rickon's line did have a share in the rule of the North. But Jonnel and Sansa did not produce any offspring, and for some reason Jonnel was not followed by his second brother Edric but by his third brother Barthogan. Could be that Edric predeceased Jonnel but it is also possible that the guy was disinherited for some reason. While we don't know when exactly Lord Cregan died we also have no idea how old his sons by Lady Lynara Starks were at the time, nor how old the children of Edric and Serena were. Chances are not that bad that Serena and Edric's children were passed over when Jonnel died - assuming Edric was dead already - because they were still very young whereas Jonnel's brother Barthogan was already a man grown and capable to deal with the challenges House Stark faced at the time.

7 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Oh, the stuff with Lysa, yeah, she is quite mentally unstable... all that one needs to know. 

Lysa being mentally unstable has nothing to do with her suggesting that her son should marry Sansa. But the point I was making was also that mentally stable Sansa was not horrified by the thought of marrying her first cousin because he was her first cousin - she did not like the thought very much because of Robert's character, not because of their degree of kinship.

If it was taboo to marry close kin then Sansa should and would have cited their degree of kinship as a reason against her planned marriage to Lord Robert, just as Lysa likely wouldn't have suggested such a thing considering that she would have grown up with such a taboo, too.

Also, Alys Karstark wasn't opposed to marry her granduncle Arnolf's son Cregan because of their degree of kinship, but because Arnolf was trying to steal Karhold from her older brother Harrion, trying to get him killed.

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Not going to spend too much time on this because you know and I know, and I know that you know, that GRRM out incest in to this story (as he did with his other few that mention incest) because it is the loudest and clearest downfall of a dynasty ingredient ever. Always. And you know that I know that you know this converstion between has been going on for hunnerds of years at this point, and it's crap. And by crap, I mean the idea that incest is something readers are supposed to just read, shrug and think "oh well, must be normal", and go on rolling over while never, ever questioning why was it included. That's as bad as thinking Trant is the better knight because he simply "just followed orders", while Jaime is bad because he thought for himself and did what was right for the good of the realm.

Ok, a few briefies...

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sorry, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that (1) Rickon's wife Jeyne Manderly was still alive when her daughters married their half-uncles, or (2) that she had any hand in the marriages of her daughters. This whole thing did happen while Lord Cregan Stark was still alive and would have been done with his permission.

 

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And as I laid out, a power grab scenario would only make sense if anybody in the North considered Serena and Sansa the rightful heirs to Winterfell - which is exceedingly unlikely because they were female and no woman had ever ruled Winterfell or the North in her own right. Not to mention that Lord Cregan himself would have ruled on his own succession, naming and grooming a new heir after his oldest son Rickon had died in Dorne.

Do you think Lord Cregan had to marry his granddaughters to his sons to name them his heirs? I don't think so. Instead I assume he married his granddaughters to his sons to please both his chosen heirs - his sons by Lady Lynara Stark - and the daughters of his late heir and eldest son, Rickon.

There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Bend the rules however you so wish, as long as it's technically true.

No. Again, the Sworn Sword also gives clues to a powergrab. Won't quote it all, but read that story again, because crass shyte happens because of plans and blind obedience, and other crass crapness. Again, you are looking the wrong way, ranger:

  • The Sworn Sword

"Never," said Ser Eustace. The Red Widow shook her head.

Ser Lucas Inchfield looked at Lady Rohanne, his face dark with fury. "You will marry me when this mummer's farce is done. As your lord father wished."

"My lord father never knew you as I do," she gave back.

  • The Sworn Sword

    "She is too good a horse for me. Just look at her."

    A flush crept up Rohanne's face. She clutched her braid, twisting it between her fingers. "I had to marry, you know that. My father's will . . . oh, don't be such a fool."

    "What else should I be? I'm thick as a castle wall and bastard born as well."

 

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The bold is not making sense - if you check the family tree you know that Serena Stark had four children by her half-uncle Edric, the sons Cregard and Torrhen Stark and the daughters Arrana and Aregelle Stark, with the latter two marrying Osric Umber and Robard Cerwyn, respectively, and the family tree confirming that these unions produced issue as well, issue that could very well be the direct ancestors of the present-day Cerwyns and Umbers.

It might be that Cregard and Torrhen predeceased Lord Cregan, explaining why Winterfell did pass to Jonnel and then Barthogan rather than Edric's sons, but there is no evidence for this at this point. Lord Cregan could have just decided to prefer the sons of his own body to his grandsons who also happened to be his great-grandsons - like Jaehaerys I always preferred his sons over his grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

It is quite clear that the female line of Edric and Serena did not die out.

Show me where they lived on. Show me where it was normal and repeated in the Stark line. Or any other lineage in Westeros. Or in Essos. Or in the far-far east. Sothoryos?

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You also have to keep in mind that originally, it seems, Winterfell passed from Lord Cregan to Jonnel One Eye and his half-niece wife Sansa. Thus Rickon's line did have a share in the rule of the North. But Jonnel and Sansa did not produce any offspring, and for some reason Jonnel was not followed by his second brother Edric but by his third brother Barthogan. Could be that Edric predeceased Jonnel but it is also possible that the guy was disinherited for some reason. While we don't know when exactly Lord Cregan died we also have no idea how old his sons by Lady Lynara Starks were at the time, nor how old the children of Edric and Serena were. Chances are not that bad that Serena and Edric's children were passed over when Jonnel died - assuming Edric was dead already - because they were still very young whereas Jonnel's brother Barthogan was already a man grown and capable to deal with the challenges House Stark faced at the time.

I know the supposed line of succession, and what did and did not happen. Been talking about this with you for years now.

Cheers, by the way :cheers:

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Lysa being mentally unstable has nothing to do with her suggesting that her son should marry Sansa. But the point I was making was also that mentally stable Sansa was not horrified by the thought of marrying her first cousin because he was her first cousin - she did not like the thought very much because of Robert's character, not because of their degree of kinship.

Yes, it is. Plain and simple, it is Martin's writing style to the F'ing core. Lysa was a fire-women, and this is one part of that fire-woman archetype, like Cersei, Dany, maybe Arianne, etc. There is a literary list of what fire-women do (and no, it's not reserved for just this type, but each elemental types). This is part of the 'madness' schtick, as well as one dominating person having blood-moon control over females when it comes to that females marriage/reproductions choices.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If it was taboo to marry close kin then Sansa should and would have cited their degree of kinship as a reason against her planned marriage to Lord Robert, just as Lysa likely wouldn't have suggested such a thing considering that she would have grown up with such a taboo, too.

Sansa does, only the author shows it in this arc, as well as telling it to the reader over and over and over again in various other arcs and stories... that this ain't normal, nor is it ideal, and all it does it create 'crazies', maintains a massive divide in free will, social progress, etc. This concept will end.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Also, Alys Karstark wasn't opposed to marry her granduncle Arnolf's son Cregan because of their degree of kinship, but because Arnolf was trying to steal Karhold from her older brother Harrion, trying to get him killed.

Oh boy, again, the story is there, and it is all over. But here, yes, exactly, the too-close relation is a powergrab- plain and simple. Do you expect each and every character that is shoved into this situation to met out a laundry list of do's and don't's'? A page of boring dialogue that is literally telling the readers what is going on, what the rules are, how this is good/bad? That isn't how good authors perform. They show we readers all over the place that 'X' is wrong and then shows us multiple times why and what the outcome always is. Therefore, the next time we see it on page, we don't need the author to hold our hands and give us another page of boring narration that here is the bad X. We should know.

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4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Not going to spend too much time on this because you know and I know, and I know that you know, that GRRM out incest in to this story (as he did with his other few that mention incest) because it is the loudest and clearest downfall of a dynasty ingredient ever. Always. And you know that I know that you know this converstion between has been going on for hunnerds of years at this point, and it's crap. And by crap, I mean the idea that incest is something readers are supposed to just read, shrug and think "oh well, must be normal", and go on rolling over while never, ever questioning why was it included. That's as bad as thinking Trant is the better knight because he simply "just followed orders", while Jaime is bad because he thought for himself and did what was right for the good of the realm.

Not sure why you here even talk about incest. Nobody in Westeros ever defined avuncular marriages as incest. The only definitions of incest we get for the people of the Seven Kingdoms is siblings fucking each other and parents fucking their children. That's it. Uncles and nieces, aunts and nieces are not incest.

I know the wildlings see making out with some guy from your village as incest but that only shows how massively inbred those people must be considering nobody in his right mind would see his neighbor as a sibling or a close cousin unless there was actually blood kinship. And usually people living together knew whether they are related or not ;-).

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Bend the rules however you so wish, as long as it's technically true.

Not sure what that means. Aren't Serena and Sansa Stark Starks?

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

No. Again, the Sworn Sword also gives clues to a powergrab. Won't quote it all, but read that story again, because crass shyte happens because of plans and blind obedience, and other crass crapness. Again, you are looking the wrong way, ranger:

  • The Sworn Sword

"Never," said Ser Eustace. The Red Widow shook her head.

Ser Lucas Inchfield looked at Lady Rohanne, his face dark with fury. "You will marry me when this mummer's farce is done. As your lord father wished."

"My lord father never knew you as I do," she gave back.

  • The Sworn Sword

    "She is too good a horse for me. Just look at her."

    A flush crept up Rohanne's face. She clutched her braid, twisting it between her fingers. "I had to marry, you know that. My father's will . . . oh, don't be such a fool."

    "What else should I be? I'm thick as a castle wall and bastard born as well."

That is a completely different case. Lady Rohanne was only granted the lordship of Coldmoat under specific conditions laid out in her father's will. If he had not decreed that she had had a lord husband within a year or lose her lordship to her father's cousin - and if Lord Rowan hadn't confirmed this - Lady Rohanne could have kept a string of lovers, never espousing any man the way, say, Lady Jeyne Arryn did.

The idea that Jonnel-Sansa and Edric-Serena are similar cases is just without basis at this point.

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Show me where they lived on. Show me where it was normal and repeated in the Stark line. Or any other lineage in Westeros. Or in Essos. Or in the far-far east. Sothoryos?

I don't have to do that. You declared Serena and Edric's line died out, thus you show me that their branch - the branch who should actually have ruled Winterfell instead of Lynara's younger children - actually died out. I never said I know they didn't die out, I merely said we have no reason to believe they did, and that we have more reason to believe they thrived than they did not live on.

After all, if George wanted to send the message that those avuncular marriages were evil and unfruitful then why didn't he make Serena and her daughters as barren as he made Serena's sister Sansa - who failed to produce any children for her lord husband/uncle Jonnel. And here it actually seems as if Jonnel was the problem considering the guy failed to produce any issue with both his wife Robyn Ryswell as well as his niece-wife Sansa.

I never said marrying your nieces was normal in the Stark family tree. But it was also not taboo nor considered to be unusual. Else marrying your kin and repeatedly marrying women from the same families you also marry your women into is obviously not uncommon. There are four confirmed marriages among reasonably close kin. Eddard Stark and his siblings are all the products of such a marriage among close kin.

If George wanted to sell the message that such marriages are bad and taboo and all there wouldn't have been a single marriage between Starks and Starks in the family tree, and every Stark bride would have been from a different family, highlighting the fact that the Starks do not want to take brides they are related to in some way. Instead they always marry Starks and Lockes and Manderlys and Karstarks and Royces and Blackwoods.

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I know the supposed line of succession, and what did and did not happen. Been talking about this with you for years now.

Well, if you do know then don't claim this was some evil power grab until you know it was.

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Yes, it is. Plain and simple, it is Martin's writing style to the F'ing core. Lysa was a fire-women, and this is one part of that fire-woman archetype, like Cersei, Dany, maybe Arianne, etc. There is a literary list of what fire-women do (and no, it's not reserved for just this type, but each elemental types). This is part of the 'madness' schtick, as well as one dominating person having blood-moon control over females when it comes to that females marriage/reproductions choices.

I don't understand what this is supposed to mean, but whatever you want to say there - if the characters in the books don't complain about close-kin marriages on the basis that they are marriages among close kin then the author definitely does not establish that such marriages are wrong because they involve close kin.

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Sansa does, only the author shows it in this arc, as well as telling it to the reader over and over and over again in various other arcs and stories... that this ain't normal, nor is it ideal, and all it does it create 'crazies', maintains a massive divide in free will, social progress, etc. This concept will end.

Where is it said that the double first cousin marriages between the Tyrells and Redwynes are wrong?

Sansa never objects to her marriage to Robert because they are first cousins. Nobody in Westeros ever objected to a marriage because the future spouse was a first cousin. That never comes up.

It would actually be ridiculous if especially Ned's children did something like that, knowing that their dear father was the product of a cousin marriage himself.

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Oh boy, again, the story is there, and it is all over. But here, yes, exactly, the too-close relation is a powergrab- plain and simple. Do you expect each and every character that is shoved into this situation to met out a laundry list of do's and don't's'? A page of boring dialogue that is literally telling the readers what is going on, what the rules are, how this is good/bad? That isn't how good authors perform. They show we readers all over the place that 'X' is wrong and then shows us multiple times why and what the outcome always is. Therefore, the next time we see it on page, we don't need the author to hold our hands and give us another page of boring narration that here is the bad X. We should know.

You confuse things here. Women can and are dominated and controlled by their men in this patriarchal world on a regular basis. It is the normal case scenario that the wife submits to and obeys her lord husband. That's why he is her lord husband, after all. In that sense you are right that the consort of a lady ruling in her own right can quickly and easily rule her. But that goes for all husbands, close kin as much as unrelated husbands. Just look at Bronn controlling Stokeworth.

While we don't know anything about the marriages of Cregan's granddaughters and sons we have no idea why this happened.

And considering the setting it is rather more likely that both girls were actually first married to their respective half-uncles long before Lord Cregan ever died. And if that's the case - after all, it seems as if Rickon Stark died while both the uncles and nieces were still children, i.e. unmarried - then those marriages would have not been forced on the poor girls by some evil uncles - the Karstark way later on, or the Ramsay or Inchfield way - but rather they would have been arranged by Lord Cregan to tie his rather large family together.

After all, you have to keep in mind the man had nine children by three different wives, meaning the internal family dynamics would have been rather difficult. And the fact that the last wife, the one likely outliving Lord Cregan, was a born Stark herself wouldn't have made things any easier. She would have been determined to see her sons to succeed their father rather than suffer it that the bloodline of a long-dead rival get what should be hers and her children's.

In that sense, it seems more likely to me that Cregan marrying his sons to his granddaughters may have been a way to placate the Rickon faction, possibly led by his widow Jeyne Manderly (and thus House Manderly), rather than a power grab. Because again - Lord Cregan could have just named his sons his heirs. He was under no obligation to actually make a granddaughter his heir. A lord's daughter may come before a lord's brother, but a lord's granddaughter definitely does not come before a lord's son.

A power grab scenario would imply that this marriages were done against the will of the girls and after Lord Cregan was dead. Unless you want to call Lord Cregan arranging those marriages a power grab, too (which would make even less sense in my opinion, since Lord Cregan already had all the power he could possibly want).

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On 6/7/2019 at 4:26 PM, McGuv19 said:

So I was reading AWOIAF family trees at the back and looked at House Stark. Cregan Stark’s son by his second wife (who was also a Stark), named Edric, married Cregan’s granddaughter(Serena) by his third wife. So Edric basically married his niece!

Secondly, we have Cregan’s other son Jonnel, who married Serena’s sister.

But that’s not all! Let us take Lord Beron Stark, he had 7 kids. 2nd son Willam married and fathered Edwyle. 7th son Rodrik married and fathered Lyarra. Then Edwyle fathered Rickard, and Rickard married Lyarra! This is also the same Rickard burned alive by Aerys (Ned’s dad). 

So to recap we have two cases of uncle marrying niece (or half niece or whatever), and one case of woman marrying her cousin’s kid. And Cregan’s wife was a Stark too, but it isn’t made clear if she is from main branch or not. This is only in the past 11 generations of House Stark as well, so R’hllor knows how much incest there has been before then.

Thanks for reading :) 

 

Incest was practiced by the ancient Egyptian royalty.  The Starks are closely bred.  And that might explain why they managed to keep the gene for skinchanging and warging alive.  

 

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23 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Keep up the good work, LV :thumbsup:

You would be keeping up yours if you actually gave us some quotes about those lines dying out or outlying what you think the power grab in that scenario was...

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6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

You would be keeping up yours if you actually gave us some quotes about those lines dying out or outlying what you think the power grab in that scenario was...

I have, many, many times over the years. You can’t seem to evolve past this idea that this issue isn’t something to be questioned, and therefore pushed back upon by the reader. This isn’t a story that rewards this type of behavior. GRRM isn’t promoting this choice and lifestyle. He never, ever has. 

You think this is an incest = wincest/Targ/superior bring story. It isn’t, as we’ve been through (a rather dull) a bazillion times. I do not have any interest to rehash this repetitive discussion with you because there is no progression. 

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23 minutes ago, Anti-Stark said:

Incest was practiced by the ancient Egyptian royalty.  The Starks are closely bred.  And that might explain why they managed to keep the gene for skinchanging and warging alive.  

Well, we can at least say that the inbred children and (some) grandchildren of Rickard and Lyarra Stark likely do have such poignant 'Stark features' because they are such pure-blooded Starks - Ned, Arya, Jon, Lyanna, etc. are sold to us as 'prototypical Starks' insofar as looks are concerned, just as Hoster's children are all prototypical Tullys, and Tywin, Joanna, and their twins prototypical Lannisters.

The very concept of 'distinct family features' - which is strongest in the Starks, Lannisters, and especially the Durrandon-Baratheons - entails that there are distinct inbred bloodlines. A bloodline where none of ancestors up to the, say, 10th generation are cousins would not develop as distinct a look as many of the noble families of Westeros did. And this means that all the major bloodlines of Westeros must be very inbred to various degrees. Else the concept of such family looks wouldn't have even developed. Instead, there would be blond, redhead,  dark-haired, black-haired, black-skinned, fair-skinned, etc. Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, etc.

I don't buy the idea that the skinchanging trait is something that's inherited in a specific bloodline, though, because at this point we have no evidence for that. But if it were the case then the inbreeding in House Stark - and especially the Rickard-Lyarra cousin marriage - could play a role as to why Ned's children all inherited the traits they (apparently) were born with.

I mean, we do have to ask ourselves why on earth George decided to make Ned's mother Rickard's first cousin once removed. There was no need for that, no narrative reason to go down that road. In fact, it cheapens the story if you ask me, considering there is little narrative potential for that. Rickard and Lyarra being cousins means they likely both knew each other since childhood, likely grew up together, and may thus actually have been a love match (with Lyarra's father being the Wandering Wolf and Lord Beron's youngest son chances are not that low that Rodrik married his Arya Flint later in life, meaning that Lyarra likely was born around the same time as Rickard). There is potential for an extraordinary story there, nothing of the kind we get with Rohanne Webber turning out to Tytos Lannister's mother!

3 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I have, many, many times over the years. You can’t seem to evolve past this idea that this issue isn’t something to be questioned, and therefore pushed back upon by the reader. This isn’t a story that rewards this type of behavior. GRRM isn’t promoting this choice and lifestyle. He never, ever has.

Aside from making baseless claims about how you think the story of Cregan's descendants there must have gone you have given us NOTHING. 

3 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

You think this is an incest = wincest/Targ/superior bring story. It isn’t, as we’ve been through (a rather dull) a bazillion times. I do not have any interest to rehash this repetitive discussion with you because there is no progression. 

This has nothing to do with the Targaryens. Marrying your niece or your first cousins (once removed) isn't the same as marrying your siblings in this world.

Even a story that actually properly deals with inbred populations - like 'The Skin Trade' - doesn't morally condemn characters and practices but rather depicts realistic consequences in realistic setting. Yes, an inbred population of werewolves/dragonlords has to deal with certain issues. Some inbred offspring isn't exactly ideally suited to face the challenges of life, there are fertility issues, etc. - but there are benefits, too. The healthy offspring become dragonlords or turn out to be great and powerful werewolves - which definitely profits the individuals. And the stories are, in the end, about individuals.

If such people were supposed to be morally condemned by the author for their evil behavior they would all behave and look like clichéd inbreds from some cannibal movie rather than there being a more nuanced portrayal.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

This has nothing to do with the Targaryens. Marrying your niece or your first cousins (once removed) isn't the same as marrying your siblings in this world.

Good to see you have at least tried to use the proper lineage term here. 

1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Even a story that actually properly deals with inbred populations - like 'The Skin Trade' - doesn't morally condemn characters and practices but rather depicts realistic consequences in realistic setting. Yes, an inbred population of werewolves/dragonlords has to deal with certain issues. Some inbred offspring isn't exactly ideally suited to face the challenges of life, there are fertility issues, etc. - but there are benefits, too. The healthy offspring become dragonlords or turn out to be great and powerful werewolves - which definitely profits the individuals. And the stories are, in the end, about individuals.

If such people were supposed to be morally condemned by the author for their evil behavior they would all behave and look like clichéd inbreds from some cannibal movie rather than there being a more nuanced portrayal.

BS analysis about the Skin Trade. It just so happens I relistened to that story today.  The fact that inbreeding (And other factors) drive away the indigenous and was said to be the cause of the “madness” (in ASOAIF terms) is clearly stated. Clearly. The fact that even though the four families tried to keep the bloodline pure, the purebred are losing their werewolf abilities. Only the * mutts and mongrels are surviving and thriving*. As Martin says in real life, we should all be mutts and mongrels. 

Jeesh, we have literally discussed this story before. You just proved my previous point for me. 

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10 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Good to see you have at least tried to use the proper lineage term here. 

BS analysis about the Skin Trade. It just so happens I relistened to that story today.  The fact that inbreeding (And other factors) drive away the indigenous and was said to be the cause of the “madness” (in ASOAIF terms) is clearly stated. Clearly. The fact that even though the four families tried to keep the bloodline pure, the purebred are losing their werewolf abilities. Only the * mutts and mongrels are surviving and thriving*. As Martin says in real life, we should all be mutts and mongrels. 

Jeesh, we have literally discussed this story before. You just proved my previous point for me. 

They are not losing their werewolf abilities. Some of them are. Some others, like the aristocratic werewolf patriarch, become the greatest and most powerful werewolves that ever existed. Just like there are some great and handsome and genius Targaryens ... and then there are the freaks and lackwits and madmen. But who cares? Those who shine shine ever brighter than they would have had they been average like the hero of the story - because he is actually a weaker, more dog-like werewolf whose descendants will eventually turn into little puppies.

And this story isn't about incest as such - nobody in 'The Skin Trade' marries their own siblings or children, the aristocrats only marry amongst themselves, like all the noble houses in Westeros do, too. No fresh blood ever entered into House Stark throughout the entire family tree we got. They only intermarried with themselves, their cadet branch the Karstarks, other northern houses they would have intermarried with for ages before the family tree. There is no a single freak outsider in the Stark family tree, unlike there is with Lady Rohanne Webber in the Lannister family tree. The Starks only marry nobility, and the nobility they intermarry with they intermarry with more than once. Even such apparent outsiders like the Royces and Blackwoods show up more than once in the family tree.

They never introduce fresh blood into their bloodline - and fresh blood would mean people they are not related with at all. Which means foreign nobility - people from the Free Cities or Ib, say, or some wildlings and Dornishmen, etc. - not just their own people. But that's what they do.

I don't doubt that George doesn't like sibling incest all that much, but if his stories were to be read as commentaries on the genetic fitness and health (noble) families and bloodlines he doesn't send the message that inbreeding is bad. Because all his nobles heroes in ASoIaF are inbred to various degrees.

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

They are not losing their werewolf abilities. Some of them are. Some others, like the aristocratic werewolf patriarch, become the greatest and most powerful werewolves that ever existed. Just like there are some great and handsome and genius Targaryens ... and then there are the freaks and lackwits and madmen. But who cares? Those who shine shine ever brighter than they would have had they been average like the hero of the story - because he is actually a weaker, more dog-like werewolf whose descendants will eventually turn into little puppies.

And this story isn't about incest as such - nobody in 'The Skin Trade' marries their own siblings or children, the aristocrats only marry amongst themselves,

There are four skinchange houses that inbred with each other to the lineage demise. Just like the Targaryens and the forty families of Valyria. Only now it’s four houses because it is one city and not an entire country. 

Same message. 

21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

like all the noble houses in Westeros do, too. No fresh blood ever entered into House Stark throughout the entire family tree we got. They only intermarried with themselves, their cadet branch the Karstarks, other northern houses they would have intermarried with for ages before the family tree. There is no a single freak outsider in the Stark family tree, unlike there is with Lady Rohanne Webber in the Lannister family tree. The Starks only marry nobility, and the nobility they intermarry with they intermarry with more than once. Even such apparent outsiders like the Royces and Blackwoods show up more than once in the family tree.

They never introduce fresh blood into their bloodline - and fresh blood would mean people they are not related with at all. Which means foreign nobility - people from the Free Cities or Ib, say, or some wildlings and Dornishmen, etc. - not just their own people. But that's what they do.

I don't doubt that George doesn't like sibling incest all that much, but if his stories were to be read as commentaries on the genetic fitness and health (noble) families and bloodlines he doesn't send the message that inbreeding is bad. Because all his nobles heroes in ASoIaF are inbred to various degrees.

WHat you just said about the werewolves is 100% the opposite of that stories truth. 

Why did you bring that story up? 

Do you understand that to show something is bad/negative/wrong you have to include it? You are still grasping hard at the ‘everyone noble is inbred’ thing because of your personal wishes for this story, as opposed to what the author is showing us. We have the family tree for the Starks (and many other families) and we can see what happened or didn’t happen. Even GRRM says the Starks and Karstarks aren’t related anymore because there is too much time and blood separation between them. Again, Martin isn’t writing some blood purity equals superiority story. That’s why the Targs are dying out (literary choice by Martin). So as it is said in the Skin Trade, the pureborn can no longer work the change, only the mutts and mongrels are surviving. 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

There are four skinchange houses that inbred with each other to the lineage demise. Just like the Targaryens and the forty families of Valyria. Only now it’s four houses because it is one city and not an entire country.

It is just a difference of numbers. The werewolves intermarry within the four families, the Starks with, perhaps, a score of Northern noble families. 8,000 years of inbreeding would make them much worse than those werewolves.

4 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Do you understand that to show something is bad/negative/wrong you have to include it? You are still grasping hard at the ‘everyone noble is inbred’ thing because of your personal wishes for this story, as opposed to what the author is showing us. We have the family tree for the Starks (and many other families) and we can see what happened or didn’t happen. Even GRRM says the Starks and Karstarks aren’t related anymore because there is too much time and blood separation between them. Again, Martin isn’t writing some blood purity equals superiority story. That’s why the Targs are dying out (literary choice by Martin). So as it is said in the Skin Trade, the pureborn can no longer work the change, only the mutts and mongrels are surviving. 

The Starks and Karstarks are heavily interrelated, just as the Starks and most of the other northern houses are - especially those they actually intermarry with in the family tree, but not just those.

George never said the Karstarks and Starks were not related, George just said Lord Rickard Karstark's claim of Robb being 'a kinslayer' for executing him doesn't hold much water because kinslaying is something that's related for close family - i.e. children, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and, possibly, first cousins. Nobody called Robert a kinslayer for killing Rhaegar, for instance, and they did share a great-grandfather.

I'm not sure you understand what I'm talking about here. I talk about population genetics and an actually inbred population of noble families. You don't need family trees and the like to know people are inbred if they intermarry almost exclusively in the same gene pool. This is what the wildlings say: You don't marry in your own village because you are related to all those people. Guess what: In the sense the wildlings are related to all their neighbors in their village the Starks are related to all the northern houses because they have exclusively intermarried with those for hundreds and thousands of years.

You are not just inbred when you intermarry with your siblings or first cousins for a couple of decades, you are equally inbred if your spouses are all your second or third or fourth cousins for hundreds and thousands of years. Your coefficient of relationship goes up higher when you intermarry with very close relations but it also goes up if you intermarry with not-so-closely-related people over a longer period of time.

And that's the norm in the North. The nobility there breed among themselves even after the Conquest, and the Starks even marry their own close nieces/cousins in addition to the normal fourth or fifth or sixth cousin when they take some Locke or Karstark or Manderly bride. If that's not inbreeding then I don't know what is.

Last time I looked the old man in 'The Skin Trade' still could work the change, and the mongrels had to flee from him, didn't they? It is quite clear that the story is more complex than you make it out to be - the inbreeding produced both: great and powerfully-built pureblooded werewolves and freaks who were just humans. This is actually a proper depiction of inbreeding which you would know if you understood biology and genetics. If you artificially breed a new race of dogs you inbreed them and select for desired traits. Because a decent number of the offspring from such unions have the traits you want, whereas others do not. They don't get to procreate, but those with the desired traits are paired again with their sibling until you get your great mastiffs or German Shepherds or pink poodles or whatever you want. The werewolves are not part of breeder's program, of course, but they, too, get what they want, in part - great and powerful werewolves. That they also get freaks they do not desire is an unwanted side effect, but unlike humans breeding dogs or horses they do not just kill or discard the unwanted specimens. They are their children, after all. 

The mongrels don't have the power of the purebloods but they are slowly breeding out their werewolf potential as well.

And that is actually a good thing - considering that it is clearly no good thing that there are werewolves out there, be they mongrel breeds or pureblooded werewolves ;-).

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@Lord Varys you are completely missing the subtext, and maybe metatext, of why and how martin is using incest. ZERO to do with real world anything or coefficients. I’ll explain more later when I’m at my computer because phone typing is really aggravating my hand at the moment. 

You are twisting text and missing the point .

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