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BigBoss1

How many lowborn POV are there?

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11 minutes ago, BigBoss1 said:

Title, most pov are nobles so its  an interesting question.

Each prologue POV is a commoner, with the possible exception of Cressen since we don’t know where he’s from. 

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1 minute ago, Angel Eyes said:

Each prologue POV is a commoner, with the possible exception of Cressen since we don’t know where he’s from. 

Perhaps Cressen is self made? He does like the more meritocratic Stannis.

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Mel possibly.Davos I would say.That's probably it.

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11 minutes ago, redriver said:

Mel possibly.Davos I would say.That's probably it.

Areo.  

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Lowborn POV:

  • Davos: while a lord now, he's lord of Rainforest, so a title with no lands; he was a smallfolk smuggler, before he got raised into knighthood and lordship for his actions
  • Mel: she was sold into slavery as a child. But she might have noble blood.
  • Areo Hotah: Norvosi commoner, sold to the priesthood and branded to be wed to his longaxe. His POV is one of the few and rare reliable narrators, which was why imho George preferred to use Hotah as POV over Arianne's in aDwD in the chapter when we get a serious infodump on Cersei's plans, Doran's counterplans, etc... Using an unreliable narrator POV such as Arianne's would have required one or two more POV chapters from her to convince the reader of the truth of certain information, to make the reader trust certain characters and their intentions. By using Hotah, he could keep it to one chapter only.
  • Will aGoT prologue POV
  • Chett aSoS prologue POV
  • Pate aFfC prologue POV
  • Varamyr aDwD prologue POV

I'm ruling out Cressen's aCoK POV, because Cressen is unlikely to be a smallfolk name. Not every book includes an epilogue, only aSoS and aDwD have epilogues, both nobles: Merret Frey in aSoS, and Kevan Lannister in aDwD.

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15 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Lowborn POV:

  • Davos: while a lord now, he's lord of Rainforest, so a title with no lands; he was a smallfolk smuggler, before he got raised into knighthood and lordship for his actions
  • Mel: she was sold into slavery as a child. But she might have noble blood.
  • Areo Hotah: Norvosi commoner, sold to the priesthood and branded to be wed to his longaxe. His POV is one of the few and rare reliable narrators, which was why imho George preferred to use Hotah as POV over Arianne's in aDwD in the chapter when we get a serious infodump on Cersei's plans, Doran's counterplans, etc... Using an unreliable narrator POV such as Arianne's would have required one or two more POV chapters from her to convince the reader of the truth of certain information, to make the reader trust certain characters and their intentions. By using Hotah, he could keep it to one chapter only.
  • Will aGoT prologue POV
  • Chett aSoS prologue POV
  • Pate aFfC prologue POV
  • Varamyr aDwD prologue POV

I'm ruling out Cressen's aCoK POV, because Cressen is unlikely to be a smallfolk name. Not every book includes an epilogue, only aSoS and aDwD have epilogues, both nobles: Merret Frey in aSoS, and Kevan Lannister in aDwD.

Excellent account. I disagree about that Davos has "no lands", when the text is explicit about Stannis (through Robert?) giving him "choice lands".

But indeed, there are very few non-noble PoV. This is one of the reasons I like D&E tales.

5 hours ago, Andrew Yang for President said:

They are the movers and the shakers.  Their lives are richer.  What interest in reading the life of a farm boy.   

a random farm boy, probably not, but a farm boy whose parents where killed by the Mountain and later joined tBwB, maybe? It could tell us a story.

and what about complementing Dany's Essos journey with Missandei and/or Grey Worm PoV? Or some Dothraki?

Criticizing the excessive GRRM's focus on nobility is fair. I think there is a problem (and it's not the only one)

Before the asoiaf series, I read "The Sarantine Mosaic" by G. G. Kay, a story contemporary to GRRM's, which also features some deconstruction of fantasy. The story is basically the Byzantine empire under Justinian, with some spins and different names. You have access there to the thoughts of the emperor and the empress, a queen, a king of kings. But there are also commoners, artists, slaves, physician, etc as "PoV" who also influence the events. In fact the protagonist is the artist.  I truly recommend it.

Finally, one thing about asoiaf POV's is that they are rarely the ones who are moving the pieces on the game. They are there, trying to to control and build their own story, despite they are others who set the rules.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Excellent account. I disagree about that Davos has "no lands", when the text is explicit about Stannis (through Robert?) giving him "choice lands".

He has knightly lands, not lordly ones.

3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Finally, one thing about asoiaf POV's is that they are rarely the ones who are moving the pieces on the game.

Do you mean POVs in general, or the common man POV? If the first - most of the POVs are growth POVs, POVs of characters who are being shaped, because for George the most important story is the heart in conflict. LF, Varys, Tywin for example would be POVs with little to no heart in conflict. And on top of that he prefers the unreliable narrator, to keep the reader in the dark about upcoming events. So, yes, the youngest of them aren't moving pieces much, and it's always been George's intention to have them be influential in the last third of the story. Only Jon and Dany and Tyrion have had gotten a head start because they were older already. And Arianne was only introduced in the last half.

At the root this story is about several lost children or youths trying to get their home back, a modern ceoncept of the Four Sons of Aymon. And yes, that requires children of high birth. Even if a smallfolk child might want to get back to the hovel it grew up in, the reader would too soon think "raise another hovel somewhere safe". There just wouldn't be the attachment sentiment for the reader as most have towards Winterfell.

I get the reason for the criticism. Yes, Gendry as POV with the BwB could be of interest for example: smallfolk + you learn more what they're up to, a boy growing up, and likely in conflict over a lot of stuff. Except, George did not want us to know yet what exactly the BwB are up to.

My favourite teen author was a woman who wrote mostly historical fiction from a common man POV. I agree that basically a telling of historical wars or fantasy wars through the eyes of a smallfolk can be interesting, and a story can be written where they gain influence on the outcome. Certainly in historical fiction it's one of the most often used POV, because it allows the author freedom to insert their own story and events without altering the historical background story or outcome. So, they're often used to circumvent an issue that would restrict the storytelling. George does not need to do that for a complete fictional narrative. Still, it's done in fantasy (tWoT, MSaT, Tolkien's hobbits, ...), so he could have. But George mentioned how he considers many of the sassy smallfolk interactions with nobles in fantasy as unrealistic. So, he basically set out not wanting to write a story where the main POVs are smallfolk, because he likely felt it would hamper him in his freedom with regards to characterisation. If Arya had been a servant girl at WF, she'd be dead. She couldn't be a tomboyish girl who blurts out stuff in the first half of the story. Bran's fall from a tower would be inconsequential. Nobody would think of Sansa or Dany as political/military marriage pawns. Tyrion would never have learned to read, let alone have political clout. Jon wouldn't have been sword trained. Even children of the nobility obviously are not excempt from mortal danger in aSoIaF. They often do have a target on their head. But they also would have people far more ready to help them survive. But basically it all just comes down to what he initially had as a scene idea from which bore out the first figments of a story. The Stark children finding the wolf pups, which is very "Sons of Aymon" like, and therefore of nobility. Two of the "sons" became "daughters" and certainly his diverse characterization of female protagonists is and was a refreshment.

The critcism is valid of not having much of any POVs being smallfolk (or PoC for that matter), but the initial story-concept barred them as POV from the onset. He has tried to insert lowborn origin POVs where he could and it still serves the story economically (number of pages). But the basics were already set.

Edited by sweetsunray

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Posted (edited)

I would say that Will, Chett, and Pate, from the AGOT, ASOS, and AFFC prologues are the only real commoner POVs.

Davos was born a commoner, but was raised to the nobility about 15 years ago.  His position and treatment is that of a nobleman.

Melisandre and Areo Hotah are foreigners, and are effectively outside the Westeros class structure.  Melisandre, at least, acts like and is treated as nobility.

Varymyr Sixskins (ADWD prologue) is a wildling (Free Folk), and like the foreigners, is essentially outside the class structure.

Maester Cressen is the maester to one of the top households in Westeros.  If he ever was a commoner, he surely isn't one now.

While having more commoner POVs would be nice; as @sweetsunray has pointed out, the story is about young nobles essentially being ripped from their comfortable lives and forced to make their way in the world without reliable guidance, as well as the political machinations that are causing them trouble in the first place.  As such, commoner POVs don't necessarily add much.  Although a Gendry POV for instance, would have been interesting.

Edited by Nevets
typo

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On 7/9/2019 at 8:40 AM, Baelor 'Breakspear' said:

Does Duncan the tall count??

Not in ASOIAF proper. In the Dunk and Egg stories he totally does.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2019 at 6:03 PM, Nevets said:

I would say that Will, Chett, and Pate, from the AGOT, ASOS, and AFFC prologues are the only real commoner POVs.

Davos was born a commoner, but was raised to the nobility about 15 years ago.  His position and treatment is that of a nobleman.

Melisandre and Areo Hotah are foreigners, and are effectively outside the Westeros class structure.  Melisandre, at least, acts like and is treated as nobility.

Varymyr Sixskins (ADWD prologue) is a wildling (Free Folk), and like the foreigners, is essentially outside the class structure.

Maester Cressen is the maester to one of the top households in Westeros.  If he ever was a commoner, he surely isn't one now.

While having more commoner POVs would be nice; as @sweetsunray has pointed out, the story is about young nobles essentially being ripped from their comfortable lives and forced to make their way in the world without reliable guidance, as well as the political machinations that are causing them trouble in the first place.  As such, commoner POVs don't necessarily add much.  Although a Gendry POV for instance, would have been interesting.

The topic says lowborn. Davos, Hotah, and Varamyr were absolutely born "low."

Mel may be lowborn; it depends on a lot of things we don't know. 

I agree on Cressen, not only because of the name, but also because I don't think smallfolk get into the citadel often. If you look at Pate and Sam's chapters in Oldtown, it's mostly sons of noble houses who are training to be maesters. No rule against the lowborn, but that doesn't mean there are a lot of them either.

Edited by Lady Blizzardborn

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On 7/8/2019 at 12:40 PM, sweetsunray said:

Lowborn POV:

  • Davos: while a lord now, he's lord of Rainforest, so a title with no lands; he was a smallfolk smuggler, before he got raised into knighthood and lordship for his actions
  • Mel: she was sold into slavery as a child. But she might have noble blood.
  • Areo Hotah: Norvosi commoner, sold to the priesthood and branded to be wed to his longaxe. His POV is one of the few and rare reliable narrators, which was why imho George preferred to use Hotah as POV over Arianne's in aDwD in the chapter when we get a serious infodump on Cersei's plans, Doran's counterplans, etc... Using an unreliable narrator POV such as Arianne's would have required one or two more POV chapters from her to convince the reader of the truth of certain information, to make the reader trust certain characters and their intentions. By using Hotah, he could keep it to one chapter only.
  • Will aGoT prologue POV
  • Chett aSoS prologue POV
  • Pate aFfC prologue POV
  • Varamyr aDwD prologue POV

I'm ruling out Cressen's aCoK POV, because Cressen is unlikely to be a smallfolk name. Not every book includes an epilogue, only aSoS and aDwD have epilogues, both nobles: Merret Frey in aSoS, and Kevan Lannister in aDwD.

No hand of the king title for the legendary onion knight? Lol everyones favorite fingerless hand

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26 minutes ago, One-eyed Misbehavin said:

No hand of the king title for the legendary onion knight? Lol everyones favorite fingerless hand

Being a Hand doesn't make you highborn ;) but you are correct. I forgot to mention he was Stannis's Hand, until Stannis believe him dead, and Davos is "reborn" in the Wolf's Den to become a man of the Wolves.

I do think that restricting lowborns solely to POV might be a pity for the subject. We have several non-POV characters who are lowborn but with longstanding impact, like Varys for example

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11 hours ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

Jon.  He was a noble man's bastard but taking the black meant giving up lands and titles.  

That doesn't make him lowborn. Tyrion doesn't have land and titles he is still highborn. And Jon is lord commander of the wall too.

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21 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Being a Hand doesn't make you highborn ;) but you are correct. I forgot to mention he was Stannis's Hand, until Stannis believe him dead, and Davos is "reborn" in the Wolf's Den to become a man of the Wolves.

I do think that restricting lowborns solely to POV might be a pity for the subject. We have several non-POV characters who are lowborn but with longstanding impact, like Varys for example

Agreed. Interesting take on that wolf den piece I’ll have to reread that while keeping that under consideration. 

Porridge for the deadman 

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