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Corvo the Crow

Population of the Rhoynar and the Dorne a Thousand Years Ago

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Posted (edited)

I am on phone so I will be doing this in parts.

 

Pt. I Demographics

A long time ago I have found, through Wildlings and Dothraki, that roughly 40 percent of the population is males of fighting age.

I’ll quotes on this later.

 

Pt. II Rhoyne

After the destruction of Sarhoy, other cities gathered under Garin for war, even Nymeria’s Ny Sar.

Quote

The utter destruction of one of the richest and most beautiful of the cities of the Rhoyne, and the enslavement of her people, shocked and dismayed the remaining Rhoynar princes. "We shall all be slaves unless we join together to end this threat," declared the greatest of them, Garin of Chroyane. This warrior prince called upon his fellows to join with him in a great alliance, to wash away every Valyrian city on the river.

Only Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar spoke against him. "This is a war we cannot hope to win," she warned, but the other princes shouted her down and pledged their swords to Garin. Even the warriors of her own Ny Sar were eager to fight, and Nymeria had no choice but to join the great alliance.

 

Garin gathered (almost) all the men of fighting age, accounting to ~250.000 men

 

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The largest army that Essos had ever seen soon assembled at Chroyane, under the command of Prince Garin. According to Beldecar, it was a quarter of a million strong. From the headwaters of the Rhoyne down to her many mouths, every man of fighting age took up sword and shield and made his way to the festival city to join this great campaign

 

This gives us  250.000 x 100/40 = 625.000 for the population of the cities, Sarhoy not included.

Bear in mind that neither the %40 nor the 250.000 are exact numbers and even if they were, there are still some men of fighting age left behind.

But since we aren’t told “near three hundred thousand” or “over two hundred thousand” but instead “ a quarter of a million”, the actual number would be close to this, even when the men left behind is included.

 

Pt. III Nymeria’s Fleet

 

Nymeria receives word soon after the defeat and takes any watercraft that can be found, cramming them with women and children, because almost all the men of fighting age were gone and dead.

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Higher on the Rhoyne, in Ny Sar, Princess Nymeria soon received the news of Garin's shattering defeat and the enslavement of the people of Chroyane and Sar Mell. The same fate awaited her own city, she saw. Accordingly, she gathered every ship that remained upon the Rhoyne, large or small, and filled them full of as many women and children as they could carry (for almost all the men of fighting age had marched with Garin, and died). Down the river Nymeria led this ragged fleet, past ruined and smoking towns and fields of the dead, through waters choked with bloated, floating corpses. To avoid Volantis and its hosts, she chose the older channel and emerged into the Summer Sea where once Sarhoy had stood.

 

 

Legend says she had ten thousand ships but we are told that no true count was ever made and this number is exaggarated perhaps as much as tenfold and of the ships in her fleet only one in ten were seaworthy.

Quote

Legend tells us that Nymeria took ten thousand ships to sea, searching for a new home for her people beyond the long reach of Valyria and its dragonlords. Beldecar argues that this number was vastly inflated, perhaps as much as tenfold. Other chroniclers offer other numbers, but in truth no true count was ever made. We can safely say there were a great many ships. Most were river craft, skiffs and poleboats, trading galleys, fishing boats, pleasure barges, even rafts, their decks and holds crammed full of women and children and old men. Only one in ten was remotely seaworthy, Beldecar insists.

 

For comparison, Iron Island is called the land of ten thousand kings but they have just around 400 captains in all.

Spoiler

It would have been a much different voyage if a longship from the islands had been waiting at Seagard as he'd hoped. Ironborn captains were proud and willful, and did not go in awe of a man's blood. The islands were too small for awe, and a longship smaller still. If every captain was a king aboard his own ship, as was often said, it was small wonder they named the islands the land of ten thousand kings. And when you have seen your kings shit over the rail and turn green in a storm, it was hard to bend the knee and pretend they were gods. "The Drowned God makes men," old King Urron Redhand had once said, thousands of years ago, "but it's men who make crowns."

...

The long smoky hall was crowded with his father's lords and captains when Theon entered, near four hundred of them. Dagmer Cleftjaw had not yet returned from Old Wyk with the Stonehouses and Drumms, but all the rest were there—Harlaws from Harlaw, Blacktydes from Blacktyde, Sparrs, Merlyns, and Goodbrothers from Great Wyk, Saltcliffes and Sunderlies from Saltcliffe, and Botleys and Wynches from the other side of Pyke.

The waters of Ironman's Bay are home to great schools of cod, black cod, monkfish, skate, icefish, sardines, and mackerel. Crabs and lobsters are found along the shores of all the islands, and west of Great Wyk swordfish, seals, and whales roam the Sunset Sea. Archmaester Hake, born and raised on Harlaw, estimates that seven of every ten families on the Iron Islands are fisherfolk. However mean and poor these men might be on land, upon the sea they are their own masters. "The man who owns a boat need never be a thrall," Hake writes, "for every captain is a king upon the deck of his own ship." It is their catch that feeds the islands.

 

Pt. IV The Journey

With an unknown number of ships that set sail, over a hundred are lost in the first storms and as many or more turn back. Other ships drift away or fell behind. Two score ships are put to the torch and hundreds of people are taken by the corsairs. More people are lost on Sothoryos to nature, especially the young and the very old and of the four places the Rhoynar settled, people of one vanished overnight. After more than a year they took to the sea again, wandering other places, first to Naath where they left because of the diseases, then to an uninhabited rock later called Isle of Woman which they left again as it had poor soil and many starved. After they took to the sea again, they make their way to Westeros but some leave to follow a priestess back to Rhoyne and are taken slave. Of those going to Westeros, some are blown off course and shipwrecked in the Stepstones or taken by Tyroshi and Lyseni as slaves.

 

Spoiler

Nymeria's voyage was long and terrible. More than a hundred ships foundered and sank in the first storm her fleet encountered. As many or more turned back in fear, and were taken by slavers out of Volantis. Others fell behind or drifted away, never to be seen again.

The remainder of the fleet limped across the Summer Sea to the Basilisk Isles, where they paused to take on fresh water and provisions, only to fall afoul of the corsair kings of Ax Isle, Talon, and the Howling Mountain, who put aside their own quarrels long enough to descend upon the Rhoynar with fire and sword, putting twoscore ships to the torch and carrying off hundreds into slavery. In the aftermath, the corsairs offered to allow the Rhoynar to settle upon the Isle of Toads, provided they gave up their boats and sent each king thirty virgin girls and pretty boys each year as tribute.

Nymeria refused and took her fleet to sea once again, hoping to find refuge amongst the steaming jungles of Sothoryos. Some settled on Basilisk Point, others beside the glistening green waters of the Zamoyos, amongst quicksands, crocodiles, and rotting, half-drowned trees. Princess Nymeria herself remained with the ships at Zamettar, a Ghiscari colony abandoned for a thousand years, whilst others made their way upriver to the cyclopean ruins of Yeen, haunt of ghouls and spiders.

There were riches to be found in Sothoryos—gold, gems, rare woods, exotic pelts, queer fruits, and strange spices—but the Rhoynar did not thrive there. The sullen wet heat oppressed their spirits, and swarms of stinging flies spread one disease after another: green fever, the dancing plague, blood boils, weeping sores, sweetrot. The young and very old proved especially vulnerable to such contagions. Even to splash in the river was to court death, for the Zamoyos was infested with schools of carnivorous fish, and tiny worms that laid their eggs in the flesh of swimmers. Two of the new towns on Basilisk Point were raided by slavers, their populaces put to the sword or carried off in chains, whilst Yeen had to contend with attacks from the brindled ghouls of the jungle deeps.

For more than a year the Rhoynar struggled to survive in Sothoryos, until the day when a boat from Zamettar arrived at Yeen to find that every man, woman, and child in that haunted, ruined city had vanished overnight. Then Nymeria summoned her people back to the ships and set sail once again.

For the next three years the Rhoynar wandered the southern seas, seeking a new home. On Naath, the Isle of Butterflies, the peaceful people gave them welcome, but the god that protects that strange land began to strike down the newcomers by the score with a nameless mortal illness, driving them back to their ships. In the Summer Isles, they settled on an uninhabited rock off the eastern shore of Walano, which soon became known as the Isle of Women, but its thin stony soil yielded little food, and many starved. When the sails were raised again, some of the Rhoynar abandoned Nymeria to follow a priestess named Druselka, who claimed to have heard Mother Rhoyne calling her children home...but when Druselka and her followers returned to their old cities, they found their enemies waiting, and most were soon hunted down, slain, or enslaved.

The battered, tattered remainder of the ten thousand ships sailed west with Princess Nymeria. This time she made for Westeros. After so much wandering, her ships were even less seaworthy than when they had first departed Mother Rhoyne. The fleet did not arrive in Dorne complete. Even now there are isolated pockets of Rhoynar on the Stepstones, claiming descent from those who were shipwrecked. Other ships, blown off course by storms, made for Lys or Tyrosh, giving themselves up to slavery in preference to a watery grave.

 

Pt. V Arrival and  Dorne

Eight of ten who arrived were women, of which a quarter were warriors. Of the men who arrive with Nymeria and make just two in ten, there are thousands who were boys but since has grown up and taken up the spear. These men and the fighting women increases the Martells' host by tenfold, meaning they just had some hundreds.

Spoiler

The remaining ships made landfall on the coast of Dorne near the mouth of the river Greenblood, not far from the ancient sandstone walls of The Sandship, seat of House Martell.

Dry, desolate, and thinly peopled, Dorne at this time was a poor land where a score of quarrelsome lords and petty kings warred endlessly over every river, stream, well, and scrap of fertile land. Most of these Dornish lords viewed the Rhoynar as unwelcome interlopers, invaders with queer foreign ways and strange gods, who should be driven back into the sea whence they'd come. But Mors Martell, the Lord of the Sandship, saw in the newcomers an opportunity...and if the singers can be believed, his lordship also lost his heart to Nymeria, the fierce and beautiful warrior queen who had led her people across the world to keep them free.

It is said that, amongst the Rhoynar who came to Dorne with Nymeria, eight of every ten were women...but a quarter of those were warriors, in the Rhoynish tradition, and even those who did not fight had been hardened during their travels and travails. As well, thousands who had been boys when fleeing the Rhoyne had grown into manhood and taken up the spear during their years of wandering. By joining with the newcomers, the Martells increased the size of their host by tenfold.

It is said that, amongst the Rhoynar who came to Dorne with Nymeria, eight of every ten were women...but a quarter of those were warriors, in the Rhoynish tradition, and even those who did not fight had been hardened during their travels and travails. As well, thousands who had been boys when fleeing the Rhoyne had grown into manhood and taken up the spear during their years of wandering. By joining with the newcomers, the Martells increased the size of their host by tenfold.

It is said that, amongst the Rhoynar who came to Dorne with Nymeria, eight of every ten were women...but a quarter of those were warriors, in the Rhoynish tradition, and even those who did not fight had been hardened during their travels and travails. As well, thousands who had been boys when fleeing the Rhoyne had grown into manhood and taken up the spear during their years of wandering. By joining with the newcomers, the Martells increased the size of their host by tenfold.

When Mors Martell took Nymeria to wife, hundreds of his knights, squires, and lords bannermen also wed Rhoynish women, and many of those who were already wed took them for their paramours. Thus were the two peoples united by blood. These unions enriched and strengthened House Martell and its Dornish allies. The Rhoynar brought considerable wealth with them; their artisans, metalworkers, and stonemasons brought skills far in advance of those achieved by their Westerosi counterparts, and their armorers were soon producing swords and spears and suits of scale and plate no Westerosi smith could hope to match. Even more crucially, it is said the Rhoynish water witches knew secret spells that made dry streams flow again and deserts bloom.

To celebrate these unions, and make certain her people could not again retreat to the sea, Nymeria burned the Rhoynish ships. "Our wanderings are at an end," she declared. "We have found a new home, and here we shall live and die."

 

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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No, able bodied fighting men do not constitute 40% of the population in a civilized land. More like 1-2%.

Basic math tells you that 50% of the population are women. Of the men, maybe half will be too old or too young to fight. Can’t have a society without children, after all.

That leaves maybe 25% of the population of fighting AGE. But not everyone of the right age will be able bodied. So maybe 20% of the population are able bodied men of fighting age.

Then it becomes a question of economics and practicality. What portion of that able bodied 20% can you actually mobilize into an army? The Dothraki and wildlings raise pretty much all of them - and the cripples and sick ones too, it seems.

In Westeros, it is maybe 1% of the population. I’d imagine in Rhoynar, given their wealth, the logistical advantage of being located all along a vast navigable river, and the great urgency pushed it significantly higher than 1%. Maybe as high as 10% of the population. But certainly not a ridiculous number like 40%.

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In year 1500 "Finland" had estimated population of 300.000 people. About those 280 were cavalrymen and 2450 served in infantry. So during that time in here less than 1% of population were soldiers and only 1 per mille was cavalryman.

So I assume that bc lord Karstark came to Winterfell with as many soldiers that were available in "Finland" 1500 total population of lands ruled by house Karstark is higher than 300.000. And it seems that he even had some more men in reserve. Population of lands belonging to house Bolton is almost certainly higher possibly over 500 k.

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On 7/12/2019 at 9:20 AM, Free Northman Reborn said:

No, able bodied fighting men do not constitute 40% of the population in a civilized land. More like 1-2%.

Basic math tells you that 50% of the population are women. Of the men, maybe half will be too old or too young to fight. Can’t have a society without children, after all.

That leaves maybe 25% of the population of fighting AGE. But not everyone of the right age will be able bodied. So maybe 20% of the population are able bodied men of fighting age.

Then it becomes a question of economics and practicality. What portion of that able bodied 20% can you actually mobilize into an army? The Dothraki and wildlings raise pretty much all of them - and the cripples and sick ones too, it seems.

In Westeros, it is maybe 1% of the population. I’d imagine in Rhoynar, given their wealth, the logistical advantage of being located all along a vast navigable river, and the great urgency pushed it significantly higher than 1%. Maybe as high as 10% of the population. But certainly not a ridiculous number like 40%.

100.000 in Drogo’s khalasar. 40.000 warriors. Simple math.

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On 7/12/2019 at 8:13 PM, Loose Bolt said:

In year 1500 "Finland" had estimated population of 300.000 people. About those 280 were cavalrymen and 2450 served in infantry. So during that time in here less than 1% of population were soldiers and only 1 per mille was cavalryman.

So I assume that bc lord Karstark came to Winterfell with as many soldiers that were available in "Finland" 1500 total population of lands ruled by house Karstark is higher than 300.000. And it seems that he even had some more men in reserve. Population of lands belonging to house Bolton is almost certainly higher possibly over 500 k.

Excellent point. And totally agree.

Karstark population is indeed in the 300k range. And the Boltons at 500k or more.

Seems highly implausible then that the total population of the Rhoynish civilization was only 2 million.

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17 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Excellent point. And totally agree.

Karstark population is indeed in the 300k range. And the Boltons at 500k or more.

Seems highly implausible then that the total population of the Rhoynish civilization was only 2 million.

Let’s say 1 soldier in 100 population is the norm. I’ll take it and since Ran has recently said something to that effect somewhere else I’ll take it without any further questions on it, for this instance at least.

Let’s also say Rhoynar had high mobilization because of wealth and the logistics of being based near rivers. I’ll take %10 since you suggested that number.

I’m also not going in to the discussion of “almost all the able bodied” going to war for now...

Even with all this, how do you explain the numbers Nymeria arrived to Dorne with? Only 2 in 10 were men. So of a 100 population, 50 male and 50 female, you suggest that 10 of the males go to war and yet somehow, of the remaining 90, males somehow number 18 instead of 40, or since the number of women didn’t go up, you have 12-13 men to 50 women. What happened to the other 27-28 men? Did they go fishing to spare their families a place in the boat, the way Northman go hunting in winter? Or perhaps the male population got hit harder on the Journey than the women population? If anything, women should have died more, as there were more of them in the beginning and some would die giving birth and some would be less used to hardships than men.

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That 1 % is people who had real weapons, armor and training to use them. Anybody else would have been almost useless as a soldier.

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8 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

That 1 % is people who had real weapons, armor and training to use them. Anybody else would have been almost useless as a soldier.

In our world perhaps. But even without “all the men gone” stuff from the North, what we see with the Rhoynar is almost all the males going to war. Not only we are told that almost all the males are gone, but we also see it with the numbers, as explained above. Or else how do you explain that women outnumbering the men 4 to 1? Even with %10 of the population gone it should’ve been 5:4.

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