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Tyrion1991

An issue with the Nights Watch

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5 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

The Bolton’s are depicted as aberrant and having hidden away their unnatural and more importantly non-Northern behaviour. So they aren’t really Northerners like the Glovers, Umbers and Karstarks. It’s not like Asha vs Vic vs Euron where you have the same core society just stretched to the point of increasing levels of evil. You can’t say, “aha, a House like the Bolton’s is a natural consequence of Northern society and the rot inside it; just like Euron is the spawn of Ironborn society”.

I'd say the Boltons are very much northerners and they show that northerners can be cruel and evil too. To me, Boltons remind me of the vision Bran saw in his final POV in ADWD which included a blood sacrifice. Boltons' skinning traditions are similarly old and cruel like that Stark blood sacrifice. 

7 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

The Manderlys are Reachmen. So, they’re obviously losing their way without strong Northern leadership at the helm. But even then, they’re trying to help Rickon, they’re angry at the Freys, plotting to switch over to Stan and that business with the pies is creative but George has so thoroughly dehumanised the Frey’s at this point it’s not that great a talking point.

They were originally reachmen, yes, but now they are part of the North, again diversifying northeners. Reminder that everyone is eventually from Essos or east of Essos or wherever the apes of ice and fire developed into humans. I do agree with you about the Freys, I do wish we'd have someone from house Frey we could sympathize with. Freys yearn for their version of Tyrion.  

13 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

In an Arya chapter some Karstark men go on a rampage. This is contrary to Robs wishes and they’ve went rogue. That’s not the same as Rob explicitly commanding his men to reave and pillage the Riverlands; with its attendant violence.

Why must Robb want that? He is not Tywin lannister. Renly didn't do that either. Nor Stannis. Mountain pillaging the Riverlands was a Tywin thing.

15 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Rob doesn’t die because of the war he started and the common people who died as a result. It’s depicted entirely as a tragedy and a consequence of him mismanaging his allies and his cock. (Theon, Cat, Westerling).

Nothing wrong with that, an epic tragedy makes a good read. "The king who won all the battles but still lost the war". ASOIAF is still literature not a chronicle of actual medieval warfare. I find Robb's story an enjoyable read.

17 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Jon being stabbed gives him the excuse to kill the people against him in the Watch. That leaves his friends in the Watch and the Wildlings. So he gets exactly what he wants.

Let's not assume that Game of Thrones season 6 is canon, okay please, that would be just cruel to all readers out here... I think Jon getting stabbed has much more layers into it (like the hardships of ruling) other than just him getting a reason to leave the NW.

19 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Arya is passing under the shadow as she has forgotten her Stark identity. Once she remembers who she is and realised that “OMG, this death cult is dangerous!”; she’ll snap out of it.

Again, please let's not assume season 6 is 100% canon, George can do better than that..

20 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Assuming Sansa doesn’t decide to dispense with Littlefinger by blagging to the Lords of the Vale. I can’t see Sansa killing her little cousin, especially not when she’s getting a hold over the Lord Arryn.

I have no idea what future holds for Sansa, GRRM promises that she is an unreliable narrator and something controversial is gonna happen. 

21 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Bran. I don’t know. All of George’s magic has this messed up Cthulhu vibe to it. I mean I would have took one look at Bloodraven and been like “hell no”. But again, like with Arya this is passing under the shadow and likely a way for him to cut his own path. The light of the wolfsblood burns too bright.

I hope it's not how things will go. Bran's story is impossible to follow the same paths as it does in the show since the established groundwork is vastly different.

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18 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 

Yes but you can chalk those down to circumstances beyond their control. As the series progresses you realise that the Machiavellian Lannister’s aren’t immune from this and do start to drop like flies. Their house of cards crumbles very quickly. So really the criticism is a lack of smarts, not too much heart.

Also they must be doing something right if they can rule half the realm without incident for a thousand years.

The story isn’t over yet. The core Northern army never lost a battle and only suffered due to treachery. So declaring that “they lost” is premature. This is simply a low point in the story for the North and one setting up their rise.

Is red wedding really a circumstance beyond Stark control? I see it as a direct result of choices. 

Btw, the only Lannister who has died before the end of ADWD epilogue is Tywin. And the Lannisters play a more ambitious and bigger game than the Starks. It's only fair that their risks are greater too. And they seem to get out of many difficult situations - they lost most of the battles against the Starks, but still defeated them. They were about to be crushed by Stannis, but a late minute alliance with the Tyrells saved the day. So now again it seems that Aegon and his Golden Company are about to threaten their position, also Tyrells seem to have a good position. Who knows what the outcome is - maybe an alliance with the Greyjoys saves them this time. 

 

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15 minutes ago, miyuki said:

I'd say the Boltons are very much northerners and they show that northerners can be cruel and evil too. To me, Boltons remind me of the vision Bran saw in his final POV in ADWD which included a blood sacrifice. Boltons' skinning traditions are similarly old and cruel like that Stark blood sacrifice. 

They were originally reachmen, yes, but now they are part of the North, again diversifying northeners. Reminder that everyone is eventually from Essos or east of Essos or wherever the apes of ice and fire developed into humans. I do agree with you about the Freys, I do wish we'd have someone from house Frey we could sympathize with. Freys yearn for their version of Tyrion.  

Why must Robb want that? He is not Tywin lannister. Renly didn't do that either. Nor Stannis. Mountain pillaging the Riverlands was a Tywin thing.

Nothing wrong with that, an epic tragedy makes a good read. "The king who won all the battles but still lost the war". ASOIAF is still literature not a chronicle of actual medieval warfare. I find Robb's story an enjoyable read.

Let's not assume that Game of Thrones season 6 is canon, okay please, that would be just cruel to all readers out here... I think Jon getting stabbed has much more layers into it (like the hardships of ruling) other than just him getting a reason to leave the NW.

Again, please let's not assume season 6 is 100% canon, George can do better than that..

I have no idea what future holds for Sansa, GRRM promises that she is an unreliable narrator and something controversial is gonna happen. 

I hope it's not how things will go. Bran's story is impossible to follow the same paths as it does in the show since the established groundwork is vastly different.

 

The last Stark blood sacrifice was thousands of years ago. It’s ancient history. Whereas the last Ironborn raid or Mad Targaryen was yesterday by comparison. So clearly this is a legacy which is no longer relevant for them and it’s fairly muted in the story. Bolton’s flaying is not depicted as a Northern tradition. Which means no shadows are cast on the North by the red headed step child.

Even by that rationale the Manderleys have been depicted fairly favourably.

Because people did this in war without batting an eyelid into the 17th century and arguably beyond. Armies had to live off the land and that often meant violence; even in ostensibly friendly territory.

Its an interesting tragedy. But it’s not a morally nuanced or grey storyline. Plus by setting the Starks on that pedestal it colours your interpretations of other characters and peoples. 

It’s not really a hardship if he just gets back up with a few holes in him. I mean, I am not sure how he’s still breathing if he was basically perforated through the gut, lungs and heart. Shouldn’t he be leaking like a siv and all his organs mashed up? I can’t see George making him an actual zombie.

Well, I personally buy into the Greenhand theory on the FM causing the Doom. So I think that the FM want to bring another Doom about to stop Dany and her dragons. Arya could have issues with that. Especially if Dany happens to be standing in Westeros or the FM are servants of the Others. Basically she’ll have more stuff to do.

It’s probably a sex scene with Harry the Heir he’s referring to rather than Sansa killing Sweetrobin. Didn’t he read the chapter he said would be controversial and people were scratching their heads about what could be deemed odd about it? It was years ago but I recall something about this.

Bran will have something to do. In my head, I imagine he will have to go to the Isle of Faces and do some crazy magic McGuffin.

My pet theory at the minute is that if magic is cyclical and has seasons then so too do the Gods. So what’s happening is that the Gods of Ice and Fire will “die” and be reborn; which resets the board in their own Lovecraftian Game of Thrones. That’s why the Others are invading to stake their claim. So Euron is kind of right but well...

Spoiler

The bad ending of the Sinking City is what I am imagining. 

I like to think that the show couldn’t go there with the metaphysical stuff because George intends for it to get that OTT insane. I means it’s called The Gods Eye and some of Danys visions have some big red flags in them.

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3 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

The last Stark blood sacrifice was thousands of years ago. It’s ancient history. Whereas the last Ironborn raid or Mad Targaryen was yesterday by comparison. So clearly this is a legacy which is no longer relevant for them and it’s fairly muted in the story. Bolton’s flaying is not depicted as a Northern tradition. Which means no shadows are cast on the North by the red headed step child.

True, the Starks have a hard time keeping the Bolton flaying in check, but they fail keeping the Boltons in check - Boltons are now the wardens of the North and they are not some invaders or strangers in the North. They are a significant house of the North so their traditions are northern traditions.

8 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Even by that rationale the Manderleys have been depicted fairly favourably.

Which is bad...? Manderlys have shown to be actual players in the game of thrones, unlike their former liege lords Starks who failed miserably in the game. I see the Manderlys' ability to conspire a welcome addition to the political landscape of the North. (Although yes, they aren't originally from the North...)

12 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Because people did this in war without batting an eyelid into the 17th century and arguably beyond. Armies had to live off the land and that often meant violence; even in ostensibly friendly territory.

Yes, everyone does that and it is shown that even Robb pillages the Lannister lands. However, nobody in the war of the five kings does it as cruelly as Tywin and I think that is GRRM's choice to show Tywin's cruelty. 

14 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Its an interesting tragedy. But it’s not a morally nuanced or grey storyline. Plus by setting the Starks on that pedestal it colours your interpretations of other characters and peoples. 

I think the moral nuance is here. Robb chooses to marry a woman whose virginity he took to save her from shame knowing it will have big consequences for him regarding the war he is fighting in. It may be overly romantic or cheesy to some but there is a moral nuance in this story. 

18 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

My pet theory at the minute is that if magic is cyclical and has seasons then so too do the Gods. So what’s happening is that the Gods of Ice and Fire will “die” and be reborn; which resets the board in their own Lovecraftian Game of Thrones. That’s why the Others are invading to stake their claim. So Euron is kind of right but well...

This is interesting.

 

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23 hours ago, miyuki said:

Frey we could sympathize with. Freys yearn for their version of Tyrion.  

There is Olyvar, Robb's squire that doesn't attend the Red Wedding... I like the lad well enough.

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I agree. I feel Martin pulled some punches with the North/Wildling/NW relationship. 

First- We have a group with supposedly the "dregs" of society yet the worst we get are the mutineers and...Rast I guess? Like what's Pyp even in for? Jon has a bunch of teenage goofballs to play with instead of the thieves and murderers we were told resided at the Wall. And yes an 1000 year old border dispute between criminals and savages is going to get a lot more heinous than "Hey, go kill the prisoner."

Second- The North. Why didn't the Umbers, Karstarks or mountain clans fight off the like 100 raiders the Magnar brought? They all boast about how they literally throw back invaders... Littlefinger surprisingly has the answer "Clean hands". I feel OP is right Martin has gone through some effort to keep the North unsullied.

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5 hours ago, The Fresh PtwP said:

I agree. I feel Martin pulled some punches with the North/Wildling/NW relationship. 

First- We have a group with supposedly the "dregs" of society yet the worst we get are the mutineers and...Rast I guess? Like what's Pyp even in for? Jon has a bunch of teenage goofballs to play with instead of the thieves and murderers we were told resided at the Wall. And yes an 1000 year old border dispute between criminals and savages is going to get a lot more heinous than "Hey, go kill the prisoner."

Second- The North. Why didn't the Umbers, Karstarks or mountain clans fight off the like 100 raiders the Magnar brought? They all boast about how they literally throw back invaders... Littlefinger surprisingly has the answer "Clean hands". I feel OP is right Martin has gone through some effort to keep the North unsullied.


Medieval laws are pretty harsh and often unfairly administered.   Often times people become criminals more because of circumstance than because they are paticularly evil.  (That said, Jaqen, Biter, and Rorge were heading for the wall which would have been interesting to say the least).   The Night watch uses military discipline and situational control (you're stuck at the end of nowhere with nobody but your brother's in arms) to keep things under control.

They don't have a 1000 year old border dispute.  None of the brothers of the night watch have any sort of ethnic genetic history.  They're just dudes living whats left of their lives, earning their bread and salt and trying to stay warm.   The nobles keep them pointed in the right direction doing their duty because thats what keeps the folks south of the wall sending them food and supplies, and because they joined the watch due to a desire to fulfill that duty.

The North certainly defends its lands when raiders come to it, thats why they have castles and men at arms.  But they don't go around patrolling the gift and the hundreds of miles south of the wall that are barely inhabited.  We're told thats why the gift in fact is largely desolate, because of wildling raids that the night watch hasn't been able to prevent.

Edited by argonak

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I assume that military service was limited by time not money. Or petty lords and armsmen had to serve certain time in year to pay their "rent". Or house Stark had 2 choices either use or lose that time. So I assume that if Starks really wanted to patrol the Gift they could have sent some men to do that.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

I assume that military service was limited by time not money. Or petty lords and armsmen had to serve certain time in year to pay their "rent". Or house Stark had 2 choices either use or lose that time. So I assume that if Starks really wanted to patrol the Gift they could have sent some men to do that.

Historically, most lower tier landholders spend most of their time busy working, managing, and defending their lands and trying to survive.  Its only really high level nobility who can afford boredom. 

The Gift belongs to the Night's Watch, why would the Stark's expend resources defending it?  Its a crazy distance from winterfell.  Defending holdfasts and local towns is the responsibility of the locals.  Thats why they're allowed to build defenses and have arms.

Edited by argonak

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19 hours ago, argonak said:


Medieval laws are pretty harsh and often unfairly administered.   Often times people become criminals more because of circumstance than because they are paticularly evil.  (That said, Jaqen, Biter, and Rorge were heading for the wall which would have been interesting to say the least).   The Night watch uses military discipline and situational control (you're stuck at the end of nowhere with nobody but your brother's in arms) to keep things under control.

They don't have a 1000 year old border dispute.  None of the brothers of the night watch have any sort of ethnic genetic history.  They're just dudes living whats left of their lives, earning their bread and salt and trying to stay warm.   The nobles keep them pointed in the right direction doing their duty because thats what keeps the folks south of the wall sending them food and supplies, and because they joined the watch due to a desire to fulfill that duty.

The North certainly defends its lands when raiders come to it, thats why they have castles and men at arms.  But they don't go around patrolling the gift and the hundreds of miles south of the wall that are barely inhabited.  We're told thats why the gift in fact is largely desolate, because of wildling raids that the night watch hasn't been able to prevent.

Personally none of the individuals have an 1,000 year beef with the wildlings but the Night's Watch does. They vilify each other, "crows" and "savages" respectively. They have precedent for atrocities. Both are in the most inhospitable part of Westeros, so max desperation. Yet Gregor's attack on the Riverlands is twice as savage as anything we've seen either side do to their sworn enemies at the Wall.

I'm not asking for patrols from the North. 

Quote

The northern lords offered their best hope, so to them Aemon had sent two birds. To the Umbers and the Boltons, to Castle Cerwyn and Torrhen's Square, Karhold and Deepwood Motte, to Bear Island, Oldcastle, Widow's Watch, White Harbor, Barrowton, and the Rills, to the mountain fastnesses of the Liddles, the Burleys, the Norreys, the Harclays, and the Wulls, the black birds brought their plea. Wildlings at the gate. The north in danger. Come with all your strength.

I'm asking why nothing was done about this? Big difference.

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On 8/19/2019 at 2:32 PM, Tyrion1991 said:

So the Nights Watch Guard the border of the North and are responsible for policing it against Wildling incursions. This involves patrols, raids and all the attendant violence that creates. We see Qhorin executing prisoners and all the typical blood letting you expect.

This is all intended so that Jon has his Dances With Wolves moment and tries to (in the way that causes the greatest amount of death) reconcile the Wildlings and the NW against the real threat.

My problem with this is that it means the NW takes all the flak and blame for atrocities and racism towards the wildlings. It’s never the North that’s committing these crimes even though they directly benefit from them. This is why Jon gets hate for being a crow but not for being a Stark.

I think this is problematic because it means Jon doesn’t have to face the atrocities committed by his own people; just this clearly corrupt organisation he joined like a year ago. It’s not like Avatar where our hero realises the humans are the baddies, it’s just this select institution and the Northmen have no blood on their hands. Indeed, you have wildlings attack Bran to make the North seem like the innocent party. Indeed you even have historical instances like Bael the Bard and the Night King which are there to imply that the NW is the problem keeping the First Men from making common cause. That they have a shared history.

I think this makes it too easy for Jon. He doesn’t have to accept that his people have done wrong to the Wildlings and doesn’t have to accept any shame for how they’ve been treated. It also makes a North Wildling alliance much easier because there isn’t actually a history of intense conflict because the NW contains the Wildlings and no King Beyond the Wall pierced the wall in centuries. 

I think George should have had the North be more directly and recently involved in suppressing the Wildlings. Plus he should have went further in terms of the violence employed against the Wildlings. IMO he was too ambivalent on this point so as to not sully the image of the North as this perfect peaceful Kingdom under the Starks by having the NW fight their war for them.

Nope, nope and nope. 

For starters, Tormund himself says  that he is fond of wargs but not Starks. 

There’s much trade and sharing of news between the Watch and the Wildlings. Mance himself was treated by Wildlings and certainly heard of Robert’s coming from the NW, even if it happened with several other people on the other hand. Same applies for Ned learning of the great wildling host. 

Crowfood seems to have some hatred for the wildlings but it is personal. Mountain clansmen who are also targeted by wildling raids have no such hatred in general as we witness.

Northerners have no more ill will towards wildlings than they do for southerners. They will crush either of them if they come invading but are not openly hostile.

Finally, wildlings themselves are not one homogenous people but various groups who steal from, kill or abduct eachother. There are groups more hostile towards other wildling groups than they are to NW.

Seriously, before posting such stuff... Read the books!

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5 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Nope, nope and nope. 

For starters, Tormund himself says  that he is fond of wargs but not Starks. 

There’s much trade and sharing of news between the Watch and the Wildlings. Mance himself was treated by Wildlings and certainly heard of Robert’s coming from the NW, even if it happened with several other people on the other hand. Same applies for Ned learning of the great wildling host. 

Crowfood seems to have some hatred for the wildlings but it is personal. Mountain clansmen who are also targeted by wildling raids have no such hatred in general as we witness.

Northerners have no more ill will towards wildlings than they do for southerners. They will crush either of them if they come invading but are not openly hostile.

Finally, wildlings themselves are not one homogenous people but various groups who steal from, kill or abduct eachother. There are groups more hostile towards other wildling groups than they are to NW.

Seriously, before posting such stuff... Read the books!

 

Yes generic Stark fanboy, I will reread the entire novel series like you told me to until I come to the same conclusion that the North is the greatest faction in the world. Although after reading it two or three times Iam not sure my views going to change anytime soon. It’s still the same crummy Northern supremacy being rammed down my throat every few pages.

Crush them? Really? Well I hope the Others kill everyone in the North and knock you North fanboys down a peg. I hate the haughty arrogance of this warrior race that think they are better than everyone else. 

Which is hot air. Tormund is on his way to becoming Jon’s friend. If he really hated Starks and he got the son of Lord Stark he would have probably chopped the “man” into little pieces. 

Steppe tribes traded with China? This did not prevent war. It also has nothing to do with anything.

One minor character hates wildlings? Yes, that is George pulling his punches. They are guarding a frontier against people they regard as barbarians. A penal colony filled with rapists and scum. Imagine if the US had sent convicts to police the Indian Reservations. It should be that violent.

Why shouldn’t they be openly hostile? You just said that the North is being raided. That means people killed, women raped and all the ripple effects of that. The only reason the author has to make everybody understanding and rational is to make Jon uniting the North and the Wildlings easy. You’re basically saying there not any real bad blood between them just a bit of mild attitude. That’s not believable or realistic.

So what? Wildlings hate other wildlings. That doesn’t mean it makes sense for them to be okay with the NW and just see this as a minor dispute. As opposed to a blood feud.

You’re looking at this situation and seeing nuance. All I see is giving Jon and the North a pass. This is a much more easy conflict to settle than it should be and that is done to avoid sullying the North’s image in the minds of reader. 

Why shouldn’t this be a more dark situation where the North is pursuing a questionable policy? Where the NW is doing bad things to these “barbarians”? Instead we have them put in the victim pedestal whilst at the same time posturing as being the great Kings of Winter and fat with Wolfsblood. 

 

 

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The Wall and thus, the Night's Watch, exist because of the Others, not because of the Wildlings who are simply people who chose to continue North. 

 

Years of Wildlings attacking areas south of the wall is what created the animosity between Wildlings and the South. 

 

Also, the Wall has always been manned by people from all of the seven kingdoms.  

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On 8/25/2019 at 2:15 AM, Tyrion1991 said:

 

Yes generic Stark fanboy, I will reread the entire novel series like you told me to until I come to the same conclusion that the North is the greatest faction in the world. Although after reading it two or three times Iam not sure my views going to change anytime soon. It’s still the same crummy Northern supremacy being rammed down my throat every few pages.

Crush them? Really? Well I hope the Others kill everyone in the North and knock you North fanboys down a peg. I hate the haughty arrogance of this warrior race that think they are better than everyone else. 

Which is hot air. Tormund is on his way to becoming Jon’s friend. If he really hated Starks and he got the son of Lord Stark he would have probably chopped the “man” into little pieces. 

Steppe tribes traded with China? This did not prevent war. It also has nothing to do with anything.

One minor character hates wildlings? Yes, that is George pulling his punches. They are guarding a frontier against people they regard as barbarians. A penal colony filled with rapists and scum. Imagine if the US had sent convicts to police the Indian Reservations. It should be that violent.

Why shouldn’t they be openly hostile? You just said that the North is being raided. That means people killed, women raped and all the ripple effects of that. The only reason the author has to make everybody understanding and rational is to make Jon uniting the North and the Wildlings easy. You’re basically saying there not any real bad blood between them just a bit of mild attitude. That’s not believable or realistic.

So what? Wildlings hate other wildlings. That doesn’t mean it makes sense for them to be okay with the NW and just see this as a minor dispute. As opposed to a blood feud.

You’re looking at this situation and seeing nuance. All I see is giving Jon and the North a pass. This is a much more easy conflict to settle than it should be and that is done to avoid sullying the North’s image in the minds of reader. 

Why shouldn’t this be a more dark situation where the North is pursuing a questionable policy? Where the NW is doing bad things to these “barbarians”? Instead we have them put in the victim pedestal whilst at the same time posturing as being the great Kings of Winter and fat with Wolfsblood. 

 

 

Very funny guy.

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On 8/25/2019 at 2:15 AM, Tyrion1991 said:

 

Yes generic Stark fanboy, I will reread the entire novel series like you told me to until I come to the same conclusion that the North is the greatest faction in the world. Although after reading it two or three times Iam not sure my views going to change anytime soon. It’s still the same crummy Northern supremacy being rammed down my throat every few pages.

Crush them? Really? Well I hope the Others kill everyone in the North and knock you North fanboys down a peg. I hate the haughty arrogance of this warrior race that think they are better than everyone else. 

A more civil tone would suit. Your aversion to all things Stark or Snow is sufficiently apparent on the fora without the need to become antagonistic. And to call Corvo ‘generic’ shows plain disregard for his contributions to discussion on books you feel so strongly and passionately about. 

 

Regarding your OP. While GRRM has perhaps not delved into too much of the North-Wildling ‘Conflict’ it has become (IMO) sufficiently clear that the High Lords of Westeros do not deal with small incursions of raiders etc. Piracy is rampant in the Narrow Sea, Iron Born have raided for millennia, Skagos is a society of savage cannibals despite being under the Northern banner. However, when the threat becomes sufficiently pressing, the lords of the North do interfere and fight the Wildlings directly. The Old Bear can name 5 Kings Beyond the Wall. Iirc the Starks have pushed all four back (Bael became a Stark if the stories are true). Edd was considering marching on Mance Rayder if the need arose. 

Other examples are the War of Ninepenny Kings on the Stepstones or the conflict with the Kingswood Broterhood. 

Additionally, because of the War in the South, the North is in political disarray and lacking base strength. If lords Umber and Karstark march south, their lands are less defended, which results in less fighting back the Wildlings. 

Also the hate for the Starks by the Wildlings seems weakened by the fact they descend from Bael, a Wildling King. Finally, Jon is liked by the Wildlings like Tormund and Ygritte for who he is just like you seem to despise him for who he is. 

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Posted (edited)

Here is how I see things. Before the Wall was constructed, the North was one. The Others came, ppl fought together and drove them back. Afterwards, the Wall was added as a protection measure in case of another invasion by the Others. Most ppl crossed the Wall afterwards I’m sure, but some of them stayed north of the Wall – we’ve seen ppl refusing to leave their home even when disaster is coming their way. And we do know that northerners are a stubborn bunch. I do think in the beginning crossing the Wall south was not forbidden, maybe some ‘Free folk’ even camped close to the Wall and had trades with those in the south. The no. of ppl who stayed beyond the Wall must’ve been pretty small and small pockets of ppl ended up isolated from each other – which in turn might explain why the Free Folk are not united in general and tend to bicker between themselves.

But here’s the thing though. Time passed. A lot of it. Enough that the NW started to forget why they manned the Wall. Enough for the Free Folk to forget why they’re born north of the Wall. In time, those  south had a social system created with a set of rigid rules whereas those north did…well, basically what they wanted more or less. And that created problems. Simplified, if someone comes to your country and don’t adhere to the rules they get punished according to the rules. On the other hand, that someone doesn’t like your rules and gets resentful. And on and on. Think about it. The Long Night was 8000yrs ago. That’s a lot of time for things to get lost or forgotten.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s easy to point a finger and say with absolute conviction that those set of ppl are guilty but that doesn’t make it true. Neither party is innocent.

As for Jon, the only shame he has to feel is on what he did or his current brothers did as he is part of the NW and therefore, in tacit accord with its actions. At the beginning his thoughts on the Wildlings were the ones taught to him. But it doesn’t take him long to realize that they’re ppl like any other south of the Wall – some good, some bad. He doesn’t warp the reality to fit his prejudices, doesn’t find shallow reasons and makes fallacious arguments just to keep his previous taught view of the world.

Just thinking that the NW are the baddies because they kill Wildlings is easy, but I think not the right way of seeing things. As far as they’re concerned, that is their sworn duty – to protect the south from those north of the Wall. And Free Folk are not some little innocent lambs after all – they raid, they steal, they rape and they kill. Not all of them as a whole mind you that’s not what I’m saying, but like the Greyjoys or the slavers, it’s their way of life. Think about the Vikings – they raided, stole, raped and killed. But they were also farmers.

When Jon did have the power to do something once he ended up LC, he did what I think was the right choice, however shocking and contentious it was. Oh, it wasn’t for pure humanitarian reasons, let’s not confuse the show (ugh) with the books. He was quite pragmatic about it – Others kill and revive ppl therefore he needs to make sure to thin out the numbers; he needs ppl to man the Wall in order to fight the Others.

As for Jon feeling guilty that the NW and the North somehow mistreated the Free Folk? I don’t believe that “the son bears responsibility for the sins of the father”. Nobody should feel guilt or shame for what other ppl of the same race, gender, religion, country did. Acknowledge it, yes. Feel personal responsibility as if he did it himself, no.

As for the North being seen as this moral and just kingdom compared to others – I see your point. In a way it is biased – the Starks were raised by Ned Stark and well, I think the guy was a bit deluded as far as I’m concerned. Ppl tend to measure the North based on Ned Stark which is a pretty big error me thinks – he definitely wasn’t what you call a Stark of the old. He was raised and educated by a southern lord and any ethics he formed were an amalgam of northern ways (whatever he did learn) and southern ways. I always saw him as a beta wolf – and a passive one at that. Never really liked him much, either as a father or as a Warden, but that is not the point here.

Unfortunately, GRRM has not written a book solely on the Starks and the North as he did with the Targaryens therefore we don’t have a glaring point on their shortcomings. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there – because, believe you me, they’re not some saints who ruled the North for thousands of years solely on being good and moral and just. Every country has national pride and tend to sweep under the rug some of their shortcomings after all. The Stark children are not going to suddenly realize them – especially now, when all they hold dear was stripped from them. They most definitely are going to see things through rose colored glasses – that happens.

Edited by Ruki88

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59 minutes ago, Ruki88 said:

Most ppl crossed the Wall afterwards I’m sure, but some of them stayed north of the Wall 

Incorrect. Martin has talked about this

"Yes, the Wall was much smaller when first raised. It took hundreds of years to complete and thousands to reach it's present height."

 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Incorrect. Martin has talked about this

"Yes, the Wall was much smaller when first raised. It took hundreds of years to complete and thousands to reach it's present height."

 

Oh, yes definitely. Sorry, my wording was not well done. Of course something so massive was done over a long period of time. I'm not imagining this was done easy and fast. But like I said, some went south of the wall some stayed north of the wall. Years passed, differences between those factions grew etc etc.

Edited by Ruki88

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10 minutes ago, Ruki88 said:

Oh, yes definitely. Sorry, my wording was not well done. Of course something so massive was done over a long period of time. I'm not imagining this was done easy and fast. But like I said, some went south of the wall some stayed north of the wall. Years passed, differences between those factions grew etc etc.

Gotcha. I brought it up b/c it's an argument I've seen people make so many times, "the free folk got trapped north of the Wall", and stuff like that. 

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