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Down with the Free Folk

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44 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Yes. The rest of the realm (besides the ironborn) do not have raping, raiding and murdering as core values of their culture.

And neither do the wildlings. Even they don't like the Weeper and Rattleshirt, but they have to make common cause with people they don't like so that they can survive.

At this point, all that matters to them is survival.

And the only raping/raping attempts reported came from the men who live south of the Wall, not the men who crossed into the 7Ks. 

The idea that raping and murdering and raping is part of the core values of their culture is beyond ridiculous and smacks of xenophobia. These are the exact same arguments Bowen Marsh & co have presented and they were wrong about it.

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9 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

This thread, though. I mean it's not like we don't have real life examples of people building walls and separating families or people wanting to build walls to prevent those who are culturally different from them to enter their country.

The Wall in Westeros was not built to keep men out of the realms of men. But it became such a Wall because the men north of the Wall behaved like savages, constantly harrassing and attacking and raiding the lands of the people who defend the realms of men (i.e. the Gifts of the NW and the NW themselves) as well as the North and the Seven Kingdoms in general. If the wildlings hadn't done any of that, there would be no quarrel between the Watch and the wildlings or the Seven Kingdoms/North and the wildlings. That's just a fact.

And that goes back to the shitty and savage customs of the wildlings.

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

The point is, any blanket statement like, “the free folk/ironborn/Dothraki/Dornish/whoever are bad” sounds very much like dumb xenophobia/racism. It’s similar to claims that “women shouldn’t x, y or z”. To put it differently, generalisations of this type seem very out of place in this story, especially when I take the author into consideration. So, claims that “we’re not supposed to like a, b, or c” come across as a huge misunderstanding of the text for me. Every group, race, people, whathaveyou will have its heroes and its cowards, good people and bad people, and so on. 

But that's not what people are doing, are they? They are pointing out that the culture of wildlings as such sucks, just like the culture of the Ironborn and the Dothraki suck. This doesn't mean there cannot be/aren't individual Dothraki/Ironborn/wildlings who are good persons and others who are bad persons. But they are then good or bad in relation to their shitty culture. Asha is a good person in huge parts because she wants Ironborn culture to change. The Reader is also a good Ironborn character because he has risen above the shitty culture of his people. Balon and Euron and Victarion and Aeron are, in part, as fucked-up people as they are because they embrace Ironborn culture.

We don't have any wildlings who actually think they have to abandon their shitty ways to survive, and certainly not such sympathetic characters as Ygritte (who is very set in her ways and dies for that), Tormund, or even Mance. They are only relatively good people in comparison to the scumbags they live and fight with in Mance's army (rather than, you know, against them).

If you compare cultures then the wildling culture sucks and the culture of the Seven Kingdoms comes out as relatively better. That doesn't mean the latter is great in any way - but it is better than the shithole beyond the Wall.

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

The other thing is, anyone who thinks “we’re not supposed to like the Free Folk/wildlings” has to think Martin is a terrible writer, and that’s another opinion I strongly disagree with. 

We certainly are not supposed to like the negative aspects of their culture - which are, basically, lawlessness and arbitrary rule.

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

Mel is a zealot, and she makes so many mistakes. It seems all she makes are mistakes.

We don't need her opinion on the matter. It is quite clear that the wildlings are just as done as the giants and the Children. They are dying people, too. A couple of thousands will make it south of the Wall, the rest is going to turned into wights. And many of the survivors will die in the coming war against the Others.

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

The FF are direct FM descendants; they’re as close as can be to the “original FM”. And now they’re manning the Wall... you know, just as it was in the first Battle for the Dawn. So, yeah, I think they’ll play a crucial role in upcoming events. 

So it is about racial purity now? Why else would you care from whom the wildlings are descended? The idea that it matters who fights the War for the Dawn strikes me as very weird.

Not to mention that the wildlings are not manning the Wall. They have been forced/blackmailed into assisting - and now that the man who made them do this lies gutted in the snow they might reconsider their options.

1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Every single war and battle we have read about in the story has people being raped, murdered, burnt, etc, and this is coming from the southron side of the wall. Southron women are used as sex slaves and barter coins. How fair and civilized is that? You think people south of the wall don't steal from other people? Wrong. Read The Sworn Sword if you need some good examples.

It is not part of Westerosi culture (Ironborn aside) to raid and plunder your neighbors and steal women and winter provisions and other property. That's just a fact. The wars fought in Westeros were pointless succession and civil wars, not the kind of unprovoked wars of aggression and conquest the wildlings - especially among their so-called kings - did fight against the Seven Kingdoms.

It is quite clear who is the good guy and who is the bad guy here. The Seven Kingdoms are defending themselves against aggressors, not the other way around.

1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I think it is important to remember a few things here that the author is showing we readers very clearly: "wildlings" is derogatory term akin to the many we have in real life to given to those we "otherize" on the other side of our own walls. It is a shitty thing to call all of any one peoples names like this. Free Folk are made of many various clans and these clans have their own sets of norms, technology, organizations, etc. They are a mix of many metals and they are going to be needed during and after the long night. Readers are learning this via Jon's experiences.

There are different clans beyond the Wall, but they do not have anything special to offer that we know of insofar as technology and other things are concerned.

The role model of the average wildling is the raider, just as the role model of the average Ironborn is the reaver. And those role models have to be utterly destroyed for those people to be able to live in peace with their neighbors. It is as simply as that.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

The people of the 7k certainly raid & plunder & occasionally steal women too.

Give us a quote where it is indicated that this part of their culture and that such raiders are idealized as role models in the culture of the Seven Kingdoms.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I understand their thoughts & customs are different but their actions are much the same.

No, they are not. Because if your culture is based on as unjust and destructive a trait as raiding your neighbors much more actual raiding and raping is going to happen than when your culture does not idealize such things.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Doesn't it appear to be that they've found their purpose again rather than never having forgot it though? They didn't seem to have any idea about the Others in the beginning. Their sole purpose seemed to be keeping the wildlings out until dead men started walking.

They always knew about the Others. They just were gone so long (at least to the Watch) that they were no longer convinced they even existed. But they have not forgotten that the Wall was raised to defend the realms of men against the Others.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I know that & I'm saying if the lands were reversed the 7K would not be happy with the territory they control.

But this isn't the case and you have no basis for your claim that they would then do those things.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Sure, there are reasons but no definitive proof.

We don't need definitive proof for that, it is enough that we have hints.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

As to the bolded I don't think they would have to be in support of it, just outnumbered. I think they likely were in support of it if they knew of the Others though.

We know the building of the Wall began after the Long Night, meaning the people who started it and their immediate successor knew what they were doing and why. And considering that people from all the Hundred Kingdoms of Westeros took the black since the very beginning it is also clear that this enterprise was a huge project supported by a hundred or more kingdoms who were constantly fighting each other.

The wildlings, however, do not take the black and never did. They are either people who didn't care about protecting mankind, descendants of people who were allied with the Others during the Long Night, or people who, after the Long Night, cared more about themselves and their petty little interests than the common effort to defend the realms of men.

There must be a reason why the Wall was built where it was built and not farther in the north or south - it being a good spot because of the short distance might be a reason - but it doesn't strike me as convincing that the rulers of the realms of men at the time decided to give up crucial parts of their own territories by making the Wall cut them in two in a more meaningful way than borders between the domains of various petty kings and lords at the time were marked (not with walls).

In that sense I don't buy it for a moment that the ancestors of the wildlings didn't know what was going on - they would have had every opportunity to not live in the lands that were beyond the protection of the Wall and the Night's Watch.

1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Nah, there are some rules & laws else how would anyone ever become "King" of them? It just isn't the same rules & laws as in the 7k. 

LOL, no. The wildlings only accept the rule of the strong. There are no laws there if there are no legal institutions but clans. Some of them might have similar customs, but that doesn't mean you have any way to get your right if somebody stronger than you decides to take everything from you.

In the Seven Kingdoms that kind of thing would be a crime and you could turn to the authorities for help - beyond the Wall there are no authorities at all. The only help/support you have are your own kin. And if they are weak you are fucked.

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1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

The idea that raping and murdering and raping is part of the core values of their culture is beyond ridiculous and smacks of xenophobia. These are the exact same arguments Bowen Marsh & co have presented and they were wrong about it.

You do know what the Wildlings think of as a wedding? Their idea of marriage is literally kidnapping and raping women.

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

These are the exact same arguments Bowen Marsh & co have presented and they were wrong about it.

Here's the thing thow. Bowen and the others are dead right about what kind of people they are letting through. The point where he's wrong is the fact that while the wildlings are dangerous and have problematic culture and values, they would be 10000 times more dangerous dead then alive. That's the point of the wildlings. To show that even thou they are dangerous and all concerns and hates against them are 100% legitimate, the realm should still try to make peace for the greater good. GRRM's point is that much stronger given that the wildlings should be allied with in spite of their shall we say anti-social behavior.

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Just now, Alyn Oakenfist said:

You do know what the Wildlings think of as a wedding? Their idea of marriage is literally kidnapping and raping women.

i recommend a reread ASAP.

 

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2 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

i recommend a reread ASAP.

 

In order to get a woman a wildling man literally has to kidnap her. Since the women's consent is irrelevant here it's rape. She may want him in which case it's a pretty happy ending. But if she doesn't, she's still his wife no matter what. Their wedding has to contain kidnapping and maybe/probably rape. Not that it should surprise us in a culture based on survival of the fittest.

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1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

And neither do the wildlings. Even they don't like the Weeper and Rattleshirt, but they have to make common cause with people they don't like so that they can survive.

The Weeper is the wildling chieftain who seems to have the most support of the wildlings that haven't yet submitted to the kneelers. Some people might dislike him, but many follow him. Do you know how many of his followers don't like the Weeper?

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

At this point, all that matters to them is survival.

Which would come much easier to them if what had mattered to them in past centuries wasn't raiding and killing and raping.

This is not a refugee crisis. The wildlings declared war on the Seven Kingdoms. They were foreign aggressors led by a turncloak traitor who would have killed all his sworn brothers had he won his wars and would have then gladly invaded the North to steal the few winter provisions the Northmen had left, killing as many people as they could find to ensure that they got through winter with their stolen food rather than the Northmen.

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

And the only raping/raping attempts reported came from the men who live south of the Wall, not the men who crossed into the 7Ks.

And they are not unbelievable if you think about what these people do - just think of the scum that tried to murder Bran or what Ygritte did to that poor man.

1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

The idea that raping and murdering and raping is part of the core values of their culture is beyond ridiculous and smacks of xenophobia. These are the exact same arguments Bowen Marsh & co have presented and they were wrong about it.

Raiding is part of their core values. Raiders are the heroes of their culture, just as reavers are the heroes of Ironborn culture.

Marsh's argument are not wrong in principle. The wildlings simply are not deserving of the protection of the NW or the Seven Kingdoms. They never asked them for help, they declared war on them to destroy the former and invade the latter.

It is like saying a bunch of people coming over to your house to beat you up and kill you and steal your property who are hindered and beaten bloody themselves by some buddies of yours that came by unexpectedly (Stannis) have afterwards a right to say 'Well, actually we were only trying to murder you and take your things because we are on the run from some other really dangerous people ... what do you say, can we come in anyway?'

Nobody would be obligated to do that. This isn't a war where the two sides bear an equal share of the blame - the wildlings bear most of it, and the NW/Seven Kingdoms only a smart part, if any part at all.

The only reason why it makes sense to allow the wildlings through the Wall is that they staying behind could become wights. From any other perspective - especially in light of the coming winter and the wars - it is a problematic decision because it could weaken the NW too much or even cause the wildlings betray/abandon the NW in a crucial moment.

Allowing Tormund and his people across the Wall seems a nice enough idea - he is a comparable good and harmless fellow. The Weeper would be a different kind of animal with a different kind of power base.

14 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

In order to get a woman a wildling man literally has to kidnap her. Since the women's consent is irrelevant here it's rape. She may want him in which case it's a pretty happy ending. But if she doesn't, she's still his wife no matter what. Their wedding has to contain kidnapping and maybe/probably rape. Not that it should surprise us in a culture based on survival of the fittest.

Yeah, @kissdbyfire likes to paint the stealing as some kind of consensual thing (which it can be if the lovers come from two friendly clans), but it is quite clear that it is a much more brutal and much more patriarchal than the kind of marriage they have in the Seven Kingdoms (especially the one conducted by the Faith). Women are explicitly addressed and talked about as property in this context. Ygritte herself admits that the only way for woman to get out of her marriage is to murder her husband - which likely is going to lead to her quick death, too, unless she kills all his family and friends. If the woman is too weak to murder the man who stole her she deserves to be his wife, never mind whether she likes him or not.

It is very much a variation of the shitty marriage customs the people of High Kavalaan have in George's Dying of the Light.

By comparison the arranged marriages of the nobility (we don't know how commoners do marry for love or land) are far less shitty. Yes, you might also end up in a marriage where you are effectively raped (like Cersei or Lysa) but you at least have a lot of servants, money, property, etc.

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7 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If the woman is too weak to murder the man who stole her she deserves to be his wife, never mind whether she likes him or not.

I think you just hit the nail on the head with what is wrong with wildling society. It's a world of absolute freedom where the only thing that matters is how good a warrior you are. It's the kind of place in which a monster like the Mountain would not only be openly accepted but would probably be their leader. Also their society puts so much emphasis on skill at arms and raiding, raping and murdering that actual good leadership traits like diplomacy and stewardship are ignored. The normal wildling leader is probably less like Mance and more like the Mountain. Also them valuing only skill at arms explains why they are so backwards.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

~snipped a little~

It is very much a variation of the shitty marriage customs the people of High Kavalaan have in George's Dying of the Light.

However, even in Dying of the Light, we see that the way that type of "marriage" was first started is not a total 1:1 to the free folk way. The scifi aspect, especially with the genetics that runs through females the DNA, is a major factor. I suspect that there is something to certain genes running through the mother's DNA in ASOAIF as well (Jon and Lyanna), but that is another subject for a later day.

Back to Dying... we also see that there are some that are redefining what a holdfast is, who can stay and go, pins of protection against "hunters' (which translates to Others and Boltons in ASOIAF) and even Gwen chooses to be there with Jaan, that is something that the free folk women have.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

By comparison the arranged marriages of the nobility (we don't know how commoners do marry for love or land) are far less shitty. Yes, you might also end up in a marriage where you are effectively raped (like Cersei or Lysa) but you at least have a lot of servants, money, property, etc.

Ooph. That doesn't sound like a fair "deal" to me. I tend to think GRRM is asking readers to rethink this southron (and Targaryen) way of life, especially when it comes to the women he writes. So many unhappy woman who have no say ain't such a good thing.

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And honestly this thread seems like another one of those threads where the OP already has a fixed opinion and really just wanted to start a flame thread so they could vent some.

See ya :cheers:

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6 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

However, even in Dying of the Light, we see that the way that type of "marriage" was first started is not a total 1:1 to the free folk way. The scifi aspect, especially with the genetics that runs through females the DNA, is a major factor. I suspect that there is something to certain genes running through the mother's DNA in ASOAIF as well (Jon and Lyanna), but that is another subject for a later day.

There is nothing about female DNA in Dying of the Light - the virus/sickness of the Hrangans targeted women more, causing them to nearly lose all of them, which caused them to develop their weirdo polygamy group sex thing where women are just property.

Also, there is no indication that there is any difference between the male and the female line in the Westerosi setting insofar as 'magical genetics' are concerned.

The wildlings do pretty much the same thing. They either feel they have a lack of women or a lack of women who are not their cousins and use that as justification to abduct and rape other women. They do not care about the happiness of the individual women involved (in fact, they are not even seen as proper people, else they would not want to 'steal' them - you can only steal property, not people), they care about what they consider the fitness of the clan, meaning those new stolen women are supposed to serve as good little baby machines producing more children for the clan. They don't have the Kavalar group property thing going, but it is a similar ideology overall.

6 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Back to Dying... we also see that there are some that are redefining what a holdfast is, who can stay and go, pins of protection against "hunters' (which translates to Others and Boltons in ASOIAF) and even Gwen chooses to be there with Jaan, that is something that the free folk women have.

There is no translation there that I can see. DoL is about a dying culture doing shitty, inhuman things on a god-forsaken planet nobody gives a shit about (the Others are ice demons and the Boltons are weirdo guys doing shitty things on their own lands). Gwen has issues with Kavalar culture - she wanted an equal relationship which she gets, in the end, after Jaan breaks himself by killing Garse (making him a shadow of his previous self and whatever they have now pretty empty). But prior to that she was definitely that she was also 'married' to Garse. This was no consensual polyamory thing; Gwen had to accept that she was married both to Jaan and Garse, and that she would become the property of his clan as soon as Jaan died (or even pass into another clan if and Garse died in a duel).

6 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Ooph. That doesn't sound like a fair "deal" to me. I tend to think GRRM is asking readers to rethink this southron (and Targaryen) way of life, especially when it comes to the women he writes. So many unhappy woman who have no say ain't such a good thing.

It is definitely a fairer deal than a woman who has to watch her father, family, and friends being killed by stinking savage who then steals her and rapes her for the rest of her (likely short) life in some miserable hovel at the end of the world. Arranged marriages usually do not involve the murder of your family and friends, nor are all of them as bad as those of Cersei or Lysa. Ned and Cat worked out fine, despite there being no love in the beginning. Roose and Walda work out, too, by the way, as do Edmure-Roslin, Trystane-Myrcella, and many others.

The real art in arranging marriages is making matches where the spouses fit. We see that with Queen Alysanne - three of the matches she makes for her own children are a success (Aemon-Jocelyn, Baelon-Alyssa, and Daella-Rodrik) insofar as the emotions of the people involved are concerned. That's the way to do it if you can. If you do it that way arranged marriages are hardly different from love matches.

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39 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

And honestly this thread seems like another one of those threads where the OP already has a fixed opinion and really just wanted to start a flame thread so they could vent some.

See ya :cheers:

Actually, I wanted to see what the general opinion was about Wildlings. I dislike them for the reasons stated (and honestly Varys as usual knocks it out of the park with his posts), and hoped that some people might rethink things. I know Ygritte and her contemporaries are popular in certain corners, but I think they shouldn't be given that these characters are unbending proponents of a terrible way of life.

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"Harma and the Bag of Bones don't come raiding for fish and apples. They steal swords and axes. Spices, silks, and furs. They grab every coin and ring and jeweled cup they can find, casks of wine in summer and casks of beef in winter, and they take women in any season and carry them off beyond the Wall."

"And what if they do? I'd sooner be stolen by a strong man than be given t' some weakling by my father."

"You say that, but how can you know? What if you were stolen by someone you hated?"

"He'd have t' be quick and cunning and brave t' steal me. So his sons would be strong and smart as well. Why would I hate such a man as that?"

"Maybe he never washes, so he smells as rank as a bear."

"Then I'd push him in a stream or throw a bucket o' water on him. Anyhow, men shouldn't smell sweet like flowers."

"What's wrong with flowers?"

"Nothing, for a bee. For bed I want one o' these." Ygritte made to grab the front of his breeches.

Jon caught her wrist. "What if the man who stole you drank too much?" he insisted. "What if he was brutal or cruel?" He tightened his grip to make a point. "What if he was stronger than you, and liked to beat you bloody?"

"I'd cut his throat while he slept. You know nothing, Jon Snow." Ygritte twisted like an eel and wrenched away from him.

Charming.

"That Longspear stole me daughter. Munda, me little autumn apple. Took her right out o' my tent with all four o' her brothers about. Toregg slept through it, the great lout, and Torwynd . . . well, Torwynd the Tame, that says all that needs saying, don't it? The young ones gave the lad a fight, though."

"And Munda?" asked Jon.

"She's my own blood," said Tormund proudly. "She broke his lip for him and bit one ear half off, and I hear he's got so many scratches on his back he can't wear a cloak. She likes him well enough, though. And why not? He don't fight with no spear, you know. Never has. So where do you think he got that name? Har!"

Jon had to laugh. Even now, even here. Ygritte had been fond of Longspear Ryk. He hoped he found some joy with Tormund's Munda. Someone needed to find some joy somewhere.

"My daughter was raped. At least the rapist has a big cock! Har!" Disgusting, truly.

Jon's reaction is awful, too. Hoping a rapist finds joy with his victim. Nice.

 

Maybe Ygritte's opinions are an outlier, and maybe rapes aren't quite as glorified in other families as it is in Tormund's, but until I see anything leading me to believe that, I have to assume that this is essentially a fair look into Wildling culture, and that opinions that oppose rape are the outliers. The only people north of the Wall who seem to treat rape as the horror it is are Craster's wives. Elsewhere it seems it's just Wildling courtship.

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14 minutes ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Elsewhere it seems it's just Wildling courtship.

I also did not enjoy reading about Ygritte's own coercion to fuck Jon - dubious consent across MANY chapters. 

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3 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

She broke his lip for him and bit one ear half off, and I hear he's got so many scratches on his back he can't wear a cloak. She likes him well enough, though. And why not?

To anyone who thinks their culture doesn't promote rape, explain me how Tormund is not only okay, but rather happy that his daughter was raped.

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I think some are being somewhat disingenuous with their interpretation of Wildling customs. But, if you view them that way, they’re not any worse than, say, Westerosi customs. Westerosi Lords barter away their daughter’s wombs for power or influence or money or alliance... the daughters get no say in the matches, whether they consent or not is irrelevant. The daughters are then forced to perform some sort of ritual, in front of multitudes of people, to give their coming rape some sort of religious blessing, and then to feast and dance, as if their coming rape is to be celebrated. In the moments before the rape, the daughter is stripped, humiliated, and sexually abused before the entire congregation, before the rape is witnessed by members of that congregation. Sometimes, a Lord will even have the cruelty to introduce his daughter to her future rapist months or years in advance of the actual rape, when the two are betrothed. 

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14 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

You do know what the Wildlings think of as a wedding? Their idea of marriage is literally kidnapping and raping women.

The stealing of women is cultural and it's the only thing that is. Rape is not. The stealing smacks more of dubious consent a la Ygritte/Jon or Dany/Drogo. But it's not different from a woman who is forced to marry some dude because duty dictates in the 7Ks.

Everything that's been discussed in this thread is perpetuating a stereotype. The wildlings are no more savage than the people who live south of the Wall. The author spent a whole book trying to debunk that, but that's fine, you just go on and have at it.

Circling the drain is not my thing, so I'm pretty much done here.

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Give us a quote where it is indicated that this part of their culture and that such raiders are idealized as role models in the culture of the Seven Kingdoms

I never said it was their culture. I said they do it. I specifically said further down that the thing that differentiates the FF from the rest of the 7k is that its punished if caught (sometimes depending on who is doing it) in the 7k. 

Anyway the FF aren't one culture. Mance for example doesn't seem to think it's good to rape & kill (for no reason)

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

, they are not. Because if your culture is based on as unjust and destructive a trait as raiding your neighbors much more actual raiding and raping is going to happen than when your culture does not idealize such things.

Every single war the 7k has is full of raping & pillaging & it's looked at as a norm. There are certainly people among the FF who are bad, savage people but it isn't just one culture & there are bad, savage people among the 7k. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

They always knew about the Others. They just were gone so long (at least to the Watch) that they were no longer convinced they even existed. But they have not forgotten that the Wall was raised to defend the realms of men against the Others

Is it stated somewhere that they remember the Others? I don't recall it, if so. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But this isn't the case and you have no basis for your claim that they would then do those things

I have a basis for it but I have no proof. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't need definitive proof for that, it is enough that we have hints

Clearly it's enough for you to believe it that we have hints, that doesn't mean there is no argument against it or that everyone believes it. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know the building of the Wall began after the Long Night, meaning the people who started it and their immediate successor knew what they were doing and why. And considering that people from all the Hundred Kingdoms of Westeros took the black since the very beginning it is also clear that this enterprise was a huge project supported by a hundred or more kingdoms who were constantly fighting each other.

Yep.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The wildlings, however, do not take the black and never did. They are either people who didn't care about protecting mankind, descendants of people who were allied with the Others during the Long Night, or people who, after the Long Night, cared more about themselves and their petty little interests than the common effort to defend the realms of men.

Or they helped build the wall, or they disagreed with the building of the wall, or they were another line of defense against the Others or probably several other things. We don't know enough to narrow it down to the choices you gave. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There must be a reason why the Wall was built where it was built and not farther in the north or south - it being a good spot because of the short distance might be a reason - but it doesn't strike me as convincing that the rulers of the realms of men at the time decided to give up crucial parts of their own territories by making the Wall cut them in two in a more meaningful way than borders between the domains of various petty kings and lords at the time were marked (not with walls

Sure, I agree. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In that sense I don't buy it for a moment that the ancestors of the wildlings didn't know what was going on - they would have had every opportunity to not live in the lands that were beyond the protection of the Wall and the Night's Watch

Yeah, I mean they probably did. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

LOL, no. The wildlings only accept the rule of the strong.

Yep but that is a rule. Essentially the 7k only accept the rule of the strong also, just on bigger scale. They accepted Aegon's rule because he was the strongest - with his dragons. They continued to accept Targ rule because they were the strongest. After the dragons died they continued to accept their rule because they were still the strongest. Even though they didn't have dragons they commanded armies, had allies etc. Eventually Robert was stronger & took the throne & people accepted his rule because he was the strongest. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There are no laws there if there are no legal institutions but clans

That simply isn't true. I guess if you mean like a written law coming from a ruling government of sorts then yeah, there isn't any. Mance is their King & rules them, there are rules. They are probably not hard & fast rules & may change depending on the situation &/or majorities feeling on the matter but there are rules. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Some of them might have similar customs, but that doesn't mean you have any way to get your right if somebody stronger than you decides to take everything from you

Presumably they would go to the leader of their clan or the King beyond the wall with any issues. Much like the 7k it doesn't mean the leader or the King will agree with you about it or do anything to get back whatever is stolen from you. 

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In the Seven Kingdoms that kind of thing would be a crime and you could turn to the authorities for help - beyond the Wall there are no authorities at all. The only help/support you have are your own kin. And if they are weak you are fucked

And who in the 7k decides if your complaint is valid? The strongest. If there are no authorities beyond the wall then who is Mance? Who is the leader of the Thenn's? 

You're fucked if you're weak in the 7k also.

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5 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

To anyone who thinks their culture doesn't promote rape, explain me how Tormund is not only okay, but rather happy that his daughter was raped

How is this any different in the 7k? A woman gets married off to a man of her father's/brothers/next male kins choosing & if said man rapes her then what? They won't even call it rape because it's her responsibility to do her "duties" as a wife. Neither situation is good. They are both bad. At the very least though, a wildling woman is allowed to leave if she can. A woman in the rest of the kingdom that escaped her husband would most often be sent back to him by any Lord that found her. 

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It's called "stealing" and not "raping".

This word has more to do with the fellow villagers being seen as kin and the incest taboo. Women are not supposed to partner up with their kindred. In small bands (the social structure of the Free Folk), chances are very high that the people of your band are closely related. Hence, the women are supposed to partner with a man of another band.

However, a member of a band (be they woman or man) are a valuable asset to that band. They are needed to help hunt and gather the food. They may have a skill that is irreplacable. In such harsh living circumstances an adult or adolescent represents years of investment, of food, of time, and even the infanticide of young children and babies to secure the needs of the older child. So, a woman moving to another band to live with the man of her choice is a significant loss of the woman's band/family. They do not just lose a provider, but all the investment and resources they put into that girl-child. And a man of another band cannot pay a dowry that repays the woman's parents and family of what they invested in her, since nobody owns more than what they can carry upon their body. Hence, the band cannot "consent" to such a loss, and thus cannot give the hand in marriage of their valuable daughter. And the daughter in question cannot be seen as "consenting" or "wanting" to move away from her family, for that would be a sign that her band/family failed her. Hence, in such societies (and this is true in our hisotrical world as well), the daughter must be "stolen" by the man. On the one hand he must prove that he's worth that daughter, particularly by proving he's healthy and strong. He thus must meet with physical opposition by her family. Secondly, the daughter must show physical signs of resisting being taken from her family. The more she fights, the better it reflects on both her parents as well as the guy who steals her. It shows she's not over-the-moon of leaving her family/band, but that the man's proof of strength assures her future safety. Thirdly, the family must resist, as a sign that they regard their daughter highly.

As a consequence, the more visible (non-threatening) injuries a guy stealing a daughter has, the more it reflects on the esteem of both the daughter and her family.

But in the end, it's all a show, a mock fight, ritualistic. If neither daughter nor her family would want that particular guy to steal her, then he'd be dead. This is why Tormund is so proud of the visible injuries his daughter gave her partner when he stole her. It reflects well on Tormund. And generally, a woman doesn't get stolen by a man she doesn't want to be stolen by. 

George most surely based the stealing concept amongst the Free Folk on the real world anthropological rituals amongst bands. It has little to nothing to do with hailing rape, but mock fights to establish or confirm status and representing the loss of a valued member of the band. It's a form of elopement, but one where culturally the woman has to show she fought to remain, rather than leave her family.

Edited by sweetsunray

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