Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Annalee

The Myth of the Self-made Person

Recommended Posts

21 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

In my humble opinion, not having inherited a fortune but earning it qualifies for self-made.  It doesn't have to mean no help at all.  It's okay to have help.  To take GRRM as the example.  He is still a selfmade man even if he had help in landing his first job.  

And help in most of his jobs.

Like, editors, beta-readers, agents, etc.

This doesn’t detract from his role. They are his ultimately his stories. But the way they are now, isn’t purely a result of his mind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I would say a lot  of the noblemen who’ve shown themselves to be devout followers of Stannis, or any actual experience with the things I just listed. 

Stannis doesn't need Davos for a hand, nor could he be expected to do what a Hand would expected to do.

What do you see Davos’ doing now, that he couldn't have done without the title of hand?

Who specifically though? Davos is a devout follower of Stannis so that wouldn't better qualify someone else for the job. None of them have had experience at being a King's Hand, the noblemen have had experience at being noble - not necessarily an attribute. 

What can he not do that would be expected of him? 

Davos does everything that is asked of him & speaks the truth to Stannis, something the other men wouldn't do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Who specifically though? Davos is a devout follower of Stannis so that wouldn't better qualify someone else for the job. None of them have had experience at being a King's Hand,

But they can read, write, better understand other nobles and be accepted as one of them.  They have their lives trained in some form for leadership. Davos is simply not equipped, we see this time and time again as other nobles, nobles on the same side as he, don't respect him.

Respect is needed to be Hand, especially when the majority of the realm is against his King.

4 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

 

the noblemen have had experience at being noble - not necessarily an attribute. 

It is in this world. It is why Robb at 15 is able to lead, why Jon is head and shoulders above his peers at the Watch, why other young nobles are fast tracked.

Nobles receive the greatest educations and in a world of nepotism, have better relationships with the other important men of the realm. If Stannis' most important vassals look down on the Onion Knight that is a problem.

The fact that Stannis has not actually given him the job of the Hand, just the title, is pretty telling. Davos is still doing the same job for Stannis what he was doing in ACOK, Messenger boy, asking other Lords to help Stannis.

The fact that Stannis has allowed a Queen's Hand to be a defacto leader of part of his force, while Davos seemingly has no staff, is also pretty telling of just how he sees Davos.

4 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

What can he not do that would be expected of him? 

It may not be any fault of his own, but he can't get the respect from the realm that most nobles take for granted. Perception is a big thing in rule, if someone is seen as being a lesser choice it will change how others treat them.

He's no real experience of ordering other nobles around, his command is off smuggling ships. That is quite the leap to King's Hand.

4 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Davos does everything that is asked of him & speaks the truth to Stannis, something the other men wouldn't do. 

He did that before he was Hand though. It is nice that he does that, but a King struggling to win a war, with little support, may need a better Hand than someone who simply speaks the truth to him.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a point of the series (particularly LF's character) that mobility in such a society is limited, and that for particularly capable people to improve their station causing upheaval is at least a viable and probably the most expedient method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

But they can read, write, better understand other nobles and be accepted as one of them.  They have their lives trained in some form for leadership. Davos is simply not equipped, we see this time and time again as other nobles, nobles on the same side as he, don't respect him.

I agree with all of this, I just think Davos has other attributes that make him the best man to be, specifically, Stannis's hand. 

21 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Respect is needed to be Hand, especially when the majority of the realm is against his King

Davos does command some respect when he goes outside of Stannis's circle though. It is an issue that his Lord's all look down on Davos & I understand that. I guess I'm thinking more in terms of being Stannis's 'right hand man' during the long night, rather than being Hand to a King sitting the throne. 

21 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

It is in this world. It is why Robb at 15 is able to lead, why Jon is head and shoulders above his peers at the Watch, why other young nobles are fast tracked

Yeah, I mean it's seen, in universe, as an attribute in that nobles get treated better, have more opportunity etc, I meant being noble isn't necessarily a good attribute, morally speaking. 

22 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Nobles receive the greatest educations and in a world of nepotism, have better relationships with the other important men of the realm. If Stannis' most important vassals look down on the Onion Knight that is a problem.

The fact that Stannis has not actually given him the job of the Hand, just the title, is pretty telling. Davos is still doing the same job for Stannis what he was doing in ACOK, Messenger boy, asking other Lords to help Stannis.

The fact that Stannis has allowed a Queen's Hand to be a defacto leader of part of his force, while Davos seemingly has no staff, is also pretty telling of just how he sees Davos.

Quote

What can he not do that would be expected of him? 

It may not be any fault of his own, but he can't get the respect from the realm that most nobles take for granted. Perception is a big thing in rule, if someone is seen as being a lesser choice it will change how others treat them.

He's no real experience of ordering other nobles around, his command is off smuggling ships. That is quite the leap to King's Hand.

I suppose you're right. Stannis seems in dire need of someone to give him good, true, honest advice though & no one other than Davos & to a lesser extent Jon, have given him that. 

24 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

He did that before he was Hand though. It is nice that he does that, but a King struggling to win a war, with little support, may need a better Hand than someone who simply speaks the truth to him

He certainly may, but of the men we get any detail about, they all seem pretty foolish. What typically would be the responsibilities of the Hand to a King who isn't ruling much or who is fighting to win his throne? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I agree with all of this, I just think Davos has other attributes that make him the best man to be, specifically, Stannis's hand. 

I think he still provides those attributes with or without being Stannis' Hand.

Making your best friend the co-President is not a good idea when the things he offers, good advice, is already provided.

Quote

Davos does command some respect when he goes outside of Stannis's circle though.

We don't really see that, nor do we see how they'd treat an actual Noble as Davos' Hand.

Quote

 

It is an issue that his Lord's all look down on Davos & I understand that. I guess I'm thinking more in terms of being Stannis's 'right hand man' during the long night, rather than being Hand to a King sitting the throne. 

But he's not that either. He's still playing messenger boy, he's still doing the same role he was doing when he was just a landed knight.

He's not with Stannis, he's not with Stannis' other army at the Wall, nor is he actually in contact with Stannis. In fact Stannis only mentions him once in ADWD.

"The merman of Manderly was not amongst those banners Lady Melisandre saw in her fires," Jon said. "If you had White Harbor and Lord Wyman's knights …"
"If is a word for fools. We have had no word from Davos. It may be he never reached White Harbor. Arnolf Karstark writes that the storms have been fierce upon the narrow sea. Be that as it may. I have no time to grieve, nor wait upon the whims of Lord Too-Fat. I must consider White Harbor lost to me."
 
Stannis considers him dead. He does not appoint a new one, does not even send someone else to do what Davos was doing. Davos' role in Stannis government is not seen as vital by him. The Hand should be a vital position, especially when at war.
Quote

Yeah, I mean it's seen, in universe, as an attribute in that nobles get treated better, have more opportunity etc, I meant being noble isn't necessarily a good attribute, morally speaking. 

Not to us. To them it is. And the more noble you are, the better you are seen. Robb thinks the Westerlings are better than the Freys because they have superior blood. Dunk, a commoner, looks down on the Buttwerwells and Freys, because they are seen as less noble than some of their peers.

Thankfully most of the people in our society have got past that, though even now the meme of 'new money' still exists, but Westeros is nowhere near as enlightened. They have a very rigid class structure. It will be generations before the Seaworths are accepted.

Quote

I suppose you're right. Stannis seems in dire need of someone to give him good, true, honest advice though & no one other than Davos & to a lesser extent Jon, have given him that. 

No, his last Hand did. He was burned alive for it. Stannis still wants advice he likes.

Quote

He certainly may, but of the men we get any detail about, they all seem pretty foolish. What typically would be the responsibilities of the Hand to a King who isn't ruling much or who is fighting to win his throne? 

Well a big responsibility would be to gain more support. Stannis should have went to White Harbor directly and offered him the Handship, or some other former rebel from another faction. As hated as Roose is, that would be a slam dunk to get him to betray the Crown and to gain his military backing and have the North rebel from the Crown. It would probably have been more effective than going against the Boltons (though this is not going to be popular with the readers).

He should have also betrothed his daughter, his heir by now to gain further support. Maybe with a foreign power, maybe with someone not on great terms with the Crown.

Politically speaking Stannis is not making great moves for someone who is in desperate need for military support, but this is a fantasy book so he gets magical shadow babies and the Iron Bank throwing money at him asking for little in return which is keeping him competitive in his challenge for the Throne.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/5/2020 at 4:50 PM, chrisdaw said:

It is a point of the series (particularly LF's character) that mobility in such a society is limited, and that for particularly capable people to improve their station causing upheaval is at least a viable and probably the most expedient method.

Yes.  One can rise through the destabilization of the system.  Even a temporary disturbance, like war, can open the doors of opportunity.  Sort of like releasing a bull in a china shop.  The social structure is very tight.  A little chaos is needed to open the doors for the likes of Bron and LF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Littlefinger was always smarter than his social betters.  The corridors of power were narrow indeed.  The Starks and the Baratheons were blocking the passage way to opportunities like a bad constipation.  He gives the passage a strong enema blast and pushes away the anal clog that are the Starks and its allies.  Thus, he made the opening clear for himself.  He had help from Lysa but it was still smartly done.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/5/2020 at 2:50 PM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

And help in most of his jobs.

Like, editors, beta-readers, agents, etc.

This doesn’t detract from his role. They are his ultimately his stories. But the way they are now, isn’t purely a result of his mind. 

I agree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Dr. Miguelito Loveless said:

Littlefinger was always smarter than his social betters.  The corridors of power were narrow indeed.  The Starks and the Baratheons were blocking the passage way to opportunities like a bad constipation.  He gives the passage a strong enema blast and pushes away the anal clog that are the Starks and its allies.  Thus, he made the opening clear for himself.  He had help from Lysa but it was still smartly done.  

Baelish was born into the nobility and thus had a lot of advantages compared to the smallfolk. Sure, yeah he still had better abilities in accounting compared to Robert and Jon Arryn. I would compare his abilities to those of Walder Frey, though the Lord of the crossing didn't start from humble beginnings. Far from it. Both of them have good business skills.  Something Robert lacked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...