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So I always got the impression the island of Skagos was a mystery all we get is alot of story's about they may have Unicorns and may eat people and they boat stay well away of the island but recently I started listening to the books again for like the 6th time and when Tyrion is feasting Janos Slynt before sending him to the wall he mentions how the ship hes sending him on is making a few stops, one of them being Skagos. So if it's a common stop for ships traveling near by why all the mystery.. 

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Stannis th3 Mannis said:

So I always got the impression the island of Skagos was a mystery all we get is alot of story's about they may have Unicorns and may eat people and they boat stay well away of the island but recently I started listening to the books again for like the 6th time and when Tyrion is feasting Janos Slynt before sending him to the wall he mentions how the ship hes sending him on is making a few stops, one of them being Skagos. So if it's a common stop for ships traveling near by why all the mystery.. 

Just because Tyrion says so doesn’t make it true. Tyrion could have been trying to taunt or scare Janos.

Edited by James Steller

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, James Steller said:

Just because Tyrion says so doesn’t make it true. Tyrion could have been trying to taunt or scare Janos.

Maybe!! I dont hate that explanation!! Even so I'm still leaning towards it all being a bunch of exaggerated stories and when/if we actually see Skagos they end up being more than a tribe of savage cannibals. I bet they end up being the Wankanda of Westeros lol!!!

Edited by Stannis th3 Mannis

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My impression is that Skagos is a primitive, savage place with a hunter-gatherer civilization.  Westerosi ships go there to trade steel and manufactured goods for furs and ivory.  But the sailors stay close to their ships; there's not much cultural exchange, so the place remains mysterious.

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10 minutes ago, Aebram said:

My impression is that Skagos is a primitive, savage place with a hunter-gatherer civilization.  Westerosi ships go there to trade steel and manufactured goods for furs and ivory.  But the sailors stay close to their ships; there's not much cultural exchange, so the place remains mysterious.

Hunter gatherer civilizations will not survive a 5 year Winter. Skagos is backward, savage and mysterious, but it has agriculture, lords and a social structure probably on a similar level to that of the Northern Mountain Clans. Probably just a bit more savage from a cultural perspective, given their isolation.

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Are they really that backward if they're able to build ships to go and raid Skane or the mainland? It also took years for Winterfell to bring them to heel after they rebelled and it really wasn't that long ago.

I'm not sure they're as backward or as savage as we're told they are. It just seems like their reputation is something that they cultivated so that they're left alone. And they seem to be left to their own devices anyway. 

If they are as bad as we are told they are, then why would Osha take Rickon, a 4 year old boy, there? She could have headed for the Wall instead, and Jon. But she went to Skagos, so maybe she knows things about the island and its inhabitants that we don't know yet. 

I think the interesting thing about Skagos is what makes the Thenns interesting. They are probably as First Men as we have in the story, culturally speaking. 

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I say the reality is much worse.  GM loves to dial up the drama to level 11.  The Skagosi make stews out of little kids.  Arya and Wayman would relish the local cuisine.  "Bon appetit" says Arya Stark as she tucks in.

Edited by 300 H&H Magnum

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1 hour ago, 300 H&H Magnum said:

I say the reality is much worse.  GM loves to dial up the drama to level 11.  The Skagosi make stews out of little kids.  Arya and Wayman would relish the local cuisine.  "Bon appetit" says Arya Stark as she tucks in.

That feels like a nod to the old horror/adventure stories, the ones that were even more extreme than "Heart of Darkness", where Davos braves a savage country to find Rickon based on a hunch, only to realize that he was cooked and eaten a long time ago, and Shaggydog is in fact being kept for entertainment purposes. As creepy a twist as that would be, it'd also be a bit anticlimactic to have Rickon dead so easily.

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5 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Are they really that backward if they're able to build ships to go and raid Skane or the mainland? It also took years for Winterfell to bring them to heel after they rebelled and it really wasn't that long ago.

I'm not sure they're as backward or as savage as we're told they are. It just seems like their reputation is something that they cultivated so that they're left alone. And they seem to be left to their own devices anyway. 

If they are as bad as we are told they are, then why would Osha take Rickon, a 4 year old boy, there? She could have headed for the Wall instead, and Jon. But she went to Skagos, so maybe she knows things about the island and its inhabitants that we don't know yet. 

I think the interesting thing about Skagos is what makes the Thenns interesting. They are probably as First Men as we have in the story, culturally speaking. 

Exactly what I'm thinking. They have 3 houses with sigils. But these men are called "Magnar", the title for "Lord" in the Old Tongue. A Skagosi was an LC once. We haven't heard of that LC doing heinous stuff. We do know a Hightower LC tried to make CB inheritable and nearly destroyed the Watch, and all evidence points to CB having been built after the Andal invasion and Hightower's managing to make their city the seat of the Faith.

Notice the time periode when the Skagosi rebelled - when certain Stark brothers wed their half-nieces, while the nieces were the heirs. This occurred after the Dance, halfway through the Targaryen reign. Once these incestuous Starks emerged we, have the Skagosi rebel, while they seemed to have tolerated to be part of the Northern territory, as long as the mainlanders left them to their self-governing.

And that's where we must situate the stories about Skagos mostly imo: a propaganda used to preserve an isolation, to keep outsiders from meddling or influencing. They don't care what outsiders believe of them, even if it is not true, as long as they don't impose rules and beliefs on them, they believe to be wrong. Skagos imo is the place that likely still retains the habbits the closest to that of the First Men as they did thousands of years ago. This may include cannibalism, but that may be more of a waste not, want not thing of their own dead during lean times in order to survive, than murder-to-eat. 

And one of the reasons they do not allow traders and sailors to go inland would imo have to do with preventing the spread of disease.

But hey, some readers want to think the worst and believe the claims, because of anti-northern sentiments. It's not as if nobody ever makes outrageous claims, right?

Quote

Qavo laughed. "If even half the stories coming back from Slaver's Bay are true, this child is a monster. They say that she is bloodthirsty, that those who speak against her are impaled on spikes to die lingering deaths. They say she is a sorceress who feeds her dragons on the flesh of newborn babes, an oathbreaker who mocks the gods, breaks truces, threatens envoys, and turns on those who have served her loyally. They say her lust cannot be sated, that she mates with men, women, eunuchs, even dogs and children, and woe betide the lover who fails to satisfy her. She gives her body to men to take their souls in thrall." (aDwD, Tyrion VI)

 

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52 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

And that's where we must situate the stories about Skagos mostly imo: a propaganda used to preserve an isolation, to keep outsiders from meddling or influencing. They don't care what outsiders believe of them, even if it is not true, as long as they don't impose rules and beliefs on them, they believe to be wrong. Skagos imo is the place that likely still retains the habbits the closest to that of the First Men as they did thousands of years ago. This may include cannibalism, but that may be more of a waste not, want not thing of their own dead during lean times in order to survive, than murder-to-eat. 

I agree with this. 

At the end of the day, this is how I look at it. Osha has been devoted and loyal to Bran and Rickon. She put her life on the line for them when Theon took Winterfell. And she understands what the boys are.

She wasn't going to return beyond the Wall with Rickon because of the Others. She doesn't know which House to take him to because Luwin himself seemed unsure (White Harbor . . . the Umbers . . . I do not know . . . war everywhere . . . each man against his neighbor . . . and winter is coming), and she decides not to take him to the Wall. But she decides to take him to Skagos, an island with a very dark reputation. 

I'm going to trust her judgement on this. I don't think she would go somewhere she felt was not safe for her and Rickon. There, Rickon might actually get the help he needs with his warging for one, because the poor child was a mess before he went off page.

The Skagosi, like the Thenns and the crannogmen live in isolation, and keep to their own communities, where they might know a lot of the lore of the FM/CotF/Long Night than the other FM. (A magnar of Skagos is named by Old Nan as possibly being the Night's King). 

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Horror stories to keep the tax collectors away?  Something the North made up to scare children.  Rickon will be a brute savage if even half of those are true.

 

On 6/1/2020 at 4:20 PM, Stannis th3 Mannis said:

So I always got the impression the island of Skagos was a mystery all we get is alot of story's about they may have Unicorns and may eat people and they boat stay well away of the island but recently I started listening to the books again for like the 6th time and when Tyrion is feasting Janos Slynt before sending him to the wall he mentions how the ship hes sending him on is making a few stops, one of them being Skagos. So if it's a common stop for ships traveling near by why all the mystery.. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Son of Man said:

Rickon will be a brute savage if even half of those are true.

That's exactly what I'm betting will happen. Maybe not a full savage, but he's going to be closer to the Free Folk than the Andals.

One of the main themes that GRRM seems to be playing with is a return to a more brutal time. A time with Others, long winter, magic, dragons, and a destruction of laws trying to govern the world. One region which will be greatly affected is the North. ADWD put an emphasis on how the Northerners survived brutal conditions by living in ways considered barbaric to the Andals. Human sacrifice, first night with strong lords passing on their genes, old men going into the wilderness to die, people stringing up entrails of their enemies in trees, even cannibalism. Wyman Manderly avenges the violation of guest right, the most sacred law in the First Men culture, by consuming the flesh of those responsible. Not only that, he feeds their flesh to his enemies as a mockery and vengeance. 

Rickon will become a Stark of old, the kind of man like Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf, who defeated his enemies in battle and decorated his borders with their heads as a warning of what he was willing to do to protect his people. Rickon will become such a person, hopefully supported by an army of Skagosi who will prove invaluable during the war with the Others (dragonglass, anyone?).

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One should imagine that Osha knows people on Skagos, has relations there, or is herself originally from that place (although then she would have left rather early to become a proper wildling).

The idea that the Skagosi are more closer to the wildlings in custom and is not very likely. They knelt two times at least, which is something that sets them apart from the wildlings, not to mention that they historically supported the Night's Watch and not the people wanting to tear down the Wall.

The idea that the Rickon is going to become sort of monstrous savage on the island is pretty likely, actually - but that's not going to become a good thing. First, because he is a five-year-old and won't be able to rule or lead anyone. At best he is going to be a little pawn the adults controlling him will occasionally parade around. Second, nobody taught him how to properly be a skinchanger and he was far too young to bond with an animal without proper training. Jojen warns Bran about spending too much time in Summer, but nobody ever warned Rickon, nor would it have done any good to warn since he was already half-wild, savage child by the time the Reeds showed up.

Rickon became a very fearful and angry child after his family abandoned him, and that's not going to magically get better. Especially not in light of the fact that skinchanging is actually soul-merging - you take on animal charactertistics if you do it. It seems, disciplined skinchangers can prevent the animal from dominating their psyche, but this is a risk, and I'm pretty sure we'll see Rickon being one of the cases where this isn't going to well at all.

Doesn't mean he cannot get better once he is reunited with some of his family, but I don't expect him to be a sane or healthy five-year-old when we meet him again.

4 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

Rickon will become a Stark of old, the kind of man like Theon Stark, the Hungry Wolf, who defeated his enemies in battle and decorated his borders with their heads as a warning of what he was willing to do to protect his people. Rickon will become such a person, hopefully supported by an army of Skagosi who will prove invaluable during the war with the Others (dragonglass, anyone?).

Unless the Starks of old were all five-year-olds he is not going to become any of that - or rather not before he is 10-15 years older. Rickon may have a monstrously huge direwolf to rip out the throats of everybody he doesn't like, but that's it. He won't defeat anyone in battle or any of that.

And if the Skagosi take an interest in him, they will likely try to exploit him for whatever goals they have.

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Eating the dead will have to be part of one's lifestyle if that person is to survive during the prolonged winter.  It won't only be Rickon who eats the dead.  All of his siblings will be doing the same.  First in wolf form and as humans after they get used to the initial yuck reflex.  And then again in their final direwolf form they will not mind it at all.

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On 6/1/2020 at 11:02 PM, Free Northman Reborn said:

Hunter gatherer civilizations will not survive a 5 year Winter.

Cue the last ice age where hunter-gatherers survived for over 30,000 years.

If your culture is still reliant on being hunter gatherers you probably are not consisdered to be a civiization.

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2 hours ago, Oak and Iron said:

Cue the last ice age where hunter-gatherers survived for over 30,000 years.

If your culture is still reliant on being hunter gatherers you probably are not consisdered to be a civiization.

I'm guessing they keep goats, chicken, sheep and pigs; fishing and do some trading.  Like early Norsemen.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Oak and Iron said:

Cue the last ice age where hunter-gatherers survived for over 30,000 years.

If your culture is still reliant on being hunter gatherers you probably are not consisdered to be a civiization.

The last ice age still had seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter: it wasn't snowing and iced up all year round. Nevertheless, people have learned to survive in the north pole, as hunter gatherers.

But the Skagosi aren't hunter gatherers. A seat for House Magnar called Kingshouse and the seat Driftwood Hall for House Stane conflicts with this. On the other hand it's claimed they live in mountains and caves (likely comparable to the French stone shelters of the Ice Age), while traders claims Skagosi ride shaggy huge beast with a horn (the unicorns), and thus domesticated animals at least. They're probably more comparable to early farmers and settlers of our Paleolithic (pre written history).

Civilisation is mostly applied to organized cultures who keep written records. But it can also be used to mean a certain culture at a certain place at a given time period. With the first definition anything pre-Andal would not be a civilsation (despite having kings, albeit petty kings, and architectural feats),  unless you accept "runes" as "written records". With the latter any culture is a civilisation.

 

 

Edited by sweetsunray

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After 8000 years living right next to the North and the Watch (many thousands of those ruled by House Stark), knowledge of agriculture would have filtered through to Skagos. They almost certainly plant all the standard crops you would find in the Umber or Karstark lands, subject to local weather variations.

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16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Doesn't mean he cannot get better once he is reunited with some of his family, but I don't expect him to be a sane or healthy five-year-old when we meet him again .

Yes, he's a pretty traumatized kid when last we saw him.  Basically running wild at Winterfell with nobody taking much notice of him.  Before them, crying for his mother and hanging onto Rob's leg.  I do think there is some hope for him with Osha.  She may become a substitute mother and help to stabilize him emotionally.  She may know more about wargs and skinchanging as a wildling than we think.  She might be the only person Rickon will listen to.  And then we don't know what Bran will do, if he will contact Rickon in the same way that he contacts Jon.  So it might not be as bleak as it appears now.  

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