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The Sunland Lord

Will The Slave Rebellion in Essos End Like That of Spartacus?

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As far as we know, development of society is not going very fast in these novels, and it's not going faster in our real world either.

So as I am setting up this topic, I am not questioning Dany's ability to end slavery that much, bur rather the possibility that she entered into something bigger than her - drastic changes require a lot of time. It is so in the real world and it is so on Planetos.

We know that there were three slave rebellions in Rome - the last one, instigated by Spartacus, gave the Romans good run for their money but ended badly and nothing was changed. 

Paralells between GRRM's world and reality:

Marcus Licinius Crassus - the man who crushed the rebellion in the Third Servile War, had the bodies of the remained rebels crucified along the Appian Way from Rome to Capua in the aftermath of the war.

Similar thing happened on Essos: 163 (?) innocents were crucified by the masters. In retaliation, Daenerys crucified the exact same number of Slavers. Now, if there was another rebellion in Rome and the rebel leader decided to crucify 6,000 or so Romans by random choice, would it be any justice? 

Other comparison and maybe a hint - Some of the rebel leaders in Rome started to think more about the amount of booty collected rather than their freedom, and focused on raiding/pillaging instead of looking for an actual way out of Italy. In Martinworld, some of the slaves on Essos - I think his nickname was "Butcher" or something like that, wanted only to become a slaver instead of slavers.

I think that what Martin will try to prove here is that - you cannot fight injustice with injustice, since if I remember correctly, the Slavers weren't put on a trial or there was an actual proof that the exact number of 163 slavers instigated the crucifixion of the innocents. (If there was, feel free to correct me or ignore this passage) 

Even if we exclude justice/injustice, the point about transformation of a society still stands. 

I am not trying to defend the slavers. Slavery cannot be sacrosanct. I am only asking for your opinion - how do you think that this will realistically end?

 

 

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Slavery will return - there is no other way for it to end. In Slaver's Bay, slaves actually outnumber free population, which indicates that slavery is far more genetic to Slaver's Bay societies than it ever was for Ancient Rome or US South. And unlike Rome and South, there is no Christianity equivalent popular among elites that would make slavery unpalatable - but keep in mind that slavery survived in Byzantine Empire up to 7th century (and remained technically legal until end of the Empire, though it was very rare after 7th century and largely replaced by feudalism after 11th) despite Byzantine Empire being one of most Christian states in history.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Sunland Lord said:

As far as we know, development of society is not going very fast in these novels, and it's not going faster in our real world either.

So as I am setting up this topic, I am not questioning Dany's ability to end slavery that much, bur rather the possibility that she entered into something bigger than her - drastic changes require a lot of time. It is so in the real world and it is so on Planetos.

We know that there were three slave rebellions in Rome - the last one, instigated by Spartacus, gave the Romans good run for their money but ended badly and nothing was changed. 

Paralells between GRRM's world and reality:

Marcus Licinius Crassus - the man who crushed the rebellion in the Third Servile War, had the bodies of the remained rebels crucified along the Appian Way from Rome to Capua in the aftermath of the war.

Similar thing happened on Essos: 163 (?) innocents were crucified by the masters. In retaliation, Daenerys crucified the exact same number of Slavers. Now, if there was another rebellion in Rome and the rebel leader decided to crucify 6,000 or so Romans by random choice, would it be any justice? 

Other comparison and maybe a hint - Some of the rebel leaders in Rome started to think more about the amount of booty collected rather than their freedom, and focused on raiding/pillaging instead of looking for an actual way out of Italy. In Martinworld, some of the slaves on Essos - I think his nickname was "Butcher" or something like that, wanted only to become a slaver instead of slavers.

I think that what Martin will try to prove here is that - you cannot fight injustice with injustice, since if I remember correctly, the Slavers weren't put on a trial or there was an actual proof that the exact number of 163 slavers instigated the crucifixion of the innocents. (If there was, feel free to correct me or ignore this passage) 

Even if we exclude justice/injustice, the point about transformation of a society still stands. 

I am not trying to defend the slavers. Slavery cannot be sacrosanct. I am only asking for your opinion - how do you think that this will realistically end?

 

 

Martin has also quoted Frederick Douglass with approval "Power concedes nothing without a struggle."  Spartacus made 400 Roman soldiers fight to the death, as gladiators, after the death of Crixus.  That doesn't alter the fact that his cause was just. History does not judge Spartacus as the bad guy in this conflict. 

The Romans had advantages which the Slavers lack.  First, free people outnumbered slaves overall.  It's unlikely the slave population ever numbered more than a third of the total in Italy.  Second, Rome's military power was unmatched.  The legions were pretty well invincible at this point. Third, Crassus and Pompey were very effective generals.  So, while it's possible that a lot of slaves could have escaped beyond the Alps, there was never any likelihood that they could actually defeat the Romans.  

Escape is not an option in Slavers Bay (the freedmen are thousands of miles away from Braavos or Westeros).  So, fighting is their only option.  It looks (from the sample chapters in TWOW) as if the Slaver coalition is heading for defeat outside Meereen.   It also looks as if Volantis is heading for a slave/religious revolution, against its leaders.  What the Slavers have had, until very recently, is a monopoly of violence in the region.  Take that away from them, and they're a group of people who are heavily outnumbered by the freedmen. So, I think it will end differently to the Third Servile War.  That doesn't mean it will be all sweetness and light.  No doubt the quality of government that emerges in different places to replace that of the Slavers will be very variable;  it's human nature that some leaders will abuse their positions.

Edited by SeanF

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, The Sunland Lord said:

Other comparison and maybe a hint - Some of the rebel leaders in Rome started to think more about the amount of booty collected rather than their freedom, and focused on raiding/pillaging instead of looking for an actual way out of Italy. In Martinworld, some of the slaves on Essos - I think his nickname was "Butcher" or something like that, wanted only to become a slaver instead of slavers

Interesting. That was Cleon "The Butcher King." A slave who inspired other slaves to be the new masters and created his own Unsullied. Basically just inverted the hierarchy, something Dany was close to doing herself. If she does have former masters working without a wage and does make exceptions for the slaves selling themselves and does take a profit from it. He also proposed a marriage which I think is symbolic. She'll be Queen Butcher in the end.

I think Dany has given up on Meereen. Frederick Douglas she is not. She said she would burn Yunkai to the ground and thats probably what she wants to do when she returns. Then on to Westeros. But slavery is a system of human relationships - it doesnt have a command center that she can just blow up. Imagine if we bombed cities to stop human trafficking. So dumb. 

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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11 hours ago, SeanF said:

The Romans had advantages which the Slavers lack.  First, free people outnumbered slaves overall.  It's unlikely the slave population ever numbered more than a third of the total in Italy.  Second, Rome's military power was unmatched.  The legions were pretty well invincible at this point. Third, Crassus and Pompey were very effective generals.  So, while it's possible that a lot of slaves could have escaped beyond the Alps, there was never any likelihood that they could actually defeat the Romans.  

Forth: The majority* of the slaves in not only the Spartacus-revolt, but quite a number of slave-revolts in Antiquity, weren't interested in changing the system itself; they just wanted to go home (many of those who succeeded had no problem at all with slaves in their homelands, or even with keeping slaves themselves). This seems quite different with Dany's campaign.

*Not all, there were some pioneers, philosophers and those influenced by them.

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Daenerys is the lead heroine of A Song of Ice and Fire.  She will not stop fighting to help the slaves.  It is possible that she may suspend her campaign against slavery temporarily in order to help stop the Others.  If the Others are the existential threat to all living things, as the story seems to be saying, then an intelligent person like Daenerys would conclude that they are the problem that needs to be addressed first. She will plan to return to Slaver's Bay to continue her reforms.  Daenerys is a better leader and ruler in comparison to Robb Stark and Jon Snow.  I trust her to make the right decisions.  

Slavery in the South was ended within a few short years of war.  More than 600,000 Americans lost their lives to put an end to slavery. It was costly. It was bloody. But it was worth it.  Slavery will end in Essos.  It is the rebuilding which will take time.  How long will depend on how many of the old slaving families remain and how much they will cooperate.  

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This. IS. WESTEROS!!!! *Dany kicks a slaver into a pit*

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2 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Daenerys is the lead heroine of A Song of Ice and Fire.  She will not stop fighting to help the slaves.  It is possible that she may suspend her campaign against slavery temporarily in order to help stop the Others.  If the Others are the existential threat to all living things, as the story seems to be saying, then an intelligent person like Daenerys would conclude that they are the problem that needs to be addressed first. She will plan to return to Slaver's Bay to continue her reforms.  Daenerys is a better leader and ruler in comparison to Robb Stark and Jon Snow.  I trust her to make the right decisions.  

Slavery in the South was ended within a few short years of war.  More than 600,000 Americans lost their lives to put an end to slavery. It was costly. It was bloody. But it was worth it.  Slavery will end in Essos.  It is the rebuilding which will take time.  How long will depend on how many of the old slaving families remain and how much they will cooperate.  

Situation with American South is absolutely not comparable to that of Slaver's Bay.

1) Slavery in South was on its way out until cotton gin was invented, and would not have been sustainable beyond invention of cotton picker. No such situation in Slaver's Bay - no social pressure to end slavery, and no economic pressure either.

2) Slavery in US ran against supposed moral grain of nation - Christian theology holds that all humans are created equal. Again, there is - or at least was not until recently - no comparable religion in Slaver's Bay.

3) In 1860 there were 4 million slaves in US. This is out of total population of 31,4 million, so 13%. In Slaver's Bay at least in some areas, slaves outnumber free men - in fact, in Lys, Volantis and Tyrosh slaves outnumber free men 3-1, while in Volantis it is 5-1. Such situation I am not aware of in any historical society. It suggests however that slavery is normal for those societies - so even if you overthrew old order (Masters), former slaves will just end up enslaving former masters - and each other.

If slavery in Slaver's Bay does end, it will be work of Red Priests; Daenerys will have next to nothing to do with it.

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Slavery will not be stopped by one person.  It will be a team effort.  The team will be led by Mhysa, Daenerys Targaryen.  This is the first time in thousands of years where slavery can be ended.  It is not by accident.  This opportunity came along when Daenerys Targaryen came along.  Putting an end to such large scale slavery will be impossible for most people but Daenerys is not ordinary.  The slaves will have to fight for their freedom.  As it should be.  But it will be Daenerys Targaryen who will inspire them and give them the courage to do so.  She is the light of hope who will guide them to freedom.  We obviously do not have a timeline for when this will take place.  I agree with @Moiraine Sedai in thinking this may be put on hold while she goes to Westeros to help fight the Others.  George may tease us and we never get to read about the final results of the war against slavery.  He may leave the conclusion hanging, with enough clues to lead us to our own conclusions.  Suppose George decides to get cute and force a choice between fighting the slave masters and saving the world from the Others?  I have to again agree with @Moiraine Sedai because Daenerys will choose to save the world first.  A lot of the key people in the plot will have to make very hard personal choices in the last volume.  

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I wish we would bomb cities (or at least, certain parts of cities) to stop human trafficking.

I think the revolution in Essos will end differently than the situations in Rome and the United States because Daenerys Targaryen is a warlord with a flying, fire-breathing dragon and an army that keeps growing and growing. To her credit, she is also getting the support of various priests, prophets and scholars, many of whom have magical powers.

That said, if Daenerys really wants to break the wheel of the misery and horror of human enslavement, then she's going to have to conquer the entire continent. It's not just Slaver's Bay but it's Yi Ti, Asshai, Qarth, Volantis, Lys, Tyrosh, Norvos, etc. Every place in Essos that supports slavery must either be made to capitulate or be destroyed and remade.

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I am optimistic about the future of Slaver's Bay.  Slavery will end there.  It will be the greatest Targaryen accomplishment.  

The other places like Yi Ti, Asshai, and all are too big.  Slavery in all the known world will not end.  There will always be places where freedom will not happen.  Essos is too big to conquer in one life time.  

2 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

I wish we would bomb cities (or at least, certain parts of cities) to stop human trafficking.

I think the revolution in Essos will end differently than the situations in Rome and the United States because Daenerys Targaryen is a warlord with a flying, fire-breathing dragon and an army that keeps growing and growing. To her credit, she is also getting the support of various priests, prophets and scholars, many of whom have magical powers.

That said, if Daenerys really wants to break the wheel of the misery and horror of human enslavement, then she's going to have to conquer the entire continent. It's not just Slaver's Bay but it's Yi Ti, Asshai, Qarth, Volantis, Lys, Tyrosh, Norvos, etc. Every place in Essos that supports slavery must either be made to capitulate or be destroyed and remade.

 

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39 minutes ago, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

I am optimistic about the future of Slaver's Bay.  Slavery will end there.  It will be the greatest Targaryen accomplishment.  

The other places like Yi Ti, Asshai, and all are too big.  Slavery in all the known world will not end.  There will always be places where freedom will not happen.  Essos is too big to conquer in one life time.  

Me too. I'm optimistic too and I think that everything Dany has and will continue to accomplish after Drogo's death will bring honor to House Targaryen. When it's all said and done, she'll equal and surpass the greatest of her House.

Essos is too big to conquer in one lifetime? I don't know.

Not all conquests mean arduous war and strife. Some conquests are peaceful. The Vale and the North submitted to the Targaryens not in the aftermath of a bloody series of battles but with parleys. Dorne submitted to the Iron Throne by way of marriage.

Yi Ti and Asshai could simply do the more sensible thing and free all their slaves independently. Or they could squeeze some good terms out of Queen Daenerys and make-over their systems of chattel slavery into serfdom. Slaver's Bay chose to fight Daenerys every step of the way but the Further East and some of the other Free Cities could capitulate willfully without so much as a sword being drawn.

Stranger things have happened. Particularly in this story...

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Dany doesn't have to do all the work.  She only has to give her consent and the slaves will fight for their own freedom.  The vision of a thousand plus slaves with bloodstained hands reaching to Dany as she rode her silver made that very clear.  The slaves will free themselves.  The blood of their masters and oppressors will be on their hands.  Dany will plant the seeds of freedom and the rest will be up to the slaves.  Freedom is not given but earned.  They will have to earn their freedom through fighting.  Hope and the desire to be free will spread throughout the east and even to faraway lands to where Dany will never set foot on.  

I am not saying the slaves can do it all on their own.  Something will need to be done to remove the masters' fleet from blockading Meereen.  The hired sell sword companies will have to be destroyed.  Dany will need to do that and prove herself to the Widow, Benerro, and the other leaders.  Who knows, the idea may even cross the Narrow Sea and make the peasants question why they follow their lords.  

The number of slaves make them the majority.  Freedom is possible.  

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4 hours ago, Jeeves said:

Slavery will not be stopped by one person.  It will be a team effort.  The team will be led by Mhysa, Daenerys Targaryen.  This is the first time in thousands of years where slavery can be ended.  It is not by accident.  This opportunity came along when Daenerys Targaryen came along.  Putting an end to such large scale slavery will be impossible for most people but Daenerys is not ordinary.  The slaves will have to fight for their freedom.  As it should be.  But it will be Daenerys Targaryen who will inspire them and give them the courage to do so.  She is the light of hope who will guide them to freedom.  We obviously do not have a timeline for when this will take place.  I agree with @Moiraine Sedai in thinking this may be put on hold while she goes to Westeros to help fight the Others.  George may tease us and we never get to read about the final results of the war against slavery.  He may leave the conclusion hanging, with enough clues to lead us to our own conclusions.  Suppose George decides to get cute and force a choice between fighting the slave masters and saving the world from the Others?  I have to again agree with @Moiraine Sedai because Daenerys will choose to save the world first.  A lot of the key people in the plot will have to make very hard personal choices in the last volume.  

Agree.  This is why she must become the head of the khalasars.  The Dothraki are big players in the trade and thus any effort to stop the business must include them.  It will take the Dothraki, Benerro's church, and the freedmen to finally end slavery.

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2 hours ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

Agree.  This is why she must become the head of the khalasars.  The Dothraki are big players in the trade and thus any effort to stop the business must include them.  It will take the Dothraki, Benerro's church, and the freedmen to finally end slavery.

The dothraki have no reason to stop slavery. The only way to stop it is through genocide

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10 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

I wish we would bomb cities (or at least, certain parts of cities) to stop human trafficking.

I think the revolution in Essos will end differently than the situations in Rome and the United States because Daenerys Targaryen is a warlord with a flying, fire-breathing dragon and an army that keeps growing and growing. To her credit, she is also getting the support of various priests, prophets and scholars, many of whom have magical powers.

That said, if Daenerys really wants to break the wheel of the misery and horror of human enslavement, then she's going to have to conquer the entire continent. It's not just Slaver's Bay but it's Yi Ti, Asshai, Qarth, Volantis, Lys, Tyrosh, Norvos, etc. Every place in Essos that supports slavery must either be made to capitulate or be destroyed and remade.

I think I would expect something more along the lines of the French/Haitian/Spanish American revolutions.

Progress, but very much of the two steps forward, one step back, variety.

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I couldn't care less about Dany's anti-slavery campaign, or Essos in general. It is all filler, and a very shallow one at that. It is quite useless to make character study of Dany based on this filler slavery story. Westeros is the place where the actual story takes place. Meereen has turned into a narrative pit that is swallowing GRRM and all the characters that he brought there.

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