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If you could change anything about ASOIAF's worldbuilding, what would it be?

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More languages, more diversity in titles - best would actually be an emperor at the top, since the Seven Kingdoms clearly a multi-ethnic, multi-national empire, but it could also work with a king and dukes and marquesses and earls and counts and barons and lords. One could also use such a system to differentiate between Andal and First Men houses with the latter using French titles whereas the First Men stuck with English titles.

I'd reduce the overall time span that passed since the Dawn Age to roughly 5,000 years, I think, while increasing the Targaryen to 500-1,000 years to better balance them with the ridiculously long reign of the other houses.

Possibly I'd do away with houses lasting thousands of years by having multiple dynasties in each kingdom ... or at least multiple branches of a particular house in charge, like it was with the Capets turning into the Valois turning into the Bourbons.

On the mid-tier level there would have been much more up and downs - new men coming into power with a new dynasty, while old and proud houses fall into obscurity.

Big cities are mainly at the mouth of big rivers, especially the Trident and the Mander.

Oh, and yes: The freak seasons would need a completely different society system, one culturally, economically and religious revolved exclusively around surviving the next winter.

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11 hours ago, James Steller said:

To be fair, you could say the same thing about the British Isles, given all the trouble they caused in world history.

Interesting fact is that origins of royal houses that ruled those isles were either Romans, Northmen, Normans/French or nowadays Germans and so unlike Iron Islands main continent did not allow those idiots to rule themselves. Besides British do not worship their old pagan gods either.

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13 hours ago, Canon Claude said:

You really shouldn’t come here if you’re that easily hung up on our musings.

Hell, I liked most of you guys' recommended changes but some should remain the way they are. Fantasy. GRRM'S right. Well, all of us are entitled to our opinions and I'll share mine soon. Plus as I said, I agree with most here 

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11 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

Interesting fact is that origins of royal houses that ruled those isles were either Romans, Northmen, Normans/French or nowadays Germans and so unlike Iron Islands main continent did not allow those idiots to rule themselves. Besides British do not worship their old pagan gods either.

I mean, it's not that dissimilar. I'm aware of the melting pot that is British identity. And the Ironborn were also a melting pot of sorts, a mix of First Men, Andal, and maybe something older, just like the people who lived there before the Celts even arrived to Great Britain and Ireland. 

And the British did much of their conquering after the invaders had taken root and blended with the other peoples. The Norman Plantagenet kings very nearly conquered France, for example. The Ironborn similarly had their most successful advances into the mainland under an Andal dynasty that was feared and hated by its own populace (much like how the Saxons resented their new Norman kings during the early years of that dynasty).

And the British didn't worship pagan gods by the time they were conquering the world, sure, but they did split off from the Catholic Church, which didn't make them popular with the French, Spanish, Italians, etc. Even the Protestant Dutch didn't like the English, not for a while anyway. And need I bring up the fact that the British were strongest at sea? 

There's plenty of comparisons one could make. 

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I believe the Dothrakis and Ironborns are the fuckers they're meant to be. The Basilisk Isles and Ashai and some more, are the places of old, legendary, evil. I believe related to the first Long Night. I expect we will learn a bit more of this and who are the Others. But we have to wait (with hope).

There aere things not very realistic (apparently), like the Starks and Lannisters existing since the Age of Heros. But this is needed by the story and IMO everything should stay as it is.

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3 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Houses having unbroken lines for thousands of years is probably my biggest peeve as well. 

In my head canon certain names had become brands. For instance when some victorious warlord had wiped out previous ruling Stark dynasty he started to use that name and after couple generations anyone forgot that those new Starks were not direct descendants of first Starks and that had happened many times. 

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On 5/1/2021 at 6:50 PM, James Steller said:
On 4/22/2021 at 8:35 AM, Loose Bolt said:

Ironborn does not exist. After all they had raided lands around Sunset Sea thousands of years. So I do not believe that there had not been any kings among their victims who had decided to use final solution to fix that problem. In fact that should had happened many times until those islands became deserted bc most people living there either died or left somewhere else and many people would believe that those islands are cursed.

To be fair, you could say the same thing about the British Isles, given all the trouble they caused in world history.

For the record, the British Isles don't deserve to be cursed and abandoned (liberal democracies last time I looked), and the game of thrones has been played all over the world since the beginning of humanity.

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11 hours ago, Springwatch said:

 

For the record, the British Isles don't deserve to be cursed and abandoned

True, that's an exaggeration, but I imagine there are lots of cultures around the world who were introduced to the British very much like Ironborn were. They plundered, conquered, exploited, and their legacy is still felt to this day.

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On 4/22/2021 at 4:33 AM, Mysecondaccount said:

The Iron Islands would also be much larger (perhaps around the size of Alaska) and mountainous.

It would be too large I think, the size of British Isles would be enough. I totally agree with your other ideas though

The changes I would add, following the OP's and The Hairy bear's excellent ideas:

  • 2000 BC: Dawn Age
  • 1800 BC: Age of Heroes
  • 1000 BC: Long Night
  • 700 BC: Coming of the Andals
  • 600 BC: Rise of Valyria
  • 500 BC: Rhoynar migration
  • 114 BC: Targaryen migration
  • 102 BC: Doom of Valyria

The rest of the timeline remains unaffected. The languages now:

  • The Common Tongue would only be spoken by the nobles and be named Andalish
  • The Old Tongue would still be spoken in the North
  • The Rivermen, Stormlanders, Valemen, Reachmen, Westermen (Easterners in this rebuild), Stony Dornishmen and Ironborn would speak Andalish dialects
  • Salty and Sandy Dornishmen would speak Rhoynish dialects

No more disgusting incestuous marriages among Targaryens, they should have cadets branches instead and their issues with the Faith would be polygamy only.

 

 

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12 hours ago, James Steller said:

True, that's an exaggeration, but I imagine there are lots of cultures around the world who were introduced to the British very much like Ironborn were. They plundered, conquered, exploited, and their legacy is still felt to this day.

The Ironborn were based on vikings. Who invaded Britain, not the other way around. And the Romans invaded, and the Angles invaded, and the Nomans invaded, and it was all incredibly, incredibly brutal. War crimes ruled. Followed by continuing invasion plans from Spain, the French, the Germans. This was what history was like. Napoleon was lots of trouble for his neighbours, so was Kaiser Bill. All around the world there were armies and chiefs and emperors.

The peace we've had is so precious. I object from my soul to this topic being treated as something for the casual insult. If you want to discuss evils of empire, do it properly, and this is not the place for it. I don't want to be making this post! But to have one country singled out as the villain in a ridiculous good and evil worldview is too toxic to pass by.

The race for empires in europe was fuelled by advances in technology, by competition and fear of the neighbours, and by greed. I don't know if any human society would have done differently - I doubt it, these all seem very typically human things. But with all that, came advances in human rights, in democracy, vast increases in peace, trade and wealth. It was the gateway to the modern world. History is complicated, and painful, but it's better than the fairytale version.

 

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I don't know if this has been said before but I'd like it if the Faceless Men were removed or at least depowered to the skill of an ordinary assassin. 

There are too many instances in the series where a rich person has a problem that could be easily and quickly solved with a Faceless man but they are not used. 

And if the exorbitant cost of going to war is still cheaper than hiring a Faceless man, then who exactly in Planetos is rich enough to hire them? Whatever their pricing model is, it doesn't seem very plausible. 

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9 hours ago, Lady_Qohor said:

I don't know if this has been said before but I'd like it if the Faceless Men were removed or at least depowered to the skill of an ordinary assassin. 

There are too many instances in the series where a rich person has a problem that could be easily and quickly solved with a Faceless man but they are not used. 

And if the exorbitant cost of going to war is still cheaper than hiring a Faceless man, then who exactly in Planetos is rich enough to hire them? Whatever their pricing model is, it doesn't seem very plausible. 

I suspect that main problem with FM is their "limited supply". Or number of available hit men are limited and their missions could take long time and for that reason they cannot accept too many missions in same time. So their organization had to keep their prices very high just to keep demand of their services low enough that they could carry out those missions in reasonable time. 

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The World of Ice and Fire's backstory for Westeros is totally incompatible with the way the coming of the Andals is represented in the novels themselves. The only region of Westeros that seems all that different as a result is the Vale, and even they have too many houses suddenly deemed pre-Andal.

The books make so much emphasis on the Royces and the Blackwoods' First Men ancestry, but other than the Blackwoods' still worshipping the Old Gods there really doesn't seem to be anything differentiating either house from like half the other southern noble houses, based on TWOIAF.

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