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Alex13

Do we have an idea of the annual income/revenue that White Harbor generates? And how much income/revenue would House Manderly have from the city and the lands that they control?

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And how would that income/revenue compare to Gulltown, Lannisport, Oldtown and the houses that control them? And how would White Harbor compare to european port cities, during the Middle Ages? 

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GRRM complains about aragorns tax policy never being explained, yet GRRM himself never explains what his taxes are like in the books. Yes he mentions taxes in the books (harbormasters, wines, tollls, etc) but he never explains how they work.

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Agreed. Martin just seems to pick numbers at random when it comes to things like economics, logistics, demographics and such. The answer will always be White Harbor generates the amount of money needed to advance the plot.

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Jon told Stannis that White Harbour couldn't compare to Kings Landing or Oldtown, but was a thriving port, and that Manderly was the richest lord in the North.  I would guess that it is roughly equal in size to Gulltown and Lannisport.

Given the descriptions we have, it is quite a bit bigger than ports like Duskendale, Maidenpool,  or Sunspear. 

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White Harbor is the smallest city, ergo it is not as wealthy as the other four cities.

Overall, we can say that the cities and towns are the only *really* wealthy places in all of Westeros. Backwater lords in the middle of nowhere, i.e. most of the North, rural places in the Stormlands and the Westerlands, the Dornish mountains and Sands, etc., would make little to no revenues through trade, especially not international trade in luxury goods, but only collect rents in coin and kind from their smallfolk.

It is quite clear that real wealth in Westeros is generated through trade in luxury goods - that's how the Velaryons, the Hightowers, the Redwynes, etc. grew rich.

A great lordship and an ancient lineages do not mean wealth - as the decline of the Westerlings, the lack of coin of the Peakes, the debts of the Waynwoods and Corbrays, etc. show.

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15 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

GRRM complains about aragorns tax policy never being explained, yet GRRM himself never explains what his taxes are like in the books. Yes he mentions taxes in the books (harbormasters, wines, tollls, etc) but he never explains how they work.

That's why GRRM is taking soo long to finish the new book. Soon we will read about Dany's tax policy on Meeren

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5 hours ago, The Hoare said:

That's why GRRM is taking soo long to finish the new book. Soon we will read about Dany's tax policy on Meeren

 

Ser Barristan sighed. "Can you explain that again?"
Lumdar po Mizqut snickered quietly.
"You Westerosi truly are dense folk" said Trishlit bo Wipnoq. "However, we shall begin once more. Lepnar wo Pomar, please explain."
Lepnar wo Pomar smiled. "The Sons of the Harpy have formed a five branch government based on a combination of the principles of a constitutional democracy, a republic, an oligarchy, a theocracy and a style of organized anarchy. These may seem contradictory at first glance, but they mesh quite well once you understand the ways in which they are combined. Obviously, the heads of the five branches of government will be Binkor lo Binkor, Suqqa qo Jugga, Miqua zo Horla, Potchqa vo Logfa and Lorem mo Ipsum. Now I will explain how they shall work together. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. That is the essence of our government. Was all that clear?"
Ser Barriston nodded. This was going to be a fascinating system of government after all. "Please", he said. "Tell me more."

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15 hours ago, Nevets said:

Jon told Stannis that White Harbour couldn't compare to Kings Landing or Oldtown, but was a thriving port, and that Manderly was the richest lord in the North.  I would guess that it is roughly equal in size to Gulltown and Lannisport.

Given the descriptions we have, it is quite a bit bigger than ports like Duskendale, Maidenpool,  or Sunspear. 

Lannisport is much bigger than White Harbor according to the author

https://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Month/2000/06/

Quote

There are five cities in Westeros: King's Landing, Oldtown, Lannisport, Gulltown, and White Harbor. But the first two are much bigger than Lannisport, which is in turn much bigger than the last two.

And according to the World book it is the smallest city in Westeros

White Harbor, the North's sole true city, is the smallest city in the Seven Kingdoms.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

White Harbor is the smallest city, ergo it is not as wealthy as the other four cities.

 

In fairness, a cities size does not determine its wealth. Many smaller cities are wealthier than larger ones. Other factors, such as the wealth of its population, the resources of its population and even distance in trade to other cities/realms also comes into play.

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

In fairness, a cities size does not determine its wealth. Many smaller cities are wealthier than larger ones. Other factors, such as the wealth of its population, the resources of its population and even distance in trade to other cities/realms also comes into play.

True enough, although wealth also allows a city to expand and draws more people in. That's also the explanation for the rapid and unprecedented growth of KL, one imagines.

But we don't have any indication that there are large cities in Westeros that are in decline - like Volantis is at the moment.

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

In fairness, a cities size does not determine its wealth. Many smaller cities are wealthier than larger ones. Other factors, such as the wealth of its population, the resources of its population and even distance in trade to other cities/realms also comes into play.

I agree with this, if you look at white harbour it situated in the narrow sea, and very close to bravos. Whilst lannisport is located in the wrong side of the continent with merchants having to travel lots of miles in order to trade at lannisport. So from a geographic point of view it is possible that white harbour gets more trade and potentially more money. Also if let’s say white harbour or even gulltown had more artisans (skilled workers), than lannisport than this would mean that white harbour/gulltown would offer more goods to merchants.

However I really doubt white harbour makes more money than lannisport. Simply because it’s not something I’d see grrm write, and also because lannisport is allot bigger.

If I were to guess grrm already ranked the wealthiest cities by their population (largest city being the wealthiest and the smallest being the poorest). 

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1 hour ago, The Young Maester said:

If I were to guess grrm already ranked the wealthiest cities by their population (largest city being the wealthiest and the smallest being the poorest). 

I'm not sure about that, Volantis while in decline is still the largest and most populous of the free city's (and controls three towns that are in fact bigger then any city in Westeros) but Braavos is richer, i see no reason why something similar could not be case for city's in Westeros. 

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2 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

I agree with this, if you look at white harbour it situated in the narrow sea, and very close to bravos. Whilst lannisport is located in the wrong side of the continent with merchants having to travel lots of miles in order to trade at lannisport. So from a geographic point of view it is possible that white harbour gets more trade and potentially more money. Also if let’s say white harbour or even gulltown had more artisans (skilled workers), than lannisport than this would mean that white harbour/gulltown would offer more goods to merchants.

However I really doubt white harbour makes more money than lannisport. Simply because it’s not something I’d see grrm write, and also because lannisport is allot bigger.

If I were to guess grrm already ranked the wealthiest cities by their population (largest city being the wealthiest and the smallest being the poorest). 

Lannisport has goods to offer everybody in the world covets - gold. That is why it is thriving and that's why folks know it and Casterly Rock as far away as Asshai.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/30/2021 at 3:39 PM, The Young Maester said:

I agree with this, if you look at white harbour it situated in the narrow sea, and very close to bravos. Whilst lannisport is located in the wrong side of the continent with merchants having to travel lots of miles in order to trade at lannisport. So from a geographic point of view it is possible that white harbour gets more trade and potentially more money. Also if let’s say white harbour or even gulltown had more artisans (skilled workers), than lannisport than this would mean that white harbour/gulltown would offer more goods to merchants.

However I really doubt white harbour makes more money than lannisport. Simply because it’s not something I’d see grrm write, and also because lannisport is allot bigger.

If I were to guess grrm already ranked the wealthiest cities by their population (largest city being the wealthiest and the smallest being the poorest). 

Despite Lannisport being on the opposite side of Westeros I think passing the Arbor and Oldtown before finishing up in the Westerlands with its gold and goldsmiths would likely attract a lot more high value traders despite the increased distance. The value of local commodities that you can trade for is very important. 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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I don't know about the wealth of White Harbor relative to other port cities. To me, the more interesting question is how Wyman Manderly compares to Littlefinger. He seems to function as a Master of Coin for The North and/or House Stark:

Quote

"Why, no prince is ever late," the Lord of White Harbor responded amiably. "Those who arrive before him have come early, that's all." Wyman Manderly had a great booming laugh. It was small wonder he could not sit a saddle; he looked as if he outweighed most horses. As windy as he was vast, he began by asking Winterfell to confirm the new customs officers he had appointed for White Harbor. The old ones had been holding back silver for King's Landing rather than paying it over to the new King in the North. "King Robb needs his own coinage as well," he declared, "and White Harbor is the very place to mint it." He offered to take charge of the matter, as it please the king, and went from that to speak of how he had strengthened the port's defenses, detailing the cost of every improvement. (ACoK, Bran II)

Coins are important symbols in ASOIAF. Controlling a mint would be an important and powerful job. 

On the other hand, the Wolf's Den is used as a prison and Manderly controls it. This would cause him to be similar to Ser Ilyn Payne or to Rugen, the Undergaoler (aka Varys). 

If there is a parallel to Ser Ilyn, it's interesting that the Payne sigil is purple and white checks with gold coins. We have Manderlys living in White Harbor and Arya (as Cat of the Canals) in Purple Harbor. Arya is closely associated with the coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar. Her first contract hit for the Faceless Men involved the use of a poisoned coin.

Are Purple and White Harbor the only two harbor towns named after a color? Are the checkers of the House Payne sigil related to these two harbors? Is the House Payne sigil supposed to be like a game of checkers among the many game metaphors in the Game of Thrones?

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A hell of a lot is the answer.  Estimates I’ve read place White Harbour at about 30,000 people.  That’s about half the size of London in 1400.  They must trade extensively in pitch and timber with Braavos, and be the principal importer of luxury goods into the North.  The Manderlys would get a cut of all the import and export duties (presumably shared with the Starks and the Crown) and enjoy a vast commercial and residential rent roll.

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