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Other than the Starks, which great house has the most loyal vassals and bannermen ?


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14 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

The Ironborn follow Rodrik Harlaw too, despite him being a nerd who spends all day reading (granted, I’ve always found the Reader to be one of the most confident/self-assured characters, which is something people gravitate to). Despite their reputation as pirates, the Ironborn seem to have their own kind of ironclad respect for authority. 

Perhaps that's related to their seafaring culture. Captains usually have absolute authority over their ship.

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I think for the Westerlands was mostly down to the old guard, i.e. Tywin and Kevan. Yes Tywin was a terrible man who did monstrous things and Kevan supported him in every step, but as others in this threat have pointed out, he did keep the peace in the West and was over all a competent liege, who also happened to run the whole kingdom for twenty years with a mad king breathing down his neck. You might not like such a man, but he was certainly respect inducing. Now that he and Kevan are gone though... Well, I imagine that once Cersei's erratic behaviour and questionable decisions - burning the Tower of the Hand with WILDFIRE, arming the faith militants and giving a highborn lady over to a disgraced maester to conduct experiments on which resulted in her death, among many others - become more well known, that at least some of the bannermen are going to rethink their loyalty. 

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On 12/8/2021 at 4:11 PM, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

We all know how strong the loyalty of many noble houses in the North is to house Stark, with them having perhaps the best vassals and bannermen in the Cassels, the Cerwyns, the Mormonts, the Umbers, the Manderlys or the Reeds who have proven to be very devoted vassals many times times over Westeros history and during the current story in the books.

But if we don't take in account the Starks and their vassals, which great house is the best at inspiring the loyalty and devotion of its bannermen and has the most loyal vassals in the Seven Kingdoms ?

Who between house Arryn, Lannister, Tully, Greyjoy, Tyrell and Martell can count on its bannermen the best ?

The North is far less likely to be invaded than any of the Southern Kingdoms, surely that has some meaningfull effect? 

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3 hours ago, Lady Misery said:

I think for the Westerlands was mostly down to the old guard, i.e. Tywin and Kevan. Yes Tywin was a terrible man who did monstrous things and Kevan supported him in every step, but as others in this threat have pointed out, he did keep the peace in the West and was over all a competent liege, who also happened to run the whole kingdom for twenty years with a mad king breathing down his neck. You might not like such a man, but he was certainly respect inducing. Now that he and Kevan are gone though... Well, I imagine that once Cersei's erratic behaviour and questionable decisions - burning the Tower of the Hand with WILDFIRE, arming the faith militants and giving a highborn lady over to a disgraced maester to conduct experiments on which resulted in her death, among many others - become more well known, that at least some of the bannermen are going to rethink their loyalty. 

Cersei might alienate her own Lannister kin, Jaime will probably have to attempt toalliviate growing scepticism in the Westerlands. By the end of the Winds of Winter, House Lannisters influence will probably be restricted to the Westerlands, and perhaps parts of the Riverlands.

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The Starks having the most loyal bannermen!  The Boltons, Karstarks, Dustins, and perhaps the Rhyswells may disagree with you.  Lannister and Tyrell bannermen are at least as loyal if not much more so.  By the way, I don't think Lady Dustin was alone when she sent the minimum people she could and only to avoid punishment from the Starks.  

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On 12/8/2021 at 4:06 PM, Equilibrium said:

By all accounts Lannister bannermen's loyalty far surpasses that of Stark bannermen when taken as a whole, there is after all no Westermen Roose Bolton.

Because there is a Lannister Bolton. No bennermen have turned their clocks because of Tywin.

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  • 5 months later...

The Lannisters of Casterly Rock. They played the greayest role in securing the loyalty of their vassals and bannermen. The Starks united the North to survive. The Martells united Dorne with the Rhoynar's aid. The Lannisters ensured stability in the Westerlands by eliminating the defiant vassals, Houses Reyne and Tarbeck. They made themselves feared and thus respected out of fear of retaliation. Tytos was a man of weakness, whose leniency Tywin considers to have nearly destroyed the Lannister name, so his reign saw corruption and disloyalty and lack of paid taxes and debts. Even his own mistress stole from him.

After Tywin returned from the War of the Ninepenny Kings, he was hardened from his experiences at war and had seen the name of his family besmirched and mocked and disrespected. Nobody bothered to pay back loans and debts which were unpaid, and a hostage if not paid. Although Tytos rescinded the order, Tywin used the defiance of the Reynes and Tarbecks in being called to answer for their dissident actions as a pretext to assemble his forces to defeat the upstart vessels. His rapid mobilization took the Tarbecks by surprise. He used siege engines to end their resistance and then put their seat of Tarbeck Hall to the torch, forcing Ellyn's daughters to join the silent sisters.

Hoping to surprise the Lannister army with an ambush with two thousand hastily gathered men, Lord Roger Reyne was instead injured and he fled to Castamere, with his brother Reynard taking command of his armies and took refuge in the mines, as he considered them impregnable, with his suing for peace in exchange for Lannister hostages. He refused and sealed the mines trapping the Reynes and then diverted a nearby stream into the nearest mine entrance, drowning all of House Reyne and it's forces, leaving no survivors while Castamere was also set ablaze. By the end of the campaign the rebellious Houses Reyne and Tarbeck were completely obliterated. The ruined, blackened, and crumbling castles of Castamere and Tarbeck Hall stand empty to this day as a reminder to those who dare scorn the power of the Rock.

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Regarding Lannister loyalty, I think they followed out of fear of Tywin. Now that Tywin's dead things will change. I predict more Lannister bannermen abandoning or betraying Cersei.

House Aryn seems to have quite loyal bannermen?

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Posted (edited)

The Westerlands being dismal under Tytos is a very top down authoritarian view of the situation. Yes, if you are benefiting from the feudal protection racket you see any disruption of that as harmful and contrary to the peace…as Roose Bolton says, all he wants is a peaceful land and a quiet people, because that leaves him on top feeding off the rest. Kinda like we modern people from representative societies have bought the monarchical spin on Napoleon whole cloth despite his being far more in line with our priorities than any of his born-into-power adversaries, modern readers buy into this idea that the feudal rulers of Westeros are not first and foremost serving their own power and interests and calling it things like peace and justice, and that near-absolute power as a birthright makes sense.  
 

As to the OP, no land breeds more loyal banner men. And if it does, the one currently ruled by the Boltons with the support of many major houses like Ryswell, Karstark etc. would not be my top choice. The west might qualify if you are erasing centuries and centuries of Reyne defiance because of a couple decades of ‘peace’, but that’s pretty selective. I suppose if forced to choose I’d go Arryn or Baratheon because whereas the most powerful/eligible vassal in other regions (Boltons, Reynes, Yronwood, Florents) are also consistently challenging their liege, the Royce’s and Swanns seem to pretty consistently work to uphold their lords. The Tullys are kind of exceptional in that pretty much everyone of their major vassals has more actual power than they do so no one is either particularly loyal or disloyal, and the IB have non-feudal elements to their system which changes the criteria. I guess then Arryns over Baratheons due to millennia> centuries. 
 

But as GRRM repeatedly show, the common people mostly don’t care who is exploiting them the most, many don’t even know who is currently king or why they are being forced to fight. 

Edited by James Arryn
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I’m not sure any of the lords paramount really have continued loyalty over time. The loyalty of a power vassal to his lord only seems as strong as the vassal and lord. Tywins father had a major uprising against him, which Tywin punished brutally. Meanwhile, we do not see prior the Current troubles, any such recent uprising against Stark. Nevertheless, Bolton and Karstark clearly aren’t loyal to Robb and Umber was of questionable loyalty until Robb earned his trust. 
 

Meanwhile, I’m not aware of any major uprising in the Reach against House Tyrell directly, but during the Blackfyre rebellions Tyrell vassals fought in both sides so clearly their ability to control vassals was at least questionable. 

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On a historical note - the Martells of Dorne. Their bannermen stood by them during Aegon's Dornish war when their castles and villages were burned by dragons. Their bannermen rose with them when Dorne rebelled against Daeron the Young Dragon. Their bannermen stayed loyal when the Martells married into the Realm and bent the knee to the Iron Throne. Only the Yronwoods really ever get mentioned as rebellious, having joined three of the Blackfyre Rebellions. 

Considering the crap they've had to put up with the Dornish Lords sticking with House Martell shows a lot of loyalty. It's easy to be loyal to your liege when times are good but Dornish Lords have suffered a lot for their loyalty and the vast majority are still ready to fight for whoever their Prince calls their enemy. 

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