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Random Thoughts About ASOIAF


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2 hours ago, Nevets said:

Three possibilities:

1.  There are forests on the Iron Islands but they haven't been prominently mentioned or we have forgotten about them.  I, for one, have paid little attention to the area, especially its geography. 

2.  They get timber from isolated areas of the North and Far North.  Plenty of those. 

3.  Sloppy worldbuilding.  Westeros is not a real place, and worldbuilding is not GRRM'S strong suit.  Hey, the guy can't think of everything - and hasn't.  Speaking for myself, I read the books mainly for the characters and plotting, so that kind of thing isn't too bothersome to me. 

Plus, they need food, so there has to be some farming somewhere.

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I don’t have the quote on hand, but I believe the world book says that the Ironborn primarily trade iron for lumber.

I love reading about the Iron Islands, but they don’t make much sense as a culture. No society without any other professions besides raiding and mining would survive (they presumably also fish, but that isn’t mentioned much). It just isn’t sustainable.

What’s interesting is that the Ironborn used to intermarry with the Westerlands houses prior to the Conquest (including many a Lannister) but then they just. . . stopped. Which is a little puzzling, seeing as they were technically forbidden from raiding Westeros now. How does my patron house of Banefort stay safe from them without any marriage alliances?

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I love reading about the Iron Islands, but they don’t make much sense as a culture. No society without any other professions besides raiding and mining would survive (they presumably also fish, but that isn’t mentioned much). It just isn’t sustainable.

Which reminds me of the 7K News parody video: "Robb lost his seat in the North, which some argue he deserved for trusting a house of glorified pirates whose motto is basically We'll steal your shit". 

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And of course there was even less chance of his coming on the fragmentary, anonymous, blood-soaked tome sometimes called Blood and Fire and sometimes The Death of Dragons, the only surviving copy of which was supposedly hidden away in a locked vault beneath the Citadel. - Tyrion, ADWD

@Ran Didn't GRRM say that he wants to call the next Targaryen history Blood & Fire? Since it's supposed to be an in-universe book, could it be the same one that is mentioned here? Or is it just a coincidence? 

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40 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

@Ran Didn't GRRM say that he wants to call the next Targaryen history Blood & Fire? Since it's supposed to be an in-universe book, could it be the same one that is mentioned here? Or is it just a coincidence? 

Shouldn’t be too much of a problem, since we all know it’s going to end up being a trilogy ;)

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On 3/30/2022 at 11:32 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

I love reading about the Iron Islands, but they don’t make much sense as a culture. No society without any other professions besides raiding and mining would survive (they presumably also fish, but that isn’t mentioned much). It just isn’t sustainable.

"Will I find the islands changed?"

"Men fish the sea, dig in the earth, and die. Women birth children in blood and pain, and die. Night follows day. The winds and tides remain. The islands are as our god made them."

 

Looks substantial enough.

On 3/30/2022 at 11:32 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

(they presumably also fish, but that isn’t mentioned much

This is Theon noting the amount of fishing boats

Quote

The sept beyond had never been rebuilt, though; only a seven-sided foundation remained where it had stood. Robert Baratheon's fury had soured the ironmen's taste for the new gods, it would seem.

Theon was more interested in ships than gods. Among the masts of countless fishing boats, he spied a

Countless

 

On 3/30/2022 at 11:32 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

What’s interesting is that the Ironborn used to intermarry with the Westerlands houses prior to the Conquest (including many a Lannister) but then they just. . . stopped. Which is a little puzzling, seeing as they were technically forbidden from raiding Westeros now. How does my patron house of Banefort stay safe from them without any marriage alliances?

In a large stone castle with the doors locked.

All of Westeros still raids, it's unfair that the Ironborn should stop only because theyre the best at it

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1 hour ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

What do you mean?

I don’t think the rest of the Targaryen reign will fit into just one more book. There’s Aegon III, Daeron and the conquest of Dorne, Baelor, the sister in the Maidenvault, Naerys and Aemon, Viserys II, Aegon IV and all his shenanigans, Daeron II and the Blackfyre rebellions, the Dunk and Egg years, the Ninepenny Kings, Aerys and Tywin, Rhaegar and Robert’s Rebellion. 

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4 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I don’t think the rest of the Targaryen reign will fit into just one more book. There’s Aegon III, Daeron and the conquest of Dorne, Baelor, the sister in the Maidenvault, Naerys and Aemon, Viserys II, Aegon IV and all his shenanigans, Daeron II and the Blackfyre rebellions, the Dunk and Egg years, the Ninepenny Kings, Aerys and Tywin, Rhaegar and Robert’s Rebellion. 

I understand that, I was asking if GRRM's Blood and Fire is the same Blood and Fire that Tyrion was thinking about in ADWD. Or is it two different books with the same name?

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On 3/30/2022 at 3:32 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

I don’t have the quote on hand, but I believe the world book says that the Ironborn primarily trade iron for lumber.

I love reading about the Iron Islands, but they don’t make much sense as a culture. No society without any other professions besides raiding and mining would survive (they presumably also fish, but that isn’t mentioned much). It just isn’t sustainable.

What’s interesting is that the Ironborn used to intermarry with the Westerlands houses prior to the Conquest (including many a Lannister) but then they just. . . stopped. Which is a little puzzling, seeing as they were technically forbidden from raiding Westeros now. How does my patron house of Banefort stay safe from them without any marriage alliances?

It's easy to overlook just how big some of these places are.  The Iron Islands are roughly the size of Sicily and Sardinia combined.  So, in all likelihood, they do have substantial farmland as well as coal and fishing. 

In the show, Dragonstone was basically a very large rock, but in the books, it's a similar size to Man, and Driftmark to Gotland. These are large islands which can sustain considerable populations.

Edited by SeanF
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On 3/30/2022 at 11:12 AM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Plus, they need food, so there has to be some farming somewhere.

Just to add a bit to this! Reading Asha's and Damphair's first chapters in AFFC today and it is mentioned how all winter they eat a diet extremely heavy in fish (as the sea "always provides no matter the season"). And at the feast they enjoy mutton, so we have to assume it is a combination of goats, sheep, and pigs which would do alright in an area like that.

Also, as was stated above, these places are big. The ride from the sea to the Hammerhorn on Great Wyk takes Damphair almost an entire day.

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On 2/23/2022 at 2:49 PM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Dorne was definitely inspired by Spain to a degree, but the Dornish deserts as described in the books seem more vast and Middle East-ish to me.  I might be wrong, though.

I think it’s mostly Spain with some Maghreb. Scale is always an issue with GRRM, but I agree that the deserts seem too vast and too dominant to be 1:1 Spanish deserts. Spain is mostly terrain neither quite desert or mountain, but kinda arid hill country, and Dorne seems mostly composed of either straight up desert or straight up mountains. 

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I always assumed Val had a big role to play in the future books, but the show has me second-guessing that assumption. Whereas I can easily see how Aegon’s plot was merged with show-Cersei, or Stoneheart with Arya, I don’t see where Val fits in with Jon’s story going forward, aside from just fighting the Others with the rest of the wildlings. Plus, George doesn’t usually mention her when he talks about important characters cut from the show (those tend to be Aegon, Stoneheart, Jeyne Poole, Arianne, Darkstar, and the Tyrell brothers). It makes me wonder if Val’s days are numbered.

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