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Moving up. Upward mobility.


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It is possible for low-born in Essos and Westeros to rise high enough to grow rich and comfortable.  Social mobility is closed but it does not mean they are not allowed to become rich.  A skilled armorer and weaponsmith can grow rich from their trade.  Skills are rewarded for those who possess them. 

Put yourself in place of a low-born young fellow. How would you prosper?

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I guess I would start by trying to get into the Citadel. I wouldn't go all the way and become a maester but I would want the education. Even just knowing how to read and write would let you get independent income as a scribe, for starters.

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3 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

How would you prosper?

depends on where I am .. women can hardly rise in wealth and status , especially in Westeros..  but maybe starting off as a seamstress for nobility and then becoming a tradeswoman would be a good idea?  

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As a dude, get close to a high lord and toss and coin, expecting your children will jump into prominence. On this, I am thinking about Clegane and his offspring, and Kettleblack and the white cloaks that are his kids. Of course, you can't really trust Gregor or the Kettleblack brothers will maintain the momentum, before being imprisoned or turned into zombies...

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I was thinking maybe a mobile ravenry or other postal service system surely the realm needs to help communicating so could be profitable?

If I was martial(which in real life I’m not) maybe a bounty hunter, not sure if it’s a good business but if a killer or criminal escapes justice of one Lord, hopefully there’s a gap in the market for a wider policing force.

Not 100% I would prosper or get rich enough with these

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22 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

It is possible for low-born in Essos and Westeros to rise high enough to grow rich and comfortable.  Social mobility is closed but it does not mean they are not allowed to become rich.  A skilled armorer and weaponsmith can grow rich from their trade.  Skills are rewarded for those who possess them. 

Put yourself in place of a low-born young fellow. How would you prosper?

Even within the ranks of commoners there are constraints on social mobility. Not just anybody can become a skilled smith - apprenticeships would be highly prized. So those skills would mostly be kept within a select few families. To be taken in as an outsider would require a decent payment, as with Gendry.

For all his many faults, Janos Slynt rose from butchers son to Commander of the Gold Cloaks. So joining a town watch might be a good way to from rank (though Kings Landing is so corrupt that advancing in the Gold Cloaks might be hard without grifting and taking bribes).

 

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52 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Man you're breaking hearts over here with this advice

Well I think it's most realistic.

You'll won't have the money it takes to get rich as a businessman, nor even the skills given your lack of literacy.

Without training you'll never make it to lordship or even to knighthood.

Joining the Citadel or the Faith is going to require money, they don't just accept anyone who walks up to the door.

Anything like getting hired from the slums by an adventurous lord for the city watch or his guard or ect is entirely luck based.

But the Night's Watch accepts everyone without condition or cost and provides education on the job.

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17 minutes ago, The Jingo said:

Well I think it's most realistic.

You'll won't have the money it takes to get rich as a businessman, nor even the skills given your lack of literacy.

Without training you'll never make it to lordship or even to knighthood.

Joining the Citadel or the Faith is going to require money, they don't just accept anyone who walks up to the door.

Anything like getting hired from the slums by an adventurous lord for the city watch or his guard or ect is entirely luck based.

But the Night's Watch accepts everyone without condition or cost and provides education on the job.

Being in the night's watch basically guarantees lack of upward mobility. Even if you're LC, you're still tied to the wall, no wife, no lands, and no real possessions. Fake stature in a quasi military organization limited to the coldest part of the country isn't a reward. We see the absolute lack of respect for the NW in both POV and public conversation. 

The Citadel or faith will absolutely let people join for free -- though traveling to Oldtown would indeed cost money -- but it's not going to be easy. And the citadel literally provides education and training, as in that's it whole purpose. Wandering septons don't need to be able to read and are clearly a level up from the average peasant.

We see the city watched expanded in peacetime and in warfare in Westeros. Again might not be easy but it's a sight better than freezing and poor and without respect in the far north.

 

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Go to the Citadel and become a maester. It's hardly as if they'll notice me sneaking down at the dead of night to visit the local brothel. I'd be literate, and mostly respected and I can always start doing some side stuff for people in exchange for coin. 

I'm not going out celibate and childless, that's for sure. I'd prefer at least one kid (I'm sure when IRL me has kids, I'll regret it when they grow up, but so be it). 

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On 4/18/2022 at 12:17 AM, Groo said:

I guess I would start by trying to get into the Citadel.

On 4/18/2022 at 8:24 AM, Jon Fossoway said:

As a dude, get close to a high lord and toss and coin, expecting your children will jump into prominence. 

On 4/18/2022 at 1:11 PM, The Jingo said:

Join the Night's Watch and aim for the Stewards.

22 hours ago, CassDarry said:

If I was martial(which in real life I’m not) maybe a bounty hunter, not sure if it’s a good business but if a killer or criminal escapes justice of one Lord, hopefully there’s a gap in the market for a wider policing force.

18 hours ago, Buried Treasure said:

 So joining a town watch might be a good way to from rank (though Kings Landing is so corrupt that advancing in the Gold Cloaks might be hard without grifting and taking bribes).

 

7 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Go to the Citadel and become a maester. 

boys have so many options in Westeros! it's just not fair

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4 hours ago, EggBlue said:

boys have so many options in Westeros! it's just not fair

Let's see. A girl could become a Septa or a courtesan. You know, the usual choices assigned to women. When she's old she can join the Silent Sisters. If we keep on this topic, I'm going to end up sympathizing with Cersei and I really don't want to go there.

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9 minutes ago, Groo said:

I'm going to end up sympathizing with Cersei and I really don't want to go there.

She's sympathetic in that regard. How she goes about expressing that grievance that makes her one of the most nasty people in the books. Brienne has a similar complaint, but went about expressing it in a more positive way. 

But the climb upward socially is harder for women in a medieval setting. People like Tywin's mistress, Jenny of Oldstones and Shae all managed it with mixed results. But yeah, all those situations involved latching on to a successful man.

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On 4/18/2022 at 3:41 AM, The Jingo said:

Assuming that I'm some random illiterate lowborn with zero connections of any kind?

Join the Night's Watch and aim for the Stewards.

I'm surprised you and others are citing the NW as an example of rising socially. It's a band of criminal conscripts on the verge of being a penal colony. 

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13 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Cersei, is that you? 

hey! that's my line! 

anyway , technically Cersei doesn't care that women can't rise in status (especially dirty peasants ) . she doesn't think society is not fair to women . she thinks she is better than what women are (brainless second sex who deserve their place) . that's different from opinion of someone like Brienne. 

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3 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

hey! that's my line! 

anyway , technically Cersei doesn't care that women can't rise in status (especially dirty peasants ) . she doesn't think society is not fair to women . she thinks she is better than what women are (brainless second sex who deserve their place) . that's different from opinion of someone like Brienne. 

22 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Cersei, is that you? 

Too late. It's mine, I've trademarked it. 

 

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