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Impending Mass Starvation in Westeros


Craving Peaches
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Does anyone else feel like a large portion of the population, especially smallfolk, will die due to lack of food in the next books?

The food supply situation in the Seven Kingdoms does not look good.

Firstly, the Riverlands, one of the most fertile regions and main producers of food in Westeros was burned and wrecked thanks to Tywin.

So now it looks like the Reach (and some Crownlands houses) are left to feed everyone. But I just don't think that will be enough. The Reach is under attack by the Ironborn and when push comes to shove I think the Lords and Ladies of the Reach will prioritise feeding themselves and their own smallfolk, leaving everyone else with a lack of food.

Even in regions not as badly affected by the war there was still a lack of men to work on the harvest because they were in the armies, leading to a reduced yield. We don't know if people have set aside enough of their harvest either. As Jaime notes, with Winter here there is no time for one last harvest.

The only region with untouched food supply seems to be the Vale.

Now Aegon is invading which will likely lead to more looting/burning of food.

Spoiler

As seen from  the Arianne WoW sample chapter, the Golden Company has been stealing food from the people of the Stormlands.

The supply chain of imported food will also be disrupted due to all the war in Essos, as well as winter weather making it harder to ship things.

And when Daenerys arrives she will be bringing Dothraki etc. but there will be a lack of food to feed them with.

All I can see is food prices getting higher and higher to the point where there is a situation like in King's Landing where the Roseroad was closed, except this time it affects the whole realm. I think at least 30% of the population could die. The Others might have their work cut out for them.

What do you think?

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2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

Does anyone else feel like a large portion of the population, especially smallfolk, will die due to lack of food in the next books?

The food supply situation in the Seven Kingdoms does not look good.

Firstly, the Riverlands, one of the most fertile regions and main producers of food in Westeros was burned and wrecked thanks to Tywin.

So now it looks like the Reach (and some Crownlands houses) are left to feed everyone. But I just don't think that will be enough. The Reach is under attack by the Ironborn and when push comes to shove I think the Lords and Ladies of the Reach will prioritise feeding themselves and their own smallfolk, leaving everyone else with a lack of food.

Even in regions not as badly affected by the war there was still a lack of men to work on the harvest because they were in the armies, leading to a reduced yield. We don't know if people have set aside enough of their harvest either. As Jaime notes, with Winter here there is no time for one last harvest.

The only region with untouched food supply seems to be the Vale.

Now Aegon is invading which will likely lead to more looting/burning of food.

  Reveal hidden contents

As seen from  the Arianne WoW sample chapter, the Golden Company has been stealing food from the people of the Stormlands.

The supply chain of imported food will also be disrupted due to all the war in Essos, as well as winter weather making it harder to ship things.

And when Daenerys arrives she will be bringing Dothraki etc. but there will be a lack of food to feed them with.

All I can see is food prices getting higher and higher to the point where there is a situation like in King's Landing where the Roseroad was closed, except this time it affects the whole realm. I think at least 30% of the population could die. The Others might have their work cut out for them.

What do you think?

 

The Reach has always been the breadbasket of the realm, even during wartime. It was virtually untouched during the W5K, and they've just experienced a 10-year summer, so they should have ample food. If there is starvation in Westeros, it will be due to a lack of funds to buy food, not lack of food itself. And the Iron Bank is calling in loans across the land . . .

Also, the ironborn are only raiding up the Mander and they haven't even gotten to Highgarden yet, so 99 percent of the Reach is still intact.

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1 minute ago, John Suburbs said:

The Reach has always been the breadbasket of the realm, even during wartime. It was virtually untouched during the W5K, and they've just experienced a 10-year summer, so they should have ample food.

That's true, but I think the yield could have dropped because the men were in the army. Not all but some. There has been a very long summer and they are the most fertile region, but I just don't know if they have enough to feed the whole realm all through Winter. Supposedly it's going to be a long and cruel winter.

2 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Also, the ironborn are only raiding up the Mander and they haven't even gotten to Highgarden yet, so 99 percent of the Reach is still intact.

For now. It depends on how far they get. I'm torn on this issue because I don't want Oldtown to be sacked but I don't want Euron to be a fraud either.

4 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

If there is starvation in Westeros, it will be due to a lack of funds to buy food, not lack of food itself. And the Iron Bank is calling in loans across the land . . .

Wouldn't this mean that smallfolk would still starve because they can't afford the food?

I was thinking not just about the situation now, but what will happen with all the upcoming conflicts.

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17 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

One of the logical reasons GRRM is struggling?

Logistics has never been a strong point in the series, not that it bothers me that much. I just really can't see how tones of people aren't going to starve. Combined with the death toll from all the wars and the Others' invasion I wonder how many people will be left to rule over at the end...

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Just now, Craving Peaches said:

Logistics has never been a strong point in the series, not that it bothers me that much. I just really can't see how tones of people aren't going to starve. Combined with the death toll from all the wars and the Others' invasion I wonder how many people will be left to rule over at the end...

Survival of the fittest, natural selection, enriched gene pool from survivors, Darwin and George having a bash...

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I am also a bit concerned with Daenerys' line 'Dragons plant no trees'. Wrong! This is what she should be doing. The produce grown in the warm climate of Essos can then be shipped over to help the hungry in Westeros. Things like dried dates etc. stuff that lasts a long time is perfect for winter. 

Regardless she will need a food source for her army. There will likely not be a lot for her left in Westeros. She should get as much food as possible from the East and take it with her west.

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2 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

Survival of the fittest, natural selection, enriched gene pool from survivors, Darwin and George having a bash...

If the starvation is based on extortionate food prices then it will be survival of the wealthiest. 

What would be nice is if the whole situation ends up improving the lives of the remaining smallfolk. I read that pay increased after the Black Death so perhaps there will be some positives to come out of this bad situation.

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1 minute ago, Craving Peaches said:

I am also a bit concerned with Daenerys' line 'Dragons plant no trees'

I'm concerned with a lot of her lines. Too childish, like throwing a tantrum against Selmy when it comes to a lot of things like her father and Robert's 'dogs', esp Starks.. If in her world there mothers at her age, she need to be a lot more mature.

2 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Wrong! This is what she should be doing. The produce grown in the warm climate of Essos can then be shipped over to help the hungry in Westeros. Things like dried dates etc. stuff that lasts a long time is perfect for winter. 

Regardless she will need a food source for her army. There will likely not be a lot for her left in Westeros. She should get as much food as possible from the East and take it with her west.

She isn't as wise as she'd like to be, same for Jon. Both need their counsellors more than they know. Hope Dany doesn't go down the abomination way, mad, or the way some of her toxic fans here are, irrational. 

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2 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

If the starvation is based on extortionate food prices then it will be survival of the wealthiest. 

What would be nice is if the whole situation ends up improving the lives of the remaining smallfolk. I read that pay increased after the Black Death so perhaps there will be some positives to come out of this bad situation.

Yeah, a Renaissance of sorts

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1 minute ago, TheLastWolf said:

I'm concerned with a lot of her lines. Too childish, like throwing a tantrum against Selmy when it comes to a lot of things like her father and Robert's 'dogs', esp Starks.. If in her world there mothers at her age, she need to be a lot more mature.

I hope she doesn't end up going down the Fire and Blood route, at least not without sufficient build-up and a good reason. I think she wants to maintain an idealised image of her family in her mind because it means her conscience can rest easier when it comes to taking Westeros. But deep down she knows it can't last and she will have to face the truth. In order to have a stable and prosperous realm she must acknowledge the wrongs her family inflicted on others and build bridges, not burn them.

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13 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

Yeah, a Renaissance of sorts

I read this odd theory a while ago that said that someone (Varys or the maesters, can't remember) was systematically purging the rudimentary middle class in Westeros to prevent any sort of progress on from feudalism.

Edited by Craving Peaches
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1 hour ago, CassDarry said:

Same

If the Citadel burns down it will be painful. Oldtown is cool and I don't want it destroyed. But if Euron is just a big fraud and a liar then I also feel let down. I think a good compromise is a Hightower-Euron naval magic battle where the Krakens appear but damage both sides so that if Euron wins it is a pyrrhic victory and he doesn't have the strength to sack Oldtown.

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37 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

How many would you say is some?

I don't think there's much point in putting a number to it because the series doesn't really deal in raw numbers, not that I'd have a clue. I think food shortages will be bad enough that decisions will be made to let the sick and elderly die in many places, rather than 'waste' supplies on them. And Westeros will require, and receive for a price, aid from the Free cities.

These sorts of situations and the hard decisions that need to be made are the focus of the series.

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