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George's stance on slavery


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3 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

No... but thinking "I could not execute him" means he could've not executed him...

And he would have been wrong. We're not talking about a silly fight between 3rd graders in the playground. The NW is a military institution w/ a hierarchy in a medieval-ish setting. Jon ponders the alternatives and decides none of them are adequate punishment. His whole train of thought is right there in the text.

3 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

He does tho, in the very end, when it's too late, which ofcourse it is, but it shows he never thought it was a real posivility.

No, he really doesn't. Slynt isn't actually taking anything he's said back. He just realises that Jon is actually going to execute him and, coward that he is, he decides to beg for his life. And Jon  changing his mind then would have been the worst mistake he could ever make. It would tell all those men under him that they could get away w/ any type of insubordination as long as they begged for mercy right before being executed.

 

3 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

As far as I know Thorne didn't commit any crime, and it doesn't matter what Marsh does later, what we are arguing about is if it was obvious Janos thougth his actions were punishable by death, which him, Marsh and Thorne clearly thought they didn't, and Jon thought they weren't necessarily punishable by death.

Nope, both plotted w/ Slynt to have Jon murdered under Tywin's orders way back in ASoS.

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55 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

And he would have been wrong. We're not talking about a silly fight between 3rd graders in the playground. The NW is a military institution w/ a hierarchy in a medieval-ish setting. Jon ponders the alternatives and decides none of them are adequate punishment. His whole train of thought is right there in the text.

I don't know if sending him to the ice cells wouldn;t have been the better move, because he looks like he's executing Slynt for personal reasons, and Slynt has no insignificant support in the Wall.

But I'm not judging him for executing Slynt, I cheered the first time I read it, I'm just saying he's less desserving of an execution than the slavers.

 

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No, he really doesn't. Slynt isn't actually taking anything he's said back. He just realises that Jon is actually going to execute him and, coward that he is, he decides to beg for his life. And Jon  changing his mind then would have been the worst mistake he could ever make. It would tell all those men under him that they could get away w/ any type of insubordination as long as they begged for mercy right before being executed.

I agree, by that point it would've been a really bad idea to spare him. I just mention it to prove that Slynt didn't expect to die because of this, and you seem to agree.

 

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Nope, both plotted w/ Slynt to have Jon murdered under Tywin's orders way back in ASoS.

Marsh wasn't in Castle Black when that happened and you're right, I had forgotten about that. Anyways, I think they are both sincere in their oposition to Jon executing Slynt, and shocked by Jon's desition.

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3 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

I don't know if sending him to the ice cells wouldn;t have been the better move, because he looks like he's executing Slynt for personal reasons, and Slynt has no insignificant support in the Wall.

But I'm not judging him for executing Slynt, I cheered the first time I read it, I'm just saying he's less desserving of an execution than the slavers.

 

I agree, by that point it would've been a really bad idea to spare him. I just mention it to prove that Slynt didn't expect to die because of this, and you seem to agree.

 

Marsh wasn't in Castle Black when that happened and you're right, I had forgotten about that. Anyways, I think they are both sincere in their oposition to Jon executing Slynt, and shocked by Jon's desition.

The slavers’ deaths were much worse than Slynt’s (but so of course, were the slavers’ own actions).  

Dany is shown subsequently agonising over their deaths, whereas Jon does not.  Dany’s tendency to beat herself up over her decisions is (a) an indicator that she is not a villain (Tywin Lannister loses no sleep over ordering killings) (b) a weakness in a leader, perhaps a fatal flaw.

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8 hours ago, CamiloRP said:

No... but thinking "I could not execute him" means he could've not executed him...

 

He does tho, in the very end, when it's too late, which ofcourse it is, but it shows he never thought it was a real posivility.

Only because he thought Jon was too weak to carry out the sentence

As far as I know Thorne didn't commit any crime, and it doesn't matter what Marsh does later, what we are arguing about is if it was obvious Janos thougth his actions were punishable by death, which him, Marsh and Thorne clearly thought they didn't, and Jon thought they weren't necessarily punishable by death.

There is no question in my mind that they knew that death was a possible punishment for the offense, they thought wrongly that Jon wouldn't carry out the sentence that is all.

Yes Jon could have spared Slynt but it would been a mistake, there was no chance he would carry out his duties and Jon has already seen how costly mutiny is, he is right to want to avoid another one.

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On 4/1/2024 at 7:59 AM, astarkchoice said:

hes writing it into his world in a believeable way

Unfortunately, not really. There is nothing believable about the Slaver's Bay states, except perhaps for cruelty, but even that is far more excessive than in real-life antiquity.

Main problem I think is that George misunderstands the main issue of slavery: slavery is not the product of cruelty. Rather, slavery is a product of cold calculus of profit... cruelty then comes as an effect of slavery, not its cause, because dehumanization always produces cruelty.

On 4/1/2024 at 10:05 AM, Daeron the Daring said:

At a certain point, in certain places, serfs were treated worse than slaves were in other times, at other places. Serfdom is sugarcoated slavery anyway. Both social classes were property, with various levels of independence troughout history.

Both were enforced trough the imbalance of power favoring the wealthy. It was a natural consequence of an inequal society that didn't have the means to fight against it.

Not in the least. While you may find cases where serfs were treated as badly as slaves were - early modern Russia, for example - by and large, serfdom was far more humane than slavery was. It was also far more humane than many things that had followed it (just look at urban workforce during and after the Industrial Revolution!). And the reason is simply that it is nothing like slavery, mostly due to one fundamental detail: serf was personally free. Serfdom was, in fact, a negotiated contract between the serf and the lord: usually however a village would negotiate as a collective, in order to have the weight behind it.

And from that followed a slew of other rights, such as a right to sue in court. What you (and most other people here, I suspect) probably don't know is that it was possible for a serf to sue his lord in a cour of lawSure, it was unlikely to succeed, but it was technically possible - besides, try suing state in a court of law, you probably won't end well either unless you are a large corporation. And if suing at manorial court failed, it was (legally at least) possible for a serf to go to a higher court, such as land court and ultimately all the way to the king. Usually however, when a serf sued in the court, it was to sue his neighbour for minor offenses.

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1 hour ago, Aldarion said:

Unfortunately, not really. There is nothing believable about the Slaver's Bay states, except perhaps for cruelty, but even that is far more excessive than in real-life antiquity.

Main problem I think is that George misunderstands the main issue of slavery: slavery is not the product of cruelty. Rather, slavery is a product of cold calculus of profit... cruelty then comes as an effect of slavery, not its cause, because dehumanization always produces cruelty.

Not in the least. While you may find cases where serfs were treated as badly as slaves were - early modern Russia, for example - by and large, serfdom was far more humane than slavery was. It was also far more humane than many things that had followed it (just look at urban workforce during and after the Industrial Revolution!). And the reason is simply that it is nothing like slavery, mostly due to one fundamental detail: serf was personally free. Serfdom was, in fact, a negotiated contract between the serf and the lord: usually however a village would negotiate as a collective, in order to have the weight behind it.

And from that followed a slew of other rights, such as a right to sue in court. What you (and most other people here, I suspect) probably don't know is that it was possible for a serf to sue his lord in a cour of lawSure, it was unlikely to succeed, but it was technically possible - besides, try suing state in a court of law, you probably won't end well either unless you are a large corporation. And if suing at manorial court failed, it was (legally at least) possible for a serf to go to a higher court, such as land court and ultimately all the way to the king. Usually however, when a serf sued in the court, it was to sue his neighbour for minor offenses.

Mostly I agree.  But, I think the masters’ commitment to slavery (in this world and real life), goes beyond economics (important though that is).

In order to justify to oneself, treating people as chattels, one has to get into the mentality of thinking of them as subhuman.  Hence you got the South Carolina master replying “slaves ain’t horses”, when asked why he beat his slaves, but never his horses.  To him, they were lesser than horses.

Feudalism is the economics of  the Mafia.  Income flows upwards (and in this world, income often means personal service), in return for protection from above.  The Boss acknowledges that those below him need to wet their beaks a little.  Their prosperity is in his interest.

Chattel slavery is more like the economics of a labour camp.  Other than a minority of overseers, and privileged household slaves, the slaves are worked to death, then replaced with fresh slaves.

 

Edited by SeanF
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On 4/1/2024 at 2:02 AM, CamiloRP said:

That's not what I'm talking about tho. The people in favor of executing the slavers are Daario, who's an evil motherfucker, and the Shavepate, whom at the very least we shoulnd't trust; while Jon gets an approving Nod from Stannis.

An approval from Stannis is not a sign of anything good. The execution was unjust and Jon made a tyrant of himself.  The execution of the slavers who murdered the children was completely appropriate for the situation because what they did was an act of war against Dany and against the children. The masters used bad tactics to support a bad cause. 

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8 hours ago, Alden Rothack said:

There is no question in my mind that they knew that death was a possible punishment for the offense, they thought wrongly that Jon wouldn't carry out the sentence that is all.

That's the whole thing we've been arguing about (tho to be honost, I can't remember why), Slynt didn't know for sure he was gonna be executed.

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8 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

That's the whole thing we've been arguing about (tho to be honost, I can't remember why), Slynt didn't know for sure he was gonna be executed.

Only because he believed Jon to be a green boy who wouldn't have the guts or willpower carry out an execution. Slynt thought he could intimidate the new Lord Commander into submission, and his behavior was encouraged by seasoned members of the NW, who also happened to dislike Jon, and also doubted his abilities. They simply underestimated him.

If Slynt had served under Mormont, I doubt he would have disobeyed a direct order. And if he did, he would not have taken the threat of execution so lightly.

Edited by Ser Arthurs Dawn
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30 minutes ago, The Commentator said:

An approval from Stannis is not a sign of anything good. The execution was unjust and Jon made a tyrant of himself.  The execution of the slavers who murdered the children was completely appropriate for the situation because what they did was an act of war against Dany and against the children. The masters used bad tactics to support a bad cause. 

"He is, despite everything, a righteous man" according to the author.

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5 minutes ago, Ser Arthurs Dawn said:

Only because he believed Jon to be a green boy who wouldn't have the guts or willpower carry out an execution. Slynt thought he could intimidate the new Lord Commander into submission, and his behavior was encouraged by seasoned members of the NW, who also happened to dislike Jon, and also doubted his abilities. They simply underestimated him.

If Slynt had served under Mormont, I doubt he would have disobeyed a direct order. And if he did, he would not have taken the threat of execution so lightly.

True, but Mormont may not have chosen to execute him. Jon thought he needed to execute Janos because he is seen as a green boy, and because Janos considers him a traitor's son, a turncloack, a warg, and whatever, so he will scheem against him, but he woudln't scheem against Mormont, so there wouldn't be a need for executing him.

Jon didn't execute him for his unsubordination, that was the rpetext, he executed him because he realized he would keep acting that way, which wouldn't've happened with any other commander.

So the insubordination wasn't necesarily punishable by death.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, SeanF said:

"He is, despite everything, a righteous man" according to the author.

oof, I got lumped in with the anti-stark crowd, didn't I?

Edited by CamiloRP
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9 minutes ago, Ser Arthurs Dawn said:

Only because he believed Jon to be a green boy who wouldn't have the guts or willpower carry out an execution. Slynt thought he could intimidate the new Lord Commander into submission, and his behavior was encouraged by seasoned members of the NW, who also happened to dislike Jon, and also doubted his abilities. They simply underestimated him.

And were all in on a plot to murder said LC. And Slynt not only underestimated Jon, but he overestimated his plot mates and their willingness to stick out their own necks to defend him. 

9 minutes ago, Ser Arthurs Dawn said:

If Slynt had served under Mormont, I doubt he would have disobeyed a direct order. And if he did, he would not have taken the threat of execution so lightly.

Agree. Also noteworthy is the fact that the Old Bear would have chopped off Slynt’s ugly head much sooner than Jon did.

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3 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

True, but Mormont may not have chosen to execute him. Jon thought he needed to execute Janos because he is seen as a green boy, and because Janos considers him a traitor's son, a turncloack, a warg, and whatever, so he will scheem against him, but he woudln't scheem against Mormont, so there wouldn't be a need for executing him.

Jon didn't execute him for his unsubordination, that was the rpetext, he executed him because he realized he would keep acting that way, which wouldn't've happened with any other commander.

So the insubordination wasn't necesarily punishable by death.

Mormont would absolutely execute Slynt in the same circumstances.

3 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

oof, I got lumped in with the anti-stark crowd, didn't I?

You had it coming! :lmao:

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36 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

That's the whole thing we've been arguing about (tho to be honost, I can't remember why), Slynt didn't know for sure he was gonna be executed.

nobody ever knows for absolute certain that its going to be their head on the block but you can be certain they know which crimes make it very likely and which do not.

insuboordination in a military setting absolutely is one of them, its classed with desertion and mutiny

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

You had it coming! :lmao:

I Was worrying about my comments on Jon and SLynt for precisely that reason.

Funny thing is, a few years back a bunch of anti-starks accused my constantly of being anti-targ.

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8 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

I Was worrying about my comments on Jon and SLynt for precisely that reason.

Funny thing is, a few years back a bunch of anti-starks accused my constantly of being anti-targ.

Well, there’s a line of thought that claims that if you’re annoying both sides of a debate, you must be doing something right. 
Not that I subscribe to it… much the opposite, in fact! :P

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1 minute ago, kissdbyfire said:

Well, there’s a line of thought that claims that if you’re annoying both sides of a debate, you must be doing something right. 
Not that I subscribe to it… much the opposite, in fact! :P

I'm a peronist, so it makes sense to me

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50 minutes ago, Alden Rothack said:

nobody ever knows for absolute certain that its going to be their head on the block but you can be certain they know which crimes make it very likely and which do not.

insuboordination in a military setting absolutely is one of them, its classed with desertion and mutiny

In a modern setting, imprisonment, and dishonourable discharge, would probably be Slynt's fate - but being sent to the Watch is essentially a suspended death sentence, which leaves death as the only option.

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2 minutes ago, SeanF said:

In a modern setting, imprisonment, and dishonourable discharge, would probably be Slynt's fate - but being sent to the Watch is essentially a suspended death sentence, which leaves death as the only option.

effectively yes, particularly for those who cannot be relied upon not to commit further offenses

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