Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ser Doctor

Skagos

Recommended Posts

I recall at some point, during Sam's passage to Oldtown, the maester citing the Skagosi rebellion. It mentioned Longships and the fact they called themselves "Stoneborn". They clearly had the numbers and leadership to believe they could possibly succeed in the rebellion. Reminds me of another faction of island dwellers in Westeros.

I don't know about the cannibalism, unicorns, etc. But those references come from those who were on the other side of the rebellion(or at least closer to the other side).

Who knows what will happen, but it doesn't sem to me the GRRM would let a good bit of foreshadowing go to waste. I vote for another "iron in the fire".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always thought that the Skaggs might end up playing a part, too. They are savage and backwards, and obviously aren't really Stark loyalists, but they may be a source of manpower against the Others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that, generally speaking, this rebellion coincided with the Queens Gift and/or Brandons Gift. Much of which would include Skagos if the parallels are continued. Some person giving away "Our Land" could be enough for a rebellion. Prolly wrong, but its cool none the less!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Other-in-law
It seems to me that, generally speaking, this rebellion coincided with the Queens Gift and/or Brandons Gift. Much of which would include Skagos if the parallels are continued. Some person giving away "Our Land" could be enough for a rebellion. Prolly wrong, but its cool none the less!

You mean if the boundaries extended across the Bay of Seals, Skagos would be part of the Gifts? Somehow I doubt that they intended it that way. In any case, the stoneborn rebellion wouldn't have coincided precisely; the New Gift would have been given before the year 104 at the latest (during Jaehaerys I's reign), and the Skagg rebellion would have been about a century later, give or take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See? Thats what I appreciate. I read and get impressions and then post thoughts. Not much for timelines, or absolute history according to the tome, or anything like that.

I think to myself , "Skags rebs are pissed at getting screwed so lets post". But then someone says, "whoa there friend". I really appreciate that about this board. I really do!

I might hope Skags have a bigger role in the future of the story but I want it to be a reasonable role. So I'm gonna ask a generic question, why would Skags rebel? Are they the revolutionaries, are they fighting for freedom against oppression, are they riding unicorns to bring down the Stark family? Are they hungry?

We really don't know, but I'm gonna love finding out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really doubt Skagos will be an active part of future books. As to why would G martin add it in if not to use it in the future? The answer is simple. George Martin has created a world. Any writer knows that for the audience to really believe that the world is real and has depth and history you need to create that illusion. Its like an ice berg you show about 5% of the history he created in the book and the rest nobody needs to know about it.

From the few sentences in the book about skagos you get the feeling it has a long complictated history, even though George Martin only spent a few sentences on it. Mission accomplished for writing a convincing world. He may add it to future books but I really doubt it, because I can't see any future use. A skagosian rebelian? Why? When they clearly are mainly savages who don't seem to have any realy ports, what threat are they to the mainland. Why would any characters go there in the future to make skagos important?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I googled 'Elasmotherium' and it's a really formidable and cool-looking animal, but not exactly the sort that would live on a mountaineous forested island in northern climate. Wikipedia agrees with me: most likely Elasmotherium lived on a steppe. If there really are unicorns on Skagos, then I'm betting they're large one-horned goats.

I don't see any reason for any of the characters to go to Skagos, either. It's possible that once the long winter comes the seas will freeze and Skagosians are forced to escape to the mainland because the White Walkers have taken over their island. That way we might get to see some of these famous unicorns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so first post, please don't bite me!

This has been bugging me.

Now on the one hand GRRM steers away from the fantastical, particularly in the realm of mythical beasts (dragons notwithstanding). His manticore is beetle-like rather than large and leonid, and his other creatures (at least the ones we've seen) are not really fantastical (except shadowcats, mebbe).

He does seem fond of megafauna. Now I just can't see a Skagosi cannibal getting on an unusually pointy My Tiny PonyTM.

So, it might just be a really big draft horse with, well, a horn. Or. Perhaps. The Giant Unicorn, or Elasmotherium, was a relative of the woolly rhinoceros that seems to have links to the unicorn mytho-historically. It looked, supposedly quite horse-like, it galloped, was about 2m high, 6m long and a 2m horn. Now that's what I call a unicorn.

The problem with this is that the classic, heraldic unicorn is a horse with cloven hooves and a lion's tail (oh, and a spike, of course). It's also very closely tied to much of the medieval romantic mythology of which GRRM is so fond.

Just to add to this, On Grrm's site, he has the House Brax shield, and it's got a double lion's tail, which does appear in some heraldic devices (I wonder what form it takes on House Doggett's shield).

So, really, the question (yes, there's actually a question here) is two-fold: what's more likely? and what's more Westeros? (not, after all, necessarily the same thing). I think I'm leaning towards the Elasmotherium, but I'm interested to know what others think.

Ref? Would be keen to see that!

What about the basilisk that Dany sees tearing apart a dog? in a fighting pit in the dock area of Qarth right before the sorrowful man tries to assassinate her? It never describes it. Perhaps it is something akin to a Komodo dragon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lean more towards THIS for the Basilisk in question, though some sort of large monitor lizard is probably more likely what Martin had in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall at some point, during Sam's passage to Oldtown, the maester citing the Skagosi rebellion. It mentioned Longships and the fact they called themselves "Stoneborn". They clearly had the numbers and leadership to believe they could possibly succeed in the rebellion. Reminds me of another faction of island dwellers in Westeros.

I think a lot of this depends on how we classify "rebellion."

The Ironborn set out to become not only independent but also to raid up and down the coasts of Westeros and rape and reave at will. They were clearly a direct threat to Robert's rule.

It seems much more likely to me that the Skagosi simply refused to pay their duties to Winterfell and maybe to trade with the wildlings in violation of the laws of Westeros and the North. They live on an extremely harsh, stormy island, and don't have the resources to fight the Starks, even if they can fight back when invaders land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, poor Skagosi, they just want to eat people!

In all seriousness, the Ironborn did have a reason to rebel: they were essentially quarantined on their own bleak, dreary islands during the Targaryen era. I mentioned this in another thread, but the primitive "rape and reave" mentality seems like a newer revenge thing, since we know the old Ironborn built things like Harrenhal, and could effectively govern an empire that spanned from Bear Island to the Arbor to Blackwater Bay.

Oh, and it was the Starks who used longships to invade Skagos,not the other way around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, poor Skagosi, they just want to eat people!

In all seriousness, the Ironborn did have a reason to rebel: they were essentially quarantined on their own bleak, dreary islands during the Targaryen era. I mentioned this in another thread, but the primitive "rape and reave" mentality seems like a newer revenge thing, since we know the old Ironborn built things like Harrenhal, and could effectively govern an empire that spanned from Bear Island to the Arbor to Blackwater Bay.

Oh, and it was the Starks who used longships to invade Skagos,not the other way around.

The ironborn built outposts, but it was Harren the black who built Harrenhal - the largest castle in westeros.

Later he was roasted alive inside his castle with his children - Via 2-3 dragons.

And I'm not sure how much the Ironborn really ruled. I think they just reaved alot and took whatever they felt like. Livestock, grain, resources, wealth, salt wives, and thralls.

Not sure if that counts as an empire. More like an extended network of potential mostly powerless victims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ironborn built outposts, but it was Harren the black who built Harrenhal - the largest castle in westeros.

Later he was roasted alive inside his castle with his children - Via 2-3 dragons.

And I'm not sure how much the Ironborn really ruled. I think they just reaved alot and took whatever they felt like. Livestock, grain, resources, wealth, salt wives, and thralls.

Not sure if that counts as an empire. More like an extended network of potential mostly powerless victims.

Harren the Black was Ironborn. It says so when Harrenhal first appears in the books. Just look it up in "Concordance" on this website.

Euron makes a reference to the Arbor once being ruled by the Ironborn. And in AGOT, it says that in the old days, the King of the Iron Islands could truthfully say that "his writ and laws were obeyed wherever men could smell the salt water." Words like "writ" and "laws" indicate rule, as opposed to only destruction and pillage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lean more towards THIS for the Basilisk in question, though some sort of large monitor lizard is probably more likely what Martin had in mind.

that is one scarry bird

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Other-in-Law

And in AGOT, it says that in the old days, the King of the Iron Islands could truthfully say that "his writ and laws were obeyed wherever men could smell the salt water." Words like "writ" and "laws" indicate rule, as opposed to only destruction and pillage.

In my edition of aGoT, it says "King Qhored could truthfully boast that his writ ran 'wherever men can smell salt water or hear the crash of waves'." No mention of laws at all. I take writ to mean that he's the own calling the shots and is the ultimate judge. That doesn't necessarily equate to a real legal code, though it does suggest effective government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"writ" means something that's written, which probably is laws in this case. I remember a mention of "law", but I might be wrong. Which scene is this quote in?

While the Ironmen in the old days were obviously violent and warlike (the "Old Way" and all that), I got the vibe that the culture they currently have on the Iron Islands is not as advanced as the one that raised Pyke and Harrenhal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Other-in-Law

"writ" means something that's written, which probably is laws in this case.

Not necessarily: Originally, a writ was a letter or command from the Sovereign, or from some person with appropriate jurisdiction. Early writs were usually written in Latin, and royal writs were sealed with the Great Seal.

Which scene is this quote in?

No scene. The Greyjoy appendix.

While the Ironmen in the old days were obviously violent and warlike (the "Old Way" and all that), I got the vibe that the culture they currently have on the Iron Islands is not as advanced as the one that raised Pyke and Harrenhal.

How so? I don't get that impression in the slightest. They obviously still have castle-buildig technology since the Botleys replaced their old wooden keep (burnt down under Robert) with a new stone one, and the Harlaws built the very impressive Ten Towers just a few generations ago. They have maesters and contacts with the rest of Westeros and the rest of the world. I don't see any evidence of cultural decline since the Conquest. They're not as wealthy since they lost the Riverlands, of course, but they hardly seem to be de-evolving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't know Harren was Ironborn, that's neat.

The impression I get from the Ironborn in how they view themselves, the world - Westeros, and perhaps most importantly 'the old ways' is a society of raiders who put very little weight on reading (the reader is something of a Ironborn prodigy - an oddity), and extensive, or even moderate government. Each captain is something of a king, and the strength of the Ironborn is in the sea and in their ships. I think the Ironborn's writ is nothing but the weight of their swords, not dubiouse law codes and medieval political manifestos.

I think the Ironborn might have grabbed land, and there might have been some fringe synthesis and mixing of Ironborn and mainlanders (marriage perhaps).

The Maesters represent an ancient order of learning, and it certainly seems as if the Ironborn, AND their religion accords them very little respect.

Dominion undoubtedly. Empire I doubt.

(the word writ doesn't seem like proof in this case - and I interpret it as 'written' their rule officialy or unofficially written wherever you could hear the sea)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't know Harren was Ironborn, that's neat.

The impression I get from the Ironborn in how they view themselves, the world - Westeros, and perhaps most importantly 'the old ways' is a society of raiders who put very little weight on reading (the reader is something of a Ironborn prodigy - an oddity), and extensive, or even moderate government. Each captain is something of a king, and the strength of the Ironborn is in the sea and in their ships. I think the Ironborn's writ is nothing but the weight of their swords, not dubiouse law codes and medieval political manifestos.

I think the Ironborn might have grabbed land, and there might have been some fringe synthesis and mixing of Ironborn and mainlanders (marriage perhaps).

The Maesters represent an ancient order of learning, and it certainly seems as if the Ironborn, AND their religion accords them very little respect.

Dominion undoubtedly. Empire I doubt.

(the word writ doesn't seem like proof in this case - and I interpret it as 'written' their rule officialy or unofficially written wherever you could hear the sea)

Harren ruled Riverlands and Iron Islands from Harrenhal - an odd choice - and his power extended at least to Maidenpool. He reigned at least 40 years - he spent 40 years building Harrenhal.

Riverlands had been conquered by Harren´s grandfather Harwyn Hardhand from Storm King. We know that Harren was kind of unpopular - this is why Tully led a rebellion against him in support of Aegon. The reasons may have included Harren´s personal bad character and heavy expenditure on Harrenhal, or general rapacity of Ironmen. Nevertheless the Ironmen did manage to keep Riverlands for three generations. Tully had not rebelled before Aegon, to bring Storm Kings back, nor been destroyed trying. Most lords of Riverlands have ancient histories - they were not exterminated by Ironmen and replaced by upstart leaders of native resistance. Even Freys, regarded as upstarts by the rest, have been major lords for 600 years and were minor lords before that.

And the Ironmen had held the mainland shore of Ironman´s Bay continuously for millennia between Qhored and Harwyn.

Also note that the original Harrenhal did, for some reason, have a sept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt we'll have a POV in Skagos, it just seems so out of the way from the major plotlines. Also, I sincerely doubt that they are an "ace" for the North, since they rebelled against House Stark 100 years ago. If Generally, we've seen the political positions of the past be the political positions of the present - Dorne pro-Targ, Bolton anti-Stark, etc. so unless it's one of those rarer exceptions Skagos can probably be viewed as itching for rebellion than anything else.

If Osha is going for a "boonies" location - she is far more likely to head to the mountain clans or some minor lording. If you look at a map, that's a tough journey. Also, Sam was probably traveling in that region by sea around the time that Osha would have been there and it's freezing. I don't think Osha can beat the incoming Winter and make Skagos in time since it is so far north and crosses a lot of hostile territory. Personally, I think she is going to White Harbor.

I think most of the "foreshadowing" or "irons in the fire" is just color for the world and maybe some setup for Dunk & Egg. As Dunk & Egg are going to visit the Starks the next book and the timelines seem to match up, there probably is going to be soem reference to the Skagos rebellion killing off a male Stark. Maybe D&E will be instrumental in ending the rebellion, so you might get a visit there. Park of D&E is to visit Westeros gaps - locations, events, relationships, etc. that are not able to be explored in the main series.

Martin likes to cross-market alot (just look at his blog). He makes references to historical stuff in the D&E books that have or likely will impact the main plot, so you are encouraged to read the short stories as well. So, it should come as no surprise that Martin is using his main series to get you interested in a major plot point or destination in his short stories.

Also I view current D&E stories as part of the story of Egg's education - in other words, the education of a future great king. The first was Egg learning about chivalry, honor, and what was a true knight. The second exploring the relationship between knights and nobility. The third learning about conspiracies and spycraft. Taken with that view, the fourth could easily be Egg learning about rebellions and how to put them down. Egg is obtaining "streetsmarts" from his squiring for Dunk, which helps explain how he grew to become an excellent king.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×