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Ser Lepus

Size of fleets

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From Davos chapter it seems that there is plenty of those in white harbor. white harbor population is probably much much larger than it was in the beginning of the books, with Winter setting in the North and all the war refuges.(similarly to the population boos in KL, during the war).

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I know I know, I am a great proponent of the 6-10 million population theory myself.

But we're talking about White Harbour itself, since you can't take tenants off their fields to make a fleet. Rowers traditionally hail from the poor and landless, who aren't required anywhere else - usually a class found in cities.

White Harbor is as big as London was in the Middle Ages - or even bigger, given that London had a population of about 40,000 and White Harbor could have 50,000 plus.

Plus Manderly says he has a dozen petty lords and a hundred landed knights as his vassals. His lands are bigger than the entire England.

I think 50 ships are very easily achievable.

And this is without the mandate from the King in the North, which would give him access to things like lumber from the Umber and Karstark lands, with other lords tasked to ship it down the White Knife to White Harbor, and maybe even supply excess men to man the ships.

Manderly on his own could probably very easily build 50 ships. Manderly with the entire North's support, well, then we would be talking hundreds of ships, should the King in the North so choose.

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The problem is that other than the Iron fleet, Royal fleet and the Redwyne fleet no one has more than the 20-30 ships and while theoretically Manderly can build as many ships as he want, such effort cannot be kept secret and not bring notice from the Iron throne and/or Boltons/Frey, who as you recall was watching Manderly like hawks. It would surely bring questions as to why The North which went without a fleet for so long, suddenly need to build one of the biggest fleets, when the North is at war and there is no threat by sea and Winter is coming...

So I am still in favor of the theory that part of those ships are of his banner men or that they are not all 3 masted war galleys but much smaller version they could scrub.

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I don't really see the issue -- Manderly clearly did build all those ships without it being known? Though I expect Varys does know, just never reported it.

It's entirely possible some of the ships belong to bannermen, but I think the main idea is that most of these ships have been built in the firth with Manderly silver and White Harbor shipwrights, and are part of Manderly's specific building work.

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The boats made in White Harbor include river runners which are "built tough to brave the swift currents and rocky shoots of the White Knife." Warships with a river runner design could be useful in navigating the waters around Skagos.

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This is possible, though I dont think that there are "Warships with a river runner design". "river runner design" is about maneuverability i.e. smaller boats, with shallow draft. The Ironborn have hundreds of those, though they cant withstand a sea battle against a "proper" Warships.

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The North has the biggest coastline of all Seven Kingdoms. In the past they have suffered from Pirate raids from the Sisters, Slaver raids from the Stepstones, wars with the Arryns that included invasions of the White Harbor area by the Arryn forces, wildling raids across the Bay of Seals, not to mention generall piracy in the Narrow Sea, and of course seemningly never ending Ironborn threats in the Sunset Sea.

Clearly the North has every justification for maintaining a war fleet, and a sizeable one at that. And in fact, they always had such a fleet - until Brandon the Burner burned all their ships sometime prior to Aegon's conquest.

As Manderly said when he proposed the construction of the fleet to Robb, they are merely restoring the North's sea power to it's rightful state.

50 ships should be a rather low number to protect such a vast coastline.

In times of war this could probably easily rise to 100 ships or more, only to go back to a standing fleet of about 50 ships in peacetime.

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This is not a question of justification, or how many ships the whole of the North can call upon. When I say that the lannisters command 20-30 ships, it doesnt mean that all of the westerlands lords has 20-30 ships, to defend their shores. Here see this SSM.

The question is about how many of those ships are Manderly personal Warships, while the North has the biggest coastline, it is also the poorest, its capital lay in ruin, many of its men lost in the war, Winter is coming, harvest was poor(due to the lack of men) and more men are mobilized/maintained in winterfell. There Manderly building a WAR fleet, with no naval war threat in sight, sounds stupid. I can accept that most of the ships were built before the later unfortunate events but not the size, which is bigger all those southern lords maintain. So IMO unless those ships are mostly of various Northren bannermen, who just used the its only/major port city for their construction and/or many of them are swift ships like the Ironborn longships that can go up river in to the North interior(note that in the largelly undeveloped North, most settlements sit on the rivers), is a suspense of disbelief to me.

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This is not a question of justification, or how many ships the whole of the North can call upon. When I say that the lannisters command 20-30 ships, it doesnt mean that all of the westerlands lords has 20-30 ships, to defend their shores. Here see this SSM.

The question is about how many of those ships are Manderly personal Warships, while the North has the biggest coastline, it is also the poorest, its capital lay in ruin, many of its men lost in the war, Winter is coming, harvest was poor(due to the lack of men) and more men are mobilized/maintained in winterfell. There Manderly building a WAR fleet, with no naval war threat in sight, sounds stupid. I can accept that most of the ships were built before the later unfortunate events but not the size, which is bigger all those southern lords maintain. So IMO unless those ships are mostly of various Northren bannermen, who just used the its only/major port city for their construction and/or many of them are swift ships like the Ironborn longships that can go up river in to the North interior(note that in the largelly undeveloped North, most settlements sit on the rivers), is a suspense of disbelief to me.

I simply totally disagree with you.

I think all of those ships were built in the last 2 years, and I think it is a feat that is very easily achievable for the richest lord in the North, ruling a city of 50,000 people, with maybe as many more refugees streaming in over the last few months to bolster his manpower.

Manderly tells Davos in Dance that his vaults are full of silver - and this is AFTER he has built his 50 ships.

You say it suspends your disbelief, but I think your disbelief is unreasonable.

Braavos can build 365 ships in a year. Manderly built 50 in a year and a half. Not unreasonable in the slightest.

Your reference to the Lannisters 30 ships is irrelevent. Tywin could build 200 ships if he wanted to. But he didn't have to, because he is part of the Seven Kingdoms, and can call on the Royal Fleet's protection should enemies - which are essentially limited to the Iron Born - threaten his small western coastline.

The North, in contrast, had just declared themselves independent from the Iron Throne, and thus would have to rely on their own ships for such protection.

Entirely logical that they would wish to construct a substantial fleet as soon as possible.

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I think you are missing the point, its not about how many ships he can build, its about how many ships he can maintain, Braavos sell ships not keeping them hidden in the harbor. Tywin was brought as an example that even the most richest high lords of the south and those who suffer constant pirate raidings dont hold more than 20-30 ships, surely Manderly from the poor North, which is not at its best shape didnt build a war fleet to match that of IronThrone and in secret *rolling eyes icon*

I cant see how he can keep such a secret, no matter how high are the walls, it takes a lot of effort, space and men power to build ships and big crews, who need to train at sea and drink in taverns. It possible that they wanted to bolster the Northen sea capabilities, but then those ships should have been payed by other bannermen as well and fit to their needs, with most of them being longships, that go up river to thier keeps and I dont see how they didnt come to claim them.

The North, in contrast, had just declared themselves independent from the Iron Throne, and thus would have to rely on their own ships for such protection.

Sure, but now we have a new sheriff in town. . If those were war ships, surely he would be wondering about why the hell Manderly has a war fleet, with no war no naval threat, a fleet he cannot maintain on his own for long, all those refugees are mouths to feed, he need to maintain his troops at winterfell and winter HAS come. Surely he is building them to sell them, so why the secrecy? The first thing I would have done is try to buy a few ships of his hand, he cant really say no....

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I think you are missing the point, its not about how many ships he can build, its about how many ships he can maintain, Braavos sell ships not keeping them hidden in the harbor. Tywin was brought as an example that even the most richest high lords of the south and those who suffer constant pirate raidings dont hold more than 20-30 ships, surely Manderly from the poor North, which is not at its best shape didnt build a war fleet to match that of IronThrone and in secret *rolling eyes icon*

I cant see how he can keep such a secret, no matter how high are the walls, it takes a lot of effort, space and men power to build ships and big crews, who need to train at sea and drink in taverns. It possible that they wanted to bolster the Northen sea capabilities, but then those ships should have been payed by other bannermen as well and fit to their needs, with most of them being longships, that go up river to thier keeps and I dont see how they didnt come to claim them.

Sure, but now we have a new sheriff in town. . If those were war ships, surely he would be wondering about why the hell Manderly has a war fleet, with no war no naval threat, a fleet he cannot maintain on his own for long, all those refugees are mouths to feed, he need to maintain his troops at winterfell and winter HAS come. Surely he is building them to sell them, so why the secrecy? The first thing I would have done is try to buy a few ships of his hand, he cant really say no....

Who is the ''he'' you are referring to? Davos?

Why does Manderly want a war fleet? Because it's a time of war.

Is it the fact that he was able to build the ships that you have a problem with, or the fact that he kept it a secret? If the latter, there's a difference between trying to keep it a secret and actually succeeding. Who's to say that word hasn't gotten out? I think the best Manderly can hope for is to hide the extent of his shipbuilding activities. Having 23 ships protecting the biggest city in the North isn't outrageous.

And that's all he is keeping in the Harbor. The rest are hidden.

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Its a fact that Davos see ships in there, we dont know exactly how many if those are war ships, longboats or maybe old ships of manderly bannermens, who he called in , just like Balong and Stannis did before they made their move.

By he I mean the new Warden of the North, or have you missed the part where the North lost its war for independence?

Having 23 ships protecting the biggest city in the North isn't outrageous.

So why they are hidden inside and not patrolling the sea? also as I said before its the timing, you dont go from 0 to 100...

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Wartime ramp-up and then draw-down was certainly known in the past when it came to ships. Clearly, Wyman Manderly has decided it's reasonable to sink vast resources into the fleet.

The fact that half the fleet is secret doesn't really seem like a problem. The Boltons would seem likeliest to learn about it, with no Varys's in the south, but I dare say that the Boltons aren't known for their spy network nor are they so loved in White Harbor as to have turn cloaks flocking to them. Especially since the question of a fleet desn't really affect them directly. The Manderly fleet is squarely aimed against threats from the south.

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Its a fact that Davos think that there are about 50 ships in there, we dont know if those are war ships, longboats or maybe old ships of manderly bannermens, who he called in , just like Balong and Stannis did before they made their move.

By he I mean the new Warden of the North, or have you missed the part where the North lost its war for independence?

So why they are hidden inside and not patrolling the sea? also as I said before its the timing, you dont go from 0 to 100...

The Boltons are Wardens of the North in name only. Much like Littlefinger is the Lord of Harenhal.

I dare say Roose Bolton's position is so weak that he is probably just happy that Manderly is on speaking terms with him, nevermind having inspectors checking out Manderly's fleet size and treasury accounts.

Manderly is the most powerful lord in the North and he can do what he wants in his own city. The Boltons were in no position to query it, and after the events of Dance are in no position to even set foot outside of Winterfell.

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Exactly because of that the Boltons would give extra attention to everything around them, putting extra effort to solidify their power, just as LF does in the Eyrie. Inspectors? Warden is military title only, they dont have any right to send inspectors but they surely would be keeping an eye on the other biggest house in the North and with the city flowing with hungry refugees getting information is easy...

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Exactly because of that the Boltons would give extra attention to everything around them, putting extra effort to solidify their power, just as LF does in the Eyrie. Inspectors? Warden is military title only, they dont have any right to send inspectors but they surely would be keeping an eye on the other biggest house in the North and with the city flowing with hungry refugees getting information is easy...

Yeah, when was this going to happen?

While Roose was in the South, busy slaughtering Northmen at the Red Wedding?

Or while he was stuck south of Moat Cailin, waiting for the Ironmen to be cleared from Moat Cailin?

Or maybe while Ramsay was busy murdering Manderly's cousin, Lady Hornwood?

Or how about after that, while they were desperately trying to rush a wedding between Ramsay and the fake Arya, to try and legitimize their claim to the North?

Or after that, when they were stuck in Winterfell, with Stannis advancing on them?

Roose hasn't even been back to the Dreadfort since he marched south with Robb. And Ramsay is just a slobbering beast, with zero managerial or political skills.

The first Roose saw of the Manderlys was when they arrived at Winterfell for the wedding to the fake Arya. Before that Manderly was still holding out and publicly supporting the Starks, waiting for his son to be returned to him.

Roose could only confirm his overlordship over Manderly after Manderly graced him with his presence at the wedding.

And since then, they've all been stuck behind the walls of Winterfell, waiting for Stannis to come and kill them.

Roose's alliance is so desperate - with nominal control over a junior branch of the Umbers, a forced takeover of the Hornwood lands, and the enigmatic - possibly feigned - support of the powerful Lady Dustin from Barrowton, that he has to pray that Manderly doesn't oppose him.

Actually questioning Manderly on what he has been doing for the last two years? Heck, he doesn't have the political clout to even think of doing that.

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I see your point, though I disagree, if it was me, this would be the first thing I would do. I hear there is a thing such as ravens to coordinate such thins and Bolton is cunning, calculating, meticulous and fully aware of the love and the loyalty the North bears to the starks...

Anyway, the point was not about Bolton, it was about the supposed size and strength of the fleet. I still think that your estimate is a wild exaggeration and would only come to past if GRRM really want to introduce "another player" to make thing more interesting in the Winds of Winter.

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I see your point, though I disagree, if it was me, this would be the first thing I would do, I hear there is a thing such as ravens to coordinate such thins and Bolton is cunning, calculating and meticulous and he fully aware of the love and the loyalty the North bears to the starks.

Anyway, the point was not about Bolton, it was about the supposed size and strength of the fleet, I still think that your estimate is a wild exaggeration and would only come to past if GRRM really want to introduce "another player" to make thing more interesting in the Winds of Winter.

My point is only that Manderly only ''officially'' accepted the Lannisters' Warden of the North after his son was returned to him. And that only happened AFTER he "beheaded'' Davos and mounted his head on White Harbor's walls.

And this only happened in the last Davos chapter in Dance.

So up until Manderly arriving at Winterfell for the wedding, he was completely legitimately still carrying out Robb Stark's orders, whice were to build a new warfleet for the North.

The secrecy only related to him probably trying to hide the full extent of the new fleet's size. Which could be done by removing one ship at a time from the Harbor at night and sailing it up the White Knife, only to be replaced by a new ship arriving from the shipyards.

Or alternatively sailing a few ships off on some "patroll'' only for one to be replaced by a newly constructed one on its return, while the one it replaces is sent up the White Knife instead.

In this way, there would always be more or less 23 ships in the Harbor, with the growing number of additional ones being hidden in various sheltered tributaries of the White Knife, wihc his over a thousand miles long.

It is obvious that Manderly could not hide the activity at his shipyards - there must be hundreds of laborers involved - or the fact that he was building some sort of warfleet.

But what he could do, was make the fleet look much smaller than it actually is.

No one could begrudge the lord of one of Westeros's 5 major ports from maintaining 20 odd ships to protect his coasts - especially in a time of War. They just won't know that the fleet is in truth double that size.

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BTW, I believe Davos counts 23 ships exactly, not 50. Manderly later informs him he has as many more hidden further up the Firth. So, approximately 50, but it seems likely many of these have been moved to a secret location.

That said, it's not as if he has hidden his shipbuilding efforts. Everyone knows. They just don't know how many, exactly.

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Matters are complicated by the likely nature of those ships. The Royal Navy appears to be largely made up of multi-banked rowing galleys, which are by their nature purpose-built warships but not suited to sailing in northern waters. In our world galleys worked well in the Meditarranean and to a rather lesser extent in the Baltic, but fared badly in the Atlantic and North Sea. Warships there tended to be cogs fitted with fighting castle and the idea (as with Viking longships) was not to sink the enemy by ramming, but douse them with arrows and then board. This could be done on a ship to ship basis or if the sea was calm enough, by lashing several ships together into large rafts to concentrate both archers and men at arms.

Now the point of this is two-fold. First because they have neither rams nor cannon, they don't need to be purpose built. Its obviously good to a have a core of big ones manned as warships, but this core can rapidly be expanded with STUFTs (ships taken up from trade). Thus Manderley can have relatively few warships built and sitting quietly at anchor, but they don't properly represent the fleet which he can actually float when the time comes.

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