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[Book spoilers] Turnips and other things that don't add up

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I'm puzzled by so many people asking 'but where was Ghost?' In the books Jon often wonders the exact same thing!

How far into the series until we actually hear someone ask Jon "Where the frig is your huge dog?"

I'm guessing episode 3.

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I dont think it is fair to expect people's of a medieval type setting to contemplate nutritional value. Things like potatoes, turnips and other stew starches go a long way towards filling your belly. The Night's Watch isn't rich and it doesn't get much charity when in the south. Turnips are as much as they can expect from people who consider them a needless joke. And as I mentioned I really doubt they consider things like antioxidants and the range of vitamins a particular veg or fruit has.

Turnips can fill bellies.

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It could also have been an actor error and they just figured it wasn't important enough to do another take. I guess they were wrong because people are PISSED! Haha.

i can't believe they thought they were going to just get away with it :devil:

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Agree. And turnips were a staple food of Medieval Europe (probably one of the reasons their average life span was mid-20s, crap nutrition). But this is not to take away from the original poster's observations on the series---he's right, you wouldn't take turnips North as a food staple, if you had today's knowledge about food values. You'd take dried apples, dried meats, dried citrus fruits, greens and aged cheeses. But Westeros doesn't seem to have today's insight, does it? I think it takes nothing away from the original poster--he's right, nutrition-wise. But it also takes nothing away from follow-up posts that Westeros, ignorant of today's knowledge about nutritional values, would haul turnips along with them on their trip North.

The reason the average life span in medieval times was so low is because of high infant mortality rates (mostly because of infectious diseases). If they made it to adulthood they had 20 or 30 good years left in them, and poor nutrition in the long run would be only one of the things that would kill them (again, infectious diseases). Except in times of food shortages or extreme new conditions (like, say, sailing for weeks and months without setting food ashore) most people didn't eat so horribly. Nor were theories on nutrition inexistant before the contemporary era. Plus knowledge about making the best with what you've got, acquired through experience, would be culturally transmitted from generation to generation. Humanity lived, not always well, but all right, for millennia without modern nutritional knowledge.

Point is, medieval guys were not morons, and they would know that turnips won't feed someone, unless he eats a lot of it; in comparison to grain, the same can be said for the potatoes featured in the episode, BTW, even if to a lesser extent. However, it's still useful as filler and a flavouring agent for whatever kind of greasy porridge or stew they would likely eat, if that's all they could put their hands on. Not that they would take a lot of it, but enough to have chunks of it at the beginning of the journey. For a trip to the north they would also take lots of fat - something the body craves when it gets cold, and that they can't expect to take reliably out of winter game.

Comparatively, it could be said that the use of relatively inappropriate foods could be a hint at the relative lack of foresight about what kind of terrain and climate they will have to survive, which gets blatant later on, as much as their lack of resources.

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if tyrion doesn't know that Cersei hates paper and like tearing it apart and at times ignores what they say, he just has to wait till Episode 13. in the preview Ceresi gives him yet another threat saying, "You think the piece of paper father gave you keeps you safe? Ned Stark had a piece of paper too..."

So he will probably know what piece of paper ned had i guess.

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On the subject of vegetables, did someone noticed the potatoes ? definitely not mediaeval-compliant, and not in the books IIRC.

Well this is not our real world medieval times, but George's parallel universe Earth, so expect perturbations.

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I don't remember from the main books, but in the Dunk and Egg novellas people in Westeros are well aware of what to take with them on a journey for food (salt beef!)

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There are references to salting food for conservation in the main books; Jaime orders a horse's meat to be salted in AFFC because they might come to need to eat it, and Val carries lots of salted food in an errand in ADWD - she even remarks on it.

It is natural enough that they do, since Westerosi would hardly fail to notice that food spoil, and salt is easy enough to obtain. Having a recorded story of thousands of years, at some point they were bound to learn that salt preserves most foods.

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Re: turnips.

I just checked, and at least according to Wikipedia they are reasonably nutrititious, at least as sources of dietary fiber and, perhaps oddly, Vitamin C.

Their foliage, particularly, is very nutritious and a good source of a handful of vitamins.

I don't particularly expect the Night's Watch to know that and to carry or ask for the greens, however. Even if they did, I don't think they would last very long. But who knows.

As an aside, reading nutritional tables can be a very pleasant pass-time.

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The potato nitpick is unnecessary. This is not Europe. This is Westeros. We don't know which foodgroups are native to which continents in Martinworld.

In our world potatoes just happened to come from South America. There is no reason why they can't come from Westeros in Martinworld.

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how do the nights watch dudes and craster keep their beards so maintained? Is there a valyrian norelco razor up in there or what?

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I was actually thinking about this when they showed Jorah in the Red Waste, lol.

He pulls a clump out by hand every time Dany ignores his advice outright.

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