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Yeade

Le Grande Northern Conspiracy, Parte the Fourth

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Well, Jaime noted that the realm was gonna be fucked, Alys Karstark thinks so, Bowen Marsh thinks so, the wandering septon notes that the Riverlanders don't have any food, the High Sparrow is selling off the Church's assets to feed the starving refugees and The Lord hosting Ramsay notes that when winter comes they're gonna be fucked. Forget the last one's name.

And you're right that Littlefinger wouldn't feed the realm for anything other than profit, but there are many kinds of profit. How about lockstep loyalty and genuine recognition as Lord Paramount of the Riverlands?

Yes, I know a lot of people realize that the realm is gonna be starving very shortly. However, what I am saying is that Jon is the only one who actually thinks about what to do about it (i.e. building more glass gardens) and even comes up with a realistic way to do it. Everyone else is just buying the food (other than Highgarden or Dorne), not realizing that eventually you either run out of the money or the food to buy. Both are perishables and no-one but Jon (and apparently the Stark who built the glass gardens at WF) seems to be able to think about that and come up with a solution.

BTW, I don't think for a second that even if LF provided food for a different kind of profit, he would provide it to the smallfolk. In the world of ASOIAF, no-one (highborn) seems to realize that they are actual living and feeling human beings rather than cannon fodder, cheap (though in feudalism mostly free) labour and a way to sate their perversions.

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Hm, never heard that. But he sends him after Rickon, saying "bring me my liege lord"...i understand the whole "wording" part, but that's pretty obvious what he's saying.

The argument i kept hearing, one of the big parts of the whole northern conspiracy, is Manderly saying "liege lord", meaning Rickon isn't his king, just his liege lord. A lot of people use this as proof that he knows about Jon being king, since he didn't say "bring me my king" when talking about Rickon.

But he calls Robb his liege lord too, not his king.

I hear this wording used more often as a proof that Manderly will not kneel to Stannis, not that Jon is necessary the king. Rickon is not Manderly's liege even if Manderly is not aware of the will. Bran is, even though they don't know where he is.

He mentions Robb and said "He was my liege lord". He has no reason to say liege lord when talking about Robb.

Then says the same about Rickon.

That's my interpretation. Whether it's Jon or Bran, Rickon isn't technically speaking the "liege lord" of anything.

You are right to suspect deception in Lord Manderly's words, but are coming to the wrong conclusion. Let's look at some of the things he says in the Davos PoV:
I an too fat to sit a horse, as any man with eyes can plainly see. As a boy I loved to ride, and as a young man I handled a mount well enough to win some small acclaim in the lists, but those days are done. My body has become a prison more dire than the Wolf's Den.
Smuggle me back my liege lord and I will take Stannis Baratheon as my king.
I knew something was fishy when he said I instead of White Harbor. As we know from later chapters, Lord Manderly took no hostages along with him to Winterfell. He knew he never intended to return from Winterfell, and with his death so dies the oath of fealty to Stannis.

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Does anybody else wonder if there is a BWB member hidden away at the Twins? As soon as it was revealed that Tom O'Sevens was at Riverrun, it sprang to mind.

A BWB disguised as a servant might be able to pull of murder, sabotage or a weasel soup 2.0. The Freys do look weasely so maybe the original weasel soup was foreshadowing...

It could just be wishful thinking on my part, but we haven't heard much of anything about what's occurring inside the Twins since the RW.

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Yes, I know a lot of people realize that the realm is gonna be starving very shortly. However, what I am saying is that Jon is the only one who actually thinks about what to do about it (i.e. building more glass gardens) and even comes up with a realistic way to do it. Everyone else is just buying the food (other than Highgarden or Dorne), not realizing that eventually you either run out of the money or the food to buy. Both are perishables and no-one but Jon (and apparently the Stark who built the glass gardens at WF) seems to be able to think about that and come up with a solution.

BTW, I don't think for a second that even if LF provided food for a different kind of profit, he would provide it to the smallfolk. In the world of ASOIAF, no-one (highborn) seems to realize that they are actual living and feeling human beings rather than cannon fodder, cheap (though in feudalism mostly free) labour and a way to sate their perversions.

Well yeah, the consistent theme is that people are worried about the food supply and genuinely don't have a solution. They're throwing their hands up going 'we genuinely don't know what we're going to do'. Stannis would offer a solution.

And in a way Littlefinger isn't giving the food to the small folk, he's giving it to the riverlords who then give it to the smallfolk. Lesser lords do care about their people to the extent that they know they can't let them starve to death without them being killed in their sleep. And any wealth a lord has stems from the production of their workers, they can't jusr be allowed to die en masse. Littlefinger gives them the opportunity to feed their people and in return gains their loyalty. 'Littlefinger helped us when no one else did'.

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Yeah, you can't, even GRRM said so in some SSM. But I would say that the North could survive without marginal problems and unexpected causalities for some 4 years (Bowen Marsh said that the pre-wilding NW could've survived for that long and all they had were scrappings from generous northern lords, so I would say that those lords would've kept the food for the same amount of time for their people too).

Since I doubt anybody expects the winter to be 10 years long, I doubt that the northmen will feel a need to consider Stannis' food loan by the time they are going to argue.

And in the end, why would they even need him to buy food if needed? It's not like they are all poor. Manderly's vaults are full of silver and I think that the WF treasury somehow remained untouched (correct me if I am wrong).

Population estimates are always difficult but at least we know that the NW had about a thousand men. Food for a thousand people for 4 years is really such an insignificant amount compared to a region half the size of South America (from an SSM on the size of Westeros). And I prefer to listen to the character's opinions about their situation. If Alys Karstark thinks the Karstark area is fucked then I trust her.

And you're right about Manderly's vaults, but he does control a major city. Asha notes that the North doesn't really contain much wealth. The North love their land, but essentially are subsistence farmers.

"And what happens when a winter comes - five, six years long?

Famine happens. The north is cruel."-SSM

So if their granaries are full famine occurs after 5-6 years. Winterfell's food stores are getting rapidly eaten by Bolton's army, Karhold's stores are half empty, as is Barrowton. Deepwood Motte and Torrhen's Square have been held by the Ironborn for quite a while. Little information on Bear Island or Last Hearth, but I think it's clear the North are well and truly fucked, and not in four years. In two or three.

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Yes, because the victor will be depleted after having to face the loser. Whoever wins, they're still down a lot of men and outnumbered by northerners. It's not rocket science.

Nope, it's wishful thinking. Northern Lords still has to participate in the fighting, they can't just sit at the side watching Stannis and Bolton fight. Manderly's forces will be fighting Freys most likely, don't tell me they will have no losses while Stannis takes all. And you forget the Northern Lords that will want to support Stannis and side with him, because you know, not every Northern Lord is an independence-obsessed, close-minded hothead with no political insight. Some will see the advantage of accepting King Stannis.

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If the Wall is brought down and the Others are defeated that would end the "Long Night"

Magic is the reason for the abnormally long winters and theres evidence to suggest the Wall is causing it, so if the Wall is brought down along with the defeat of the Others, should bring about a Spring, seeing as it will take at least another 2-3 yrs of story time to wrap up.

I don't think the Wall is causing the long winters. The Long Night that lasted a generation happened before the Wall was built and seemed to be connected to the Others. The Wall was supposedly built to keep the Others out of the rest of the Kingdom.

That being said, Magic is responsible for both the abnormal-length seasons and tied to the presence of the Others. If the Others can be defeated then maybe the seasons will regulate, whether there is a Wall or not.

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Hahaha Gwen Gwen the info engine. You know you put some work into that and I don't want to rain on your parade but I think there is a certain way that people need to look at Martin when it comes to things like logistics, time lines, troop counts, stats etc... And that is that Martin is not that good with that type of stuff, it's not all that important to him. He is all about the story. Like Rhaegar Marched 35,000 men to the Trident in 6 days. Well I can look at a map and tell you that realistically it's not possible but it does not matter. It's his world and he is god of that world. He give the story what it needs to continue. If Martin needs surviving North men in the Riverlands and a second army assembled in the North he will do just that. He needed Stannis to have more men so suddenly the mountain men had a few thousand men to throw his way. If he needs more men for a rebellion, he will make them. I just tend ot look at this way, the Reach has a big army 100,000, 90,000, 70,000 whatever it's a big army. Manderly has troops and more Knights than anyone else in the North. If he needs said Army to be ......... number and get from point a to point b in said time, that's what is going to happen. And if he needs more Northmen, that's what's going to happen.

You know Ser, I can always count on your posts to make me laugh...

You're right-- Martin doesn't pay much attention to those details like logistics, timeline, travel time. If he says Ned Stark can get from one place to another to another and arrive just before the girl dies, then that's how it happened and all the wrangling of miles and days and fevers in the world can't change that. If I was claiming the bands of northmen roaming the riverlands couldn' t possibly make it from point a to point b in x number of days, you'd be absolutely right to give me a kick in the pants. If I claimed there couldn't be x number of northmen roaming the riverlands because they would never find food to survive-- ditto.

Did I say either of those things? Nope. What I did is offer quotes from the text (quite a few quotes actually, and yes it was a lot of work-- though I had help from others) that illustrate some sizeable groups of Stark loyalists are still at large. I do believe that if GRRM says Kyle Condon was left at the ford with six hundred men, well... Kyle Condon was left at the ford with six hundred men. If GRRM says the Blackfish is at large, and the Riverrun garrison has been set free, who can argue? Similarly, if GRRM has Robb Stark say he has over 12,000 men and only just over 11,000 are carefully accounted for in the words of other characters, we can probably draw a conclusion there.

You are confusing the details that GRRM leaves unsaid (timeline, food supplies, distances) with the things he very carefully lays out in the text.

Apples and oranges, Ser.

Btw- I have a very large umbrella. My parade is as dry as can be ;)

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You know Ser, I can always count on your posts to make me laugh...

You're right-- Martin doesn't pay much attention to those details like logistics, timeline, travel time. If he says Ned Stark can get from one place to another to another and arrive just before the girl dies, then that's how it happened and all the wrangling of miles and days and fevers in the world can't change that. If I was claiming the bands of northmen roaming the riverlands couldn' t possibly make it from point a to point b in x number of days, you'd be absolutely right to give me a kick in the pants. If I claimed there couldn't be x number of northmen roaming the riverlands because they would never find food to survive-- ditto.

Did I say either of those things? Nope. What I did is offer quotes from the text (quite a few quotes actually, and yes it was a lot of work-- though I had help from others) that illustrate some sizeable groups of Stark loyalists are still at large. I do believe that if GRRM says Kyle Condon was left at the ford with six hundred men, well... Kyle Condon was left at the ford with six hundred men. If GRRM says the Blackfish is at large, and the Riverrun garrison has been set free, who can argue? Similarly, if GRRM has Robb Stark say he has over 12,000 men and only just over 11,000 are carefully accounted for in the words of other characters, we can probably draw a conclusion there.

You are confusing the details that GRRM leaves unsaid (timeline, food supplies, distances) with the things he very carefully lays out in the text.

Apples and oranges, Ser.

Btw- I have a very large umbrella. My parade is as dry as can be ;)

I think this quote gives us the fate of Condon and his 600 men;

But who would be mad enough to contest Joffrey’s rule now, after what had befallen Stannis Baratheon and Robb Stark? There was still fighting in the riverlands, but everywhere the coils were tightening. Ser Gregor Clegane had crossed the Trident and seized the ruby ford, then captured Harrenhal almost effortlessly. Seagard had yielded to Black Walder Frey, Lord Randyll Tarly held Maidenpool, Duskendale, and the kingsroad. In the west, Ser Daven Lannister had linked up with Ser Forley Prester at the Golden Tooth for a march on Riverrun. Ser Ryman Frey was leading two thousand spears down from the Twins to join them. And Paxter Redwyne claimed his fleet would soon set sail from the Arbor, to begin the long voyage around Dorne and through the Stepstones.

Harenhall is south of the Ruby Ford. Gregor crossed at a different point, took the Ruby Ford, then proceeded to take Harenhall. There are no more Northern troops in the Riverlands, only some Broken Men.

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You know Ser, I can always count on your posts to make me laugh...

You're right-- Martin doesn't pay much attention to those details like logistics, timeline, travel time. If he says Ned Stark can get from one place to another to another and arrive just before the girl dies, then that's how it happened and all the wrangling of miles and days and fevers in the world can't change that. If I was claiming the bands of northmen roaming the riverlands couldn' t possibly make it from point a to point b in x number of days, you'd be absolutely right to give me a kick in the pants. If I claimed there couldn't be x number of northmen roaming the riverlands because they would never find food to survive-- ditto.

Did I say either of those things? Nope. What I did is offer quotes from the text (quite a few quotes actually, and yes it was a lot of work-- though I had help from others) that illustrate some sizeable groups of Stark loyalists are still at large. I do believe that if GRRM says Kyle Condon was left at the ford with six hundred men, well... Kyle Condon was left at the ford with six hundred men. If GRRM says the Blackfish is at large, and the Riverrun garrison has been set free, who can argue? Similarly, if GRRM has Robb Stark say he has over 12,000 men and only just over 11,000 are carefully accounted for in the words of other characters, we can probably draw a conclusion there.

You are confusing the details that GRRM leaves unsaid (timeline, food supplies, distances) with the things he very carefully lays out in the text.

Apples and oranges, Ser.

Btw- I have a very large umbrella. My parade is as dry as can be ;)

Can I remind everyone who is obsessed with counting (like the pomegranate) that this is a fantasy series?

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I think this quote gives us the fate of Condon and his 600 men;

But who would be mad enough to contest Joffrey’s rule now, after what had befallen Stannis Baratheon and Robb Stark? There was still fighting in the riverlands, but everywhere the coils were tightening. Ser Gregor Clegane had crossed the Trident and seized the ruby ford, then captured Harrenhal almost effortlessly. Seagard had yielded to Black Walder Frey, Lord Randyll Tarly held Maidenpool, Duskendale, and the kingsroad. In the west, Ser Daven Lannister had linked up with Ser Forley Prester at the Golden Tooth for a march on Riverrun. Ser Ryman Frey was leading two thousand spears down from the Twins to join them. And Paxter Redwyne claimed his fleet would soon set sail from the Arbor, to begin the long voyage around Dorne and through the Stepstones.

Harenhall is south of the Ruby Ford. Gregor crossed at a different point, took the Ruby Ford, then proceeded to take Harenhall. There are no more Northern troops in the Riverlands, only some Broken Men.

I'd like to see that quote in context, could you provide a reference? I believe this merely refers in a rather confused way to the Battle of the Ruby Ford where Wylis Manderly was taken captive, which was followed by Harrenhal 2.0 where Wylis was held until he was released by Jaime.

As for Condon and Stout, they were left north of the ford, as you point out. There is nowhere to cross other than that ford without going south, and Roose made it clear that the ford crossing now required boats. Clegane had a troop of heavy horse-- would they manage two crossings (forth and back) in small boats while burdened with captives? I suppose they could have traveled south and attempted a crossing near Saltpans, but with the river in flood it seems like it would get more difficult the farther downstream you went. In the meantime Condon and Stout would have received news of the RW. Would they have held their ground waiting for a Lannister or Frey force to find them, rushed to the Twins on a suicide mission to throw their lot in with their fellows or would they have perhaps melted into the borderlands of the Vale? I'm actually glad you brought this up because in looking at a map to figure it out I noticed that by keeping off the main roads they would in time reach Strongsong, seat of Lord Belmore who was one of the Vale lords who attempted to pressure Lysa into supporting the Stark cause in the Wot5K. There's something going on with the Lords Declarant (of whom Lord Belmore is one) that needs further analysis. Anyways, whether they made it to the White Knife or the Vale, both locations suggested by their last known location, or somewhere else-- I'm not convinced we've heard the last of Condon and Stout. GRRM has a way of letting us know pretty clearly when that happens.

.

Can I remind everyone who is obsessed with counting (like the pomegranate) that this is a fantasy series?

A fantasy series which draws strongly on real life history, where things like troop counts matter. Numbers are a big part of the series, both symbolically and strategically. Why is counting at odds with fantasy? Also, this isn't an obsession but merely one part of an analysis of what is going on in the riverlands that is based on things like dialogue, motives, means, opportunity, locations and yes, a careful accounting of what happened to the remains of the once massive northern army.

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I'd like to see that quote in context, could you provide a reference? I believe this merely refers in a rather confused way to the Battle of the Ruby Ford where Wylis Manderly was taken captive, which was followed by Harrenhal 2.0 where Wylis was held until he was released by Jaime.

As for Condon and Stout, they were left north of the ford, as you point out. There is nowhere to cross other than that ford without going south, and Roose made it clear that the ford crossing now required boats. Clegane had a troop of heavy horse-- would they manage two crossings (forth and back) in small boats while burdened with captives? I suppose they could have traveled south and attempted a crossing near Saltpans, but with the river in flood it seems like it would get more difficult the farther downstream you went. In the meantime Condon and Stout would have received news of the RW. Would they have held their ground waiting for a Lannister or Frey force to find them, rushed to the Twins on a suicide mission to throw their lot in with their fellows or would they have perhaps melted into the borderlands of the Vale? I'm actually glad you brought this up because in looking at a map to figure it out I noticed that by keeping off the main roads they would in time reach Strongsong, seat of Lord Belmore who was one of the Vale lords who attempted to pressure Lysa into supporting the Stark cause in the Wot5K. There's something going on with the Lords Declarant (of whom Lord Belmore is one) that needs further analysis. Anyways, whether they made it to the White Knife or the Vale, both locations suggested by their last known location, or somewhere else-- I'm not convinced we've heard the last of Condon and Stout. GRRM has a way of letting us know pretty clearly when that happens.

The chapter is ASOS 53, Tyrion, the Purple Wedding chapter. This is well after the first battle of the Ruby Ford, and after the Red Wedding. Tyrion is thinking that the war is as good as done. Gregor never crossed to the north bank when he attacked Roose, only the third that was left on the south bank. After the Red Wedding, Gregor managed to cross the Trident, and take the Ruby Ford. Did Condon and Stout hear of the Wedding, then made thier way to the Vale, seeing as south, West, and now North, were barred to them? Mayhaps. But they are no longer holding the ford, nor are they likely to stay in the Riverlands, if they are even still sticking together, rather then any man for himself. Could Gregor have crossed with heavy horse? Possible. Roose had heavy horse with him as well when he crossed. Will they be hindered by captives? Will they leave any captives alive, needs to be answeared first. Other then a couple of highborns, the rest are a pain in the ass, and Gregor is not the person to feel bad for killing captives.

Had I been Condon or Stout, moving east seems like the best course of action after the Red Wedding. Gregor would'nt care much where they went, assuming they have become brigands - that would pass the problem to Tarly. Gregor only needs to secure the ford. Going east means living off the land, which had been savaged enough already, only to face the next Lannister host that is surely coming. North is blocked by the Twins, and a larger host, and south is only death. East is the only option that has a small chance of getting them a ship back home.

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The chapter is ASOS 53, Tyrion, the Purple Wedding chapter. This is well after the first battle of the Ruby Ford, and after the Red Wedding. Tyrion is thinking that the war is as good as done. Gregor never crossed to the north bank when he attacked Roose, only the third that was left on the south bank. After the Red Wedding, Gregor managed to cross the Trident, and take the Ruby Ford. Did Condon and Stout hear of the Wedding, then made thier way to the Vale, seeing as south, West, and now North, were barred to them? Mayhaps. But they are no longer holding the ford, nor are they likely to stay in the Riverlands, if they are even still sticking together, rather then any man for himself. Could Gregor have crossed with heavy horse? Possible. Roose had heavy horse with him as well when he crossed. Will they be hindered by captives? Will they leave any captives alive, needs to be answeared first. Other then a couple of highborns, the rest are a pain in the ass, and Gregor is not the person to feel bad for killing captives.

Had I been Condon or Stout, moving east seems like the best course of action after the Red Wedding. Gregor would'nt care much where they went, assuming they have become brigands - that would pass the problem to Tarly. Gregor only needs to secure the ford. Going east means living off the land, which had been savaged enough already, only to face the next Lannister host that is surely coming. North is blocked by the Twins, and a larger host, and south is only death. East is the only option that has a small chance of getting them a ship back home.

I figured it would be Tyrion, (though it turns out it's chapter 60-- I'm not complaining because I just reread some fascinating Tyrion and Sansa chapters :)) It's just that I'm not putting that much stock in it because it seems like he's merely imperfectly repeating to himself the sequence of events in the Riverlands. One can certainly make the case that in defeating Bolton's rearguard Clegane "took the ford." I don't know why he'd take the time to ferry his men across bit by bit, when Condon's forces could either pick them off or melt away while they crossed. Btw, Gregor definitely had captives-- Jaime freed them when he took Harrenhal back from his men.

Of more significance, IMO, is this idea of the Condon and Stout forces going east. Secret forces in the area to the west of the White Knife have long been an area of speculation for GNC theorists. East could bring them to Strongsong, as noted and the support of Stark-sympathizing Vale lords. It could bring them to passage across the Bite into the environs of White Harbor. Or it could bring them, by keeping off the Kingsroad, into the Neck and Greywater Watch. Obviously nothing that can be proved atm, but I think something well worth considering.

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I figured it would be Tyrion, (though it turns out it's chapter 60-- I'm not complaining because I just reread some fascinating Tyrion and Sansa chapters :)) It's just that I'm not putting that much stock in it because it seems like he's merely imperfectly repeating to himself the sequence of events in the Riverlands. One can certainly make the case that in defeating Bolton's rearguard Clegane "took the ford." I don't know why he'd take the time to ferry his men across bit by bit, when Condon's forces could either pick them off or melt away while they crossed. Btw, Gregor definitely had captives-- Jaime freed them when he took Harrenhal back from his men.

Of more significance, IMO, is this idea of the Condon and Stout forces going east. Secret forces in the area to the west of the White Knife have long been an area of speculation for GNC theorists. East could bring them to Strongsong, as noted and the support of Stark-sympathizing Vale lords. It could bring them to passage across the Bite into the environs of White Harbor. Or it could bring them, by keeping off the Kingsroad, into the Neck and Greywater Watch. Obviously nothing that can be proved atm, but I think something well worth considering.

I don't know. It's possible that Tyrion is missremembering, or that he heard the news from someone incorrectly. It is possible that Condon and Stout had time to hear of the Red Wedding before some Lannister force arrived to mop them up, and they decided to make thier way east. It is even possible that they will turn up in the Vale, and have something to do with the plot.

Or...

Roose is the one that tells us that he placed them there. Duskendale was a set up. The Ruby Ford was a set up. Could Roose have simply claimed that he left a rearguard, because it would have been seen odd if he hadn't? Could Condon and Stout already be dead, either by Gregor, or by Dreadfort men on the north bank?

Both scenarios are as likely as the other. The latter needs the least speculation IMHO.

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I don't know. It's possible that Tyrion is missremembering, or that he heard the news from someone incorrectly. It is possible that Condon and Stout had time to hear of the Red Wedding before some Lannister force arrived to mop them up, and they decided to make thier way east. It is even possible that they will turn up in the Vale, and have something to do with the plot.

Or...

Roose is the one that tells us that he placed them there. Duskendale was a set up. The Ruby Ford was a set up. Could Roose have simply claimed that he left a rearguard, because it would have been seen odd if he hadn't? Could Condon and Stout already be dead, either by Gregor, or by Dreadfort men on the north bank?

Both scenarios are as likely as the other. The latter needs the least speculation IMHO.

Well, you're right. Either scenario is possible and Roose was certainly trying to rid himself of the remaining Stark supporters in his forces by leaving them there. However, I can't help but think it would be more GRRM-ish of him to show us in fairly clear terms that they had been dealt with if that was the case. By leaving their fate a mystery, I believe he leaves the door open for them to reappear somewhere. For all we know, he hasn't decided himself which way the scales will tip ;)

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GRRM has stated that he's been purposely deceptive in the matter of troop counts and how many men reportedly were on the winning or losing side of a battle ,etc, etc. People can count wrong , make loose estimates , lie , estimate based on false reports , and so on ( not to mention delays in getting the news ).. just like in our own medieval times ..This is a very rough paraphrase , but he definitely said he's kept it confusing on purpose .. and I'd guess it's in the interest of a few surprises he may have for us, as well as medieval realism.

We see an example at the wall with Tormund's people . Tormund Tall Talker says his people number 4,000 ..Bowen Marsh ( who lives for counts and measures ) estimates 3,000 .. and the tally comes in at 3,119 - but how many men have Bowen's expertise with counting ? Not too many , I would think...So I think it's going to be pretty difficult to get a very firm idea of how many northern forces were stranded in the Riverlands..but I assume any who may have come North with Roose ( apart from Dreadfort men ) actually just took the chance to get home and will turn on him at the drop of a hat. I'd be very surprised if they hadn't noticed how unscathed his own men are as compared to their own sorry state ,and drawn some astute conclusions.

I'd also be surprised if Howland hasn't guided a fair number through the Neck already. He would have been keeping a very sharp eye out for stragglers.

ETA: Howland must have met with Robb at Moat Caillin since Robb seems so assured of what he can expect from Howland..and word must have spread through the camps of the little-seen Crannogmen putting in an appearance..so I'd think many men would feel they'd get some help if they could get to the neck..

But , just to echo redriver.. we're sort of coming at this from the same angle , though we have different fine tuned hypotheses..I think this thread neglects what can be contributing to the GNC from the magical end of things. In a world where we know magic is alive and well , this can cause one to miss some important details.

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GRRM has stated that he's been purposely deceptive in the matter of troop counts and how many men reportedly were on the winning or losing side of a battle ,etc, etc. People can count wrong , make loose estimates , lie , estimate based on false reports , and so on ( not to mention delays in getting the news ).. just like in our own medieval times ..This is a very rough paraphrase , but he definitely said he's kept it confusing on purpose .. and I'd guess it's in the interest of a few surprises he may have for us, as well as medieval realism.

Too right he has! All of your points above are why I said in my original post:

"Admittedly, at this level we are dealing with quite a bit of estimating of troop size. However, it strikes me that there is room to believe that among the "bands" Daven mentions, there are two substantial forces (five to six hundred each) who remain armed and under the command of a warleader in addition to the scattered remnants of the force from the ford. Add to that the fact that by the end of Feast the Riverrun garrison has been allowed to go free, albeit stripped of arms and armor, the Blackfish (not insignificantly bearing the title “Warden of the Southern Marches”) is loose and there may be survivors from RW, Duskendale and Maidenpool about, and we have the possibility of thousands of Stark supporters roaming the Riverlands in search of a war leader."

Some of these things are fact (the Riverrun garrison and Blackfish being at large) The other things are possibilities based on looking at a collection of information from the text. There are no definites here, just room to believe that the rumors of "bands of northerners" may be based on some truths that we have hints of in the text.

We see an example at the wall with Tormund's people . Tormund Tall Talker says his people number 4,000 ..Bowen Marsh ( who lives for counts and measures ) estimates 3,000 .. and the tally comes in at 3,119 - but how many men have Bowen's expertise with counting ? Not too many , I would think...So I think it's going to be pretty difficult to get a very firm idea of how many northern forces were stranded in the Riverlands..but I assume any who may have come North with Roose ( apart from Dreadfort men ) actually just took the chance to get home and will turn on him at the drop of a hat. I'd be very surprised if they hadn't noticed how unscathed his own men are as compared to their own sorry state ,and drawn some astute conclusions.

Both disagree and agree here. In medieval times (and in Westeros) boys were trained at war from an early age. Part of that training, for those who expect to be in positions of command, would be in estimating the size of the enemy's troops and in knowing the size of your own. Robb Stark and Roose Bolton are not Tormund the wildling-- they have been trained to this since birth and can probably be counted on to get their own troop numbers correct at least. I strongly agree though, on the northerners' assessment of Roose. They're not idiots, but no doubt many acted from self preservation (look at Harwood Stout in the Barrowton chapters)

I'd also be surprised if Howland hasn't guided a fair number through the Neck already. He would have been keeping a very sharp eye out for stragglers.

ETA: Howland must have met with Robb at Moat Caillin since Robb seems so assured of what he can expect from Howland..and word must have spread through the camps of the little-seen Crannogmen putting in an appearance..so I'd think many men would feel they'd get some help if they could get to the neck.

These are interesting ideas about Howland and a meeting at Moat Cailin. Curious if you've gone back to reread and see if there are any hints from the original crossing, or if it's just extrapolating from Robb's certainty in Storm? As for HR actively guiding stragglers through the Neck-- we have foreshadowing of that in Storm when Robb tells Maege and Galbart to go upriver flying his banner and the crannogmen will help them. Presumably any loyal Stark men who found themselves in the Neck would be given aid, as we suspect is happening with the BwB. See the speculation above about what may have happened to Condon and Stout's six hundred. Melting into the Neck is a pretty good guess.

But , just to echo redriver.. we're sort of coming at this from the same angle , though we have different fine tuned hypotheses..I think this thread neglects what can be contributing to the GNC from the magical end of things. In a world where we know magic is alive and well , this can cause one to miss some important details.

At the beginning of this thread and the end of the last there was a lot of movement towards figuring out what's going on in the Riverlands. I think much of this thread is looking at that. To echo my reply to redriver, the troop analysis is part of a bigger picture analysis looking at (among other things) the list suggested by Apple Martini on the first page. I'm confident that what looking at all those infernal numbers has suggested to us is that the pieces are falling into place for a shitstorm in the riverlands in TWoW ;)

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These are interesting ideas about Howland and a meeting at Moat Cailin. Curious if you've gone back to reread and see if there are any hints from the original crossing, or if it's just extrapolating from Robb's certainty in Storm? As for HR actively guiding stragglers through the Neck-- we have foreshadowing of that in Storm when Robb tells Maege and Galbart to go upriver flying his banner and the crannogmen will help them. Presumably any loyal Stark men who found themselves in the Neck would be given aid, as we suspect is happening with the BwB. See the speculation above about what may have happened to Condon and Stout's six hundred. Melting into the Neck is a pretty good guess.

I'm not sure if there's anything about Robb's original crossing of Moat Cailin, but his certainty of Howland Reed seems to stem from what Ned has told him (probably similar to how Jon knows how to recruit the Mountain Clans).

Galbart Glover rubbed his mouth. “There are risks. If the crannogmen should fail you . . .”

“We will be no worse than before. But they will not fail. My father knew the worth of Howland Reed.” Robb rolled up the map... (Storm, p. 526)

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I highly doubt after all that Sansa has gone through that she would fight any of her siblings ESPECIALLY for her "claim" which everyone knows she hates. I think that if Jon wanted winterfell Sansa, rickon, and arya, and even bran but he's the least likely to say anything on the matter would let him have it for multiple reasons. Rickon would just be happy to have his older brother and never understood the bastard thing. Bran and arya love him fiercely and clearly have no plans regarding winterfell other than using super god powers to help Jon snow win winterfell or arya super assassinating the people who murdered her family. Lastly Sansa I understand why ppl say she could wind up fighting Jon for winterfell because she's supposedly becoming little fingers protege(which I don't think is really happening at all); I think Sansa if given the opportunity would run to Jon and hide behind him from all who seek her for her claim.

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Concerning food and the north the harvests of the north went mostly untouched. At the harvest feast or whatever it was called in clash all the northern lords had to come to winterfell and tell winterfell what they were laying down for their winter stores. I think they'll be ok on the food part mostly

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