A whole year has gone by since the first Supreme Court of Westeros which I participated in, so we’re celebrating by doing another one.
Check it out!
Maester Steven, I wanted to pop in and salute you for digging through the ‘Thus Spake Martin’ section and producing your usual interesting commentary!
Speaking of which I would guess that the reason Gulltown is not a particularly LARGE port, despite being on the Narrow Sea right across from Essos, would be because The Vale simply isn’t a very important market – so far as we know it’s predominantly a rural economy without very much in the way of trade goods worth risking a coast with few secure anchorages; admittedly the Vale has marble in quantity and there’s some mention of scented candles being produced (not to mention what sound almost like market gardening), but it seems quite probable that Gulltown is more of a niche market than a major entrepôt from the perspective of Essosi.
I also wonder if the old rivalry between House Grafton and House Shett has played a part in keeping Gulltown smaller than might otherwise be the case – from what I can gather both Houses exert a degree of influence over this town (at a guess Grafton holds the town itself, while Shett olds away over the hinterland) and we know for a fact that there’s a grudge between these two Houses dating from the days of the Andal Conquest, of very much the same kind that has kept House Blackwood and House Bracken at one another’s throats for the length of their recorded history.
It seems unlikely that this sort of rivalry would enhance the prosperity of Gulltown …
I don’t think the rural economy explains it. The whole of Westeros is a rural economy – their exports to Essos are almost entirely raw materials, precious metals, and wine, whereas Essos is exporting finished textiles and luxury items.
Maester Steven, I couldn’t get the link to work! 😦 It says the page does not exist.
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