RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup

book2

Hey folks, since the show is done for another season, it’s time to focus on the books again once I get this Politics of the Seven Kingdoms essay out of the way.

In the mean time, let’s get to the Tumblrs, because we’ve got some good stuff this week:

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15 thoughts on “RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup

  1. Grant says:

    During the second siege, that was being done by Lannister and Frey forces after the Red Wedding. As even some of the Lannister leaders point out, who would ever trust the Freys enough to surrender, even if the alternative is a hopeless fight?

    As for the clans, given the numbers of the Vale it’d take a massive removal of men to let them take over, though it wouldn’t be the first time Martin had a military leader do that (see Winterfell: The Ironborn Sacking).

    • winnief says:

      That’s also an issue for House Bolton as well. Given what will inevitably happen in Ramsay’s hands whether you surrender peacefully or not it’s actually MORE logical to fight to the death.

      And yeah Cersei’s reign won’t be long lived and in the popular imagination the horrific fates of House Lannister AND House Frey will probably end up affirming how seriously the Old Gods and the New take Guest Right.

    • Lann says:

      Or a dragon.

    • Yeah, I think it was PoorQuentyn who really hammered home that point with me, that the RW and what came before make the trust necessary for a peace impossible.

  2. Crystal says:

    Re Team Smallfolk 4 Life: I would love to see a response along the lines of “Long Live The Republic!” now that the reincarnation of Mad King Aerys has taken the Iron Throne. After Aerys II, Joffrey, and now Cersei, you’d think that *someone* would conclude that monarchs are bad news.

    And as far as burning up the Great Sept of Baelor – think of the reaction if a king or queen in real life decided to firebomb Westminster Abbey or Chartres. Given the place of religion in medieval life, that monarch would be quickly deposed and killed. Religion appears to have a slightly different, maybe lesser place in Westeros, but I doubt devout Seven worshippers will be thrilled that Cersei just turned the Sept of Baelor to ashes. Even the followers of the Old Gods no doubt think she’s dangerously out of control.

    • Grant says:

      There isn’t much to spark the development of a large, secular, commoner movement towards democratic politics in Westeros. It seems far more likely for the elites to decide, and argue to their people, that the Seven Kingdoms system is just inherently unworkable and all should be independent kingdoms again. With Aerys II, Joffrey and Cersei they could just argue ‘families from incest are monsters’ and in misogynist fashion ‘women shouldn’t rule, especially women guilty of incest’.

      Now in some of the independent states there may be increased noble power in government, especially if a king plays his hand horribly like England’s John did, but that’s unlikely to result in democracy soon any more than the Barons’ Revolt did.

      And in history there have been tons of struggles, many violent, between secular and religious authorities. How it turned out depended on circumstances and military success.

      So the most likely avenue for commoner movements in Westeros? Probably the Faith, except in some cities where wealth will buys a way up in society (see Baelish).

      • Steven Xue says:

        It seems like in the show the realm is already beginning to fracture with different regions backing out and declaring for alternative monarchs. Now assuming the timing is correct I believe this is why the lords of the Vale along with all the Northern houses declared Jon “King in the North”. If word had gotten to Winterfell about Cersei’s little stunt and Tommen’s untimely demise, I can understand why the Valemen who are especially devoted to the Faith of the Seven would rather become vassals of their ancient enemies then to continue serving the Iron Throne. I bet if Dany didn’t exist the Reach and Dorne would have declared themselves independent as well.

    • I love when people attempt to defend/promote more hierarchical societies. Cuz you know that *they* would be part of the upper echelons, not slopping the pigs.

      • bookworm1398 says:

        Morally, I totally support democracy.
        But, given the lack of democratic countries in history, I think its likely there was a barrier to democracy at that tech level. Probably related to communications? since they are examples of local scale democracy, self governing cities. But on larger scales we don’t see this. So maybe it was just too difficult to coordinate things with a lot of people across large distances using the communications methods then available.
        Or a related factor, the lack of mass media may have contributed to a lack of social trust with people far away. eg. British parliament did not want to share the franchise with American landowners because they thought those people were not one of “us” sharing “our values.”
        Or it could be some other reason. I want to know what it was. So our current democracy can be defended and prevented from turning into autocracy. If the answer is technology, that would be best, then we can assured democracy will continue without having to do anything else.

    • As with the Revolt of 1381, I think the problem has to do with ideological frameworks – does Westeros have an understanding of political organization outside of monarchy?

      And you’re quite right about the RL parallels.

  3. thatrabidpotato says:

    One of the greatest westeros.org threads ever centered on the Frey words and people trying to guess them- stuff like “Pie as Honor”, “Lords of the Flaky Crust”, and other stuff. It was great.

  4. Keith B says:

    Can the mountain clans take control of the Vale — maybe.

    I’ve heard this theory, but let’s look at the numbers. Based on the usual assumption that a medieval country can support an army of around one percent of the population, if the Vale can provide 40,000 men it should have a population of about four million. Against that, the mountain clans have a total population of 10,000, of which 3,000 can fight. So they’re outnumbered by more than ten to one in fighters and by 400 to one in population. They also have no capacity for siege warfare and no discipline, which is why Tyrion sent them out to attack Stannis’ scouts rather than using them to defend King’s Landing.

    So in order for them to win, the Vale would have to send out virtually every single one of its soldiers, leaving no garrisons for any of the castles and nobody to defend Gulltown. Maybe they could leave the key to the portcullis under the welcome mat as well. Gulltown itself is a walled city and probably has ten times the population of all the clans together.

    Strangely enough, the same people who believe the mountain clans will take over the Vale are absolutely convinced that Balon Greyjoy was a crazy idiot for thinking he could conquer the North against odds no greater than about two to one. But the Ironborn do have military discipline, they have some knowledge of sieges, and they were actually able to take Moat Cailin, Deepwood Motte, Torrhen’s Square and even Winterfell for a brief period. As Asha says in ADWD, Balon would still be holding Moat Cailin if he hadn’t been assassinated and if Euron hadn’t promptly abandoned his plan.

    Yet somehow Balon is plain crazy, while Timett is crazy like a fox and can occupy a population hundreds of times as large as his own, every member of which violently hates the idea of being ruled by mountain savages. How is that going to work? Maybe if a real army invaded the Vale it could then hand it over to the mountain clans, but they still wouldn’t be able to hold it.

    How in the world did anyone come to adopt this theory?

    • Mr Fixit says:

      Off topic, but people criticizing Balon’s idiotic plan focus on something else. Yes, the Ironborn did manage to capture significant parts of the North while Robb’s army was away, no one disputes that. Thing is, the lands they seized were poor, while equally men-depleted Westerlands were rich and fat.

      So if you are a smart ruler of the Iron Islands who wants independence from the Iron Throne, what would you do: attack a poor sparsely populated lands of the only other combatant who actually shares your desire for independence and would thus make a natural ally against the throne; or would you attack fabulously rich Westerlands, the main base of power of the very people you want to secede from?

      I think the answer is clear to all except the idiot that is Balon.

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