Hey folks, if you’d like to read Politics of the Seven Kingdoms, Part IV in one glorious post instead of two separate ones, it’s now up at Tower of the Hand.
Check it out!
The Riverlands: The Hans Moleman of Planetos
I like it!
Crossposting from the other topic, I think you missed this. 😉
Hey Steven, an excellent essay as always. I have a few questions to ask, if you wouldn’t mind.
(1) Where do you think the royal houses of the Riverlands made their seats? Now, the Fishers are too old to guess I think [Space Oddity pointed out they’re from Misty Island], but what about the Justmans and the Teagues? For the latter, I would suggest Fairmarket. It fits with the house’s theme, it’s close to Raventree Hall and thus Benedict’s original base of power and it occupies a similar strategical position to Oldstones, guarding the Blue Fork and being well suited to ward off Ironborn assaults. The fact that Halleck Hoare made his capital there and that Fairmarket remains a prominent settlement to this day in spite of not being the seat of a major Riverlander house points at it being the Justmans’ seat of power too. For the Teagues, it’s harder, but if they were crowned at Maidenpool perhaps they ruled from there.
(2) Which brings us to the second point, the Mootons of Maidenpool. I’m very confused about their existence. Are they one of the old First Men houses, or new Andal nobility? We know that the First Men sported Kings of Maidenpool and that the Andals defeated them… but Mooton sounds so First Men that it confuses me, not helped by the Teagues having themselves crowned there (possible Florian & Jonquil symbology?). What’s your take on the Mootons?
(3) Finally, will you have one of these essays about the Crownlands? The World Book completely ignored the region, although it’s home to one of the most overlooked great houses of Westeros: the Darklyns of Duskendale. I’ve always wondered how the Darklyn realm, under continued Darklyn rule for eight millennia and counting with the most important Westerosi port city in the Narrow Sea before King’s Landing never managed to consolidate their realm into something meaningful. Will you analyze the Darklyns at a later date or only when you do Brienne’s Duskendale chapter in AFFC?
Sorry, I thought I had responded:
1. The Fishers I think were from the Godseye. The Justmans I would say are probably at that point where the Blue Fork and Green Fork meet, close enough to the Brackens and the Blackwoods that they can keep their eye on them. The Teagues I think Maidenpool.
2. The Mootons were First Men. My guess is that they experienced a gradual decline of authority, from Kings to Lords, and probably were forcibly intermarried with the Andals.
3. Probably not, I find the Crownlands a bit boring.
I’m not sure if its really that fair to say that the Freys; “are ambitious nouveau riche, always straining to rise above their ignoble beginnings.” No doubt they are an ambitious house but I don’t see how the sides they have taken in the past makes them any less ambitious or opportunistic than any of their peers. Besides their complicity in the Blackfyre Rebellion, they have demonstrated in the past they can be pretty loyal to their sovereigns even if they don’t show the same degree of loyalty to their direct overlords.
During the Dance, Forrest Frey though he may have fought for the love of Rhaenyra did stick his neck out fighting for her cause. You have to give the Freys credit for their display of valiance during the Dance when even their Tully overlords initially closed their gates and refused to get involved, even while the Riverlands bled and the majority of their lords were picking sides.
I dunno, saying “they’re only ambitious and opportunist to their direct liege lords” isn’t a great argument that they’re not ambitious.
But between the First and Second Blackfyre Rebellions, their lateness during Robert’s Rebellion, and the Red Wedding, I think we can say it’s a pattern.
Long time reader, first time putting comments. I really enjoy your Politics of the Seven Kingdoms Series and, even if I had already read the two-parts version before, I liked this post allot for the nice map of the internal borders of the Riverlands.
I would love to have your take on the internal borders of the rest of Westeros!
Second the part about the map. Very informative. How authoritative is it?
If you’re interested in the maps, check out my tumblr posts on them.
I am a long time reader but first time posting comment and I must say I love your Politics of the Seven Kingdoms essais series. While I had already read your analysis on the Riverlands I very much like the map with the internal borders of the Riverlands.
It would be great to have your take on the borders between lordship in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms!
Its nice to see how many ‘second-tier’ lords there are in a region, as well as the lands they occupy, can I ask where you got that information?
It’s just guesswork.
It’s someone else’s guesswork.
[…] Kingdoms neither one of the powerhouses like the Reach or the Rock, nor a failed state like the Riverlands, it putters around somewhere in the middle. At the same time, it is a kingdom which has enormous […]
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