RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Life can’t be all Fire & Blood, so in the mean-time let’s not fall behind on the Tumblrs (and run the risk of more mega-roundup posts). So what do we have?




15 thoughts on “RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

  1. lluewhyn says:

    Looks like the Medieval Consent in Marriage actually points to the answer for Historical Parallels for Northern Independence.

    • lluewhyn says:

      Sorry, should clarify that the hyperlink is pointing to the response/answer for Historical Parallels instead of the correct response.

  2. Murc says:

    To speak on the post of Westerosi “stagnation” or the lack thereof…

    Part of the problem there, such as it is, is that it looks like Westeros has had a different technological curve in different areas than happened in the real world, and the presence of magic also complicates things.

    The Wall, for example, is an astounding engineering feat that would have required a lot of advanced math and architectural know-how in order to build. So is Winterfell; Winterfell has a round tower in it, and that’s a middle-ages technology marker. And the grand daddy example of them all is Storm’s End.

    Storm’s End, which was apparently built prior to the written word being a thing, is ludicrous. Engineering something like that and then building it would have required extremely advanced technological infrastructure. That massive drum tower by itself is an engineering marvel. The entire place is a High Middle Ages castle… built six thousand years ago.

    But Storm’s End is also, you know… magical. So can we use it as an example of the architectural arts stagnating for six millennium?

    • Brett says:

      I thought only the outer wall of Storm’s End was magic. The exterior of the wall might have been expanded over time as well, in the same way that the Wall was built upward over millennia. Given the story about the successive destroyed versions, it might have been built over generations.

    • lluewhyn says:

      True, but I think another part of the problem with the perception of stagnation is that there is very little curiosity about new technology in general in addition to these items. All of these architectural wonders are just considered historical notes by most, and there doesn’t seem to be any interest from anyone in attempting to recreate them. Tyrion and Sam are the only ones to ponder development of new technology or question the accuracy of old information, respectively.

      There’s interest in many of the nobles in establishing new dynastic ties, and Jon comes up with a radical new paradigm for the Night’s Watch, but there are no reports of new fashion trends, new food dishes, new medical advances, etc. Even the Maesters seem to have an attitude of already knowing everything that’s worth knowing.

      In short, very few people seem to have any curiosity about anything new. Or at least as far as shown to the reader.

      • Murc says:

        Social history is a relatively new societal innovation, though, as is what for lack of a better term I’ll call futurism even though I’m sure I’m using it wrong.

        Maester-written histories being largely concerned with names, dates, kings, battles, and the politics of the ruling class were very much a thing that happened here in the real world as well. Sam is unusual in that he wants to know how his forebears, his brothers of the Watch in antiquity, ate and dressed and wrote and lived. Jon, in contrast, is not at ALL unusual when he goes “they lived as we did, Sam. Did you find anything USEFUL in there?” Sam’s interest in social history marks him out as beyond the norm.

  3. Brett says:

    Westeros had a very long Iron Age, unless we’re assuming less time passed than the too-neat chronology of “Long Night 8000 years ago, Andals show up 6000 years ago, etc”. But if that’s the case, then it’s not really a big deal – it was roughly 2500-3000 years from the early Iron Age/Bronze Age Collapse to the High Middle Ages in real history.

    It’s interesting that even the aristocracy in the North is eating Rye Bread and Oatcakes, versus the more expensive wheat that the aristocracy IRL preferred. Maybe it’s a North-South cultural thing in Westeros.

    • Murc says:

      My understanding is that rye is a lot hardier than wheat. That’d be important up North.

      • Brett says:

        It definitely is.

        The whole ecology of the North in the long Winters is this whole thing in of itself. In the South, I can buy that Winters mostly aren’t just a non-stop snow- and cold-fest, and that maybe they get crops of winter wheat and other such in here and there. But the North occasionally gets cold enough to have Summer snow, and its long Winters are very cold.

        • lluewhyn says:

          Considering that the setting allows for winters that can last multiple years, where life as we know it on Earth would result in only a few species NOT dying out during that time, I accept this as one of the more fantastical elements that I don’t look at too closely. 🙂

    • fjallstrom says:

      I have more a problem with the same houses ruling since the start of the Iron age. Unless we are supposed to interpret that also as re-writing of their history, like Romulus and Remus.

      • Brett says:

        There would probably be a degree of that, since we know that it took a while for the Seven Kingdoms to consolidate into Seven Kingdoms.

        My pet theory is that Important Names became thoroughly tied to Important Seats of Power, due to history, magic, culture, etc. “There is always a Stark in Winterfell” and so forth. Whoever claimed the seat took the name for those reasons, even if they were only distantly related because direct family descent died out.

        • fjallstrom says:

          That is a good head-canon. And if current events in Westeros is a guide, then children of marriage with any surviving members of the ruling family would get the old family name if they were supposed to be rulers. So if Tyrion and Sansa had a son, he would be a Stark if they were going for the Winterfell inheritance.

          Spinning on from that.

          I have always found the resentment in the Reach against the Tyrells to be silly. First generation, sure, they’re usurpers. Second generation, there is still bound to be grumbles. But third and onwards, they’re simply the rulers. And three hundred years later? That is a bit long to look down on the people on whose favour politics is decided. But if we start from your head-canon, they are dislike because they didn’t follow the forms, and still are not following them. The first Tyrell Lord Paramount should – to follow the forms – have set aside his wife and married someone with a drop of Gardener blood in order to declare their son a Gardener.

          Hey, it also solves why marriage alliances doesn’t result in permanent unions of territories, and thus we don’t see scattered holdings either. Can’t be both the Stark in Winterfell and the Blackwood of Raventree Hall, can you?

          It even helps explain why the crab-bucket politics were never solved by marrying together a strong enough claim, it is always scattered in the next generation. The Gardener heir who marries a Durrandon heir (or ends up heir due to deaths) doesn’t get a united Reach-Stormlands for more than a generation, then it’s a Gardener and a Durrandon who are siblings, and then rulers who are cousins etc.

          This is pretty neat. Now for a plan on convincing GRRM to adopt it….

          • Murc says:

            Here’s the thing about Reach resentment of the Tyrells: it is, entirely coincidentally I am sure, concentrated in the houses that feel they have a better claim to Highgarden than the Tyrells do.

            That isn’t something that is easily going to be let go over the course of generations, because every subsequent generation is still going to have the grievance of “It should be me who is ruling from Highgarden, not them.”

            It isn’t because they’re upjumped, although frankly, having a bit of that as well makes complete sense given the Westerosi timelines and culture.

  4. Crystal says:

    Re peasant marriages – going off Stephanie Coontz here, and some others: The 95% didn’t arrange their marriages like the nobility did; peasants didn’t travel distances to marry someone they didn’t know. But, factors other than love dominated. Parents could say that John or Agnes was a suitable partner but William or Alice wasn’t and go from there. Health, industriousness, and good temperament of both partners was of prime importance. Aaaand, peasants and artisans married in their mid to late 20’s. No teen brides or grooms. Both sexes were expected to bring assets to the marriage (because couples lived on their own or at most with one set of parents if a farm inheritance was at stake), live out their teens and early 20’s as servants (like our kids go to college, medieval kids were servants) *and* be mature and sensible.

    Finally, virginity wasn’t prized for peasants. In fact, a shotgun marriage was the norm rather than the exception in many areas (as those of us who do genealogy can attest! Most of my female, Protestant ancestors had a first child some seven or even six months after the wedding). In fact, premarital pregnancy proved that a woman could conceive, which was important. As long as sex was discreet and confined to one’s eventual marriage partner, it was winked at.

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