Hey folks! Now that I’ve summited Davos IV, the next step on our march to 50% through ASOS is Jaime V. I’ve got it outlined already, so the next steps are to put in the quotes and start writing…which I’ll be doing around the start of the new semester.
In the mean-time, we’ve got lots of stuff on the Tumblrs that piled up, so let’s get into it!
- GRRM-as-gardener vs. his “butler did it” position.
- Do noblemen learn music as part of their education?
- How would Tywin react to King’s Landing falling during Wo5K?
- How did Bittersteel et al. get from Redgrass Field to Essos?
- What was the Blackfyre court-in-exile like?
- How rigorous was the knightly exercise routine?
- House Tyrell’s long-term plan.
- How historically accurate was Fire & Blood as a medieval chronicle?
- Theda Skocpol’s theory of revolutions and Stannis vs. Dany.
- Housing for ladies/gentlemen-in-waiting.
- Under-age monarchs’ influence on regency govts.
- Some thoughts on Garth Ennis’ The Boys:
- A question about the Amazon NYC HQ deal.
- Thoughts on House of X #1.
- Thoughts on Powers of X #1.
- Fascism as a modernist or anti-modernist ideology.
- French adoption vs. adaptation to the English longbow.
- Thoughts on “Outlaw Kings and Rebellion Chic.”
- Thoughts on the MCU Disney+ series.
- “Why does Qyburn use women in his experiments and for what?”
- GRRM is deliberately ambiguous about this; all we know from AFFC is that Qyburn describes these women as “puppeteers” who get “quite used up,” which is a chillingly banal phrasing. The use of the term “puppeteer” suggests that they’re somehow used in controlling Frankengregor; using the principle that the darkest guess is probably close to the truth, my guess is that they’re used as “rewards” in a horrific form of operant conditioning.
- “Was “lordly” speech…just an accent or would it be severe enough to prevent understanding?”
- There were historical periods and places where the aristocracy spoke a different language from the peasantry – the early years after the Norman Conquest, Walloon/Flemish conflicts in the Lowlands, or some of the linguistic complexities of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – but usually it came down to the upper class having accents that were coded as high-status, and if they were well-educated as well perhaps a more sophisticated vocabulary and grammar than was customary.
- Generally, when it came down to nobles disguising themselves as peasants, the idea was to change your outward visual appearance so as to avoid identification from a distance, and then keeping that distance until you were in safe territory.
- “In an economy transforming from feudalism to markets, I have to imagine that the landholding nobility would have a very hard time obtaining cash…you’d said it was entirely common for monarchs of that period to run into bankruptcy — what about the nobility as a class? Did they have problems raising cash?”
- Nobles could indeed run into problems raising cash, especially if they were in periods where prices were rising faster than rents or if there were crop failures and the like, and often borrowed quite heavily from bankers (which was a major reason why noble attitudes to bankers tended to be hostile).
- On the other hand, nobles could also have very large incomes indeed which they could turn into strongboxes and treasure-houses bursting with coins that they could use to finance their own affairs or as surety for loans on better terms.
- Generally, what tended to make the difference between an inexorable slide into genteel poverty and becoming major investors in the commercial and industrial revolutions was how much land they held and how good they were at estate management (i.e, extracting cash from that land). If you had a good deal of land and were good at making it pay, you could use your income to make your estates more productive and/or invest in growing areas of the economy; if you had a small and economically marginal estate, it was much harder to react to economic transformations.
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