Category Archives: A Song of Ice and Fire

A Parcel of Rogues in a Nation: the Great Councils of Westeros (Part I)

credit to Marc Simonetti

The “game of thrones” has become such a powerful symbol in the broader ASOIAF fandom that our perceptions of how Westerosi politics function have been distorted by it, resulting in an imaginary that is far too authoritarian and top-down. The King of Westeros is not an absolute monarch, nor is it normal for liege lords to wipe out entire houses for disloyalty. Rather, Westerosi politics is still characterized by the reciprocal and decentralized (if not precisely bottom-up) nature of feudal politics.

There is no better example of this than the simple fact of the existence of the Great Councils of Westeros. In these gatherings, national authority is exercises not by all-powerful monarchs issuing decrees, but by hue, sprawling assemblies of fiercely independent lords who act as both the representation of the will of the political class of the nation, and the ultimate source of authority for major changes to the fundamental laws of the kingdom.

In this essay, I will examine the structure of the Great Councils and the ways they parallel with or diverge from the development of aristocratic assemblies in Medieval Europe, then discuss the historical development of the great Councils, and then conclude by examining whether the Great Councils signify a future for parliamentary government in Westeros.

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RFTIT Weeklyish Tumblr Roundup!

shipbooks

Hey folks! So I’ve now completed outlines of Sam I, Cat III, and Tyrion III, which are an incredible run of chapters. Current plan is to do Sam I, then Politics of Dorne I, then Cat III, then Politics of Dorne II, then Tyrion III, and then finish off Politics of Dorne. And then it’s on to the next Kickstarter essay series!

In the meantime, what do we have on the Tumblrs?

ASOIAF:

Non-ASOIAF:

Politics of the Seven Kingdoms: Part VIII (The Stormlands)

Hey folks! If you’d like to read my essay on the politics of the Stormlands collected in one place, it’s now up on Tower of the Hand here.

Check it out!

Politics of the Seven Kingdoms: the Stormlands (Part III)

(credit to ser other-in-law)

The Last Storm

Through a combination of inept diplomacy and his raging temper, Argilac Durrandon had turned an offer of alliance with into a war against House Targaryen. But to give the last of the Storm Kings credit, he put up a hell of a fight against Aegon the Conqueror, far better than his old rival Harren, or arguably even the Great Western Alliance.

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RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup!

shipbooks

Hey folks! So I’m going to be away from the blog for a few days – which means I won’t be covering Season 7 Episode 2 at the normal time, sorry – but I wanted to let you know that doesn’t mean you’ll be without content. Politics of the Stormlands Part III is already scheduled to go up on Monday, and I’ve also scheduled a discussion thread to go up on Sunday so you can talk about Episode 2 to your heart’s content.

In the meantime, we got some stuff on the Tumblrs:

ASOIAF:

RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup!

shipbooks

Hey folks! With Arya III done, next on the list is Politics of the Stormlands Part III, which is bringing us closer to the end of the Seven Kingdoms series, after which will probably be an essay on the Great Councils of Westeros. Also, since people have been asking me, yes I plan to do blog posts about Season 7 of Game of Thrones but not a podcast, for a whole host of reasons.

In the meantime, we have a TON of stuff on the Tumblrs:

ASOIAF:

Non-ASOIAF:

Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Arya III, ASOS

“I could have stayed with Hot Pie. We could have taken the little boat and sailed it up to Riverrun. She had been better off as Squab. No one would take Squab captive, or Nan, or Weasel, or Arry the orphan boy. I was a wolf, she thought, but now I’m just some stupid little lady again.”

Synopsis: Arya has two conversations with Harwin, one more honest than the other.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

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RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup!

shipbooks

Hey folks! So, work has begun on Arya III (which, btw, marks me passing the 20% mark through ASOS) but in the meantime, let’s see what we’ve got on the Tumblrs:

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