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Vox Populi, Vox Deii: Elections in ASOIAF, Part II

Image result for the hustings goarth


For his second foray into electioneering in AFFC, George R.R Martin clearly decided to go with a simpler model that would (among other things) require less math than the repeated ballots of the Night’s Watch, one that harkens back to the elections and democratic processes of the (early) Middle Ages.

As I talked about in Part I, the Althing of Iceland dates back to the 10th century as an example of medieval popular assemblies, but the althing was but one of a number of assemblies that existed across a wide swathe of Europe, from the British Isles (both by way of the Anglo-Saxons who brought the folkmoots over from Saxony in the 5th century, becoming the Witenaġemots of the 7th through 11th centuries, and by way of the Danes who brought the thing to Scotland, the Danelaw, and even the Isle of Man) to the veches of Novgorod.

But by whatever name they were called, these assemblies had certain features in common. First, emerging out of their initial purpose as a common venue for addressing inter- and intra-tribal feuds that would otherwise lead to blood feuds, they were judicial bodies. Second, they had the authority to “ceosan to cynige” (choose the king) and depose them, as happened to Sigeberht of Wessex and Alhred of Northumbria, for example. Third, the assemblies acted as the assembled political class who were there to advise the monarch and lend their blessings to his decrees.

And most importantly for the subject of this essay, at least in the beginning – before the rise of feudalism gave more authority to the leading thanes, earls, and ealdormen, and the coming of Christianity meant that the bishops, archbishops, and abbots joined the assemblies – they consisted of the entire free population of the hundred, province, or kingdom, who were (at least in Scandinavia) advised by the lawspeakers, the wise men who memorized and recited the previous laws decided by the things of ages past.

So how does the Kingsmoot stack up to these real-world moots?

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Analysis of “Sons of the Dragon”

credit to Amok

Our long wait for more George R.R Martin content – it’s been a year and four months since we got “The Forsaken” – has ended, as we now have “Sons of the Dragon,” an unexpurgated version of the reigns of King Aenys and King Maegor.

Now that the withdrawal shakes have faded, what new information do we get about their reigns?

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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 Discussion Thread

Hey folks! We’re at the finale for Season 7, and what a weird weird road it’s been. As usual I’ll be doing the usual live-chat over on Low Expectations Viewing, so check that out starting at 9PM Eastern.

At the same time, I also want to give you a space to kibbitz amongst yourselves, so feel free to have at it in the comments below.

RFTIT Weekly(ish) Tumblr Roundup!


So…my previous plan kind of got sidetracked when my iPad decided to brick itself for 24 hours, which meant that I didn’t have access to my highlighted copy of A Storm of Swords in order to add the quotes into my outlines. So instead I went to work on my essay series on the Great Councils because I had it partially written already. Thus, the new plan is Sam I, then finish Great Councils Part II (which should finish off the series), then Tyrion III, then Politics of Dorne I, then Catelyn III, then Politics of Dorne II, then Jaime III, then finish off Politics of Dorne.

In the mean time, what do we have on the Tumblrs?


RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup


Happy holidays everyone! I’m running a bit behind on work due to FedEx delays, but I’ve finished grading so I’m full steam ahead on Westerlands Part III (currently up to 2700 words) and Jaime II (1 page handwritten). So in the mean-time, I have a few bits and pieces I’ve written since my enforced silence was over.

And as always, Race for the Iron Throne Volume II is up on Amazon. Please buy it and/or review it!

Thoughts on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 8, “No One”


Writing this right before I board, so thoughts are a little brief this week! Thoughts below the cut, as per usual:

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RFTIT Weekly Tumblr Roundup


Hey folks! It’s that time of the week again – I recorded a podcast for Episode 4, but am having a bit of an issue getting uploaded to Lawyers, Guns, and Money’s FTP servers. When that’s done, I’ll post it right away.

In the meantime, let’s see what’s in the Tumblrs:

Tumblr Weekly Roundup!


Hello folks! It’s time for another Tumblr Roundup (in fact, I haven’t done one in quite a while, so we’re overdue), but first a bit of a status update. The reason why the podcast isn’t up is that Cox Cable knocked out my podcasting partner’s whole neighborhood, so he wasn’t able to watch or podcast this week. So instead we’ll be doing a double-episode next week.

So what do we have in the Tumblrs?

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