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The History, Geography and Culture of Westeros and Beyond


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#241

ElymianDucat

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 8:10 PM

George R.R. Martin explains the religions of Westeros.
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#242

Vikingkingq

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 12:43 PM

Race for the Iron Throne has a bunch of new updates of historical goodness:

  • a guest essay for Tower of the Hand, the first part of a multi-part series on the history of the Hand of the King, looking at the nature of the office and the Hands of the early Targaryen Kings.
  • Jon II is up, looking at Stark family dynamics, medieval warrior women, and more.
  • I'll be doing a guest appearance on Stupid for Game of Thrones this week.
  • Race for the Iron Throne's Cafe Press store now has a "She's a Person, Not a Goat" shirt available.

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#243

scarlett45

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 12:50 PM

The tshirt is pure gold. I love Samwell Tarly.
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#244

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 1:29 PM

I have a question that's been bothering me, I don't know if this is the right place to ask, forgive me if it's not. I'm not a book reader and since we saw that Lord Frey (I think it was Frey, the one Cat promised to married one of the daughters with Rob) with his many, many children I wonder how he got apparently so many wives. Is divorced allowed in Westeros? Polygamy? Or do his wives keep dropping dead? If divorced is allowed, why don't Stannis just divorce his, since she cannot give him any sons?
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#245

Ratshag

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 1:43 PM

There is a Westeros version of annulment - it's mentioned now and then. But I believe it always involved some sort of deception, or at least a claim of deception, going into the wedding. Giving birth is a dangerous business, in a world without modern medicine, so I expect some of Walder's wives died that way. And as old as he is, he may simply have outlived the first ones.

Stannis, I suspect, thinks "I married her, there was no deception, therefore I am stuck with her because I made a sacred vow." Then along comes M, saying "the One True God wants you to do me, and he will give you what you most desire in return," and it overwhelms him. Everyone has a price, even Stannis.
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#246

ChocButterfly

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 2:37 PM

Thank you, Ratshag. I could see Stannis being like that, yeah, it seems in character.
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#247

MrWhyt

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 4:27 PM

I'm not a book reader and since we saw that Lord Frey (I think it was Frey, the one Cat promised to married one of the daughters with Rob) with his many, many children I wonder how he got apparently so many wives

I haven't read the books in a while but I believe Lord Frey simply outlived all of his wives.
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#248

ElymianDucat

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:16 PM

I haven't read the books in a while but I believe Lord Frey simply outlived all of his wives.

He did.
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#249

Blue Nocturne

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:25 PM

I'm not a book reader and since we saw that Lord Frey (I think it was Frey, the one Cat promised to married one of the daughters with Rob) with his many, many children I wonder how he got apparently so many wives


I haven't read the books in a while but I believe Lord Frey simply outlived all of his wives.


Walder Frey is supposed to be 90 in the books. I don't know how old show!Walder is supposed to be, but judging by the fact that some of his children look old enough to be grandfathers, I'm guessing he's supposed to be somewhere around 90 also.
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#250

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:42 PM

Walder Frey is supposed to be 90 in the books. I don't know how old show!Walder is supposed to be, but judging by the fact that some of his children look old enough to be grandfathers, I'm guessing he's supposed to be somewhere around 90 also.

He is. In episode 1:04 when Cat captures Tyrion one of Frey's men is at the Inn and said Frey was requesting Hoster Tully's presence on his Ninetieth nameday, where he planned to take another wife. As he was married again by the time Cat met with Frey, I guess that time has come and gone.

Edited by kieran555, Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:42 PM.

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#251

Vikingkingq

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:49 PM

I have a question that's been bothering me, I don't know if this is the right place to ask, forgive me if it's not. I'm not a book reader and since we saw that Lord Frey (I think it was Frey, the one Cat promised to married one of the daughters with Rob) with his many, many children I wonder how he got apparently so many wives. Is divorced allowed in Westeros? Polygamy? Or do his wives keep dropping dead? If divorced is allowed, why don't Stannis just divorce his, since she cannot give him any sons?


The Targaryens practiced polygamy, but it seems to have been an exception made for the people with the giant dragons as opposed to a general rule.

An interesting question is, if divorce is forbidden in the Faith of the Seven, how does R'hllor feel about it?
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#252

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 8:57 PM

Yikes!! Lord Frey is 90?! Makes you wonder in a time with no Viagra, the man is really....just wao! No wonder he outlives his wives...

Vikingkingq, I didn`t know the Targaryens practiced polygamy, I thought they just married their sisters. I guess they`re competing with Craster for the Lord of the Incest title. Which one is R`hllor again?
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#253

Blue Nocturne

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 9:32 PM

Yikes!! Lord Frey is 90?! Makes you wonder in a time with no Viagra, the man is really....just wao! No wonder he outlives his wives...


I don't have a family tree in front of me (and I worry that finding one online would be too spoiler=y), but I think he had children by every wife except the newest one, plus he has several bastards running around. I'm certain that his oldest children are grandfathers, some of them possibly great grandfathers. The saying about him in the books is that he's the only lord who could field an army from his breeches.

It's certainly going to make the jockeying for lordship of the Twins once old Walder croaks very interesting to say the least. Especially considering that a lot of the Frey children and their children are not yet married or betrothed to other noble families.

I didn`t know the Targaryens practiced polygamy, I thought they just married their sisters. I guess they`re competing with Craster for the Lord of the Incest title.


Aegon I married both of his sisters: Rhaenys and Visenya. The three of them each had his or her own dragon and together they conquered all of Westeros except for Dorne. However, I'm pretty sure the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros was primarily from the Aegon-Rhaenys line.

If you really want fun with incest power plays, look at the messes involving Baelor the Blessed, Aegon IV and his Great Bastards, and their various sister/cousin/wives.

Which one is R`hllor again?

The Lord of Light, Melisandre's god.
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#254

FoolishWanderer

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 9:39 PM

Aegon I married both his sisters. Based on Amok's art, I think I would have stuck with Visenya.
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#255

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:35 PM

On the Geography front, the official HBO map has been updated for S2, and it shows the entirety of Essos (the continent with Pentos, Braavos, the Dothraki, etc) - the first time it has been fully charted, officially, anywhere (even the books). Some place-names may be considered spoilers by some.
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#256

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 12:09 AM

I always thought Vaes Dothrak was further south than that. Maybe roughly parallel to King's Landing, rather than the Eyrie.
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#257

ElymianDucat

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 12:30 AM

I didn`t know the Targaryens practiced polygamy, I thought they just married their sisters. I guess they`re competing with Craster for the Lord of the Incest title.


Aegon I married both of his sisters: Rhaenys and Visenya. The three of them each had his or her own dragon and together they conquered all of Westeros except for Dorne. However, I'm pretty sure the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros was primarily from the Aegon-Rhaenys line.


This is correct. Aegon the Conqueror was married to both his sisters at the same time. Aegon converted to the Faith and in return the Faith decided to go along with the conquest and made an explicit dispensation to Aegon for the incest and the polygamy because it was a consummated fact.

But they fully expected his successors to abandon the practice. When Aegon died and the Targaryens carried on with both practices, the Faith and its Militant Orders revolted. The unrest lasted thru the reigns of Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel until Jaehaerys I ďThe ConciliatorĒ came to an agreement with them: The Targaryens pardoned the Faith and gave it their protection and in return the Faith Militant and its Orders of warrior monks would disband. Although itís never stated anywhere, itís assumed that the Targaryens abandoned polygamy as part of the deal, since they never practiced it again after Maegor the Cruel died.

On the Geography front, the official HBO map has been updated for S2, and it shows the entirety of Essos (the continent with Pentos, Braavos, the Dothraki, etc) - the first time it has been fully charted, officially, anywhere (even the books). Some place-names may be considered spoilers by some.

But be advised that in the Westeros.org boards itís been mentioned that those maps come from an earlier version GRRM made, and the layout of Essos is from the HBO site is not going to match the official maps coming out in October. The info comes from the people working with GRRM on that.
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#258

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 9:52 AM

I always thought Vaes Dothrak was further south than that. Maybe roughly parallel to King's Landing, rather than the Eyrie.


Me too. And in the show's opening, the camera seems to pan directly east from Pentos toward the Dothraki Sea and Vaes Dothrak is right in the middle of it. Well, maybe it's still an "unofficial" version given that they're working on the aforementioned book of maps coming out this fall.

And still no Asshai on the map anywhere, lol.
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#259

Tricksterson

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 5:07 PM

So Essos basically looks like Russia with a few bits added? And Westeros is between a third and half as big?
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#260

quarz

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 5:49 PM

Here is helpful application for Android and iPhone/iPad/iPod mobile devices with great searchable maps of Westeros & Essos: http://www.westerosmap.com
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#261

BadAndyMk3

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 7:34 PM

I've always thought of it like... Westeros is Europe separated from the rest of Asia and enlarged. The Narrow Sea is like the Mediterranean, and the free cities ar like the cities on the southern coast of the Mediterranean.

And Walde Frey outlived all of his wives and has had many children by all of them, and several bastards. According to the books, Walder Frey's current heir is his grandson (oldest son's oldest son) who is late middle aged. GRRM did the entire Frey family tree in his books, and it is a sight to behold.
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#262

Ratshag

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Posted Apr 20, 2012 @ 4:41 PM

I think it's important to remember that Westeros and Essos are made up. There's a lot of Westeros that's like medieval England only a lot bigger, but there are large areas that aren't anything like England. There are parts of Essos that look like Russian steppes or Italian city-states or ancient Persia or the mysterious far East, but there are also parts that don't look anything like anything on earth. I find it fun to say "oh, cool, I recognize this element", but you don't want to start thinking "because X happened at a certain location at a certain time on earth, it will happen in Game of Thrones too."
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#263

Vikingkingq

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 8:00 PM

A belated update for Race for the Iron Throne:

[*] my appearance on Stupid for Game of Thrones is up on YouTube.
[*] Daenerys II is up, taking a deeper look into the Illyrio/Varys Conspiracy, the culturally-sophisticated nature of the Dothraki and the historical complexity of "barbarism," and much more!
[*] a discussion of Season 2, Episode 3, talking about what to do with Craster, gender and sexual roles in Renlyís camp and whether Margaeryís offer is technically incest, Theonís ongoing daddy issues and his new cult, the virtues of benign neglect in a Lannister household, Tyrionís nessun dorma, and Yorenís finest hour.

Coming up soon:
- Eddard II, where we go deeper into the rabbit hole of King's Landing political conspiracies, and some really good what ifs.
- a discussion of Season 2, Episode 4, which should be up tomorrow.
- part 2 in the Tower of the Hand series on the Hands of the King, looking at Baelor Breakspear vs. Brynden Bloodraven.
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#264

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:13 PM

Is it explained why Robbert gave Storm's End to Renly and not Stannis? The way succession works in those Houses, shouldn't it have been Stannis? Especially since Renly was just a child. And who helped Renly rule it while he was a child? With Robbert at King's Landing and Stannis at Dragonstone I supposed they couldn't have been with their brother.
I'm very curious about the Baratheons and I was wondering if there's any place where to find information about them. I would be curious to understand the dynamics between them and the reasons for it.
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#265

ElymianDucat

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:05 PM

Is it explained why Robbert gave Storm's End to Renly and not Stannis? The way succession works in those Houses, shouldn't it have been Stannis? Especially since Renly was just a child.


Yes, it should have. And this is a quote from the books where Maester Cressen replies to Stannis when once again he complains bitterly about exactly that:

“Robert did you an injustice,” Maester Cressen replied carefully, “yet he had sound reasons. Dragonstone had long been the seat of House Targaryen. He needed a man’s strength to rule here, and Renly was but a child.”



Renly could be safely given Storm’s End, which had long been the seat of House Baratheon and whose bannermen would not rebel against their lord even if he was a child with a regent being put in place by his brothers. Dragonstone and its dependent vassal fiefs were another story. And if the Dragonstone territories, which were mostly islands, rebelled against the Iron Throne, they could potentially be used by Targaryen loyalists down the line as a staging point to invade Westeros. A strong hand was needed in Dragonstone, and Stannis was it, no matter how unfair the situation actually was to Stannis.

Edited by ElymianDucat, Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:13 PM.

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#266

emjay1116

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:29 PM

Is it explained why Robbert gave Storm's End to Renly and not Stannis? The way succession works in those Houses, shouldn't it have been Stannis? Especially since Renly was just a child. And who helped Renly rule it while he was a child? With Robbert at King's Landing and Stannis at Dragonstone I supposed they couldn't have been with their brother.

Stannis, is that you?

But in seriousness, yes. Normally, Storm's End, as the ancestral Baratheon home, should have gone to Stannis. (As Robb says 'Bran can't be Lord of Winterfell before me') Stannis perceives it as a slight, as yet another time his asshole brother Robert dicked him over, even though as Maester Cressen points out there was a very important reason for it (as said in the above post) . All these years later, he's still got his panties in a bunch over it. (For me, it started off as annoying, but I came to love Stannis. Somehow he becomes endearing in his ... Stannis-ness)

Edited by emjay1116, Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:32 PM.

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#267

Vikingkingq

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 4:39 PM

I think part of it was that Robert got along better with Renly (especially BookRenly, who was a lot more like Robert when it came to partying, jousting, and the like) than Stannis.

Here's Race for the Iron Throne and Entertained Organizer's http://racefortheiro...rden-of-bones/'>recap discussion of Season 2, Episode 4.

And here's part two in my series on the history of the Hands of the King, taking a look at two of the most well-known Hands - Baelor Breakspear and Brynden Bloodraven - and how they dealt with political crises.
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#268

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:03 PM

I believe Dragonstone was also the traditional seat of the Targaryen Heir to the Throne and Stannis (till Joff was born) would have been Roberts heir.


I wonder if Robert had ever planned to take Dragonstone off Stannis and give it to Joff which would really have made Stannis' day.
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#269

Vikingkingq

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 5:06 PM

Race for the Iron Throne has updated with more historical and political commentary:

Eddard II is up, looking at the Varys/Illyrio conspiracy, Eddard's position on human rights law, whether Eddard has PTSD, why the Wardenship of the East is so complicated, the danger of continental invasions in English history, and some really great what-ifs.

So's our recap of Episode 5 of Season 2. Topics of discussion include: why Renlyís reasonable peace offer doomed him, Brienne kicking ass and taking a job interview, the Iron Islands as the cast of the Office, my problems with Arya choosing the Tickler, the need for reversible uniforms for the Nightís Watch, Rickonís further descent into a feral state, Iain Glenn being perhaps too handsome to play Jorah Mormont, and Gendryís abs exploding the internet.
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#270

Blue Nocturne

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 6:47 PM

I'm trying to remember if this was answered in the books, but I don't think it was: are highborn daughters generally sent off to be fostered elsewhere? I know Myrcella is being sent to Dorne, but that is for a marriage pact. Plus, I got the feeling the situation at Kings Landing created some extenuating circumstances. What about a girl being fostered the way Ned and Robert were with Jon Arryn or Littlefinger was with the Tullys?
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