B-Type wrote:Honestly, the Reach is very Gallic in inspiration: a shitload of knights, rolling hills, lots and lots and lots of noble families, many of impressive lineage and heritage, which is quite a bit like France before the 100 Years War. And wine. Lots of wine.
I agree with all, but what do you mean with the term "Gallic"?
B-Type wrote:The geography would be rolling hills, plains, grasslands, fair weather seemingly idyllic compared to the more conflict-ridden parts of Westeros that we see in the novels, but I wouldn't let this fool you: the Reach would have problems.
B-Type wrote:With so many lords and families there's bound to be old rivalries, and the Tyrells would be playing a delicate balancing game, since there's more then one house that can contest their role as Wardens of the South: they were put there because they swore fealty, but if the Highgardens (nearly equals in power and controlling Westeros greatest city) decided to, they could be a pain in the ass. And then there's Houses like Florent and Tarly, who have much stronger blood ties to the old Kings of the Reach then the Tyrells do, something that a place with so much nobility would likely put importance on.
I take it you mean the Hightowers and not Highgardens. But I agree that the Tyrells' hold on the Reach isn't at all that strong and that things could quickly go south for them. Even if only the Florents are voicing their dissaproval of the Tyrells' leadership.
B-Type wrote:The smallfolk would probably be pretty happy compared to some places thanks to the environment and long times of peace, but lets not forget just HOW many people in the Reach are somewhat overly privileged, with their heads wrapped up in noble bloodlines and chivalric titles and such, so who's to say how well they treat smallfolk?
That's most certainly true. I could easily see a great deal, even a majority, of knights considering chivalry to be a code soley for relations between fellow nobles and that it has no bearing at all on how to treat the smallfolk.
B-Type wrote:The knights of the Reach themselves are somewhat problematic too: more knights means more competition for titles and glory, and a lot of them seem shockingly naive as Caitlyn Stark notes, all of them young and not knowing the difference between war and a tourney, with their heads full of stories of glorious chivalric battles instead of the rank brutality of medieval warfare that is the rule everywhere else in Westeros. Loras Tyrell for instance is a great and chivalric knight, except many characters note he's kinda not a great general or anything: he can joust like a boss, but he's never had to command anyone in war at any point, and his capturing of Dragonstone led to massive casualties.
I think you may be right in this regard but I think it has mostly to do with the Reach's lack of activity during the War of the Usurper. After all the Reach vanguard fought one battle under Tarly and then it seems like they spent the rest of the war sitting outside of Storm's End, and then dipped their banner without a blow struck.
All in all I would think that the Reach's knights are not less practical than others but just that they since they didn't take part in the last war (or hardly took part) means that they lack the cadre of veterans with combat experience that the other regions have. In fact I am suprised that Rhaegar didn't bring a bunch of them up north to the Trident when he left the Tower of Joy but maybe he overstimated the forces trapped inside Storm's End?
Gurkhal wrote:I would think the rule would be much harsher forthe serfs by being harder on them. Sorry for being unclear.
Not necessarily. They are needed and while possesion they are prized possesion (without them no gold).
If you have a good lord being a serf is not so bad and if you got a bad lord even being free does not mean so much.
Really? I had the understanding that the serfs were pretty much milked for what they were worth died around 30 from working themselves to death under their lord. But I'm no expert on the Middle Ages so I could be wrong, but I doubt that any lord no matter how good would make a serf's live more than at best toleratable.
Gurkhal wrote:1. I don't think the Brotherhood without Banners have more men than maybe two or three hundred, at most. They could work for ambushes or minor piecemeal attacks but not more.
Which is the perverse beauty of it.
The Freys need to move around the Riverlands if they want to have an effect but they have to do it without seeming afraid of the Brotherhood while the Brotherhood is easily able to get any Frey who travels with a 'normal' escort and hang him. Done right the Brotherhood can pen up the Freys in the Twins and make them the Laughing Stock of the whole Riverlands while they are unable to do anything against it without exposing themselves to laughter and derision.
It is a game that is almost impossible to win and hard enough to survive.
As a Lannister fan I can't say that I share you opptemism (I know I spelt it wrong, ok) regaring the Brotherhood and I think that the winter will put and end to their activities to a large degree. Secondly we'll have to see what happens but if any force, even just House Frey, could focus on the Brotherhood I think they would be toast in a couple of months. Now the problem is of course that no force can focus in that regard with a Frey civil war coming up and the Freys sending off a large portion of their troops up north to fight for Bolton, but we'll have to see how it turns out.
Gurkhal wrote:3. I agree entirely .Except that if three or four lords bannermen to the Tyrell decided to start to rock the boat, Highgarden's control could start to slip very fast.
That goes for every major house.
If the Boltons and the Manderlys gang up on the Starks it is hard to tell who comes out ahead, same everywhere else.
The major House are Primi inter Pares not kings in their own right. Same goes for the King really, if one or more of the major houses decide to deny him fealty without the others promptly taking his side, he will be hardpressed to defend his throne.
I agree but it won't be certain. Tywin after all took down the Reynes and Tarbecks in a similar situation so two Houses might not be enough to take down a Great House by force of arms. Otherwise I agree with what you wrote.