Tower of the Hand

Politics of the Seven Kingdoms Part III: The Vale

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This post discusses the fifth book of the series, A Dance with Dragons (published 2011). If you've completed the book, set your scope above to ADWD. Otherwise, we advise you to avoid reading this post as it may contain spoilers.

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Footnotes

Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - Given that we already know that "Andal adventurers carved out small kingdoms from the old realms of the First Men," and that the First Men of the Riverlands would have mostly been under the rule of the Mudd Kings of the Trident, I believe that the "small, meaningless victories over petty kings" that Roland II won were mostly fought against other Andals.
  • 2 - As I'll explain in the forthcoming Riverlands essay, the chronology of the Riverlands has been vastly complicated by certain contradictions between the Iron Islands section and Riverlands section of The World of Ice & Fire, so it's not entirely clear how long the Teagues ruled in the Riverlands.
  • 3 - This also raises a contradiction in the World of Ice and Fire - namely the issue of the First Men's literacy and, in a broader sense, when exactly they shifted from the Old Tongue to the Common Tongue of the Andals. WOIAF states that the Starks' "legends came before the First Men had letters" and ASOIAF states that the First Men had no books and "only left us runes on rocks." However, the WOIAF also states that Peremore Hightower in the Dawn Age founded the Citadel of the Maesters, and here we have examples of Northern chronicles which would have been too early to have been written in the Common Tongue.
  • 4 - Following up on my earlier musings as to when Gulltown ceased to be one of the leading cities of Westeros, I believe the loss of this fleet to be quite consequential for the future health of Gulltown, because unlike after the Worthless War, the Arryns would no longer be able to unilaterally rebuild their navy, but would have had to ask permission from the Targaryens, who were busy building up a royal fleet which they wanted to be hegemonic in the Narrow Sea and thus were unlikely to agree.
  • 5 - The marriage between Hubert Arryn and the Royces shows the fight between Daemon Targaryen and the Royces over the inheritance of Runestone in a very different light - no wonder the Arryns turned down a royal prince flat; he was trying to take their family's land for himself.

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