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April 30, 2013 / milesandhisfavorites

To Sow Or Not To Sow

I’ve been reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (which is gob-smackingly fantastic, but you probably already knew that), and I realized something: King Robert Baratheon is really, REALLY bad at dealing with rebels.  Like, really bad.  Allow me to explain.

Feel The Wrath of Our Calimari!

Feel The Wrath of Our Calimari!

House Greyjoy is one of the noble houses of the Seven Kingdoms, a nation spanning an entire continent.  The Greyjoys are descended from the quasi-Viking Ironmen, who used to pillage and plunder and whatnot, particularly in their home region of the Iron Islands.  The Greyjoys rule the Iron Islands, and swear fealty to the king of the Seven Kingdoms.  Now, about nine years before the events of the first book, the head of House Greyjoy, Lord Balon Greyjoy, stages a rebellion.  He secedes the Iron Islands from the Seven Kingdoms and declares himself king.  Now, here is a map of the Seven Kingdoms (ignore the piece of land across the ocean to the right).

Here is a detail of the Iron Islands, which are located off the western coast of the continent.  You can probably find them on the map above.

This was not such a good idea.  King Robert Baratheon and his bestest buddy Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, quickly put down the rebellion, and then REINSTATED BALON AS LORD OF THE IRON ISLANDS.  I’m seriously not kidding.  Right after he led an armed rebellion, Balon got his old title back, along with all its privileges.  Oh, wait, Ned took Balon’s son Theon back to his home as sort of a hostage/ward.  That’s it.  Now, you could argue that Robert and Ned taught Balon a lesson, and that he wouldn’t have any delusions of grandeur.  But you’d be wrong.

You see, nine years later, during the War of Five Kings (a big power grab caused by King Robert’s death), not only did Balon take Theon back, he also gave Theon a group that took the castle of Winterfell, home of the Starks.  So, yeah, letting the rebels live may not have been a good call on, well, everyone’s part.  But on the bright side, we keep getting to see that sweet kraken sigil.  Come to think of it, a LOT of the sigils in A Song of Ice and Fire are awesome.  But that’s for another day.  For now, may your swords be sharp, and remember, summer is coming!  At least, that’s what the calendar says.  The weather is another matter altogether…

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