A Game of Thrones – Chapter Twenty: Eddard

Reminders:

  1. Page numbers based off Kindle edition.
  2. No spoiling me; I will edit/delete any.
  3. I don’t avoid spoilers.
  4. My citation format is not necessarily accurate, but it works for me.

I appreciate that some people may be turned off by this constant ‘pre-blog’ notification. I choose to respect that some people may not have read these books before, like I hadn’t and so make the effort to not spoil them unless they go to the post page. I figure if you really want to be here, reading, you’ll ignore it.

I’m guessing that coming into council wearing borrowed clothing and being bone-tired is not a good thing. …especially with that bunch waiting for you. I somehow instinctively dislike each and every one of them, and I have no basis or reason.

…how do you run a kingdom with this much debt? I know countries seem to do it with EVEN MORE than six million debt, but how BIG is the kingdom, how many people does it contain? I would not expect it to be a very large number, though I admit that I’m speculating here without much practical knowledge.

While I see that the larger the debt grows, it is nothing to borrow a small fraction of the debt owed, that is no way to overcome the issue. What is Robert thinking?

Littlefinger is such a prick. He must lead a very sad little life if he finds it fun to not warn people their wife is staying in a brothel without actually being a worker there.

The situation is almost intolerable. With a king who doesn’t want to face reality, a queen who fucks her brother, and a little shit of a prince who will inherit the throne, what can be done about anything? You have too much stacked against you, no matter what proof you have.

All this intrigue is interesting but insanely hard to keep track of.

I think, Ned, that Robert is the man you fear he has become. Well do I hope he is not, but I don’t think what we’ve seen is promising.

Comments

4 Responses to “A Game of Thrones – Chapter Twenty: Eddard”

  1. Anna says:

    Aaah, the small council! Robert was being a bit off the mark when he called them “flatterers and fools” – they are certainly flatterers, but “fools” are a bit of a misnomer for a lot of them. Littlefinger and Varys, for example, are pretty dang sharp.

    And hey – Renly showed up! 😀

    As for how you run a kingdom with that kind of debt…. you do it by a.) making sure the common people are unaware of the emptiness of the treasury, b.) borrow from one source of money to pay off the debts to another source of money (borrow from the Lannisters to pay the Iron Bank, or the other way around), c.) bribe the people you’ve borrowed from by giving them lands, titles, influence at court, or whatever, to keep them waiting a little longer, d.) hold your breath and hope you either magically find an infinitely deep goldmine or manage to die before they come to collect on the debt.

    The Seven Kingdoms are big, and the South is more populous than the North (the North is mostly full of giant forests, lots of snow and gruff men with frosty beards) – and it’s in the South that most of the trade happens. Seeing as how the actual *Kingdoms* and the lords therein don’t seem to be in debt – the Lannisters have lent the Crown 3 million gold dragons, for example, and don’t seem to have run out yet (though they do have lots of goldmines in their territory, so that helps), it seems that the realm as such do not have economic trouble. There’s no economic depression going on – it’s just the Crown that’s struggling. And that leads me to believe that a.) the treasury might have been struggling with high expenses even before Robert became king, and b.) Robert’s tax policies are far too lax, as there isn’t a lot of money coming in to refill the treasury – it is literally empty.

    But raising the taxes is a great way to raise the common people’s distrust and anger with your regime – and as someone who got to power through a bloody coup d’etat, Robert would be *very* aware of just how bad it can be to have the people turn against you.

    So the only other option – aside from taxes and more borrowing – would be to expand into new, wealthy territory and claim their wealth, which you then ship off home to pay off your debts and enrich your core regions (which is a method favoured by many Roman Emperors; it even works sometimes). But the problem is that wars are expensive to fight, and that the Crown doesn’t seem to have a standing army, but rather relies on the Lords to provide their own men in service to the crown – and then you get the problem of having to convince a bunch of rich Lords, who are quite satisfied with having the King owe them stuff, to go into a potentially dangerous, costly war. There’s the risk they might say no – and there’s the risk they’ll be so angry they overthrow you.

    So yes, Robert’s fiscal policies are dumb and short-sighted, but the way out isn’t exactly clear. We don’t even know how rich he was when he took over the throne – at which point he would have had to pay off everyone who fought for him anyway, and there were some terribly costly battles during the rebellion.

    (… yes, yes, I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. >.>)

    And yes, Littlefinger is a prick. Get used to this feeling – you’ll be feeling it a LOT.

    There are a lot of things rotten in the House of Baratheon, and we are only just getting started. Get your notebook out if you feel you need it – the intrigue only gets more tangled from here.

  2. Siri Paulson says:

    Ah, Ned, welcome to King’s Landing. 😀 It’s a bit of a rough, er, landing, but then it wouldn’t be a book if there were no conflict. I think Ned had a feeling things weren’t good if Robert was asking him to be King’s Hand, but now he’s getting an inkling that they’re worse than he thought and that maybe he’s not very well-equipped to deal with them. And that’s *before* Catelyn shows up in the last place he expects, haha.

    Oh, and hello, Littlefinger, always such a pleasure to see you. 😛 Keep an eye on that one. Well, on all of them, really.

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