General Grant in Westeros.

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General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-04-29 06:44pm

Been reading Ron Chernow's biography Grant, which I got for Christmas, and its probably inevitable that I'd think of this crossover soon or later.

Scenario One: Ulysses S Grant is reincarnated in the body of Robert Baratheon at birth. As he grows up in Westeros, he will retain his memories and personality from his previous life. Does he fare better than the original King Robert? Note that Grant had a number of the same strengths (ie skill as a military leader) and flaws (including alcoholism, lack of financial savvy, and being easily manipulated at times) as Fat King Robert. However, he also has strengths Robert doesn't (knowledge of 19th. Century military logistics, for example) and lacked some of his weaknesses (he didn't have a reputation as a womanizer, for example). There will probably be some severe culture shock, though being brought up from childhood in Westeros may help.

Scenario Two: Same as above, except Grant is reincarnated as a random peasant in the Reach (same time period). Could this 19th. Century American build a life for himself in Westeros?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-30 01:16am

Re scenario 2: Social mobility is FAR more limited in Westeros than the 19th century US. Certainly he could build himself a life; whether it would be a distinctive one is another question. You're more or less confined to the class you're born in, barring extraordinary turns of events in your life that bring you to the notice of the upper classes. Even then you're more likely to only be recognized and rewarded for whatever you've been noted for, rather than being actually elevated.

The best you could hope for would be to join a House's military during one of the occasional internecine conflicts between Houses or more rarely the wars for dynastic control of the Kingdoms and advance in rank until you reach noncom status. If you manage to stand out, perhaps in commanding and succeeding in a difficult head-on assault, you might be rewarded by being appointed member of a noble household, perhaps even to a position of authority over other servants. I want to say that there exists precedent for commoners being appointed page or squire to a Knight and from there achieving Knighthood, but I wouldn't count on it all that much.

Alternatively, a more pacific method of advancement might be to take up a trade, stand out in it, build connections and wealth, jockey yourself into a position where you're a member of the quasi-middle class, but since you're not of noble birth you'll never really have the respect of the nobles even if they're asking you for a loan. You might be able to organize a mercenary crew, but they would only be loyal to your money.

So ultimately the answer to scenario 2, IMO, is 'sure but don't expect much necessarily'.

Re scenario 1, it mostly depends on how well late-medieval Westerosi military techniques mesh with Grant's 19th century military knowledge. He did go to West Point IIRC, so he would have a vague, passing knowledge of the classics at least like Tacitus, but I doubt there would be much on the medieval. More thoughts on this when time later.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Vendetta » 2018-04-30 03:14am

Knowledge of 19th century military logistics doesn't matter if you don't have rail and industry to do them with.

Also, the period of history that Westeros most closely resembles is actually quite badly understood from a military perspective. There's more misinformation and wrong general knowledge than actual information about how battles were fought and campaigns were waged back then, and I have no doubt that the 19th century was no different. Which means that on a tactical and strategic level Grant would have a head full of ideas just as wrong as anyone else until he learned how people actually fought battles and wars with the equipment, training, and logistics of the day.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-04-30 02:27pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-30 01:16am
Re scenario 2: Social mobility is FAR more limited in Westeros than the 19th century US. Certainly he could build himself a life; whether it would be a distinctive one is another question. You're more or less confined to the class you're born in, barring extraordinary turns of events in your life that bring you to the notice of the upper classes. Even then you're more likely to only be recognized and rewarded for whatever you've been noted for, rather than being actually elevated.
Barring exceptions, yes (Ser Davos says Hi).
The best you could hope for would be to join a House's military during one of the occasional internecine conflicts between Houses or more rarely the wars for dynastic control of the Kingdoms and advance in rank until you reach noncom status. If you manage to stand out, perhaps in commanding and succeeding in a difficult head-on assault, you might be rewarded by being appointed member of a noble household, perhaps even to a position of authority over other servants. I want to say that there exists precedent for commoners being appointed page or squire to a Knight and from there achieving Knighthood, but I wouldn't count on it all that much.
Again I point to Ser Davos, a smuggler who Stannis knighted for his services during the siege of Storm's End. Its probably rare, but not unheard of.

There are also specialized orders where a commoner might climb high (the Night's Watch certainly, maybe the Maesters, the church I'm guessing). Or, failing that... how's social mobility in the free cities? Presuming one can afford passage to emigrate.

I can see Grant succeeding potentially in either the Night's Watch or the Maesters (for the latter, he was a good enough student to get through West Point, and did particularly well in mathematics, even entertaining dreams of a math professorship before his military career took off-19th. Century knowledge might also give him a leg up).

Grant could probably distinguish himself as a soldier even in a medieval era, especially if he grew up in the setting and spent years brushing up on his hand to hand combat skills. He was a veteran of the Mexican War and long before he became a general, he was noted as being a superb horseman, and for his personal courage under fire.
Alternatively, a more pacific method of advancement might be to take up a trade, stand out in it, build connections and wealth, jockey yourself into a position where you're a member of the quasi-middle class, but since you're not of noble birth you'll never really have the respect of the nobles even if they're asking you for a loan. You might be able to organize a mercenary crew, but they would only be loyal to your money.
More to the point, this is probably the worst route for Grant to try, as he is known to have been a chronically inept businessman who was repeatedly played by con men throughout his career.
So ultimately the answer to scenario 2, IMO, is 'sure but don't expect much necessarily'.
Fair enough, barring character shields/narrativium (which is less of a thing in GoT/ASOIAF than in some settings anyway).
Re scenario 1, it mostly depends on how well late-medieval Westerosi military techniques mesh with Grant's 19th century military knowledge. He did go to West Point IIRC, so he would have a vague, passing knowledge of the classics at least like Tacitus, but I doubt there would be much on the medieval. More thoughts on this when time later.
Yes, he did go to West Point, and while a mediocre student, was apparently able to discuss in-depth the campaigns of various historical generals. Of course, there's a large gap between theoretical knowledge and actual experience, but since in this scenario he'll grow up in Westeros, he'll have time to pick up some personal experience of how the setting works before being thrown into the meat grinder.

The problem would be getting into a command position in the first place, unless he's born into one. That, and culture clashes. Hopefully growing up in Westeros will give him time to get acclimated, but for a patriotic believer in 19th. Century American Republicanism, being thrust into a feudal world is going to be a painful experience.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-30 06:44pm

Forgot about Davos. It has been a while since I read those books and I haven't watched the series much past season 2 or so. Arguably though Davos is the exception that proves the rule-- you can't really ascend in status unless you do something REALLY notable.

Now as to your alternatives:

--Night's Watch: In theory, no political power, and they do try to hold themselves apart from the various conflicts in Westeros given their duty protects the entire continent below the Wall. The amount of influence a member of the Night's Watch could have on the Seven Kingdoms is thus limited. Granted if the Commander sends a raven to the King and says 'hey this is important', the King might listen, but as we see the Watch has lost power during the long summer and is sorely undermanned, suggesting that the Commander hasn't had that much pull in recent years. Its purpose becomes thus mostly either punishment or a convenient place to dump unwanted noble sons. That's not something that's really going to lend itself to temporal power in the rest of Westeros, unless he pulls a Jon Snow and deploys the Watch as a military power in the Game of Thrones.

--Maesters: Again, another organization that IIRC may be explicitly blocked from holding temporal power. Their principal duty is similar to the Watch in that they're a place for noble families to dump unwanted sons, and they serve as a common standard of education for the nobility, as well as maintaining the long distance communications network of ravens. While they have influence (otherwise they wouldn't have a place on the King's Council), their actual power as individuals isn't particularly notable, apart from advising and educating noble families if they're assigned to one. Oh, and health care, they seem to be the only real formal physicians on Westeros, but that's if they specialize in that profession.

--Priesthood: Not that much power, honestly, and it will depend on which faith you hold. The church of the Seven has a pretty decent amount of power among the commoners of King's Landing, otherwise the High Septon wouldn't have been able to pressure Tywin into turning Cersei over to be shamed. Outside of King's Landing and the middle of Westeros though? Who knows. The Old Gods and the weirwoods are a pretty individualistic religion with little organization. Whatever the Iron Islanders believe is pretty limited to their sphere of influence. Ditto the Dornish, if they believe in anything other than the Seven. R'hllor... might have a bit of punch, but it does require having someone around suitable for a Red Priest to resurrect. If you took the theological route to power, either take the mantle of the Seven and work your way up to High Septon, or organize some sort of popular revolt in the name of some god or other. In GoT it seems that was the route R'hllor was attempting to take via the Red Priests... with varying success.

--Free Cities of Essos: Now this is interesting, but I suspect money will make all the difference here. If Grant can distinguish himself militarily and build up personal wealth through rewards, plunder, and mercenary payments, there's no reason he couldn't become a person of note in Essos.

One should consider his personality though. Apparently he was an excellent horseman (a virtue in the Seven Kingdoms, though one questions whether he would be able to afford a horse if born a peasant). He was indeed good at math but in most other subjects indifferent; apparently he was twenty-first in a class of thirty-seven. He seems to have been largely unambitious, but disciplined, bouts of alcoholism aside. It wasn't until after he was leading the Army and watching the turmoil of the Johnson administration that he made a play for political power. He had bad taste (and how!) in friends if all the corruption scandals in his administration are any indication, but as far as I know none of those accusations ever touched him directly. He became very popular for his achievements, but overall the impression I've always had of him was that his personality was largely unremarkable and that had he never become a general, he would have been a very undistinguished everyman.

I suspect that in the person of Robert Baratheon, he would be far less likely to kick off the ultimate revolt against the Targaryens, though I have no doubt he wouldn't approve of the Mad King's erratic nature and atrocities either. The main things that kicked off Robert's Rebellion were Robert's infatuation with Lyanna Stark followed by Rhaegar supposedly kidnapping Lyanna, and Aegon's immolation of Ned Stark's father and brother when they went to ask for Lyanna back. In this scenario, I'm not sure Grant-Robert would have been of a temperament to start a fight over another man winning the woman he wanted. But on the other hand, I could see Grant-Robert backing the Starks against Aegon's cruelty.

Grant-Robert would also have been trained throughout his life in Westerosi military tactics and strategy, so coupled with his military mind you could see a quicker victory against the Targaryens, possibly. I don't know if he would have had the ambition to become King though. The feudal structure of Westeros does mean that as a Head of House, Robert Baratheon was pretty near to a King in his own fiefdom anyway. That might have been enough for Grant.

Grant as a peasant... I don't know. Either he distinguishes himself as a soldier, he leads an otherwise unremarkable existence, or he falls prey to alcoholism. There are not many other paths.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-04-30 07:26pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-30 06:44pm
Forgot about Davos. It has been a while since I read those books and I haven't watched the series much past season 2 or so. Arguably though Davos is the exception that proves the rule-- you can't really ascend in status unless you do something REALLY notable.

Now as to your alternatives:

--Night's Watch: In theory, no political power, and they do try to hold themselves apart from the various conflicts in Westeros given their duty protects the entire continent below the Wall. The amount of influence a member of the Night's Watch could have on the Seven Kingdoms is thus limited. Granted if the Commander sends a raven to the King and says 'hey this is important', the King might listen, but as we see the Watch has lost power during the long summer and is sorely undermanned, suggesting that the Commander hasn't had that much pull in recent years. Its purpose becomes thus mostly either punishment or a convenient place to dump unwanted noble sons. That's not something that's really going to lend itself to temporal power in the rest of Westeros, unless he pulls a Jon Snow and deploys the Watch as a military power in the Game of Thrones.
True, although Grant always succeeded best in a military environment. I think he could do very well in the Watch, maybe even make Commander someday, if he chose to.
--Maesters: Again, another organization that IIRC may be explicitly blocked from holding temporal power. Their principal duty is similar to the Watch in that they're a place for noble families to dump unwanted sons, and they serve as a common standard of education for the nobility, as well as maintaining the long distance communications network of ravens. While they have influence (otherwise they wouldn't have a place on the King's Council), their actual power as individuals isn't particularly notable, apart from advising and educating noble families if they're assigned to one. Oh, and health care, they seem to be the only real formal physicians on Westeros, but that's if they specialize in that profession.
Admittedly, educating nobles does potentially give one a fair amount of indirect influence/power.
--Priesthood: Not that much power, honestly, and it will depend on which faith you hold. The church of the Seven has a pretty decent amount of power among the commoners of King's Landing, otherwise the High Septon wouldn't have been able to pressure Tywin into turning Cersei over to be shamed. Outside of King's Landing and the middle of Westeros though? Who knows. The Old Gods and the weirwoods are a pretty individualistic religion with little organization. Whatever the Iron Islanders believe is pretty limited to their sphere of influence. Ditto the Dornish, if they believe in anything other than the Seven. R'hllor... might have a bit of punch, but it does require having someone around suitable for a Red Priest to resurrect. If you took the theological route to power, either take the mantle of the Seven and work your way up to High Septon, or organize some sort of popular revolt in the name of some god or other. In GoT it seems that was the route R'hllor was attempting to take via the Red Priests... with varying success.
I was thinking of the Seven. Its probably a moot point, though, as Grant, while not noted for being a particularly devout man as far as I recall, was raised a Christian (like nearly all 19th. Century Americans).
--Free Cities of Essos: Now this is interesting, but I suspect money will make all the difference here. If Grant can distinguish himself militarily and build up personal wealth through rewards, plunder, and mercenary payments, there's no reason he couldn't become a person of note in Essos.
Yeah, Essos is probably the best bet for a common man to rise, if he can manage to get there in the first place. Though the historical Grant would probably baulk at a mercenary life- he was a professional soldier and patriot. Still, I could see the life of an adventurer appealing to him, if "professional soldier" or "politician" aren't open as career options.
One should consider his personality though. Apparently he was an excellent horseman (a virtue in the Seven Kingdoms, though one questions whether he would be able to afford a horse if born a peasant). He was indeed good at math but in most other subjects indifferent; apparently he was twenty-first in a class of thirty-seven.
Discounting those who dropped out, yes. Don't know if that's a big strike against him, though. I'd imagine West Point had pretty demanding standards. But its fair to say that he wasn't an outstanding student.
He seems to have been largely unambitious, but disciplined, bouts of alcoholism aside. It wasn't until after he was leading the Army and watching the turmoil of the Johnson administration that he made a play for political power.
That's about right, I think.
He had bad taste (and how!) in friends if all the corruption scandals in his administration are any indication, but as far as I know none of those accusations ever touched him directly.
The biggest drawback of putting him in Robert's shoes is that Littlefinger and Varys will probably run rings around him. Although it would be hard for him to fare worse than canon Robert in this respect.
He became very popular for his achievements, but overall the impression I've always had of him was that his personality was largely unremarkable and that had he never become a general, he would have been a very undistinguished everyman.
Pretty much.
I suspect that in the person of Robert Baratheon, he would be far less likely to kick off the ultimate revolt against the Targaryens, though I have no doubt he wouldn't approve of the Mad King's erratic nature and atrocities either. The main things that kicked off Robert's Rebellion were Robert's infatuation with Lyanna Stark followed by Rhaegar supposedly kidnapping Lyanna, and Aegon's immolation of Ned Stark's father and brother when they went to ask for Lyanna back. In this scenario, I'm not sure Grant-Robert would have been of a temperament to start a fight over another man winning the woman he wanted. But on the other hand, I could see Grant-Robert backing the Starks against Aegon's cruelty.
I think that revolt happens anyway, most likely, unless the butterfly effect changes some key stuff.

Aerys is still king, and still nuts. Rhaegar presumably still has a prophecy fixation. The Starks are going to go to war regardless of Robert if Lyanna goes with Rhaegar and Ned's father and brother get killed when they take issue with it. Also, IIRC Aerys demanded that Jon Aryn turn over Robert and Ned, so Grant/Robert will be a target regardless.

Now, as I said, Grant was a patriotic American who took his loyalty to the US government and military seriously, and supported the American Republican form of government. Unless his personality and values were greatly changed by growing up in Westeros, he probably wouldn't give a damn about fighting feudal wars between Westrosi noble houses. I could see him decided to just set sail for Essos. Or, since he was also a devoted family man and he's basically had everything he cared about ripped away, just succumbing to alcoholism and drinking himself to death.

On the other hand, he was also a man who was reputed to be very loyal to his friends (often too much so- see getting played by con men), so if he forms a connection to Ned like canon Robert, that might be enough to keep him from running off to Essos or drinking himself into an early grave, maybe.

It would be interesting if he tried to overthrow the monarchy and set up a republic. I don't expect that he'd succeed, but it would be interesting.
Grant-Robert would also have been trained throughout his life in Westerosi military tactics and strategy, so coupled with his military mind you could see a quicker victory against the Targaryens, possibly. I don't know if he would have had the ambition to become King though. The feudal structure of Westeros does mean that as a Head of House, Robert Baratheon was pretty near to a King in his own fiefdom anyway. That might have been enough for Grant.
Honestly, he'd have had to basically renounce the system of government he fought for his entire life to even want to be a king/lord, though ambition (or desperation) can change a man.
Grant as a peasant... I don't know. Either he distinguishes himself as a soldier, he leads an otherwise unremarkable existence, or he falls prey to alcoholism. There are not many other paths.
Probably not for Grant, no, given his notorious ineptitude in private business of any sort.

Maybe a Maester, but that's really the only other option, and I don't know how much it is an option for anyone but nobles' sons.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Solauren » 2018-04-30 09:41pm

Since this is essentially Grant in a new body, there are a number of questions that would be a factor to his success.

I have no doubt that 'Robert's Rebellion' would have still occured, and still be focused on putting him on the throne.

After all, it was triggered by
- Rhaegar taking Lyanna without them telling anyone
- Lyanna's father and eldest brother going to the Red Keep and basically stating they were going to murder Rhaegar
- Rob Arrayan going 'nope, not handing these boys over'.

So, the rebellion still happens, and Robert 'Grant' gets crowned.
Okay.

Now, the questions to consider are....

Prior to/During the War -
#1 - How quickly does Grant pick up Westeros military tactics during his youth? How much of what he knows is translatable?

#2 - How much tech knowledge does Grant retain (if he had any), and how well does it translate over?
While not a major game changer (due to rate of fire), if he could recreate Musket level weapons, a few hundred of those in the hands of infantry would devastate an infantry charge.

For Sieges, Canon and gunpowder based explosives would be a major game changer.
Hell, if Grant knew enough to design a Trebuchet, that would be a game changer for any siege.

#3 - How good does Grant get with Westeros weapons? If he can't fight worth shit, then he dies at the Battle of the Ruby Ford.

After the War...
#1 Would alcoholism would actually be a factor? Was Robert Baretheon's alcoholism caused by his horrid marriage, or did he have a genetic predisposition towards it? (Grant's former genetics would make not difference, and his former life would likely seem a distant memory or dream)

#2 Was Grant in love with Lyanna in this scenario? While I'm sure he would have taken the affront to his honor (and the threat to his life) personally, there is a question of if he loves Lyanna.
Not being in love with Lyanna, and therefore not moarning her, could make his marriage to Cersei better

#3 What is his marriage to Cersei like?
Sure, they both married out of duty, but Cersei admitted she had a major crush on 'the hero Robert'. If this holds in this scenario, and Grant isn't moarning Lyanna (or controls it better), their marriage could be happy.

That means that Cersei's children could be Grants.

#4 What happened to Jamie?
Jamie alive and out of Kings Landing could help any marriage (removing a major temptation from Cersei).
Jamie dead would cause problems.
Jamie exiled to the Night's Watch could also cause problems.

#5 What's his relationship with Stannis?

#6 Does he make Tywin Lannister Hand of the King again?
Or at least give him a small council position? Like Master of Coin?

#7 What's his reaction to the death of Rhaegar's first wife and children? Or rather, does it cause a split between him and Ned?

#8 Does Grant go with Ned to the Tower of Joy?
That's a real story changer right there. Assuming Ned and Grant survive, then see that Lyanna gave birth to Rhaegar's offspring, possibly after confirming he's legitimate, how does Grant react? Does he reveal the existence of the Crown Prince? Doe she try to kill him and he and Ned fight?
Does Ned kill him to protect his nephew?
(And if Ned does kill him, does the Throne go to Ned, or Stannis?)

#9 What's Grants plan with the remaining Targeryons? Does he want them dead, or just neutralized?
Does he want to take them as his wards and make sure they grow up well (effectively making him a Regent instead of the new King)
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-04-30 10:09pm

#9 Does he have generals as able as Sherman, Sheridan, Roscreans and Thomas around him?
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-01 05:04pm

Solauren wrote:
2018-04-30 09:41pm
Since this is essentially Grant in a new body, there are a number of questions that would be a factor to his success.

I have no doubt that 'Robert's Rebellion' would have still occured, and still be focused on putting him on the throne.
Likely, yes, unless Aerys drops dead and Rhaegar either marries Lyanna legitimately, or fixates on someone else.
After all, it was triggered by
- Rhaegar taking Lyanna without them telling anyone
- Lyanna's father and eldest brother going to the Red Keep and basically stating they were going to murder Rhaegar
- Rob Arrayan going 'nope, not handing these boys over'.

So, the rebellion still happens, and Robert 'Grant' gets crowned.
Okay.
Yeah, weather Grant would care about Lyanna won't effect this at all.
Now, the questions to consider are....

Prior to/During the War -
#1 - How quickly does Grant pick up Westeros military tactics during his youth? How much of what he knows is translatable?
Well, he'd presumably have whatever education young Robert would have received as a nobleman. That would including jousting/swordplay, horsemanship (though Grant hardly needs to be taught that), and probably some heavy cavalry tactics. Not sure what else. I imagine Grant's own sensibilities and experience leading primarily infantry forces would clash with the Westrosi approach to war, in which cavalry are dominant.
#2 - How much tech knowledge does Grant retain (if he had any), and how well does it translate over?
While not a major game changer (due to rate of fire), if he could recreate Musket level weapons, a few hundred of those in the hands of infantry would devastate an infantry charge.
A very interesting thought. I'm not sure how much actual technical know-how Grant would have had (he worked as a farmer and in his father's tannery IIRC, when not serving in the military), but I did stipulate in the OP that he retains his memories/personality (or what's the point?).

I'm pretty sure that Grant would have enough knowledge of military history to at least make a passable effort at duplicating the mixed pike and shot formations of the post-Medieval era, though. The thought of Rhaegar trying to charge one of those is... amusing.

On the topic of tech. uplifts, by the way, I'm really regretting not naming this thread "An Illinois Yankee in King Robert's Court". :)
For Sieges, Canon and gunpowder based explosives would be a major game changer.
Explosives might not be as much of one, since they have wildfire.

If he can get even primitive canons working, though, castles just became a lot less valuable.
Hell, if Grant knew enough to design a Trebuchet, that would be a game changer for any siege.
Westeros doesn't have trebutchets? :?
#3 - How good does Grant get with Westeros weapons? If he can't fight worth shit, then he dies at the Battle of the Ruby Ford.
Keep in mind that Grant did not spend his whole career in real life as a behind the lines general. He was personally engaged in combat on many occasions during the Mexican War and, as noted previously, was a skilled horseman. He'd also have access to the same training as Robert and, given the parameters of this scenario, Robert's physical body (which is probably an upgrade on his own- Grant was a fairly short man, I believe).
After the War...
#1 Would alcoholism would actually be a factor? Was Robert Baretheon's alcoholism caused by his horrid marriage, or did he have a genetic predisposition towards it? (Grant's former genetics would make not difference, and his former life would likely seem a distant memory or dream)
True.

On the other hand, Grant would have to deal with being separated from his wife and family from his prior life, which was usually when his alcoholism was at its worst. That's my main concern with this scenario, actually: would Grant just say "screw it" when the two main things that seemed to motivate him in life (his family and his sense of duty to his country) are gone. Although growing up in Westeros, with a new set of memories on top of the old ones, might help him adjust, especially if he makes some of the same connections that Robert did.

Ned is exactly the kind of friend Grant needs- Grant was easily duped by dishonest friends and advisors, and often misplaced his trust. This would make him easy for unscrupulous associates to manipulate. Someone with Ned's integrity would be an invaluable friend and advisor to him.

I also think that the more serious-minded, dutiful personality that is Grant might get on better with Stannis than cannon Robert did.
#2 Was Grant in love with Lyanna in this scenario? While I'm sure he would have taken the affront to his honor (and the threat to his life) personally, there is a question of if he loves Lyanna.
Not being in love with Lyanna, and therefore not moarning her, could make his marriage to Cersei better
Impossible to answer. For that matter, we can't even say weather Lyanna would still die in this scenario, or weather he would accept the marriage with Cersei.

At the least, though, he'd probably womanize less than Robert. That can't hurt.
#3 What is his marriage to Cersei like?
Sure, they both married out of duty, but Cersei admitted she had a major crush on 'the hero Robert'. If this holds in this scenario, and Grant isn't moarning Lyanna (or controls it better), their marriage could be happy.

That means that Cersei's children could be Grants.
I doubt Cersei would ever really have given up fucking Jamie, though. But there might be some mixed parentage when it comes to the children, rather than all being Lannisters.
#4 What happened to Jamie?
Jamie alive and out of Kings Landing could help any marriage (removing a major temptation from Cersei).
Jamie dead would cause problems.
Jamie exiled to the Night's Watch could also cause problems.
I'm not sure how Grant would handle Jaime killing the Mad King, presuming things went down the same way, but I doubt he'd punish him harshly for it. He might frown on Jamie breaking his oaths, but a patriotic American has no basis to complain about people rebelling against a mad king. :lol:
#5 What's his relationship with Stannis?
As above, I think he'd probably have a stronger relationship with Stannis than canon Robert. This is all to the good, as honest friends and advisors are something Grant badly needs.
#6 Does he make Tywin Lannister Hand of the King again?
Tywin was never Hand under Robert. Jon Arryn was, followed by Ned Stark on Arryn's death.

Tywin served as Hand under Aerys for a time IIRC, and then was made Hand after the Cersei/Joffrey coup (with Tyrion acting as Hand in his absence).
Or at least give him a small council position? Like Master of Coin?
Tywin is too big a player to safely ignore, but he had no Small Council position under Robert in canon, and his reputation for brutal punitive retaliation is very much at odds with Grant's own approach (see the very generous surrender terms he offered Lee- arguably too generous). For that matter, I wouldn't be surprised if Tywin would consider any lesser post than Hand a slight.
#7 What's his reaction to the death of Rhaegar's first wife and children? Or rather, does it cause a split between him and Ned?
Probably he would not condone it (see above), unless his sensibilities are greatly changed by life in Westeros.
#8 Does Grant go with Ned to the Tower of Joy?
That's a real story changer right there. Assuming Ned and Grant survive, then see that Lyanna gave birth to Rhaegar's offspring, possibly after confirming he's legitimate, how does Grant react? Does he reveal the existence of the Crown Prince? Doe she try to kill him and he and Ned fight?
Is that a typo? I doubt Lyanna would be in a position to try to kill anyone, unless the birth went much better than in canon.

In any case, I doubt Grant would have the same murderous hatred for all things Targaryen, but Jon wouldn't be next in line anyway I don't think, as long as Viserys was alive.
Does Ned kill him to protect his nephew?
I can't see Ned trying to kill Robert (if their relationship is like in canon) without at least trying to talk it out with him first. I also think Grant would probably trust Ned not to use Jon against him (see above reg.: overly trusting). These are two men who are level-headed enough that they could probably talk things out, as long as there were no other witnesses who were inclined to start shit.
(And if Ned does kill him, does the Throne go to Ned, or Stannis?)
Given that Robert had claimed the crown already, I'd think it would pass to Stannis.
#9 What's Grants plan with the remaining Targeryons? Does he want them dead, or just neutralized?
Does he want to take them as his wards and make sure they grow up well (effectively making him a Regent instead of the new King)
He'd probably settle for neutralized, if possible.

The Regent approach is interesting (and IIRC is what I'd personally try to do if I were in Robert's shoes, because the long-term stability of the realm depends on not setting a precedent that any man with an army can claim the throne by murdering those currently in line for it). But it risks others trying to rebel to put the young heir on the throne as a puppet, or Viserys deciding to avenge his father by killing the regent when he gets older and takes the throne.

Safer for Grantbert is to ship them off to the Maesters/Septons/Watch when they're a bit older (presuming they can capture Viserys/Danny in this timeline). That neatly removes them from the succession.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-01 05:06pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-04-30 10:09pm
#9 Does he have generals as able as Sherman, Sheridan, Roscreans and Thomas around him?
Doubtful.

I know the TV show better than the books, but the only really notable generals I can recall, in terms of tactical ability, are Robb Stark and late-series Jaime. Mayyybe Stannis?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Solauren » 2018-05-01 07:18pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-01 05:06pm
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-04-30 10:09pm
#9 Does he have generals as able as Sherman, Sheridan, Roscreans and Thomas around him?
Doubtful.

I know the TV show better than the books, but the only really notable generals I can recall, in terms of tactical ability, are Robb Stark and late-series Jaime. Mayyybe Stannis?
Jon Aryyn
Ned Stark
Stannis
Jamie Lannister
Tywin Lannister
Ser Barriston
Bruce Bolton
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-01 07:53pm

I wasn't sure about Jon Aryyn and Ser Barristan- we don't see much of them in action as I recall.

Tywin I should have included, yes, but he wouldn't be likely to be part of Robert's circle.

Ned is a decent man and a good one-on-one fighter. Not sure how he is as a battlefield commander. I wish we'd seen more of the Rebellion.

So I guess the question here is weather Stannis, Jon Aryyn and Ned can adequately sub for Sherman and Sheridan.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Solauren » 2018-05-01 08:46pm

John Aryyn and Ser Barristan are covered nicely in the support materials for the novel series.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-01 09:02pm

Solauren wrote:
2018-05-01 08:46pm
John Aryyn and Ser Barristan are covered nicely in the support materials for the novel series.
Ah, haven't read those. I'll take your word for it. Though Barristan would be on the other side, initially (being a knight of the King's Guard).

So, what do Jon Aryyn, Ned Stark and Stannis Baratheon bring to the table as commanders to compare to the Grant/Sherman/Sheridan team?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Solauren » 2018-05-01 09:20pm

Let's see - -
All are well versed in Westerosi tactics.
All are steadfast, honorable, and loyal.
All are familiar with the other sides/factions tactics thanks to Maester's educating them, and the occasional skirmish under the Mad King.

They also bring noble support and logistical support, free of the requirements of an army in a Democracy.
Jon brings the Vale (and therefore the Knights of the Vale)
Ned brings the North by right, and the Riverlands via marriage to Catelyn
Grant/Stannis together bring the Stormlands

That's 4 of the 7 Kingdoms.
They bring over half of the manpower and military power of the Seven Kingdoms.

As a result of the Lannisters not immediately supporting the Mad King, the Mad King had his personal army, and Dorne. And Dorne wasn't exactly throwing all their weight behind him due to Rhaegar's apparent discarding of his wife, a Dornish princess. The Iron Islands were a non-factor.

The War itself probably will not change (maybe some of the minor details), it's more the aftermath that will be different.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-01 09:40pm

Um, weren't the Tyrells in on Aerys' side?

But yeah, I think that the initial war would go much the same if you just swapped Grant for Robert, unless culture clash alienated him from his allied nobles. Possibly Grant might focus a bit more on infantry tactics. Unless you bring in a game-changer like gunpowder weaponry.

After... Grant might actually reject the crown, in which case we get Good King Eddard, likely with Grantbert as his military leader/Hand (a role in which I think Grant might well do better than Kingship). Alternatively, there's the Grant as Regent route, though that likely leads to more civil wars down the line (also, King Viserys- ugg). If he takes the throne, I think his government would look much the same as Robert's, except that he'd probably be less free with the treasury (Grant tried to reduce government expenditure and debt, and wasn't know for being particularly ostentatious in his personal life), and that he'd probably avoid the womanizing, which might make Cersei (presuming they're married) less likely to try to kill him. There's at least a chance that it avoids Joffrey and the War of Five Kings. He might have Ned as Hand from the get-go as well, if he avoids the breach between Ned and Robert in canon. Though I'm honestly not sure weather Ned, much as I love him, would be a better Hand than Jon Aryyn.

The most significant changes he could make would likely be in the realms of infrastructure. I could see him encouraging large-scale infrastructure projects like upgrading the roads, sewers, etc. (IIRC he did a lot to improve DC's infrastructure while President). He'd probably try political reforms as well, but I doubt he'd make as much headway, as the nobles would not cooperate.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-05-02 06:31am

Here's a question that I think needs to be asked. How strong a Methodist was Ulysses S Grant? The man has died, and been reborn into a world with completely different religions, beliefs, and histories than he is used to. Depending on how strong his faith is, he might have trouble engaging in worship of the Seven and what to him, would seem like heresy.

Or he might take this as some sort of divine sign about his path in life. As instead of landing in Heaven, he ends up in..... Westeros. A sign of condemnation if there ever was one.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-03 02:35pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-05-02 06:31am
Here's a question that I think needs to be asked. How strong a Methodist was Ulysses S Grant? The man has died, and been reborn into a world with completely different religions, beliefs, and histories than he is used to. Depending on how strong his faith is, he might have trouble engaging in worship of the Seven and what to him, would seem like heresy.

Or he might take this as some sort of divine sign about his path in life. As instead of landing in Heaven, he ends up in..... Westeros. A sign of condemnation if there ever was one.
This is a very relevant question, but one I'm not sure how to answer. To my knowledge, Grant did not have a reputation for being a particularly devout or fanatical churchgoer. But one can only guess at the effect that such a resurrection would have on one's view of the world. A devout man might indeed take it as a punishment, a purgatory or some such. A less devout man might take it as disproving the existence of God. A man who was uncertain in his faith might be open to conversion, if the religions of this new world seem to exhibit verifiable supernatural powers that can explain his circumstances better than his old faith can.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-05-03 05:08pm

I have never found reason to think of Grant as being particularly religious; in his context he appears to have been of average religiosity. Bearing in mind that mid-1800s America was pretty uniformly Christian and it was part of their public discourse, it would have been noticed if he *wasn't* average, in either direction. So he probably attended church on and off, inserted obligatory references to 'Almighty God', 'Divine Providence' and whatnot, and so forth. Unless specifically attested by period references or personal papers I would not be inclined to consider religion such a fundamental part of his personality that the shift to Westeros would affect him very much in that direction. The political and social context on the other hand would be a much greater change, and more likely to trip him up.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-05-03 05:16pm

We are ignoring the fact that the man on the $50 was also a whiskey man. We don't stop. We don't surrender. Fourth time's the charm.

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-05-03 05:35pm

Ghetto Edit: The only contemporary person who scares me more (and I'm not even getting started on Mollie Motherfucking Bean speaking of people I'd do unseemly things to maybe touch here and I'm pretty sure she had woman parts) was William Tecumseh Sherman, and I wouldn't for a million dollars meet that mentally-ill homicidal... Well, I haven't interviewed his mother...

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker

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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-04 12:22am

Sherman was just one of several generals on both sides, who made paper dollies of the rules of war during the Civil War.

The Siege of Charleston being an infamous example(yes, the Confederates started using Union POWs as human shields first, but the Union commanders on the scene chose to match atrocity with atrocity).
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Esquire » 2018-05-04 08:36am

Civil wars... generally aren't.
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-04 09:32am

Esquire wrote:
2018-05-04 08:36am
Civil wars... generally aren't.
Compared to most, I'd say the nation was fortunate it only lasted four years, especially given the staggering loss of life.

However, the aftermath was longer and worse in many respects. Certainly, a disproportionate number of the descendants on the losing side continue insisting they weren't on the wrong side, and want to go on fighting.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: General Grant in Westeros.

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-05-04 12:12pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-05-04 12:22am
Sherman was just one of several generals on both sides, who made paper dollies of the rules of war during the Civil War.

The Siege of Charleston being an infamous example(yes, the Confederates started using Union POWs as human shields first, but the Union commanders on the scene chose to match atrocity with atrocity).
I never had the opportunity to know the man, but I'm about 90% sure that he was as crazy as a shithouse rat.

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