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Thread: Trial by Combat

  1. #21
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    Re: Trial by Combat

    However, the person invoking it would have to be in possession of arms and armour to use to defend himself. Which would be a limiting factor to those in the lower social ranks.

    Not so. Tyrion asks for trial and finds a Champion to fight for him on two occasions (Bronn and the Red Viper). Technically, even a woman can ask to use that right. Of course, if nobody wants to be her champion, the right will be denied.
    Indeed, this right is common among the nobility, knights included. This is cultural and smallfolk will even not think at it..this is beyond their way of thinking. Not the same world...

  2. #22
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    Re: Trial by Combat

    In general I would agree - but I am not so sure for ALL of the Seven Kingdoms. I could imagine (I am not sure if I am right or wrong) that Dorne, the North and the Iron Isles may be different. A Trial of Seven is of course nothing for the Ironborn, but they may have similar ideas. In the North it may be that at least in some parts of the lands the distinction between free men with the duty and right to wear arms and the real nobility is smaller than in the rest of Westeros. And in Dorne...well some Dornish women may be able to fight on their own, and in Dorne it may also be that other things are different (they have to bastards a different approach than other lands...).

  3. #23
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    Re: Trial by Combat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedric View Post
    However, the person invoking it would have to be in possession of arms and armour to use to defend himself. Which would be a limiting factor to those in the lower social ranks.

    Not so. Tyrion asks for trial and finds a Champion to fight for him on two occasions (Bronn and the Red Viper). Technically, even a woman can ask to use that right. Of course, if nobody wants to be her champion, the right will be denied.
    Indeed, this right is common among the nobility, knights included. This is cultural and smallfolk will even not think at it..this is beyond their way of thinking. Not the same world...
    How does what you said connect with my statement? Tyrion, is a noble and has the right to Trial by Combat, and the right to be given time to find a champion. Which would be a of the "soldier" class. So, they would have the necessary equipment. I'm thinking of someone who doesn't have that ability.

  4. #24
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    Re: Trial by Combat

    In many ways it comes down to politics.

    Whoever holds a tourney decides the rules. In the tourney of the hand, there were no restrictions on participants. At Ashford, only knights were allowed to ride. You'll need a warhorse and proper armor, and unless you have the funds to pay the ransom, it might be your last tourney also, so that's the only definite restriction.

    Melee and especially archery tends to be a lot more open for various participants, including smallfolk.

    A non-knighted, non-noble house retainer likely does not have the right of a trial, and thus not trial by combat either. However, this being a political matter as much it is about what's fair and so on, the presiding lord may well allow it out of respect for the noble house he is affiliated to. One might speculate that the lord decides to wash his hand of the matter and "let the gods decide".

  5. #25
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    Re: Trial by Combat

    A little more than two months passed and i am curious, what happened?
    Did the man-at-arms get trial by combat?

  6. #26
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    Re: Trial by Combat

    TRIAL BY COMBAT
    A trial by combat is a means by which a party can prove their innocence when accused of a crime in the Seven Kingdoms. In lieu of a standard trial where a lord - or a council of them - hears testimony from the involved parties and makes a ruling, one or all parties may choose the option of a trial by combat.

    Only highborn noblemen have the right to request a trial by combat: smallfolk do not possess this right. Noblewomen apparently also have the right to request a trial by combat but are not expected to fight themselves.

    If a highborn is accused of a crime, at any point during the trial held by the local lord he can demand his right to a trial by combat. This right is held to be so inviolable that even a lord that is fully convinced that the accused should die would be hesitant to simply deny such a request (if it is made in public, at least). Even members of the royal family or high officials such as the Hand of the King would feel incapable of denying the request if it was made publicly.

    In a trial by combat the accused may represent themselves in combat or, if unable (such as if they are female, injured, crippled, a dwarf, or otherwise incapacitated), may ask for a champion to represent them. The presiding lord may, at least, demand that they pick a champion from currently available warriors, i.e. instead of allowing them to name a champion currently located on the far side of Westeros, attempting to try to delay the trial by weeks.

    A trial by combat does not, necessarily, need to be fought to the death. It is fought until one man yields - though if the accused is representing himself he would fight to the death to avoid a certain execution, and even the champion of an accused man will often fight to the death due to potential reward from the accused if he wins. The fight can also end if the accuser withdraws the accusation, or the accused confesses.

    The victorious party is held to have had his or her case judged fairly by the gods (be it the Seven, the Old Gods of the Forest, or whatever they worship) and has proven their innocence in the eyes of the gods. Hence, if the accused party is victorious, they are cleared of all charges. If the accused or their champion is defeated, however, then they are considered guilty and condemned to death. While in theory the gods will favor the righteous party, most often the winner tends to simply be the strongest, the quickest, or just the luckiest.

    Trial by Seven
    A trial by seven is a variation of a trial by combat. Very rarely, after the accused has demanded a trial by combat, he may also demand a "trial by seven": instead of one man versus one man, two teams of seven men each will fight.

    As with a normal trial by combat, the accused and accuser each have to pick six other champions - though each also has the option to not fight in person but to name a seventh man as their personal champion. A trial by seven ends only when all seven men on one side have been defeated (either by yielding or dying).

    The Andals believed that if seven champions fought on each side, the gods thus honored would be more likely to see justice done. If a man cannot find six others to stand with him, then he is obviously guilty. There has not been a trial by seven in almost a hundred years; the last known use of this procedure was during the Ashford Tourney in year 209 AC. It was initiated after a dispute between Prince Aerion Targaryen and Ser Duncan the Tall.

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