Nobles are the children of high birth from the great and small houses of nobility. They have wealth, education, and infl uence — every conceivable advantage over the smallfolk beneath them — as well as their own share of responsibilities and enemies.
The politics of the noble lords are played on the backs of the smallfolk whom they rule. This is true not only in Westeros, but extends to the lands beyond the narrow sea. Wherever men rule by tradition and name, the whole of their power is rooted in the control of the lives of others. Without smallfolk or commoners, the feuds of lords in Westeros, khals on the Dothraki sea, or magisters and merchant princes in the Free Cities and beyond would be personal matters alone.