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With reference to how society works in a classical idea of tolkienesque worlds, could a group of nobles stop a warning reaching the king, from the peasant children?

Assume that the nobles don't want to kill any children and that the warning was given to the children magically.

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    $\begingroup$ So all the peasant children receive a magical warning message that they are supposed to relay to their king, the nobles know about this message and actively want to keep them from telling the message to the king. Is this right? $\endgroup$
    – Mathaddict
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ how would peasant children gain access to the king? $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 20:46
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    $\begingroup$ Very obviously, it depends on the king; they can hide it if the king is a do-nothing, who reigns but does not rule; but if the king is any good, they can't. In essence, you are asking whether a king would know about a warning which every peasant knows; it's one thing to try to hide such a warning from Louis XVI and Marie "Let Them Eat Cake" Antoinette, and quite another to hide it from Elizabeth I, or from William and Mary, or from Ferdinand and Isabella. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ How many children? Three or four? Dozens? Every peasant child in the land? $\endgroup$
    – Mary
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Mary dozens, but in one village $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 21:13

3 Answers 3

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Children have access to adults.

You can keep out the kids. Say they have cooties. Plus kids have no business interacting with the king.

But castles need staff and the staff will talk. 4 of the 5 ladies in the kitchen have kids who tell them the message. A scullery maid got the message magically. The ladies go together to the head of the kitchen and tell her what they have heard. Separately, one at a time the grooms with kids give their boss a message. One of the stableboys got the message magically and he tells the boss too. There is a knight who is a good man, and he has 5 kids. They all tell their mom the message and she brings in her husband to hear what the kids say. He believes them. The little one is too little to be sneaky and the oldest is serious and earnest.

Grownups will bring the message to the king.

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Nobles in Tolkien suppressed all kinds of knowledge lots of ways.

  • They used multiple vague names ("Isildur's Bane") instead of accurate, descriptive language.
  • They simply didn't bother to pass on knowledge to heirs or underlings.
  • They buried knowledge in songs that they didn't trouble to sing.
  • They employed goons (like doorwards and sentries) and status to keep the plain folk out of their sight and hearing.
  • They used riddles to transmit critical information like passwords.
  • They trusted fools and traitors to do their duty and accurately deliver messages.

Take your pick.

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Claim the children are suffering from insanity. Or are bewitched

If there are only a handful of children, have them locked up in a tower for their own safety.

If there are too many for that, warn the king that the children are acting oddly because of the witchery and may assassinate him. Hustle them, or him, away. Perhaps you could have him go on a retreat to a monastery, or a tower, to pray and fast that the kingdom would be delivered from this evil.

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