2) I consider an Empire changed when its name and dynasty changes and it starts acting completely different than before.
3) I know, I'm saying it's highly likely Martin could have stopped Black Marsh and Morrowind seceeding.
What you consider to be a different Empire and what is factually a different Empire are 2 different things, Harold is right, when a Dynasty dies the empire gets a new leader and they start another dynasty (if they can), its still the same empire but under a different ruler. The United States acts completely different then before and is no longer lead by founding fathers so should they change their name to the "Western Bureaucracy Nation that cant get anything done"?
and thats highly debateable...there is nothing to go on that states he could have held them in the Empire, what just because his last name is "Septim"?. for all we know he could have suffered bouts of madness and depression after seeing his friends murdered by what are essentially demons and been a god awful ruler. he was a good warrior and a brave person but brave and combat worthy are not what make great emperors/rulers, look at Medes they were great warriors but they have been crappy rulers