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Everything posted by zandru

  1. I think I did, but my argument wasn't very effective. Let's back off. It's clear from the books that Daenerys's approach to the conquest of Meereen worked short term, but wasn't stable. Part of it were reasons that you yourself cited: slavers who wanted to keep on slaving and would form guerrilla organizations to disrupt her rule, slave owners who didn't know what else to do, slaves who had difficulty setting up in business or getting hired because they weren't yet prepared to do so or lacked startup resources. A more complete solution was called for, something that would be routine in the 20th century but unheard of (in more than one sense) in medieval times. The former slaves would need to be helped in their independence, by schooling and other assistance. It wasn't adequate to just give them leave to seize some of Master's property and then hope for the best. Rules would have to be specified and laid down, best done with some local input at least, about pay for work and basic working conditions. Emphasizing that these rules would apply to everybody, so nobody would get an unfair advantage would help their acceptance. Still, strong enforcement would be critical - not merely the military/police presence, but also auditing. Terrorism would have to be stopped and punished severely. Slave owners presumably had some kind of industry which was worked by their slaves; now they'd have to pay for labor and maybe increase prices. So what if they have to sell off some of their treasures and property? Slave dealers would have to find other commodities to move. A salesman can sell literally anything, so an end of slavery wouldn't take away that ability. See, this takes care of both the enslaved and the perps, and would be basically what I would recommend, were I Dany's 'hand'. What she ended up doing was trying to run Meereen with an inadequate military force, a vague set of rules, and too much ineffectual reaction instead of "pro-action".
  2. Well, I disagree. Slavers committed punishable offenses, by the new laws imposed by Daenerys. She doesn't care to "grandfather in" the past offenses. (Those who disagree can get their own dragons and "protest".) Consider: a man lives well for many years by embezzling from his job. After being found out and fired, should he be compensated so he can continue at the same economic level that his theft had placed him? Or should he be punished? Moreover, you're placing the "rights" of criminals against humanity as more important than the rights of their victims.
  3. No. The southern slaveholders were heavily "invested" in security measures to make sure their slaves didn't run away, such as guards with guns and dogs, and even locking them up every night. This imposed significant costs. The frequent floggings, sometimes to death, and definitely to disfigurement and laming, aren't an example of "worker safety" concerns. This argument is really one of the most bizarre I've encountered - but don't take that personally. In fact, slaves were generally required to grow and provide their own food, so that wasn't an "owner expense." When they had families, the offspring were confiscated and sold by the owners at will, even if they were the children of the owner (!!!) Slavery was so inefficient because the "labor force" got basically nothing for their work (except more work) and had to be constantly guarded from escape and from killing the owners. It wasn't "Gone with the Wind."
  4. You can hardly consider a port city with a great harbor to be 'barren." It would be a hub of trade. You don't have to farm to trade, or to trans-ship. We know there are vendors and artisans in Meereen etc, in spite of the "barren" soil. And, as far as food production goes, a bay can also be fished! (now there's a thought) The cities of the Bay of Dragons don't need slavery. Nobody does.
  5. With all due respect, I think you're the one making unwarranted assumptions here. However, I'd like to refer you to Widowmaker 811's excellent respnse, which I think addresses your other objections. I'm a little worried that you feel such concern for the poor suffering slave owners that you'd insist on continuing the 'peculiar institution' from which only they derive any benefits.
  6. Not true. Multiple smaller farms can support families, provide food as well as opportunity for sales, provide a more varied set of crops, not just one big commodity. A self-owned farm can be more efficient, since the owner is the one working it for the benefit of his family, not unwilling masses of people who just want to escape. This is the "history" and ownership that you want to get rid of. Seriously. Really? These people don't understand that it's not a good thing to beat their "property"? To abuse and torture? They are really good people who were just misled? The abolition of slavery failed in the United States. Failure to prosecute - and hang - Confederate leaders or even to blacklist them encouraged the guerilla tactics of remaining dead enders. After 20 some years, the US gave up on Reconstruction and allowed "Jim Crow", the virtual continuation of slavery, to persist. This situation has continued in the United States until the 1960s (!!!) and is still with us more than people want to admit. Can't speak to Russia and Brazil. I know slavery was abolished throughout Europe without that big a fuss, however.
  7. Why in the world would you want to "keep the same people in power"? The same people who made their fortunes off of slavery? These are the folks you want to get rid of. So a slave broker totally loses his livelihood - time to learn another trade. So a slave-dependent business suddenly has to pay wages - maybe that business becomes a lot smaller, or breaks into competing businesses - or goes out of business. So a farm becomes too big to run, if the workers have to get paid - it should then break up into smaller units of ownership, including letting some of the former slaves get parts. Remember, former slaves are not actually helpless children. To help them further, Daenerys could implement public education programs and even hire some into her "government."
  8. Good list! Also - The Hound: the Gravedigger Additional questions - Who was "Lem" Lemoncloak? Who ws the Elder Brother?
  9. This. I just backed off a discussion* about how little Robert Arryn was supposedly Petyr Baelish's get. I still think it's highly unlikely. On the other hand, there needs to be an heir for that unimposing, near-deserted towerhouse in the Fingers, with its vast herd of (1 or two) sheep... ;-) ---------- * And I'm sure they were glad to see the skeptic go!
  10. Thanks for the discussion on trees, particularly evergreen! Just an irrelevant anecdote - I once visited a German family who would get a "living Christmas tree" every year and then plant it in the yard. Their home was surrounded by a grove of 30 years' worth of Yule. It's a great tradition and perhaps also honored in Dorne.
  11. I'm guessing it's twofold. First, way back then before DNA tests or even blood type tests, it was difficult to determine the father, particularly in times of war, where rapine was rampant and one of the perqs, and the standard infidelity, which will be a factor so long as there is marriage. Oh, also the prevalence of socially accepted and legalized prostitution. Second, it being a feudal society where the parentage of Certain Persons is a really big deal, and primary determinant of who will rule, who gets what property, and who is permitted to have a nice and privileged lifestyle.
  12. How can you possibly denigrate this when that's exactly what everybody here is doing, particularly yourself? And you were dismissing my comments on openly available reproductive facts, with a sneer no less. While at the same time agreeing that Petyr Baelish eating a pomegranate with his knife in front of Sansa Lannister is proof that he effed Lysa back in King's Landing. Seriously, I'll stick to science. The lit crit is just too airy for me. Airy - clearly a subtle reference to The Aery! And Arryn! Okay, I'm done.
  13. Science. Unlike the earlier "pomegranate proof". "Usually" is the key. I've seen otherwise enough times. Robert's health and height are not definitive. Could be! At this point, it seems like the most reasonable position. But argue on! Littlefinger is not referring to "cream" as a foodstuff or pancake (lemon cake??) makeup here - he's naming the Arryn colours.
  14. Definitely. Lots of people hate porridge. Are ALL of us intimately related? Wouldn't saying such a cruel and judgemental thing be banned on this forum? That's what I've been told (far too many times. Sandor Clegane wouldn't like it here, and vice versa.)
  15. Can you cite any textual evidence for this? Ditto. Any evidence? All this seems to be extreme speculation to defend an unlikely hypothesis. Why might Robert Arryn be so small and sickly? Maybe Lysa's abortion and subsequent inability to successfully bear children was a factor. We don't know how far along she was before Hoster had her drink the super moon tea, but his deathbed ravings about "the blood!" suggest that the trauma of the abortion process was something that stayed with him until his dying day - and he only watched it. We know that elderly parents are likely to produce sickly or handicapped children. This was once thought to be solely based on maternal age (Run fact! Every woman is born with the full complement of ova, which will last her the remainder of her life. Thus, YOUR health has a lot to do with your maternal grandmother's health and nutrition at the time your mother was in her womb), because male sperm ("seed") is made fresh daily. However, the organs making sperm do degrade with age, too. So Jon Arryn's doddering old age (what was he? 45? 50?) was no doubt a factor, too. That little Robert was smaller than average says nothing about how big he would grow when he finally matured. Boys can experience frightening growth spurts in their teens, and the tiny little guy can become a six foot plus bruiser once the right hormones kick in. So Robert's stature is not a good guide as to whether he was fathered by Baelish. Also, Baelish wasn't old and decrepit, so why would his offspring be? I continue to conclude that it's highly unlikely, and not born out by the text, that Robert Arryn was actually Robert "Baelish" Stone.
  16. That counts as pretty old in Westeros, as Varysblackfyre321 notes. Stannis's hair is graying (what little of it he doesn't trim off), his face is lined and gaunt - all things that could lead Ramsey to think him more elderly and less formidable than Stannis actually is. Remember, at the beginning of Game of Thrones, Ned Stark is described as 35, with graying (greying?) hair and considers himself pretty old.
  17. Hair color is more complex than that. I know of black haired couples who had red-haired children. Sometimes African-American couples have a red-haired child. And no, it's not because of a "red haired stranger." Hair color in ASOIAF seems to be most significant for the Lannisters (pure gold, except in many of the cousins) and Baratheons (black always breeds true). Oh, and the Weasleys are always red-haired. This will come as a shock to Sweetrobin's many fans, who consider him a wonderful little guy, a true Winged Knight; the Falcon Lord, and more politically astute than our dear Sansa. ;-) And not annoying or spoiled or whiny at all! But then, none of them are our Littlefinger, are they? You are probably right. Baelish is young enough (early 30s, at most) to have lots of shots left in him, and bootstrapping himself up to where he can pick any woman he wants to breed with. Sansa, as a Catelyn surrogate, may be just what he has in mind. He's no doubt already worked out how it can be done without diminishing her value as a marriage commodity.
  18. What, "after all these years of silence and whisperings"? I interpret this as meaning their clandestine, non-sexual meetings in the Red Keep. Clearly, I can't - and shouldn't - try to calm down folks' obsessions with pomegranate seeds and daggers and blood oranges which all "prove" LfL. Folks read the same text differently. This is why there are 50,000 "different" Christian sects, all of whom think the other 49,999 are heretics.
  19. Stannis has stronger mental resources than Theon. He's also smarter than Ramsey. There's a good chance Stannis could manage to kill Ramsey. After all, he's an easy man to underestimate. Skinny as a rail, elderly - and all it would take would be a moment's carelessness on Ramsey's part. Moreover, Stannis still has a good number of loyal men who would be "on the outside" and this includes men of the backwoods clans. Unlike Theon, there would be many who could and would try to effect a rescue. That said, Roose is right there onsite. I strongly suspect he wouldn't indulge Ramsey's fun, given their precarious position under siege, in winter, hosting way too many families who apparently hate one another. Keeping "his" banners from uniting behind Stannis would be a high priority for Roose.
  20. Bingo! I agree. Lysa would have told him, and wouldn't be able to stop telling him. And Littlefinger wouldn't likely be so matter of fact and even grimly happy about plotting the kid's death. After all, Little Robert would be his genetic legacy. Also, remember how Lysa goes on and on about how "finally" she and Petyr are able to get into bed together, and how she'll scream like a wounded banshee? (and does) Seems very unlikely they'd been enjoying a physical relationship in King's Landing. Also, the theory that Petyr had started dosing Lysa with sweetsleep (which many seem to place great stock in) further indicates he had been unfamiliar with her ear-splitting shrieking form of intercourse, and didn't much care for it. No doubt he trains his 'hos to do it that way, which would be a further negative. "The seed is strong" clearly refers to Cersei's children being no Baratheons. This is what Jon had obsessively been researching up until his death, and what, as far as he knew, led to his death. It was Jon Arryn's last attempt to get the word out. Unfortunately, he said it to his delusional wife, who didn't have a clue about the Lannister/Baratheon intrigues going on and who in fact had administered the poison that killed him. Note that Lysa interpreted it as being the Arryn seed that produced little Robert. If little Bob had been Littlefinger's by-blow, she would have proudly told him so, as Knight of Winter observes. Robert Arryn as Petyr Baelish's bastard is a dead horse, in my opinion. Let it rest.
  21. Well, how about Myranda Royce? Or even Harrald Hardying? Each would give us a different view of "Alayne Stone". Not to mention actual inside information about politics and society within the insular realm of the Vale.
  22. Lips that have touched Cersei's will never touch mine. That said, Jaime has in the last few books started to shake of Cersei's malignant influence. The way she turned on him after he lost his hand had to be shattering. That, plus Brienne's idealism and strength of character, which nearly overrode her unfeminine "ugliness." Barristan Selmy, for sure, would have stood valiantly by while Aerys ordered the firebombing of King's Landing. Perhaps he would have tried to shelter his King when the fires reached the Red Keep. Barristan the Not-so-Old would have burned to death, secure in the knowledge that he was Doing His Duty. Don't know much about Arthur Dayne; all I've seen so far in the text is other men going on about how wonderful he was. I hope we get an answer to why the "Sword of the Morning" was so eager to kill the brother who had come to rescue his sister at the sadly misnamed "Tower of Joy."
  23. Jaime's story was that Ned Stark gave him a mean look. Yeah, I know it sounds kind of lame. Perhaps we'll learn more in future, when Daenerys interrogates Jaime about why he killed her father. (No spoiler; just wishful thinking on my part.)
  24. But this is nearly 20 years AFTER "Robert's Rebellion" when the event we've been discussing took place. There was no "high sparrow" nor "faith militant" back in Aerys II's time. Remember, dowager Queen Cersei reinstated the military and judicial branches of the faith for some petty short term concern during the reign of Mad King Joffrey.