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About Rhae_Valarie

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  1. I'm more talking about Drogon being an icon of popular culture, rather than in universe or even among fans of fantasy. For instance, whether you've read the books or watched the show you are going to know who Drogon is and have a general sense of what he looks like. However, there are probably plenty of casual fans of just the show who have no idea who Balerion is (even though he is much more well known in universe). In addition, if someone said something along the lines of "Daenery's dragon" or "the dragon from Game of Thrones" most people would consider that to be a reference to Drogon. For instance, I know so many casual fans of the show (and even some of the series) who can never remember the names of Rhaegal and Viserion, or the general description of their appearance. For them, Drogon and his relationship with Dany, is what is truly emblematic of the show and series.
  2. It's hard for me to remember a time before I was obsessed with ASOIAF, lol, but thinking back I vaguely remember having a construction of dragons that is very different than it is now. In my mind, dragons were usually green, had six limbs, and possessed a more human like temperament, sometimes even speaking. And this was the stereotypical depiction I saw of them in media as well. But I feel that the popularity of the series and the show has changed the way people depict dragons. I can't tell you how often I see artwork that shows a black dragon with reddish, bat like wings, a la Drogon. I have also seen much more four limbed dragons recently as well. So my question: do you notice the effect that Drogon has had on our construction of dragons and does this make him the single most iconic dragon of all time? What are your other top contenders? (The only one I can really think of is Smaug, who come to think of it, is depicted in the movies as being surprisingly Drogonish (in color and limb count) despite being drawn by Tolkien as scarlet and having six limbs).
  3. That's a really interesting concept. I've never really understood why people thought Azor Ahai, the Prince that Was Promised and the Last Hero were different people because I've always just seen them as different names for the same concept, but maybe they are more like the 'three roles' you are talking about. So Jon could be TPTWP, Dany could be Azor Ahai, and a third person could be the Last Hero. However, I think I prefer to think of the three roles in more human terms, rather than assigning each head of the dragon a different prophesied figure. So let's assume for a moment that Jon, Dany and Tyrion are the three heads of the dragon. As a bastard, a dwarf and a woman they have each occupied different marginalized spaces in Westerosi society that have influenced who they are today. As a group, they would each have a different role in the group dynamic. Dany and Jon represent the two extremes, ice and fire, while Tyrion would be more of a middle ground and keep the peace between the two, forging compromises and deferring to wisdom where Dany and Jon might prefer to be stubborn and righteous/honorable. It also relates to the interesting quote that a previous poster mentioned about the three heads of Trios and not knowing what the middle head does. Compared to Dany and Jon, it might be easy to ask what Tyrion would bring to such a trinity and his practical contributions to the group dynamic might go overlooked in comparison to Dany and Jon. In the end, I suppose we won't know until the series is finished, but it is fun to ponder the endless possibilities
  4. Yes, that is where the concept of the Christian Trinity comes into play. So Christianity is regarded as a monotheistic religion and worships one God (singular form). However, that God has three aspects, known as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So one God, three faces. Martin uses this concept in the series, explaining that the Seven are actually a single deity with seven aspects. They only refer to them in plural because it is a hard concept for the smallfolk to grasp. So one God, seven faces. I think that the Prince that Was Promised will be similar. One prophesied figure with three distinct aspects, in the form of three different individuals. One dragon, three heads. One saviour, three aspects. One prince with three faces.
  5. Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I've never run onto it anywhere and thought it was worth looking into. So a pretty well known line regarding TPTWP comes to us from Maester Aemon: "What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years. Daenerys is the one, born amidst salt and smoke. The dragons prove it." This line is usually discussed because it shows that TPTWP could be a woman, but I think there is hidden significance here. Maester Aemon seems to be saying that the Valyrian word for Prince comes from the Valyrian word for dragon, and that male gender was added in the common tongue but not present in the original Valyrian. So in Valyrian, Prince/Princess and Dragon are equivalent terms. This seems to be supported in universe, as Targaryens are often called Dragons as a title. For instance, Viserys calling himself the dragon in order to prove his claim to the throne, Jorah saying Rhaegar was the last dragon. All the families seem to identify with their sigils, but for Targaryens the significance of being a dragon goes further. Not every Targaryen is worthy of the title, supporting that it kept its original significance from the Valyrian tongue. It would make sense that in a culture built around the power of dragons, the word would come to signify royal power. So if in Valyrian, prince/princess = dragon, the phrase "The dragon has three heads" takes on new significance. Many people have already speculated that this line could pertain to TPTWP, but if prince = dragon, that could prove it. "The dragon has three heads" = "The prince has three heads", or the Prince that Was Promised is three people. It would mean that for centuries they have been searching for one man, or more recently one woman, when they should have been looking for a group of three people. Clearly, this would be similar to the concept of the trinity in Christianity, or the Seven in universe. So what do you think? Is Maester Aemon saying that in Valyrian, Prince = dragon, and if so, does that support the popular theory that TPTWP is actually three people? Again, sorry if this has been discussed!!
  6. I quite like the theory that Rhaegar was a bastard, and it mostly has to do with the prophecy that a previous poster mentioned. So we learn in the books (I believe it is Barristan Selmy who tells us) that Prince Jaehaerys forced Aerys and Rhaella to marry because a wood's witch said that the prince that was promised would be born from their line. However, as we learn this second hand, this is probably simply their interpretation of the prophecy and we have not been informed of what the wood's witch actually said. I have a theory that the actual wording of the prophecy is more along the lines of the one that Maggy the Frog gave to Cersei. Basically, Maggy told Cersei that she would marry the King and when Cersei asked if they would have children Maggy replies yes, she will have three and he will have 16. To Cersei this doesn't make any sense because she assumes that if they are married they will have children together. If we ever get to hear the wood witch's exact prophecy to Jaehaerys, I think we might find that similar assumptions have been made. I personally believe that the prince that was promised is actually three people -- Dany, Tyrion and Jon. This theory necessitates that R+L=J and the Tyrion Targaryen theories are true. However, it becomes much more interesting if Rhaegar was a bastard, because it means that Tyrion (the bastard son of Aerys) is descended only from Aerys, while Jon (the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna) would be descended only from Rhaella. And Daenerys, their true born daughter, would be descended from both. This means that the Prince that Was Promised (three people) would indeed be descended from Aerys and Rhaella, just not in the way anyone had anticipated.
  7. I've always imagined Astrid Berges Frisbey as Ashara Dayne. I think Freida Pinto would be an amazing Arianne, as well.
  8. First of all, your theory is amazing. Great job researching, I agree that Craster is a Casterly. However, as far as plot significance, I think it has more to do with Craster's sons than Craster himself. Reading the series, I can't help but feel like little Monster and Aemon Steelsong are both important, but Monster is the more important of the two, because he is the only living brother to the White Walkers. Especially with all the Casterly connections to necromancy, the undead and pale things that you point out here. If Craster is indeed a Casterly, has his family been connected to the Others for generations? Could that have anything to do with their disappearance? And what does that mean for both the sons that Craster gave to the White Walkers and little Monster? Maybe it isn't a coincidence that Craster ended up making his strange deal with the Others. Just some food for though, lol. It might help you figure out the plot significance of this theory, because I feel like you are definitely on to something!!!! And one other thing I almost forgot about! The Casterlys aren't the only ones to mysteriously disappear from Casterly Rock. Rohanne Webber disappears as well, and I've long privately suspected that she might have ended up North of the Wall as well. In fact, I feel she might by Ygritte's ancestor. Firstly, compare their physical appearances. Rohanne is described as having long red hair, freckles, green eyes, a snub nose, and as being quite short. She is a talented archer -- in fact, that's how we first meet her. Her personality is fiery and strong, as well. Ygritte shares many of those exact qualities -- she is short, has fiery red hair, a pug nose, a strong personality, and is a talented archer. (Really, it's the similar shape of their noses that first struck me as suspicious). And while it might seem unlikely, Rohanne couldn't have just dropped off the face of the Earth. She had to go somewhere. Also, the Dunk and Egg novels seem to be shifting to the North, with the next book called the She-wolves of Winterfell and Bran having seen a vision of a knight that is probably Dunk standing in front of the Winterfell Heart tree. It's possible that for some reason Rohanne fled North and either she or one of her descendants ended up with the Wildlings, leading eventually to Ygritte. If this is true, it could be a symbolic parallel to the Casterlys, or at least set a precedent for Craster being a Casterly. Maybe the next Dunk and Egg novel will provide some new information!!
  9. Well I think we're going have to agree to disagree on a lot of this, though I sincerely do appreciate being able to have this conversation in such an honest and polite manner. I will try to answer a few of the questions you asked, just to clarify, but I understand that we simply hold different opinions on these issues. In regard to Cersei and Jaime, rape is defined by a lack of consent (or ability to consent) rather than a lack of desire. This is important because desire is subjective. Studies have been conducted that show the majority of convicted rapists were convinced that their victims desired it, thus believing they merely acted in a so called grey zone. I forget the researcher who conducted it, but if I run on to it in one of my sociology texts, I'll post it. Even the example you give about couples role playing is different, because in that case there is consent, at least initially, that isn't present in the scene with Jaime and Cersei. (Though I won't pretend to understand the nuances in that area. There's probably an answer, I just don't know it) So for example, even if Cersei wanted to have sex with Jaime but decided it was wrong because of their son's dead body and therefore said no, her desire, in that case, would not override her lack of consent. Still rape. Desire might play a role in if a person consents or not, but in the end it is the consent that matters, not the desire. It is just troubling to see these "well she ended up liking it, so it's okay in the end even if the relationship/encounter started off badly" attitudes in so many films and shows because it is so similar to rape myths and even the views of convicted rapists. You ask why the Spider-Man scene is wrong, even if it is unrealistic. I completely understand why it seems harmless to many, like critics are just being overly sensitive or something. But when you study violence against women in society you see that it is both reflected and perpetuated by our films, literature and music. Especially with the #metoo movement exposing abuse in Hollywood, you realize that in many cases the art was imitating life or vice versa, even more directly than a lot of people had supposed. Basically, I feel these types of scenes both reflect and perpetuate rape culture, which leads to very real and quantifiable damage to many people. I feel that higher standards in writing these scenes would be a step towards solving this. And lastly, in regard to Dany and Drogo, the pimps actually have a lot more in common with this situation than one might suppose. Many times they were pressured into the sex industry at a young age, only know that line of work, were abused as children themselves, face economic and educational deficiencies that would make it difficult to leave, etc. Not excusing them in any way, but there is more to their situation than meets the eye and they have more in common with the women they pimp out than they know. And when I said abusive but loving, I mean that often the women in those situations genuinely love the man who abuses them and pimps them out. They call him their boyfriend, never pimp. He calls her his girlfriend or wife and the other girls are "wives in law". The same man that tortured and nearly killed her the night before might paint her toenails and make her breakfast in bed the next morning. But the most significant thing is that no matter what she does to please him, the abuse doesn't stop. This is a constant in these situations (though I will have to research and see if there are ever any rare exceptions. So far I have never encountered any) I am utterly failing at doing justice to the complexities of that kind of situation, but maybe I'm giving you an idea of what Dany and Drogo would have looked like in the show if they truly had represented a Stockholm syndrome situation. Yes, there could have been moments of genuine emotion on both sides, but the abuse would have continued. Dany's moment of empowerment would have come from leaving Drogo, not changing him. Not that this is what I wanted to see in the show. I wanted them to stay true to the book, lol. Also to be clear, I'm not saying that an abuser is always an abuser. I believe there are some who reform. But the abusive relationship itself will not change, and if the abuser reforms it will be once they are isolated from that relationship. If any of this is intriguing, I really do suggest the book Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd, based on stories of survivors of child sex trafficking collected by a survivor turned activist herself. It's a riveting yet quick read (and hardly as morbid as it seems, focusing on the humor and strength of many survivors), and offers truly valuable insight that I have found extremely applicable to the world of literature. Also Captain America: Winter Soldier (the second Cap movie) is the best MCU film by far. It's a gritty, modern political thriller with amazing action. Highly recommend.
  10. The Rhoynish War, hands down. I got chills reading about it in TWOIAF. River magic, the entire might of Valyria taking to the air with thousands of dragons, Nymeria and her thousand ships traveling the seas and settling in Dorne. It would be so different than much of the stuff we've gotten to see in the series. Also, the Slaver's Wars in the Southern Isles would be phenomenal. Xanda Qo, Princess of Sweet Lotus Vale and warrior woman would be a kickass protagonist to follow into a new part of this fantasy world. Aegon's Conquest would be good too, though some of it might feel very familiar when you look at Dany's arc. But I really want to know what was in the letter from Dorne to Prince Aegon after Rhaeny's supposed death. And the Dance of the Dragons would be great as well
  11. It conflates the realism of the setting and the psychological realism. I'll probably be quoting you for the rest of my life. Jessica Jones is the perfect example of how to deal with rape and abuse in the superhero genre. Spider-Man is the perfect example of what not to do. Even Black Widow's roles in various MCU movies (Avengers 1+2, CA:WS) has important significance and opens up conversations about violence against women in a thought provoking and insightful way, and this from a character whose main story arcs aren't even "about abuse" in the way that a show like Jessica Jones is. Point is, film and literature can be used to have important conversations about these things without even having to depict it or talk about it explicitly. Another example: in Maleficent, Angelina Jolie plays her character's loss of wings as a rape scene (more specifically, a date rape). No graphic visual rape and the word is never even used, but the significance to the story is profound. In Cypress, Sassafras, and Indigo, author Ntzoke Shange explores the life of a child survivor of sexual abuse without ever directly referencing the abuse or showing it. That's what is amazing about literature, you can use symbolism and metaphors to explore important topics without exploiting them. GOT, unfortunately, does not do that.
  12. Firstly, I'm not making an argument about Craster's wives, just the main characters I referenced. Secondly regarding the progression of Dany and Drogo's relationship, I do not think that a relationship that started with rape would ever have evolved into anything but abusive. So I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. My point in talking about Drogo as a racist stereotype is simply to point out that the choice to make the scene consensual does have a larger affect on the character and shouldn't be able to be changed without consequence. I guess I don't consider my standards for depiction of rape very high. And as someone who is obsessed with superhero films I can tell you that the best of them often deal with important themes and philosophical questions, the same as fiction like GOT does. Captain America, Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, etc. They are not only about style and escapism, and just because lots of superhero films make the same mistake as Spider-Man does not mean that it is okay. Spider-Man is not pure fantasy, in fact the reason that Spider-Man is so popular is that he faces real world problems and has flaws, as do the characters in his stories. For more on this, go read some interviews by Stan Lee on the character. At the end of the day, I don't think MJ needs to be a victim in order to make Spidey a hero. He's already a hero. And I am completely correct in referring to this as a mythical rape. Go to Wikipedia, look up Rape Myths, it'll be the fourth or fifth one listed. Also, you are at once arguing that almost raping MJ is okay because it is realistic for that situation, and then saying that her reaction is okay because a superhero film isn't supposed to be realistic. So do you think realism matters or not? Also, I brought up "people not thinking of that as rape" to show that these depictions do have real consequences. In fact, there are many people who will blame a victim of date rape for "putting herself in that position", etc. Because society focuses on stranger rape, which is statistically unlikely, it puts a burden on those who have survived date rape. There is a lot of interesting scholarship on the subject, it's worth looking into. The shows depiction of Dany and Drogo is not similar to Stockholm syndrome. Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd is a terrific book dealing with women who have been sold into the sex industry and developed loving yet abusive relationships with their pimps (Stockholm syndrome). Their similarities to Dany's situation are striking, but the depiction of their relationships could not be more different. The relationship the show chose to portray is a loving and intimate relationship as in the book, but one that started with rape. I personally find this unacceptable. Also, the idea that you can "tame" your abuser is unsupported by fact, but it is the reason many women stay in abusive relationships.When shows depict women changing abusive men, it sends a potentially dangerous message, one that is also incorrect. And as far as Jaime and Cersei is concerned, I am not into debating degrees of rape. It isn't about if she "looks like she wants to" or if she resisted at first and then gave in, or whatever else. If she said no and he continued to force her (which is what happened) it is rape (even by Westerosi standards). There is no 50% rape or 100% rape or anything. There is consensual sex, where the person says yes and participates fully. And there is rape, where the person did not consent. Poldark is another example of a show that tried to say, well she resisted at first and then when he kept going she decided she was into it. No. That is rape.
  13. This is a complex question, but I think the first thing that has to be acknowledged is that there is a difference in the way that femininity is portrayed in books when compared to the show. I think others are correct in pointing out that what Martin does is far more nuanced. He manages to create a patriarchal society that is realistic without degrading female characters and femininity. Yes female characters do face sexism, but Martin's writing is not sexist. It's a fine balance and he pulls it off well (though there is perhaps a conversation to be had about the times that he falters). The show, however, does make distinct choices that create an environment of toxic masculinity. I think this is what a lot of people pick up on. Part of the problem is the extent to which the show sexualizes women. The show runners have said that they use graphic sex scenes to create an animalistic atmosphere, but it is applied unevenly. Emilia Clarke has spoken about the degree to which she and other women are required to be fully nude in comparison to the men in the cast. It's worth reading her comments, if you aren't familiar. Another problem, as others have said, is the prevalence of rape scenes. In particular, rape scenes that were consensual in the book but made rape for the show. My biggest problem with this is that they are almost certainly done for shock value, as the story lines don't actually change from having a consensual sex scene made rape. For instance, in the books, Dany expressly tells Drogo that she wishes to have sex with him. (The argument can and has been made that she still isn't old enough or free enough to consent, but that is imposing our cultural norms on a world inspired by another time in history. For most of history, women were not given a say in who they married and large age gaps and young brides were the norm. In Westeros, teenagers marrying and consummating is the norm, so that's the standard by which we should judge that interaction. Obviously in our world, it would be a big no no). However, in the show they chose to show Drogo using force, being unconcerned about Dany's comfort and feelings, and Dany being emotionally distressed by the encounter. And yet, they don't change Dany and Drogo's relationship accordingly. Everything else happens exactly the same. She still grows to love him, Moon of My Life, My Sun and Stars, etc. I think it's very clear that when you treat consensual sex and rape as if they are interchangeable, there's a problem. The same can be said for the interaction in which Jaime rapes Cersei. These instances conflate sex and violence to a worrying degree. If you aren't willing to explore the affect that rape has on the characters that experience it, don't do the rape scene. It really isn't hard to grasp. Drogo raping Dany and Jaime raping Cersei are two of the scenes I hate most in the entire show, because not only am I morally opposed to presenting those encounters in that way, it just doesn't make any sense in the story. Drogo raping Dany confuses their relationship and loses part of Drogo's arc. A significant part of AGOT is seeing that the so called "savage" was actually more compassionate to Dany than her brother, the Western Prince, when you learn that Viserys was going to rape Dany. Drogo's morality and his genuine care for Dany keeps him from becoming a racist stereotype, and shows that while Dothraki culture might seem strange and harsh, Westerosi culture is just as flawed (though they try to hide it and act as if they are superior to the Dothraki "savages"). When they had Drogo rape Dany while speaking broken English it was a huge step back. Then they just ignored the fallout and acted as if the choice they made wouldn't have fundamentally impacted the story. Jaime and Cersei are even more perplexing. Hearing the show runners talk about it makes me think that they don't have any idea what consent is. Also, it just doesn't make sense for Jaime's story arc of redemption. To me, it's okay to talk about rape in literature and film. But it needs to be a sincere exploration of the experience, how it affects the individual, how it is treated in their society, and how that relates to the treatment of rape in our society. Yet this so rarely happens. Most often it's badly written scenes like these included for shock value or as the result of a deep misunderstanding of what consent is and why it matters. An example of what not to do: Most people are familiar with the famous upside down kiss in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, between MJ and Peter Parker. But rewatching that movie as an adult, I realized that the bad guys that Spidey saves MJ from weren't just generic bad guys. Walking though a dark alley alone at night, MJ is chased by a gang of men who make kissing noises at her and tear off her clothes. The implication is clear: this is an attempted gang rape. Of course Spidey shows up to save her and MJ, sans her coat and soaking wet with her see through shirt on precariously, begins to flirt and laugh with Peter as she is filmed in a highly sexualized and objectified way. This is dangerous for several reasons. It promotes the mythical rape, perpetrated by strangers in a dark alley. While these crimes do happen, most rapes are actually perpetrated by people the victim knows. Yet because we don't think of this as rape, those victims are often not believed. Secondly, MJ has just been through an extremely traumatic experience, but it she laughs and flirts and compliments Spider-Man, making it clear that the attempted rape scene was about showing what a hero Spider-Man is, rather than talking about an important issue. Just like in GOT, the director threw in a rape/attempted rape for shock value rather than a sincere exploration of how it affects the female character who was just attacked. This is just one of the examples of problematic rape scenes that comes to mind. Previous posters are correct in noting that they are terrible trope in Hollywood -- so common that we often don't even think about them. To be clear, I still love GOT and I love ASOIAF even more. The show does some important things and the books do even more. But we still need to talk about the problematic aspects of both, and I'm glad that so many people are willing to have a polite and honest conversation about this.
  14. I don't think book readers who watch the show are disappointed because they have expectations that are too high to ever be met. Most of the comments on this thread have acknowledged that the first four seasons were masterfully adapted, and have merely commented on what has changed in quality. No one is saying the show needs to be exactly like the books or their vision of the books. I think it's okay for fans to expect the story they invest in to maintain a certain quality and make sense. Unfortunately so many things in the last season did not. At the end of the day, I feel like this is due to the show outpacing the books, as many have said. D&D's job went from adapting an incredible story to having to complete it themselves. They are sprinting to the finish, and though I think the product would be better if they slowed down a little, I understand why certain choices are being made. However, as others have said, so much of what happened last season was just bad writing. The fact that the main characters were sailing/flying/riding all over the continent of Westeros before the WW could make it a few miles from Hardhome to the Wall is ridiculous. I remember reading the plot leak that came out a year before the season aired and I honestly laughed because I thought it had to be fake, there was no way, it just made no sense. And yet it was true. The more I think about this season the more disappointed I get. I can't help but regard pretty much everything after season 4 as beautifully rendered fan fiction. I honestly don't know if I'll even really care about the final season, but we'll see. To repeat, it isn't that they've strayed in content that bothers me, but that they have severely degraded in quality. If the show had continued to do its own thing and do it well, I wouldn't be disappointed. Different media calls for different choices. Not everything that works in a book will work in a show. But whatever version of the story they choose to present, it has to at least be logical. And the last season was not.
  15. I find it highly unlikely that he will be named Aegon in the books, for reasons others have pointed out. I think the show is combining Jon's character with the fAegon to simplify things.