darmody

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About darmody

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  1. The Night King didn't bring giants because he was testing the Wightbusters. Or because the show didn't want to spend money on them. Or because they couldn't fit them in logistically with the action sequence they had in their heads. Or because they just forgot. I see no reason why Zombie Giants can't be eliminated the same way regular zombies are. Jon & Co. were cutting through them like a hot knife through butter. Even if giants are marginally tougher, it has to be easier than killing a living giant. Because killing undead humans is way easier than killing living humans, if you've got the right weapons.
  2. I think we're missing something, here. Didn't the humans beat the White Walkers way back when? How the heck did they do that? Without knowing they were coming. Eventually with the Children's help, I 'spose, but also without dragons. Magic, I guess. But humans have magic now, too, with Bran and presumably Sam will find stuff in Winterfell's library or crypt or whatever. Plus, dragons. The Army of the Dead really doesn't sound all that powerful considering.
  3. Not all of the human army has to fight one battle. And they don't have to win, just eliminate enough dead at each engagement so that the dead army can be defeated before they run out of human beings. Though ideally they'd want enough left over to sustain Westerosi civilization. I don't know how many dead were vanquished by the Magnificent Whatever last season, but it was a LOT. Made the war look doable, especially with dragonfire, despite the Ice Dragon. This season, there will be the Valyrian Steel Squad making ice cubes out of White Walkers, which will eliminate entire platoons of dead instantaneously.
  4. Are they, though? The Night King had ample opportunity to kill all three dragons and didn't. That's because the sequence was poorly conceived, written, shot, and edited, admittedly. But still.
  5. They weren't literally holding their own against the whole army, because they could have been steamrolled if the Night King was using the tactic most likely to kill them. (I still don't fully understand its motive in that sequence.) But the whole army was there, presumably trying to kill them, and they held out for several minutes, eliminating more than their own numbers several times over. Not all Westerosi are as accomplished fighters as those men, but certainly based on that scene we can believe regular people can kill more undead than can be replaced by their own corpses, don't we? The fact is they don't have to destroy the Army of the Dead all at once. If they engage it with forces that eliminate more of them than corpses are left on the field, then the Army's numbers will go down with each engagement. For a while at least, the living will have enough men to continue to engage them from strategic points along the map. That's not to mention that killing White Walkers makes zombies go night-night. Nor the two dragons and Bran. The Night King has his dragon, which really evens up the odds, but wouldn't dragonglass arrows, spears, or scorpions finish him, no big deal? I assume that the Ice Dragon will be killed by one of Dany's dragons, however. That's also not to mention that living humans can make use of strategy and tactics. We've not seen the Army of the Dead do that. They just come at you. (Though, again, we weren't really inside the Night King's head at the frozen lake.) The defenders of light can lure them into ditches, one poster I recall suggested using dragonglass caltrops, which is too brilliant for words. Plus, the living have living horses and castles. And they can go on frickin' water. I haven't seen the dead move fast on dead horses, and do you remember when the Skeleton Crew had a tough time with the wooden wall at Hardhome? Imagine that at Winterfell. Aside from growing on corpses, the real advantage of the Army of the Dead is that they don't need to worry about logistics. They don't eat or sleep, and they can just throw themselves over a cliff, for instance, if it gets in the way. But aside from that, when you scratch the surface you realize just what an advantage humanity has on paper. Assuming there are no ass-pulls with the Ice Dragon or the Night King's powers. That being said, the living screw things up all the time. And we already know they won't be working together. Cersei will stab them in the back, and a two-front war with zombies and White Walkers on one front you don't want. Moreover, thinking about the fact that Sweetrobin is now solely in charge of the Vale and no one is in charge of the Riverlands, for instance, gives me pause. So much of Westerosi society is without real leadership. Jon is a bastard Night's Watch deserter who just got named king ten seconds ago. Dany is a conqueror who didn't seem like a viable alternative to Mad Queen Cersei to many, the Dothraki and Unsullied are foreign invaders. Human armies probably won't get along. Maybe the Dead should be favorites after all.
  6. I doubt we'll be denied single combats between Jon and White Walkers, Brienne and White Walkers, Jaime and White Walkers, etc. But that would be the smart play. Your scenario would be the Army of the Dead's best strategy, but of course if 6 Good Men could do as much damage as they did at the frozen lake, I don't see it as impossible, no. However, there is what TV Tropes calls the Law of Conservation of Ninjitsu. Whereas one ninja is unbeatable, a crowd of ninjas is just cannon fodder. Whenever the living are outnumbered, they'll destroy 10,000 undead for every human life. Whenever the forces are evenly matched, humans will die by the thousands. 150,000 allied living soldiers can be overwhelmed by the Army of the Dead, even though six frozen guys held their own for several minutes. You didn't seem to factor in Dany's dragons or Bran. The Ice Dragon evens things up a bit, but I think the odds should be in the living's favor considering magic weapons, magic dragons, and magic Bran. Only caveat, again, is that the unknown can fudge things. Maybe Bran is omnipotent, maybe he has less power than we think. Maybe we've seen all the Night King can do, maybe he's got tricks up his sleeve. Maybe the Ice Dragon is invincible, maybe he gets killed by one or two of Dany's dragons. I dunno.
  7. They showed little birds working for her. We don't even know if these were all Varys' birds in King's Landing, let alone all of his informants. Because he must have had people at all levels of society telling him things. (No way homeless children know what lords and ladies talk about behind closed doors.) Unless we're to believe all such information came indirectly through street urchins. We can guess Cersei co-opted Varys' entire network, but we're not told. Even if she has, I don't see why Varys can't try to co-opt it back. They're called Spy Games. Oh wait, Cersei's enemies are compelled to sit back while she makes all the moves. I forgot.
  8. That's like asking if blowing up the Sept was immoral considering the alternative was Cersei being convicted by the ecclesiastical court. Morality is not synonymous with "what gets/keeps Cersei on top." She has no real claim on the throne, and only got there through mass murder. I don't know how it can be considered moral for her to do anything for the sake of continuing her rule, even if you can say other rulers got to where they were by murdering people. Taking her rule for granted helps the case only slightly. She doesn't consider the North a separate country, despite what treasonous (to her) and illegitimate (who appointed Jon Lord of Winterfell, or lord of anything for that matter; why does he even have his head?) lords declare. Those are supposed to be her subjects, if she's truly Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Granted, we can understand her not being willing to risk her crown for the sake of treasonous subjects. But she's supposed to care about the Westerlands and Crownlands, in the very least, and their chances of survival are a lot better if the Army of the Dead is fought in the North, rather than the middle or the South. At what point does protecting her crown over her people become immoral? Certainly at the point of using her troops as back-up in the South, I think. Like a last line of defense, letting the advanced guard of the North, Vale, and Targaryen army die defending everything from the Riverlands north if necessary. But she's not even going to be doing that much. She's going to use a sell-sword army to stab Dany in the back. That's immoral. I'll say again, morality is not synonymous with keeping Cersei on top. At some point she has to risk her crown for the sake of humanity, otherwise she's immoral.
  9. I agree, but probably not in the way you intended. Which is presumably that book readers had the books to fall back upon if they needed more information. But I'm not a book reader, and I believe I followed the strategic situation better then than now. Admittedly, I didn't really know what the Riverlands was when I first watched. I wasn't aware of its status as a quasi-kingdom, nor which house ran it. I also didn't pay as close attention as I could have. But I was aware that Tywin sent the Mountain to attack Cat's family when Cat took Tyrion prisoner. I knew Ned dispatched crown forces to arrest the Mountain. I also knew that when Robb marched South to save his daddy, the Twins were in the same general area. The show got across to me that there was this territory between the capital and the North, where the Lannister-Stark conflict was playing out. And I knew the important lords there were the Freys and Cat's family. The relationship between those houses was well-drawn, because D&D were intent on setting up the Red Wedding, and made sure the audience kept some things straight. That being said, I couldn't follow the troop movements episode to episode, and I had no firm grasp on logistics or nuts and bolts strategy. But that's where I agree on the books making the earlier seasons better. Because without the books you have D&D showing the audience just enough to get through the season without them noticing none of it makes sense. That's different from a well-considered scenario written out over hundreds of pages which they truncated, jumped around in, and altered because they're telling a slightly different story and only have so much time in which to explain it. One can feel the story beneath the story in the latter case, even you stay on the superficial level. Scratching beneath the surface would reveal a war that makes sense. With last season, on the other hand, I know that beneath the surface there's just a void.
  10. She wasn't shown taking step one to besiege King's Landing, except sending the Dornish and Tyrellian liaisons home to retrieve their armies. I forget which was supposed to surround the capital. Okay, that plan goes up in smoke. But in the meantime, she could have been doing something militarily. She's just sitting there at Dragonstone, upon the only route out to the sea from King's Landing. Euron sails past her at least twice, doesn't he? Why doesn't she blockade the bay? Why doesn't she otherwise cut off King's Landing from the mainland? Why doesn't she try to infiltrate the capital? What is her spymaster doing, besides informing her of big events that lots of people already know about? Has his spy network been co-opted somehow? Well, can be at least try to retake it? After Euron hits her fleet, why does she do nothing for several episodes? Not even making a new plans? Because Jon's so dreamy?
  11. Not to mention Bran, the limits of whose powers are completely unknown. Aside from the fact that he may be the Night King, he can alter the past and probably could warg into zombies and zombie-dragons if he tried hard enough. The show have Our Heroes ridiculous potential power with that character. Unless he disappears from the story for no reason again. The show has kept the power of the dead vague enough for any guess as to how they'd do in a full-scale invasion of the South to be as good as the next. If you go by the wight Jon fought at Castle Black or the Battle of Hardhome, victory over them seems nigh-impossible. If you go by the Frozen Lake Battle, six guys--who were exposed to subzero temperatures for one to three days; or maybe a week, who knows?--can hold off 100,000 for a while at least. In the latter situation they had dragonglass, Valyrian steel, and fire. Those are the fudge factors, along with dragons, zombie-dragons, and the Night King's unrevealed abilities. How well will Our Heroes be able to use magical devices, and what counter-magic will the Night King employ? We don't know. If it were just man-to-undead man without magic (or without further magic, taking zombies and White Walkers for granted), the living would be toast. Because the Army of the Dead would pick up new recruits in every battle. If the Night King has no new tricks up his sleeve, the Army of the Dead should be toast. Because the living can outfit entire armies with dragonglass, and the Valyrian Steel Squad--Jon, Brienne, Sam, Arya (though I assume she'll scamper off to assassinate people on her own after reuniting with Jon), Jaime(?), and maybe others, I forget--will kill Walkers to disable as many undead as needed. Think about what a neat number-fudging tool that is. As many or as few wights can be taken out of consideration as they desire, virtually whenever they desire. Also, Dany has two more dragons and the zombie dragon should be take-downable. I'm thinking dragonglass scorpion bolts and/or dragonglass/Valyrian steel claw/tooth accessories for the other dragons. Easy-peasy. No doubt we'll see a regular dragon and the zombie dragon in a dogfight at some point. But of course the Army of the Dead will be as strong as it needs to be to fill requisite episode space and dramatic needs. The audience won't be allowed to think the threat is manageable, just like they weren't allowed to believe Cersei should have been toast in episode one this season.
  12. The Lannister-Stark War and the War of the Five Kings-proper were at least explained in BIg Picture terms. They didn't bother much with nuts and bolts strategy or logistics, and I don't think I was able to follow the wars from episode to episode back then. Last season improved on that part, at least, at the expense of it making sense. The first three seasons showed strategy more in terms of character: Robb asserting himself, Theon proving his Ironbornness, Tywin holding his legacy together, Tyrion getting his first taste of the game, Robb slowly making bad decisions because love and whatnot, and so on. That tradition continues. This war is more about Dany's morals and Cersei's evulz than strategy. What we saw of strategy below the Big Picture level in both eras of the show was largely character-motivated, too. It came in two main forms. First, there's luring the enemy into a trap. Robb does this to the Lannisters by dangling a smaller force in front of Tywin while he shifted the bulk of his men onto the unexpectant Jaime. Likewise, the crown's navy was no match for Stannis, so Tyrion didn't bother using it and instead laid a wildfire trap for Stannis to sail into. In both cases we were allowed in on the planning in sufficient detail for us to appreciate them when they were shown. (We didn't actually see Robb's victory, but we saw the aftermath.) They were used to develop both the characters who planned them (Robb, Tyrion), and the ones who suffered defeat (Tywin/Jaime, Stannis). The other form was attacking something the enemy left unprotected in the rear. Theon attacked Winterfell while Robb was down South to prove to his father he's not a Stark. Robb planned to attack Casterly Rock while Tywin and the Mountain were distracted because to do so he needed to call on the Freys, and the Tragedy of Robb Stark called for him to die at the Twins. Similarly, we saw last season Tyrion planning Dany's war to both spare and make his family suffer, representing his mixed feelings about them. Euron joined Cersei and smashed the heck out of Dany's navy, teleporting back and forth while doing so, because he's a Badass Sexy Rockstar Pirate. That's his character. The Tarlies switched allegiances and gave the Lannisters the power to sack Highgarden because Randal Tarly hates foreigners. That's his character. But seriously, we got about as much non-Big Picture strategic detail last season as in Seasons 1-4. Difference was if you scratch the surface and look into the War of the Five Kings, it makes sense. The Dany-Cersei War doesn't. It was smoke and mirrors meant to look good, wow us while we watched, and get us to the end of the season where everyone could be together in a dragon pit to scowl and poke fun of eachother. Bigger difference, and what makes the earlier seasons so much better, is that back then they managed to convey Big Picture Strategy. We knew what each side wanted, what the major obstacles were to them achieving it, and what each change in fortune meant to everyone affected. Even if we didn't know where their armies were, exactly, episode to episode. (Unless you read the books or paid close attention, which I didn't.) For instance, the idea that Robb wanted to establish his independence as King of the North and get his sisters back. He couldn't march on King's Landing because the Lannister army was in the way, and he wasn't out to depose Joffrey, anyway. He would prefer Stannis on the throne and might help him get there, but Stannis wouldn't tolerate an independent North. So you don't have to ask "Why isn't Robb attacking Joffrey directly?" That's not his goal. (You should ask why Arya isn't sending the assassin to get Joffrey or Cersei as well as Tywin, because her goal is to kill everyone. But we'll never know.) You knew when the Ironborn stabbed Robb in the back he both lost trust from his allies and had to spare men to go North and root them out. He was then fighting on two fronts. You know Stannis kicking Renly out of the war strengthened both himself and the Lannisters and hurt the Starks. Because Renly would've almost certainly taken King's Landing without black magical interference, and then the Tyrells were open to allying with the crown. It also took away the brewing Renly-Robb alliance, which would've been great for the Family Doom, I mean Stark. The Lannisters kept getting lucky, in that their enemies wouldn't cooperate. That made their two-front war more plausible. But they didn't get lucky like Cersei getting lucky last season. Dany apparently lost the Reach and Dorne because...reasons. Entire geographically important kingdoms weren't mentioned or disappeared from action without explanation. We don't know who rules what outside the North/Vale and Iron Islands, except Dany has Dragonstone and Cersei has King's Landing. (Though Cersei will have everything in the South when Dany goes North, I guess.) Another f'rinstance is the idea that Stannis required an entire season to get to King's Landing because he had to amass a navy and retrieve the bannermen Renly stole from him. Meanwhile, Tyrion has to stay put in King's Landing and prepare for a siege, because he doesn't have enough men to do anything else. The real Lannister forces are fighting Robb and committing war crimes in the Riverlands. Unlike nowadays, castles actually had defensive value back then. Armies didn't march away from their protection willy-nilly, nor did they fall in record Highgarden-time. Last season, the Big Picture was Cersei is fighting Dany. Cersei has one ally, Dany has three. They do some stuff, and things happen. Mostly Dany loses, then wants to fight a different war. Dany didn't attack, besiege, or at least cut off King's Landing because... Cersei's armies and Euron's navy are able to teleport across continents because... Reasons.
  13. I want to say first off I don't appreciate your "now we're getting somewhere" type-talk. If you have a case to make, just make. Don't play Riddler with me. I also don't think there's a point in waiting, because we both know the show won't reveal how Cersei got to be queen next season. We already know all they're going to tell us about that. Though no doubt you'll twist new evidence to write even wackier fan-fiction. I don't like the idea that Cersei can co-opt all or even a significant portion of Varys' network just like that. Although Varys was the one who had to build it up in the first place, which of course is harder work, it robs him of much of his mystique that someone else can become the New Varys simply by handing out treats to kids in King's Landing. But I suppose last season robbed Varys of any and all mystique anyway. But let's assume she can. People hostile to Cersei--or merely ones who happened to speak out against her--start disappearing, and you think no one will be able to connect it back to Cersei? Why? I mean, maybe not in a court of law, but what does that have to do with Westerosi politics as we know them? Did it occur to you that we saw Zombie Mountain kill a loudmouthed drunken peasant as opposed to someone who mattered for a reason? If she killed important people, ones whose deaths would help her crawl out from under her enemies' thumbs, her enemies would've noticed. There's no reason to think she was doing so, even far away from King's Landing. Being able to have plausible deniability and having layers of intermediaries between you and the people you kill is of course basic espionage. And I assume it would be the sort of thing Cersei's was planning to get back to when the time was right. But deal with all of them NOW? No. If that was her plan, she was stupid and not the supergenius you make her out to be. Did you notice you brought up Black Guards at the end of your post, but spent the body of the post on a different subject, i.e. the hiring of assassins by Cersei through intermediaries. Which is theoretically possible, though we weren't shown that's what she was doing. I must ask again, for the umpteenth time, what this has to do with recruiting a loyal Home Guard with which Cersei could secure the throne after the Septsplosion? You get that organizing the Black Guard and hiring assassins through a spy network are different things, right? If not, how does it work in your head? "Hallo, Ser Cutthroat! You don't know me, but I represent Cersei Lannister. You were hired to kill an enemy of hers once, though you didn't know it. I'm here to inform you that you're now obligated to take up her service and make her queen. G'day." Does the fact that she could use the birds to hire assassins through intermediaries mean she could use the birds to hire loyal soldiers in King's Landing without them knowing who they wrre going to serve? That would at least bypass the question of "Who woupd agree to serve the lady under house arrest awaiting trial for regicide?" But I thought your argument previously was that she only approached men she was 1000% sure would follow her. Anyway, organizing men to serve an unidentified master would still run into the same problem. Someone would notice a private army in King's Landing. Why wouldn't thet say, "Hey, it must be Cersei! Take her Mad Scientist and pet zombie away." Cersei shouldn't want to risk that. Killing the dick flasher was meant to show the Mountain is still fearsome and Cersei is coming back, y'all. Only to have it be the more impactfull when the wind is knocked out of her trial by combat plan. Having Qyburn employ spies far and wide prepares the ground for the audience to accept the fact that they substantiated the rumor Cersei had heard about the caches of wildfire. It was not meant to imply that Cersei was soon going to be able to kill and gather into her service whomever she chooses under the noses of her enemies.
  14. You know, both well and poorly-written stories skip over things. Sometimes it's done correctly, and sometimes not. But according to evolutionary theory, natural selection is always done correctly. That's why simply pointing to missing evidence is not enough to discredit it. They fall back on it being the best explanation for the evidence as a whole. Therefore, if mankind exists it must have evolved through natural selection, even if we don't possess all possible evidence demonstrating it. That simply doesn't work for stories. A story ended up a certain way, therefore I have to accept the most plausible explanation I can dream up for why it happened? No. I don't have to do any such thing. The two subjects really have nothing to do with eachother, except that you think critics of the Dorne storyline argue in bad faith or out of simple ignorance like your experience of creationists.
  15. Don't confuse skipping over time with skipping over scenes or acts. If you can leave something out, then it wasn't a necessary part of your story and it shouldn't properly be referred to as an act. You can't just leave out whole acts. Audiences wouldn't accept it. (Unless you can trick them into thinking it's daring and "experimental," or something.) Scenes, though they ought ideally to always move the story forward, aren't always necessary. If your aim is to defend a piece of storytelling, you could always say missing information is superfluous. But that's not always the case. Sometimes stories suffer from scenes, dialogue, characters, settings, etc. that aren't there. My guess is putting in a scene explaining Dorne's disappearance would've made the show worse. But that's because it isn't any good in D&D's heads, as well as being incomplete onscreen.