Ran

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Everything posted by Ran

  1. Started watching... and I totally hit a wall with the absolutely horrid dialog that starts from Ford talking to Rathman all the way through the bar scene with Debbie. Does this improve?
  2. I would have no expectations of "Sons of the Dragon" being substantially expanded for F&B, BTW.
  3. Yeah, need more info. if anyone else spots it, please report.
  4. A place for people to post a message introducing themselves to the forum, if they wish to. It's entirely optional to post an introduction, but if you do want to post one, do so here rather than starting a new thread.
  5. From Aenys on through to Aegon IV, there were always numerous Targaryens and immediate descendants. The situation became more fraught due to Aegon's two legitimate offspring (not counting his deathbed legitimization), but Daeron the Good restored that by having many sons who in turn had a number of children between them. Then you go through all the way to Aegon V and his many children before you get to a situation where the family suddenly thins down again. Jaehaerys was a love match with his sister, and you're literally just left with Aerys II who had, perhaps, the temperment and the willingness to maybe try and take on a second wife ... but given the likelihood that he very much had notions of the Targaryens being above all others, it's no surprise that he didn't. And then he ended up having another son besides Rhaegar, and Rhaegar had kids of his own... Fratricide among the Ottomans comes to mind -- there's a tremendous number of murdered half-brothers, uncles, etc. when you read the histories of the successions to the sultancy. I can't think of any medieval European kingdom that had anything like that kind of inner family turmoil, and it's not like the Plantagenets or Valois were necessarily all that friendly with one another... In any case, a lot of it was genuinely because of polygamous marriage practice and the devaluation it caused in typical concepts of kinship and blood relation. Not really. Instead of having Daemon Blackfyre and his offspring, it may well have been that the Blackwoods backed Bloodraven for the throne, and the Brackens Bittersteel, and so on and so on -- all of them claiming some reason why their legitimate son of Aegon was better suited to the throne. No chance. Having Daenerys as his wife would have merely strengthened his claim to the throne, and also likely would have left Dorne separate from the rest of the realm, meaning enmities could continue. Polygamy is explicitly said to have been less common than incest in Valyria, so no, all Targaryens were not polygamous. We know Aenar was, that's about it. More likely they would have been exacerbated, as noted above. HIS power. He murdered off family members while he was at it, which gives the lie to the idea that he was driven by interest in the Targaryen family as a whole. His many brides were all about him and his heir. I'm not concerned with the Faith. After Jaehaerys, until the present time period, the Faith was toothless. No, it's the Targaryens themselves who veered away from polygamy. I recall in my university studies coming across a book that posits just that, and specifically discussed the medieval arguments against polygamy as a harmful and destabilizing practice. A quick Google tells me it may be The Western Case for Monogamy Over Polygamy (it's more a legal treatise than a history, which fits what I recall, but runs through various eras). Westeros is a place where certain succession ideas are not writ in stone -- in particular, we've come across many examples of women being passed over for men in their families, despite the law ostensibly placing a man's daughters ahead of his brothers or their offspring. Similarly, GRRM has noted that the place in a succession of a legitimized bastard is also up for debate in Westeros -- whether he enters in birth order, or if he's at the end, or whether he still gets ahead of daughters, etc. Polygamy complicates things even more so, presenting no strong reason to focus on birth order as determinant, so even the straightforward notion of Robb over Bran over Rickon could -- if each had had separate mothers who were simultaneously Eddard Stark's wives -- have broken apart under the stress of competing outside interests (such as the families of their respective mothers). Given how "flexible" everyone is in Westeros, and given the problems that post-Conquest polygamy caused for the Targaryens, it's no surprise that they chose to let it fall by the wayside.
  6. I had the same view, FWIW. The appearances of replicants are randomized within parameters, unless some custom job is wanted, but they all have the "same" inner-workings, which is what makes them models. I think if they wanted to sell the idea that each model also had only so many variations, they would have made that point in either film by having us see this directly. As it stands, when K is reviewing the N8's not a one of them looks alike, and near as I can tell all the N9's he was introduced to were unique. The faux-Rachael is the first time we've ever had a duplicate presented to us.
  7. Werthead, Dunkirk absolutely does compete, and I think von Hoytema is the biggest threat... well, that, and the fact that the film has under-performed in the box office; the Academy doesn't like losers. Also heard that Vittorio Storaro's work on Wonder Wheel is spectacular, but he already has a bevy of Oscars on his mantle so it feels rather unfair (for various reasons, I don't think he's a genuine threat to win, but you never know).
  8. First was a genuine error that crept in from the process of boiling things down. Second and third are ideas from discussion with GRRM and Anne about what maesters later on would make of these events. That histories would see Maegor as a madman, and read into the possibility that he sunk into despair to the point of killing himself in an ugly manner, is pretty self-evident. Remember that "Sons of the Dragon" is itself a history written by Gyldayn well over 150 years after the fact, and though GRRM did not so thoroughly indulge in competing sources as he did in the Dance and Regency material, he was already very cognizant of the idea that Gyldayn's version of history is just one of many, dependent on many sources since he was not a contemporary. The broad outline of facts are generally going to be correct, but any and all editorialization -- from Gyldayn, Yandel, Mushroom, Eustace, and all the rest -- is just that.
  9. The new Black Panther trailer's pretty good. Quite like the use of Gil Scot-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televized":
  10. No chance Hoeks gets a nomination.
  11. What LM says. Degrees of incest, very much like degrees of kinslaying.
  12. Questions which we asked George and never received answers to, alas.
  13. Have a lot to say about the film, but in brief it was good but not great -- pretty much what I expected. First film is a genuine classic, so it had a big act to follow, and predictably failed, but everyone gave a fine effort, especially on visuals and acting. One thing that bugs me is... Wallace AND the rebels want replicants to be able to reproduce. Yes, Wallace is the authoritarian keeping the slave status quo, but he's also the only person who can unlock the secret of replicants reproduction. It seems so strange for the plot not to be about (in part) an attempt to use him to get what they want.
  14. There's material in F&B v1 concerning the first Grand Maester.
  15. The early Targaryens settling Dragonstone were Valyrian foreigners bringing their customs. Aegon was a lord of the narrow sea attempting to forge a kingdom by to some degree assimilating -- a process that, in fact, was not something he started. So yes, he still married polygamously, but this was at a point where there were basically no Targaryens besides them. Polygamy fell out of fashion because it wasn't necessary at any point after that, essentially. And then there's what happens when the offspring fight among themselves over who is heir. Which is pretty much what happened thanks to Aegon's polygamous marriage, and Visenya pushing Maegor ahead of Aenys's children. Polygamy is not "all upside". It proved better for the stability of the realm to avoid anything like polygamy. In fact, simply consider that Rhaenyra's relationship with Laenor Velaryon and Harwin Strong helped fuel the fire of the Dance considerably as another example; matters would not have been helped had Harwin been her legal husband. And then consider Aegon IV sleeping around and setting up the realm for five generations of hurt because of his elevation of his bastards to legitimacy. Imagine if they had all been legitimate to begin with -- do you _really_ think Daeron and Daemon and Bittersteel and Bloodraven wouldn't have had issues in that scenario? So, yeah, there's a danger to polygamy that showed itself again and again. It doesn't mean that the Targaryens formally made it illegal for themselves. It just meant that they didn't bother with it because there were more stable solutions. Maegor was a monster. Sometimes, early on, he was the monster who fought on behalf of the family... but lets not pretend Maegor didn't also nearly destroyed the family at the same time by killing his own kin and setting the realm against himself. From Jaehaerys on, Targaren incest was never an issue and caused no difficulties. Polygamy had proved potentially very dangerous, and so it went unused. That's not really damning -- it's like nuns all being "brides of Christ". It's not exactly literal -- it's a "mystical" betrothal rather than an actual. Can't really be equated. Polygamy is not a practice of modern northmen, and we've no examples over many centuries.
  16. Palast is speculating, but I think his view is that no amount of money could erase the experience of having grown up a "loser" in the class war -- his brilliance was subordinated to the needs of the military-industrial complex when young, and though he "got out" of the grind it couldn't make up for the opportunities he didn't have early in life, missed opportunities that he (Palast imagines) keenly felt because he was smart enough to know he could have had a better life if things were different... People have done worse for less cause, I'll say that, but it's really just speculating based on an acquaintance some 40-odd years out of date, and I am dubious of any one pat explanation. Palast sure can paint a vivid picture, though, will give him that.
  17. No other houses copied Targaryen polygamy in the post-Aegon era for the same reason that no one copied Targaryen incest: it was a unique privilege permitted to them and no one else. Simple as that.
  18. Lets do a month to keep it in line with spoilers for the board.
  19. As Rhaenys says. Though unclear, the phrasing is simply indicating examples of why the realm was at peace: he had settled things with Dorne earlier, he spent time on building projects, etc. I think I've already indicated that the High Septon was Ceryse's maternal uncle, and that Martyn and Morgan were brothers, while the Lady Patrice was sister to Martyn and Morgan's father. I had a fair bit here about the Hightowers, but now I see there was a decision for TWoIaF. I'm going to have to go through a bunch of notes and drafts to figure out the process, but will flag this for F&B v1 to try and make sure George thinks about it again when finalizing the text there. "Some believe His High Holiness was removed by his own brother, Ser Morgan Hightower, " Rhaenys, that was corrected in later editions. It now reads: "Some believe His High Holiness was removed by Lord Hightower's brother, Ser Morgan" Re: Daemon Velaryon turning against Maegor, it looks like the call was made to name him so, but in retrospect I suspect this was in fact supposed to be Aethan. That said, it feels like another thing to flag for George, as it's possible he indicated to Anne that Aethan was dead by this point and his successor was the one who turned.
  20. Book spoiler discussion of the show goes here, for those who want to discuss the episode in relation to the books, and with reference to spoilers from them. This topic should open automatically around the start of airing.
  21. We generally go with one month for spoiler protection purposes.
  22. This is part of Gyldayn's account of Targaryen history.
  23. Alysanne proved very fertile. If she hadn't been, perhaps Jaehaerys would have opted to undo the marriage, or take a second bride, but probably not -- they were very much in love. Had Alysanne been barren, I'm going to guess Jaehaerys would have ended up having the offspring of one of the female Targaryens groomed as successor, if not the female Targaryens themselves. I suspect the speculation that Rhaena married a Farman is both an explanation for why Jaehaerys did not marry her himself and an avenue for his having had some kin. Given how easily people are suggesting Daenerys take up polygamous marriages, I think it's fairly asinine to assume that no one ever _suggested_ it in the past; a lack of examples doesn't mean it was not, at some point, mooted. Daemon Blackfyre may have well believed his father would have supported his marrying Daenerys when he already had a wife, after all. But it never happened, doubtless because in all the scenarios presented there are perfectly sound reasons for why polygamy wasn't something anyone leapt to. It fell out of favor with the Targaryens for the reasons already stated, whereas to some degree incest did not, and so it just wasn't something anyone chose as a solution within the scope of the reigns from Jaehaerys I to Aerys II.... well, with the one speculated by some for Rhaegar.
  24. Makes it feel like it's something that should be dropped from the wiki, or it should be clarified that it comes from a non-canonical source.
  25. Polygamy fell out not because it became illicit for the Targaryens, but because: 1) the Targaryen family got a lot bigger over time and 2) the need to bind the realm led to marrying out rather more often than Viserys would have had you believe in AGoT. Aegon and his sisters were the last Targaryens in the world, while Maegor was a monster. Why would anyone want to replicate what Maegor did? Why would anyone feel compelled to do what Aegon did? I don't expect there was ever a formal legal document from the crown or a Great Council proclaiming that the Targaryens would never indulge in polygamy again. It simply fell by the wayside. But you can look at the novels and see characters entertaining it now for Daenerys, for example -- Jorah suggests it, and Dany even considers it in ADwD -- in a way that shows that there seems to be a very pragmatic view on this.