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About Xenophon

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  1. Got some more articles up, including a discussion of Varys riddle: http://politicalanimalmagazine.com/varys-his-riddle/ I'm not 100% sold on the comparison with the prisoners' dilemma that article makes, but I think it's an interesting point about how Varys "theory of power" puts so much emphasis on the individual belief of the sellsword, whereas we typically try to find more universal/abstract theories. I guess this also is reflected in the medium--Varys conveys his views in a riddle, vs. a treatise or maxim, etc.. Also, the article makes a point about how we're supposed to reconcile the existence of the Gods in the story. Given the magic in the world, the riddle is at least complicated, he's suggesting. I.e. power doesn't just lie wherever people believe it does. Melisandre has power even if people don't believe in it. I was wondering what you all, who know the books really well, think about that. Is this just a footnote to Varys' claim, or does it put a serious limit on his view of power and politics?
  2. Thank you! Changed. This is why we need well-versed readers like you!
  3. Not sure if this is the right forum, but on a political theory site I admin, we're starting a discussion of the political philosophy of ASOIF. I used to be active on these forums and I remember the level of discussion is really good. So I want to invite you all to join in. If you'd like to get involved, we'd love to have you! We're examining the topic through a series of character-by-character discussions, starting with Varys. We've got a few articles lined up to kickstart the discussion, and we're going to let it develop from there. The writers we have so far are mainly political science/philosophy types who also are fans of the books (so things like Varys compared to Machiavelli). We'd really like to add more voices, particularly readers of the books who might not know Machiavelli, but know ASOIF really well. You can check out the discussion at the link below. If you want to comment or contribute something, you can get in touch with us via the site (I'll also be checking this forum). We're open to submissions of all types. If you think it will add to the discussion, we're interested. Even if you just want to throw up an idea for debate, or point to a section of the book that you'd like to see someone comment on, that would be helpful. The "stretch goal" for this discussion series is to distill it down into a format that could be used as a teaching aid in classes either on ASOIF or political theory. Anything you submit will be attributed as you like, of course, and if we do turn it into something used in classes, you'll get authorial credit, royalties, etc.. Here's the link: http://politicalanimalmagazine.com/a-politics-of-ice-and-fire/
  4. LOL! These all are great, but this is my favorite. What I want to know, is what happened to Timmet? Was there a Romulus-Remus moment during the founding of the great mountain clan dynasty?
  5. Awesome Icon. Artest is the best. :D

  6. You have a bear! Down with Ran, Jaime L is the rightful King o' the Board! But seriously, I agree exactly with the sentiment that it somehow seemed more silly on screen than in print. That's why I'm glad the Greatjon got a few more lines at the end of the episode--it made him less the character who ends up laughing about losing half his hand.
  7. LOL. Loving the section titles. But how bout this as an ad hoc justification: The Greatjon is clearly fairly uppity. First he's telling Robb that he'll take his ball and go home if they don't play by his rules, then he's shooing all the other lords out of Robb's tent, and telling Robb what to do with the scout. So, it actually makes sense that he's talking about Ned in a disrespectful way. Most of the bannerment would call Ned "Lord Stark", but the Greatjon, with his exaggerated sense of his own importance won't stoop to such pleasantries. Basically, Ned's mistake was that he didn't have a direwolf to teach the Greatjon manners the first time he sauntered into Winterfell and was all "what's up, Ned?".
  8. I agree, a Lannister soldier saying "there is your Father's camp, Lord Tyrion" at the beginning of the scene might have made things clearer. But it didn't distract me at the time, and it's perfectly possible that Tyrion ran into the Lannister outriders and sent them on ahead to announce his arrival. Tywin and Kevan certainly seem to be expecting him when he enters the tent.
  9. Yeah, I'm betting they aren't going to bother trying to hide it from the audience. Dany won't know who he is, but we will. It will be a nice teaser/cliffhanger for the end of season 2: why is Barristan there, when/how will Dany find out who he really is, and what will she do about it? Maybe you should direct him to the HBO viewers' guide. I had a friend in a similar situation, and he seemed to find it helpful.
  10. Also very possible. I've seen people do something similar when estimating crowd sizes at events.
  11. Also, he may have been trying to keep track of multiple things (number of foot, horse, lords, siege engines, baggage carts, etc.). That could get tricky fast. And we don't know it was using his fingers that gave him away, right? He could have been making marks in a stick to pass on to a courier, or they could have just assumed he was counting because why else would he be hanging around the camp. Re. the question of how they'll market the show next year, I don't think a big name "star" is nearly as important for the 2nd season as it was for the 1st. By now, people have a good idea of what the show is all about. If you like quasi-medieval political dramas, you're probably going to watch anyway. If you don't you aren't. The existing cast are recognizable enough now to use in ads reminding HBO's target demographic that the show is coming back. And, short of doing something crazy like casting Jay Z as Stannis and Beyonce as Mel, they're probably not going to expand the audience much beyond that target demographic regardless of who they cast.
  12. Hmm, this was an odd one for me. I liked all the individual scenes, but I felt they didn't fit together into a whole, and the episode as a whole left me fairly cold. IMO, all the previous episodes packed a serious emotional punch because the various storylines complemented each other so well. I didn't get that here. Each bit was good, but they didn't seem to build on each other. Other than a slight thematic connection between Bran and Sam's stories, I didn't feel like the various scenes commented on each other in the way that Dany's marriage reflected on Cersei's in ep 1, or Ned/Arya reflected on Cersei/Joffrey in ep. 3. Overall, though, it was engrossing and they did a good job of setting future action up, while still keeping things interesting in this episode. So I'm giving it a 7. My rankings for the season are now: 7/8/8/7 Edit: Interesting, I seem to be decidedly in the minority, comparing the poll results from last week to this week.
  13. I was confused by that too, and someone here pointed out that if you look at the men surrounding Robert and Ned when they have lunch in ep. 2, you'll see that those guys have stag flags. So, it seems like Cersei travels with her own Lannister guards, as well as Robert's Baratheon troops. BTW, the Baratheon troops also can be identified by their Norman-style teardrop shields, IIRC.
  14. Gave it an 8. To me, it was about the same as episode 2. Episode 1 still had the most drama, and felt most like a mini-story, but these were more engrossing and had better character development (and they didn't have the ghastly Dothraki wedding or soft-core porn feel, which were minuses in my book). So I'm at 7/8/8 for the season. I'd be interesting in knowing how other people ranked the other episodes too.
  15. Got it. Thanks.