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Everything posted by SeanF

  1. I have considerable sympathy for Russia's claim to the Crimea, given that it was part of Russia till 1957, and the vast majority of its inhabitants wish to be part of Russia, but Russia has no claim to the Baltic States. Maybe it was unwise to let them join NATO, but it's now a done deal, they're economically integrated with the West, so the rest of NATO has no option but to fight if they come under attack. Given the presence of NATO forces in the region, I don't think that a fight is likely.
  2. No one seems to bat an eyelid at Cersei's massacre of hundreds of people in the Great Sept, and the surrounding district. You might at least expect to see riots that have to be crushed by Lannister soldiers. In reality, you'd expect to see Lannister soldiers defecting, given the balance of power, and the fact that Cersei has done nothing to win their support. The only thing that would keep them loyal would be if Dany was carrying out massacres of her own.
  3. Daenerys (or less likely Jon) may receive some form of acclamation from the people of Kings Landing, but the public won't really be choosing her to rule over them. She will rule by right of descent and/or conquest. Missandei can choose to leave her service, but that's not a choice that's open to the Smallfolk of Westeros.
  4. Following on from the various "What Are Your Choices....." threads, who would you consider to be the best villains in literature? I would suggest that they should comply with CS Lewis' dictum that "to be truly and effectively wicked, a man needs some virtues", which equally applies to women, and non-humans . Usually, those virtues are courage and resolution, often intelligence, loyalty to one's followers, even perhaps a degree of compassion (but mixed with complete cruelty to those who don't merit compassion in their eyes). Unlike the completely despicable villains, these characters should excite some admiration among readers. So, in no particular order, I'd rate:- Milady de Winter from the Three Musketeers, Harry Flashman, from the Flashman Papers, Roose Bolton, from a Song of Ice and Fire, Captain Kennit from the Liveships Trilogy, Emhyr var Emreis, from the Witcher stories, The Lady from the Black Company Stories, General Woundwort from Watership Down, Lord Toronaga, from Shogun, Jadis, from the Magician's Nephew, Macbeth
  5. I'm pretty sure no other writer would do as Tolkien did, create a world, with its own legends, histories, and languages, purely for his own intellectual amusement, 20 years before he actually published anything set in that world.
  6. I think that good worldbuilding is something that's nice to have, rather than something that's essential.
  7. I assume that a period of some days has passed since the battle and her return to Dragonstone. I haven't seen anything to suggest that Dany gets aroused by burning and torturing people, whereas Cersei does.
  8. Long John Silver, Livia, Merteuil and Valmont are certainly great villains, as is Gollum, although I find the latter pitiable, rather than admirable.
  9. I think Dany would burn Jaime alive, if he fell into her hands.
  10. An autocracy. Which may be better or worse than what has gone before.
  11. Traitor, paedophile, coward, thief, bigot, there really isn't much that can be said in his defence.
  12. Harry Flashman was an appalling human being, but I loved him as a protagonist.
  13. After Rhaegar's death, Aerys made Viserys his heir, and following Aery's death, Rhaella crowned Viserys on Dragonstone. Subsequently, Viserys made Dany his heir. From the point of view of a Targaryen loyalist, there is an unbroken line of succession. Daenerys can also argue that she is Targaryen on both sides, being born of incest, whereas Jon is part-Stark, and part-Targaryen. Finally, we don't know what the terms of the annulment and new marriage were. The marriage might have excluded any children from the succession.
  14. Tarly is a bigot, but it's not bigoted to hate the Dothraki. They have a vile reputation for cruelty across the world. I do think it was a good scene, as the rights and wrongs of the characters' actions can be argued either way.
  15. It could have been a morganatic marriage.
  16. AFD is fairly strong in Germany, with 8-9% of the vote, easily enough to enter the Bundestag. They are represented in about half the Lander. Law and Justice in Poland is certainly a right wing nationalist party, although it would be unfair to bracket them with Neo Nazis. Austria has stringent laws against Holocaust denial, but the FPO have about 25% of the vote. Ireland has Sinn Fein, Sweden the Swedish Democrats, and Italy the Lega Nord, as strong nationalist parties, although I don't know what their laws on holocaust denial are.
  17. I would have thought that the cultural norm in Westeros would be that high-born prisoners are held for ransom, rather than being told to turn or burn. If Dany were actually Queen, and they'd rebelled against her, she'd be on far stronger legal and moral ground to execute them for treason, but at this stage, she's only a claimant.
  18. Hold fire until we know the whole story. However, if Rhaegar did get his marriage annulled, because he'd fallen in love with Lyanna, then it was a shitty action. It was a colossal insult to his wife, the Dornish royal family, and his own children, who would be deemed illegitimate. It doesn't matter whether he loved Elia or not. When you're the Crown Prince, your personal feelings don't come into it. Marrying for political reasons comes with the job.
  19. I might not hold a grudge about my father's death, if he had behaved appallingly to me, but I'm sure I'd hold a grudge if my brother was burned alive after refusing to change sides. Bear in mind, too, that Westeros is an honour culture. Honour demands that you avenge the killing of family members, even if you dislike them.
  20. That sounds right. However, Dany may fear that Sam will seek revenge, and decide to remove him from the scene.
  21. The Witcher short stories and novels by Andrej Sapkowski.
  22. The Pear-Shaped Man is a good choice. I'd also recommend the Colours Out of Space, and The Rats in the Walls by Lovecraft.
  23. Screwtape. A vain, petty, vindictive, mean-minded, middle-ranking bureaucrat. Like Umbridge, we've all met people like him.