Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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About Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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    Blood-sucking Aristocrat
  • Birthday 12/15/1982

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    Dunedin, New Zealand

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  1. You're trying to have it both ways. If we are applying realpolitik (i.e. we aren't just considering what the Baltic States want, but what is best for NATO) then NATO should have declined - on the basis that it undermined the existing alliance (i.e. forcing NATO to basically start a Third World War in a situation that shouldn't warrant it). If we are applying a more liberal worldview - any country can join what it wants - then why wasn't Russia itself invited to join? You know, seeing as the Cold War was now over, and NATO no longer actually had any real reason to exist? If we're saying that Russia can't because of history, what on earth is Germany doing in there? If being in NATO requires being democratic under the rule of law, what on earth were Salazar's Portugal (a founding member) and the Greek military junta doing there? What on earth are Hungary and Turkey currently doing there?
  2. It's more like 37 years. The Hobbit was not originally set in the same world as The Silmarillion, and was retrospectively shoe-horned in. (The Silmarillion itself was submitted for publication in 1937, but was rejected by a thoroughly confused reader).
  3. Not a thread to itself. I've hijacked a thread or two in my time though.
  4. While it depends on the work, you can have world-driven fantasy. I'd put both Tolkien and Peake in that category. Tolkien: World > Theme > Plot > Character Peake: World > Character > Theme > Plot Martin: Character > Plot > Theme > World (he's the anti-Tolkien) Bakker: Theme > World > Character > Plot Erikson: World > Plot > Theme > Character
  5. Which is why NATO should never have expanded in the first place.
  6. Another series that I'd compare with Martin (it was clearly influenced by ASOIAF) is Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Legacy: Its world-building is even more overtly "alternate Earth" than Martin (specifically, the focus is on an idealised alternate France, rather than an England analogy). It's got the politics and scheming. It's got low magic (generally lower than Martin). Where it differs is that each trilogy is single POV, rather than multiple POV, there is much less violence, and much more emphasis on sex (the protagonist of the first trilogy is an elite prostitute specialised in BDSM - not as bizarre as it sounds, since prostitution is a sacred calling in the setting), and the prose is much more lush/purple than Martin's. Then there is Stephen Donaldson's Gap series, which is another one that pre-empts Martin. It has lots of political scheming, rotating POV structure like ASOIAF, and an emphasis on darkness and horrible things happening to the protagonists. It just happens to be science-fiction (specifically a sort of literal space opera - it is a loose adaption of Wagner's Ring Cycle In Space).
  7. Tolkien's hobbits are people, explicitly so. That's the entire point of them - they are audience surrogates, figures for the reader to identify with in a world with so many larger than life figures. I also have to disagree about Martin's world-building. He is a good character writer, and a good plotter, but world-building is not his strength - Westeros is just fifteenth century England with variable seasons and magic (and frankly. he doesn't do a particularly good job at showing the effects of the seasons on his setting. He has oak trees growing north of the Wall, for goodness sake). The less said about the unsavoury orientalism in Essos, the better. As for comparable series, I would point you in the direction of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, by Tad Williams - there's less politics, and more focus on the actual ice demons, but it pre-empts much of Martin by a good decade or more (it was written in the 1980s). For a current series, see R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse books - the first trilogy is influenced by the First Crusade in the same way Martin is influenced by the War of the Roses. Bakker has much more magic though, and the politics of his setting is much more religious/philosophical than Martin.
  8. This is the inherent problem with NATO's Eastern Expansion: are the US, UK, et al, willing to start a war with Russia (with all that entails) over Estonia? If Russia has invaded The Netherlands, then you know that it really is a Third World War, or a reasonable approximation thereof. But the Baltics?
  9. The First World War did not come out of nowhere. If Archduke Ferdinand hadn't been assassinated, it is entirely possible (likely, even) that some sort of general European War was going to come along regardless - the competing interests of the Great Powers saw to that. Even if you avoid the assassination AND have Willy fall down the stairs at some point, you run into the fundamental problems: France/Germany hate each other Russia and Austria-Hungary are not going to play nicely because of the Balkans Russia is rapidly industrialising, which puts the fear of god into British India. Political systems everywhere are starting to creak Good luck resolving those without something going wrong.. Today? The sort of multi-polar power dynamic that marked the pre-1914 world doesn't exist. Politically, and militarily (but not economically), the United States is simply too powerful. China isn't at the stage yet where it can challenge, though on current trends, it will some point this century.
  10. Forgot Milton's Satan...
  11. Not to mention that he left his father to deal with the resulting mess. That would have been awkward to deal with even if Aerys had been sane.
  12. Sticking to fantasy (though I would agree that Graves' Livia is a truly magnificent villain): General Woundwort, by Richard Adams Empress Jadis, by C.S. Lewis Steerpike, by Mervyn Peake Lord Gro, by E.R. Eddison Lord Foul, by Stephen Donaldson Gollum, by J.R.R. Tolkien Roose Bolton, by George R.R. Martin Dolores Umbridge, by J.K. Rowling The Auditors of Reality, by Terry Pratchett The Nothing, by Michael Ende
  13. I have a crackpot theory that Rhaegar had Aspergers.
  14. The Boats of the Glen Carrig. If you are irritated by the style, steer clear of The Night Land. We are talking a book where even H.P. Lovecraft tired of the prose.
  15. In fairness to the Underground Man, I find him reassuring. No matter how messed up your life, he'll always be worse.