The hairy bear

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About The hairy bear

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    Honey in the summer air!
  • Birthday 08/28/1980

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    Many. A Song of Ice and Fire among them.

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  1. While GoT is certainly successful, it's not really in the same league as the others franchises you mention. This last season, the episodes are watched by an average of about 15 million viewers on the first week. Any movie from Star Wars, LOTR or Harry Potter more than doubles that. (and movies tend to have more lasting live than series, I think). So it's only natural that they are not as recongizable. Besides, as said, the other franchises you mentioned were: Family friendly, and have been devised to reach the whole demographic. Movies. In most markets, movies have much more press and impact than series. Open to the general public, and not limited to subscribers of a particular private platform (or pirates).
  2. Were you replying to me? Cause what i was saying is that inbreeding is not that likely to cause genetic defects, and thus it was perfectly normal that Gilly was born sane and healthy. Unless explicitly stated, none of the moderator's opinions in these forums are any other thing that their own personal opinions. Their role is not relevant to the point. I don't think that incest is OK at all. I think it is not an advisable behavior, because it can potentially lead to vicious or submissive relationships, and prevents the creation of endogamous groups without external influences. I'm only saying that the risk of genetic complications is grossly overstated, as real life evidence demonstrates. Nooo! Big lapsus here. Tutankhamen was from the 18th dynasty, and lived more than a millennia before Cleopatra (who belonged from the Greek dynasty of the Ptolomeans). As far as I'm aware, Cleopatra had no familiars with health problems. But I agree with everything else you say in your post.
  3. That a usually believed myth, but not really true. Sexual relationships within the family are so taboo in most cultures the risks of genetic defects have been overly exaggerated. But if a standard children has a 1% chance of being born with genetic defects, a children of two siblings would have something like a 4%. Significantly higher, but still very unlikely. In fact, in history we see many real families with much more inbreeding that the Targaryens. One of the more reputedly beautiful and intelligent women of antiquity, Cleopatra, was born of a LOT of incest: there were 3 brother-sister marriages and 3 uncle-niece marriages within 4 (patrilineal) generations, such that her family tree collapses to a single couple. So I don't think that Targaryen inbreeding (or lack of it) can be used to explain much, tbh.
  4. It's more than that. As a rulers, Aerys+Blodraven did a terrible job at public relations. They were widely seen as kinslayers and sorcerers, and while some of it can be due to Blackfyre propaganda, they did a very bad job countering it. There's also the fact that Aerys also neglected some of their duties as monarch: shunning her wife's bed and failing to produce a heir, not caring about his public image and failing to make public appearances,... all this weakened the Targaryen monarchy. And he "Greyjoy thing" by itself is a clear declaration of intentions: I don't care that Dagon sack and rape at will, because "the real" problem is the dynastic challenge to my rule. If it doesn't menace my position, I won't act on it. Again, a PR failure. I think Maekar had reason to be upset for all this, and it's understandable that he did want to separate his public image from them. It was good for him, and it was even a good decision for the family. It showed that the Targaryen main branch could offer an alternative to the dismal job Aerys and his hand were doing at ruling the kingdom. You cannot use Aerion's actions as an indication of the relationship between Maekar's sons and Baelor's. He was a madman, and his father clearly disproved of his actions and chastised him, sending him to Lys. And even if Aerion had defeated Valarr at the tourney, it wouldn't be such as big a deal as you suggest. We have plenty of examples were knights have defeated crown princes and no one have accused them of putting their lives at risk or staining their reputations. Duncan Targaryen was defeated by Barristan, Rhaegar was defeated by both Arhur Dayne and Barristan,... I insist: there's no tension between the sons of Maekar and Baelor. There's tension between Aerys and the rest of the world. He mistreated Aegon too, who was his own brother. If we look at all the other sons of Maekar (Daeron, Aemon and Egg) there is not any sign of rivalry or bad relationship with Valarr and Matarys. Daeron tries to spend his days drinking far away from court. Aemon becomes a maester. And Egg decides to be a squire to a hedge knight. I don't think it can be said that Maekar educated his sons puting in their head the idea that they should become kings some day. If Aerys was a delusional fool, I don't see any reason to blame it on Maekar. And furthermore, as far as I know, there's no hint that Aerion wanted the throne for himself. So even in his case we can't say that Maekar's "sporting rivalry" was ever interpreted as "challenge the throne" It doesn't say that. It says that "Rather than risk another Dance of the Dragons, the King’s Hand, Bloodraven, elected to call a Great Council". Maester Aemon didn't want to be king. We know that the "simple-minded Vaella" had no support at all, and "only a few spoke up for Aerion Brightflame's son". Honestly, that's far from "nearly coming" to another civil war.
  5. To be fair, half the kingdom had issues with both Aerys I and Bloodraven. Their polices were questionable and unpopular, to say the least. And Baelor's death actually change him. He acknowledges that he had been wrong by sending Aerion to Lys and Egg with Duncan. And TWOIAF says that "he became even more stern and unforgiving". I don't see it. It's true, as Baelor himself tells us, that Maekar hoped that his sons outshone Baelor's in the tourney. But from rivalry to treason there is a huge leap. We never see Maekar doing any step to usurp power (he doesn't marry his sons to powerful houses, he abandons KL when he is not named Hand,...), and none of his sons show any sign of being overtly ambitious (Daeron refuses the title Prince of Dragonstone, Aemon takes vows as a maester, Egg goes with a Hedge Knight) Moreover, everyone involved is fully aware that if Daeron's descendants start fighting among themselves, they risk losing everything. The Blackfyres are waiting across the narrow sea for such an opportunity.
  6. When a house gets extinct (as it happened with House Dustin) it comes to the liege lord to decide who gets to rule their lands. In this case, after Willam Dustin died, it had to be Ned to decided that Barbrey would rule Barrowton from now on. So I don't thin it is a matter of Barbrey being strong (which she is), but of Ned feeling guilty. My own theory is that Ned only postponed his decision on who would get Barrowton, and leaving Barbrey the right to rule it until her death, but not passing it to her descendants (she has no Dustin blood, after all). That would give an additional reason for her bitterness, explain why she hasn't married and justify why none of his brothers are listed as heir to Barrowton in the appendixes.
  7. I think it was mostly harmonious. Baelor was a charming and diplomatic man, and surely earned the love and respect of all his brothers. Other factors that contributed to this healthy environment are that they had a common enemy in the Blackfyres, and that none of the brothers could expect to inherit kingship soon (Daeron had Baelor when he was 15, so normally Baelor would become king as an old man). While Maekar admired and felt close to Baelor, I'm sure Ser Raymon Fossoway was right when he said that he also envied him a lot. All his accomplishments were overshadowed by his older brother, and that made him a bitter man and Stannis' precursor. Rhaegel seems to have had some kind of intellectual disability, so probably he was left aside and hidden from the public. And while Aerys probably was in good terms with his father and Baelor, he and Maekar were probably too different to get along (I see Aerys of having only the intellectual side and Maekar only the warlike side, while Daeron and Baelor combined both).
  8. Your analysis would be spot on in later generations. But the key issue here is that both Baela and Rhaena had been given dragon eggs at birth, and were potential dragon riders. An additional dragon-rider was much more valuable than an alliance with another family, even if they were great lords. More importantly, marrying both the Velaryon families into the Targaryen family ensured that they did not marry to another family. Any great house they married into could have become another family of dragonriders. The Targaryens should do their best to prevent this. In fact, this is what happened with the Velaryons: the marriage of Rhaenys to Corlys had made the Velaryons a dragonriders. In order to avoid them to become a rival family, Viserys and Rhaenyra were wise to promote marriages between the two houses to keep both lines united. While it is true that Rhaenyra is more sympathetic than Aegon II, and the greens are the ones who attacked first (killing Beesbury and Lucaerys), it can't be said that the blacks are depicted favorably. Specially the two black leaders (Rhaenyra and Daemon) are shown as petulant, fickle, cruel and unfit to rule. Meanwhile, many green characters are shown in a good light: Daeron the Darling, Helaena,...
  9. It doesn't seem a very fair competition, I think. The Arryns are a prestigious, sympathetic and generally well-liked house. Even if you take them at their lowest, such as during the rule of Lysa and the feeble-minded Robert, they'll always still be far better than a family of thieves, sadists, and rapers.
  10. I completely agree. If only Stannis had done the smallest effort to reward loyalty and maintain good relations with his natural allies, everyone (including the Starks and Renly) would have sided with him after Robert's death. Which, by the way, it may not have happened if Stannis had not abandoned him without telling him what he knew about Cersei's kids. Stannis greatest enemy is himself. And I'd add that he is not "a fan favorite", as in that he is loved by the immense majority of fans. Stannis has the same impact in the fandom that he has in Westeros: he is unconditionally loved by a very passionate and vocal minority, and not particularly liked (or even despised) by the rest.
  11. "No, don't, don't cut my hair, Ned loves my hair."
  12. Cat ans Sansa are among my favorite characters.
  13. Westerosi history is also full of rulers who were weak and had vassals much stronger than them and ruled anyway. In fact, once the Targaryens lost their dragons, they became weaker than any of the great houses. It's only their "claim" that placed weaklings such as Aerys I or Jaehaerys II on the throne. It surely wasn't for their strength or martial prowess. It is important to realize that might vs. might is not a real dichotomy. A better claim is likely to win you many supports, which directly translates to might. Easily? It's not true that it was "easily" tossed aside. In fact, it took a huge gamble and cruel civil war that the rebels could have easily lost. Given that Aerys was mad beyond saving, the fact that half the realm rose to defend his cause is also telling that "claim" bears a lot of weight too. And it's important to remember that the rebels decided to crown Rebel because he had Targaryen blood. Again, this shows that claim has a significant weight. Say that law counts nothing in Westeros just because in a particular time the succession was resolved violently instead of according to law is not a fair assessment. Most of the times succession is arranged according to it. Laws are also continiously broken in real life, and that doesn't mean they mean nothing.
  14. Well, we know that honor wins in Robb's case. He chose Jeyne Westerling over Walder Frey and his six thousand men. You seem to assume that the only viable options are daughters of great lords. It is not the case, at all. Even the Targaryens, who considered themselves a separate god-like race, married many ladies from second-rate houses. In many ways its preferable, since her families demands will be more manageable, the queen won't have split loyalties, and you undermine the power of the great families (that, after all, are the most likely to overthrow you if that had to happen). And there's also the option of marrying a noble from the free cities, just as many Targs had done in the past. In fact, marrying a daughter from a great house it's only something that you would only do if you were really desperate. There is no way that Joffrey had married Margaery if the Lannisters didn't need their troops. Again, you are assuming that only a son from a great house is viable, when that's far from correct. Stannis is someone who does not compromise. He will break before bending. I don't see him marrying his daughter in exchange for a military support he is already convinced that he deserves. He didn't attempt to marry her to any supporter during the war of the five kings, when he was in dire need of help. So he wouldn't do it once he was seating in the Iron Throne no matter what.
  15. You are assuming that the Others' only way of crossing the Wall is through the passages that cross the Wall, but there are many other options. They could climb it, they could build tunnels under it, or they could even have the means to tear it down. As Jon wisely saw, given the Watch's meager numbers, it's wiser to keep the passages open in order to allow more and more wildlings to come to safety. If you are able to make them join your ranks, then you'll have enough men to defend the passage and still be able to improve significantly the rest of your defenses.