UnmaskedLurker

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About UnmaskedLurker

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  1. I have not been to this site in a while and just happened to check in today and saw that about 7 hours ago, Castellan quoted something I wrote almost two years ago. How did you even find this thread (rhetorical question -- no need to answer). To try to answer your question, the "eye button" is a button on the toolbar that appears above this text box. In other words, while I am typing in this text area (the toolbar only appears while someone it typing in this area), there is a tool bar that appears above the text area -- the buttons start with "B I U" (for bold, italics and underline), the next set of buttons are symbols -- the first is a supposed to look like two links from a chain (to symbolize inserting a link), the next button is a closed quotation mark (looks sort of like this -- " and used to put text into a quote box), the next button is a set of "carrot-style" brackets (looks sort of like this -- <> and used to insert code), the next button is a smiley face (used to insert emoticons) and the next button looks like a human eye (an oval with a filled-in circle inside and used to make text "hidden content"). After the eye button, there are a number of other styling buttons (I won't continue to bore you with a description of the remainder of the buttons -- hopefully by now, you tried to type something in the text area at the bottom of the screen and found the toolbar, including the eye button). So the "eye" button can be used by highlighting text (typically by using the mouse to move the cursor to the beginning of the passage, holding down the button on the mouse and moving to the end of the passage and then releasing the button on the mouse -- there probably are other ways to highlight text as well but I think that approach is most common), and with the text appearing on the screen as highlighted text (don't click anywhere else in the text box as such an action will "un-highlight" the highlighted text), using the mouse to move the cursor over the "eye" button and clicking the button on the mouse to activate the hidden content feature. The highlighted text should become hidden content that can be seen only by clicking within it (by using the mouse to move the cursor over the hidden content box (which will become a hand) and clicking the button on the mouse). I hope that helped -- let me know if you have any follow-up questions (although I cannot promise when I will see it as I might not be back here that soon as there is not much interest on this board at this time for obvious reasons). Either way -- please let me know how it goes, as I am curious whether I have been able to answer your question.
  2. Why do you continue to "assume facts not in evidence"? As MinscS2 has repeatedly explained, a relationship between aunt and nephew in Westeros is simply not considered incest -- by anyone in Westeros. So there cannot be an "incest bomb" when no one in that society would consider the relationship to be incest. Incest is a big sin in Westeros -- but relationships are considered incest only if brother-sister or parent-child (and perhaps grandparent-grandchild, but I don't think that issues really comes up). So no incest between Jon and Dany -- no possible incest bomb. Will they have some reaction to finding out they are related by blood? -- of course -- but they cannot be a laughing stock or fools when no one in that society finds such a relationship to be incest.
  3. I don't see it at all. Yes, GRRM seems to like to put in historical events that in certain ways are to understood as presaging the future. But as Mark Twain is reputed to have said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes." So the future events will be reminiscent in some respects to the past events -- but not a simple repetition point by point. I don't think there is a time loop, and I don't think we "know" the ending based on the information provided in the books.
  4. I tend to think that would be too much ambiguity. I think GRRM wants to have some sense of how things have worked out for the main protagonists who survive -- just not every detail.
  5. Sure people have different perceptions regarding what qualifies as bittersweet -- and even more subject views on what qualifies as satisfying. But the people on this board are not representative of the average reader/viewer. The average reader/viewer is generally going to buy into whatever emotions the author/producers are pushing. In that sense, calling whatever ending is planned bittersweet is relatively easy. To be bittersweet, there must be a mixture of sad feelings and happy feelings -- that really is it -- if that goal is accomplished, then the ending is bittersweet. So there will not be complete devastation (with WW winning) and there will not be a cost-less victory with every main protagonist getting whatever he or she wants. Anything in-between arguably is bittersweet. And a story is bittersweet for readers/viewers -- not the characters. So a main character can die -- and the story is bittersweet as long as other characters people care about survive. So yes, the story will resolve the outcome for the main characters. And all of the main protagonists who survive will to some extent have some sort of hope of a better tomorrow but have suffered some form of cost as a result of the War -- but none is likely to get exactly what he or she wants. And even if one of the main protagonists dies (as I believe will happen), that does not make the entire story tragic because the readers/viewers have other main protagonists to identify with regarding their ultimate outcomes. Bottom line is that GRRM does not primarily have in mind the readers who analyze ever words with intensity and muddle over every possible theory (i.e., the people on this board). When GRRM uses a term like bittersweet, he is not asserting that every reader will agree -- but rather than for the vast majority of readers, who follow the emotional arc that he personally is trying to lead them to, will view the story as bittersweet.
  6. Assuming that we can trust GRRM and D&D to tell the truth (and on this score I think we can), as has been stated, GRRM has said that the ending will be bittersweet, while D&D have said that the ending (after being told the ending by GRRM) is bittersweet but also "satisfying." Of course, different people have their own sense of what these terms mean. I doubt, however, that the WW winning would be viewed as bittersweet or satisfying to GRRM or D&D (although I understand it could be for you). I know there is a contingent out there who are rooting for the WW, but I strongly suspect that they will have to write their own ending if they want the WW to be victorious over all of Westeros. I get the feeling from this post of yours that your personal definition of bittersweet (and probably satisfying) is quite different than mine (and I suspect GRRM's or D&D's). I think that Jon or Dany dying (but not both -- and not other major characters, like Tyrion, Arya, Sansa and Bran) and a victory over the WW after massive (but not total) devastation in Westeros -- with the beginnings of rebuilding -- definitely has the makings of bittersweet and satisfying if done right. While such an ending might seem largely predictable and not trope-breaking, I think people who expect that GRRM was ever going for a trope-breaking ending misunderstand what GRRM is all about.
  7. I guess I don't really see it that way. I find it highly unlikely that both Dany and Jon survive to the end. I think that the rest of the main protagonists -- Sansa, Arya, Tyrion and Bran will survive (although Bran may be something that is not really human by that point). The bittersweet ending that I suggested above is fairly close to the bittersweet ending your Witcher 3 bittersweet alternative had (just replace Ciri with Jon and it is almost identical). The biggest difference, of course, is that Jon suffers a bigger personal loss during the battle (and of course, for Dany, it is tragic -- but ASOIAF has multiple main protagonists, so all of them don't have to survive for a bittersweet ending -- and at least one of Dany or Jon seems destined not to survive). So I don't think that protagonists will die left and right -- but there are 5-6 main protagonists (people differ on whether Sansa counts -- I think she does so I include 6 main protagonists), and while most of them won't die, at least one of them can and I think probably does. The last book is supposedly going to be called A Dream of Spring -- which suggests that the book will end with the hope of a better tomorrow -- but the readers won't actually get to see that better tomorrow. Jon being the reluctant King of Westeros, organizing the rebuilding of the Kingdoms after defeating the WW, seems like a Dream of Spring to me.
  8. What I suggested above (following up on MrJay) as the ending does not seem like that happy an ending to me -- but let me expand on what could be the ending. I am not specifically predicting this ending, but I think it is quite possible. Assume that Dany dies in battle before giving birth, so Jon loses his lover (or wife perhaps by this point) and his child. Assume further that Jon feels in some respects responsible for her death (in some way, Jon has to choose between saving the "world" or trying to save Dany -- and chooses to let Dany die). Also assume that Westeros is in tatters -- with a huge percentage of the population killed in the War against the WW. Sure, the WW get defeated and Westeros starts the rebuilding process. And perhaps Jon becomes King -- but he does not really want to be King and takes it out of obligation because there is no one left to take the position. Such an ending seems completely in line with the clues that have been set up in the books and in the show. And I think that while this ending does not undermine every trope in the fantasy legion (I really don't think that a satisfying ending could), it certainly qualifies to me as bittersweet (maybe even more bitter than sweet).
  9. Clearly, in this context (and in many places even today), the term "incest" is limited to brother/sister or parent/child (or presumably grandparent/grandchild). SeanF obviously meant this definition of incest. So a marriage of cousins or uncle to niece would NOT be considered incest. Outside of the Targs (who had their own rules), the rest of Westeros spoke against incest quite clearly -- but had this more narrow definition. So the rest of Westeros, including the North, considered incest to be an abomination. They just did not consider cousin or avuncular marriages to be incest. So SeanF was NOT wrong. Look up the Stark Family Tree online and you will find uncle/niece (actually half-uncle/half-niece) marriages up the tree.
  10. I don't have much to add to the rest of your points (mostly agree with them) -- but I wanted to clarify this one issue. Of course you are correct that we don't know how must "fresh blood" really is being introduced. I get that and understand that we don't have the full family trees of all the Houses in the North (or elsewhere). But the point I was trying to make is that even if we give @Lollygag every benefit of the doubt possible -- that there is a pattern (I am not sure that there really is one -- but assume there is) and that there really is a marriage among close relatives only after truly "new blood" has been introduced (again, we cannot be sure of this given the limited family trees -- but assume it is true) -- it would not be meaningful evidence in support of the thesis being put forth. If such a "pattern" or "rule" existed in Westeros, someone in-universe would have hinted at it. Someone would have made some comment along the lines that their House only permits cousins to marry if some number of generations has passed between the last such intra-House marriage -- or some clue in the direction of such a rule. But the readers/viewers get nothing like that from any of the characters. The characters talk about the sins regarding incest. And the definition of incest (outside the Targs) seems to be limited in Westeros to parent/child and brother/sister relationships. Other than incest, there is no mention of any other restrictions on relationships (ignoring polygamy for this purpose, as that gets into a whole different discussion not relevant to this analysis). So any perceived pattern would simply be a correlation without any reason to believe causation. There are multiple reasons (many of which you put forth) to explain why bringing in brides from other Houses can be helpful to a ruling House. That benefit is more likely to be the "cause" of the correlation than some rule that is never mentioned in the text (or on the show) that Westeros has some elaborate notion of incest or permissible marriages among relatives that looks to how recently a similar marriage occurred. The way that all of the "rules" are expressed in Westeros simply are not consistent with such a nuanced rule -- and we never hear any discussion to support this theory. Noticing a presumed pattern (whether really a pattern or just the appearance of a pattern) and then constructing some "law" or "rule" that must have cause the pattern is simply faulty logical reasoning. Some other independent evidence for the existence of the "law" or "rule" to support the causation premise must be found -- and here no such evidence has been presented.
  11. @Lollygag-- I am not quite sure what you mean by the "incest problem" being addressed elsewhere. Certainly people have shown that incest is considered a sin in Westeros. Different groups in the series seem to have a different definition -- but only the Targs seem to have no form of prohibited incest (although presumably parent/child marriage would not happen even with Targs). People also have shown that incest is a problem in the real world for genetic reasons (and other reasons). But I have seen no evidence that there is any textual support that anyone in Westeros thought that incest between an aunt and nephew (or even brother-sister) might lead to genetic problems. The discussions of the evils of incest among the characters never get at any genetic defects likely to occur as a result of the incest -- they are prohibited because they are "sinful" or "abominations" -- the analysis never goes further than that. And the one quote you provided from Barristan does not attribute any of the Targ issues to the genetic issues regarding incest. Keep in mind that in the books at least, almost no one thinks it odd that all of Cersei's children with Robert have blonde hair (Ned needs to do extensive research to figure this out -- while in modern times, the issue would be obvious). People in that society simply have little understanding of genetics. Yes, I agree that GRRM is careful. But I think that proves the opposite of what you think it proves. Sure, a marriage between uncle(aunt) and niece(nephew) might not be that common in Westeros. But GRRM would not include such marriages in the Stark family tree for no reason at all. He included them to show that they were not prohibited. He does not want Jon to have a crisis regarding "incest" with Dany. There are many other issues to be addressed in terms of Jon's identity as a Targ that will be front and center. Adding the "ick" factor for Jon to have to get over that he is committing incest with his aunt simply is not part of GRRM's plan. How do we know? Well, we don't "know" but his inclusion of these types of marriages in the Stark family tree is huge clue. In this society, either a type of relationship is permitted or not permitted. In the Stark family tree -- they were permitted. They cannot be "sort of" permitted. We have no evidence that some special dispensation was needed to permit these marriages (and there were at least two). Your notion of complex rules involving "new blood" being added or being discouraged (but not prohibited) are just too complicated and legalistic for this type of society.
  12. Quite interesting -- but not relevant to whether Barristan thought that Targ madness was a result of incest. You were responding to a post by LV that no one connects incest with bad effect and you posted the quote from Barristan in response. But Barristan does not mention incest or inbreeding -- just a problem with the Targs (just as people make generalizations about the traits of Starks and Lannisters, without any thought that they are involved with incest). So the Barristan quote does not support the proposition that you were asserting it supports With respect to a prior post of yours in which you noted that you were demonstrating an observed "pattern" -- I would emphasize that correlation is not causation. Sure, maybe you are correct that close relationship marriages seem to occur only after new blood was recently introduced -- but so what. Again, correlation is not causation. Without some textual evidence that the intervening "new blood" had anything to do with making the close relationship marriage permissible, you are engaging in a classic logical flaw. There are numerous alternative reasons for this pattern other than some societal rule that requires it.
  13. There won't be that sort of build up or convincing of Jon -- if it happens. And such action likely would not be exactly like the original Nissa Nissa perhaps. For example, Dany might be mortally wounded and Dany begs Jon to kill her so that he can ride Drogon and continue the battle. I am sure there are numerous other scenarios in which Jon is forced to sacrifice Dany in some way to save humanity. Also remember that the third betrayal of Dany -- the betrayal for love -- presumably has not occurred yet. Jon killing Dany could be the betrayal for love. The details are difficult to determine, as GRRM could have constructed all sorts of scenarios we could not imagine to line up such action. But the foreshadowing and clues hint at Dany dying by Jon's hand in some fashion. Arguing that Jon will not be persuaded to take this action is not really a strong argument because if GRRM wants Jon to be convinced to take the action -- Jon will be convinced. Nothing in the story makes Jon killing Dany impossible. GRRM (and by extension, D&D) has as many ways as his imagination can invent to lead to such a resolution.
  14. But he does not connect this issue to inbreeding. The quote is about Targs either being mad or great. If inbreeding is seen as an inherent problem, then why would any of the Targs be great after so many generations of inbreeding? This observation is one about House Targ in terms of a family trait that is observed -- but no one seems to think that this trait is the negative repercussion from generations of incest.
  15. Not to butt in -- but I presume that a public exchange is permissive of butting in. I think that this paragraph is what really matters. Even if someone could "prove" that cousin/cousin or uncle/niece marriages have only been done every once it a while, that finding would seem to be irrelevant. The readers/viewers have NO indication from the books or the show that "incest" or permissible marriages are at all tested by how recently a similar close marriage occurred in the bloodline or whether fresh "blood" has been introduced recently. Every available evidence is that certain groups (like the Targs) considered brother/sister marriages permissible, while most others did not. But either brother/sister marriages are permissible always or never -- no suggestion has ever been made that a brother/sister marriage is permissible only if it has been a couple of generations since the last brother/sister marriage. The same logic in this type of medieval society would apply to groups that permitted cousin/cousin marriages or uncle(aunt)/niece(nephew) marriages. Either they are permitted or not permitted. And clearly the Stark tradition permits such marriages, as they were practiced by the Starks. There is absolutely no hint at all that such a marriage is only permitted if new bloodlines had been introduced recently. As you note, people in this type of society have no idea about the genetic problems with inbreeding. The original rule may have been set down due to an observation by certain elites of these problems (who knows as not really relevant how the rule came to be developed) -- but the vast majority of people would have no idea and the rules would not be so nuanced as to permit certain types of marriages based on how recently new bloodlines were introduced. Such a rule is way too complicated for this type of society.