DominusNovus

Your favorite 'hateable' character

103 posts in this topic

On 9/25/2017 at 0:57 AM, DominusNovus said:

I doubt it. Just a reminder that this isn’t about wishcasting away the sins of the characters we like, or the virtues of thier opponents. The Starks clearly have built up a lot of political capital in their governance of the North over the generations. You can still like Roose without assuming it means the Starks suck.

Unrelated, but I just realized there’s a great character in this category that nobody has brought up: Viserys. He’s got all the great fantasy tropes going on, and, from Dany’s recollection, you can tell that he wasn’t a complete monster. Its obvious from events that he simply was not up to coping with the challenges he faced. A sort of royal ‘broken man’ if you will.

Tarly still has my vote, though.

Viserys is a good one although I'd argue he's closer to a monster than a broken man.  From Dany's recollections and fears of him, he's a very abusive and violent person.  I kind of imagine that if he had gained the Throne, he'd be no different than his father.  But yes, I agree that there's definitely a note of sympathy in AGOT about Viserys's completely deluded and weak character.  

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On 21.09.2017 at 10:18 PM, cgrav said:

Perhaps a kinder Robert would not have been murdered, but I don't think she'd be much better of a person on the inside.

Judging from Cersei's flashback, she was a horrible person since her childhood, but I still think her life circumstances helped a great deal to make her worse (and special thanks would go to Tywin and Robert).

As for the main thread - my world used to light up when Lord Tywin Lannister was taking the stage <3

And to a lesser extent, Roose Bolton.

Also, during re-reading, I have some fun while reading about Joffrey.

Edited by Tianzi

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On 9/23/2017 at 6:02 PM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Roose Bolton.  He betrayed the Starks and some Stark fans hate him for it.  I like him and I think we will learn that the Starks are not the honorable people in the story that we think they are. 

Interesting perspective, mind elaborating? 

 

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On 23.09.2017 at 3:19 AM, DominusNovus said:

I don’t think anyone in modern society is ‘super into feudalism,’ particularly Westerosi feudalism.  You know who really makes out like a bandit in a feudal society?  The Queen.  Its a pretty cushy job in a feudal society.  Job responsibilities:

  • Sleep with the King and get pregnant
  • Sleep with nobody else

In exchange for that, you get the best possible quality of life in the entire continent.

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5 hours ago, Chebyshov said:

Maybe part of the point of the series is holding up a lens to the inherent untenable nature of it even for the noble class with cushy jobs. Or something. You know, cause the "best possible quality of life" in that context is actually really shitty and oppressive?

If I had to chose between being consort to the ruling monarch and almost any other role in life in Westeros I would pick that. Cersei is many things, oppressed isn’t one of them. 

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2 hours ago, Tianzi said:

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And several thousand peasant women abused by their husbands would gladly swap places with her.

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1 minute ago, DominusNovus said:

And several thousand peasant women abused by their husbands would gladly swap places with her.

And not many sane noblewomen with normal families during the peacetime would (if they knew her circumstances, of course). And some of the luckier in life peasant women probably wouldn't either.

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Just now, Tianzi said:

And not many sane noblewomen with normal families during the peacetime would (if they knew her circumstances, of course). And some of the luckier in life peasant women probably wouldn't either.

You’re not wrong, but you’re using one of the most extreme examples to prove your point. I may as well argue against how free Wildling women are by using Gilly as an example.

Ceterus Paribus, the best possible spouse is the monarch.

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6 minutes ago, DominusNovus said:

You’re not wrong, but you’re using one of the most extreme examples to prove your point. I may as well argue against how free Wildling women are by using Gilly as an example.

Ceterus Paribus, the best possible spouse is the monarch.

Only you usually have one monarch to take as your husband during your marriageable period (let's forget Margaery Tyrell's case here...) and your choice is between him and other suitors, with several variables other than the social standing. If you already are in the position when you can marry the king, your other choices are probably meaty too. Now, how often the king will be the best bet, considering all the circumstances? I believe there is a thread nearby about how Ned Stark shouldn't have been ok with bethroting Sansa to Joffrey.

 

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24 minutes ago, DominusNovus said:

If I had to chose between being consort to the ruling monarch and almost any other role in life in Westeros I would pick that. Cersei is many things, oppressed isn’t one of them. 

Cersei is a woman in a patriarchal society. Now, she is obviously far less opressed than most of the other women on the continent, but still.

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16 minutes ago, Tianzi said:

Cersei is a woman in a patriarchal society. Now, she is obviously far less opressed than most of the other women on the continent, but still.

I’ll have to disagree here, but I really don’t have the energy to get into a lengthy discussion about patriarchy in pre-industrial societies on the verge of starvation like Westeros.

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1 hour ago, DominusNovus said:

If I had to chose between being consort to the ruling monarch and almost any other role in life in Westeros I would pick that. Cersei is many things, oppressed isn’t one of them. 

Oppression takes many forms, it isn't a simple "them and us". It's situational. Like in the modern day, are women oppressed because they earn less, or are men oppressed because they get longer prison sentances?

Cersei is wildly materially priviledged. And yet, she is basically Robert's, to rape whenever he feels like. How is it not oppression to have no right to consent, within a marriage you didn't choose anyway?

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Gregor Clegane. The most imposing and intimidating human warrior depicted in any fiction that I have read. A despicable dude and very easy to dislike but his bada$$ery is certainly impressive. 

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On 9/20/2017 at 6:52 AM, DominusNovus said:

 

Mine is Randyll Tarly.  I read him, and I can't help but admire his ability and direct nature.  He's basically the manifestation of the ideal of Westerosi feudalism, warts and all.  Yes, he's unforgivably brutal to Sam, yes, his attitude toward women, particularly Brienne, galls the reader and is harsh even by Westerosi standards.  He reminds me of a slightly less ruthless Tywin, minus several of Tywin's more notable character flaws.  He's not viciously ambitious, he's not manipulating those around him, he's just, well, he's very comfortable with the idea of his place in a feudal society (you can't blame him, he's got a nice spot in the hierarchy): be a soldier, follow your liege, rule effectively over your smallfolk, and raise your son to do the same.  All of his flaws are tied into the nature of his society; his derision for Sam's bookish nature is based in Randyll's view of his duty - and, by extension, his family's duty - as the Lord of Horn Hill.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can look at Randyll, and, even if you dislike him, he's immensely understandable.

Thats my unpopular pick for a character I just can't help but like, whats yours?

Literally came here to say exactly this :D 
 

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I'll also say Randyll. He's definitely a bastard in a lot of ways (ordering a prostitute's vagina to be soaked in lye, telling Brienne it'll be her fault if she gets raped, siding with Mace's blatant power-grab and almost single-handedly ensuring there'll be more war via his actions at Bitterbridge) but he seems principled in a way most characters aren't. It helps that he never rapes or murders anybody, unlike fan favorites like Tyrion and Daenerys. I also side with him 100% on Sam (except for not letting him become a maester before going to the Wall, that was just spiteful), who was extremely weak mentally as well as physically and absolutely should not be trusted with peoples' lives. I honestly think he was more patient with Sam than, say, Ned would have been.

Though maybe my perception is just being colored by the chapters where Sam was a worthless shit who got better men killed.  Also Dickon seems to be doing fine.

Edited by Nihlus

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12 minutes ago, Nihlus said:

siding with Mace's blatant power-grab

This is one thing about Randyll that doesn't bother me too much. It's pretty much the definition of fealty, and feudalism is built on the idea of vassals being loyal to their liege as long as their liege isn't breaking his side of the bargain or committing treason.* And Randyll does seem to be doing it because he takes his feudal obligation deadly seriously, not because it gives him an excuse to be nasty, or because he hopes Mace will kick down some of the rewards.

Of course feudalism is not actually a great system, and we have good reason to be more sympathetic to characters who struggle with the inherent evils of the system on their way to redemption, like Jaime and Sandor, than ones who fail to notice those evils, like Randyll (or who revel in them, like Tywin). But it is the system they have, and Randyll doing his job doesn't seem bad to me in the same way as what he did with the prostitute, or Brienne.

---

* And Mace wasn't committing treason. Certainly not to Renly, who was dead. Or to Stannis, because he and Randyll had obviously decided Stannis wasn't the rightful king. Slimy? Yes. Evil? Arguably. But not treason, and therefore Randyll's duty is to back it up. Of course if either Mace or Randyll becomes convinced that fAegon, or Dany, is the rightful king, while the other one doesn't, then Randyll considering some action of Mace's to be treasonous becomes a lot more likely…

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Cersei - I do not like reading her chapters, it is not pleasant, but I often feel like defending her at the forums. Maybe I read Jaime @ Brienne shipper's forums too much because I am one of them, but Cersei gets a lot of undeserved criticism there. 

Randyll Tarly would possibly be a good hand of the king, as Jaime once suggested. There would be system in his actions which people would learn with time. I do not hate him, even I am not sure I am supposed to.

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Roose Bolton, no question.  He is my favorite character of the ones that are in the expected list of hated characters.  I'd even like to see him live, not win anything, just live.......back to the Dreadfort, I guess? w Fat Walda and a kid or two, LOL

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17 hours ago, DominusNovus said:

I’ll have to disagree here, but I really don’t have the energy to get into a lengthy discussion about patriarchy in pre-industrial societies on the verge of starvation like Westeros.

Martin's not writing a historical documentary, so that'd be about as useful as nipples on a breastplate. Let's look at the patriarchal society in the books.

And to that point, it's pretty damn clear in the narrative that Cersei's societal value is her baby-making capabilities (like all other noble women), and if you're confused as to why having your personhood reduced down to being a shiny baseball card is oppressive (along with not having the right to consent, as @mankytoes already pointed out), then you likely don't understand the concept at all.

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