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Poobah

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  1. Urgh yeah. I think Farseer is very well written, and maybe this is just how it interacted with my depression but I've never been so filled with loathing for a protagonist, I found the entire thing utterly bleak and soul-crushing and I doubt if I'll ever read them again. It's like the opposite of Gentleman Bastard - Fitz is a character who could have plenty of power and agency if he chose to exercise it but refuses again and again and drives his own suffering, misery, loneliness, and denial of happiness, whereas Locke and Jean are characters constantly buffeted by the winds of fate, placed in situations where they have no choices, forced in to things and yet they thrive against adversity, succeed where failure was the only option, fight back, hold on to their friendship, and find light and levity amidst the shit they're constantly thrown into.
  2. Serious question: how drunk will I need to be to find something approaching enjoyment from The Rise of Skywalker?
  3. Both of these things suck. Reading about this has definitely made me lose some respect for Butcher. I don't tend to want to know the politics (what a fucking mental world it is that things like scientific truth and public health and safety are a matter of politics) of the authors I read and to thus point Butcher had as far as I am aware done a good job of not publicly voicing any of that bullshit. This seems like a pretty bold strategy to piss people off and seem like an asshole ahead of his first major book release in 5 years. This is a little different to say, JK Rowling being a massive fucking TERF, or Orson Scott Card's rabid homophobia so I'm still gonna buy it, but it certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like this is a little unfair - I think the books, especially the earlier ones do tend to follow the same general structure, and I'm not gonna argue The Dresden Files is a masterwork of literature or anything, far from it, but they're fun, action-packed, fast paced, and just generally easy and enjoyable to read. I think it's worth somewhat of a comparison to an adjacent genre which I enjoy - the police procedural - when I watch an episode of CSI, or Law and Order, or Castle, or White Collar, or whatever the next new show Netflix or Amazon throw at me is I'm not really watching to find out if they solve the murder / mystery or not, because of course it's getting solved just in time for a nice clean denouement too, and it'll be one of the people we already met early on and all the threads will converge into one nice neat solve. I mean sometimes the details of the crime/mystery or the way the plot unfolds will be interesting but in general it's all mapped out already, so what I'm really watching them for is the characters and how they go about approaching this week's case, their banter, their side-stories about their lives, how these people and their relationships evolve and grow over time, that kinda stuff. Likewise with The Dresden Files while I am interested in what particular flavour of plot Butcher pulls out (though there have been less and less standard adventures lately, with only the most recent book Skin Game being more to formula, this time a heist caper) but mostly I'm invested in the characters, and the worldbuilding which I quite enjoy because I think it's pretty cool that he's created this setting where every mythology is true, and all the stuff I guess I'd call the ongoing meta-story whether it be the more epic progressing story-arc or just characters growing, interacting with each other, how their relationships grow and evolve and how everyone lives their lives and grows older - I think it's one of the few book series where that sort of pacing exists so that enough time passes that you get this natural evolution of the characters that have, literally, grown with you. Compared to, say, The Wheel of Time which I should add is a series I like and am not taking the piss out of here, but in WoT it takes over 4 million words across 14 books to go through 2 years so while it might not feel that way because of the sheer weight of words, if you stop to think about the timeline, it's insane how rapidly all the characters progress and advance both in terms of power level (of their skills/abilities, magical powers, and political influence and accumen) and just general arcs of growth and such.
  4. I think Butcher does a decent job of keeping the short stories unnecessary, while providing some fun snapshots into slightly more average, usually lower stakes, days for Chicago's #1 professional wizard. My favourites are mostly those which are written from other points of view - it's nice to get out of Harry's head for a bit for a start, and I think that it says something for Butcher as a writer how distinctly different each character's narration feels, but most of all I think the non-Harry stories are the most interesting because they can expand the world and show us insights into things Harry's never going to see or know. I'm particularly interested in reading more from Molly and Marcone, though I'd be happy to read more from any of the characters we've seen so far, and I do really hope Butcher gets around to writing more following Luccio in the wild west.
  5. Hah yes! It's a hell of a thing. At least you don't have to wait 18 months for the next book! Edit to add: If you have Side Jobs (I highly recommend both of the DF short story collections) now's definitely the time to read Aftermath a Murphy PoV story that starts ~1 hour after the final scene of Changes.
  6. Finished the final season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power which I loved. All the feels! I'm not crying, you're crying. Also figured out that I'd actually kinda missed a season of Agents of SHIELD (though I imagine I knew it existed at the time and was just waiting for it to be available on a service I had access to) so now I'm starting season 6, always a nice surprise to find there's a bunch of unwatched episodes available for a show you like.
  7. I'd suggest that Rand's absurd inability to kill women must be something taken directly out of Jordan's psyche. I've noted in the past that it's icky as fuck that male baddies universally die whereas female ones mostly end up alive with some sort of "karmic punishment" "fate worse than death" type deal. Frankly I hope we see less or even none of this in the show. Absolutely nothing would be lost if all the Shaido including Galina are wiped out, or if Suroth were executed, or Liandrin killed by Moghedien for her failure, to name but a few random ones that stick out in my mind. Not to even get in to all the female forsaken rape punishment stuff - tbh I think if Jordan had any particular fetish per my earlier disagreement with @Jace, Basilissa it was (significantly more disturbingly) for punishment rape, rather than spanking. Urgh GoT's Dorne I've always felt that if anything WoT had room to expand on some of its plots. I mean certainly we're not going to get fleshed out roles for all the named characters but at the same time WoT's plot is a lot less intricate and intrigue-y than ASoIaFs and certainly contains way less ultra important dialogue which is the biggest time drain when it comes to translating from page to screen IMO. Plus so much of the pagecount is either a) before Travelling is just people getting from A to B and b) after Travelling Jordan feeling like he needs to keep including full length chapters of characters sitting around doing not much just so we can catch up with them and treat them as important characters doing important things when really he'd just not written as much plot for them or he was stalling out the clock waiting for timelines to converge for things to happen at the right time for the plot (particularly I'm thinking of some of the Egwene and her army+siege stuff, lots of Elayne's succession stuff, oodles of Perrin bullshit, anything involving that damn circus). With regards to characters I think there are some characters who might drift in and out of focus, and there are a lot of less important ones who can just stay forever out of focus but I think it'd be really really hard to remove or merge major ones, certainly harder than with GoT because WoT has a written ending and complete arcs of significance / plot relevance for the actual conclusion of the series for most of them. Only in her own massively ego-inflated mind! But really I picked Egwene as a crazy extreme example, because if we're getting to the absurd point of taking the axe to major characters like Min then the argument could be made for Egwene too - you could give her Rebel Amyrlin role to Siuan, and have either Aviendha step up to do all the dreamwalking or have it be Moiraine who learns it from the Wise Ones and subsequently passes it on to Siuan, Elayne or Nynaeve could easily be the one to get leashed at Falme etc. Agree, as I said above I think most of the speculative discussion of the supposed necessity of axing or merging characters all over the place is greatly exaggerated in a lot of fan speculation.
  8. She's a rando Aes Sedai, certainly not important. I'm pretty sure her only appearance is when she's being tortured by Semirhage, maybe she also appears in New Spring in passing? The information about her is used to give Aran'gar a cover story that she was a friend of Cabriana so she could infiltrate the rebel Aes Sedai under the alias "Halima".
  9. I totally agree. I'm... unsure about whether or not I think Jordan had some sort of kink or fetish. On the one hand I do think there's what I would regard as an unusually large/frequent amount of spanking but none of it reads hot or sexualised which seems bizarre if someone were writing their kink into their world. The one Semirhage PoV where she tortures Cabriana Mecandes and her warder he even has a totally legitimate excuse, but I re-read it just now for this post and the scenario is ripe for it but Semirhage our supposed sociopathic (psychopathic?) sexual sadist seems.... bored, introspective, her mind wanders, she's not at all engaged in the moment and to me that's sorta telling. Like, I can understand why someone might write an interrogator that way, but I don't think someone interested in or knowledgable about sadomasochism would write Semirhage like that given what we're supposed to believe about her.
  10. Absolutely. Min's a unique and pivotal character. I'd find it easier to cut Elayne or even Egwene than Min. I remember rather liking Silviana. I certainly wouldn't describe her as a bitch - I should note that I don't support any kind of (non consensual) corporal punishment of anyone, but that is a very modern view and I accept that it is regarded as entirely acceptable and proper in Randland so I don't judge Silviana purely for doing it and all her classic Jordan ass-spanking was impersonal not done out of any sense of malice towards Egwene (or, for that matter sadistic enjoyment) if anything she regarded it as a regretful necessity in my recollection. She did her duty to carry out a punishment set by her ruler but didn't take any pleasure in it the way it seems many of the Reds would have, she showed ongoing concern for Egwene's well being and eventually rebelled against Elaida over her growing demands for increasingly inhumane treatment. To my reading that says good things about her overall character given the context of the society she is in. Egg made her her new Keeper of the Chronicles.
  11. On the one hand I do tend to agree with.... I also find it uncomfortable and kinda squicky when fandoms decide to ship every single fucking pairing under the sun, especially when they take an intimate platonic friendship and add sex to it because that's what gets shippers off. I also agree that them both being in love with Rand is a major motivating factor within the beginnings of Elayne and Aviendha choosing to consciously develop their pre-existing friendship into something deeper, I think it's unfair to say that what grew into the deep bond of sisterhood that they develop to the point of going through that Aiel bonding / rebirthing-as-sisters / (wedding?) ceremony together to formalise it is about Him, I think it's explicitly the opposite. As we see with Gaul's troubles trying to court Chiad the thing with being first-sisters (or, presumably brothers) with someone to the Aiel is that to them their relationship with their "first-sibling" is their most important relationship, more important to them than something so banal as a someone that one of them might want to marry. Becoming first-sisters is saying "you're my best friend, you're my family, I'm never anyone else (certainly not just some attractive man-meat) divide us" and so Chiad won't start any kinda relationship with Gaul because Bain is more important to her and she has a veto, they both have to want it or neither will allow their primary relationship to be threatened. That relationship is explicitly hierarchically superior to that of a husband or lover as far as Aiel customs (which are as strong as laws to the Aiel) are concerned, and that's the relationship Elayne and Aviendha consciously choose to cultivate and formally instate/acknowledge, I don't think that's minor and I don't think it's just something they did because of Rand and I think it's very clearly not secondary to what they have with Rand. Contextually they both spend most of the series apart from Rand and with each other - in terms of page time I think Rand spends like, fewer than 10 chapters with Elayne total in the entire series, Aviendha spends all of TSR and TFoH with him though she spends most of it berrating him for his lack of respect and understanding of Aiel culture, generally tsundere-hating him, reminding him he belongs to Elayne and embarrassing him by describing how hot she is, then when they eventually have Igloo sex she's so consumed by guilt that she runs off to find and confess to Elayne at the earliest opportunity. After that Elayne and Aviendha spend the next 6 books together, interacting with Rand once in that time (after they became first-sisters) to bond him and so Elayne can get to ride the dragon Rand meanwhile spends pretty much the entire series from the point at the start of LoC where Aviendha leaves up until the last battle with Min, which is clearly (in my eyes) his actual primary relationship - his relationships with Elayne and Aviendha are mostly symbolic and of thematic (and author-wank) rather than plot relevance. The way (female) homosexuality / bisexuality is depicted in WoT is at best problematic, and frankly, I think the adaption badly needs to do better in this area or not comment on it at all given that the canon line seems to be that "pillow friend" relationships are seen as somewhat juvenile and a woman just needs to find the right man to settle down with.
  12. With regards to the show I think the general speculation is that given the mention of polyamory and it being understood that Rand just having a straight up harem of wives is kinda icky, it seems the most obvious and most in line with the existing canon course to take is to set sail on the Elayne and Aviendha ship, something a lot of people already shipped and tended to argue was already coded into the books anyway long before the show came around. Personally when it came to the books that isn't my interpretation of what Jordan wrote, but they undeniably form an extremely close, intimate, friendship, and frankly have much more emotional connection with each other than they do with Rand. It's pretty ironic really how Jordan handles romantic relationships and LOVE with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop whereas it seems that he can actually write something that can look very much like the foundation of an actual meaningful relationship if he just tries not to so instead of "they see each other and INSTANTLY FALL IN LOVE FOREVER, then a year later after occasionally thinking about that hotty they saw that one time meet up and, profess how they fell in love at first sight, kiss awkwardly and fade to black" he actually writes about two people getting to know each other and doing things together, sharing secrets, growing closer, talking together about mundane shit and complaining about the crap they have to deal with, y'know actually developing a relationship. While I read them as best friends I don't think it takes a particularly wild stab of imagination to interpret their relationship differently.
  13. I mean whenever Star Trek writers need a plot they tend to just throw a dart at a board and go with something tried and tested. I think every incarnation has had multiple transporter accident plots, godlike aliens screwing with the crew plots, plots about the crew screwing around with the prime directive to help / save / influence primitive aliens because who needs an ethical guideline about a species right to self-determination when you can impose your own moral framework, aliens have taken over our ship/station plots, one or all crewmembers acting weird because of drugs/space mojo/psychic possession plots... What's always interested me about Star Trek isn't the actual narrative they're telling, like the beats of the stories are usually more or less the same, especially with the episodic format you know everything will resolve to status quo by the end anyway. What I need to see from the writers are interesting and compelling characters and how they deal with those well-trodden story beats.
  14. I assume he's referring to Sanderson having the TEMERITY to include a casual mention that one third or perhaps even fourth tier character was gay (Lord Algarin, whose brother Emarin could channel and whose name he took for himself when he went to the Black Tower to learn). I assume that's what this guy is in a frothing rage about what with all those terrible liberals invading modern media with their homosexuals and their non white casting choices.
  15. No love for Guild Wars 2? It's my on-off game of choice, and generally seems to get praised for having an extremely friendly and welcoming community. I think ArenaNet as a studio seem pretty fucking useless on a number of counts, including their incapacity to market their own product, but the game is actually very fun to play, and while I think the lack of vertical endgame (which is what it might be most known for?) does tend to turn some off I think there's more than enough content there that even people who are purely "numbers go up" driven will be playing for a good while before they get to a point where they can only get prettier, or do narrative content for non numerically increasing rewards.
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