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Agnessa Schizoid

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  1. My fav example is Hongwu Emperor, paranoid and cruel tyrant who started successful dynasty, bringing peace and order to war torn China. His personality in later years reminds me of Stalin - he said once to execute thousands of citizens of Nanjing after one was heard talking about him without respect - not to mention thousands of officials with friends and families who fell victims to his paranoia. "First emperor" also seems like extremely cruel piece of work. Speaking of Stalin, USSR was strong empire for decades after his death, whatever else you can say about it, as such surviving WWII which killed about few dozens millions overall. Tyrans actually have pretty good track record on building sustainable empires particularly. Those were rarely forged without extreme cruelty, "fire and blood". Whether it was worth it is different thing entirely. I think Aegon I is much more pertinent example. He and his sisters used their dragons much more than Dany possibly could (simply b/c hers are much smaller) and it led to creation of Westeros, yay! Losing dragons eventually led to Targs losing empire and subsequent civil wars. So if anything history of Westeros teaches any prospective monarch that smart use of dragons is a way to go...
  2. I am sure Aegon will be another Martin's example that Best laid plans of mice and men (gang aft a-gley, which WTF)))). You can no more create ideal (or anywhere near ideal) king purposefully than you can fulfill prophecy by checking off requirements. It either happens orgаnicаlly or not аt аll. There are too many variables to predict them all. Bet we'll be shown it. Even Doran's best laid plans, as sympathetic as they are (he has good reason for revenge & put it off out of noble considerations) will end up in chaos via our merciless author. If Varys truly hopes to bring prosperity to Westeros by throwing it into horrible civil wаr and then brining his own creature to rule, his plans are even less likely to result in much good. Don't think Aegon will be another monster, hope not, its' getting old, too many absolute monstrosities already in series lauded for psychological realism, but his personality problems which already demonstrated themselves a bit (in this series such signs rarely lead to nothing, but usually portain trouble to come) will play their role together with difficult circumstances he'll be put in.
  3. Dany and Viserys had same blood and titles. And yet... In general, majority of important characters in the books are nobleborn. it stands to reason - few baseborn folks would be able to read or hold any influence. Davos is one of exceptions, from women, one can think of Willow, Ellaria Sand, Arya - sure, she's noble, but her fits are mostly of cunning and physical bravery, and her strength of character is all of her own.
  4. What a bizarre argument. Margaery is about to be married off to sadistic psychopath whether she wants it or not, she sees him humiliating his uncle and can imagine what will happen to her if she displeases him. For Roslin her marriage to Edmure is a dream come true, a once in a lifetime opportunity to get decent hustand and get away from Twins, where majority of offsprings and women especially are given as much respect as cattle. Only she won't become the Lady of Riverrun because her wedding is about to be turned into bloodbath. Btw, I was an excellent liar even as a child. My own mother couldn't tell if I am lying or not. Some people are just good actors. You believe in what you're saying in the moment so it's convincing. More relevantly, we'll soon see Sansa lying pretty convincingly under duress. ETA: If Tyrells didn't plan to kill Joffrey, it would be beyond moronic for them to use such an important and triumphant moment as Marge wedding into royal family to kill relatively unimportant guy like Tyrion, who can be killed at any time. Joffrey is harder to get to however and it's their last chance to do it before Marge becomes "spoiled goods".
  5. There was a talk about Russia in the thread and you guys either overestimate or underestimate Russian people. We're not scared organized crowd living in fear of police or MVD (not sure i've ever seen anyone from MVD in my life), we're more like part fatalist/part devil-may-care with some pointless panic thrown in people, who as soon as they hear about a new law, start coming up with ingenious ways to work around it (or ignore it straight up). Cops mostly only pretend to be busy, authorities are mostly lazy and/or corrupt, and nobody trusts them. I am surprised that at least Moscow citizens seem to have taken recommendations somewhat to heart. Here in my city, the stores, public transport and official organizations are full of elderly people sitting or standing as close to each other as possible. We have a week long moratorium on work beginning Monday (you know what I mean) and already tons of organizations are planning to keep on working anyway. People buy everything like crazy b/c they realize that the prices are about to shoot up so everywhere is very busy and orders are on the rise. I understand where this fatalism is coming from, I'd feel similarly myself if I didn't have to worry about my mother, though I'd still not act like a total asshole - why people can't stay two meters away from each other or take turns riding elevator is bizarre to me. I think typical russian attitude is this: 2 days after terrorist attack in our subway, journalists tried to enter subway with lots of metal in the bag. The gates at the entrance were pinging, however, the guards simply waved them through. It happened everywhere, including the very station that was hit by attack. There is a saying in my country (bad translation time) "The severity of laws is diminished by how unnecessary it is to follow them".
  6. I've just read that it's 793 people in Italy, in a day. Frigging day. It's good that some people can afford to self-isolate. I live with my mother in one apartment (Yes, I know how that sounds in US and most of Western Europe ) with one bathroom, which is typical for my country. I go to work (at least I don't have to use public transport), so if I get sick, she gets sick. and she has heart condition and type B diabetes. She wouldn't stay indoors in any case, nor do I think it's healthy not to do exercising in her age, it might be death sentence in itself. Wish I could convince her to just walk around without going to buy groceries, but I don't think it's humanly possible.
  7. Well, real Middle Ages had pretty static society, you were supposed to stay in same lane as your parents. If you father was a member of one guild, you'll inherit his position, not even talking about moving up form the class you were born into. Free Cities are already in Renaissance mode, which offers a little more opportunities and more ambitions.
  8. Belgariad was infantile, badly written POS. I've actually had a misfortune of trying to read this derivative crap.
  9. Heh, he also thought women are obviously inferior to men, so yeah.
  10. But you like slavery better? Because that's what it sounds like. It's pretty funny to judge harshly a person for not respecting Dothraki superstition (and that's what it is) when you don't like them trying to stop a form of slavery where children are killed routinely and openly as means of production or just for fun. Putting an end to something like that should be anyone's top goal, by any means necessary. Those are weird priorities, I am just saying.
  11. Exactly) Besides, dying from hunger is grosser still. It is one of the most painful and horrible ways to die, and if anyone thinks they would be above it they are most likely mistaken. It's like wadding through a ditch filled with shitwater, disgusting and even unimaginable in normal state, but if the bear is running after you, you won't even think twice. Even if I accept that cruel medieval laws would be unforgivable on this (that's pretty realistic), there is no call to execute these people in such a sadistic fashion. Stannis takes harsh laws of Westeros and turns them crueller still. Besides, you have to set up fires in specific way for people to burn alive rather than choke on hot air beforehand, common cause of death during burnings, and it seems like it was done. Even Mirri died faster, even though it was still cruel. After her head was on fire (it was covered in oil IIRC), she wouldn't last long. These people were basically burned to crisp. I'm not sure if they chose to be soldiers, either. Probably conscripted.
  12. I agree. To me it just killed any sympathy I had for Tyrion. I understand how he would want to kill Tywin to avenge Tysha, but I would think, after realizing that you've raped and discarded the only person who loved you romantically, you would be filled with shame and remorse and humility. The last thing I would be likely to do is to go and brutalize YET ANOTHER woman for being a "dirty ho". Last time he did it it was to Tysha. He should be filled realization of enormity of his crime* and colossal regret, instead of judging other people, especially relatively helpless women. Yes, fine, Tywin pushed him into it, but still Tyrion did rape her, and I'd expect him to be his own harshest judge.
  13. I know, it was irony. I am there for deep exploration of class structures and how they developed and affected history, it's just not this particular book. GRRM has richly developed history of his world, but it's still story of individual monarchs and how their particular vices and goodness affected the world, not about development of class structures, means of production and economic factors and how they affected everything - in this regard the book is pretty simplistic. Even FaB read more like soap opera about dramatic lives of particular people. He doesn't sugar coat most things - it's not in his style - but that's just sense of realism. It would be hard to have gritty and realistic medieval fantasy with rosy picture of feudalism, especially during the times of civil war. And do we really need to be taught that feudalism isn't all that great? Most people, if anything, demonize middle ages overmuch rather that idealize it.
  14. Class values didn't demand that Tywin burn Riverlands, his pride did. They demanded for him to bring the matter to the king. His pride is aristocratic pride, but he clearly takes it to another level. and I've seen this type of "I don't even love my kid and won't spend time raising him properly but I'll push him to succeed and attack viciously anyone who criticizes him, because it's reflection on ME" in modern society as well, with less horrifying results admittedly. anyway, I guarantee that Martin doesn't think that there is little practical difference between Tywin and Ned. One way or another, some (usually priviledged) men will end up making decisions for many, and their choices and personal values will matter very much. I don't think Martin even shows us history in marxist view of it, it all goes down to personal decisions rather than movement of masses, his biggest attempt to show this would be Little Sparrows, in my opinion - societal movement based on new realities of the world, otherwise we're back to the fate of the world resting on decisions of Dany or Jon Snow, for example, so Ned's decision to save him (just one person) ends up being vitally important, rather than irrelevant subnote in story about inevitable movement of history which any single human can do little to change. I just don't see in him much interest in analyzing history in this way. We hear very little about middle class, clergy only now starts raising its head in any relevant way, we don't know much about economy, or even smaller matters of governing (who represents the Crown in the North?), etc, from that point of view world building is very sparse. It's almost as if GRRM is more interested in moral dilemmas of his powerful aristocratic protagonists.
  15. I suspect GRRM is more interested in criticizing the human nature itself. Isn't it obvious to anyone with half a brain that feudal society is far from perfect? anyone with any illusions about the knights must have missed school on the days they talked about Crusades. It's not awfully relevant and important to shatter our nonexistant illusions. Human nature however changed little, and we still have to deal with hard choices between selfish passions, desires and ambisions and the good of all of humanity. The aristocrats have more freedom of choice and so the story focuses on them most often, but the smallfolk aren't that different, we see if for example with BwwB, where the noble mission is overshadowed by (very understandable) anger and desire for revenge, not only from UnCat, but from people like Lem Lemoncloack, as well. Smallfolk rarely get much choice in their lives but if they did few wouldn't take opportunity to avenge their loved ones, enrich themselves, et cetera, even if it goes against greater good. For northerners to accept the wildlings, for Starks to work alongside Lannisters if need be, for endless cycle of revenge and war to end everyone has to rise above their base nature. People would have to be better than they are (even the good ones) to be able to fight existential threat together with their enemies. Modern society is equally divided, and WWI would leave us as badly prepared for invasion of Others as any medieval conflict, perhaps less so.
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