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  1. Krishtotter

    the purpose of Dany's arc

    Indeed. Could you ever see Dany settling down to determine tax policy for her kingdom, or doling out grain or other banal requirements of good governance? She was only ever about abstract ideals employed in the pursuit of her military conquests.
  2. Krishtotter

    the purpose of Dany's arc

    Not necessarily at odds You can be well-intentioned and idealistic but believe that brutal methods are necessary to implement those ideals, and also be cruel to go with it.
  3. Krishtotter

    Who was Daenerys turned into?

    Actually, many people underestimate the sheer industrial-scale killing of Robesperre's Reign of Terror (they don't call it a 'reign' for nothing, even though it only lasted less than a year). Norman Hampson notes in his biography of Robespierre that “the revolutionary tribunal . . . had become an undiscriminating murder machine. . . . Imaginary . . . plots and absurd charges were everyday events.” Dany had dragon-fire (a magical, fantasy weapon), Robespierre had the guillotine (a mechanised weapon). Both were instruments of public terror used en masse against civilians who had not been given fair and free trial but were slaughtered indiscriminately. The contemporary revolutionary Louis-Marie Prudhomme put the total number of victims drowned, guillotined, or shot during the 'Terror' throughout France at 300,000; of that number 17,000 were in Paris alone and only about 3,000 could be considered nobles (Robespierre justified the killings because his enemies were 'aristocrats', 'bourgeoisie' and 'counterrevolutionary royalists' but in fact the vast majority of his victims were peasants, the very peasants he had been 'fighting' to liberate!) In the city of Lyon, writes the English historian Simon Schama in Citizens, the guillotine began its work, but it was found to be “a messy and inconvenient way of disposing of the political garbage. . . . A number of the condemned, then, were executed in mass shootings. . . . [A]s many as sixty prisoners were tied in a line by ropes and shot at with cannon. Those who were not killed outright by the fire were finished off with sabers, bayonets, and rifles. . . . By the time that the killings . . . had finished, one thousand nine hundred and five people had met their end.” The commissioner in Nantes “supplemented the guillotine with . . . ‘vertical deportations.’ . . . Holes were punched in the sides of . . . barges. . . . Prisoners were put in with their hands and feet tied and the boats pushed into the center of the river. . . . [The] victims helplessly watched the water rise about them. . . . [P]risoners were stripped of their clothes and belongings . . . [Y]oung men and women [were] tied naked together in the boats. Estimates of those who perished in this manner vary greatly, but there were certainly no fewer than two thousand.” The Committee for Public Safety (aka Robespierre) sent Jean-Baptiste Carrier to Nantes: he arrived on October 20 1793 and stayed there until the middle of February. On November 16 1793, 80 priests were drowned together in a boat; on December 5 or 6 a further 58 were disposed of in the same manner; 10 days later drowning was opened up for "enemies of the people" more generally, and 129 Vendéens were drowned. Drownings spread far beyond Nantes: on 16th December, General Marceau sent a letter to the Revolutionary Minister of War triumphantly announcing, among other victories, that at least 3,000 non-combatant Vendéen women had been drowned at Pont-au-Baux. But General Westermann’s single finest day of slaughter took place at Savenay, on December 21. As he announced, to an appreciative and grateful Robespierre and Committee for Public Safety: In 1794, the armies of Revolutionary France were defeating coalition after coalition of enemy nations, which meant that the Terror was no longer necessary. But Robespierre continued the Terror because he wanted to purge France of everyone who was corrupt. He in fact stated that the Revolution had "no end". It would go on and on and on. The killing only ended when Robespierre was executed on July 28, 1794. To live in Robespierre's France was to inhabit something akin to a nightmare. In his speech of March 31, 1794, he stated: “I say: Anyone who trembles at this moment is guilty because innocence never fears public scrutiny.” Think about that for a second: if you trembled during an inquisition or inspection by the Revolutionary Army or security personnel, you were considered guilty. Imagine a legal system structured around such arbitrary notions of culpability and you have the makings of indiscriminate mass slaughter. The dichotomy drawn between innocence and guilt is based upon fear or lack thereof. True citizens of the Republic have no need to fear questioning by the Revolutionary Tribunal about where there loyalties lie. Anyone could be executed under the criteria of the Law of 22 Prairial. To quote one historian: "his complete identification with revolutionary ideals lead him to instigate the highly dangerous notion of trial by character". The likes of Stalin, Mao, Hitler and other later totalitarian despots were far more deadly reincarnations of the basic personality that Robespierre brought into politics and statecraft, and their much greater crimes have obscured the scale of what the former did. Robespierre was not just a "first among equals". By that stage, in 1793 - 94, the First French Republic had entirely abandoned any real semblance of democracy in practice, despite retaining the high-minded rhetoric in theory. The Committee of Public Safety, the National Convention (parliament)...these were elaborate set-pieces of window-dressing, cloaking a totalitarian revolutionary regime founded upon extra-judicial violence and intimidation, albdit behind a veneer of consensus-based normalcy. As Carl Schmitt correctly noted in his work, Dictatorship: "Robespierre dominated the Committee and the Committee dominated the Convention, which accepted all the former's proposals and decisions without discussion, unanimously". What's 'throwing' you here is that we are comparing a modernist dictatorship (Revolutionary France in the late 18th century) with a medieval feudal one (Dany's Westeros). If you account for the necessary differences between a near-contemporary political regime in a post-industrial, post-enlightenment world and a pre-modern one, the affinity in terms of personality, political philosophy and even policy between Dany and Robespierre become apparent. Robespierre needed to make his dictatorship look far more consensual and participatory than Dany did hers. But if he wanted you dead - as he did his own best friend from childhood Camille and his young wife, his rival Danton, the Girondins, the Herbertists and anyone else whom he deemed an "enemy of the people" (code term for a rival claimant to Robespierre) - then you were toast. People were being mowed down at the guillotine left-right-and centre at a truly astonishing rate - it has been described by one historian as an "undiscriminating machine of mass murder". What has shocked so many people down the years is that Robespierre managed to construct a truly awesome architecture of state terror, paranoia and mass murder, all behind the veneer of universal equality, republican liberty and social justice. And he never deviated, in principle, from those ideals: believing sincerely that state terror was the best and only means of delivering them. To celebrate the Revolution's victory against the enemies of freedom abroad and at home, Robespierre instructed in June 1794 that in the center of Paris, a papier-mache replica of a mountain was to be constructed. And guess who walked down that mountain, before the eyes of the adoring crowds? Robespierre appeared on top of it, of course, clad in a toga: http://timesillustrated.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/festival-of-the-supreme-being2.jpg Doyle, p. 277: "'Look at the bugger,' muttered Thuriot, an old associate of Danton. 'It's not enough for him to be master, he has to be God.'" http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/exhibits/show/liberty--equality--fraternity/item/3077 Remind you of anyone? The showrunners were not subtle in having Dany appear on top of a mound-like structure to deliver her idealistic speech.
  4. Krishtotter

    [Poll] How would you rate episode 806?

    Agreed, it may be that the showrunners selected Bran because a TV show needs a familiar face. Although, we won't know for sure for a while. But the "theme" will be the same, as I noted in my above post. Someone, whether Bran or other, will fulfil the same purpose with the same fantasy-subverting, anti-Aragorn elevation to the throne. It must happen, because GRRM is not a quasi-fascist "divine ruler/chosen hero" theorist as most fantasy authors (unfortunately) tend to be, if accidentally. The end ruler will not be a "conquering hero" with a claim by inheritance.
  5. Krishtotter

    [Poll] How would you rate episode 806?

    Absolutely loved this final episode. I rated it 10/10. What a pity much of what had come before it was worse than rotten, and I rate a lot of it 1-3 out of 10. Especially episode 3 with its appalling termination of the Night King plot and episode 4, with its numerous plot holes and logical implausibilities. But I could tell that this was George RR Martin's ending to the series rather than D&D's. They merely executed his wishes. And they didn't "get there" particularly well but the there when reached was actually very good. Jon returns to the "real north" and becomes the new King-beyond-the-Wall of the Freefolk. That was where he always belonged, with his and Ygritte's people, the successor to Mance Rayder, side-by-side with his faithful pup Ghost. Sansa finally gains the independence of the North and becomes rightful Queen of a free kingdom, no longer under Southron dominance, as daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark - and didn't she deserve it. After everything she and her family endured, she has more than vindicated the memory of her parents and ancestors. Her ancestor knelt to a Targaryen, whereas she bravely resisted the tyrant Queen and after her demise became the champion and leader of her people. That's my girl!!!! Arya, the girl who never wanted to be a "lady" and who learned at the end to forgo the cycle of vengeance that had driven her after her family's slaughter, becomes the Christopher Columbus of Westeros - the adventurer-in-chief, complete with her own hardy crew. And she doesn't marry Gendry, which is GREAT because she don't need no man. G'day captain Arya. Bran becoming King of the Six Kingdoms of Westeros (sans the Iron Throne) after an election by the nobility - I honestly thought, when I first reader the spoiler, that this was going to be absolute bollocks. Only it wasn't. In fact, it made perfect sense and fitted in with the overarching thematic agenda of the show and books, that no "divine right/born to rule" stock fantasy heroes like Aragorn (i.e. Dany or Jon Snow) win the throne but that a disabled boy, who would be a far better ruler because he actually has the requisite qualities and skills, is appointed to the role on the basis of merit rather than by inheritance. It's a great subversion of fantasy tropes, which typically exude an almost kind of "fascist" feel in supporting the claims of "destined" Chosen Ones. Real life isn't about "destiny" or assumed absolute right to rule, because there is no such thing. We make our own destinies. Very ASoIAF that surprising result. Dany, Dany, Dany....she ends exactly as I predicted and expected from the books: an idealistic, Robespierran anti-hero/villain with the best of intentions but the worst of methods and a grandiose self-righteous entitlement, messiah complex to go with her never-ending revolutionary world gospel of liberationist salvation through fire and blood. She could not have ended any other way and Jon did the underhand but ultimately noble, self-sacrificing act in saving millions of human beings in Westeros and around the world from her impending holocaust/final solution, by stabbing to death the woman he truly loved (the vulnerable girl at the beginning of the books and TV show, longing for her home with the red door) to take out the Dragon Queen dictator-in-the-making. It was beautifully acted by both Emilia and Kit. What a fantastic anti-hero/villain Daenerys was: it's extremely hard to depict a truly sympathetic villain and she is that ++++++. A lot more to say, about other characters (such as Tyrion) and the episode more generally but that will do for now. I thought it a very fitting end to the series as a whole and an oddly good finish to the ropiest season of television ever.
  6. Ah, here's the bit from the article @Werthead So definetely a book adaption in the pipeline, by the looks of things and GRRM has being offering him friendly input.
  7. I did read somewhere that Amazon was getting him to scout for books to adapt, so I reckon that an adaption of a novel (or two!) is certainly in the pipeline, along with original material. The article mentions that GRRM still advises him and that they would love to work together again if only their networks could allow it. In terms of the mystery project he's consulting on, I do think it's LoTR but I wonder what capacity "consultancy" entails? For some reason, he can't yet "disclose" his involvement.
  8. Krishtotter

    Possible explanation to "Dany gate"

    "That deep horror of tyranny, that compassionate zeal for the oppressed, that even more sublime and holy love for humanity, without which a great revolution is just a noisy crime that destroys another crime; it does exist, that generous ambition to establish here on earth the world's first Republic." - Maximillian Robespierre, 8 Thermidor 1794 "What shocks most in the portrait of Robespierre is that a quasi-invisible, highly isolated individual could worm his way into a position of total power at a crisis point in history, resulting in dictatorship and mass murder. Everyone has witnessed such figures, whether in the military, in religion, or in management: they impose rule through terror; they claim moral superiority; they engage a coterie of trusted lackeys; they refuse both constructive debate and answerability. Blood lettings brought about by this 'sincere' man surely warn us that belief in your own righteousness to the exclusion of all else can be as dangerous as the more cynical motivation of a deliberate tyrant." - Antonia Fraser CH, DBE, FRSL I agree with you that Dany - like most other authoritarian populists - suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder, or "ethical egoism" as it may be more aptly named. She can appear rather vulnerable and excessively 'needy' for affection (as when she tells Jon after Viserion dies, "I hope I'm worth it" with tears in her eyes), which is endearing up to a point but is equally suggestive of psychological imbalance, stemming in part from her abuse and neglect as a child hiding in exile from her father's killers. Because she never received it from her dead parents and psychotic older brother, she craves the adoration of huge, faceless crowds and lovesick obsessives like Jorah. And as long as she keeps receiving this and being told how great she is, Dany is capable of genuine magnanimity and kindness on her terms. But it is an entirely unequal partnership, without any semblance of equality of status. For a long time, my primary baseline for comparing her with a real world person has been the French Revolutionary dictator Maximilian Robespierre, and for good reason, because she is essentially his female, dragon-riding medieval doppelganger. Much like Dany, Robespierre lost his mother at six and was abandoned by his father. Maxim (his personal nickname) was on the surface - and by his own self-perceived narrative - a fundamentally charming, humane, progressive and self-effacing individual. He had, "many disconcertingly endearing features" (Ruth Scar, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution), such that on paper it was hard for his adoring sans-culottes (peasant Parisians) not to hero-worship him as the ideal 'man of the people'. Equal voting rights for all; abolition of slavery; dissolution of the aristocratic classes, these were his broad 'ideals'. He was dedicated to the liberation of the 'oppressed' and the destruction of their nebulously and ever more widely-defined 'enemies' (who oddly enough became increasingly indistinguishable from Maxim's own personal political rivals that he wanted to eliminate - what a coincidence!), beginning with monarchs, aristocrats and gentry. To quote one historian, "a gauche little green-eyed man obsessed with a Utopian vision of justice for the people" Robespierre, at the same time, exhibited "pure insanity and vile inhumanity", "an orator bent on manipulating the uneducated, illiterate masses with rabble-rousing Rousseau-inspired rhetoric" but was such a complicated architect of state terror that none could then, or now, doubt "his total and utter sincerity, however deluded...his own absolute moral rectitude allowed him to brook no weakness in others; his complete identification with revolutionary ideals lead him to instigate the highly dangerous notion of trial by character; his inherent paranoia impelled him to rule by dictatorial faction". Like Dany, he was disturbingly manichean in how he viewed the world and other people. He declared: “There are only two parties in France: the people and its enemies. We must exterminate those miserable villains who are eternally conspiring against the rights of man. . . . [W]e must exterminate all our enemies.” One historian notes that, "The justification of the massacres was that those killed were enemies of the republic, counterrevolutionaries who had conspired against that equality, justice, and reason whose realization would “establish the felicity of perhaps the entire human race.” In one massacre, recounts Schama, “Every atrocity the time could imagine was meted out to the defenseless population. Women were routinely raped, children killed, both mutilated. . . . At Gonnord . . . two hundred old people, along with mothers and children, [were forced] to kneel in front of a large pit they had dug; they were then shot so as to tumble into their own grave. . . . Thirty children and two women were buried alive when earth was shoveled onto the pit." You were either with Robespierre's perfect future order or you were against it, and therefore a traitor and enemy of the people. We haven't yet heard Dany's justification for her inexcusable holocaust by fire of the innocents of Kings Landing but I doubt her logic is very much different from Robespierre's. In their own eyes, they are both morally pure and incorruptible, as George RR Martin himself once noted:
  9. This is obviously the bit that has piqued my interest the most. He is already working for them, and has been since they brought him on board last September, on an already established and "hotly anticipated" project that he isn't yet at liberty to disclose. I wonder what it could be? It can't be Wheel of Time because we already know the writers room for that, and Cogman is not in it, although GoT's other stalwart Dave Hill is. The logical deduction would be LoTR, about which Amazon has so far been extremely secretive (even to the extent of keeping it's writers room in a place with no windows and top-notch security to avoid information leaks of scripts and plans) and we know that there is a "writers room" under the two (largely unknown) showrunners but don't yet know who is in it. We've had basically no official disclosures of information on this LoTR series apart from the fact that it's going to be set during the Second Age and concern Númenor. I'm not sure why they are keeping it so under wraps. Or, failing that, it might actually be Stephen King's edgy fantasy Dark Tower, which Amazon is also adapting. I'm pretty sure it will be one of their fantasy adaptions and WoT is clearly ruled out, so these two are the remaining options as I see it. And, in addition to this mystery project, he will be developing a ton of his own shows, apparently.
  10. Interesting article on my favourite former GoT writer. It explains that GRRM really wanted Cogman's sequel to go ahead, because he felt himself on the same wavelength as him, but after HBO opted for Jane Goldman's proposal he went into bed with Amazon instead in a big way. We learn that he was put "straight to work" by his new Amazon bosses on a "hotly anticipated project" that Cogman can't yet disclose and that, at the same time, he will also be working out his own shows as well: www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/05/bryan-cogman-game-of-thrones
  11. Krishtotter

    Season 8: News, Spoilers And Leaks

    Well said. My thoughts exactly. I can't understand why a lot of people fail to see that GRRM intended for her to be an anti-hero/villain and that, in toto, when viewed in retrospect, her arc makes for potentially one of the most compelling and sympathetic antagonists ever written in literature or on screen. She's the villain we deserve - a million light-years more interesting than the one-dimensional Night King or Cersei. I've long viewed the entire book series as charting the rise of two great supernatural "threats" to Westeros, the Others/White Walkers from the north and the Dragon Queen from the East.
  12. Not a valid criticism imo. Big swathes of the episode were dire but Dany's characterisation is consistent with her character arc in the books and show, where she has long been becoming an idealistic dictator capable of brutality in the name of utopian aims and the pursuit of her narrow-minded life agenda for the throne. Her end-state is the one GRRM intended. D&D haven't got there particularly well in places but they can't be blamed for the way GRRM wrote her and many have understood her, including myself. I think a lot of undue hate is coming from Dany fans, who are 'burnt' that their girl is turning out the way Dany critics have long predicted. One reviewer, for instance, writing in the Telegraph fumed that "Daenerys goes from messiah to antichrist in a single bound". That's grossly unfair - I, among many other people, have been warning that she evidenced deeply worrying signs for ages! It is consistent and not inconsistent with her character, and is indeed the logical outcome of the way GRRM wrote her.
  13. I rated this episode a 6 because it was really a "tale of two halves": the first segment of the episode was actually very good (deserving of the "8" that 33 posters decided to give it) whilst the second segment was badder than bad, literally without a single redeeming quality (and hence worthy of the inglorious "1" that 35 of our fellow posters decided to give it). On Rotten Tomatoes and IMBD, it is apparent that no episode of GoT has divided its audience more than this one. Partly, this has to do with justifiable outrage at the narrative idiocy of the preceding episode and its hamfisted anticlimax in terms of what was supposed to be 'the Great War' since season 1, and partly on the merits of this episode itself (when viewed as a single unit without considering the context from last episode). When the episode opened, I initially thought, "ok, after the unremitting disaster and logic by-pass that was episode 3, after which I almost abandoned the show entirely because of its premature termination of the NK/White Walker plot without any real meaningful pay-off, this is actually back to old-style GoT". The Good I liked the 'wake', with the long-panning shots over the pyres of the dead, which I thought was delicately handled and appropriately reverential. The 'drinking' scenes reminded me of those screened in RoK in LoTR after the Battle of Helms Deep and again, there was some decent characterisation here, as we saw Dany becoming jealous of, and paranoid about, the respect given naturally to Jon in the North, which is supposed to be one of her Seven Kingdoms. This evidently dented Dany's composure, because she has both a lesser claim to the throne than he does by primogeniture and evokes much less devotion from any but her freed slaves and Dothraki hordes back in Essos. Her discussion with Jon was good and revealing about her true aims: her 'love' for him is entirely subordinate to gaining the throne. I enjoyed the machiavellian, skull-skulduggery scenes involving Sansa and Daenerys, Sansa and Tyrion, and Tyrion and Varys. Finally, we have oodles of old-fashioned GoT intrigue and the growing coup d'etat amongst Dany's advisors, as they rightly discern what I've been saying all along - that she is an idealistic, revolutionary Robespierran-dictator in the making, who is potentially capable of inflicting a holocaust to implement her vision of a utopia under her singular rule, when cleansed of all tyrants and traitors - and respond differently to the revelation of Jon's birthright and greater claim. The Bad The episode was incredibly rushed at the end. It started with Brienne's characterisation in this episode - one sex scene with Jaime and she ends up a sobbing wreck pleading with him not to leave for Kings Landing. Something about that doesn't ring quite true for me. Then, we had the 'intrusion' of that extremely silly scene where Bronn just 'appears' from the shadows in the middle of heavily fortified Winterfell - as if he is the great stealth-ninja there ever was! That was shit, frankly. After that, the story suddenly and unevenly changes out of nowhere: Euron - freaking Euron, a pirate! - manages to do what no one save the Night King, even in the middle of last season's huge Goldroad Battle, unilaterally take out Rhaegal. It just happens without any narrative build-up - as if the D&D just thought, "this'll shock 'em". In the books, Euron has a special kind of horn that he harvested from the ruins of Old Valyria, which can be used to "bind" and control dragons. In his book role as "dragonbinder", Euron would indeed be the most formidable enemy of Dany's dragons and potentially be able to kill them - but the TV series never introduced this crucial weapon and so Euron's random deus ex machina felling of Rhaegal is completely illogical within the scope of the show. We then 'teleport' to Kings Landing from Dragonstone, where Dany's army and advisors soon turn up and are treated to that god awful scene where Missandei is killed for shock-value and Tyrion attempts to parley with Cersei by appealing to her innate goodness and love for her children (I mean, really?). The Round-up In light of the foregoing, it does not surprise me that some professional reviewers online have opined that, "the bulk of [episode 4] was filled with the sort of palace intrigue and character dynamics that made the show" great in its heyday and that it was returning to its "machiavellian best", whilst others have complained that "this episode was one of the biggest disappointments of the season so far" and that it was unremittingly atrocious. In truth, both are right - this episode showcased the best and worst of what GoT has become since season 4.
  14. Krishtotter

    [Poll] How would you rate episode 803?

    It's a wasted opportunity that Cogman, who "gets" GRRM's creation a million times over D&D, wasn't given the chance of being showrunner to conclude the series. His script last week was so greatly superior to this one by D&D, it's almost painful to watch them in succession. Amazon have been fortunate to have nabbed Cogman, even though we still don't know which shows he's working for them on.
  15. Krishtotter

    [Poll] How would you rate episode 803?

    Its not that I think she should have been on a battlefield. It's that my respect for her as a person has dropped after seeing her semi-plot-stirring behind the scenes, at a safe remove, while the person she's directing her snipes against (a person I seriously don't like btw but fair is fair) is risking her neck for her home, while she isn't.