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FictionIsntReal's Achievements

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  1. The is-ought gap dates back to Hume, long before GRRM was born. The books themselves have an existentialist streak in which the characters must decide for themselves what is right, rather different from the medieval mentality. I don't know what quotation you're objecting to. I try to pair quotes with my specific responses so they are easy to see side-by-side. It's clear in real life and the text that slave traders were not regarded as enemies of humanity like pirates. I don't disagree with that, it's just not sufficient to be a pirate-like "enemy of humanity". No, not "ample time". 19 days doesn't allow for any delay in the dispatch of an envoy from Meereen, nor in the journey of that envoy to Volantis, or for the Volantenes to deliberate how to react to the news. Then their reaction would have to be sent back from Volantis, but there's no time for that because the battle has already started two days (recall that the agreement was on the 2nd of the month, so at the earliest it would arrive 19 days later on the 21st) before we should expect the envoy from Meereen to have arrived in Volantis in the first place. International relations are not governed by criminal law. It wasn't simultaneous. Volantis was contacted before the Yunkish arrived in Meereen, then after arrival they made a deal with Dany, then the Volantenes don't arrive until later. No, Volantis was invited before there was any peace agreement. I'm glad we agree on that much. No, the British were unique in attempting to suppress it worldwide. I don't think we actually know the details. There were multiple wars and disputed territory between them. Yes, if they were being attacked that would be expected. I think Feldman is uninterested in the morals of those fighting to uphold slavery because they aren't main characters. The moral complexity lies with Dany, and whether the peace is a sham or not is relevant just because of what it means for Dany's decision. Is that really a contradiction? It's perfectly coherent for Dany to sacrifice innocent lives to protect innocent lives. Making war would also mean sacrificing the lives lost in fighting to protect others. Perhaps not in that vow, but it's repeatedly stated they are sworn not to take part. "the black brothers were sworn to take no part in the quarrels of the realm" AGoT - Tyrion V "So they pledged as well that the Night's Watch would take no part in the battles of the realms it guarded." AGoT - Jon VII "They say vows, to take no part in wars and stuff." ASoS - Bran III "The Night's Watch is pledged to take no part in the quarrels of the realm." ASoS - Jon VII "The Night's Watch takes no part in the wars of the Seven Kingdoms," he read. "Our oaths are sworn to the realm" AFfC - Samwell I "The Night's Watch is sworn to take no part in the wars of the Seven Kingdoms" AFfC - Ceersei IV "He made his vows and means to live by them. The Night's Watch takes no part." ADwD - Melisandre I Nobody EVER points out that since the bit you quoted doesn't mention that it means they hadn't actually sworn it. Jon leaving Castle Black to march south (exactly what Osha warned against Robb doing in AGoT) certainly does undermine the ability of the Wall to resist the Others. He's the Lord Commander! And he's killed pretty quickly after announcing his decision, so we don't hear that much reasoning. I think for both the applicable phrase is "Better inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in". Ned had been able to rely on the Boltons during Robert's Rebellion, and the Lannisters helped put down the Greyjoy Rebellion. No, I can't read your mind and after being irked at things erroneously attributed to me I'm not going to make the same error towards you by attempting to do so. The way to get past inferential distance is to ask for clarification rather than assuming you know. The agreement breaks down, the dispute is over whether there was really an agreement in the first place. Coming right after means she is rejecting the planting of trees despite wanting to see said trees grow. What I said was that it would be silly to claim I was saying Dany was an addict. Search for "addict" at the Blot and you won't find that there either. I'm not being disingenuous. The low pay is an entirely separate issue from the peace, it's not a "just" at all. As I said, her flying away would not be expected to fix that at all. Thus it makes no sense to cite it as an injustice she is correcting by acting in a way that will undermine the peace. Are you referring to the people that Drogon would have killed? Adam says that Mel is making Jon worse. That is NOT the same as saying that Jon was "a soft, pure, one-sidedly sweet boy before meeting Melisandre", yet that is what the post you linked says he "implies". You say "much", but where does Feldman actually quantify Melisandre's share of responsibility? The direction & magnitude of a vector are different things. The difference is that Jon is personally leading wildlings against the Boltons, whereas Dany has left Meereen entirely. Her people are going to fight & die without her, which includes her not being there to do the good things you pointed out earlier. Jon is not rejecting his earlier efforts at shoring up the NW because a wolf does not count turnips. What are they for then? If you want to mock an idea, you can do so in your own words without putting them in quotes, just as I did when closing off any discussion of Dany as an addict (which no one had brought up prior). Hizdahr asserting that marrying him is necessary to make peace with Yunkai does not actually make it a deal with Yunkai (this is ironically an example of placing too much confidence in Hizdahr's self-promotion, one of his defining features). The Yunkish themselves would need to say that. Dany's agreement with Hizdahr & the Green Grace was that if the Harpy stopped attacking for a certain number of days she would marry him, and after that happened she went through with her end of the bargain. The Yunkish haven't put forth any condition as an exchange for that marriage, they merely perceive Dany's regime differently after she's done so (and also perceive it differently once she leaves, and even moreso once Hizdahr is overthrown). No, Bloodbeard handing over Groleo's head before making more demands is a hostile action (ameliorated by releasing hostages to show good faith). The people arguing for war while Yezzan urged peace were doing so AFTER Dany had left and with only Hizdahr in charge. He's perceived as a weak counterparty, not an ally. That's just what Hizdahr claimed, not something we got the Yunkish. Dany isn't even there anymore, all of "Dany's people" are now Hizdahr's people as far as the slavers are concerned. I'm glad we're slowly approaching agreement. The very real tradeoffs/downsides is part of why it's a difficult decision which puts the human heart in conflict with itself. It's not that she has "no concern", but rather that she has decided not to let those concerns decide her actions. The point of the essays is that there is a gradual accumulation of dissatisfaction until the appearance of Drogon causes Dany to change course. I think those things go without saying, and would be more relevant if Dany (our POV) was making deals with former slaves as her counterparty rather than slavers. It will make it more difficult for her to make any other deals with slavers, but she could have just set herself up in Astapor as the new ruler without necessarily sparking a war with other cities. When she goes to Yunkai, they initially just try to bribe her like they might do for a Dothraki khalasar. I don't think they had any plans to launch an expedition toward Astapor beforehand (though over time they could have come into conflict).
  2. The is-ought gap is unbridgeable, so it's always going to be a matter of opinion. Crucifying a child along a road does not establish that the territory belonged to Meereen rather than Yunkai, even if the Yunkish were going to respect the new Meereenese regime as having the same boundaries with them as the old one. Correct. Volantis is not a "proxy" obeying the commands of Yunkai as if it had a puppet regime. It is an independent city state with its own politics, which has been invited to join Yunkai as a coalition. According to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZsY3lcDDtTdBWp1Gx6mfkdtZT6-Gk0kdTGeSC_Dj7WM/ peace with Yunkai was signed on 7/2 of the year 300. The very next day Dany flew away on Drogon from the fighting pit where Yurkhaz died, and this destabilized the peace agreement. On 5/1 of that year Volantis was having its elections and planning for war while Tyrion was there. There's roughly two months between Tyrion being in Volantis to Meereen, which is significantly longer than the amount of time since the peace agreement was signed. According to @Werthead at this old thread the distance from Volantis to Meereen is 1650 miles and per https://www.worldanvil.com/w/got-rewritten/a/travel one could travel 170 miles a day by sea if travelling all day & night, perhaps half that if just by day. That means that after signing the agreement one should expect a ship to take 19 days to arrive in Volantis if it were dispatched right away, and another 19 days for any reply sent by Volantis to arrive. But instead the timeline above has the Battle of Meereen at 7/19. Dany on Drogon takes herself literally out of Meereen, and this does not fix the conflict between the sides. Instead the unstable leadership in Meereen makes the peace more fragile, particularly so once Hizdahr is also removed from power. It has been noted that the rotating command among the slaver army makes them both incompetent and thinly characterized, but that instability of leadership is also one of the things that makes peace difficult. Yurkhaz & Yezzan had both favored a peace agreement, but after they die that breaks down. Correct, and not treated as such by ANYBODY prior to Dany. You don't, and yet the real world polities which declared pirates (but not slave-sellers) to be enemies of humanity did. Of course those polities themselves often made war against other polities to obtain land & subjects, so the mere making of war for gain could not be a criteria for them. When one state makes war upon another state, it is at war with that specific other state and not all of humanity. When a state charters privateers to attack the ships of its specific enemy state, those privateers are also not enemies of humanity but a specific state. If a peace agreement is reached between those states, those privateers can be told they have to stop. But pirates are not privateers, they are not acting as agents of any state's foreign policy, they are simply out for themselves and will play on anyone who crosses their path. This gives all other states, not just ones that happen to be at war with a specific enemy, a reason to want pirates crushed. Certainly it provides such a motivation. More recently the coast of Somalia has become infested with former fishermen turned pirates seizing cargo ships. They sell back the hostages they take for ransom, but there's no prospect of claiming these shipping crews as slaves to man ships. The international community does not shrug because it's just money & cargo being lost, instead they act to suppress the pirates. Blackbeard the Pirate wasn't regarded as an enemy who needed to be hunted down because of slavery (which was legally practiced by the states hunting him), but because he was a pirate. That war was a civil war, because the US was a single polity. There was no question of going to war with Brazil because they still had slavery. Even while Lincoln was President and presiding over the war he insisted that his priority was the Union, and if he could preserve that while freeing no slaves he would do so. That's a bilateral agreement between two city-states. Not one such state being regarded as an enemy of humanity. Of course it was a difficult choice for Jon: in the very first book Maester Aemon tells him what a difficult choice it was for him to choose his NW vows over his loyalty to his family during Robert's Rebellion now that Jon's family is in rebellion against Joffrey. Jon's friends convinced him to return to the NW back then. I will acknowledge there is a difference between risking your own life vs the lives of others. But also, the more responsibility one has the less cavalierly one can risk one's life without there being fallout on others. See Ned agreeing to confess not only to be sent to the NW rather than executed but also on behalf of his daughters. How consistent is that explanation with Adam Feldman writing like "one of Sauron's emissaries"? Wouldn't GRRM have to misunderstand his own work in order to endorse a fundamentally wrong analysis as having gotten it right? Again, I'm not saying one needs to believe in EVERYTHING in those essays, but when there are multiple essays about the (real) choice of peace, how can the essays as a whole seem correct and get GRRM's intentions "perfectly"? The peace agreement was not initially made with Yezzan as leader, but instead Yurkhaz. The death of Yurkhaz (which was certainly not forseeable in advance) makes peace more difficult, but the next leader in line persisting in supporting peace even after that suffices to show that the peace was real. He would not bother taking such a stance if they hadn't actually wanted the deal in the first place. I didn't say anything about good or bad. I said it was a parallel because it is. Tywin being pressured to return to the Westerlands when it's raided is a parallel to Robb being pressured to return to the North when the Ironborn attack it. This isn't a normative statement, just an observation both sides have to deal with some of the same things to maintain support among their bannermen. What is the quote and what is the agreement? And what it shows is that the character wastes time making agreements with disingenuous people that are just going to be reversed later? I don't think it's quite that contradictory. Dany made a peace deal because, like Yurkhaz & Yezzan, she genuinely did prefer that to war (as Feldman writes "Part of Dany genuinely does want peace, and wants to sacrifice a great deal to protect innocent life"). At the same time, she found aspects of this very unpleasant. Peace, the right thing in her eyes, was not necessarily easy. When she flies away she is effectively abandoning those people she wanted peace FOR, and when she decides a dragon plants no trees she is turning her back on what she'd done before. If an addict tries to avoid temptation for a long time, would that prove that it cannot feel better to them when they are using? And please don't respond with something silly like I'm accusing Dany of being an addict. That's unpleasant, but also not something she can necessarily expect to be fixed by war. When she flies away, that doesn't cause everyone's wages to go up, it just means she's not looking at it anymore. That link says we should discount GRRM's approval of the Blot because it was only reported by @Ran, whom they call "a notoriously racist, misogynistic third party". It also says "Jon is not a soft, pure, one-sidedly sweet boy before meeting Melisandre, as Feldman implies", without EVER quoting Feldman actually saying any such thing. Of course when you infer something much dumber than what someone else actually said you can produce an incorrect conclusion. I just infer that person who wrote what I quoted is unreliable on the subject of what Feldman actually wrote. Jon breaks his vows by attempting to march against Bolton, Dany simply leaves the city and then thinks to herself that dragons plant no trees. None of this is to deny some good things she did before she left, but she's not going to be doing that once she's gone. Who are you quoting then? Certainly not him, though you should do so if you want to actually analyze what he wrote. This is consistent with how they were known to behave prior to the deal: they treated the burned tokar as Dany's responsibility because it was her dragon, they continue to treat the dragons as the responsibility of the ruler of Meereen. And the hostages were SPECIFICALLY to guarantee to safety of their leaders while in Meereen. Groleo as a Pentoshi who is really just an agent of Illyrio is the least socially connected of the hostages, and is thus the least valuable as an exchange for the most valuable Yunkai. It's also consistent with Don Corleone's reasoning when making a deal with rivals: "I'm a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall Michael - if he is to be shot in the head by a police officer, or be found hung dead in a jail cell... or if he should be struck by a bolt of lightning - then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room; and then I do not forgive. But with said, I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today." They could have killed other hostages, like Daario or Hero, actual military leaders sworn to Dany who would fight against them if they could. What we hear from their camp is genuine disagreement over whether they should abandon the peace after the events of the pit, and while killing Groleo pushes things further toward war it doesn't outright end things as Hizdahr is given actual conditions for peace. Hizdahr no longer owns slaves, from the Yunkish POV he's the husband of Dany who now commands the Unsullied and has responsibility for the dragons. If they were treating Dany's disappearance as a total regime change, then they could just kill the remaining hostages rather than use them to make demands of Hizdahr. The deal with the Green Grace (who is likely also the Harpy) in Meereen, not with the Yunkai. That's part of the point of what's going on. Hizdahr is now being treated as in charge of those people, and demands are being made of him to ensure the safety of the people he's responsible for. The agreement was made not only prior to the death of Yezzan, but also Yurkhaz (and Dany leaving the city). Yezzan not being alive to hold them back at the end of the story once Dany is gone is a separate issue from the peace being real BEFORE that, when Dany was actually having to choose between peace & war. I will set justice aside and agree it was fragile, as it did break down. But being fragile doesn't mean it wasn't real, and part of what's breaking it is Dany's absence. I never said either of those things. No, not just a "chat". A big part of the point Feldman was making was that the choice of peace was difficult for Dany because she was giving things up, not just having to "chat". He was the one with the most support. What was Yezzan doing trying to keep the peace? Why bother? @SeanF I added the wrong post to a multiquote so I'll have to add this in manually: And what we see from Tyrion's POV, embedded amongst those forces, is that Yezzan really had been a force for peace whose death changed the politics of the coalition. They don't have to. They never had any obligation to reveal their prior communications with other cities. Easier said than done with the Unsullied, who have the most military power inside Meereen. How does that work? Is this Zamyatin's "We" where brain-surgery has made disobedience impossible? An uprising is possible as long as there are slaves. I don't think they get that pay if they don't fight (which is why the mercenaries are more uniformly in favor of fighting). I don't think we know the actual terms of his contract, just that he doesn't get enough absent a sack of the city for him to be satisfied. It's not like they started fighting Meereen but took a break. They showed up, and then negotiated instead of fighting off the bat. It's a siege without rams or siege towers, so they were already sitting around. Or against Westeros, which also prohibits slavery. The characters in this world do not regard it as so implausible for different legal systems to exist at the same time in different places. Braavos does actively discourage slavery and seizes the ships of slavers that come by, but they also aren't at war with Slaver's Bay. Get on that, George. Continental drift can happen at the speed of magic!
  3. Dany had already attacked Yunkai previously, after sacking Astapor and prior to Meereen. It would be a bit silly to claim that the coalition against Napoleon was simply the aggressor after he had attacked a number of them before later going on the defensive. Frederick Douglass would disagree with you on the justness of low-paying but voluntary wage labor as a replacement for slave labor. There's nothing objective about justice, the is-ought gap is unbridgeable. You've got that phrase in quotes, but search as you might you won't find that phrase at the Meereenese Blot. Thus, it's not a quote at all. I suggest you not attempt to "guess". Yurkhaz was the leader of the Yunkai, and however unreasonable they blame Dany for their leader's death (just as they had previously blamed her for a burned tokar). Dany's presumed death certainly alters the calculus, but her regime still persists and would possess any perceived "debt" of a life for a life. If they presume Dany to be dead and Hizdahr to be in sole command, then releasing his relatives is precisely the right move to indicate their good faith to the opposite party. You should wonder why GRRM saw "one of Sauron’s emissaries" as getting it right.
  4. You're the one who brought up whether it's "just", those quotation marks aren't a quote of me. I'm not claiming anything is just. I will ask again: what determines the boundary? Who made such a claim? Why would there be such an obligation? Dany doesn't have to tell the Yunkish about anyone she was talking to in preparation for war against them. Countries in the real world don't have to reveal their diplomatic cables to other countries they're negotiating with. And these aren't friends/allies who have implicit assumptions that they would share such information. There you are on closer ground, since trying to enlist someone as an ally would bring up more of those implicit assumptions. But the difficulty of communicating over distance is going to apply all the more once they are in Meereen. The contested theory over at the Meereenese Blot is that the Shavepate, a dissenter under Dany, poisoned the locusts to sabotage the peace. If it was instead a dissenter in the opposite coalition who poisoned them to undermine Yurkhaz, what would that establish? Certainly not the Yunkish, unless Dany makes some entirely different and unlikely deal with them. Their agreement was not to defend Meereen against anyone. Hizdahr is in a very different position since he is King of Meereen and only has that status because of Dany. Of course, he's not going to do anything after Barristan & the Shavepate's coup against him. Hostages were part of the agreement, not a violation of it. It's the killing of Groleo that constitutes a breakdown. That's after Drogon appears, Yurkhaz dies and Dany leaves the event that is supposed to be part of a sealing of the peace between the sides. The United States was in fact fighting Britain in alliance with other European powers who were rivals of that country. Britain made a separate peace with France & Spain in the Treaty of Versailles, and there was yet another agreement with the Dutch republic. America had been rebelling for 8 years, which was enough time for all those parties to get involved and have their own negotiations with Britain. Astapor was not in fact treated as a rogue state in the text. Nor was the Kingdom of Dahomey. Britain was unusual in wanting to suppress the slave trade (not piracy, which other nations already agreed on). Those European countries were entirely able to distinguish between pirates and slave traders like Dahomey, which is why they all agreed on suppressing the former but not the latter. Yes, "ultimately", when the French wanted to annex that territory. That did not mark them as an enemy of humanity, but of the French specifically. That just sounds like dramatic irony, which is useful for a number of things but not so much for internal conflict. Yes, near-view vs far-view and the biases of fiction. Although part of what GRRM is trying to do with his "ruling is hard" idea is lean somewhat against the latter. They've already accomplished that everywhere but Meereen. The benefit of a peace agreement, from their POV, is locking in their gains and avoiding yet another loss of that at Dany's hands. Of course it's difficult, Davos has recently gotten out of a dungeon for attempting to kill Melisandre and then been raised up to King's Hand after affirming that the rightful penalty for Stannis' sworn men betraying him is death. Dany is not so much risking her life as the lives of her people, and it is on that ground that she has a compelling reason to avoid war. Jon (unlike Dany) openly decided to break his vows of neutrality, and got killed for it in a mutiny. How can that still be the obvious choice? In fact slaves & free men have co-existed throughout the VERY long history of slavery in real life and on Planetos. That's a story of conflict, but not of the heart in conflict with itself. Your point about the relative size of her army does speak to that though, as it makes peace more sensible for her to seek (but only if there's any peace to be had). That's part of what makes it a difficult decision. I don't. Why do you think I think that? Because there is no "proof", otherwise Yezzan wouldn't have been arguing for peace when others were insisting on war. I never said or suggested any such thing. I never claimed they were on Meereen's side, they're a former belligerent who have merely made an agreement to stop fighting rather than to give any assistance. I agree their loss seems overdetermined, which is part of what makes this less interesting than various battles that have taken place in Westeros. Why isn't it a waste to be compromising & conciliatory if it's a sham?
  5. Whether something is "just" or not is not an objective fact. Where is the boundary of Meereenese territory determined? Cerainly it is. He was the leader with the most support, even while he favored peace after others had turned against it due to Drogon's return. His death from dysentery can be compared to King Robert's death from a boar, which did not make it foolish for Ned to have amassed evidence of Joffrey's bastardry or to send the king's banner against Gregor. Who claimed it was? Dany's peace deal was not made with them. They mustered forces to the city ruled by someone they had warred against, then used their presence as leverage to obtain a peace deal. In a counterfactual where Yurkhaz and/or Yezzan are still alive, my guess is that the Volantenes are invited to make demands for their own deal with Dany. They did not know in advance the result of those envoys. With modern technology for communication & transportation, it could have just been a larger coalition arriving to make a deal. The British could have chosen to attack the US at any point after Treaty of Paris, and the US could have attacked their holdings in Canada (and the war of 1812 did in fact break out years later). The whole point of a peace treaty between separate polities is that they are agreeing not to fight when they have the ability to do so. Not just me, that's in the text. No one is claiming that would have been "morally superior", though I'll note that a suggestion is merely a suggestion and not something Dany even disingenuously agreed to. No, not by ANY yardstick. The Kingdom of Dahomey's principal export was slaves, and they were not regarded as the enemy of all humanity. It was really just the British who sought to suppress that export, and only after a certain point in time. Astapor was not at war even with anti-slavery polities like Braavos or Westeros when the story began. You are overlooking the possibility of raiding for slaves with the intention of keeping those slaves for yourself, as the Ironborn do with thralls. She doesn't have that kind of bribe money, but she has in fact fought slavers over their slaves. How is a revolution in Volantis prevented unless that revolution would depend on Dany's power (which you contrasted with the British empire) intervening? Who is claiming that? That's a separate claim from the peace agreement being real. Now you're getting closer. GRRM is interested in "the human heart in conflict with itself", and there can only be such a conflict if there's actual weight on both sides. Stannis can only assent to sacrificing Edric Storm after Melisandre has convinced him that her magic is real and can kill the rival kings. We know of magic being powered by human sacrifice, from Qohoric blacksmiths to Nissa Nissa to Varys' castration to Dany's pyre, and even after Edric Storm escapes Stannis' ships are moved by winds generated from burning people. If magic didn't really exist in this series, then there wouldn't be any conflict. Finally, Davos shares the goals of Stannis & Melisandre in terms of defeating Stannis' enemies, and Davos has lost his own sons in pursuit of that goal which he still believes in. That's what gives his choice a meaning it wouldn't have if it were an enemy of Stannis who got Edric out. Dany's difficult decision between peace & war isn't difficult if peace was never an option. I'll agree that the detail of who poisoned the locusts is more incidental to those essays and thus we can't as easily infer GRRM approved of that, but I can't say the same for the peace. Where is the difficulty if the peace was never real? Why would that be difficult if she's not giving it up FOR anything? Wouldn't that actually be correct if the peace was a sham and she should have just killed the slavers immediately rather than wasting time making a deal? That's a nice touch, and a parallel to the calls for war among the slavers while Yezzan is urging peace.
  6. It's debatable whether it was "unjust", but Oana_Mika's quote below indicates that Yezzan had sincerely made a peace deal. Wasn't part of the theme making a difficult decision between war & peace? It's not a very difficult decision if the latter isn't even an option. That's actually the subtitle of Untangling the Meereenese Knot, Part II: The Peace Was Real. It would be difficult for GRRM to overlook that if he actually read these essays as he claimed. The sentence DIRECTLY BEFORE the one you quote makes clear the peace deal had removed a blockade: "Peace, food, trade. Our port is open once again, and ships are being permitted to come and go." As your quote indicates, Yezzan really did. And, as the Blot points out, this is AFTER the previous leader Yurkhaz died when Drogon appeared at the fighting pit. "The Yunkai'i did not lack for commanders. An old hero named Yurkhaz zo Yunzak had the supreme command" He first makes a peace deal with Dany, then dies at the reopened fighting pit, where he had been laughing with Hizdahr before things went wrong. After he dies, the next in line is the person whose sincere support for peace had already been discussed: “Have the Yunkishmen chosen a new commander?” “The council of masters has been unable to agree. Yezzan zo Qaggaz had the most support" "tied to" even though Dany has already heard pitfighters (including the woman who gets killed by a boar) tell her they want to fight there of their own free will? The deal she made explicitly permitted them to continue their activities OUTSIDE of Meereen. You can claim to be "morally right", but it makes it very difficult for people to subsequently trust you. She can always claim to be "morally right" as she violates the next agreement she makes. Since I watched "The Woman King" not too long ago I am reminded of the actual history of people selling guns in exchange for slaves. If the British had begun their suppression of the slave trade by buying slaves from Dahomey in exchange for guns, and instead then just killing the king with said guns and enlisting the former slaves into their army to attack more slavers, they would be significantly less likely to get more people to agree to deals with them. Pirates are considered the enemies of everyone because they attack everyone's ships and obey no laws. These cities aren't like that: they weren't at war with anyone. The Dothraki who capture the slaves sold to these cities are arguably closer to qualifying. It's not in response to slavery, but land confiscation did occur in some post-colonial environments like Zimbabwe. In Haiti's slave uprising the plantation owners were largely killed, so confiscating their property afterward wasn't dispossessing anyone still around.
  7. It's been roughly two centuries since the Dance of the Dragons. Nothing like the Long Night following right after the Blood Betrayal, which is why nobody in Westeros would make a similar deduction. I think the Valyrian Freehold lasted a lot longer than the Long Night, which would have exterminated humanity if it hadn't been stopped. I think GRRM disagrees, as he said the Meereenese Blot got it in a series of essays claiming that peace WAS possible and the slavers WERE appeased for a while.
  8. Are they comparable to Tywin? Is any Essosi villain? They hardly ever appear. They're mysterious and awaiting a major role later. The slavers are getting crushed early in Winds, after already getting beat by Dany in ASoS. It would be more realistic if the Unsullied had taken over in a coup, like the Mamluk or Janissary slave soldiers. This didn't mean the end of slave soldiers in either case, just that they themselves were in charge of the society because they had the military power (a la praetorianism in the Roman empire).
  9. There is a general problem with a lack of interesting characters in Essos. Dany was our only POV there until ADwD, and even setting aside POVs the Essossi were more thinly characterized than the wildlings (the relative cultural outsiders in Westeros that Jon comes to lead). Mance Rayder represents a genuine threat to the Wall who would be expected to win if Stannis hadn't shown up, but the rotating command of the slaver army both removes any sense of personality at its head and marks them as so incompetent there's no way they could win. The Battle of the Blackwater had Davos as a POV on the Stannis side (initially), Tyrion as a sympathetic protagonist on the villainous Lannister side, and Sansa as a Lannister hostage who is still given reason to fear a victory for Stannis. For Meereen there's both Barristan & Victarion on the pro-Dany side, while Tyrion gets the mercenaries he's with to switch sides. It would be more dramatically impactful if Victarion showed up and provided a surprise victory in the battle, or if the slavers initially seemed to have an advantage until their betrayal by their mercenaries, but here it's overdetermined and there's no surprise at all. I think the bigger issue is that GRRM just hadn't initially planned on Dany being in Essos for this long while the civil war in Westeros raged, so he's essentially had her spinning her wheels amongst uninteresting people she's expected to leave when she fulfills her actual narrative purpose.
  10. Mushroom DOES claim to have known that. It's not a "secret" if their kids are being called "Strong". He specifically brings up their first kiss, the first time they had sex, what Harwin felt about it, how Laenor felt about it. This establishes that they really had that affair, even if we the audience hadn't gotten to see it. It would only confirm that if he said something about that hobby horse or leprosy specifically. Similarly, I think a tell for Orwyle being unreliable is when it relates closely to him, like when he claims that he rather than Beesbury spoke up for Rhaenyra.
  11. No, he explicitly refers to both the show & book. The article specifically refers to him wanting to write a "novella or novel", which is obviously not TV. The question he was responding to was about revisiting scenes of his own writing. He'd earlier had a question about characters in ASoIaF & F&B he'd like to explore more in which he mentioned that the latter being a history meant he was summarizing things and thus couldn't explore characters as much as he'd like. For this one he said that Harwin & Rhaenyra's relationship got to be explored more in the show than it was in F&B, but that the TV show was still constrained by its number of episodes while F&B was by its format, and it is for THAT reason that we didn't get their first kiss or what Harwin or Laenor felt about their unusual relationship. He states as fact that Harwin fathered three children, and while he's entirely capable of distinguishing between his books and their adaptation, in this video he treats them the same as that having happened. Nor would it make any sense for GRRM to write that novella/novel exploring that relationship if it didn't actually happen.
  12. GRRM has confirmed that Harwin did indeed father Rhaenyra's first three children: https://wikiofthrones.com/george-r-r-martin-would-love-to-do-a-novella-about-rhaenyra-and-harwin-strong-and-their-relationship Mushroom is the only source to outright say that was the case: The question of whether or not we could believe Mushroom on this topic has been debated here before:
  13. She says nothing about Stannis changing his mind. She just repeats Jon's argument that Stannis had already rejected without giving any new reason for Stannis to have changed. And it's in one of her POV chapters, so we could have gotten her remembering Stannis privately telling her he had, but we don't. She specifies that Mance owes his life to Jon, rather than Stannis, and she refers to Mance as "A gift from the Lord of Light … and me" but not from Stannis. How reassured could he be in this deal he gets nothing out of? Stannis is blamed, but Ramsay thinks he's been killed. Sure he did, he sent Mance after Ramsay's bride after realizing the real Mance had escaped execution! How does Mance surviving serve his interests? Stannis isn't sending him on any mission to help him win the throne, Jon is sending him after his sister. Is he not going to be reluctant to permit an oathbreaker to escape punishment for his crimes? She'd already sacrificed people who had no claims to king's blood at all in order to obtain favorable winds to get to the Wall in the first place. If Mance's blood is no good, then neither is his son's. Is Melisandre going to say that while she earlier said there was power in such blood, they should just nevermind? Stannis & Selyse still seem to believe wildlings have royalty (despite Jon telling them otherwise), referring to Val as a "princess". But if Jon is being told my Melisandre then Stannis can't be "[k]eeping information to himself"! Why not? If Stannis doesn't want him (and isn't obligated to execute him for oathbreaking), better to give him away. How is it a "coincidence"? Melisandre just has to glamor one as the other, then after the execution suggest handing over "Rattleshirt". Stannis wouldn't have reason to object to that. It's not some one-off thing. It's a defining act for his character. What is the most cunning thing he's done? How would that work? Is he going to publicly execute someone who had already been publicly executed? And Jon had already argued against Stannis executing him, there's no "decision" for him to make. Really cunning of Stannis to not have a private meeting giving any such assent in order to trick readers. Too bad that doesn't help him among the inhabitants of Westeros once Ramsay reveals the deception. They are different people. When Stannis offers to make Jon the Lord of Winterfell, Jon refuses. As I quoted above, Stannis got blamed. English & Spanish spread via colonialism, and their overseas colonies later attained independence. Does that resemble how the Andal language spread north of the Wall despite the Andals being stopped at the Neck? For some UNSPECIFIED reason. We are given no in-universe explanation. Over that amount of time you'd expect languages to diverge. The Romance languages have had less time to diverge, but Romanian isn't mutually intelligible with any other language. I think there can be conflicting desires: to serve a narrative purpose and to make the story easier to write. The wildlings do serve "crueler gods", but the real way to emphasize their similarity would be to have both speak the Old Tongue, rather than the Andal language. But the vows are not "recent" (nor is the practice of sending prisoners & defeated enemies there), even if the decline is. And Rhaegar is known to have stolen Lyanna, but nobody in Westeros thinks they married. "Ordinary smallfolk" don't think of it that way. The Wall is in the way. Easier said than done. Crows can pass through gates during rangings. France & Germany both have governments & printing presses to encourage linguistic unity. "Thousands of years" would lead to DIVERGENCE (as with Papua New Guinea), not similar languages. English was once close to Frisian, but over time and with the separation of the English Channel & North Sea it has diverged. What means? They don't really have kings like the "kneelers". There's no dynastic succession, just one charismatic man gathering together supporters temporarily (usually to attack the Wall). Hence there is no territory to be called a "realm". There are mountain clans in the North, but they owe fealty to the Starks. There are also such clans in the Value, but the Arryns claim authority over them. Magical fire could help with that There are in-universe mysteries that characters don't know the answer to. Here we have an explicit explanation but you want to imagine more. Stories connected to the Five Forts, far from Westeros. Fighting Ramsay isn't fighting the Others. He left in the confusion when the direwolves attacked after he refused to kill someone. I wouldn't say it was nothing, since he killed all three pyromancers (needlessly, it would seem to me, for the latter two). But he didn't join alongside Qarlton Chelsted in opposing the plan prior to Tywin sacking KL. Fair enough. I thought you were referring to the reigns of Aerys & Robert. Yes, just as it is individuals who commit crimes even while larger organizations try to punish it. I don't actually know if all Other-worshippers get along. Northerners were able to fight each other while all worshipping the Old Gods, and the Faithful have fought each other as well. The anthropologist Kenneth Good married a Yanomamo woman and brought her back to New Jersey. It didn't work out very well, so she returned to her tribe in the Amazon rainforest despite having children still in NJ.
  14. An execution isn't normally considered a "murder". Jon had authority as LC to command members of the NW, and such members can face execution if they do something like desert (see Mance Rayder). Janos repeatedly defied orders, and belongs in a different category from murder victims. In your mind, based on info Jon doesn't have. There's no indication Stannis himself believes that (or even that she believes Stannis belives that). Melisandre is using the justification that Jon already gave & Stannis rejected. It's not "perfectly" achieved if the real Mance is around to reveal that was a sham, which is what happens. Perhaps Davos could have just pretended to have lost his fingers. Ceased to be a goal for Stannis, or just for Melisandre? Stannis was tricked into thinking the ritual of burning the leeches with Edric Storm's blood actually killed three "false kings". Melisandre knows their deaths were already foreordained via her visions. Jon doesn't know that (unlike us), but he does know Melisandre is from Asshai rather than Westeros and thus has no attachment to Westerosi laws & traditions related to the NW. We know that's just not true, and that he did argue with her about sacrificing Edric Storm (until the leeches worked). We also know that it's hardly unprecedented for a king's advisors to sing a different tune when the king is not around, for they are not always on the same page. Stannis didn't suggest anything of the sort when Jon objected, nor is he privately confiding in him now on the decision he's supposedly made. Stannis himself is not making use of the real Mance, rather Jon is to rescue his sister. Would he be willing to promise the Lannisters to give up his own claim in exchange for them supporting the war against the Others? Is Stannis known for being a thoughtful gift-giver that everyone likes? Or is he known for being deliberately unpleasant much of the time and insisting that everyone else has to put up with him because he's in the right? "I gave you Rattleshirt. Be content with him." He did that openly. Doesn't Stannis punish people openly rather than covertly? Is he a subtle man? Why can't Stannis privately reveal the truth to Jon, as Melisandre did? That was Jon's argument to Stannis for not killing Mance, but instead making use of him. But if Stannis is "gifting" Mance, then he himself is not getting any such use. Melisandre swapping them out purely helps out Jon (and secretly subverts Stannis' upholding of the law) rather than Stannis. If the glamour is ever revealed, then the buck doesn't stop with Jon at all. Stannis is revealed as a fraud for supposedly executing Mance and can no longer be said to have "publicly upheld the law". Do you mean like how German is also spoken in Austria, parts of Switzerland & Luxembourg? The Austro-fascists had a difficult time defining themselves as separate from Germany on the thin reed of Catholicism, which is why so many supported the Anschluss. They are separate now because the victors of WW2 didn't want to permit Germany to be that large again. I think the notion of a nation/ethnic group doesn't travel very well to this fictional world. The Dornish are the closest thing to a proto-nation, but even they don't speak a distinct language. It was, and logically in the present the Northerners should be speaking members of a language family descended from that. But instead they picked up the Andal language (which, again, should have fragmented over time) because it was more convenient for GRRM (who is not a linguist like Tolkien) to write it that way. "Communication" is not sufficient for a community to adopt an entirely different language. There's communication across the French & German borders, and the lack of geographic barriers makes them genetically indistinguishable (at least by current methods), but the French speak a Romance language (like the former Roman subjects there picked up) while the Germans speak a... German one. GRRM again just wanted to simplify things. If a magical inhuman enemy suddenly appeared in our world, the actual militaries of our world would respond to fulfill their ordinary military functions. The purpose of defense does not depend on who the defense is to be against. No, voluntary enlistment can exist alongside involuntary drafting. If you've ever watched Oliver Stone's autobiographical Platoon, some of the draftees laugh at his upper-class standin for enlisting out of noblesse oblige, but it's what he really did. What marriages have existed? When do we hear of such people? The closest thing would be Bran being let through by Sam (and the pitch letter having Catelyn go as well when the NW can't give her refuge themselves). I've mentioned France vs Germany and the many languages of Papua New Guinea (which is closer to the wildling situation since they didn't develop states). I recall you said you'd studied languages, so give me an example of something like this happening. They have repeatedly attacked the Wall, and never contributed to its upkeep. The wildlings don't even have a central government, so there is no authority to sign any kind of binding peace treaty. Not a single "realm", they are fragmented into many tribes. The Wall is a defensive military structure. Counteracting the cold would seem to require maintaining a source of magical fire instead. You are imagining something not actually indicated by the text when the text itself gives a sufficient explanation for what we observe. If a reader has no need of your hypothesis, they can discard it. If the Others have a navy to cross the Narrow Sea, they can already get around the Wall. There was no such territory as "the North" prior to that. It's called that because it's the northernmost area south of the Wall. The Wall was created defend against the Others, and it's not positioned that far south by mistake. Yes, I said he's a tragic hero. I was contrasting it with characters I was discussing in another thread who are, to me, not only villains but clear villains. Those priorities are not sticking up for Jon's family and fighting his family's enemies, however much Jon would like them to be. Their priorities are the ones that have permitted them to persist for thousands of years so some people (even if they're fewer than they should be) can defend the Wall. He only entered into a relationship with her after he joined the NW, thus breaking his vows (although he was obeying orders to do so). Ygritte is killed by someone else. If he was motivated by morality, he could have done it earlier. He made his decision when he was ordered to kill his own father. KG serve for life, they can't just leave when they feel like it. It is to organizations those oaths are sworn to. That social structure permits the maintenance of the Wall, which they repeatedly attacked. More like "never". The wildlings opposing the LC of the NW is normal. What's unusual is the Starks opposing the LC as well because he's a villain.
  15. How is he bending the truth or rules via passivity? We're talking about Jon's decision to collude with Melisandre in sending a disguised Mance out of CB after he has been sentenced to die (and supposedly executed), even after Stannis heard all of Jon's opposing arguments. A "people", "nation" or "ethnic group" is most often defined by its language. The next most important cultural factor is generally religion. That language would be the Andal tongue, of an entirely different origin. Not just nowadays, it has been that way for a very long time. The NW choosing allies in order to ensure support is precisely what the oath is supposed to block. Every house is supposed to regard the NW as neutral and worthy of support because it WON'T ever side with a rival house. A verbal "diss" is disrespect, and hostility to Ned Stark's son as LC similarly expresses a cynical view of the NW not actually adhering to its avowed neutrality. Cynical & accurate! "Until"? Who says Tywin was ever going to attack. The Others attacked the NW repeatedly in-series. Tywin Lannister never did. He just didn't help them (during the War of the Five Kings, he did send men after the sack of KL), and the act-omission distinction is relevant to most people even if consequentialists say it shouldn't be. Is defending a wall not an ordinary military purpose? Conscripts don't normally gain much materially, or they wouldn't have to be conscripted. Sellswords fight for gain, and we agree that's not the NW. A "political-military arrangement" among the kingdoms south of the Wall. Winterfell was not actually doing much for the NW under Robb/Bran either. Robb wanted to remove Jon from the NW to prevent Tyrion from claiming Winterfell via his marriage to Sansa. What "in-world history" explains the Andal language becoming the most common one spoken by the wildings despite the Andals themselves failing to penetrate north of the Neck? What are the borders of that kingdom? Does that kingdom support the NW or oppose it? And the NW is not supposed to defend that area. Certainly rangers do not transform into another species when they go ranging. But unless they desert, they remain subjects of Westerosi political authority which acts to ensure the defense of the Wall. They belong to the human race, but not to any realm. Craster is defended by nobody, and obeys no authority. Essos has its Five Forts (though as far as we know they are just the creation of the Yi-Ti empire rather than Essos as a whole) defending an entirely different area. World War 2 involved both Germany & Japan as allied countries, but the RAF fighting the former in the Battle of Britain was not thereby defending China against the latter. We haven't actually learned that. The explanation we have heard from Tycho is that they are just motivated by Cersei not paying them what is owed. That I'm not buying. If any threat emerges from the wastes beyond the Five Forts, the NW isn't doing anything about that. True, and less meaningful than you think. The relevance is that the Wall could have been much shorter just to deal with them; its height implies a more formidable threat. Not so much the presence of one kind of enemy as the absence of another. The abundance of something he blames is "years". "Rejoin"? They never lived south of the Wall. No, I don't think that's the point of what he wrote. Jon is a tragic hero, and not a clear villain like many of his other characters (such as ones I'm arguing about in a different thread). Jon is a person whose priorities are NOT the same as the institution of the NW, and this gives rise to conflict. Not only conflict within himself, but also with people who have been in the NW longer than him and don't share his other experiences & priorities. He's a more sympathetic version of Jaime. Jaime joined the KG with some idealistic notions about it (although he never had any intention of abiding by the oath of celibacy), was eventually forced to choose between his family and violating the most defining oath of the KG (for a very good reason), and came to decide that all oaths were worthless and that he would act purely on behalf of his family regardless of how many laws of gods or men he broke. Jon intended to be an honorable member of the NW, but has found himself torn and ultimately decides to leave his post to fight his family's enemy, only to then be assassinated by his own men for doing so. Then why are the wildlings north of the Wall and why have they never sent any of their men to join the NW like the kingdoms south of said Wall have? If they'd been supporting the NW this whole time, the NW would not have "forgotten" which side they were on.
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