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The Dragon Demands

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About The Dragon Demands

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  • Birthday 11/05/1985

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  1. (falls to my knees with a vacant, thousand yard stare) I know. I wish someone smarter than me could do all the work of figuring this out. But we're on our own.
  2. The "Lannisters ran out of gold" thing was Season 4, as were the Harryhausen skeletons. ….to be honest, I genuinely freaked out from 2014 to 2015 due to the removal of the Tysha reveal. Part of me wanted to hold onto the belief that "they're saving Tysha and Lady Stoneheart for next year". Then Season 5 hit with the Sansa rape, TV Dorne, Stannis massacre, nonsensically changing the Jon Snow murder....and the shit just stacked up too high to keep track of it all. Freaked out from 2014 to 2015, lashing out at everything, because I couldn't focus it on Benioff and Weiss - not yet. It's amazing comparing our mental states before and after...realizing "they're just doing what they like impulsively"....back when we were straining to figure out what "internal logic" made them make the changes they did. It was like trying to figure out a "pattern" to Cersei's petty, impulsive decisions in A Feast for Crows; it didn't occur to me that they just plain didn't HAVE "a plan". No "discussions". What fool I was. Not just about that but how I handled it. If anything, it was only as the show continued to get drastically worse from 2016 onwards that I started to mentally (and socially) recover (I mean "being sociable to be around"). It was only as it became more obvious "Benioff, Weiss, and Cogman are idiots and con men" that I actually felt at ease; the failures in like, Season 7, made me feel BETTER. Because before that....they were "Gaslighting" us. "No, the Lannisters running out of gold makes sense!".....No, it doesn't. You're not building an argument for why this makes sense citing points of fact, you're just repeating "it makes sense" until you bludgeon us into submission. So it was only as the world starting seeing D&D for what they were in later seasons, that I think the suffering of book fans eased - constantly being told we were wrong to criticize them. Yeah as you say...…….I did read the books first, and I'm deeply confused at what the hell TV-only viewers thought of the Sansa rape. That was a real watershed moment, turning point. Didn't...didn't they hear, even just by OSMOSSIS, by reading reviews, that "this doesn't happen at all in the books"? I...I think most had some vague notion of the scale of this change...but then just shrugged and moved ahead; "well, the White Walker storyline is still good, so let's look past the *invented rape subplot* (Bastards....bastards who got what the F**K they deserved in Season 8!! ) (anger subsiding) But yeah, some of the TV fansites at lease like WatchersONtheWall…. did things like blame the failure of TV-Dorne on "wow, these are really bad actresses" (no ...it's awful plotting and dialogue). These aren't "TV analysts" though, they're the dregs of hype fandom who wanted to call themselves "analysts" for hitting a "like" button. Their world died. Dear god, I had so much fun watching Season 8. They got what was coming to them; they worshipped the Golden Calf, then got surprised when it didn't save them. Sorry I'm freaking out. I'm almost done listening to the final Bluray commentary with Benioff and Weiss themselves. Benioff's....smarmy, smug....he's gaslighting Emilia, even. A pathological liar...he'll frequently "joke" with actors by making claims that aren't true....but not in a joking tone, in an earnest tone. And the actors will insist "he's lying, he's joking"....but he'll keep earnestly insisting, in an honest tone, "I'm telling the truth, admit it"....and this goes on for a solid two minutes. To the point it's genuinely upsetting, upsetting to think of having this guy as a boss....he keeps doing it long after they've made it clear they're uncomfortable with him continuing to press these false claims (again: not just repeating it in a joking tone, but his delivery is fully honest, he's trying to present it as fact). Sort of like how Euron plays mind games on those around him.
  3. I know. I was one of those fools, who thought exactly that. How naïve we were. How blind. Were we wrong to be that trusting? To trust that a major network like HBO wouldn't hand the reins over to Benioff, literally based on no other reason than that his father was a friend of the head of the network at the time? We expect some levels of "Old Boys Network", but for god's sake this is the kind of nepotism that topples empires. Like many, I held on to false hope after Season 5, but Season SIX is when I turned on the show - when I realized they didn't really have "a plan" or coherent actions at all, even internally (Cogman's jovial voice ranting about how much agency Sansa has now, culmination of her rape subplot....when no, she doesn't do a damn thing in Season 6, even though you promised, and seem to genuinely believe she's "doing something" by making stern stares at other characters). What amazes me is how many people didn't realize that even after Season 7's antics. I'm an odd case...short version is that I actually WAS a books-first fan - a friend gave me the first book in 2005, when A Feast for Crows came out and I asked what the buzz was all about. So I'm from that later wave of Feast-era hype, but before the TV hype began. Sort of like the Korean War/Silent Generation …..in the United States, people usually think of the "Greatest Generation" of World War II being followed by the Baby Boomers in the Vietnam Era, these two big defining eras, forgetting that Korea was an experience unto itself for that middle generation). But I digress... I'm an odd case because I was a Lord of the Rings book fan who on the whole really liked the movies, and thus had bad memories of all the bitter intra-fandom fights we had been Pro-Movie Book fans and Book Purists - purists whose demands were truly unreasonable for an adaptation. So I walked into this naïve and young, assuming any criticisms of Seasons 1 or 2 were much like the unreasonably LOTR book purists I'd opposed 10 years ago. In short....I treated Benioff like the next Peter Jackson. Because their marketing department actively attempted to portray him to the public as the next Peter Jackson. How could we have known how much of the failure of the pilot was due to his incompetence? They hid that from us pretty well. We didn't have enough "fandom infrastructure" then. Independent reporting. That manipulative clown Bryan Cogman leading reporters by the nose through their sets in Belfast to awe them with the set production, not pausing to say "by the way I'm literally a coffee boy they promoted to staff writer based on cronyism". We need to rebuild that fandom infrastructure - a few YouTube channels have been making some strides, million-view criticisms and such - next time we need to hit the ground running. In short: I had bad experiences with book-purists during LOTR even though I was a books-first fan then, and walked into this with those prejudices....combined, with that this IS NOT our fault, but HBO's fault, for all the nepotism, hiring someone truly as unqualified as Stephen Friedman's dilettante son who doesn't have a screenwriting degree. Indeed, I was a vehement defender of the TV show....blindly...up until the end of Season 6, even. I complained, yes, but I was rationalizing. You may find that surprising, given how vehemently I oppose Benioff now. That's WHY I'm so vehement: I used to actually defend him very strongly, but he played me for a fool and cuckolded us all. Now my rage horrifies even me. TWOW will bring revenge. Justice. Fire & Blood. I said after Season 6 that we had to smash down the whole TV hype fandom, smash it, break it, and reforge it into our own image again. No compromise, no peace in our time: this was a disaster and the guilty will be punished in the annals of history. We'll win because we want it more.
  4. I'm deeply intrigued by GRRM's comments last year revealing that HBO indeed was pushing for certain actors/characters to have more screen time based on their "Q Rating". Wikipedia page on it is interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_Score Technically called a "Q Score". But from what Martin said we got the context: it's market research to find out which parts of the show are most popular...and then push for those things to be featured more. In a book adaptation. Now there is some sense to this, if done with RESTRAINT; if Bronn is popular, add BACK more of his book storylines, don't add filler. Arya's popular? Round out her Season 2 book material from Harrenhal they cut - don't just invent your own filler! I had quite an interesting discussion about this recently on Twitter, about how basically the same thing happened to True Blood's later seasons under Richard Plepler's tenure: As one person put it to me, True Blood's quality noticeably dropped off from Season 4 onwards....specifically because "It became the Eric, Pam, and Lafayette Show". Three very popular characters from the early seasons, deservedly so....and they just pandered them for all they were worth, until they became Flanderized exaggerations of themselves, and took screentime away from other storylines. The exact same thing happened to Game of Thrones: "Badass Arya" and "Maisie Williams Being Badass Emoting in An Arya Costume"....became a major brand name until itself. We saw that before in other statements Plepler made about his run on HBO catering to a "boutique culture of A-list celebrities and creatives, to attract viewers". This fit hand in glove with Benioff and Weiss's celebrity pandering (they're not real writers but frauds, don't know how screenwriting works, so they ride the coat tails of celebrity actors). It says something that....at the beginning of the Blu-ray commentary for 25th Hour, Benioff openly admits that he never got a book published for ten years, until he wrote 25th Hour explicitly with the idea that it could be pitched as a movie adaptation starring Tobey Maguire. People told us Benioff was a famous respected author; 25th Hour is trash, it was written to be turned into an Oscar bait movie. Point is, he learned from day one: if you're a bad writer, pander to celebrities and ride in their wake. How many times have characters WE were invested in...been sidelined? In the "public consciousness"? Even like...Grey Worm and Missandei, aren't treated as a "brand name" on the scale of a Sophie Turner or a Maisie Williams. It reminds me of the music industry. how they craft the image of a new happy singer like Ke$ha or whatever, and it's all a meta-narrative story they're selling us. "Wow, Maisie Williams!" itself became a brand name. The "Tier A" / Core Seven of the cast, particularly (Stark Children and Lannister Children, plus Daenerys). Granted, they ARE the main characters of the books, more or less. But when you realize just how much HBO was willing to let them rewrite the show to pander popular characters....impulsively rewrite it. I mean, okay, you want more Bronn or Arya - this is a massive show, it's an adaptation not a new story, so giving that character more time means we're taking time away from something else. So you might, plausibly, want to give a character a few more scenes TWO seasons from now, so we can fit it in organically, but not NEXT season, as we're writing it. I think a Q Score actually does have its uses: the "negative" Q Score, of measuring what audiences DON'T like about the show. Amazing that for all of Benioff's boasting that "we don't listen to critics!" he's 1 - actually on video said how obsessed he is with their episode by episode IMDB ratings, 2 - ….yeah, their marketing department was telling them to pander certain characters/actors based on how popular they are.
  5. What amazes me most about the handful of reactions to "one year since the finale"...is how many of the websites & reviewers who were in too deep to the hype.... don't really seem to consider that this might not be the book ending. By which I mean...not even the ones arguing "the books must end like this! it's just a little rushed!" - that level of denial is understandable I mean the ones who never even bring up source material. I guess for them....the TV show is all there ever was.| I often get despondent thinking about how little impact WE have had to correct this but...I guess Winds of Winter will be a huge wakeup call, to just how different it actually was. But that's what frightens me most: they don't even ask these questions. Not even...not even the people who blindly LIKED it, such as the quislings at WatchersOntheWall and so forth. I mean people who hated the TV show's ending, but...don't even seem to consider that there's an ongoing book series, which may be drastically different. The question never occurs to them. That frightens me. Also shames them, for how far "TV analysis" has fallen. I guess...I guess if you watched up UNTIL Season 8 still believing in blind hype, you didn't have any "critical thinking" skills....not since Season 5. These aren't people prone to self-reflection. So should we be surprised, that their response to just how bad Season 8 was....has been sputtering confusion? No attempts at "analysis" of why it failed? That's what makes them who they are; anyone capable of that kind of reflection would have left already. "Wow, Season 8 Bad!".....not even articulating WHAT was so bad that Benioff & Weiss did, the pattern of what they were doing (awards baiting the actors)…..these are people who blame THE FICTIONAL STORY. "Wow, that's a bad ending!" "You mean....the writers MADE a bad ending. This story doesn't 'exist" in 3 dimensional real-time space" We have to rebuild from this. To take our dignity back from them.
  6. The Euron actor recently did a podcast in which he allegedly makes blunt criticisms of the TV show, as in the year since the finale, he actually read all the books (or rather, listened to them on audiobook). Unfortunately, the podcast is in Danish. Does anyone know Danish well enough to make cited quotes from this? Or know other people who in turn known Danish? https://www.reddit.com/r/naath/comments/gop1w3/spoilers_main_euron_greyjoy_speaks_out/ @Ran @Linda
  7. For those curious about it, these are the two videos I recently made using clips from the Blu-ray commentaries: I'm posting them in reverse order, because the one from 8.5 is a short 3 minute watch, while the 8.4 one is almost half an hour, and actually 3 separate clips intercut with my own comments. The basic theory is this: when someone pointed out to me that video on "Daenerys the Mad Queen" that HBO *delisted from YouTube but forgot to delete*, we noticed that Emilia Clarke's comments prominently don't match what actually happened. By extension, this made us pay more attention to other points in Season 8 when...dialogue in finished episodes, didn't even match up. AT THE TIME, I thought these were relics of earlier scripts that weren't corrected when filming BEGAN, or at least, that Benioff and Weiss gave Emilia Clarke a big pep talk about Dany's INTERNAL motivations, that she's not insane but in grief...but others pointed out to me in reaction, that it's possible they were outright lying to her about EXTERNAL events, beyond her head-space, but lying about the extent of Daenerys's destruction. That is, not just that this was an early draft of the script that wasn't corrected before they BEGAN...but that they were rewriting it AS THEY WERE FILMING Season 8 itself. And thus Clarke is outright referring to a different version that persisted as late as the live table read. Bullet Point Version: Different people at separate points hype up that Daenerys is going to burn "the Red Keep" but not "all of King's Landing". Yes, there is a massive difference. Hyping up that Cersei is using "human shields" in "the Red Keep" itself...even though, in the finished version, nothing of the sort happens. No real attention is paid to civilians in the Red Keep, and Daenerys is...randomly burning fleeing civilians in the streets of the city, making carpet-bomb strafing runs back and forth, rather than heading straight to the Red Keep. The theory is that CERSEI was supposed to be "the Mad Queen", and that as a dead-man's trigger of sorts, she hid caches of wildfire throughout the city. In the original version, Daenerys, in a moment of rage, would burn THE RED KEEP itself...ACCIDENTALLY setting off a wildfire chain reaction that burns much of the city. Obviously her army was filmed pillaging, but what if the original version is that they took her burning the Red Keep as a SIGNAL that it was okay to start pillaging? Why are random wildfire explosions going off in the background of the fall of KL, without comment? Even one of those explosions could have spread through the whole city. In the episode 8.5 commentary, the VFX Team...openly admits that there were originally a LOT MORE shots of wildfire explosions, which were later "reconceived" and changed into regular red dragonfire. So...that's confirmed, originally wildfire was a much bigger element. And okay, maybe they intended for Daenerys to burn the city itself AND much more than she ever intended, by setting off wildfire caches, and simply cut it because they think viewers are idiots who would forget and it would take too long to explain again. If you pay attention to specific points when people describe what Daenerys is going to do, in behind the scenes videos, Emilia Clarke herself says "she's filled with rage and the drive to F-ing kill her"....HER, Cersei. As in, directly attack the Red Keep...not randomly burn the streets in strafing runs, taking her time to get to the Red Keep. Meanwhile, Dan Weiss also said in the Inside the Episode that "she sees the Red Keep, and decides to make this PERSONAL"......Personal? How? By killing the civilians that Cersei doesn't care about? Also implies she was supposed to attack just the Red Keep. Within the episodes themselves, is there a pattern to the mismatching lines of dialogue about Daenerys burning "the Red Keep"? Well....when they start bringing it up in episode 8.4, it's consistently when we can't see actors' lips moving. What tipped me off was that one of them was a body double scene - in itself not an issue, they often use body doubles for green screen shots of Croatia merged with Belfast. But the mismatch in her facial movements made me realize "even when Qyburn and Varys talk about it, their lines are off-screen". ....It would be silly if they added these lines BACK in during post-production, given that they mismatch what happens in the aired version....so more probably, they're RELIC dialogue....and....they're all off-screen lines, probably recorded as ADR. This happened on LOTR: many lines get re-dubbed by the actors anyway. My theory is that they forgot to update the script they sent to the ADR studio, so ADR is using an OLDER version of the script, when Daenerys just burns "the Red Keep" firing through HUMAN SHIELDS....no use of human shields happens in the final version, she just randomly burns the city! Daenerys's final scene in the throneroom, while visible, also mismatches; Jon says "you burned innocents" and she says "Cersei used them against me"....how? HOW? You COULD have flown straight to the Red Keep, but was instead needlessly massacring civilians? It sounds like this is also a relic of an earlier version onf the script.. So we're left with various clues: originally, a wildfire chain reaction WAS going to happen. Probably from attacking the Red Keep, through human shields, NOT "going mad and burning the city". Quite separately....a month after the finale, Lena Headey bluntly admitted that a Cersei miscarriage scene was filmed for the Season 7 finale, but cut. MORE curious, are the deleted scenes for Season SEVEN, involving Varys....which HBO hid from us. HBO didn't release ANY deleted scenes in the Season 7 Blu-ray set, which was odd. The only season (since Season One) that they didn't have any. They DID list deleted Season 7 scenes...included in the final, Season EIGHT Blu-ray set. All hidden away in there...but technically "released", technically not "hiding" it, but swept under the rug. When we actually GOT those deleted scenes, there was an intriguing one with Varys: In a deleted scene stated to be from the Season 7 finale, Varys arrives at the Dragonpit after everyone else leaves, and reunites with one of his "Little Birds" - the dwarf girl Trella, who was previously introduced in Season 5. As if they were leading somewhere with that. Their actual dialogue isn't specific, just Varys saying he doesn't blame her for switching to work with Qyburn; she's an orphan and needs powerful friends to survive. "But what's better than having one powerful friend? Having TWO powerful friends" - and they both smile. Now consider that, in the books, Varys is still sneaking around the Red Keep, and book five ends with him using the little birds to kill both Pycelle and Kevan Lannister. AND, keep in mind Varys's stated goals to Kevan as he's dying: if he can sneak around the Red Keep, why not just assassinate Cersei? He killed Pycelle and Kevan easily enough. Simply killing Cersei is not his intention. His stated goal is to drive her insane, making the Lannisters' political position crumble, turning into overt tyranny...to "soften up" the populace of Westeros, so that they welcome Young Griff as a liberator. I call this the "Rabban gambit" by the way, from Frank Herbert's Dune. Baron Harkonnen's younger nephew Feyd can't understand why he put Feyd's older brother Rabban in charge of Dune, even though he's a tank-brain, filled with brutality but no sense of cunning or strategy like the Baron and Feyd himself. The Baron later reveals to Feyd that he INTENTIONALLY made Rabban the governor over Feyd...because he knows that Rabban will fail. That way, when the Baron replaces Rabban with Feyd, they'll hail Feyd as a liberator. So keep in mind that for a time at least, Benioff and Weiss were ripping off rags and remnants of the future book outline, albeit mish-mashing them together with whim and caprice (Sansa and Jeyne Poole)….but if we sort through the inane babble, we might be able to sort out elements of what the hell GRRM told them. Or, they were just ripping off fan theories. I don't know. But consider the facts: Book-Varys COULD have Cersei poisoned in the Red Keep, but doesn't, because he wants to drive her insane, so Young Griff will be hailed as a liberator. Separately...we get hints in the books that Cersei is pregnant again. Her dresses don't fit - could be alcoholic weight gain, but maybe not. Season 7 of the TV show had her pregnant again ….though who knows if that's proof. The question though is simple: Varys's goal is to drive Cersei insane....and then she doesn't act particularly insane in the TV show ending. But what better way to drive Cersei insane...than to have one of the little birds poison her with an abortifact? (Tansy Tea)….a miscarriage would probably drive her into full-on "Mad Queen mode". So the theory is that they were starting to set this up in the Season 7 finale: a filmed scene of Varys having a significant meeting with his Little Birds....and a scene of Cersei having a miscarriage. Put two and two together. But then they cut all that out, and Cersei is inexplicably not visibly pregnant for months - they never bothered to significantly address this massive, last-minute rewrite. Because D&D are sloppy idiots. So there WAS buildup that CERSEI would be "the Mad Queen", and that Daenerys would AT WORST do something "ruthless" (shoot through human shields)….did they rewrite all this at the last minute to CHANGE it to Daenerys being the Mad Queen? There are a lot of surviving relics if we examine all the deleted scenes, scripts, etc. There's a puzzle here. A puzzle that needs solving. Smarter people than me will need to solve it, but I keep finding new puzzle-pieces - a LOT of new pieces. Enough to throw Benioff and Weiss's ending into the shadow of doubt. Or, if you prefer, we could go right back to the mentality in Season 5 that "Benioff and Weiss must have a good reason for the Sansa rape, let's have blind faith in them".
  8. As Lord Varys said, I’ve been going through all the season 8 Blu-ray commentaries in order, slowly scrutinizing them for info and making highlight clips. Tonight I will get to the last one: the series finale, with Benioff and Weiss. May the Seven grant me strength.
  9. Well no those are both weird starting points: after the war of conquest is largely over? The long peace of Jaehaerys?
  10. I'm confused...Jeyne Arryn did NOT die from Winter Fever in 133 AC? Even though it struck Gulltown? ...only to then die of a "chest cold" a year later, in 134 AC, while visiting Gulltown? I thought she "died of Winter Fever"? https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Jeyne_Arryn
  11. (well I gave the start dates) ….not really sure when the Winter Fever "ended" actually, just when it ended in King's Landing, Fire & Blood briefly mentions that even as it was burning itself out in King's Landing, it had just started to spread to Barrowton - surprising to them, given that it rarely went that far inland, but it seemed to be more potent in colder weather of the North
  12. There were 3 major epidemics in Westeros since the Targaryen Conquest: The Shivers (59 AC), the Winter Fever (121 AC), and the Great Spring Sickness (209 AC). What's confusing is that the quarantine responses differed for each, and I wonder if GRRM did this on purpose. Why aren't any quarantine attempts described in response to the outbreak of the Shivers? My interpretation....is that Westeros never had widespread epidemics like this before the Targaryen unification, due to lower travel rates and population. They didn't have major highways like the Kingsroad, trade between ports in rival kingdoms was probably lower (Oldtown-Lannisport), etc. etc. On top of this, Fire & Blood states that due to the Targaryen peace, by the middle of Jaehaerys's reign around 59 AC, the population of Westeros had DOUBLED compared to before the Conquest. So Martin's intent was that they were caught off-guard by how bad the Shivers spread, they had no experience with epidemics of that size (it even says there had been outbreaks of diseases like the Shivers a century before, but they were never this bad). By the Winter Fever, they at least tried to quarantine King's Landing. By the Great Spring Sickness, the Vale and Dorne managed to isolate themselves by closing their borders (curiously, neither of those is mentioned during the other outbreaks). So is this specifically because they learned from the failed response to the Shivers? Reinforcing my belief in this scenario is that these three epidemics were written in reverse order. The Great Spring Sickness is from the Tales of Dunk & Egg, written in the late 1990s. Martin wrote the Dance of the Dragons novella outlines for the World book, around 2012? So he came up with Winter Fever around then. Lastly, it's confirmed that Martin wrote the new Jaehaerys chapters for Fire & Blood LAST, AFTER the World of Ice & Fire was published, and it's only in Fire & Blood that we hear mention of the Shivers. So the three outbreaks were WRITTEN about, invented by GRRM, in reverse order. Why would GRRM describe quarantines in Dunk & Egg and even in the World book novellas (quarantined King's Landing for Winter Fever), but NO QUARANTINE ATTEMPTS for the third epidemic he wrote about? (which chronologically happened first)? So...did he do this on purpose? That a Westeros-wide pandemic was a new thing due to the Targaryen unification, so they botched the response to the Shivers, but later learned from that failure in later epidemics?
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