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About Ran

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    Balerion (Admin), Aidan Dayne, Rhodry Martell

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    Westeros! History (ancient and medieval), SF/F, adventure and strategy gaming, MUSHes and MUXes (but not MUDs), Linda.

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  1. Again, we have a surprisingly similar situation described within a few pages, one that sounds pretty reasonable as an argument between two people, and one that then sounds absurdly exaggerated. We have quoted text in both, but one has an explicit sourcing, and the other does not. Even the pattern of these things are echoed, which feels exactly how incidents tend to be enlarged through rumors and second-hand accounts. Before this alleged dialog, we have sources cited about the situation, yes. And then the dialog appears without citation. And then when Alicent hears of the plans and preparations -- clearly a different, and more public, occasion -- we once again have actual sourcing, both Eustace and Munkun being in agreement about the Alicent-Rhaenyra dialog. It sure sounds to me like there's no clear source on that dialog, and just from internal consistency I see no way of making sense of Daemon thinking Stokeworth and Rosby were reasonable rewards to thinking that wiping out two Great Houses to reward them with their seats instead made more sense. It's certainly not that they _did_ anything, since between the time they get their knighthoods and lands and this alleged suggestion, they're involved in precisely nothing that would make them seem any substantially more loyal than they were earlier. It makes a lot of sense if gossip, or Mushroom's unsupported account, has been placed here, and it has augmented or enlarged a very real debate that happened somewhat earlier.
  2. That exchange -- between Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Corlys -- is one of those cases where we have quoted dialogue and yet no clear idea of what the source is supposed to be. Orwyle was not present, being in the dungeon. It does not seem to be some open court session, so no Eustace. Mushroom claims he was around for all these sorts of things, and generally his picture of Daemon tends to the sinister and bloodthirsty. It might be a council session, recorded by someone... but it could be no more than gossip, and may be a claim to discussions going on that the creator of Gyldayn's source believed but couldn't prove. So, I don't know that I buy that it can be taken at a given that Daemon advocated, rather randomly, for completely wiping out two Great Houses to reward two dragonriders. I don't even see the sense of his picking the Lannisters as a target. Yes, they were fighting against them, but the Lannisters did nothing infamous or especially outrageous in their conduct of their opposition. I can see Daemon having a grudge for Borros, given the death of Luke, but going after the Lannisters seems like an enormous leap. Surely, if he were that bloody-minded, he'd be suggesting the Hightowers and Oldtown, not the Lannisters and Casterly Rock? And anyways, just a few pages earlier Daemon argued (according to Munkun, whom we're told is the source of this information) for a much more modest reward of Stokeworth and Rosby. It seems bizzare for Daemon to advocate for marriages to created-heiresses of minor houses as a reward. to wiping out entirely families of two Great Houses to give them seats. It almost feels like someone heard that Daemon had advocated giving lordships to Hugh and Ulf, and then through the rumor mill it grew into an enormity.
  3. I agree. It was cold-blooded revenge that was Daemon's motive, an "eye for an eye" situation in a vendetta, rather than ruthless politics. People understand feuds, and people certainly understand to some degree the "right to vengeance" which can be used to strike at ancillary figures simply because they are related to perpetrators of a misdeed. As gross as the murder of a child may be, though, the murder of multiple children, and women to boot, would shift it from any plausible connection to vengeance to being the most brutal sort of political assassination. Which, you may rightly think, probably didn't matter so much to Westeros-at-large... but the only person who matters in this is the person ordering it, and how he thought about it.
  4. Munkun also used contemporary records, such as those of stewards, the kind of people who would be noting down things like how many people had to be fed, how many horses needed stabling, etc. He's going to have pretty accurate numbers, except in cases of bad organization such as Hightower's initial disaster of a campaign.
  5. Not something I can discuss.
  6. Ran

    "various book deadlines"

    I don't think we should assume that "The Mystery Knight" is the only one of the planned D&E stories that depend on some aspect of a mystery or a plot that needs to be unraveled. For example, we don't know why Pennytree is a royal fief. One can expect that the reasons for that would be a D&E story. But F&Bv2 could just up and say why that happened, and maybe it has to do with some Blackfyre Rebellion or some plot against Aegon V or something else we've no idea about. Now, personally, for me it's the journey rather than the destination that matters. But by revealing plot points as history, any plot depending on a sense of mystery or hidden motives will be less appealing to read for those who want to puzzle it out for themselves, and they may even be less appealing to write for GRRM because of the fact that he "spoiled" them, in a sense.
  7. He's one of the people on the small council who does appear to try and do his job, given his pressing Slynt to keep law and order in King's Landing prior to the Hand's tourney.
  8. It's a joke. (Not really). To quote myself:
  9. Yeah, I don't think the timing is right at all. That said, to answer the OP, no. Ashara Dayne is Quaithe of Asshai. It is known.
  10. Also true. Very different categories of activity...
  11. I feel like it would be much too obvious a lie to any of his readers to make any such claim with a straight face if it were obviously false. It's one thing to question his sources of information about events for which he was not present, but when he discusses structural aspects of how the world works (e.g. the various types of producers of copied manuscripts), this is an obvious world-building detail. The individual corrupt maester or septon might... but the issue is that there were what seem to have been many hundreds of copies in the span of a few decades, and if you look to the Middle Ages such popular texts would have been created through mercantile interests, not universities or the Church. Maesters do not have much use for turning a profit, septons want to keep their place in their hierarchy, but scribes whose income is entirely based on copying texts... well, they may have a need. But scribes are generally commoners, and those in Westeros run the risk of being run out of business if they cross the Faith or some pious lord or other local authority who'd take umbrage. For that matter, we are told that the text appears to be more of a matter of the non-noble class, people in the "low places", people with "goodwives", and so on. And to be sure, an obscene book making the lords and ladies of Westeros look like lascivious perverts would probably not be looked on fondly by many nobles in Westeros. Finally, it provides very sound reasons for why the books have varied texts: these were not rigorous copyists, but people who in the course of copying also added their own details to attempt to enhance the value of their text. Which against suggests profit motive, and again points to scribes rather than maesters or septons. I suspect failed scholars and defrocked septons in Oldtown started the initial wave of the very oldest and shortest form of the text, but the apparent high demand in those "low places" would have made it much, much easier for workshops in the Free Cities to create the supply to meet it... and as each workshop would have wanted to distinguish itself, that's where the expanded editions with new details and episodes start coming into it. I definitely see no reason to think that most of the copying was being done on the behalf of noblemen who were having their own maesters or septons carry out the copying. The people producing the bulk of the copies were doing it for money. And yet the suggestion that such things are too obscene for normal society suggests that there must be some risk to them, and the general opprobium of the Faith and perhaps even persecution from the Crown don't seem out of place. Since Gyldayn explicitly mentions "hired quills" in the Free Cities who are among the likely sources of the copies, I rather think we have been told.
  12. Indeed. The Faith Militant wouldn't appeal at all to Baelor. He'd likelier encourage the founding of new septries and motherhouses, rather than trying to arm the Faith. Perhaps he would have thought of it in his last months, if the rumors of his odder notions are true, but then, we don't know -- and nothing came of it, anyways, since he died. The Free Cities has significant trade and contact with Westeros across the narrow sea. There must be many scribes, involved in matters such as mercantile contracts and letters between associates on both sides of the water, who'd have the ability to copy texts in the Westerosi languages. An obscene book like the Caution, which would be kept very much underground because of its contents, would be difficult to produce en masse in Westeros... but not in the Free Cities, which does not share the same cultural-moral constraints. And yet, if the very nature of the book puts it in high demand where you could secure a very large profit for producing a copy... well, the Free Cities are mercantile paradise, and provided they have the means, they will provide a supply to meet the demand. I definitely believe Coryanne Wylde dictated something like it, and the initial copies were made in Oldtown. But the production of many hundreds of copies can't have been primarily in Westeros. Those "hired quills" from the Free Cities makes sense. They've industrialized ship production in Braavos, they've developed the grinding of lenses and glassblowing to a high level in Myr, and there's not a lot of reason to think they don't have a very vivid "manuscript culture" in the Free Cities as compared to that of Westeros, where one of the Great Houses can genuinely boast of having a hundred-odd books in its library as being significant.
  13. A bit of research online brings to mind a couple of useful antecedents. I had started by wondering about Boccacio's Decameron, which had some erotic passages, and which was widely copied in Italy in the 14th and 15th century. This led to then looking at the Wikipedia article on manuscript culture and it discusses the rise of secular book-copying workshops, and also the development in Italy of a system called pecia which was used by universities to make pieces of manuscripts readily available... but also provides a model for how rapid reproduction could be done. To me, workshops like this would explain the (relatively) wide availability of a popular, obscene text in Westeros. It seems hard to imagine mass production of the Caution for Young Girls by workshops of scribes could happen under the Faith's nose in Oldtown, but perhaps one or two such groups could do something there, failed students and acolytes alike, hidden away in some nook and keeping it on the down-low. But the Free Cities seems a likelier place for it, not least because they appear to be more secular (Norvos excepted) and also more broadly literate. So, yeah, I think Gyldayn's reference to "hired quills" accounts for the majority of the copies, and if workshops were turning it out they were doing it on demand from clients or speculatively on the assumption they'd be able to make a profit.
  14. Daemon Velaryon, I'd guess.
  15. Ran

    Small Questions v. 10105

    I suspect he misspoke, and was referring to the Maidenvault.