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About Ran

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    King o' the Board
  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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  • Blood of Dragons
    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. Ran

    Oscar News: Popular Film Category

    That's what they say, that a film can be in both categories. Funny about that year, 1998. Three of the five nominated films were in the top 10, all five in the top 50. Besides Titanic, As Good as It Gets and Good Will Hunting were in the top 10. When I mentioned the coarsening of culture, it's not something that's happened very gradually over fifty years. It's something that's happened rather more quickly, and over the last couple of decades. Audiences voting for bread-and-circuses -- err, paying to watch VFX beat 'em ups -- is what's led to this situation where people can talk about good films as being "niche".
  2. Ran

    Military Strengths and More!

    And even if you have governor's, magistrates, etc., you are still delegating control to others. As the provincial governors of Rome and the satraps of Persia, among others, showed, they too were perfectly capable of rebelling and causing trouble. Some rather meaningless hair-splitting is going on in this thread, which is a shame. It is not useful to go round and round over nomenclature and moving goal-posts. It illuminates nothing.
  3. Ran

    Wiki Account

    Erk. Seems an email issue has led to people not receiving the registration mail for months. Away from home this weekend but will try to rectify it asap next week
  4. Ran

    Robert's Rebellion: The River Lords

    What he allegedly did. A maester's scribblings are not primary evidence.
  5. Ran

    Fevre Dream Fancast

    James Gandolfini? Played a military man in a couple of films. Alas, he passed away a few years ago.
  6. Ran

    Fevre Dream Fancast

    I was mostly thinking Sour Billy Tipton, to be honest. For an American Abner Marsh... John Goodman? Maybe a bit long in the tooth these days. And Billy, well, Walter Goggins is almost typecast as the Southern sleaze these days...
  7. Ran

    Fevre Dream Fancast

    Ron Donachie (Rodrik Cassel on the show) bonded with George over his love of the novel and American football, and I've had the sense George and Parris both favored him as a possibility to play Abner Marsh. That said, that's a very British fan casting, isn't it? 8 of 10 of the roles. Poor American actors.
  8. Ran

    Wiki Account

    You'll want to request here: https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/forum/121-wiki-account-registration/ Bear in mind that it's primarily a wiki for the novels, not the TV show.
  9. Ran

    Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

    The people who dislike what he writes should just stop reading it, near as I can tell. Pretty sure that no one who does this will be left in the dark as to when his next book is published, as it will doubtless hit the rounds in publishing, genre, and even entertainment press, and on this and other fora, and so on and so forth. Rothfuss is pretty clearly in a dark mental space right now and it feels kind of ghoulish to shred him for it, whatever sins he's allegedly committed against his readers and his fans.
  10. I would assume so, since the offices are treated as important -- Lysa Arryn insists on calling her son the True Warden, the power of the Lannisters with Jaime as Warden of the East is a concern, Roose Bolton is made the new Warden of the North, etc. I agree that the idea has likely evolved, namely that wardens call royal armies together at the behest of the crown, and so it's not like Jaime being warden _really_ meant that they "had" the armies of the Vale under their control outside of a very specific situation. The riverlands must fall under one or the other, I'd think. The armies of 3 of the 7 kingdoms may not be quite half, but "half" is a good word to use when you're trying to dissuade someone. I don't believe it makes much sense to break up regions to divide them between wardenries, given the way the vassalage system works. I suspect the North is the wardenry by itself. The Iron Islands have to fit somewhere, of course, and given Ned's leading role in the Greyjoy Rebellion, it may be the case that the Iron Islands is encompassed there.
  11. Ran

    Condoning Renly Baratheon

    Lets stay polite. That said, you're right. The people who lead vans in Westeros are generally the kind of men others will follow into the teeth of hell. They don't have to be great tacticians or careful warriors. What they have to be is bold, fearless, and personally capable in arms. Loras checks off all those things, easily. He was a perfectly appropriate choice for the battle that was expected.
  12. I don't think you're quite right about this. Word that Robb had taken the Crag came at the same time that the Battle of the Fords was won and Edmure was returning. The battle took about 3 days, and I think it would take about 3 days for the message to make the distance, so basically Robb took the seat when the battle started. If Edmure avoided battle, well, Tywin's troops would be crossing the fords as Robb was taking the castle. I have to imagine Robb was informed that Tywin was approaching, for that matter, and yet he moved on the Crag anyways. Now, maybe word would have reached him about Tywin marching, just as word reached him of the death of his brothers, and he would have been too distracted to bed and wed Jeyne. But I think he would have taken the Crag regardless.
  13. Three things: 1) That figure is derived somehow. In the development of taxation in medieval England following the Norman conquest, you had the old approach of requiring military service for 40 days (with the number of men expected related to the land held in fee), to Henry I's introduction of scutage to allow the substitution of money for military service, to other forms of taxation developing over time. We know there are tax farmers, so to be sure, at the local level you likely have people who pay for the right to "farm" the tax of a place, with the fee corresponding to an assessment of what's expected, and then if they manage to find more they pocket it and if they find less they simply have to eat the loss. But in all such cases, there has to have been an assessment of what should be raised.. At some point in time, assessments and adjustments have to be made. TAs Jaak noted previously, of course, the adjustments and assessments can take a _very_ long time, with revenue lagging growth. The usual solution was imposition of new taxes when it was felt that there was such a lag, rather than doing a wide reassessment. 2) You can't punt this downward infinitely. The Starks have to figure out how to raise what they owe -- well, how do they assess how to apply their right to tax and so on to get those funds? Somewhere, someone is making lists of property and movable property and so on and so forth, for tax purposes. I do not know how often this was done in England, but I believe the Spanish crown made up new rolls and registers of its nobility and their property every 7 years. 3) As a separate matter, the wardenries are royal institutions. One supposes there are military expectations, the raising of certain troops when royal armies are needed, so there must be some royal bureaucracy related specifically to making sure the wardens can do what is expected of them. Given George's familiarity with English and Scottish history, the Wardens of the Marches are doubtless his example, and they directly bore the expense and then crown revenues were remitted to them (at least in theory -- the failure of the crown to make timely reimbursement was a factor in Hotspur Percy's enmity with Henry IV) that would in theory cover those expenses. So the Warden of the North, one supposes, is required to be able to do certain things when asked, and one of those things must be raising troops for a royal host, and so he has double reason to try and keep a good sense of what his vassals owe in military service, and from this one can cross-check against what they're assessed to be able to pay against tax, and so on and so forth. Too-right. France is the famous example, and even there the taille nobility were exempt from was a direct tax. They did pay other, indirect taxes.
  14. Ran

    Oscar News: Popular Film Category

    They have those awards. The Golden Globes run more popular, the MTV Movie Awards sure do, the People's Choice Awards definitely do. Financially, it's doing pretty well. Last year 2 of the nominees were in the top 15 grossing films. 4 of them were in the top 50 grossing films. Popular movies are not, and never have been, excluded from the awards, as Wings, Titanic, LotR, etc. show. But giving "popular" movies a separate category lowers the artistic bar substantially. Culture has coarsened enough, one hardly needs to bow to it. I mean, by way of comparison, here's last year's top 10 grossing films: 1 Star Wars: The Last Jedi BV $620,181,382 4,232 $220,009,584 4,232 12/15 4/19 2 Beauty and the Beast (2017) BV $504,014,165 4,210 $174,750,616 4,210 3/17 7/13 3 Wonder Woman WB $412,563,408 4,165 $103,251,471 4,165 6/2 11/9 4 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sony $404,515,480 3,849 $36,169,328 3,765 12/20 5/31 5 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 BV $389,813,101 4,347 $146,510,104 4,347 5/5 9/21 6 Spider-Man: Homecoming Sony $334,201,140 4,348 $117,027,503 4,348 7/7 11/30 7 It WB (NL) $327,481,748 4,148 $123,403,419 4,103 9/8 12/14 8 Thor: Ragnarok BV $315,058,289 4,080 $122,744,989 4,080 11/3 3/15 9 Despicable Me 3 Uni. $264,624,300 4,535 $72,434,025 4,529 6/30 12/21 10 Justice League WB $229,024,295 4,051 $93,842,239 4,051 11/17 3/15 and then the top 10 grossing films 50 years earlier, in 1967: 1. The Graduate AVCO Embassy / United Artists $104,642,560[2] 2. The Jungle Book nb1 Walt Disney Productions / Walt Disney Feature Animation $73,741,048[3] 3. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Columbia Pictures $56,666,667[4] 4. Bonnie and Clyde Warner Bros.-Seven Arts $50,700,000[5] 5. The Dirty Dozen Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $45,300,000[6] 6. Valley of the Dolls 20th Century Fox $44,432,255[7] 7. You Only Live Twice United Artists $43,084,787[8] 8. To Sir, with Love Columbia Pictures $42,432,803[9] 9. Thoroughly Modern Millie Universal Pictures $34,335,025[10] 10. Camelot Warner Bros.-Seven Arts $31,102,578[11] Three of the five were nominees for the Academy Award in 1968 (if you add the 11th film on the gross list, In the Heat of the Night, it was four of five.) It has been inclusive. Treating popularity as a thing worth giving a special reward to, when they already have oodles of money, is just going for the lowest common denominator.
  15. Ran

    Oscar News: Popular Film Category

    It's actually basically a way to give Disney/Marvel/Pixar (well, mostly Marvel, somewhat Disney, Pixar does fine in the animated category) an additional shot at primetime award glory on Disney-owned ABC's telecast of the Oscars. 5 of the 10 top grossing films of this year are from Disney and its subsidaries. 4 of 10 last year.