Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Ran

  1. Ran

    Why Was Robb Such An Awful Diplomat?

    All things that Robb, as commander of the forces he had brought south, should have paid attention to. It's actually an indictment of him that once he gave Bolton the command he basically completely abrogated all responsibility for what Bolton did. The Greatjon wouldn't have deliberately placed rivals in harm's way, but he would instead likely have pushed for aggression to the point where few of the forces would have been able to retreat, I expect. A destroyed host would have meant no pressure from that side of things helping to pin Tywin Lannister in place. Both Robb and Catelyn believed Roose was loyal. They both believed Theon was loyal, more or less. But what Catelyn was right about was that Balon Greyjoy was not a man to look kindly on Robb under any circumstances, and that by giving him Theon it weakened Robb's ability to leverage him. It was a real mistake.
  2. Ran

    Why Was Robb Such An Awful Diplomat?

    He was going to have the Greatjon lead it instead, which probably would have led to that whole host being destroyed. Neither she nor Robb (nor, indeed, Eddard) knew of Roose Bolton's perfidy. This is an Faith in a person whom could only be trusted insofar that it was believed he placed value on the life of his son. Giving that son to him to negotiate was an obvious error. Better to send some good lord high in Robb's trust, and let Theon rejoin his father only after the alliance was secured and solid. Sure. Balon was the issue. To whatever degree he held off his attack because he had some lingering thought for Theon, sending Theon right into his hands was disasterous. Very different situations. All the Lannisters could offer the Redwynes were the sons. Robb was offering much more -- giving him Theon to bear the message was, again, a mistake. Even so. Robb was wrong to trust that sending Theon was the right choice, and truth be told he was wrong to trust in Theon, whose resentments and self-interest made him immediately turn his cloak. Catelyn was entirely right on this.
  3. Ran

    Why Was Robb Such An Awful Diplomat?

    She did not do that, and he never had a "multitude" of plans.
  4. Ran

    Why Was Robb Such An Awful Diplomat?

    Sending the wrong emissary to the Iron Isles despite warnings against his choice was definitely an error, though perhaps not as much of one as one might think at first blush, as the Greyjoys were already arming and gathering their ships before Theon was sent to them. Balon seemed likely to go to war without any concern for his sole surviving son. Still, it was something Robb shouldn't have done, perhaps accelerating Balon's plans and, of course, leading to the capture and ultimate razing of Winterfell. Failing to secure the return of his sisters by trading Jaime for them was an error he acknowledged in ASoS, because Sansa would have been valuable as a potential bargaining chip with the Tyrells after Renly's death. This is all true, but it really has to be emphasized how absolutely enormous an error it was given the consequences. I do think some might raise the Karstarks as something he mishandled, that he should have done something to punish Catelyn so as to assuage Karstark, but I think no matter what he did he was going to have the same thing happen. Rickard Karstark was too far gone not to kill those boys in "revenge", and then Robb had no other choice he could make.
  5. Ran

    On Janos Slynt

    Ditto @kissdbyfire on these. Especially the last. Janos Slynt defied Jon as a power play, attempting to assert his ability to disregard the duly elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He was a man actively attempting to maintain a group of dissidents who would back him. He was a poison in the Night's Watch, dangerous and dangerously deluded. Jon determining that he couldn't let the rot continue, and his honest and real attempt to try and find him a suitable position that best used his talents while also keeping away from the bulk of the Night's Watch, were all genuine efforts to try and get a positive result. Slynt ended up throwing it in his face and then making a public display of his defiance with his buddies around -- he was directly challenging everything Jon was and how the Night's Watch worked. Death was, by the standards of the Watch, a correct punishment. I can't imagine a scenario where Aemon or Sam refusing to go to Oldtown would have any of the deliberate, provocative attack on the organizational principles of the Watch that Janos's mutinous efforts had, so no, Jon wouldn't execute them. OTOH, if Daeron decided to refuse to go, and then proceeded to make repeated open mockery of Jon's efforts to command him and basically insinuated that Jon wasn't fit to be Lord Commander and wasn't fit to give him orders, I think Jon would have reluctantly taken "Kill the boy, and let the man be born" to heart as a moment where he had to show strength, had to show he wasn't going to let old friends have the benefit of that relationship, and maybe he would have gone that direction if Daeron was provocative enough. It's not unlike the situation where Catelyn tells Robb that he will have to make decisions on his own and be resolute because otherwise his bannermen won't respect him, except in the Watch these things are much more fraught with the tension that so many people on the Wall are very unwilling to be there and/or are people who have committed crimes and were already chafing against authority by natural inclination.
  6. Ran

    "characters who are perfectly nice"

    From a conversation with GRRM about it, he didn't actually expect such an unalloyed hatred of her because he tried to place all the context around it to shade it and make it more complicated. He didn't realize a lot of people just ignore all of it and saw red and basically refused to contextualize it. The Jon thing always baffles me. Jon haters are coming at the story from an absurd direction unsupportable by the text or the author's intentions. Again, he was complicating Jon and his situation, not trying to turn him into a villain.
  7. Ran

    References in WoIaF books

    See here on the wiki.
  8. From the SSM: George explicitly disagrees with the notion that Renly wouldn't be so careless. It is, in fact, his intention that Renly is denigrating the whole subject of legitimacy by inheritance by throwing out silly, picayune examples that weren't even real to emphasize how foolish (to him) the idea was.
  9. Ran

    U.S. Politics: Gar Nicht Trump's Traumschiff!

    What free ads are you talking about? Because a quick Google reveals nothing to me, and this would be a huge media scandal without a doubt if Facebook was deliberately putting its thumb on the scale for one primary candidate over others.
  10. Prince Daeron is not unlike Edward the Black Prince in this situation, and Edward was widely regarded a great and good prince and leader despite his repeated willingness to do terrible things to towns that defied him. And Daeron has the excuse of being young and deeply grieved at the brutal death at of his infant nephew at the hands of a mob of people in Bitterbridge. So, I agree with you entirely. He's a brave youth who is thrown into a terrible conflict and does both good and bad things. There's plenty of meat on that bone for a story. I share your opinions about how to adapt the Dance to TV, by the way. The spirit of the story and its characters, the intent behind it, should be as maintained as is feasible. Changes are necessary to fit the medium, but a lot of the things being bandied about here feel more like wanting to rewrite the story to suit one's own interests rather than trying to find a way to make George's history work on the screen.
  11. Ran

    "characters who are perfectly nice"

    The second part makes it pretty clear, I think: he's referring to Catelyn Stark, whom a number of readers greatly dislike because they don't accept or understand her relationship (or, rather, lack of one) with Jon Snow.
  12. As others said. Bear in mind, as well, that Watchmen came out in 1986. In 1985, President Reagan said the following about a month after his first summit with Gorbachev: Moore took Reagan publicly and privately stating stuff like this and said, "Ah-ha." Here's a later speech to the UN where Reagan came back to the point, BTW:
  13. Ran

    The Mandalorian (Spoiler Thread)

    This is wildly silly. I could as easily say I've never seen you say anything critical about Star Wars (and would likely be just as wrong). Here is Relic putting TESB as one of the films of the "Golden Age" of cinema, a list he notes is a list of films that are better than almost any new film he'd seen in the decade prior. He even notes:
  14. Ran

    The ASOIAF wiki thread

    The normal convention for such things is that when you put in a date, you are referencing the time period you're discussing. In this case, it's in reference to the date 12 years before the Doom being 114 BC.
  15. Ran

    Bookkeepers and WoIaF books

    Most general bookstores here in Sweden group SF and Fantasy together, so it's not hard to find things. And the SF specialist bookshop chain separates SF and Fantasy, and know where the book belongs (not least because we occasionally drop by the two main branches and sign a few copies when they want). Amusingly, when our Swedish publisher had the book out at a big book fair, they slotted it into the "General Interest" category for lack of any other new SF/F books in their catalog at the time. So as I recall it was beside a cookbook on one side and a nude photography art book on the other.
  16. I've often made this point to folks over the years, and it's a good reminder. You're absolutely right that while it would have changed the course of the story in some aspects, the fact is that the war would still have happened, Robb would still have been crowned and ultimately killed, and so on. Cersei was already preparing to move against Ned before Sansa said anything, the timing of it only changes the escape of Arya and Sansa. While this would have knock-on effects -- yes, Jaime would likely be executed in retribution for Ned, but in the grand scheme of things that's not that important to the War of the Five Kings, and so Rickard Karstark wouldn't have sought retribution for his sons and so on -- these seem relatively minor. The largest possible thing I could see happening in the larger political picture is if Robb used Sansa being safe as a tool to bargain with the Tyrells after Renly's death. But that would probably be fruitless, since Joffrey would be free to marry Margaery from the get-go.
  17. Ran

    The Mandalorian (Spoiler Thread)

    I didn't either, but the response to a critic saying it's kind of just okay makes it feel like some are expecting more.
  18. Ran

    The Mandalorian (Spoiler Thread)

    Van Der Werff has definitely seen Star Wars (she was the one AV Club had interview Mark Hamill almost a decade ago to discuss his career, including Star Wars), and is on the whole a pretty good and insightful critic, even if I don't agree with all of her reviews. She's definitely more readable than, say, Film Critic Hulk. I haven't seen The Mandalorian -- won't until March -- and this review doesn't dissuade me from seeing it, it just lets me know that my suspicions that this was going to be closer to a Marvel's Agents of SHIELD or Luke Cage than to a Deadwood were about right. Favreau is a nice seeming guy, done some nice things, but he is not a challenging director or someone with a strong thematic thread in any of his works, so what can you expect? He's a fan of SW and he's a solid and dependable workhorse, basically a younger, beefier Ron Howard. It's no surprise if for the most part the product will be okay rather than great. The fact that I'm most excited by seeing Werner Herzog in this says something about what really hit the mark for me. But it's just a first episode review, as well, and there's a season of episodes left, so who knows.
  19. Ran

    His Dark Materials Series

    @Martini Sigil Second season is already approved and in the process of filming or has even completed filming. They wanted to make sure Dafne Keen didn't age too much, so they were already rolling cameras even before the premiere.
  20. See here for background and some light review commentary. What I will say is that it definitely feels like a first novel, that my reference to issues with his being a visual artist first relates to the fact that I think his writing is overly verbose and descriptive (and this doesn't seem to have changed substantially, reading the two prologue chapters unlocked on the Patreon) and not particularly beautiful so as to make it a pleasure to dig through to get to the meat of the story. But it's a very deeply built setting, one that he has clearly spent a lot of time thinking about, and he's able to set up some remarkable and memorable set pieces while also having no problem creating characters who are off-putting-but-interesting. The Barrow itself is a sort of sword-and-sorcery quest against the epic backdrop of the setting. As to characters, the main one is Stjepan Black-Heart, who is the younger brother of Artesia, the titular character from the (stalled) comic book series that first introduced readers to the setting. She doesn't feature in the first novel at all, as it takes place prior to the events of the graphic novels and Stjepan and she haven't seen one another in a good while. Stjepan is... interesting, an educated man in a rather barbaric world, caught up in things bigger than himself. He's also bisexual, and in general sex is rather very present in the book; it's a very sexually free setting (as anyone who's read the Artesia comics would know), and the Goddess of Perversion has a role in things (through her worshippers) so lets just say there's some pretty deviant stuff going on, and Smylie does not shy away from explicit description. The other notable character is Erim, a warrior woman disguised as a young man, who has her own issues in relation to her sexuality and her place in the world. There's a excerpt from the start of the novel that kind of features a lot of what I say above. If the actual setting intrigues you, Smylie has two sourcebooks available for free here which provides some of the essays and other information he provided in the annuals and elsewhere, with a smattering of his artwork.
  21. I have long wondered at the state of things. I'm sad to see that there's no Patreon tier level for getting the next issue of Artesia Besieged, though. I could consider $20 a month for a page a week, or even every two weeks... I see he explained the situation with this novel and his previous publisher in the Patreon introduction. ETA: I see Smylie has been active the last few months at the ArtesiaRPG subreddit, with lots of bits of world-building trivia revealed for those who enjoyed his Known World, as I have done.
  22. Ran

    Board Issues 4

    That has to be some kind of cache issue with your mobile phone browser. Try and clear it, or alternatively manually type in asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php and see if that fixes it.
  23. Ran

    Star Wars: The Circle is Almost Complete

    Don't forget Dejarik!
  24. Ran

    Star Wars: The Circle is Almost Complete

    I really don't see the issue with this at all. Tatooine is a backwater and Luke appears to essentially be home schooled, why would he recognize a lightsaber? No one uses them on Tatooine, and there's plenty of reason why Owen and Beru would try to avoid talking about the Jedi or their equipment, nor is there much reason for Jedi to be topics of conversation with any regularity. I honestly think the world building on these aspects are fine if one accepts the conceit that there's no galactic news/entertainment network.
  25. Ran

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    Yes, stock buybacks are a major issue related to this. I know Warren has targeted them as something to regulate. The regulatory climate in the U.S. have created ugly distortions in the market. Corporatiote boards are given incentives to boost shareholder returns to the point of mania. A lot of it comes down to a rule change at the SEC in the Reagan years that really needs to be rolled back. Buybacs are just a cynical way of manipulating the stock price.