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Everything posted by Ran

  1. Who said Jon has to be sad? I'd say he was more frustrated than anything: He didn't want to kill him. End of story. But he felt he had to because of the severity of his insubordination and the threat of his undermining his authority by stirring mutiny. As to time, I'm pretty sure that when Jon decided to offer Greyguard, he pondered what he would do if Slynt refused him, and considered different levels of refusal -- from politely declining to professing himself not up to the task to cursing him to making a big show of refusing to do as he was ordered in public. It seems obvious that Jon's hope was in part motivated by the fact that he had concluded that in all likelihood he would have to kill Slynt. I don't think this is a split second of his considering alternates in any serious way. It's a split second of again going over possibilities he had already rejected because of the problems they each provided him. And why was he thinking of them again in that moment? Because, again, he didn't really want to kill him since he could have been useful to the Watch. But he could see no way of making him useful, and certainly no way to do that without undermining his own position of authority. Ultimately the characters continue thinking and acting off-page. Just as Slynt had an evening to consider what to do, Jon had an evening to ponder how to respond to Slynt if he refused again to do as he was told. ETA: FWIW, GRRM's remark on Stannis's righteousness is wholly from the perspective that he's the one claimant to the crown who wants to defend Westeros from the Others. I don't think George considers Stannis either incredibly righteous OR incredibly unethical.
  2. I find it quite clear, but mileage obviously varies. Do you doubt Slynt still calls Jon a turncloak after the election? I am baffled. He could have confronted Slynt about his slanders immediately if he wished. Time did not stand still for a week. Jon gave it time, came up with something he felt would make the best use of Slynt while doing as much as he could to limit the negatives, chose to ignore that he griped about him being a turncloak, commanded him to appear at first light , proceeded to politely welcome him after Slynt refused to appear at first light, gave him a command, repeated that it was a command, and gave him the opportunity to reconsider, that day and next. It's worth noting that after executes Slynt, Thorne does not dare refuse a command -- even one he believes (wrongly) is given to him because Jon wants him to die on the mission -- because he knows that Jon will not brook that kind of disobedience. As is to be expected in a hierarchical militant order. Slynt's denigration and rejection of Jon's authority is part and parcel of why he would plot and scheme if he was allowed to do so. You're merely bolstering the case. If Sam escalated matters to refusing and denying Jon's authority over him to his face and in public, I think Jon would have had to be very harsh. Same with Grenn. Same with Pyp. Same with anybody. Execution? Well, none of them are officers, who would naturally have a higher bar of behavior because they set the example for the men below them. But harsh, just the same. One of the first lessons a young lord learns way back in AGoT is that other men will test him and think him weak if he bends to those efforts. Jon was perfectly aware of it, and dealt with it appropriately. Again, it's clear that he did not want Slynt dead. He hoped he would change his mind and do what he was commanded to do.
  3. Stannis is speaking in present tense, of post-election remarks and complaints. Slynt is still calling him a turncloak. I don't think it's an exaggeration. Jon tried to convince Sam and succeeded. Jon tried to convicne Slynt and failed. Jon informs him he's giving him a command. Slynt refuses. Jon tries to impress it on him that it is a command, not a request. Slynt again refuses. Jon lets him go, because it's clear that Slynt will not hear him: he sees him as a boy, an usurper of what should be his, a bastard. But Jon hopes -- and it's important that he hopes this, because it makes it plain he doesn't want to kill Slynt -- that Slynt will think on it and accept the command after a night's rest. Intent matters. Slynt's intention is to insult him, much as his intention by calling Tyrion "dwarf" was to insult Tyrion. Same with "boy". He is insulting and denigrating his superior to his face, and this after Jon welcomed him, offered him a seat, and informed him that he was to command a fort with thirty men under him. An officer refusing a repeated order from the Lord Commander, in public, because he is refusing to acknowledge his authority, seems like reasonable grounds for execution. None of the other men of the Watch ever question or criticize it, other than Alliser Thorne.
  4. I am, of course, a bit biased here. Tolkien has a mythic sweep that GRRM doesn't really even attempt. There's a great thematic weight to all of Tolkien's history which makes it very appealing, and certainly very memorable. That said, mythic also means unreal, and there are aspects of the World of Ice and Fire that at least on the surface feel more lived-in and "real". But GRRM has less concern with a specific vision of right and wrong, of how humanity is or ought to be, and for the most part is moved more by novelty (something he's inherited from Jack Vance, I think) and by a mish-mash of historical references that provide color and complexity without overly taxing his worldbuilding.
  5. This wasn't a first response to a troublesome person. Jon's first response was not acting when he learned Slynt was calling him a turncloak after the election, presumably to see if he'd cool off. After time passed, he tried to convince him to accept command of Greyguard. His second response was not calling for his head when he insulted him, threatend him, and refused him, but rather giving him a chance to change his mind. His _third_ response when Slynt didn't prepare to go as commanded was to again give him a second chance to change his mind, right there in the barrack hall. His fourth response was saying he used up his chances and executing him. Now, that may feel like a big escalation, but he had already given Slynt a lot of opportunity to bad mouth him and make a show of not obeying him, so he had to respond with something suitable. It is absolutely the case that the system in Westeros is not a modern or pleasant one, and that execution and corporal punishment are solutions to problems that are not, in our world, considered reasonable solutions. But Jon tried mightily to avoid the situation, to try and assuage Slynt's suspicion and anger and envy, and Slynt refused at every turn and then proceeded to escalate the situation while trying to gather adherents who could poison the Watch if given the chance. Jon killed Slynt because he had to, as he saw it, not because he wanted to.
  6. Marsh wasn't just an insubordinate. He was an insubordinate _officer_, and someone who had been a leading contestant for Lord Commander before. Whipping him and putting him under someone else's command -- that's the sort of thing you might do to an enlisted man. Execution under those particular circumstances was, within the framework of Westerosi views on law and justice, entirely appropriate. He was not simply refusing to obey because he thought it was beneath him or a bad idea, he was refusing to obey because he was rejecting the Lord Commander's very authority. That was not something that could be dealt with lightly.
  7. Ran

    Titans -- a DC Universe Series

    Jeebus. Their budget did not extend to lighting, apparently. I have no idea what to make of GRIMDARK Teen Titans. Kind of cool that they have Hawk and Dove in it, though. Wonder if they could do an ARMAGEDDON 2001 crossover with Legends of Tomorrow. Always loved that event series.
  8. You can actually change the background. On the top navigation bar where you see your name, + Create, etc., there's an icon that represents a picture (featuring a stylized mountain and sun). Click that and you'll see the options. From left to right they are Casterly Rock (I expect this is the one you have, as it acts as the default), the Eyrie, Harrenhal, Storm's End, Pyke, and Winterfell. As far as biggest castle, there's a couple of ways to look at it. In terms of largest constructed buildings above ground, Harrenhal is by far the largest in Westeros. But Casterly Rock encompasses kilometers of halls and chambers, dug into the stone, with fortifications and gates and so on added in certain places. Casterly Rock is a fantasy Gibraltar.
  9. Ran

    Black sigil

    It is a heraldic shadow cat (actually a heraldic tiger with colors reversed), a reference to the arms of Ser Randor the Exile who rode in the Ashford tourney in The Hedge Knight.
  10. As to the topic at hand, Whedon has not contested he has cheated. He has not contested that his wife's quotes of stuff he wrote to her are things he wrote. That said, I feel very strongly that the only people who can really provide any illumination on the matter beyond what we already know are Whedon in his own words and directly (because, to be sure, what someone may write during a difficult and emotional period may not exactly match a perspective at greater distance from whatever turmoil one's moral failures have caused), whatever they are judged to be worth, and those of the women who have had interactions with him. None of this makes me think he is or is not a feminist. Feminism is a movement, not an invariable moral code whose adherents are faultless or who practice their beliefs with 100% perfection. We're all fallible people.
  11. I've deleted some material because, frankly, it looks like false information being spread about -- I certainly cannot find a source for the claims. If you are someone who has had a post deleted, take it up with me in PM.
  12. Ran

    HBO's Sharp Objects

    Scared first -- I think that's the cuts she has on her wrist -- and then later it appeared as sacred for a moment. Have people noted the license plates outside of the house at the funeral? PUN ISH, TAN GLE, were two. I think one I could barely read was OBA JFK, not sure. I don't know what to make of that, but she did raise the specter of JFK when she referred to John's girlfriend Ashley as Jackie O. And of course she had the Obama poster in her office. I am just half way through ep 2, by the by, but have to same I'm very taken with it. Good on Marti Noxon!
  13. Ran

    Babylon 5

    Understanding is a three-edged sword.
  14. A few years ago Whedon was set to do a Victorian steampunk superheroine thing called Twist that never actually materialized. It was announced as a 6 issue miniseries with Dark Horse publishing, and I think they even had some art. It was supposed to be a female Batman type of character in that milieu. Wonder if, after that fell through, he cannibalized some of his ideas. Better this, in any case, than LoEG being made into a TV series.
  15. Ran

    Wiki Update

    We've got a test version of the wiki up featuring a new, responsive skin named Tweeki (based on Twitter's Bootstrap framework) that means we won't have to mess around with the somewhat clunky MobileFrontEnd any more. It's got its own database, a copy made last month, so do NOT work on it. We're pretty locked down on the skin, because responsive design has kind of been the future for the last half a decade and it's time to move on. That said, we're sure there are things missing from the experience of the new skin, as it has a lot of config options. Also, bear in mind, the edit and toolbox buttons are presently missing if you are not logged in. To log in, there's a link in the footer. I did notice that the Game of Thrones page seems to be acting weirdly. And that the main page has a couple of tags showing in the "did you know" type section. Not sure what that means, unless it indicates CSS issues or perhaps missinge extensions. We've tried to bring over every extension that seemed to actually serve a purpose on the wiki, but if something is missing, let us know. Our goal is to go live this weekend, if possible. We do have grander plans to try and style it to be a bit more like the forum, up to and including background images if that's at all feasible. The test site is at http://wiki-test.westeros.org/
  16. The Brexiters brought this on themselves. I'm kind of hoping Croatia goes all the way, but would not be displeased with France. Either way, the trophy stays in the EU.
  17. Ran

    Don’t pirate books, just don’t

    You absolutely can produce multiple copies. A blockchain is just a ledger of _authorized_ stuff, a database that says "this person has this stuff" (or maybe "this stuff belongs to this person" is the more correct way to phrase it). So it could record the fact that you legally purchased a legitimate copy of a book ... but it can't say anything about what you do with the book after, unless you make another transaction dependent on that exact copy. IF you make multiple copies and distribute them outside of the ledger, well, not much the blockchain can do about it. Cryptocurrency ledgers will, of course, be very robust when it comes to preventing creation of fake cryptocurrency getting recorded in the ledger. But that's because cryptocurrency are the base medium of exchange.
  18. Ran

    How do you think the series will end?

    "In fire."
  19. Ran

    More Things Star Wars

    Have to agree that Luke against Darth Vader in the throne room had a lot more stakes to it. The TPM fight is impressive thanks to Ray Parks more than anything, but the only standout moment in it for me is the moment Qui-Gon and Maul are separated by the force field, and we see the two react very differently to that pause in the fight.
  20. Hah. Didn't realize that until this season ended. Had no idea she had gone into acting.
  21. Ran

    More Things Star Wars

    TLJ really just focuses on her uber-Force abilities and I guess her hand-to-hand, so the other areas of her hyper-competence aren't thrown in one's face. But it's true, it was too fast. I feel like TLJ works better if we understand that Rey's storyline is happening in a substantial gap in time, in its own chronology, up until the point that her story interacts with that of the Resistance folks to pin it down. I think this could have worked if they hadn't given her the Force mind-meld with Kylo Ren so early, I suppose. Although, then again, who's to say the Force works in terms of normal time and space? Maybe present-day Ren was speaking to a Rey several weeks in the past... I really didn't have an issue with her being a skilled fighter and being strong in the Force, especially if one supposes Luke's methods were very well-suited to her. It's just that they threw everything and the kitchen sink into her in the first film. @La Albearceleste True, but usually it's hyper-competence that suits the environment. You get street smart kids in urban settings, you get woodcrafty kids in rural settings. A lawless junkyard desert planet feels like you should get, well, a scavenger who can fight her way out of a scrap. Or maybe you get a junkyard genius who can juryrig anything. Or perhaps you get an ace pilot who can navigate any sandstorm, any canyon run, any Imperial wreck to get you to the good stuff and out. Not all of those things at the same time. Rey is River, Wash, Kaylee, and Zoë rolled into one.
  22. Ran

    More Things Star Wars

    I have to say I do find it somewhat annoying as well. There certainly are assholes who are bothered only because Rey is female. Then there are assholes like me who think that her character is just badly written in that first movie (I think she's much better in TLJ).
  23. The Peasants Crusade was likely an inspiration for this event. Tens of thousands of people, largely untrained peasants, made it as far as Anatolia.
  24. Ran

    More Things Star Wars

    Being able to identify a spark plug or a crack in carburetor doesn't mean I'm a mechanic. I think. Maybe I should tear down my car engine and see what happens... In the real world there certainly are people who scavenge scrap metal and parts, such as the various places where shipbreaking is a thing. They aren't all suddenly mechanical wizards, though. Some might be, however, it's true. But the issue isn't that she's an ace mechanic. But the issue isn't that Rey's a great pilot. But the issue isn't that Rey is a pretty good shot (IIRC?). But the issue isn't that she's a skilled fighter. But the issue isn't that she's able to use a lightsaber with sufficient skill to defeat a wounded, angry Ren, or that she's able to do stuff with the Force that exceeds what other people do almost instantly upon realizing she's able to use it. The issue is that she's _all_ of these things, while having been a subsistence-level orphan on a backwater world since she was a child. The writers decided that she had to be good at all these sorts of things rather than saying, "Okay, an orphaned scavenger girl is going to be tough, resourceful, probably knows how to fight... and of course, we'll reveal she's strong in the Force later on. Mechanical issues? Piloting? Not her forte, she'll need help. Hey, lets give her a cute droid sidekick who can deal with the mechanical issues, and maybe we can figure out how to get her in touch with a pilot when she needs one...." Who says an X-Wing is far more than advanced to fly than the T-16 in the Star Wars universe, anyways? This is a setting where the basic technology behind these craft is thousands of years old. We literally are told people can slap various pieces of junk together and make a spacecraft, something that in our world and reality costs many, many millions of dollars and years of effort to achieve. Other than types of weaponry, armor, hyperdrive, R2 unit, and such add-ons, there's no reason to think that fundamentals of flying an X-Wing is any more or less difficult than flying a T-16.