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Ran

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Everything posted by Ran

  1. Ran

    The ASOIAF wiki thread

    That's exactly right, and was the intention -- Vaemond's cousins are the five who actually went before Viserys and argued their rights, and had their tongues removed. Vaemond's wife and sons were unharmed.
  2. I've commented on the one major thing that didn't appear in F&B on Reddit, but figured I should mention it here as well. It's indicated that "every castle" in Dorne was burned thrice in the Dragon's Worth, including Sunspear, and that Visenya had burned it earlier. This, however, was removed from TWoIaF after we pointed out to George the issue that the "ancient" Sandship and so on don't show any sign of the dragon-burning damage seen in Harrenhal and mentioned in other instances. George agreed that was an issue, and in fact expanded on it by providing the maesters several speculative explanations for why the Targaryens left Sunspear alone. We noted it when we were helping with the edit, but it fell through the cracks in the editing process, so it'll have to wait for a new print to be put back in.
  3. I didn't say skin color. But it's quite obvious he imagines the Two Rivers as being identifably Caucasian. I take something different from that. He apparently specified "young" or "old" versions as appropriate, which is obviously for appearance reasons rather than personality reasons. He's definitely matching something about the visual impression of those actors at those periods of time to those characters in his notes. All the Two Rivers actors, and the majority of the characters, are to him modelled after, or perhaps have suggested to him, a bunch of white actors for some reason... That's right. Based on RJ's notes and other indications, I would have expected a lot of Mediterranean/Southern European/Latino actors for the Two Rivers, but apparently not. But then I admit I've taken against Judkins ever since he claimed he'd fix Faile.
  4. I think the visual models concern facial structure, the gaze, etc. Possibly also something about manner or carriage. He obviously wasn't setting hair or eye color with Affleck as Rand. Or Sophia Loren for Aviendha I suppose
  5. Of course it's not how genetics work, but it's how Jordan wanted it to work to get those clear cultural demarcations. As we see in his personal visual models for the characters. If you don't want to adapt an author's work as they envisioned it, at the very least maintain the rules for how things work. It's a very backhanded kind of compliment to the author otherwise. "We love it, except..."
  6. Aren't the Emond's Fielders in general the descendants of Mantheren? Joey Crows, Why does it matter what skin color any figure, historical or fictional, has in a drama? Why was Selma cast with black actors and not, say, Asian actors? Or better yet, Hispanic or Middle-eastern actors, given the political climate the last years.... (There are, of course, plenty of spaces where the remove from the historic allows for interesting _commentary_ on race, as with Hamilton.) The answer, really, is worldbuilding. Our world is "built" naturally, fictional worlds area built artificially. Jordan put a lot of effort into it. I don't understand why anyone wants to adapt a work of fantasy with heavy degrees of worldbuilding, and then one of the early things they do is throw that worldbuilding out of the window by introducing inconsistencies. The Emond's Fielders as presented are an ecletic bunch you'd see in a cosmopolitan city, not the isolated backwater that Emond's Fields is supposed to be. They should all be one type (not the three we presently have in the casting, Rand aside) because that was part of the world Jordan built. Make them all black, all Asian, all Native American, whatever. But be consistent. I no longer buy the idea that "Oh, these were simply the very best actors we got." I mean, I'm sure they were, _but_ I don't buy that they were _so much better_ than the 2nd best actorsthat they just had to cast them and throw the world-building out the window. (And for that matter, I'll wager that casting sides for the roles made it explicit they were set on a multiethnic Emond's Field cast; Judkins shared a note for casting about how the cast should reflect a post-racial future, which sounds all right because WoT has distinct races but no racism that I can recall, but Jordan also wanted very distinctive boundaries between different cultures and distinctive appearances between them to delineate many of them. It's what he wanted. Judkins doesn't seem to care very much.)
  7. The main thing the Reddit thread baffled me by is all the people who said the casting exactly fit their images of the characters, and that they understood the Emond's Fielders to be black. Hmm! People read in different ways, I suppose. Jordan's notes on actors and celebrities who sort of provided a visual touchstone for characters is actually really interesting in this regards. A young Cher as Faile? A young Sophia Loren as Aviendha? Young Ben Affleck as Rand? Neat. Omar Sharif as Demandred -- presumably from the Doctor Zhivago or Lawrence of Arabia days -- is a particularly good one, as I can just visualize it. For my part, I'd have made the Caemlyn bunch black, including the royals (there's precedent!), the Emond's Fielders white, the Aiel black, and have Rand stand out that way given his "mother" came from Caemyln. Maybe they'll explain Mat and the Cauthons by claiming they're recent arrivals from elsewhere, but right now the casting feels disjointed for no good reason.
  8. Book spoiler discussion of the show goes here, for those who want to discuss the episode in relation to the books, and with reference to spoilers from them. This topic should open automatically around the start of airing.
  9. @Lil Red Head We've signed plenty of books, so that is not weird! But if you want Linda's signature, best bring it to Worldcon, as Linda can't attend Titancon.
  10. Ran

    Small Questions v. 10106

    Raventree was taken back in ACoK. Robb not going after it in AGoT when his goal was to relieve Riverrun before the Lannisters knew what was happening doesn't seem so strange.
  11. Ran

    The ASOIAF wiki thread

    Yep, we're not going to clarify beyond what's there, and the information shouldn't be used for the wiki at all.
  12. Ran

    Small Questions v. 10106

    Raventree and Stone Hedge can be on opposite sides of the river while their domain boundaries can extend across the river in both directions. They kind of have to, what with centuries of feuding and warfare. So, nothing contradicting that they are on opposite sides of the river from the above quotes.
  13. Ran

    Board Issues 4

    Thanks, folk. Passing this on. If screenshots or links are something you can grab, do share them here (or PM them); the more data, the faster these are dealt with.
  14. I've never run a karaoke event before, but I'm willing to give it a go if needed. Sort of have some things going on (e.g. tourism) that will take me away from the con for a bit, on Thursday and Friday, but if there's a volunteer desk I can drop by when free and see what needs doing.
  15. Ran

    Small Questions v. 10106

    Decided to double check things from past discussions with George and Anne over various projects. The only super-explicit thing we have from George is that in 2004he imagined that Stone Hedge and Raventree were on opposite sides of the Red Fork. Map positioning has followed that. As you say, the evidence for Stone Hedge being south of the Red Fork is very strong, whereas Raventree Hall is more circumstancial, and its unique situation as being largely denuded of defenders (as well as its lord) may have made it a very easy thing for Tywin to grab with just a small detachment crossing the river, as you say.
  16. Ran

    Tolkien 3.0

    To me, a lot of it -- even the framing of colonialism in Tolkien -- is that Tolkien opposed morally bad things because they were morally bad for the perpetrator, and that this was first and foremost in his mind if the perpetrator was otherwise a "good" person (evil people had other, larger problems which made him more immediately concerned for their victims rather than for them). Attanar really did have a genuine turn to good... but then began to think that if he ran things, it would all be better, and the urge to dominate grew out of that. Galadriel's rejection of the One Ring when Frodo offered it was a personal rejection of vanity and hubris. Feanor's greatness was also his downfall, because of his hubris. So in colonialism, yes, it was bad for the men of Middle-earth that the Númenóreans went from desiring to help the men of Middle-earth to wanting to dominate them,.. but it was really bad for the Númenóreans to become so prideful and desirious of domination. It's like Tolkien's remark on social hierarchy, that it "may" be "damn bad" for you to tip your cap to the squire... but it "is damn good" for you to do so; the squire may end up letting it get to their head, may take mistaken pride in an accident of birth (but then again, maybe they won't, and will understand and respect the gesture), but knowing your place and being humble is always good. Tolkien's vision of moral action was generally very personal. Societies did not do good or ill, but rather individuals do, and the societies are shaped by how men treat one another.
  17. Ran

    Tolkien 3.0

    I already addressed that he was opposed to anti-semitism, and very rousingly so, and yet I am being lectured about it. Why? You're not the only person who owns the HoME, or Letters, you know! Folks are perfectly capable of forming informed opinions that disagree with one another on matters that are, ultimately, about interpretation. In any case, yes, the Numenoreans saw "lesser" men not in terms of race... but as it happens, the "lesser" men who end up being most contrasted with the Numenoreans, and whom end up falling under evil sway, mostly tend to be darker as a leading distinguisher. Hmm! And when a descendant of Numenor like Faramir feel a fondness for the Rohirrim, it's a fondness predicated on the notion that they remind them of the Edain when the world was young. Hmm! To me, this is just a feature of Tolkien's preconceptions when he entered the project. If Middle-earth is the ancient untold history of Europe in another Age, then its inhabitants are proto-Europeans, and so are generally "white", and others who are not "white" end up having to be in some other place... and gosh, that other place just happens to fall under the regime of the Dark Lord. Shame for them, and Tolkien even explicitly addresses this in Samwise's lovely elegaic on the dead soldier from Harad, but still that is the situation that Tolkien's vision of history "forced" him to, a kind of Manichean vision of "us" vs. "them" (and if the "them" are enslaved, or tricked, or driven by threats, still, they are "them" until liberated). To say that he opposed colonialism is not precisely the same as saying that he had not the slightest racial preconception and that it didn't reflect in his work. He wrote what he knew. Tolkien is a 20th century author, raised in the midst of the British Empire, not an ancient Roman. Whatever his thoughts and his intentions, I don't think he can be said to have fully succeeded in presenting a narrative where ethnicity or race are not signifiers of cultural value. I really do think fewer walls of text are needed. I am a huge fan of Tolkien. LotR is my favorite series. I also think he was a virtuous and genuinely good, well-meaning man. This doesn't mean he wasn't without faults, some of which he recognized and some which he didn't.
  18. Ran

    Tolkien 3.0

    Exactly! If the Second Age Amazon show reaches to the point of Numenor going the colonialist path, depicting this as a negative and ultimately disastrous thing would be very much in the spirit of Tolkien.
  19. Found a claim, in a spreadsheet compiled from Edelweiss data, that A Little Hatred has a 100,000 first printing. Gives a sense of judged demand by the publisher.
  20. Ran

    Tolkien 3.0

    Did he really not think about these things? Hmm.... What's this? Letters #210: By today's standards, that's pretty racist, and clearly is giving some thought to race as it applies to Middle-earth. It was for him just an aesthetic judgment, but one that clearly implicates views on race. I actually agree with this. He was not a white supremacist. He was refreshingly opposed to anti-semitism, he had fond (though, admittedly, colonial) recollections of his early life in South Africa, and seemed a kind man who took to heart his Catholic upbringing in regards to Christ's teaching. But he was a product of his time, and his vision of the world he created was predominantly a white one. Attempting some sort of historical revisionism by denying this is absurd. Most of Middle-earth would explicitly become Europe (except those eastern and southern bits that become Asia, the Middle East and Africa), and its Men, particularly the Faithful, are ur-Europeans in a prior Age. I think one has to accept an author's creation warts and all when adapting it, rather than convincing oneself that they couldn't really have seen things as they appear to have done. In the context of his time, Tolkien was reasonably progressive (for a hardline monarchist Tory, anyways), and he certainly didn't think of himself as racist. But then, his earliest beginnings with the whole project was to create a national myth that had something of the Northern (European) spirit... Personally, I'd also find it much more interesting to have narratives of race in this Second Age story be part of Numenorean colonialism (as I suggested earlier) rather than having racial divisions among native Numenoreans when Tolkien clearly didn't envision them as having them.
  21. Ran

    Tolkien 3.0

    The Dunlendings are "swarthy", are definitely not black, are suggested to be akin to the Haladin through common ancestry. "Swarthy" really isn't black, but just "dark", with a wide range of what that may be. In Tolkien's day was a term pretty often applied to, among other groups, Spaniards and Italians and other Mediterranean Caucasians. I also don't read the "Tal-Elmar" story to be saying anything about whether they're "black" or not, but this is clearly an area where opinions differ. What I will say, in any case, is that the group of people being discussed there were not of the Edain. Tolkien, being a philologist specializing in Germanic languages, especially Anglo-Saxon, no doubt liked "swart" not in little part because it's rife through the Icelandic sagas with various Norsemen being dubbed "the Swarthy"... I think Egil's Saga has at least three of them. So, yeah. I don't think the Numenoreans were ethnically homogenous, because of the Three Tribes of Men, but "racially" they were all "white".
  22. Ran

    Small Questions v. 10106

    I checked the references and I'm not seeing anything contradictory. Can you be more explicit?
  23. I know Sharp Ends had an announced 50,000 first print run, per Publisher's Weekly.
  24. Ran

    8/21

    It has nothing to do with TWoW, I can say that much. I didn't really think about the wording being so unfortunate, as I was half way to bed when it popped up in my feeds. It also does not seem to have anything to do with the Winterfell Festival that they have hosted at Castle Ward in the past, apparently. But I'm guessing it's some sort of event aimed at bringing in folks attending Worldcon and Titancon (and NI in general) to visit the site, which has hosted a lot of GoT filming.
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