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SeanF

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  1. I think that it's very much outside the control of one person, now. It's why I compare the situation in Essos with that in South America, the Caribbean, and Europe between 1790 - 1830, and I'm sure we'll see the same mixed results, The overall outcome may well be positive in the long run, but we will see local strongmen and tyrants emerge, and people will die in revolutions who do not deserve to die.
  2. IMHO, the cornerstone that supports slavery in the Western half of Essos is Volantis, the regional superpower. Volantis is the big brother that the slaver elites can call upon to put down rebellion. Revolution in that country is now in the air, and it would do a lot to undermine the institution. Which is not to say that sweetness and light will follow. I've no doubt that rebel slaves would take very cruel revenge on their masters and their families. But, the masters will have lost their monopoly of violence.
  3. The Long Night did attract a lot of criticism, even from casual viewers, although more for the fact it was hard to see what was happening, and the absurd tactics, more than for Arya Ninja Turtle. And, I think a lot of people crticised the wight hunt as ridiculous. Within the show's continuity, there was actually no reason for Jon to have been resurrected. Which, as you say, guts the whole story. If Jon stays dead, Dany finally loses patience and flattens the Red Keep, before destroying the Boltons, and installing any surviving Stark as Lord or Lady of Winterfell. The White Walkers remain stuck North of the Wall - presumably finding a way through eventually, but facing the united resources of the Seven Kingdoms.
  4. Plenty of people have pointed out the shock of Ned's death is caused by the fact that we expect the man who has been treated as the hero of the story up to that point to survive. Instead, he dies. But, his death is the logical outcome of the mistakes which he made. It's not a shock that comes out of the left field. There's a brilliant example of this in KJ Parker's novel The Hammer. The protagonist's sister is murdered. It's like a punch in the stomach when you read it, but when you think about it, the author has laid out all the steps and all the clues that lead up to the murder. It doesn't come out of nowhere at all. Those are good shocks. Bad shocks are those that come out of the left field, and for which there has been no build-up. Those are the shocks that D & D liked.
  5. Actually, once the invasion was under way, keeping most soldiers behind the walls of Meereen was sensible. The slavers found themselves at the end of their lines of communication, camped in a plague spot of their own making. Disease was killing far more than Dany's forces. Trying for a pitched battle in the open against heavy odds would have been most unwise. My point is more that it should not have got to the point in the first place. Had hte Yunkish lords been put to the sword at the end of ASOS, the slavers would have faced a united opposition.
  6. Why she did not sweep down on Yunkai, as soon as she learned they were intriguing against free Meereen, is one of those mysteries which is hard to fathom. Once the Yunkish attacked, she fought back, albeit on the defensive. But, she let the slavers regain the initiative for no good reason.
  7. The problems with voter malpractive that have arisen in this country relate to fabricating postal votes, treating, and intimidation, rather than personation.
  8. Arya is a great example of someone who in some respects is far more enlightened than any other noble character in this tale. She actually treats the Smallfolk as equals, befriends them, and sticks up for them. In that, she's pretty well unique. The best of the nobility in this world display paternalistic concern for their subjects, but not even someone like Ned would see them as equals. But then, there's the darker side to her, that's eager to deal out punishment and sees killing as an easy way to solve problems. She's complicated. D & D of course turned her into a gloating sadist, and thought that was positive character development. Every one of the main six protagonists has a darker side. Bran is willing to warg Hodor, something the author has described as an "obscenity". Sansa possesses quite a bit of kindness and empathy, but is also quite prepared to connive with Littlefinger's crimes, if it keeps her alive and in a position of comfort. Tyrion of course, is the greyest of the grey. He is not at all the saintly pacifist that the show runners tried to present him as (and he committed far too many crimes even in the show for that to be credible). Dany fits in with the others.
  9. I think Dany is likely to become an antagonist to other sympathetic characters in the story (if we ever get it) because ultimately, only one person can wear the crown. One character I like in the books is Arianne Martell, but I'm pretty sure it was no accident that Martin had her thinking "Nymeria burned as bright as any man, and so shall I". I think she'll come to a bad end at Dany's hands, along with fAegon and their allies. What I doubt is that we would get anything as crude and unsubtle as Madam Hitler/Suddenly Satan.
  10. I think that the average lord in this world would be like the old-school mafia. Adult and adolescent males are judged according to big boys' rules. Female family members, girls, and infant boys should generally be spared. Unfortunately, Tywin raised the stakes for everyone by killing women and children. Everyone now has to fear that if they lose a power struggle, their entire family will be exterminated. In turn, they will seek to exterminate rival families. The reason why we have rules of combat is not that people want to be nice to each other. It's because of mutual self-interest, to impose some limits on brutality.
  11. If Dark Daenerys had been done similarly to the way that Kim Wexler's character arc is being handled, in Better Call Saul, I think it could have been a very good character arc. It's possible for any military leader to become corrupted and brutalised by war, and to resort to measures that would once have filled them with horror (you could argue that even our own military leaders were like that in WWII). But, that takes good writing. The problem is there was no point to burning civilians at random at the end. The war was won. IMHO, a better tale would have been if Daenerys was facing bitter street fighting, and had the choice. Retreat in order to save civilian lives, and risk losing the war, or unleash fire on the enemy, knowing that tens of thousands of civilians will die in the inferno. She makes the choice to unleash fire. That keeps it as a deliberate decision on her part, but also shows the dilemma that many commanders face.
  12. That's a sign of remarkable incompetence on the part of the show runners and/or sign that vilification was decided very later in the day.
  13. Jon Con wants to kill Robert's children (not that he knows they are Jaime's). Actually, having the boys serve as pages, soldiers' servants, squires etc. would be a very good way of integrating them into the new order.
  14. Children can be raised to view the world differently, and should be given a chance to behave themselves, when they reach adulthood. Otherwise, one is no better than Tywin Lannister, Jon Connington or the Sand Snakes. Since the Reynes and Tarbecks are mentioned upthread, my view would be similar. Kill the adult males of those families, send the women into holy orders, and raise the children as wards at Casterly Rock. Drowning women and children was excessive.
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