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SeanF

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  1. Yes, I struggle to see any redeeming features in Thomas Covenant.
  2. One protagonist who @CTPhipps mentioned as absolutely vile a few years ago is Mike Harmon, from Paladin of Shadows. Now that I have read THAT SCENE I would agree.
  3. A shift back to shorter novels is a good thing. The bane of fantasy novels is bloat, and I don’t really see why that has to be so. The Earthsea trilogy were c.50,000 words each, and all the better for being tersely written.
  4. Yes, I love that part, too. An even rarer honour than a triumph (and the grant, or refusal of a triumph is tainted by Senatorial politics) - really the highest honour that could be bestowed on a Roman. Sulla genuinely can't understand why his soldiers esteem a man as bad as he knows himself to be.
  5. I thought she had a literary crush on Caesar. Everyone is in awe of his awesomeness, other than a few people who were jealous of his awesomeness. As a junior officer, he already knows more than his general, Lucullus. He’s a genius who doesn’t have to earn his place. His crimes are excused, because he’s Caesar. Sulla is objectively no worse than Caesar, but he’s entirely honest with himself. There is no crime he won’t commit to become consul. His achievements are 5% inspiration, and 95% perspiration. He is amusing, sardonic, and quite genuinely surprised to learn there are people who love or respect him, when he considers he deserves neither. He reminds me of Captain Kennit in The Liveships Trilogy.
  6. I feel a good deal of sympathy for Arya, but Tyrion is very much the Walter White of ASOIAF. I'm quite certain Nabokov was not in love with Humbert. She was in love with Caesar, arguably another villain protagonist, and i think his characterisation suffers as a result. She was not in love with Sulla, and I think his characterisation is all the better for it.
  7. This is a great thread. I’d say that Dumas’ Musketeers are villain protagonists, but I doubt that was the author’s intention. IMHO, there’s no way you can excuse hanging a pregnant woman, merely for lying about her background, or subsequently raping her by deception. Add in blackmailing married women, extorting goods at sword point, beating servants, and committing treason. That leads into all the gangster films and novels. We may see these people as villains, but I’m not sure the authors and producers do. Mario Puzo was in love with his characters. And, I’ve argued with plenty of people who claim Walter White is a straightforward hero. One really compelling villain protagonist, surely intended by the author to be read as a villain, is Colleen McCullogh’s Sulla.
  8. A thought I'll throw into the mix is this. Dany v enemies in Westeros will, to some extent, be like the Arabs v Romans and Persians. Her enemies in Westeros will have bled each other white, both financially, and in terms of manpower. Many of the best and most experienced soldiers in Westeros will have been killed or crippled. A lot of Great Houses will be desperately short of funds. Dany will likely have a match-fit, well-trained army, an extensive fleet, and enormous funds drawn from the Free Cities, either because their governments have been overthrown, or because they'll have paid her huge bribes to go away. Nor will I expect her, or her commanders, to adopt the moronic military strategies that the show gave them.
  9. Me too. Actually, the amount that’s been subscribed is, if not a fortune, certainly enough to make it worthwhile for her to keep writing. Patreon could be a Godsend for writers who aren’t bestsellers but have a loyal following of high hundreds, or low thousands.
  10. I expect they'll be serving alongside a lot of different military units. The free companies seem pretty versatile, comprising heavy cavalry, heavy and light infantry and archers. Assuming the Volantenes revolt, then they'll also be serving alongside tiger soldiers. An initial invasion force for Westeros might comprise:- 8,000 Unsullied, plus a similar number of heavy infantry from the Tiger soldiers. 6,000 Dothraki, serving as light cavalry. 4,000 heavy cavalry, drawn from the free companies. 4,000 archers, drawn from the free companies. 10,000 other infantry, sappers, engineers, operatives of siege engines etc. At the logistical level, I don't see how more than 40,000 could be transported across the sea, and that would be pushing it. That's the sort of number the Ottomans brought to the siege of Malta. So, Dany will also need local allies.
  11. I think one just has to accept the Rule of Cool. The Unsullied are very good infantry because the author says they are. I imagine they'd form a kind of imperial guard in the future. Their numbers would be kept up by recruitment (albeit, castration would no longer be required). For the time being, they can be used to train up other military units, as they do with the companies of freedmen in Meereen.
  12. I think we needed more time, realistically, for Cersei's rule to collapse, and for the Sons of the Harpy insurgency to gather pace, for the slavers to assemble their forces against Meereen, and for Volantis to get to the point of being on the brink of revolution. Tyion's period of enslavement could have been made longer. The only difficulty is the North, but I think that could have been solved by some form of stalemate. Say, Stannis retakes Winterfell, but the Boltons get away, and still hold the Dreadfort.
  13. In order to check if the headline drop in cases is real, you need to look at hospital admissions after a lag of about 8 days. And, yes, hospitalisations in England (whose numbers are the most up to date, going up to 28th July) are now falling week on week, from 783 to 728. This will start showing up in numbers for the UK as a whole, on Monday.
  14. I think The First Law, by Joe Abercrombie, and the first three volumes of The Black Company series, by Glen Cook, are more clearly deconstructions of LOTR than ASOIAF is.
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