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Lord Varys

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About Lord Varys

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    Most Devious 'Man' In The Seven Kingdoms
  • Birthday 11/25/1982

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  1. As for characters being morons: How believable is it that, at the end of TEotW, Moiraine and the gang hearing Padan Fain talk like Mordeth doesn't cause anyone to notice anything? The guy flat-out tried to convince the ruler of Fal Dara to use his special mojo to attack the Shadow. I mean, is it just me, or didn't tell Moiraine the story about Mordeth's exploits and Shadar Logoth in the very same book? Shouldn't everybody immediately realize that Padan Fain might be possessed by Mordeth and that this would be a very, very bad and dangerous thing? I mean, seriously, how dumb can those characters be?
  2. Yes, I guessed that this might have had something to do with that. But that's about 2,000 years after the Breaking, meaning it had literally nothing to do with the earlier stuff or whatever machinations the Aes Sedai had going on in the last two millennia. And the big societal change would have come back then, presumably, not with Hawkwing's death. And thinking about that - the Worldbook gives a nice explanation how the the various Ajah developed ... but are we truly to believe that this system would have prevailed if the training of new Aes Sedai is the way it is portrayed in the books? Meaning that novices and Accepted just learn stuff and then kind of arbitrarily decide which Ajah they are going to join when they take their final vows. That way this system couldn't have been perpetuated. It would only make sense if the White Tower had had some kind of Hogwarts house system, meaning the novices and Accepted would have to join an Ajah when they first came to Tar Valon with the system ensuring that every Ajah would always get at least some new members. If it were left all to the interests and preferences of the new Aes Sedai in question, then quite a few Ajah should have been dissolved a long time ago. Also, I see no reason why the reformed Aes Sedai as an order would keep the whole Ajah system in place if being part of an Ajah wasn't part of the original training. Any girl/woman coming to the newly built White Tower would view this place as their home ... and the Aes Sedai as such their family, not an Ajah they would only have to choose when their training was complete. Or are we to believe that adult women would suddenly be brainwashed into perpetuating the beliefs and prejudices of the particular Ajah they arbitrarily join just because the plot requires it? I noticed that for Tear and expected as much for Amadicia. I'm also kind of confused how the Dragon Reborn can acquire a following at all throughout the series. Lews Therin's reputation is completely blackened by history and tradition and the prophecies of the Dragon are just that - words. They are not necessarily true, and neither is the talk about the Last Battle and stuff. What's real - or at least more real than ancient history - are the experiences people had and have with mad male channelers and the various False Dragons. But I'm actually intrigued how Rand's role as the savior is going to play out. The Seanchan empire being run by women doesn't really reflect well on female rule, does it? Both the entire enslavement thing of female channelers done at the command of the big woman in charge, apparently, as well as the fact that the entire society is pretty much a caricature a hierarchal Chinese or Mongol empire. I didn't read much about the Seanchan so far, just remembering the first ones showing up in the second novel. If that changes later on I'll comment on that. But as a I said - Hawkwing and his son would have made more sense as female channelers defying the Aes Sedai. That way, we could have had a more complex/positive portrayal of female rulers. The imperial family in Seanchan could have later decided that only they should be allowed special powers, enslaving all the other channelers. Or the bloodline could have lost the ability, deciding that they would have to control the channelers if they wanted to remain in charge.
  3. If they don't go with a white Bond, I'd prefer an Asian actor for the role. They are less visible in big blockbuster movies as badass characters than blacks actors. But the key thing is that they do not go for a particularly popular/established actor.
  4. The impression I get is that the societal framework during the Age of Legends would have been pretty much gender equality - to a greater degree, one imagines, than in our world at this point - so the Two Rivers situation would actually be a decline from that height, not an improvement. And in light of the fact that the madness of the Dragon, the Breaking, etc. it doesn't really make much sense that men as a whole would be able to keep the prominent position in the society they clearly still have during the series. I mean, we get the Children of the Light perpetuating the conspiracy theory that the Aes Sedai are Darkfriends ... but nobody ever spread the non-conspiracy theory that men are, potentially, the worst enemies of all mankind? The idea that society would have just shrugged and rationally assessed the low percentage of male channelers rather than, you know, act like Covid deniers or anti-vaxxers is just not very convincing. It appears to me that this was just an isolated line there - after all, even within the framework of the story I've read so far the boys are not exactly viewed as children by Nynaeve and Egwene - nor do they view themselves as immature. Which they would if society taught them this was the case. Having read through the Worldbook a little bit more it quite striking that in nearly every culture women were not really able to capitalize on their metaphysical advantage - in Shara the female channelers have to rule from behind the scenes if they rule at all, in Seanchan they were subdued into servitude in what basically qualifies as a BDSM mind-control fantasy on Jordan's part. The obvious scenario of a powerful Aes Sedai setting up a powerful dynasty of channelers never properly realized - the Amyrlin Seat would realistically also have taken over vast swathes of land during various periods of history, whenever Tar Valon was ruled by a woman who craved real and direct power over people. And something as simple as the desire of the Aes Sedai for safety would necessitate them ruling at least their neighbors directly. Else they would constantly have to fear that they might be attacked from all sides, especially after the Whitecloaks became a thing. In Andor, the situation is basically just traditional complementary gender setting. Men and women have to work together, and the women in charge are in (desperate) need of strong men at their side ... while the reverse isn't true. Men do like and desire women, of course, but they do not really need them to excel at what they do. The fact that there are multiple offices, etc. at the court of Caemlyn isn't the problem, the fact that crucial positions have to be filled by men is. As I said, Andor having queens is just an accident of history. No indication this had anything to do with the general history of the world since the Breaking.
  5. I'm not sure that's the case - or rather: if that's the intention then it is not actually shown in the worldbuilding material. The queens of Andor, for instance, are a rather late development based on a succession of historical accidents (no male heirs). And from what I know so far the Andorian situation is rather unique, isn't it? The kind of 'hidden matriarchy' we have in the Two Rivers is something that has pretty much nothing to do with the metaphysical setting. It is women exerting power through their men, not in their own right and openly for all the world to see. I didn't say every country should have had a matriarch ruler ... rather that the dynamics between the sexes should have been changed on a fundamental level in the wake of the Breaking and the poisoning of saidin. Part of the reason why, in a traditional (marriage) setting, even the poorest man can act as the master of the family and the big bad patriarch is that society as a whole helps him to project that image. The world is run by other men, his peers (in that sense). Vice versa, in the post-Breaking world every woman would be encouraged and uplifted by the simple fact that a fraction of her peers were the only Aes Sedai left - the most powerful people in the world. But there is nothing about that there. Women mostly exert power behind the scenes, both the Aes Sedai themselves as well as 'normal women'. Instead, we basically get traditional gender roles and stereotypes. That said - I don't doubt or criticize that there aren't more women in WoT than there are in Tolkien's works, say. There is certainly a big improvement in the representation department. But I don't think there is much (or any) substantial improvement.
  6. Idris Elba is far too old for Bond. They have to go with a younger Bond next time. Connery was only 32 when Dr. No came out in 1962, and Craig was not yet forty in 2006.
  7. Male Aes Sedai destroyed the world, female Aes Sedai saved what was left of the world, helped rebuild the world after the Breaking and the subsequent catastrophes. I'm not saying that people should or would equate the average woman with an Aes Sedai ... but every girl born is a potential Aes Sedai just every boy born is a potential madman rotting alive. That is a simple fact of reality in this world, and something the people in this world have allegedly dealt with for 3,000 years. It would be ingrained in their culture and their collective memory. Society would be (re-)shaped around that fact. If there was gender equality back in the Age of Legends - which apparently is the case - then this would not continue into the later ages. The role of women in the society would be increased while men would be pushed in the background. The Aes Sedai being all female and the most powerful organization in the continent would result in them being viewed as the epitome of womanhood. The gifted woman would be a woman more powerful than any other being on the planet, far beyond what monarchs and lords could hope to accomplish. Like certain facts of reality allowed patriarchy to develop and control women, the factual realities of the post-Breaking world would also shape cultural reality in Jordan's world ... but it apparently didn't. At least not to the degree one would expect it to happen. The very idea that women in this world would need men to protect them from anything is silly. They are the ones who bring forth the sorceresses. They do not need men for anything, and they, technically, had 3,000 years to ensure that women rule the world, not men. And that's what would have happened. Men would have viewed themselves as potential dangers, would have refused to take leadership positions because at any time one of them could be revealed to be a madman using saidin. They would internalize either outright self-hatred or at least skepticism about themselves and their abilities - like women were/are taught in the real world. Arthur Hawkwing would have made much more sense as a female ruler, perhaps a woman who could use the One Power but refused to join the Aes Sedai or broke with the order, explaining why things ended the way they did. That isn't really the issue. Jordan claims that Wisdoms and Aes Sedai are rarely married because men cannot really accept or get along with a woman much more powerful than they are. That makes little sense in a world effectively run by women who much more powerful than any man. In such a world, men wouldn't really develop the notion that they have a right to fret about being outshone by a woman. Nobody would take the husband of an Aes Sedai seriously, anyway. At least not compared to her. Wasn't that basically what marriage was for thousands of years? In a world where magical power gives you status even within the magical order itself, it is kind of odd that the most powerful Aes Sedai is not also the most desirable wife ... because like the Aes Sedai teach each other to submit to the top dog among them, they would have long ago taught the society they live in that men also submit to them. Prestige as a potential spouse does not only come from physical strength, but if physical strength is an important element of prestige - as magical power is in this world - then, of course, spouses who very strong would be very desirable. I mean, it is really kind of silly that Rand's and Egwene's romantic game is played in the language of 'You would like to be my Warder, wouldn't you?' - as if an Aes Sedai truly would need protection. As if in this world women would really *need* men to protect them. Jordan tries to give us strong women, but does so in terms that doesn't make much sense in the context of this world. Nynaeve and the women of the Two Rivers should openly rule the place. Then it would make sense that she presumes to go out there and demand that the boys come back. But since they do not rule openly but rather behind the scenes and through their men, it doesn't really make sense that they would take charge openly the way they do ... or try to do.
  8. A small detail highlighting incompetence: When the gang returns to Fal Dara after the grand finale, Moiraine actually hands the banner of the Dragon to some servant, giving the command to remove it to her place without opening it. That is just silly. I don't know if anyone takes a peek, but if I want to hide something the best way to do that is not to give anyone the opportunity to actually realize I'm hiding something and/or to reduce the chances of others to actually take a look at it.
  9. My comments on the whole Warder thing weren't really that important. I don't really dislike this system so much as the fact that it is one of the traits of the show that reinforces that (powerful) women need men. The very fact that the Aes Sedai can have those companions, etc. isn't bad in and of itself. Finished the first book and the last chapters weren't that bad. I was annoyed by the fact that Jordan had to use the 'jealous woman' plot device to explain the downfall of Malkier. It couldn't just be some evil Darkfriend, a jealous man, stupidity, or simply the greater power of the evil forces. But, no, it had to be a jealous woman. The entire gender issue is painful to read, because Jordan really fails to properly portray a world where the things happened that happened there. Men destroyed the world, yet folks do not really demonize men, men do not view themselves as potential monsters, nor are they viewed as such by the women. Instead, folks associate the Aes Sedai with the destruction of the world, not men/male Aes Sedai. The fact that the only wielders of the One Power since the Breaking are women should have greatly affected the social order of the world. Men should have become the weaker/lesser sex. Instead we just get a bunch of women who act tough but in secret crave strong men at their sides. What for, exactly? And vice versa - why on earth should men in such a world not proudly and gladly submit to powerful Aes Sedai women if they choose them as mates, husbands, or companions? Men no longer have the power to be as powerful as the Aes Sedai, meaning there would be literally no substance for their demand that they be viewed as equals to such powerful women. If they can wield saidin, they are monsters in the making, and men who cannot touch the One Power never can have even remotely the same power as an Aes Sedai. Nobody in a society such as this would teach his or her male children the idea that men and women are equal or men are entitled to refuse to marry an Aes Sedai or Wisdom woman because they do not have the same power. Instead, marrying such a powerful woman would be as great an honor as Cinderella marry Prince Charming. But the women are described as if they are basically living in our world, and the men are described as if they were men living in our world. Thus the entire episode of Nynaeve and Lan discussing marriage was really painful to get through. Not to mention that it is way too early in the series for this kind of thing starting to form. Unless I'm mistaken, we'll have to deal with that romance for the entire series. Basically, the final chapters feel and read like a weird diversion. The entire book they wanted to go to Tar Valon and then they suddenly decide to take the magical shortcuts to the Eye of the World - a place that's never actually explained within the novel to the reader - and it is kind of weird that even the gang from Emmond's Field actually know what and where the place is. You kind of get what the place was when they are there and we are told that it contained a lot of clean saidin, etc. There wasn't really a need for such a great confrontation in the first novel, not to mention that Rand's apparent victory over the Dark One really reads as if Jordan wanted to give the book and ending of sorts, one that would make it a somewhat satisfying read even if there were no sequels. The fact that they found the Horn of Valere then and there is also strangely anticlimactic - it could have been a good quest to look for that thing rather than having it already trying to get it to some other place. Unless I'm misremembering, it would have been much better if they had first gone to Tar Valon only to start different quests there. Also, it is pretty much spilled out at the end that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. But unless I'm misremembering we are going to get two more such 'revelations' in the second and the third book until really everybody and their grandmother understand that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. And he has to prove that with the Aiel again, no? I remember this as both pointless and kind of boring. Just as I remember the recurring formula for the first novels goes something along those lines: The gang is together. They split up for some reason. They get together at the end for some finale where Rand proves again that he is the Dragon Reborn. Does this continue in the later books as well, or does the formula change?
  10. Until ADwD I never realized how obsessed Stannis was with Robert. I never thought he would react this prickly when Asha mentioned Robert and his successes in the field. I thought the whole Renly issue would be more on his mind should his dead brothers ever come up again. But it is actually quite telling that it was Robert and his mocking of the bird that caused Stannis to espouse Melisandre and her plans - which is very weird when you think about it. Stannis tries to be more like Robert, to have successes like Robert, by doing, perhaps, the most un-Robert thing imaginable. Stannis wants to be more like Robert and most definitely not like Robert at the same time. That's likely part of the reason why he will fail.
  11. Robert doesn't seem to have been a very loving elder brother, mocking Stannis with the bird and all that ... but that doesn't mean that Robert really had any issues with Stannis. Especially not back when they were children. Robert was a very gifted individual ... and Stannis was not. He had no intrinsic reason to bully him. Rather, one expects that Stannis with his non-existing social skills and his obsession with right and wrong ruined every opportunity the two and their friends had at having fun. And Stannis being only a year younger than Robert means that, aside from the inheritance issue, they would have been pretty much equals - serving as pages and squires together, training at arms together, etc. Meaning that Stannis had little to no reason to really look up to Robert because of his prowess and success. Instead, he would have constantly criticized him for his drinking, whoring, sense of humor, etc. Stannis certainly was jealous of Robert and everything he accomplished. But to Robert Stannis was just the weird/awkward little brother he had to provide for. And that he did. He made him one of the greatest lords in the Realm, even his heir until Joffrey was born. And the only thing Stannis could think of was that Renly had gotten Storm's End. That is very ugly entitlement if you actually think of it. Stannis didn't deserve anything. Yes, Borys Baratheon seems to be basically a slightly darker version of Stannis. Borys coveted Storm's End - like Stannis did. The only difference is that Borys actually turned against his lordly brother while he yet lived while Stannis waited for Robert's death. But in the end, both seem to have similar motivations. Even more so, in light of the fact that, to our knowledge, Stannis has no proof that Cersei's children aren't Robert's. He just believes that to be the case. And the children are still his legal nephews and niece, they grew up viewing Stannis as their uncle, Stannis also viewed them as his brother's children for a very long time, etc. It is also quite interesting that Borys and Stannis both were the presumptive heirs of their brothers for quite some time. Stannis was heir to Storm's End from the day Steffon drowned, Borys was heir to Storm's End and expected to succeed his brother because Rogar's first wife died childless and Alyssa Velaryon seemed to be beyond her childbearing years.
  12. Robert doesn't hate Stannis. He just doesn't really enjoy his company. One imagines that they did get along reasonably well as children, but when Robert went to the Vale Ned became his best buddy, and that was the end of whatever brotherly relationship he had with Stannis.
  13. As for Queen Aemma: I expect them sort of reference the beginning of Rome with the death of Queen Aemma. In Rome, the beginning of the quarrel between Pompey and Caesar is the death of Caesar's daughter Iulia, Pompey's wife, in childbirth. HoD should give us a pregnant Queen Aemma and a king, princess, and court looking forward to a male heir (and future husband) for Rhaenyra to resolve the Daemon problem. Only to have then Aemma die in childbirth, triggering a succession of unpleasant events - 'the heir for a day' line, Daemon's exile, Viserys I's angry insistence that now Rhaenyra would be his heir, the grand ceremony, the search for a new queen, and the king's romance with Alicent Hightower. Without the death of Queen Aemma as catalyst this whole story would just feel pretty weird. If Aemma were already dead when the show began, Rhaenyra already should be the Heir Apparent, Daemon should no longer view himself as the heir, etc.
  14. It seems clear that the tourney at Horn Hill is going to have the same function as the Maidenpool tourney ... but we should not assume that it celebrates the ascension of Viserys I. We don't know in what year it is going to take place in the show nor how much time has passed between Viserys' ascension and that tourney. I'd rather assume Viserys and Rhaenyra are on a progress through the Reach and the Tarlys entertain them with a tourney when they come to Horn Hill.
  15. It is not so much about the looks as such, but the degree of kinship between the Targaryens and the Velaryons. The incestuous marriage policy of House Targaryen is part of the GoT canon (although it is rarely mentioned considering there are just three living Targaryens in the show), and the entire point of the Velaryons within the framework of the narrative is to provide the Targaryens with closely related cousins to marry if there are no sisters available. Meaning Velaryons who look distinctly different than the Targaryens will have to be quite a different house than the Velaryons from the books. If the Velaryons are black as a house - which I'd take as a given on the basis of the casting so far as well as the specific 'Valyrian dreadlock wigs' the Velaryons got - then Valaena Velaryon and Alyssa Velaryon are not likely to have been the founding mothers of the Targaryen dynasty. Neither can Boremund and Jocelyn Baratheon have a Velaryon mother, unless Borros Baratheon and his daughters will be played by black actors, too. In the books, the marriage between Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, second in line to the Iron Throne, is a very natural thing to do. The Velaryons are nearly as closely related to the Targaryens than their own Targaryen cousins. And especially Corlys is as prestigious - or even more prestigious than the most famous Targaryen princes. But the fair skin of Viserys I, Daemon, and Rhaenyra implies that neither of them as a black Velaryons ancestor, especially not in a setting where incestuous marriages are the rule. This would imply that Corlys and Rhaenys are not exactly close cousins, nor are the Velaryons in the show a virtual cadet branch of House Targaryen. That would be a rather significant change.
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