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    (in no particular order:) books, comics, CRPGs, history, archaeology ... have I mentioned books?

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Morte's Achievements


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  1. I think Verhoeven wanted to show how this conflict is used by the leaders of earth in their favour. We don't know if there was an unprovoked attack, or just an accident on behalf of the bug - or even pure bad luck (an asteroid hit earth). We have an "othering" of the antagonistic party, but we essentially know nothing about the nature of the conflict. And neither we nor the protagonists are told anything - that's the one point Verhoeven wanted the viewer to realize above all, and that it doesn't need to be some evil nazi dictatorship to do such a thing. Funny thing, a lot of people did not like him using shades of grey, they wanted the film to be a blunt critique on militarism (it is a critique of that, but not blunt and simple), and were disappointed then they didn't get a simple black and white picture.
  2. Hm, don't know if it is that nihilistic, he does have lighter shades of grey and even truly benevolent people (some of them pitch black, morally) in his work; one could argue, that they even succeed in the end, however pricey this victory was. What indeed is very frustrating is how many of his reader misinterpreted his work toward the exact opposite of what he actually was saying. But that may be attributed also to the fact, that many people only ever read the first book (although I found him quite straightforward even in Dune. But I, too, have read him quite late in my late Twenties). On this one I have to disagree. A fascist state very well could (we are talking about fascists here, not nazis), Heinlein's certainly would, as it is liberal in this regards (see Marcuse et all.). It's like @Aldarion said: Tyranny comes in many shapes. That's why I do think Verhoeven did a very good job in his movie: They don't seem unsympathetic, because we see them from the inside, with the eyes of people who have been indoctrinated all their life and are sympathetic toward the system, we don't get a bug-POV, we have to connect the dots given to us, to see that the system really is. But he also remained true to his source in a way, as he didn't try to paint the militaristic regime Heinlein created worse than it is in the source material. What both, Herbert and Verhoeven, would imho agree upon is, that there is no easy way out, no easy judgement.
  3. Just because your only tool is a hammer, doesn't make every problem in the world a nail. The author has already told us, that his metatextual aim is to deconstruct the young-and-clueless-saviour-troupe in fantasy, in which the saviour is a saviour simply because they are, and everything they touch works to the benefits of everyone and nothing ever backfires or has a price. That's why both Jon and Daenerys fail initially, even though they are right in what they aim for. For all his flaws in worldbuilding and researching on historical subjects he's using, GRRM does this one really well. Beside: Can Daenerys even be "read as 'white' in our world"? She was a de facto pauper all her life - and then sold to a Dothraki khaal... Would you read Sally Hemings as "white"? No. It's - beside other things* - about the believe in a messiahs - both political and religious - and that it makes people do or not do. The subject of his novels are not the "narrative persona", but society as a whole. It's not about "the saviour" or his complexes, which - to be fair, however unsympathic, pathetic and cowardly he is - not even Paul has. Because most readers don't pay enough attention and have read the books at an age, then one likes to imagine oneself as a force that can change something for the better (with Superpowers!). One can argue, whether Herbert build this trap intentionally - I would say "yes", as he is actually very explicit about his stunt in the books following "Dune". * Like: "religions purpose is to keep people manipulatable and usable" and "kill aristocrats on sight"
  4. I think a competent poisoner wants to make sure that it looks like a medical issue, so using a dose, that kills the target outright, is unwise. Maybe they underestimated the freedmen medics and thought that the Green Grace would be called to "cure" the sickness, so they could administer another dose. A slow death after which her grieving husband would inherit Meereen would surely look better than her dying quickly after her wedding day.
  5. This is really a major mistake by the author, I think. There is really no reason to take this two, so Yoren is basically the deus ex machina to get them out of the dungeon so they can play their part in the following chaos. Completely unnecessary, imho.
  6. I really wish for you to be right, and never have to face such a situation to find out, I really do. (there is no fitting smiley! )
  7. It is of course brainwashing. The brainwashing of trauma. Trauma doesn't make you sensitive toward other people, trauma makes you numb. Read Primo Levi. Beside: One can have a sense of wrongness as much as one likes, if it comes to the question "kill or be killed", most people will kill - Milgram shows that for most people a command is all what is needed. Of course not in the hypothetical Hollywood scenario in their heads, in our heads we are all heroes, we are all Spartacus.
  8. I agree that the POVs of JonCon (and Tyrion as well as Quentyn) are in line with the theme of the book, they are indeed dancing with the dragons, and Quentyn even with both human and animal, but feel incomplete because of the ending. But I especially agree with the bolded part, because every time I read Daenerys' last chapter, I get the notion that we have a time-asynchrony again, as if not as many days have passed in Daenerys' POV, as have in Meereen and Westeros, because she is still alive and strong enough to walk and stand even without clean water to drink and a serious diarrhoea, so imho she can't be out there for longer then a few days, maximum a week. If that is the case, it would have been better if this would have been solved in the same book, and I very much think that it would come naturally with the two battles and Arianne meeting Aegon included in ADwD.
  9. Exactly. One could add that the service for life wasn't something one did after a few months in a monastic order, whether military or civil. Before even becoming a novice, one had to go through the postulate first. And the old monastic orders even don't let you put on the vows for life immediately after the novitiate, one has to take a vow for three years first. I also think it would have helped the Watch to combine your ideas above with the possibility to join for a year or two (so a very short term) the learn a craft or how to fight/hunt etc., too.
  10. The funny thing is: Most of this pairing would work out quite well, if one gives the them the time forces them to calm down together (and someone has to bind Stannis to a chair, so he can't storm off, just because one of the others tries to make a joke ). And Ned would take out the steam within a second. Cersei and Catelyn would very much depend on the when.
  11. GRRM said just what @Lord Varys claimed he said, that Viserys I did not take another dragon after Balerion's death. The wording indicates that it would be possible, at worst it says nothing about it being impossible for a rider to claim another dragon after the death of the first. Daenerys is talking about Aegon never flying the dragons of his sisters, nor them trying to mount Balerion. Then she points out that dragons live a lot longer than humans, and during their lifetime more than one rider. I see the following "but" in the context as either a filler in Daenerys' thoughts, or her simply not knowing of any rider who outlived their dragon. As the sentence is about lifespans, this would make perfect sense (as Daenerys really doesn't know much about Westerosi history, and because she still - and most likely always will - sees the three as her children, they are what will be left of her, and she thinks they will live a lot longer than she herself). So, I guess we have to agree to disagree.
  12. There is no prophesy related to Paul's birth, just a breeding program. Religion and the - inducted - prophesies are frauds constructed by the Bene Gesserit (and the fact is spelled out multiple times in the books). Beside: Because Paul finds himself a female version of Feyd Rautha with Chani, the program is on rails again and produces the/another (depends on how one weights Paul's disability to see his son in Chanis womb) Kwisatz Haderach the Bene Gesserit were working toward. One that does not only not leave the Golden Path, but is actively toward it. Of course there is some influence, because of the impact Dune had, but I think hope the similarities come mostly from "young people doing impressive things" and prophesies being an important trope in fantasy - something both authors are deconstructing, each in their own way. Imho we really don't need an misguided and misapprehensiv commentary on Dune in ASoIaF, as we got in the abomination.
  13. As you say, he dared to approach Balerion, so maybe he really loved the old big boy so much? The information was given by GRRM himself, as @Lord Varys pointed out, so it would be strange, if it was for any other reason but affection(?) Imho Aegon III really didn't want another dragon after the loss of his dragon and witnessing his mother being devoured by Sunfyre. But I agree with you on the part that we don't yet know the full impact the death of a dragon can have on its rider. Maybe this is the difference between Viserys I and Aegon III, who never even tried to get another dragon, and other dragonriders, who wanted another one after their dragon died? Maybe the imprint on the rider can differ? Balerion is a very old and wilful dragon, while Aegon III is really very young then his dragon dies... Here I hope @Lord Varys is right and we get more informations in FaB II, maybe combined with Cannibal's further whereabouts, as Baela not even trying to get another dragon, imho feels strange for her character.
  14. I disagree on that point. She is thinking about her other two dragons, so the context is - imho - more a "what will happen with my other dragons? How will their riders influence my relationship toward them." The sentence before the one you are quoting is: "...even Aegon the Conqueror never dared mount Vhagar or Meraxes, nor did his sisters mount Balerion the Black Dread" So she is talking about flying two dragons at the same time.
  15. Where do you have this information (emphasis) from, may I ask? Because I haven't found any indications for this. Daenerys is musing about the fact, yes, but in context it sound more about a rider controlling more than one dragon at the same time - she's musing about what will happen to her other two dragons. As dragons normally outlive their riders, we have very few cases in which a rider would need another dragon because their first died. We have Viserys I, who - indicated by GRRMs wording - chose to remain dragonless, and we have riders during the Dance without the chance/time to even try another binding. After the dance there is a significant shortage on riderless dragons.
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