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Clueless Northman

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  1. Clueless Northman

    Dance of the Princelings

    Alicent's boys were petty and insufferable brats during that bickering, but still, Aemond was just 10. I wonder if he would've still become such a twisted psycho, had he not lost his eye then. I give him some benefit of the doubt. Whatever bad kids do to each other, taking out one's eye is way too much and undeserved - on the other hand, I'm not sure having such a young kid stabbing another older kid is realistic at all. Whatever, both Luke and Aemond were too young to be fully responsible of their acts and words, as far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, by the time Aemond kills Luke in cold-blood near Storm's End, he's old enough to be fully responsible and be considered a bloody murderer deserving heavy punishment.
  2. Clueless Northman

    Worst Targaryen King

    In a way, Viserys I was like Aenys - weak king trying to please everybody and his dog, which just wasn't possible. What made things actually worse with Viserys is that he was trying to please both sides that were locked in a succession struggle. That said, Otto Hightower and Criston Cole had a bigger role in screwing up the Targaryens than Viserys himself; one could say that the big mistake was to let them in such positions of power. What I also wonder is how Viserys didn't foresee that having the Greens in King's Landing while the Blacks were exiled at Dragonstone would easily sink Rhaenyra's hope of a peaceful succession; the guy was quite clueless, and probably way too optimistic about human nature. His lack of action eventually doomed his dynasty (let's face it, once the dragons had died off, it was just a matter of time before revolting Westerosis cast the Targs out), but his own actions were way less awful than a few other kings; Aegon IV deliberately acted to sabotage his succession and didn't give a damn if the Targaryens would survive as absolute rulers of the whole Seven Kingdoms, so I tend to think he probably deserves the top spot (the 2nd part of F/B might provide enough information for me to confirm or reassess my judgment). Aegon II was messed up by the Dance, but it has to be said that Rhaenyra was just as messed up. I tend to think she was more legitimate, but by the time she actually rules in King's Landing, she's close to a trainwreck and is way too easily manipulated by some people that are more psychos than she or Aegon; her paranoia is her undoing, basically, undermining her rule in KL and pushing away or downright killing some loyal followers (including a dragonrider). Had she eventually triumphed and managed to outlive Aegon II, I wonder if her paranoia might have eventually been toned down. Heckm this makes me wonder if Larys Strong didn't come to the conclusion both pretenders would've ushered long bloody rules, so he actually manipulated both demises in the hope the next one wouldn't be a maniac.
  3. By now, the answer to the topic's question should be quite obvious. As has been said, Westeros like the Roman Empire didn't have a succession law. For "good" reason for Rome, since it wasn't formally an Empire, a monarchy, the Emperor being supposedly just an official of the Republic with a lot of various powers for life; with less good reasons for Westeros, except that laws weren't as clearly set up as in our modern world; they obviously never had lawmakers and scholars gathering to come up with an official rule like the Salic Law of succession - the time they did it in 101, it was a far larger gathering, and the aim wasn't to set the Law of the Kingdom forever but to have all the nobles picking the next ruler, basically like the Mongols did in 13/14th centuries. So, the surest way to reduce the risk of succession crisis would've been to have a definitive Law of succession that would apply to all future successions on the Iron Throne. Though this would've been tricky to do; merely the King proclaiming it wouldn't be enough, odds are that he should have a strong cases backed by the maesters, the King's Council, and the 7 ruling houses. By the way, I've also realised that, considering the final fate of Targaryens and their dragons, the cruel irony is that the best way to avoid the extinction of dragons and to reduce the bloodshed would've been to do what Daemon strongly opposed because it looked too risky to him: to have a general dragon engagement that would disable all the dragons on one side, ensuring dominance of the other one (providing they still had one fighting dragon left). With hindsight, it's clear that the blacks should've attacked early on, after Dreamfyre was taken off the table because Helaena went mad, and most probably right after Aegon and Sunfyre were wounded and unable to fight anymore, but definitely before the search for dragonseed riders - this means no risk of a dragonseed going rogue and ideally a quick end to the war, one way or the other; for the blacks, an actual victory in the war, or at least a decisive victory against the greens and possible withdrawal of the Free Cities from the fight would mean no death of Jacaerys and his dragon and no Viserys taken prisoner and taken East. For the greens, the less unfavourable moment was at the very beginning, as soon as Aemond killed Luce and his dragon and before Jace came back with his own; but considering the odds were always against them when it came to dragons, and they were apparently in control of nearly all Westeros, I can see why they didn't risk it - even a victory would've made them look like bloodthirsty maniacs who wiped out the opposition without serious provocation.
  4. Clueless Northman

    Is Braavos impregnable?

    Keep in mind we only see the aqueduct next to Braavos. It comes from miles and miles away, and can't be defended by military outposts all along. That's the point of a siege, by the way - you cut all outer supplies to the city you're sieging, so that they'll starve and die off. As for historical cases, Belisarius did it to Vandal-occupied Carthage, I think - or was it to Goth-occupied Rome? Cortes more or less did the same to Tenochtitlan. The larger the city, the more exposed it is, basically. River rerouting is way more difficult. And in some cases, it wasn't done to cut off water supply, but actually to allow passage to the invading/sieging army. Cyrus sieging Babylon is a (probably legendary, considering the insane works required) famous case. Braavos is very difficult to blockade by sea, so cutting food supplies is very difficult. Cutting water supply is easier - they probably couldn't resupply by ships, so in this case you only need supremacy over land, when you require full dominance of both land and sea to cut off food supply.
  5. Actually, when it comes to Alicent, I've had a suspicion - not the highest odds, mind you, but still a suspicion. She was there when Jahaerys died. Officially, reading him stuff. According to Mushroom, basically pleasuring him. Which might have been a subtle mushroomy way of hinting at the fact that she had a part in the Old King's death, but for some reason he didn't want to state straight off that she smothered him with a cushion, or something like that. But then, you'd have to understand that Mushroom might have been pro-black or anti-green, or hated people on both sides and liked people on both sides, and tended to make stuff up about people he likes just as about people he dislikes, specially if it makes for good (as in "salacious") reading. That said, I'm not sure of the reason why she would've killed him - maybe Otto Hightower wanted a weak king on the throne for his own personal benefit? Was Otto already hoping to put her daughter on the throne? Helaena became mad when her first son was assassinated by Daemon's hired goons - and when she was forced to choose between sons, the instant guilt probably was what pushed her over the edge. Everything that happened afterwards had a minor impact, by comparison. And yet Targaryen Westeros at least was less sexist than most human societies in the last few millennia, which goes to show how bad it was, too often. We know the Citadel claims (not officially, mind you) to be a major cause of the extinction of dragons. The first chapters of the 2nd volume of F/B might hint at what happened at the very end, but I've wondered since the Princess and the Queen if the Shepherd wasn't an agent of the Citadel, or at the very least someone who had been heavily manipulated by them. The Storming of the Dragonpit is still the single biggest factor in the death of the Targaryen dragons. Or he might have been a Green agent tasked with making sure Rhaenyra couldn't defend against future green dragon attacks, but that seems unlikely.
  6. Clueless Northman

    How much of Mushroom’s testimony do you trust?

    I don't believe all, far from it, but I clearly believe more than Gyldayn does. Considering all that's said about Mushroom - dwarfism, sexual shenanigans (at least self-alleged), wisecracking, fool-playing -, I also am now strongly suspecting that he is an ancestor of Tyrion - no idea about a more detailed genealogy, though. Last but not least, were GRRM 30 years younger, I'd like to see him actually writing Mushroom's Testimony, once he's done with ASOIAF and Dunk and Egg.
  7. Maegor's end is obviously the mirror of Aegon II's end. Both will have the enemy armies at King's Landing's gates, both obviously killed to avoid more bloodshed, both have their kingsguards punished in some way - because they didn't do their duty, or even because some actually betrayed their king. It's also probable that the common widsom that the Iron Throne cuts bad rulers was directly inspired by Maegor's death - after that, people assumed that a ruler that got cut by the throne had to be a quite bad one, since it reminded them of Maegor's demise. Now, if it was the Faceless Men's doing remains to be seen. An important point would be: hiring FM to do it costs a lot, their customer has to sacrifice a lot; so, is there any prominent Westerosi noble/official who seemed to have lost a lot, or something highly precious, at the time of Maegor's death? Because then we would know who might have commissioned the murder.
  8. Frankly, I don't have a preference between ending Dunk and Egg or F/B 2. The option which gives me Summerhall the fastest will do, as far as I'm concerned. Assuming GRRM won't pull up a "Dornish letter to Aegon" trick, leaving us none the wiser; that would suck.
  9. Clueless Northman

    Tennis Volume 7: Roger That!

    Well, you basically described the entire media debate in US mainstream media, about pretty much any topic - and specially about politics and foreign affairs. To be fair, you also described what happens most of the time, the world over, when media report about topics they barely grasp. That's not merely a US thing, it's blatant in Europe as well every time you have mainstream media journalists that don't have a solid grasp about the issue they're reporting about, even more so when it's a topic they don't expect the audience to know much about, because they feel they can easily get away with not doing their research. They just pick an interpretation that fit their preconceived ideas and analyze the whole thing on this basis, then report it en masse - and when some in the audience actually have a good knowledge of the topic at hand, they tend to shake their head.
  10. Clueless Northman

    Tennis Volume 7: Roger That!

    If she was playing against a White male, instead of a Japanese woman, the sexist/racist argument would have far more weight. As things are, though, it has, literally, none. Heck, having an American player protesting and riling up an American crowd because said American is being beaten up by an Asian would look awfully like racism, if reported this way. As for coaching, it's way too difficult to stop it. At this point, they should realize they just have 2 options: either they allow it, or the coach sits far from the court, or even isn't allowed inside the arena, so that there's no way to communicate.
  11. Clueless Northman

    The Witcher on Netflix.

    Nilfgaard is both. It's the wealthiest and probably the most advanced civilization around, and it's also a heavy-handed imperialistic empire whose conquering ways come quite close to the Mongols or 3rd Reich. Granted, not all were bad or evil and not all Nilfgaardians will be portrayed as such, just as a fair share of the Northerners are depicted in a dubious, grey or just plain bad way (I'm still pondering if the games aren't even worse - I can hardly pick a good side whenever I have to choose lesser evils). Heck, even Emhyr had his reasons, though the way he tries to achieve his goals are still awful, and it takes a lot of time to see what his reasons might be. That said, the overall feeling will be the Nilfgaard is a key antagonist and mostly the bad guy, since the series will be mostly seen through Northern eyes.
  12. Clueless Northman

    Tennis Volume 7: Roger That!

    Did these idiots not watch the game? Don't they know it's the Women tournament and Serena was playing against another woman, not against a man? And if there was racism, it was a specific case of pro-Asian and anti-Black one, not the usual suspect of White Power.
  13. Clueless Northman

    The Witcher on Netflix.

    Exactly what I was thinking. Either the North (Calanthe) is Black - Cavill's casting implies it's not - or Nilfgaard (Duny/Emhyr) is, in which case the show would have the unintended consequence of portraying a Black-led (or possibly Arab) invasion of beleaguered White North (unintended, because as far as I can see, the show isn't made by BNP, Pegida or Swedish Democrats). Or they just forget the whole family aspect of Cira and Emhyr. Or they assume the whole world is a mix of races everywhere, which would be a tad unrealistic (specially considering the books), but I don't think such considerations ever stopped some people. So, I assume that's the angle they're aiming for. Then of course, as Theda said, there's the obvious fact that Ciri has a strong element of "blood of elves" in her. Maybe they will go with mostly white humans and black elves? (though elves aren't exactly the noble good guys of most fantasy, they're quite often gray bordering dark side) That said, if they only did the short stories, that wouldn't be a problem at all, because Nilfgaard is quite a non-entity except for the very last one. But if Ciri is supposed to have a major role, then it indeed means they plan to do the whole arc. She's only adult (well, late teen really) in the very end of the short stories timeline. Oh well, still waiting for the casting of other key characters, Yennifer, Triss, the Emperor, Ciri, Dandelion to begin with - both to see how they intend to portray the race/diversity angle and more importantly if the actors will be any good.
  14. Clueless Northman

    U.S. Politics: Death and Tax Cuts

    Iirc, Scott is quite a believer, and that's exactly how a true Christian should actually behave. The problem is that, at some point, as this discussion shows, you have the choice between acting like the Christ and dying because you didn't defend yourself - or even having your whole community wiped out because it just prayed for those who were killing it -, or not following Christ's message, fight back and actually beat up the enemy that wants to kill you. That's honestly something I don't get. If only, because it seems to be that typical "You have to dehumanize people before you're able to attack or kill them", which of course is dead wrong and is only something that people that deeply believe in human rights, Christian / humanistic values and the goodness of mankind can come up with. The reality is that you don't need to dehumanize people to want to see them dead; in most cases, most people have no trouble acknowledging and knowing the ones they want to see dead, or even the ones they're killing, are human beings. Being a fellow human has rarely been enough to save someone from being killed, actually. As for McCain, he was a warmonger and a hawk. Many seem to praise him right now, because of his staunch opposition to Trump - partly because he felt Trump was too soft and isolationist and not enough of a warmonger. That amount of praise is a bit silly, because opposing Trump doesn't give you absolution, it's not enough to redeem you of all previous bad deeds. Being vocally against Trump doesn't miraculously make a good person from a jerk and doesn't erase the bad you did earlier. That doesn't specifically apply to McCain, it applies globally, and goes just as well to all the top agencies head honchos like Brennan and Comey, who are praised because they fight Trump, when they're awful people as such, and would still be considered heinous human beings by the progressive/liberal wing, were Trump not the president).
  15. Clueless Northman

    Hugo time! Your packet is available! 2018

    I'd say all the nearly all the other, if not all the other, awards, make sense in their way, but... Wonder Woman picked over Get Out and Shape of Water (or arguably over Blade Runner), really? (granted, that's more a discussion for Entertainment than for Literature).