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James Arryn

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  1. Sorry for not responding to your helpful posts, earlier, to those who did. A pipe burst at our place in Tuscany and went through the floor into the (babies’) room and soaked their bed. (wife’s friends were using it) was dealing with that and now my daughter has been coughing/throwing up/diarrhea since I left, just got bad again tonight…my poor wife, trying to talk her into my coming home. (My other daughter has started coughing too, which was the first symptom for her sister). She’s been going through it since I left and as I was the stay-at-home parent this is her first extended period alone with them, and it’s been really rough. She has been up all night 2 of the 3 nights since I left. I have to stay long enough to fix the pipe issue at the villa; I know less than nothing about plumbing, but apparently it’s fairly straightforward. But after that I am totally willing to head home…sunk cost, all that…but I don’t know if my constant offers to do so are making her feel like she’s failed or I don’t think she’s up to it, or similar, but she keeps side-stepping my offers. Again, willing to take any advice…this is all new ground for us/me. Not promising I’ll be able to respond/thank the kind souls who offer suggestions as I did and failed to follow through with earlier because of all this happening, but any advice is helpful. I realize this is very OT for this thread, it’s just where I began this so feels more appropriate, but if mods think it’s too tangential let me know please. w/e happens the next few days/week are going to be pretty intense. Again, symptoms: cough, vomiting (including one projectile) diarrhea and her stomach is very painful, but my wife thinks that’s probably gas. And she has shown no elevated temperature. Fuck, literally first time leaving them is with an ocean and over a month between us and my daughters (other one earlier in, just the cough her sister has, but I worry she’ll follow the same path) and my exhausted, overwhelmed wife have been really going through it since I left. She worries about money a lot more than I do, so does anyone know if a sick child is sufficient to get them to let me switch to an earlier return flight? Doesn’t move the needle for me, but if so I think she’d come around on me coming home much quicker. To not make her feel like I’m pushing too hard or not being supportive of her ability to do this alone, I also said that this might just be off to a (very) bad start and I’d understand if she wants to wait a while to see if it normalizes; it’s not an unreasonable plan. Sorry if this is incoherent, took sleeping pills and I’ve been up for all but 1 7hour sleep in the past 5 days, mind is straying/fraying. This was kinda my worst fear w/r to leaving.
  2. Thank you all for your responses to my appeal. Really appreciated, will address individually after I sleep; am in Rome, first time going away from my babies since they were born and of course one of them was up sick all night, and even before that it was killing me. The delayed bumpy flight and an actual fire in the airport washroom I was in upon arrival…the whole reason I’m doing this is my wife felt that I had travelled so much for so long it was or had become an essential part of my character, and with them well into their 4th year it was by a mile my biggest drought since, dunno, twenty? So she bought me a ticket over a month before they come over to join me at our house over here, and said to fill it up with fun and I…don’t know if it’s still an essential part of my character. I just spent the whole flight (heard she was sick just as I was boarding, wanted to cancel but my bag had been checked and apparently that’s a big deal, but anyways, my wife insisted it wasn’t too bad. I knew she was lying, of course…she would not have told me if it was minor) worrying. Sorry, exhausted ramble, I’m sure I’ll get a second wind, but not convinced I’m still a traveller…travelling with kids is not travelling, neither is like resorts and such, for me…and trying to do my particular brand of make it up as you go along and ‘run like water into adventure’ travel…that’s kinda buzz killed by missing/worrying about my babies and imo the very real possibility this will be traumatic for them. Not leaving, that has to happen, but first time for 5 weeks? If she gets better you’ll probably hear a different tone, but right now I am in one of my favourite places on the planet, right on the Via Del Corso, my home base in Rome, and it’s a gorgeous day and all I am feeling is deep regret for coming. Which is just a great way to repay my wife’s extraordinary compassion (not to mention solo parenting twins for a month) isn’t it?
  3. Beg your indulgence in my asking this here: Coming to the UK shortly for some hiking, sincere ask for help here: of the following coasts, which ones are more likely to be not-smelling-of-raw-sewage: *Sw coast, north side (ie northern coasts of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset *SW coast, south side (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset) S coast, ie Jurassic to ~ plymouth Norfolk/Suffolk coast Se Ireland coast (ie Wicklow down to cork) Welsh coast, any Norhumberland coast, say Newcastle to Bamburgh area. I should note that my preferences were very much for Scottish highlands, Isles, Northern Ireland/Causeway trail, or possibly Yorkshire/Cumbria but have been warned midges are trips killers in this season, esp. for hikers, but if any of you have local knowledge of areas that aren’t experiencing major midge issues amongst these options, please I beg let me know.
  4. I’ll note again that the primary means medieval monarchs had at hand to reduce spending is to go on procession. Paying for the food, lodging, entertainment, etc. for those ‘at court’ (and their attendants) was the single greatest regular expense a medieval ruler faced, and going on procession literally shifted that expense to whomever the King visited on procession for the duration of their visit. We read of lots of examples of potential threats having their wings clipped by an extended royal visit. Overtly an honor, it had the benefit of draining your hosts coffers too, and thereby reduce their ability to make trouble/build castles/raise armies. The only caveat is that Aerys also almost never went on procession and didn’t beggar the crown, so either GRRM just didn’t want to address this aspect or Aerys started with a huge surplus and ~ mitigated costs by almost never hosting anyone/ thing.
  5. I think you’re getting to a point where you’ll have to walk some of this back as ‘just joking’. At least I hope for your sake that’s true. Here, let’s talk FBI for a second. Been around about a century. In that time it has targeted countless political organizations with all kinds of campaigns of destruction, discredit, disgrace and assassination. Want to guess what all of those organizations (but one) had in common? Here, I’ll give you some hints…almost every organized labour movement in the country, anti-war organizations (generally but particularly during Nam), civil rights organizations, anti-animal abuse organizations, ecological protest groups, muslims, homosexuals, anyone who’d read Marx at one point, etc. COINTELPRO, etc. In fact, as Cunningham writes, not only was the political stance of the FBI’s ventures into the political decade after decade of literally overwhelmingly attacking/infiltrating/discrediting/killing/arresting left wingers, it’s one solitary right wing exception (the KKK) was allocated almost no resources, in part because police and federal officers demonstrate much higher-than-average involvement/membership in it and ones like it. It was so one sided that for over two decades the number one undercover and surveillance assignment for an FBI agent was not organized crime or foreign intel rings or w/e, it was infiltration of anti-war and civil rights groups. This is the ‘anti-conservative’ organization you’re mentioning. And as Cunningham also reports, charges and sentences the FBI pursued and achieved against the KKK, the group actually and overtly devoted to the idea that large segments of the population are sub-human and therefore do not deserve the same rights or treatment under law and should be attacked and terrorized indefinitely )as opposed to wanting to let African Americans vote, or fight for a living wage or w/e) were significantly under charged and under sentenced, the exact opposite of the pattern with the left. But at least we can say ‘thank god for the KKK’ in that one respect, being the sole right wing group specifically targeted by the FBI in extensive federal investigations. As opposed, to as mentioned, more left wing organizations or affiliations to fit on a page. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40267812 Still not convinced that the FBI has a loooooong history of being ‘politically weaponized’, but almost universally against the left? Well, how about the fact that its employees are much, much more likely to be Republicans than Democrats? How does that work? I’m guessing you think that’s just the grunts, the higher-ups are different? Well you’d be right there…they’re even more partisan: of the 9 directors in the FBI’s history, 9 of them have been from one party. Clean sweep. The stuff of conspiracy theories, right? Proof of the weaponization, right? Except all of them have been Republicans. And this is the organization Trump and his parrots are with a straight face calling anti-Republican/conservative! It’s beyond comical, it’s basically pure satire but unintentional. Maybe the greatest example ever of the ‘people accustomed to privilege feel targeted and attacked by any efforts towards egalitarianism’.
  6. FTFY. This idea that reigning for a decade somehow undoes the fact that Robert’s succession was by force, it just doesn’t stand up to any examination. If taking a throne by force is illegitimate, so too is Robert’s reign, and therefore his ability to demand the right to make ‘do as I say, not as I do’ into valid law. If otoh Robert’s reign was legitimate, then so too is anyone else’s who can take it. This is another example of why feudal succession laws were more scorecards than rule books. It tells you what has happened, not what will happen.
  7. What do you mean when you say ‘too convenient to be true’?
  8. A kazillion times more likely he’s pardoned ‘for the good of the country’. Which is something you almost never hear said about common criminals trying to steal things of much less worth/value/impact. It’s almost as if…stop me if you’ve heard this before…there’s two kinds of justice.
  9. The peach thing to me matters most because it’s the only reason I think Renly might have loved…definitely not liked…Stannis. Despite the situation they’re in, with Renly’s campaign against their common enemy suddenly and dramatically arrested by his own brother (who he hadn’t heard from in over a year) declaring him a traitor and attacking his capital…despite that, he still tries to reach him, pun incidental. He sees Stannis as ~ pathologically unhappy, at least in part because he devotes himself so fully to his own unhappiness. All he talks of, presumably all he thinks of are the ways he’s been wronged and the things he deserves but doesn’t get. Renly…who btw has had at least as unhappy a life, arguably much less happy…tries to get him to be the architect of his own happiness too. Look around. The world is beautiful. Take a bite. Stannis of course takes it as a threat, and then mockery, and while I suppose it could be the latter it doesn’t make a lot of sense. More, the fact that this one aspect haunts him layer imo suggests that a small part of him realizes that even then Renly was thinking of him as a brother, as someone to make happier if he could. Not saying it kept Renly awake nights or w/e, but strip away all the entirely Stannis-centric assumptions about Renly ( that he knew about twincest, that he knew Stannis knew, that he knew Stannis would, eventually, stake a claim for the throne, that he should in the meantime do nothing because Stannis, that saying your bother might get killed in a battle your brother is causing, because your brother is attacking your men/capital/you is ~ equivalent to attacking your brother FFS, etc. or that he somehow owed it to Stannis to undo the brilliant work he had done in building what everyone agreed was the primary threat to Lannister power and instead place his cause/life/victory in much greater jeopardy because Stannis had belatedly decided to join the game…by attacking him. That anyone thinks this is anyone’s fault but Stannis’ is imo an act of deliberate will. I get why Stannis thinks that…he is obsessively and singly devoted to a world where What Stannis Wants/Deserves is all the information that anyone should need to make any decision, no matter how seemingly tangential. So, yes, of course when Stannis finally decides that break radio silence and reveal he knew all along the grave danger his brother had been in…oops! I guess…Renly should have broken faith with the Tyrells, potentially lost their support and thereby probably his life, and retracted his claim because overthrowing 2 nephews and a niece is all fine and good, but the 4th place in line is sacrosanct. Imagine if Robert had gotten his throne like that, what chaos might have…wait. But anyways, strip that all awAy and what is Renly offering Stannis in that peach? Put it this way, it’s of a very different kind than what Stannis was planning for Renly. It might not have been love, it might have been pity or just an expression of Renly’s worldview, but I think it meant more and, to his sorrow, so too does Stannis, after the fact.
  10. Well, here’s one thing that his Stannis fan critics never consider: Do you know how easy it would have been for Renly to paint Stannis’ reputation as blacker than black if his instincts towards Stannis were similar to Stannis’ towards him? Stannis was AWOL, he was easily guilty of extended dereliction of duty, refusing communications from both his king and the king’s Hand. He was gathering forces and behaving in a way that someone with a tenth of Renly’s understanding of optics could have easily exploited. Especially if (as us so often stated as fact with zero evidence because it mitigates Stannis’ ridiculous decisions) he knew about the twincest. If he knows that then he only has to spread that and just kinda point out that Stannis has surrendered his place at court and role in government…for like an entire year despite being ~ a day’s sail away. I mean Stannis would be doing all his work for him. But he doesn’t do a single thing about it, and Stannis’ extremely inexplicable behaviour is only ever kind of mentioned in passing with a kind of ‘what’s that about?’ It would be made even easier in that Stannis projects himself as someone devoted to duty. Except for year long pouts, I guess. But giving up your place at court is a really big deal…remember Ned genuinely wondered if Robert might follow through on his threats when he goes to do it for a day…Stannis did it for a year. Didn’t show for council, didn’t respond to royal summons…these are very big deals. Being ‘at court’ is not just a locale, it’s an official status that involves specific benefits and duties. And it’s not informal; someone who is officially ‘at court’ is someone whose needs (@and whose attendant’s needs) are met by the crown. In fact paying for the court is the crown’s greatest annual expense. Doing what Stannis did is very much like a soldier deserting. Renly would just have had to point. But he never does. How does that fit with the ambitious scheming climber some see in him? Whereas Stannis, with much less cause, builds a strategy central upon using blood magic to assassinate his younger brother, declares war on him and unprovoked attacks and lays siege to his capital while Renly is focusing on Lannisters. Renly who IS there for ever council meeting, is only plotting against Lannisters and only declares war on Lannisters. But Stannis people always try and act like #bothsides. Ridiculous, imo.
  11. That’s imo more because we simply read about a lot more houses and their structure than we do for any southern region, with the RL (due more to being the principal setting of the Wot5K/arguably ASOIAF so far, and the Westerlands due to House Lannister being the 2nd most POV represented to Stark, so we get some incidental musings about Forley or Prester Flement Braxton, but it’s usually pretty brief, like Jaime thinking who would make a good Hand or w/e. Cersei rarely thinks of people not actually in her presence excepting obsessions with Tyrion and house Tyrell, so really it’s Tyrion (who again shows us far more of the North than the West and visits four Kingdoms and Essos, but no West) and Jaime who is in the RL or KL the entire time. We never even see the West, not once. Lots of the North and RL, lots of KL, then Essos more than any of the other 7K..next would probably be the Stormlands or Reach if we count Dunk. To my way of thinking the contradiction you point out; that we know the names of female northern rulers or heirs far more than Dornish ones despite knowing for a fact that female rulers are and must be far, far more prevalent in Dorne than in the North. We just don’t get anywhere near the same detail about Dorne. So I’d be wary of using sheer volume of knowledge as distinguishing the North beyond just generally more character detail being about the North. Conversely the North seems to have had the widest usage of that First Night absurdity, as well as remaining the region where it is most mentioned being still in usage, though this too might just be the downside to hearing most about Northern houses, etc. Except it seems like it being much more prevalent in the North is a long standing opinion.
  12. The scene with Robert and Cersei…another example that the show writers could write good…even great (Tywin/deer) dialogue when it was surrounded by GRRM’s structure/garden…was effective but slightly misleading. Castles are a great defence against an invading horde like the Dothraki…but not indefinitely, not independently, not in and of themselves. What they mostly do is buy defenders time and force concentration of the enemy. But that’s only truly effective as part of a bigger strategy…if there is not a Westerosi army gathering somewhere to come break the siege, well, first off people won’t starve without some point or hope, so you’ll likely see capitulation/treachery, etc. and secondly while you are behind your walls the Dothraki are destroying any value or credibility your rule has. Feudalism is mostly protection from your overlords, but it at least purports to keeping your oppressors to a limited supply and the Dothraki consuming/destroying/enslaving everything not locked down will be catastrophic to Westeros, and therefore the Westerosi power structure. All that to say I doubt that just sitting it out is the plan…that’s taking a specific usage (ie, ~ Alfred’s burgh principal of being a defensible source of resistance to blunt fast moving raiding/invading forces, giving you time to raise your own forces to react effectively) and making it general. It made for a good speech/scene, and does actually highlight a real and effective martial concept, but only as part of a broader strategy. If the plan is just bunker down, time will probably start working against you before it starts working against the mobile force with almost complex access to all your resources. Particularly if they are already accustomed to living a nomadic existence with the necessary understanding of resource exhaustion those societies are built to overcome.
  13. Jaehaerys. There has definitely been a (arguably needed) retcon of his character, and imo done very well…he went from a ‘wise old king’ archetype to something more sinister and with much greater personal failings, but there is still a genuine desire to do justice there that we don’t see in Tywin. Jaehaerys hurts his children unintentionally, Tywin deliberately. Not saying one hurts less, but it makes the choice imo clearer. I will say this, broadly speaking, not daughters etc. but just subjects, I’d imagine that the day to day lives of the small folk under either ruler would, provided you’re not central to some crisis, be pretty much the same under either.
  14. On the grounds that none of the resident powers were anymore virtuous, absolutely. But who pays the price for their games? The bill should still be sent to the invading party.
  15. I’ll admit this is getting into tricky territory, because if, as he has apparently stated, that idea originated or at least met with approval from GRRM, it is ~ canon. I have never been part of another fan base like this, I have no idea how these canon/not canon things are decided, but in this case I think we have to at least consider it. But…’they make a desert and call it peace’…’conquered the world in self-defence’, bringing ‘civilization/freedom to savages’, etc. Empires often have their own press, often frame (and sincerely believe) their conquests have other, more noble motivations. But it always comes with a side of conquest and acquisition, it always comes to the material benefit of the noble conquerors and the material disadvantage of their subjected peoples. And to continue down the anthropomorphic tone, do you know what kind of relationship has one party persist in framing a pattern of similar behaviour as isolated incidents and regrets but does not change the tendency to getting their way with violence or the threat of same? Right, abusive.
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