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the trees have eyes

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Posts posted by the trees have eyes

  1. 2 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    He has set himself a hurdle. I would agree with you here, if George Martin had just set out to write fantasy. But look at his statements in interviews:

    It is safe to say, he has failed miserably. 

    Oh God.  I actually don't take that from those quotes. 

    I mean in the first you literally have him saying he wants to add gritty realism from historical fiction of what living in castles and battles with swords are like and he delivers that in spades!  No Gimli and Legolas having a nice sanitised kill count duel at The Hornburg (both over 40 iirc) or Hurin slaying 70 Trolls at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears in The Silmarillion, it's much more down and dirty with throats cut, decapitations, dismemberments and disembowelments.

    In the second he talks about how patriarchal and classist medieval society was and how circumscribed the roles of women and I would have thought we could agree he manages to portray that pretty well.  There are no people walking on their hands are there - maybe the squishers?

    As for the third on sexual violence, well, I'm glad he didn't go overboard but we have Poor Pretty Pia, the even more unfortunate barmaid who met Gregor Clegane on a bad day, the women at Harrenhall tied to posts for the "use" of the guardsmen, the basket or red worms in Meereen after Dany stipulated castration as the punishment for rape - and Ramsay Bolton.  So maybe he did go overboard after all.

    It's safe to say he achieved what he set out to :thumbsup:

    2 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Thanks. I will read it, when I get time.

    Well I certainly didn't read it with any particular focus on Sparta.  He refers to Herodotus a fair bit and I certainly didn't come away thinking those Spartans were overrated so I figured you would want to set the record straight :D

    2 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    It won the war against Athens, but only did so with Persian gold and major help from allies.

    Valid points.  But equally valid is that The Athenians exploited the Delian League and alienated their own allies.  They basically showed how not to do it.

    3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Why do you think all nomads have to be Mongols? Or that horse-based societies have to be nomadic?

    Rohirrim population is clearly in good part sedentary. They are not Mongols: in fact, in terms of their role in the story, they are more akin to Poland of Jan III Sobieski; Theoden's charge at Pelennor is essentially equivalent to Sobieski's charge at Vienna (even numbers are related: 6 000 Rohirrim is exactly one-third of Sobieski's 18 000 Hussars). And frankly, expecting Rohirrim to be nomads makes about as much sense as expecting the same of Poles.

    We know that they have herds of horses in the vast areas of Calenardhon, and these are tended to by the herdsmen who themselves live as nomads, moving with the herds. And in Tolkien's Letters, specifically Letter #297, Tolkien explicitly calls the Rohirrim as being "still partly nomadic":

    I don't, it's just shorthand and an easy handle for wide-ranging cavalry armies.  And large herds of horses are constantly on the move seeking fresh pastures or seasonal grazing.  Staying in one place and forming permanent settlements means  breaking apart into smaller groups.  It's The Ride of The Rohirrim not The March of The Rohirrim: I'm unconvinced they are sedentary farmers or particularly mobile infantry.  But then, I'm not really clear how they work.

    I don't get the bolded from the books as I don't think it's clearly developed :P.  Mongols were worried about going soft when they conquered or moved into areas with fertile agriculture and settled populations.  There's no equivalent in Rohan, just grasslands and mountains to the south.  It doesn't look like Polish farmland to me and it clearly supports a very small population only.

  2. On 11/14/2022 at 4:34 PM, Mourning Star said:

    So she told Ned what she says later?

    "Your butcher's boy attacked the prince."

    Or is that an example of her "growing"?

    She told Ned what happened.  He calls her forward to repeat that.  This is pretty straightforward.

    The second line is from a sibling argument between Arya and Sansa later on at KL in AGOT when Sansa is still a fairly dislikeable 11 year old with her head in the clouds.  She is still prepared to brush away unpleasant realities about Joffrey and Cersei at this stage and she and Arya are at war so it is both part of her recasting events at The Trident into a more comfortable form and deliberately being nasty to Arya.

    Quite obviously her growth doesn't begin until after Ned's death when she finally sees Joffrey and Cersei as they are and all her dreams turn to dust and she really begins to see the world and people around her as they are.  It's not an instant switch and she doesn't become a genius or an adult overnight but her naivety and self-centredness disappear swiftly.  You have plenty of Sansa povs in the following books to see this.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:34 PM, Mourning Star said:

    Did she change for the better though? I'm not so sure.

    The Sansa of AGOT does not show empathy for anyone, not because she is horrible but because she is a self-centred and entitled child of privilege.  All that disappears and we see repeated empathy for those around her as well as horror at Joffrey and Cersei's behaviour. 

    I would have thought helping Robert Arryn across the narrow ice bridge alone would be an obvious example of this.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:34 PM, Mourning Star said:

    I also think you are kind of skipping over the irony that what we are reading here is literally the Song of Ice and Fire. So Sansa's story, could literally be described as a song.

    The idea of song works on multiple levels.  Most obviously for Sansa it is her fondness for chivalrous ballads that give her a romantic view of the world.  She sees the world thought a filter of song - see her comment to LF about why Ned should have sent Loras rather than Beric after Gregor Clegane - and believes she is living in her own romantic Disney drama with a fairy-tale marriage to the handsome Prince and a life of wonder at Court ahead of her.  Until it all comes crashing down when reality intrudes. It's a key moment in her character development.

    The Sansa of ADWD doesn't want to be in a fairy-tale, she just wants to survive and for someone to marry her for herself not for her claim.  She is still a prisoner, and still a child, so how it goes is to be determined but saying she hasn't grown or changed since early AGOT is an odd assessment of her story.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:34 PM, Mourning Star said:

    She is asked to tell the truth in defense of her family and she chooses not to, the result is the death of her wolf.

    I don't think so.  Cersei wanted blood for Joffrey's injury: she wanted Jaime or Robert to punish Arya; she would certainly have demanded Nymeria's death and this is why Jory and Arya drove her away; Lady is the only target she can reach and Robert is too weak to stand up to her over it.


  3. On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    My point is, if Martin didn't feel like / want to / whatever develop Essos properly, why even write about it at all? He could have described it in as sparse terms as possible, so we wouldn't have to wonder about how Dothraki are apparently civilization-destroying warriors while also being a complete joke of steppe nomads, how the Slaver's Bay even exists, and so on.

    Because he wanted one character far removed from the others and to experience a different part of his imaginary world?  There's no hurdle here he has to pass in order to be allowed to write about his creations.  It's not your cup of tea, I get it.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    Because, if what you wrote is true, then Essos is hardly a sideshow. Which means it should have been better developed, rather than being an obvious low-effort carricature of historical realities.

    As of the end of AFFC we have 20 pov characters (excluding prologue/epilogue characters).  1 of those 20 is in Essos, Dany, and 1 other, Arya, has just arrived.  It's very definitely a sideshow imo.  And we only have Dany's pov for all of it for most of 4 books. 

    Problem seems to be Meereen and ADWD because we get Barristan and Quentyn, Tyrion's travelogue, with Vicatarion en route, but no pay off or story resolution.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    Basically, in creating Essos Martin bit off more than he could chew.

    Ok, that's your opinion.  But not an objective fact :thumbsup:

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    By that measure, almost every historical society was "ready to topple over easily".

    That's rather a sweeping statement.  The Astapori rely entirely on The Unsullied for defence but in return for a dragon they make a rather large tactical error.  It's up there with accepting a wooden horse as a gift from your enemies but both sets of circumstances are unique.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    Stop being so insulted over nothing. My point is that Martin's world would be far more interesting if he actually took time to consider logical consequences of the basic premise of his world (ten year winters in Westeros) than simply creating a copy-pastiche of Medieval Europe and carricature of Mediterranean and Near East.

    I'm not insulted.  I'm bemused by you applying arbitrary criteria to say he should not have written about something or what he should have written, and by you positioning your argument as resting on objective rather than subjective criteria (Westeros not allowed feudalism, The Vale not allowed knights etc*).

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    Of course it is subjective. But we are discussing opinions here; I fail to see why I have to constantly note "this is my opinion".

    You often make statements that something can't exist because it goes against logic or objective fact*.  I've told you any number of times you're welcome to your opinion but you seem to make large claims based on this that I find subjective and don't agree with.  It's easy to hold and respect different opinions, less so when one person claims factual or logical authority.  If that basis is not agreed it's likely to be a point of disagreement.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    To make it easier for you: it is objective fact that Essos is very badly designed from the point of historical realism, functionality and internal consistency. It is a subjective opinion that that fact makes it bland, boring, unenjoyable and overall a waste of time.

    Well, that first's still a large claim.  Essos is a big place.  Slaver's Bay is a caricature though GRRM has moved from the idiocy of the Astapori to more nuance with the Ghiscari in Meereen as the reality of ruling hits Dany.  The Dothraki have an outline - which I find just fine for story purposes - analogous to the Rohirrim as I've said before.

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    If you don't care about logical or internal consistency, that is you prerogative. I happen to care about these things, and for that reason I don't like Essos.

    It is but who says I don't?  I don't have the same detailed requirements you do, that's all.

    And, yes, I understand why you don't like "Essos"

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:


    Perfettamente :thumbsup:

    On 11/14/2022 at 4:14 PM, Aldarion said:

    Reputation and reality do not need to match.

    Oh, indeed.  But as I said, the Spartans were renowned for being great warriors so you have set yourself a large task to battle the baleful influence of 300, Herodotus, any other contemporary sources and several millennia of received wisdom.

    ETA: You should add Tom Holland to your list.  I read "Persian Fire" last year and really enjoyed it.

    16 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

    We get background stuff, like setting, and we can surmise the societal structure of Rohan through armies and such. We know that it's partially based off of Anglo-Saxon society, so we can also extrapolate a bit more information. 

    I never really got the Rohirrim on a societal basis.  Not that it bothered me because I don't find the world-building / realism critiques to be the meat or point of the story.  They were Gondor's ally and a cavalry army who could sweep down to dramatic effect.

    But they're a horse-based society that migrated from the north and settled in Rohan when Eorl aided Gondor and was granted Gondor's northern provinces.  Rohan is a vast area so they should be nomadic, widely dispersed and follow the herds.  They "should" drink fermented mares' milk and live in yurts or equivalent.  Instead they have mountain fortresses like Edoras and The Hornburg so even if these were built by the Numenoreans/Gondor they feel semi-sedentary at least but with no agriculture.  And JRRT, as an Englishman, turned them into anglo-saxons, more like Beowulf or Roland (yes I know he's a Frank), with housecarls and shieldwalls and drinking halls filled with warriors quaffing mead and singing songs.

    It doesn't bother me but I never quite got how Rohan was supposed to work so all this talk of worldbuilding and realism makes me point out that neither Gondor nor Rohan are particularly well-developed in LOTR.  They don't need to be but still.

  4. 11 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    To justify it is breathtakingly foolish

    No one is here.  Take that up with Josh Hawley.  The point is not to judge the past, and particularly the further back you go, by the standards of the present.

    11 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    Of course they did, I never said they didnt.

    Really?  We're only talking because you said this:

    On 10/26/2022 at 4:50 AM, Hugorfonics said:

    They're an ignorant bunch though, and the further we go back the stranger they often act. Eventually they're so strange I can't really recognize any type of morality, mainly the middle ages. 

    I'm curious as to how, when you were forced to read The Iliad, your teacher invited you to think of and discuss such different cultures so far removed in time and space and whether anyone ever mentioned the word evil.

    On 10/29/2022 at 8:14 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    I think even the ancient Egyptians found the ancienter Egyptians to be strange.

    Indeed.  But did they abhor them as evil because they discarded some of their practices? 

  5. 12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Your comparison is wrong.

    Nope.  Each author created a scenario they wanted to - and each author could have done it differently.  The details are up to them.  I understand why you don't like Essos but that's you and I don't share your view.  I quite like it, actually....just not the story being bogged down in Meereen (as I see it).

    12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    So why do we even have a story set there?

    Slaver's Bay? Because the author chose it?  To create a larger world and to have Dany distant from Westeros for the war of the five kings and have her character growth and dragons hatching happen way off the stage of the seven kingdoms.  I mean why not?  Why shouldn't he?

    12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Slaver's Bay had remained apparently not changed much for centuries, so the system is clearly sustainable. Yet it is also supposed to be unsustainable.

    How do you solve that issue?

    No one had ever turned up with a dragon before.  No one had ever gained all of the Unsullied and used them on the Ghiscari before.  Ready "to topple over easily" still requires a push.

    12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    What they are is flashy and shallow. Problem with much of Essos - and Slaver's Bay especially - is that there reader's mind cannot fill in the blanks because things are so contradictory.

    Yes, Essos has a lot of material... but most of it is just chaff. Dothraki and the slavers are both so stupid that I can't find myself to care either way: they can exist or not, live or die, I don't care; I just want the show there to be finally over. The Lamb Men are a stupid concept and should have been dead for ages anyway, so nothing to care about them.

    And to me, these discrepancies are critical issues. Sure, most people may not notice them... but FFS Martin, if you are going to provide a social commentary, then get your society right.

    Subjective.  And what is this obsession with being the arbiter of the standard for creating a fictional society or culture in broad strokes?  You don't care for it much but honestly so what?  It's just your opinion.   Idk why you get so worked up over this...

    12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    The only things I find remotely interesting about Essos are the Free Cities, Valyria, the Great Empire of the Dawn and those blackstone fortresses. That's it. And of those, the Free Cities and maybe even the Valyria have a lot in common with Westeros, and the Free Cities I find more interesting as a concept to think about than the actual description and role in the story.

    Sure, subjectivity is all about saying what we like and why we like it.

    12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    We don't need to experience the impact of ten year winters. We should have been able to see it in how the society is structured: for one, feudalism should have been impossible. Rather, you would have something more akin to the Pharaoh era Egypt: you can in fact just read the Bible to see how a society would prepare for a ten year winter.

    What?  Why do you think you get to set the rules the author has to follow in his world?  Why do you think examples you pluck at random from our world are the only possible solutions that could be viable?  And why, oh why, do you point to The Old Testament as a source for how his world should operate?

    12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Epic has little to do with physical scale. Lord of the Rings feels far more epic than A Song of Ice and Fire or Temeraire, despite events happening on a generally much smaller scale than in those two series. Rather, what is epic about LotR is metaphysical scale, the whole conflict of good and evil which Martin apparently wanted to avoid.

    This is entirely subjective.  I consider them both epic fantasy (I have no idea what Temeraire is) though LOTR in isolation is merely a thousand-odd page story glimpses of the world JRRT imagined.  It benefits hugely from the appendices and the Silmarillion and other works Christopher Tolkien published after his father's death.

    You're welcome to your opinion but you keep presenting it as if it's objective fact.  That's what I keep getting at.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    "Renowned" means "famous", "talked about", "well known". But something can be famous while still being bad.

    Renowned warriors are obviously not renowned for being bad.  Synonyms for renowned include: famous, celebrated, famed, eminent, distinguished, acclaimed, illustrious, pre-eminent, prominent, great, esteemed, well thought of, of note, well known, noted, notable, prestigious, fabled, legendary, proverbial.  Not bad or average.

    I see that your desire for realism in world-building is matched by a desire for precision and explicit meaning in language.  Oddly, I find this leads you to the wrong conclusion rather than the right one but that's just my view :)

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    I am aware of Herodotus' activities. What I am saying however is that a) Herodotus did not check his sources and b) he had an agenda. Basically, Herodotus saw Sparta as a model of an ideal society - and in his view, an ideal society had to have an ideal army. So he glossed over Spartan defeats, played up their victories, and in doing so, created a legend.

    His "history" was basically a collection of myths, stories and everything he could find. Tuchydides, who actually did go to effort to check things, does not to my knowledge think highly of Herodotus.

    When I read ancient history (many years ago) we used both Herodotus and Thucycides as sources.  All sources should be treated with caution and Thucydides was certainly more analytical than (and quite disparaging of) Herodotus but then again he was an Athenian general who wrote the History of The Peloponnesian War - between Athens and Sparta, of course - so as E.H. Carr would have us remember we might look carefully at his views on Sparta.

    During lockdown I read Ryszard Kapuściński's "Travels with Herodotus" and it put me in mind of re-reading both Herodotus and Thucydides.  I never got round to it, maybe an executive summary would do these days (I did read a fair bit of Plutarch but found Suetonius too dry), but maybe I will.  Those dog-headed men need a bit of a re-visit :)

  6. 3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Also, you have completely missed my argument. I have never criticized Martin for "not fleshing out" societies and cultures. I criticized him for getting the skeleton wrong.

    Well, this is the comment that seemed to get us on this merry-go-round:

    On 11/11/2022 at 12:24 PM, Aldarion said:

    I'm not sure I agree. Tolkien's cultures and peoples feel far more fleshed out and far more natural than Martin's, despite the fact that Tolkien spent far fewer words describing them.

    As you know I disagree on the fleshing out and what you regard as the "realism" in Westeros. 

    3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    And if you do not know about some topic (as Martin clearly doesn't about non-feudal societies), it is better not to write about it. Provide bare minimum of information and let the reader fill in the blanks.

    He didn't need to have Slaver's Bay, or Essos at all. He could have made Westeros smaller, and then have Daenerys living in exile in some other kingdom before coming back.

    Essos is less developed as it's a sideshow.  But why should he not write about cultures and societies that he is creating?  JRRT did not need to put in the Corsairs of Umbar, the Haradrim and Easterlings, he could have chosen something different too.  That's why I keep making the comparison.

    I just don't see why you deem it a critical flaw on GRRM's part not to have what you regard as realistic systems in place in secondary theatres, most notably Slaver's Bay.  Consider that they are meant to be unwieldy systems, if not outright unsustainable, so they topple over easily.  That's their story purpose.  The problem seems to be how long Dany has spent parked in Meereen which prompts both reader irritation and more scrutiny of how "Essos" / Slaver's Bay is depicted.

    3 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    But you cannot just throw logic out of the window, because if you do, nothing will relate to anything else and the world will become bland and boring. Actions have consequences, and it is exploring consequences of different factors that makes fantasy so interesting.

    And bland and boring is what Essos is. Yeah, sure, it is diverse - but that diversity is shallow, because there is nothing underlying it.

    As I've said I don't see logic being thrown out the window.  The examples you gave seemed more discrepancies than critical issues and I don't see a particularly negative impact in story because of it.  I don't find Essos boring: Braavos with it's Iron Bank and God of Many Faces and our brief glimpse of Volantis with it's Temple of Light and R'hllorism; Qarth, The Dothraki Sea, even The Red Waste, Pentos and The Tattered Prince; they're pretty interesting and intriguing in my opinion.  Where the story goes with these places is yet to be determined but it's only Slaver's Bay and Meereen that goes a bit flat. 

    Less is more, right?  Let the reader's imagination fill in the blanks for the Forest of Qohor or the River Rhoyne, or The Black Walls or The Stone Men or Asshai beyond The Shadow.  Boring is a subjective opinion.  Everyone has their preferences and likes and dislikes.

    4 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Why did he give Westeros seasons which include ten year winters if ten year winters are completely irrelevant? Why have story happen on a continent the size of South America when it could have just been an island the size of Great Britain or maybe Greenland?

    We don't know the impact of ten year winters because we don't have experience of them.  The further south you go in world the less the impact so it's not a land of eternal winter.  That said, it's one almighty logistical challenge he has side-stepped by writing in story in summer and autumn and is facing up to now (or not).  Map scale is a mistake, as is the height of The Wall, but as map scale is not expressed in story for people to obsess about the distance from KL to WF and how long it would really have taken Cersei's wheelhouse to travel up and down the King's Road I don't see it as a problem.  Much better to keep things fluid so you can move characters around more easily.

    Scale allows for more cultures and a more epic feel to the story.  You can have Britain and King Arthur or you can have the World and an existential threat.  It's ambitious but I don't fault that any more than I would RJ or BS for their fantasy worlds.

    4 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    These are not my "subjective feelings". Spartan reputation was created by Herodotus. In realitiy however they were no better than any other phalanx.

    Then your task is much bigger than "correcting" your friend's new-found knowledge or undoing the baleful influence of 300.  Best of luck with it :thumbsup:

    4 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Except the movie doesn't portray them as renowned warriors, it portrays them as outstanding ones.

    Which they weren't. They were quite average, in fact; they just had good reputation.

    I'm not at all interested in 300 but regardless of that, most people would regard those terms as synonymous.

    Herodotus gathered stories throughout the Ancient World and reported those he was told irrespective of plausibility.  Nonetheless as history as we understand it did not exist as a rigorous discipline at the time and as he is equally regarded as The Father of History, with his inquiries, or Historia, into the causes of the Persian-Greek conflict giving us the word history, I think we can be a little more generous.  I'm not at all swayed by your view that the Spartans military reputation rested on Herodotus's accounts alone but consider as a Greek living in the 5th century BC he would have access to contemporary views more reliable than his stories of men with dog's heads living beyond the boundaries of the known world he sceptically but faithfully recorded with other tales from afar.

  7. 17 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    Because it doesnt make sense. Ramsays ancestors flayed, the sigil that theyre as proud of as Lannister and its lion is a flayed man, Ramsays dad told him a flayed man holds no secrets. When Ramsay flays we judge, despite the Bolton moral code

    If Westerosi laws and society had flaying as a form of punishment it would be unremarkable for the Boltons to flay people.  Clearly neither laws nor society support flaying and the Boltons themselves do not attempt to publicly flay anyone because they would have been punished for it.  Ramsay's "pursuits" are considered depraved and sadistic and at variance with the culture, mores and values of contemporary society.  Even Roose views it with distaste though he tolerates it provided it remains hidden.  There is no "Bolton moral code" here, just an emblem of heraldry and a sadistic individual.

    I have tried all along to say ideas or thought systems are expressed, developed, spread and adopted.  The Boltons have access to the same ideas, education, history, society and culture as their peers so they have the same moral code and can be judged the same way as their contemporaries.  That results in Ramsay, actually Reek, being put to death by Ser Rodrik, and Reek, actually Ramsay, brought as a prisoner to Winterfell to wait trial.

    This should not be hard to follow and has no relation to judging a society or civilisation hundreds or thousands of years in the past on values and beliefs they had no exposure to.

    17 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    And theyre really bad lol.

    This is your assessment of practically every human civilisation or culture to have existed?  It's a puerile comment.

    17 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    In Amercian history theres loads of senators and such giving passionate speeches on the defense of slavery and its really disgusting. And it may not have been disgusting to some contemporaries, but it most assuredly was to others. Mainly the slaves.

    The 19th century was the period when ideas truly shifted as a result of the Enlightenment and political thought developing the concept of rights in the 18th century.  Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, and slavery in the British Empire in 1833, Russia emancipated it's serfs in 1861 and the US abolished slavery in Rebel States in 1863 and entirely in 1865.

    There were long campaigns to secure these emancipations or abolitions so in the 18th and 19th century there were indeed many contemporaries who were disgusted.  Pre-enlightenment though?  Not so much.  Christianity forbade Christians to hold other Christians as slaves and Islam prohibited Muslims from holding other Muslims as slaves but the concept of slavery was not universally or morally unacceptable.  Go back to pre-Reformation or pre-Christianity/Islam and the Ancient World would not have understood your objections because they did not have the same moral code or share the same belief systems.

    I'm not too conversant with US politicians speeches on slavery so I don't know where you're thinking of contemporary or 19th century.  I know Josh Hawley recently described slavery as "a necessary evil" which to my 21st century mind begs the question "necessary for who?" but I read contemporary speeches as a fudge - both an acknowledgment that is was wrong along with a perhaps understandable desire not to view great-granddaddy and your inherited family wealth as the result of "evil". 

    As for 19th century politicians, that was the era when the balance was shifting between uncomfortable but prepared to go along with it (The Constitution) and the gathering momentum of the Abolition Movement globally.

    17 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    Yea it may be ignorant, Im fine ignoring why nazis say, used a tea spoon when eating their frosted flakes instead of a tablespoon. The rest of their stuff as well. (although I like to think about von Braun. Nazi scientist which means he must have believed in eugenics which is flawed science. So its strange to think that a flawed scientist was still scientifically brilliant enough to you know, get mankind on the moon)
    Although Im not really ignorant, the final solution only happened after the germans realized they couldnt feed the pow let alone their own soldiers, so the expendable become extra expendable. Also they wanted to unify the world and such.

    Why are we talking about the Nazis? The Nazis had access to every thought, belief system and moral code that their contemporaries in democracies and their opponents in Germany did.  We can judge them with horror because they had access to ideas and moral codes that are largely similar to our own but chose to reject them as weak or decadent and were able to launch a coup in Germany and suppress any thought system that challenged their own. The verdict of contemporaries was just as damning as our own.  It's not that they did not have the intellectual structures or moral framework to assess their own actions, it's that they despised them.

    17 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    When examining the cause of evilness evil still comes out, so ill stick to being lazy as well and just judge all of the middle ages and before as well and Ill probably be right 90% of the time.

    Jesus Christ.  I mean that both as an imprecation and a point.  All major world religions were founded in the Ancient or Medieval Period.  You can be as lazy and ignorant as you want but it surely won't make you right.

    Above all, what I'm trying to get across is what morality is.  It does not exist in a vacuum or as some universal truth that an individual can discover for him or herself just by being "good".  Morality is an attempt made by every human society and culture to create a system of thought to underpin practices and rules to govern human behaviour and interactions.  Every society and culture has come up with it's own ideas and solutions and, particularly if cultures were isolated, their systems of morality appear strange.  This is magnified when we look into the past as every culture is isolated from ideas, practices and experiences we take for granted and the physical isolation of cultures around the world magnifies the strangeness of those to each other and to us as observers.  Ideas spread when cultures come into contact with each other and over time influence each other but it's only in the modern world when travel and communication remove barriers that we can begin to talk of "human" rights or "universal" rights or to try and aspire to a universal standard of morality.  It's work in progress and stands on the shoulders of thousands of years of development so to write off humanity outside a narrow band of the present is breathtakingly narrow-minded.

    18 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    So is gravity. They had it back then too

    Weird comparison.  They did not understand gravity or have any way of expressing what it was.  Newton had a rather famous moment with an apple that led to him expressing a concept that has gone on to become a fundamental law of physics and underpin our understanding of the world around us and allow theoretical and practical applications of technology.

    That is the power of thought, of human development of an idea and the impact of generations building on the thought of those who came before them.  Now apply that development process to morality and just like our space age technology our contemporary morality rests on the thinkers of the past.

    They had morality back then too, it was an earlier expression of human thought than it is today.

    18 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    Idk, I had to read it for highschool lol. 
    But I totally love this stuff anyway. History and these epics are interesting as hell, because theyre human, right? Like I watch African safari shows sometimes, I root for the zebra baby to get away, but also kinda for the lion to catch it. Like I dont really care, cuz I just cant relate to a zebra. But say this is the news and its like some kid, oh my heart goes out massively for this rando because as a human I can empathize with how scary staring down a lion is. 
    Thats how I look at this subject. Richard I was not a zebra, I can sort of put my shoes into his place and think this guys a dick, granted it does get much easier as time goes by and ideas of democracy and capitalism and socialism and even communism or anarchy is much easier to relate and comprehended then feudalism. 

    I hope your takeaway was not that the Greeks and Trojans were both evil but I think I can guess.

    Human nature doesn't change: you're either kind or cruel, generous or mean, friendly or stand-offish, helpful or self-centred, etc...  That part of us is our own.  But our morality and world view is drummed into us through nurture, education, socialisation and media (book/radio/tv) and that depends entirely on the time and place we live in.  "The Past is a foreign country: they do things differently there" is a quote from L.P. Hartley from the 1950s.  It's interesting for two reasons: it captures how different societies and cultures are (or were) either confusing or completely unknown and why history is not just teaching events but explaining them with all the complexity and confusion that brings; and how even after less than a century technological change in the internet age has challenged that simple premise as we have exposure to all cultures adn belief systems if we choose to seek it (and don't live in an authoritarian state behind a great firewall....).

  8. 14 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    I thought he did banish the nephew and something ambiguous happened with the army and then, idk, somehow the good guys won helms deep. I mean the nephew was back when Pippen was getting high with the trees...

    Theoden is under Saruman's influence through Grima Wormtongue, a counsellor at Theoden's Court who effectively enfeebles Theoden's mind using Saruman's magic and acts as a stereotypical evil counsellor.  Wormtongue lusts after Eowyn so Eomer, her brother, lets him know to keep the f*** away from her but Wormtongue gets Theoden to banish Eomer from Court.

    This all happens before we arrive in Rohan in The Two Towers and Eomer meets Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli on the fringes of Fangorn Forest before heading with them to Helm's Deep.  Gandalf rides Shadowfax to Edoras, breaks Saruman's hold over Theoden and Wormtongue is banished and Eomer restored to favour.

    With Theoden restored to his right mind he leads a relief of Helm's Deep where the Men of the Westmark were holed up after losing the battle of the Fords of Isen to Saruman's orcs.  This breaks the orcs siege and they fall back only to find the valley filled with Huorns, semi-sentient trees (according to Treebeard both Trees that have become ent-ish and ents that have become tree-ish) who annihilate the orcs before pootling back off to Fangorn.

    Rohan wins Helm's Deep on it's own (with Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli) but the destruction of Saruman's army is largely down to the huorns so Treebeard / Gandalf (Merry and Pippin indirectly).

    13 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    I believe you are correct. I also believe it's the lady galadrial, I'm not sure about arwyn. (Who's from a different neighborhood then galadrial and legolas? but I can't tell the elf races apart)

    How does Rohan win? Nothing climactic like in the movie? (If Gandalf doesn't help direct other people to save them I think that's pretty great because I'm kinda convinced the entire fellowship was useless except three hobbits and a little Aragon, And it'd be pretty funny if the wizard didn't even help save Rohan, tbh a little sam too. Aragons ghost ships saved Gondor tho. Wait was that only movie?)

    Galadriel is Arwyn's Grandmother.  Galadriel is Noldor (high elf) royalty but after the first age she remains in middle earth and marries a wood elf king, Celeborn.  Lothlorien is their kingdom and is protected by Galdriel being wielder of one of the three elven rings of power.  Their daughter, Celebrian, was Elrond's wife.  Elrond himself is related to Galdariel as they are both descended from Finwe, original High King of The Noldor (he was Galadriel's grandfather and Elrond's Great-Great-Great-Grandfather).  Legolas is also a wood elf, being the son of Thranduil, King of the Greenwood (Mirkwood) but no relation of Celeborn or Arwyn.

    Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and the dunedin take the paths of the dead from Dunharrow.  The Dead spirits fulfil their vow to Aragorn as Elendil's heir by defeating the Corsairs of Umbar at the battle of Pelargir in the south of Gondor.  This is off page but narrated later.  They are then released from their purgatory but the victory allows Aragorn to gather up the substantial Gondor forces in the south and use the corsairs' ships to sail up the Anduin and turn the battle of The Pelennor Fields for the good guys.  The movie brings the dead to The Pelennor Fields for special effects drama.

    You are right that JRRT wanted the success to be achieved by the little people or at least not by high magic (which is why Merry and Eowyn not Gandalf defeat the Witch-King of Angmar - and why Frodo is ringbearer) and why I thought the movie cheapened the victory on The Pelennor Fields by bringing in the undead.

    There is a question mark over whether Rohan will come to Gondor's aid.  First, Theoden is under Saruman's influence so is incapacitated.  Second, Rohan is fighting and losing to Saruman who has a coalition of his own uruk-hai and the men of Dunland on Rohan's western border.  Once Saruman is defeated and Theoden restored Rohan can come to Gondor's aid.

  9. 15 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

    It is not an amalgram of nomadic societies, sorry. Let's use the Mongols, for example.  

    That's just the easiest handle to use for discussing nomadic cavalry threatening settled civilizations - they are not mongols and are not required to be like the mongols or even any amalgam of steppe cultures.  They are inspired by the idea of a nomadic culture that terrorises sedentary civilizations with the speed and number of light cavalry they can deploy with very little warning and the problem of how to effectively deploy and defeat them, hence their periodic incursions and being bought off by tribute.  Obviously the ancient  and medieval world was subjected to this from the Huns to the Mongols but this is merely the inspiration for the idea of the Dothraki.

    But beyond that they are whatever the author wants them to be.  So they do not in fact conquer an empire and so they do not need the military technology and siege equipment required for protracted battles or holding vast swathes of territory seized.  The Free Cities pay them tribute to go away so they secure what they want without fighting.  When they do fight a disciplined infantry army - the Unsullied of Astapor - they lose so they know to stick to their strengths - raiding, slaving, extortion of tribute through incursions and clearing any Lhazareen settlements from encroaching on the Dothraki Sea.

    15 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

    From just a character standpoint, I'd have to disagree because in Two Towers and ROTK, we get a bunch of Rohirrim characters who help show us what their culture is like, as compared to, say the Shire and Gondor. They sing, they fight on horseback and behind a shield wall, their feudal structure makes sense and they're competent.

    I'm wary of JRRT v GRRM comparisons, particularly when someone references JRRT in their profile B)

    But we meet Eomer, Eowyn and Theoden and that's really it.  A few other captains or soldiers might be referenced or briefly appear on page for Helm's Deep or The Pelennor Fields but none emerge as characters.  We go to Edoras and The Hornburg and Dunharrow and then to Minas Tirith.  Don't get me wrong: it's fine for what the story requires - but that's kind of my point with the Dothraki.

    We see Drogo and his three blood riders and Dany's three handmaids and three blood riders.  We learn about Dothraki culture through Dany's chapters and her interaction with these characters.  We travel across the Dothraki Sea, go to Vaes Dothrak and then fire a Lhazareen encroachment and battle another Khalasar.  As Dany leaves the Dothraki after Drogo's death this is fine for what the story requires.

    It feels pretty equivalent to me.

    16 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

    They make sense. 

    It's up to each reader how they react.  I have no problem with the Rohirrim or the Dothraki.  If we spent more on page time in Essos or with the Dothraki I would probably be frustrated as it would slow the story down but the author might flesh both out more.  No telling whether that would please or disappoint the realists though :)

  10. 16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    It is opinion based on facts. Which I explained below.

    Eh.  Opinion and fact are different.  I get that you like LOTR more and you want to explain why subjectively you prefer it but don't confuse that with objectivity.  Case in point as I already pointed: you criticise GRRM for not fleshing out societies and cultures but when I throw out the Haradrim, Corsairs of Umbar and Easterlings you say both that less is more and they're better represented by not being developed at all.  This is subjective reasoning and obviously inconsistent.

    16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    And if you are so thin skinned that a stranger on a forum writing a few impolite words not even directed at you makes something hard to read, how do you manage to survive going anywhere or talking to anyone? Genuine question.

    It's a fan site for discussing a work of fiction.  To be blunt if someone acts like an angry nerd or comes across as a bit of a dick then I'm not going to spend hours reading and responding to them.  Nothing about surviving.  The real question is why you would expect otherwise.  Also, you seem to have moderated your tone and made a shorter post :P

    16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Because there are reasons why society develops in certain ways, and if you throw logic and realism completely out of window, there is nothing to relate to.

    First up, society has obviously developed in many different ways in many different places at many different times across the globe.  There is no straightjacket that an author has to fit himself into for what you term "realism".  Second, just because things have worked as they have on earth in all their complexity and variety does not preclude the possibility that things could have worked differently in different circumstances.  One planet and one timeline does not compass all possible forms of human development - far from it.  The whole point of fantasy is for the author to use their imagination to create something new and different.  I really don't know why this would be difficult to accept because you can't google a certain society or military technology in a certain time period and tick it off as verified "realistic".

    And the idea that the elements you find problematic "throw logic and realism completely out the window, there is nothing to relate to" is obviously both hyperbole and in fact plain wrong.  You have a few quibbles, e.g.

    16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    You cannot have a mountainous state rely on heavy cavalry - it not just doesn't make sense, it is impossible, for reasons of logistics, tactics and physics.

    The Vale is a VALE.  The Vale is protected from outside attack by mountains, coast and a well-guarded fortified castle on The High Road. They don't need legions of pikemen or whatever you consider "historically realistic".  Heavy cavalry are the shock troops of the feudal era and they have them for fighting each other in The Vale or for projecting power outside the Vale.  You are nit picking and exaggerating wildly.

    16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Things happen for a reason. Problem is, Martin generally doesn't understand what that reason is.

    And you do? :)  You have understood the "laws" of human societal and technological development in any possible set of circumstances and can approve or condemn the literary creations of fantasy authors from your lofty seat of wisdom.  Seriously........  He chose a quasi-feudal society for Westeros and created the Kingdoms with geographic and cultural differences as he chose for story reasons and background texture.

    16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    So long as you are writing about humans and human societies, some restrictions will be logically imposed.

    If your restrictions are no heavy cavalry in The Vale or no feudalism in Westeros due to geography(?) then they aren't logical, they are subjective.

    16 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    If you don't want your cavalry to act like cavalry, don't give them horses. Give them pegasi, or wolves, or chimeras.

    If you don't want your archers to act like archers, don't make them archers - make them mages.

    Taking something that historically existed and making it act in a manner completely different from how it did shows either a lack of understanding or a lack of imagination.

    Dude, your opinions, dare I say requirements, are your own, not those of other readers.  I don't really understand why this bothers you so much but there is no requirement for GRRM to be a military expert on the technology and tactics of whatever period or campaigns you are fixating on in order to write his story.  The battle scenes are pretty enjoyable to me and the cavalry and archers act like cavalry and archers whether or not they pass your triple A self-designed technology and deployment tactics internet search hurdle.  No need for pegasi or mages because the author has not passed your arbitrary "realism" verification test so he's not allowed to write about cavalry and archers.  Do you really think this stuff? :blink:

    17 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    They were renowned, but that renown was unearned. Spartans were no better than any other hoplite army.They definitely weren't badasses that "300" makes them seem as.

    And yet the Spartans had a reputation in Ancient Greece for military prowess.  This is attested to by contemporary sources and really can't be dismissed as "unearned" based on your subjective feelings on the matter. 

    300 is of course a movie not serious history (as if this needs to be said) but my point, if the humour was lost on you, was that your friend did in fact learn that the Spartans were renowned warriors in Ancient Greece, however much you gnash your teeth about the lack of realism in the movie, or apparently dispute the validity of their reputation!

  11. 53 minutes ago, Aldarion said:

    We were. I just wanted to point this out because Westeros is far better in terms of worldbuilding than Essos is... yet it is still garbage, relatively speaking.

    We don't really see much of the Iron Islands, and what we do see simply doesn't make any sense at all.

    and then completely, utterly failed at actually considering the implications of the stuff he built his world from. He dangled all the cool stuff in front of our noses, and then proceeded to throw it into bloody garbage.

    I don't really want to get in to a back and forth as I quite simply disagree and I'm a fan of both works so as I said, comparisons or criticisms of one versus the other are weird to me as I think they are both marvellous works of creative fantasy.  And also what one reader wants or looks for or enjoys is not necessarily what another does - I think our respective stances shows that very clearly B)

    A couple of observations and general thoughts though.

    Please don't post stuff like the above - it's just opinion and pretty difficult to read.  Actually, given the tone and length of your post I stopped reading pretty early on and flipped to the end.  It makes your post and views an angry screed and Idk why anyone would read on.

    1 hour ago, Aldarion said:

    Martin should have made Vale akin to the Swiss Cantons - no knights and massess of lightly-armored pikemen, population politically organized into clans (which then developed into cantons) and f*** chivalry. Instead, Vale is literally a copy-paste of Reach in many ways (except for their mountain clans which... don't really matter in the big picture). Why TF does the Vale have a culture of chivalry, considering its geography? And if Westerlands are supposed to be England expy, why do they have so many knights - more than Reach by proportion of the army, apparently? Why Tywin's army had so few archers?

    Why should he?  Why shouldn't it?  Why do you think it is or should reflect England or army composition?  And so on with what you term worldbuilding.

    Other than you wanting certain things there's no reason to go into this and your expectations seem pretty detailed and restrictive.  The point of a work of creative fantasy is the author uses his imagination and loosely bases his creations on aspects of real world cultures and systems but what he creates is different from the real world of any historical period.  It's his own.  Otherwise it may as well be historical fiction.

    1 hour ago, Aldarion said:

    I see a problem solely in the fact that this misconception that ASoIaF is somehow realistic can lead to people having wrong ideas about the real world history (remember a friend I mentioned who, after watching 300, came to believe that actual Spartans fought with no armor and were somehow unusually badas fighters? Yeah, that is what I mean here). That is why I like to chew this particular bone. But realism isn't necessary for a good story.

    Of all the criticisms of heroic fantasy I never expected to hear that it does not accurately reflect the real world and is performing an educational disservice to it's readership.  It's fantasy (with magic too) and has no duty to pass any gates as to whether chariots and heavy cavalry could be used together historically.  If the author wants them to, or to build a massive Wall of Ice, he can :thumbsup:

    300 is a movie based on real events at Thermopylae however much it is romanticised and distorted for myth and machismo, not a work of creative fantasy.  Spartans were renowned warriors in Ancient Greece though so your friend learned something after all :ph34r:

  12. On 11/4/2022 at 1:44 PM, Mourning Star said:

    What did Sansa tell Ned? What truth? It’s not clear that she defended her sister in the least.

    Well, I was going to quote the text but it was already quoted before you typed this response so I wonder if there's any point.  She told Ned the night Arya disappeared, so the day of the incident.  Given the events are relayed through her pov we know exactly what she sees and given Ned calls her forward to confirm Arya's account we can also surmise what she told him.  This is not difficult to follow.

    On 11/4/2022 at 6:25 PM, Mourning Star said:


    She could have told the truth!

    Morality matters! Are we reading the same series? Lol

    Morality does matter.  Telling the truth would not have saved Mycah, though it would have made some readers more sympathetic to Sansa.  The political fall-out would have been even more damaging and dangerous than it was, if it didn't cause the betrothal to be broken off or a rupture between Robert and Ned.  And I'm not sure we are reading the same series :P

    On 11/6/2022 at 1:47 PM, MissM said:

    She knew what happened, she was there and saw everything and chose not to say. Then goes on to blame her sister and wishing death upon her. 

    Also, I think @chrisdaw is right:

    In regards to the conversation about the dire wolves and the Starks the point was made (I forget by whom) that Lady was dead and Sansa still alive to which I replied that Sansa wasn't really much of a Stark anymore. IIRC (this is a little hazy), at this point GRRM kind of leaned back in his chair, smiled and said something to the effect of "A very astute observation." 

    The two incidents are far apart in time.  She panics when called by Robert to tell the truth and says she doesn't remember.  This of course infuriates Arya - who knows that Sansa can but won't back her up (for whatever reason).  Later in KL she says something horrible to Arya but this is really an unpleasant sibling argument.  As a character Sansa changes a lot from after AGOT when she learns life is not a song.

    I wish GRRM had not given that mysterious little comment as it tends to raise speculation about "Dark Sansa" to fever pitch.  The girl who spoke up for Dontos, a complete stranger, when Joffrey was going to have him killed for being drunk, or who empathised with Lancel after his wound, or felt sorry for Tyrion even though these two are Lannisters is still very much there.  You can see her warning Margaery about Joffrey and most germane of all, leading a near-fitting Robert Arryn over a narrow ice bridge on the descent from The Eyrie.  So much for killing him for convenience or as a path to power.

    On 11/6/2022 at 7:56 PM, SeanF said:

    Does it matter, if Sansa kills Sweetrobin?

    It does but only if you want Sansa to be the child of Ned and Cat rather than LF's protégé.  Annoying little shit though he is, he is her cousin, an ill, lonely and vulnerable child.

    On 11/7/2022 at 3:17 PM, Mourning Star said:

    Not telling the truth when called upon to do so in defense of a family member is a betrayal.

    It's not a trial, though.  Cersei apparently might want it to be and as we learn from Jaime in AFFC (iirc) she has already been trying to persuade him to harm or kill Arya and this represents her last chance to get some revenge - ultimately exacted on Lady. Indeed after Robert dismisses it as a children's quarrel Cersei demands "I want her punished".  But Robert does not ever consider or act as if Arya is on trial.  We see the scene from Ned's pov and he's angry that Arya is brought before Robert on Cersei's orders but he doesn't regard it as a trial.

    On 11/7/2022 at 4:21 PM, Mourning Star said:

    It's a fan fiction account that is not from ASoIaF.

    The meaning of the post you are picking at is pretty clear: Sansa and Joffrey hear swordplay so the "hidden fighters" are an unknown danger from Sansa's pov.  Joffrey does arrogantly assure her that she is safe with him.  He does go to look over Sansa's objections but he also intends to keep her safe.  You're quibbling over Joffrey's primary motivation - to look out of curiosity - and his underlying and stated intention - to keep Sansa safe from any possible harm - because the post referenced the second underlying intention.  That is not fanfiction :blink:

    On 11/7/2022 at 6:30 PM, Mourning Star said:

    Sansa knows the truth, she is called on to tell the truth in defense of her sister against accusations that have already seen one person killed, and she does not tell the truth. This is a betrayal in my book, call it whatever you want.

    Arya is not on trial though.  Sansa is not brought in to give testimony in the trial of Arya Stark for attacking the Crown Prince for which the penalty is death.  If those were the circumstances and she consciously withheld testimony that resulted in Arya's conviction and execution / other punishment then she would certainly be guilty of betrayal.  But those are not the circumstances. 

    Also, you might want to be careful with accusing people of fanfiction when you interpret a scene in a certain way.  Tyrion is tried for Joffrey's murder.  See the difference in how the actual trial is conducted to Robert asking some children to explain what happened?

    On 11/7/2022 at 6:44 PM, Mourning Star said:

    Also, again, she is called on by the defense, Ned.

    Huh? Ned is looking for his daughter and comes in demanding why she was brought to Robert not him once found.  He's not the defence, he's an angry parent, demanding to know why she isn't being looked after properly.  It's not a Court, no one is appointed Prosecution or Defence Counsel.......

    On 11/7/2022 at 8:09 PM, Mourning Star said:

    Not taking a side, especially in a situation like this, is still taking a side. Refusing to come to her sisters defense, or even just stating the truth as she knew it (which would be a defense of Arya in this case), was a betrayl imo.

    Again, I'm not sure this distinction is meaningful here, this was hardly a formal court setting to begin with.

    Not giving evidence means just that in a court of law.  You can read into it what you want but taking the 5th or whatever equivalent does not count as backing up or refuting anyone's testimony.

    At least you are aware it's not a court or trial.

    On 11/7/2022 at 8:19 PM, Mourning Star said:

    A character's actions and thoughts so far in the story is what we have to work with when trying to predict the future.

    But, it does seem to be in Sansa's nature to act in her self interest over loyalty to her family, at least so far. I think that's the connection here.

    If only characters could have growth.  Is the Theon of ADWD the same person as the Theon of ACOK?  And naive, romance-filled 12 year-old Sansa who wanted nothing more than to marry the handsome prince and live a fairy-tale life at Court has changed a great deal since AGOT.

    On 11/8/2022 at 1:45 PM, chrisdaw said:

    She is making him temporarily more pliant to the detriment of his long term health, as has been explained to her, which is the purpose of the storyline.

    How many times and how much control does she have over this?  She's at most a pawn of LF who is trying to rope her in and so taint her by unwitting involvement.

    On 11/8/2022 at 7:30 PM, GMantis said:

    Not really. What was explained to her was that Sweetrobin could be given two more doses as long as he wasn't given any more in six months, so as far as Sansa knows he's not currently in danger of suffering long term effects.

    This is my thought and I'm not sure how much she knows of potential dangers.

    A Feast for Crows - Alayne II

    "It was too soon. My lady, you do not understand. As I've told the Lord Protector, a pinch of sweetsleep will prevent the shaking, but it does not leave the flesh, and in time . . ."
    "Time will not matter if his lordship has a shaking fit and falls off the mountain. If my father were here, I know he would tell you to keep Lord Robert calm at all costs."
    "I try, my lady, yet his fits grow ever more violent, and his blood is so thin I dare not leech him any more. Sweetsleep . . . you are certain he was not bleeding from the nose?"
    "He was sniffling," Alayne admitted, "but I saw no blood."
    There is nothing there to suggest she is aware of any particular danger.
    Then there's this:

    A Feast for Crows - Alayne II

    Then all at once she was at the bottom with Mya and her little lord, huddled beneath a twisted, rocky spire. Ahead stretched a high stone saddle, narrow and icy. Alayne could hear the wind shrieking, and feel it plucking at her cloak. She remembered this place from her ascent. It had frightened her then, and it frightened her now. "It is wider than it looks," Mya was telling Lord Robert in a cheerful voice. "A yard across, and no more than eight yards long, that's nothing."
    "Nothing," Robert said. His hand was shaking.
    Oh, no, Alayne thought. Please. Not here. Not now.
    "It's best to lead the mules across," Mya said. "If it please my lord, I'll take mine over first, then come back for yours." Lord Robert did not answer. He was staring at the narrow saddle with his reddened eyes. "I shan't be long, my lord," Mya promised, but Alayne doubted that the boy could even hear her.
    When the bastard girl led her mule out from beneath the shelter of the spire, the wind caught her in its teeth. Her cloak lifted, twisting and flapping in the air. Mya staggered, and for half a heartbeat it seemed as if she would be blown over the precipice, but somehow she regained her balance and went on.
    Alayne took Robert's gloved hand in her own to stop his shaking. "Sweetrobin," she said, "I'm scared. Hold my hand, and help me get across. I know you're not afraid."
    He looked at her, his pupils small dark pinpricks in eyes as big and white as eggs. "I'm not?"
    "Not you. You're my winged knight, Ser Sweetrobin."
    "The Winged Knight could fly," Robert whispered.
    "Higher than the mountains." She gave his hand a squeeze.
    Lady Myranda had joined them by the spire. "He could," she echoed, when she saw what was happening.
    "Ser Sweetrobin," Lord Robert said, and Alayne knew that she dare not wait for Mya to return. She helped the boy dismount, and hand in hand they walked out onto the bare stone saddle, their cloaks snapping and flapping behind them. All around was empty air and sky, the ground falling away sharply to either side. There was ice underfoot, and broken stones just waiting to turn an ankle, and the wind was howling fiercely. It sounds like a wolf, thought Sansa. A ghost wolf, big as mountains.
    And then they were on the other side, and Mya Stone was laughing and lifting Robert for a hug. "Be careful," Alayne told her. "He can hurt you, flailing. You wouldn't think so, but he can." They found a place for him, a cleft in the rock to keep him out of the cold wind. Alayne tended him until the shaking passed, whilst Mya went back to help the others cross.
    This is who Sansa is.  Interestingly, it's all Alayne's thoughts and actions until the wind is howling like a wolf and then it's very deliberately Sansa.  She knows who she is and she's still a Stark.
  13. 12 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    I was referring more to Westeros and western Middle-Earth. Except for maybe North and Dorne, every single kingdom feels essentially a copy-paste even when compared to medieval Europe... whereas in western Middle Earth you have Gondor, Rohan, Bree, Lake Town... and that is just human cultures we see. Then you add variations of Elves (High Elves of Rivendell, mixed batch at Lothlorien and Wood Elves at ), different tribes of Orcs (mountain goblins in the Hobbit - which we briefly see again in Lord of the Rings) and so on.

    I thought we were talking about Essos?

    But Westeros has 7 kingdoms.  We have the First Men, Andals and Rhoynar.  The culture of the Iron Isles is unique as is that of Dorne, the North (largely as a result of being the only kingdom/culture to worship the Old Gods rather The Seven) and The Wildlings.  The Dornish are split into Sandy, Salty and Stony and we have outliers like the Crannogmen in The Neck.  The Reach, Vale, Stormlands and Rock might be more similar but GRRM distinguishes them by geography - wonderfully imagined in my view - with The Eyrie, Storm's End, The Citadel and The Hightower, Alyssa's Lance, The Golden Tooth, Riverrun, etc.. - and by history, myth and heraldry.

    To the reader the various tribes of orcs or the differences between the branches of the elves in The Hobbit or The Lord of The Rings are hardly a major feature of either story and you really need The Silmarillion to give the background.  Of course that lack of fleshing out doesn't detract from either story at all.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Also, I am not sure I would call Dothraki "fleshed out".

    Compared to the Haradrim or Easterlings they are indeed fleshed out.  Compared to whatever level of plausibility or real world comparison you would like they may not be but this is really up to the reader.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    They are basically a collection of bad Mongol stereotypes. Entirety of Essos is a very extensive example of lazy writing - only things we get are Braavos, a bunch of copy-paste cities, and a whole mountain of bad stereotypes.

    So you hate Essos then :)  That's ok, some people do.  The Dothraki are not Mongols, they are loosely based on any one or amalgam of steppe-dwelling nomadic cultures that erupted from the east throughout ancient and medieval history.  The very fact that they do not resemble any one culture is deliberate imo to avoid complaints of orientalism or copy pasting and denigrating a real world culture.  Instead complaints seem to come from the other direction about lack of detail or credibility but on balance I think that's the lesser evil. 

    If the story was about the Dothraki or Essos I might agree with you but it's not, they are secondary in every way and less developed for that reason.  Our POVs come from The North, The Westlands, The Reach, The Stormlands, The Iron Isles and Dorne.  Not one is Dothraki or Essosi.  I''m okay with that and feel it should set an expectation.  Whether the reader is disappointed or not is an individual matter.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    only things we get are Braavos, a bunch of copy-paste cities, and a whole mountain of bad stereotypes. Frankly, Tolkien did better in not providing too much detail about the Haradrim, Wainriders, Balchoth and so on,

    This I can't agree with at all.  Whether the author's vision of Braavos appeals to you or not is up to you but "bad stereotypes"? And arguing that one author does a better job by not fleshing out his creations when you criticise another author for not fleshing out his creations seems like you want it both ways.  The Dothraki are of course more fleshed out than the Haradrim or Easterlings; the fact that you don't care for how the Dothraki are portrayed does not change this.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    than Martin did in providing so much detail you can write essays on why things cannot work the way he describes them. "No, Martin, Mongols were not a tribe of half-naked horse archers. No, Martin, you cannot have heavy cavalry and chariots together in a civilization that uses iron weapons and armor*. No, Martin, eunuchs cannot be used as soldiers - they will die of disease. No, Martin, you cannot have a society that is 90% slaves unless said society's freedmen caste is extremely militarized. No, Martin, slave soldiers were never treated badly and never marched in chains.".

    TBH this seems minor detail to me bordering on nit-picking.  Does the readership really care if you have heavy cavalry and chariots together because in our world we may not have?  It's fantasy with magic and non-human species and a range of cultures and civilizations.  It may bother you if you consider it inaccurate but does it really matter?  As for "writing essays on why things cannot work the way he describes them", it seems you're a bit too invested in criticising Essos.  Maybe Westeros too.  Each to their own :dunno:

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Difference is that Tolkien provides only what is strictly necessary whereas Martin loses himself in unnecessary detail. Yet Tolkien actually provides more than what Martin does: to me at least, Rohirrim and Gondorians always felt far more "alive" than any of the various groups in A Song of Ice and Fire.

    Wowsers.  We meet Boromir, Denthor and Faramir.  Pippin meets a guard at Minas Tirith.  The people of Gondor do not emerge on page because they don't need to in story terms and the author does not waste time or ink on trying to flesh them out.  I do not know how they can possibly feel more alive than any group in ASOIAF after Arya and Brienne's journeys through the Riverlands, Sansa's and Tyrion's experiences in KL, Jon's time with The Wildlings or even Dany's interactions with the freed slaves as "Mysha".  With the addition of Dornish and Iron Isles povs they come alive too.  The hobbits tell the story and other than a brief Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli pov snippet in The Two Towers JRRT shows us everything through the eyes of four characters from the same background.

    How you react to the story is up to you but I fundamentally disagree.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Problem I have with GRRM's wordbuilding and also the reason why I hate Essos

    Trust me, that's coming across :P

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    is that GRRM first decided to provide a detailed description, and then proceeded to muck it up.

    Well, that's your opinion.  I disagree.  Essos is not my favourite part of the story as I feel it detracts from the main setting and slows the story down but I don't agree that the author should have not bothered with any detail (as if that could have been satisfactory) or should have copy-pasted a real world civilization in every instance so it could stand up to scrutiny.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    Dothraki are "not just a bit of background" - that is what Balchoth are. Dothraki are a major character, seeing how Daenerys spends a book living among them, and so Martin should have taken lot more care with their design.

    Are they?  Dany's journey with the Dothraki was a brief interlude with a few chapters in AGOT.  They were a stepping stone for her character development as Khaleesi and Mother of Dragons and Claimant to the Iron Throne.  Why on earth would he have padded out AGOT with reams of detail on Dothraki society and culture?  He gives us Vaes Dothrak with it's spoils, the crones of the Dosh Khaleen, the competing khalasars and a few myths and cultural practices.  It's reasonable for you to want more but it's not really to demand more - they're a fictional construct the author has developed as much as he considers necessary or desirable.

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    That is like saying that Rohirrim are a background in The Two Towers.

    The Dothraki are about as developed in AGOT as the Rohirrim in The Two Towers, if not mroe so, so I don't see the problem.  That analogy will hold if The Dothraki are to storm into Westeros like the Rohirirm onto The Pelennor Fields, as in they will have had a major story impact.   But still no Rohirrim or Dothraki pov is considered by either author :dunno:

    13 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    And Tolkien's worldbuilding in general is far more realistic than Martin's.

    I'm a fan of both authors so I can't get too invested in a comparison but GRRM's is just far more detailed and realistic than JRRT's. 

    JRRT has a magic heavy world with goblins, giant spiders, dragons, giant eagles, wraiths, trolls turning to stone at Daybreak, Talking Trees, fiery mountains, etc... This is okay as it's magic but he wrote The Hobbit with a small scale map that then scaled up to Middle Earth: The Shire is isolated from the nasty world and we have this weird child-sized race that live in tranquillity (unknowing of the outside world and that their borders are protected by altruistic rangers), then we transition into the outside world via The Old Forest, Barrow Downs, The Trollshaws before we have mountains, forests (Mirkwood) and The Lonely Mountain.  It feels childish because it is a child's story but it grows up with TLOTR and The Silmarillion and the story of the earlier ages.

    GRRM's world is less heavy on magic and far more realistic to me.  It's geography feels more thought out and robust from the start and the human cultures and kingdoms are diverse, interesting and as developed as the story of ASOIAF needs them to be.  The other novels, historical encyclopaedias and the like flesh out the mythos and history of the world more fully and are analogous (but not identical in function) to The Silmarillion et al.

    They have different styles and different focus, perhaps even different objectives, but both create wonderful stories with fascinating worlds brimming with variety, characters and history.

    Honestly I don't see the problem.

  14. 4 hours ago, Aldarion said:

    I'm not sure I agree. Tolkien's cultures and peoples feel far more fleshed out and far more natural than Martin's, despite the fact that Tolkien spent far fewer words describing them.

    Well, if you compare the Free Cities with, say, the Corsairs of Umbar or the Haradrim  and the Dothraki with the Easterlings, I'd say JRRT didn't flesh out these cultures at all compared to GRRM.

    I'm a big fan of JRRT btw.  It's just he set his story in the western part of Middle Earth and didn't show us anything of the east.  That may be GRRM's problem here but I'm fine with the Easterlings / Dothraki being depicted as much as either author chooses to fit the story.

  15. On 10/30/2022 at 5:37 PM, Aldarion said:

    - That may be true, but thematically Free Cities are closer to Westeros than they are to majority of Essos. Dothraki, Slaver's Bay etc. are completely removed from the Free Cities.

    - Dothraki may be intended as an analogue, but they end up being a completely retarded carricature. They lack literally everything that made Mongols successful:

    Sure, this is GRRM's creation but he has to take his inspiration from various places and I'm fine with some broad brush strokes that are loosely based on (not a depiction of) real world cultures.  The Dothraki are just a bit of background in AGOT that were used to set up Dany's story but like I said it's for each of us to decide how much detail we want or, like the economy of Slaver's Bay, how well it fits together and stands up to analytical scrutiny.  I think fully-fleshed out systems and cultures would be both very difficult to create and would swamp the story with infodumps and reams of details the reader doesn't need.  But that's me :P

  16. On 10/31/2022 at 10:49 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    Not at all. And the Romans were evil

    On 10/31/2022 at 10:49 PM, Hugorfonics said:

    but to say I hate equality is just hate speech. Thats as true in 2022 as in 1776 and whenever the hell Agamemnon is from.

    The whole point of this discussion has been to highlight the folly of judging people in the past based on ideas and moral codes they had no knowledge of.  I don't know why you find this a hard concept.  Practically every human civilization slaved in some way, some right up until the late 19th century.  Dismissing humanity outside your comfort zone of the present as "evil" or making sweeping statements like "any human being could recognise "x" as wrong, or that you can't see any kind of morality before or even during the middle ages is just lazy and ignorant.  I know you "don't care" if future Hugorfonics dismiss you as evil because you won't be around to tell them you really aren't and don't see yourself that way .....

    Hate speech is a modern term.  It's pointless to write human civilizations off as evil because they don't mirror our own belief systems  We have the luxury of sitting atop thousands of years of moral, religious and intellectual thought they didn't.

    If the Romans were evil why did they put an end to the Druidic practice of human sacrifice?

    It's interesting that you invite me to read The Iliad: why would you bother with anything from the past if you disparage it so much?

  17. 44 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

    It is impossible for Sansa to have anything to do with Micah's death. Micah was dead, or in the process of dying, before she said a word. This is not a matter of opinion but one of fact.

    No he could not. A peasant boy cannot just say 'no' to a highborn lady.

    The best I can say is I think some people are interpreting "responsible" as meaning who was involved in any way in the chain of circumstances that led to Mycah's death.  I really don't know why we haven't blamed whoever saddled Joffrey's horse or gave him the wine or the cooks and servants fed him and Sansa breakfast as they surely would never have gone riding otherwise. 

  18. 17 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    Bullshit. We know people like Washington wrestled with slavery because there was a printing press and everyone knew hes going down in history so all his letters and stuff has been saved and studied. We have no idea what went down in Ancient Rome, short of like whatever Cicero or Marcus Aurelius has to say about slavery. 

    There are a vast number of authors and sources from ancient world cultures, not just one or two Romans.  You won't find a William Willberforce or an abolitionist movement because neither existed.  Not in Ancient Rome, Greece, Persia, Egypt or anywhere.  The Romans wrote a lot about their slave system and the numerous slave rebellions, they wrote copiously about social and political unrest and the fall of the Republic, but not about the moral evil of slavery and the abolition movement.

    Then this new idea came along called Christianity which proved immensely popular, particularly among slave and freedmen because it preached the universal brotherhood of man and things began to change, slowly, glacially but the idea that men should not own other men as property began it's long torturous path to universal acceptance (modern slavery, deportation of uighurs and other problem groups aside).

    17 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    But the idea that you can hold another human being in bondage is evil, any human being would recognize that.

    You only say this because you have been taught it.  Ancient Greeks, Romans, the Vikings who traded the slavs in Byzantium in the middle ages (and where the word "slave" enters the English language from) so they could be sold in the Muslim world, thought differently.

    It's why ideas are the most powerful forces in human history, because they change so much.

    You would have been a kind master who treated his slaves well.  You would have seen this as part of your responsibility towards your property but equally as a moral obligation to treat these members of your household well, to be a firm but kind master rather than an arbitrary and cruel one.  You would have allowed them to save up and purchase their freedom and you might well have manumitted your remaining slaves on your death (provided your finances were in good order and you were not bankrupting your heirs by doing so).  You would recognize this as your duty and a reasonable way to act because you are a moral man but you would not be decrying the evils of slavery because you wouldn't be the person then that you are today.

    What makes you "you" is not just your DNA, it's the values and ideas we take in from our parents, our society and our culture.  Why do child soldiers kill with so little compunction?  Because they have been taught to do so and don't recognise it as wrong.  Take them out of that environment and teach them differently and you can reshape them.  But what if there is no other environment in which to raise them and no different ideas to teach them?  They won't become liberal democrats with an aversion to violence.  Little Hugorfonics sitting on his father's knee in Sparta would learn his moral duty to be a warrior, not to pity and free the helots.

    18 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

    Ditto with human sacrificing. How can you act like yould keep your composure when their snatching your child to sacrafice at the alter? Yes, ignorance would like keep you praying for the harvest or whatever but its your kid being killed like Indiana Jones II. Whos hairs not turning?

    Losing your own child would be devastating but if your belief system was that this was necessary for the good or survival of your people you would acquiesce.  If there's a famine, thousands will die, but if one sacrifice propitiates the god(s) and brings rain it's a moral act.  Apocraphyal stories, no doubt, but in the Old Testament God ordered Abraham to sacrifice Isaac purely to test him, and Agamemnon allegedly (in drama) sacrificed his own daughter to propitiate a God and whip up a wind so he could sail his fleet to Troy.  Sacrificing children to the Gods is about as great a taboo as our society and moral code can imagine but if you lived in these societies you would not see it that way.

    Interestingly, the Romans, for all their slave-owning tendencies did not hold with human sacrifice and put an end to the Celtic / Druidic practice whenever they conquered (and largely slaughtered) the native Celts.  That must puzzle you if, as human beings, they could recognise one practice as evil but not the other.

  19. Seven Kingdoms:  Reach, Vale, North, Isles (Iron Islands), Rock (Westerlands), Storm (Stormlands) and Dorne.

    Riverlands were part of the Kingdom of The Isles so somewhat ambiguous: we had a River King but also a Marsh King if you go back far enough before the "kingdoms" consolidated but the eight Lords Paramount are the current top tier of the feudal pyramid.

    Starks have Boltons looking over their shoulder, the Tullys have the Freys but this is relative strength not rank.  Reynes and Tarbecks also challenged Lannisters etc...

    Wardens are military titles only though it's probable that this would in time develop under stress into a top tier of nobility in terms of title not just status or strength.  After all the feudal system is a pyramid based on vassals providing troops to their Lords so all it takes is a few conflicts with calamitous military inefficiency because the other Lords Paramount refuse to take orders form Wardens to have the system streamlined.  Of course that leads to the problem of overmighty nobility threatening the crown but that's the inherent flaw in the feudal system.

  20. 17 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

    Whats there to understand? Its ignorance.

    People are still people, agreed. Homo sapiens and the like. But im pretty sure that no matter when and where, Ill behave like Hugorfonics.

    I know what is considered wrong and right, we're all homo sapiens and this part of human history falls short

    The folly in this is incredible.  Middle-age Hugorfonics would not resemble modern-day Hugorfonics who will not resemble 25th century Mars-dwelling cyborg Hugorfonics.

    What you consider right and wrong is fundamentally a product of the value systems of the day.  Some of those value systems are contentious - slavery in the 18th and 19th century for example - whereas slavery in Ancient Rome was universally accepted and slavery today is universally condemned.

    Ideas are not intrinsic or eternal, they have to be developed, expounded, disseminated, debated and accepted.  A Celt or Inca would not have turned a hair at human sacrifice and Celtic/Inca Hugorfonics would not have thought any differently because he wouldn't have the framework to do so.

    Future you will find you an ignorant barbarian, not a kindred spirit, particularly if he mirrors your hubris.

  21. On 11/11/2021 at 5:03 PM, skullscarf said:

    I don't agree that many people hate Essos. I think a lot of people are very critical of the worldbuilding in Essos. Westeros just feels more richly developed in comparison, so a lot of people are much more invested in the Westerosi characters and plots. More importantly though, a lot of the writing for Essos depends on orientalist stereotypes, particularly the Dothraki. For some people, this can detract from enjoyment of the story...

    There's no doubt the Dothraki and Slaver's Bay are presented unfavourably in cultural / political terms.  But GRRM's presentation of Westeros is a pretty savage criticism of feudal monarchy and chivalry, i.e. the "western" system, so I don't know if that orientalist argument holds too strongly.  None of his societies or systems are exemplary.

    Additionally, he is creating one system in Westeros with small differences for Dorne and The North, largely religious and ethnic, and with many povs to show us different aspects or reinforce the same, while in Essos he shows us many different systems.  The Free Cities are not a composite and are split between slave-owning and non-slave-owning, the Dothraki are a nomadic culture, Slaver's Bay is a distinct isolated region, Qarth is a culture all to itself and Ashaai and Yi-Ti are merely mentioned in passing - and we have only Dany's chapters (pre-ADWD) to show or tell us anything about these places.

    In other words more worldbuilding slows the story down and probably makes Dany's chapters vast unreadable infodumps.

    From ADWD on, we have Tyrion in Essos and Barristan in lieu of Dany in Meereen but the focus is on the story (as it should be imo) rather than worldbuilding with the introduction of young Griff and the build up to the battle of Mereen.  The problem is there is no pay off as the battle of Fire is bumped to TWOW and we just get Tyrion's travelogue.  If Victarion had arrived with the iron fleet and the dragon-binding horn and we saw what GRRM had in mind it might be different but it's all just hanging.

    On 2/19/2022 at 9:39 PM, Aldarion said:

    Because the entire thing reads like a carricature. Unlike his characters, Martin's worldbuilding was never very realistic. But Westeros you can at least pretend that it makes sense. Essos? No way in hell. The entire thing, especially the Slaver's Bay, is worse than modernist art. Slaver Bay's societies are completely unsustainable, and exist entirely to be Daenerys' punching bag.

    All of Essos?  I read the Free Cities as somewhat inspired by the Italian city states of the medieval period with Volantis as the regional powerhouse.  Braavos of course has the Iron Bank and the canals - as well as the Titan of Braavos i.e. a copycat Colossus of Rhodes) so a composite of Milan / Venice.  The Dothraki as a horse borne warrior culture who threaten the region only to be bought off with tribute are a loose analogue for any steppe-raiding nomads from the huns to the mongols.  They're broad strokes but whether they "make sense" depends on how much detail you want.

    Slaver's Bay is a caricature but even then the idea (if not the training) of the Unsullied as slave soldiers is not so preposterous: the Ottoman Turks took the children of Christian slaves and trained them as janissaries, an elite corps who formed a kind of praetorian guard within their army for centuries.

    I do agree that the Dothraki and Slaver's Bay systems are intended to repulse both the reader and Dany so that she learn the point of a ruler's responsibility towards those they rule but both the show ending and GRRM's habit of setting an expectation and then pulling the rug out from under the reader have led me to question this. 

    If all she learns is fire and blood then we should have had the five year gap so she could turn up in Westeros on dragon-back and start torching things like Aegon the Conqueror on The Field of Fire.

  22. 10 hours ago, Aebram said:

    As I wrote before, saying "I'm not trustworthy" is not the same as saying "the maesters don't trust me."  I think Marwyn is keeping his activities secret, known only to a few students who are assisting him.  Around the other maesters, he follows the same advice he gave Sam, to "say nothing of prophecies or dragons."  He may even have done or said things to give the impression that he's a harmless eccentric.  They think his travels are just for historical research, for purposes such as writing his Book of Lost Books.  

    He's known as Marwyn the Mage though.  And studying lost knowledge they consider dangerous is obviously dangerous in itself.  As well as out in the open.  Doesn't sound secret. 

    12 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

    They were also inducing miscarriage on the Targaryen queens.  

    Marwyn is too old to come from Aerys.  A half-brother is more apropos.  

    Why do you think he is a secret Targaryen?

  23. 3 minutes ago, Ingelheim said:

    GOT is:

    -The most awarded TV Show in history (59 Emmy Wins, 4 Best Series one, not even counting the nearly 200 other awards it got xD)

    -The most nominated TV Show in history (at the Emmys and SAGs and all of that)

    -It was the largest cultural phenomenon of the decade.

    -The highest viewership of HBO in history (the final seasons more than doubled the number of viewers The Sopranos had).

    I know many people have problems with GOT (I think the last 2 seasons are absolutely trash) but it was what it was. The show's success led to the commissioning of several fantasy television series, including The Wheel of Time and The Rings of Power (not even counting HOTD itself)

    And therein lies the problem for ASOIAF.  GRRM can reach a far large audience on TV, share the creative process with collaborators, work on multiple projects at once and really bring his world, it's history and characters to life.  More appealing than plodding along a page a day with a story he already knows the ending for but not how to get to, surely?

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