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About mr.archanfel

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  1. mr.archanfel

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    I am not sure Martin really achieved moral grayness. None of his characters feel very "gray" consistently. Stannis was very inconsistent and did not live up to his non bending iron name. Joffrey, the Mountain and Ramsay were all cardboard characters that serve as plot devices for the real characters: Cersei/Tyrion, Tywin/Hound and Theon/Bran. Yet you never feel that even these main characters struggled with their decisions. Take the Hound for example, he was all bad at the beginning, but then I don't think he killed a single innocent person afterwards. As for Tywin, he did a lot of questionable things, but Martin never made them feel questionable. The red wedding was just portraited as evil. We never hear Lannister (or even Stark or Tully) foot soldiers seeing their new born sons because of it. That said, I still feel they are more complex than most other books as they are driven by real motivations.
  2. mr.archanfel

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Resurrecting an old thread since I find the topic fascinating. First of all, I don't think we know enough about the white walkers to say whether they are evil or not. We exterminate lives all the time. Just yesterday, I took out an entire colony of wasps in my backyard. Does that make me evil? We do not know the white walkers enough to know their rationals, which is also why they are boring and is so far only a plot device. Since most literature works are defined by their characters, I think the whole idea of moral ambiguity mainly applies to characters rather than events. It's not that there's no good or evil in the universe, but we can not easily define a particular character as purely good or evil, which makes them interesting. Joffrey, for example, was not interesting. He was unpredictable, so it was always interesting to see what else he cooked up, but as a character he wasn't interesting. Even Jon Snow is kind of boring. I do agree that moral ambiguity is overstated for ASOIAF. Martin seem to have a very clear definition of good vs evil, so there is little ambiguity about his characters. Take slavery for example. A very complex concept, yet while Martin mentioned that people are lining up to be sold, he never dug deeper into the reasons. That made Daenerys's actions far less interesting. Back to the idea of morality. There's no clear definition of what that is. Often times, we do not even know why something is considered good or evil. There was a story where monkeys were trained to behave in a certain way for the "greater good", yet when the "greater good" was removed, they continued to behave that way for no reasons. It was a joke, but it also illustrated how morality is often based on habit and it can be outdated.
  3. mr.archanfel

    Let's talk about Jaime...

    Is he doing this for his "honor" or his family?
  4. mr.archanfel

    Did Tywin give up on Jaime?

    In the chapter where Tyrion was named the hand of the king, he thought Tywin had gave up on Jaime and he became the only son. However, after the battle of blackwater bay, Tywin started to mistreat Tyrion again despite Jaime still in enemy hand. Does that mean Tyrion was wrong and Tywin never gave up on Jaime? Also, what's Tywin's plan regarding his heir? Did he still hold hope that Jaime would quit the King's guard?
  5. mr.archanfel

    Was Tywin a tiger dad?

    That's a good point. However, do we have any evidence that Tywin didn't spend much time with his children? (comparing to the typical lord fathers in universe. Ned didn't seem to spent a lot of time with his children either. ). Also, maybe this is stereotyping, but it's said the best Japanese husband is the one you never see (work really long hours and go out with friends after) whereas the wife stay at home to take care of the children.
  6. mr.archanfel

    Was Tywin a tiger dad?

    I was reading the book "Tiger mom". Although there's no denying of her love for her children, she was pretty hash. Calling her daughters garbage and force them into "hobbies". I also get a feeling that part of it is selfish. She wanted bragging rights. This behavior is said to be pretty typically of Asian parents, who tend to be authoritarian and extremely hash towards their children with skyhigh expectations (The Asian grading scale: A acceptable. B bad. C can't eat dinner. D don't come home. F find a new family). Carrying the family name is also a big part of it. Yet they are often very proud of their children and speak highly of them behind their back, but never to their faces. They also tend to support their children financially well into adulthood. Since we never got into the head of Tywin, could he be a tiger dad behind the unsmiling facet he put up? That he actually love his children (except Tyrion for killing his mother, a common literary trope), but in his own ways.
  7. If I want to do some cross discussion (like comparing a book character with its show counterpart), what's the right forum for it?
  8. mr.archanfel

    Can inbreed be beneficial?

    However, is it also possible that it would create a brand new species or subspecies? 99 out of 100 times the new species would be inferior and die out, but every now and then, you would get a new species that is more adaptive to a new niche environment. In this case, fire immune (sometimes), heat tolerate and dragon taming. Having said that, Daenerys's bloodline is not that pure to begin with and historical Targaryen didn't have such power. Also, Targaryens can still interbreed with other humans. So maybe not. I also wonder whether dragons inbreed given the population bottleneck. Maybe that's why they got smaller and sickly.
  9. mr.archanfel

    Can inbreed be beneficial?

    We were told that "King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.". So biologically speaking, since recessive gene (or allele) are more pronounced (not sure what's the right term) in children born from incest, can they actually be beneficial? Does Targaryen's idea of keeping the bloodline pure actually hold water scientifically much like pets are often bred to show certain traits?
  10. mr.archanfel

    Daenerys, Drogon, and the Dothraki are AWESOME!

    Several questions: 1. How big was the Lannister army? Looks to be no more than a few hundreds troops, but it's a TV show, so do they represent 10,000 soldiers? Did the Lannisters lose most of their army? 2. Why didn't Jaime have outriders? You would think he should have learned his lesson from the battle of riverrun. 3. The dragon is certainly a great weapon of terror, but other than creating fear and breaking formations, would it be effective against a disciplined army (say the army of the dead, fire weakness aside)? Exactly how many soldiers did Drogon kill? It seems a catapult firing flaming ball would do similar damages. 4. Why didn't they have more anti-dragon weapons? What would be the best way to fight dragons? Flying net? Crossbows against the rider?