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The hairy bear

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About The hairy bear

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    Honey in the summer air!
  • Birthday 08/28/1980

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    Barcelona, Catalonia
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    Many. A Song of Ice and Fire among them.

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  1. The hairy bear

    Gender relations in Westeros

    The five situations that you identify (Wives are pledged to obey their husbands; Husbands are allowed to hit their wives; There is no concept of marital rape, and the wife has no sexual autonomy; Women are not allowed to have sex before marriage or commit adultery, while men are; and women can't inherit in most cases.) have all been the standard situation in most of the world, for most of history. Sadly, it's still commonplace in many countries.
  2. Littlelfinger was obsessively infatuated with Catelyn in his youth, but I think it would be incorrect to assume that it was the same later in his life. It seems clear that his passions moved on onto to the nobler pursuits of amassing wealth and power. If he had still been in love with her, he would have tried to see her. It would have been easy for him to make some excuse for a visit to Winterfell (he could have accompanied Robert in his trip North).
  3. The hairy bear

    Catalan thread continued

    A 9 year sentence to publicly elected officials for organizing pacific demonstrations. 10 years for ignoring a court order curtailing the right of speech and debate in a Parliament. This sentence enters the terrain of totalitarianism. Or perhaps, Spain never really left it.
  4. The hairy bear

    Tolkien 3.0

    As SeanF says, it was only the radical elements within the republican side that targeted Catholic priests. The Republican government was weak, a coalition composed of many parties with diverging interests. The fact that there were anarchists in the government is telling enough. Once the military had rebelled, the government's actual control of the country crumbled, and each zone was in command of a different faction. This was one of the main reasons why the republican side lost the war. While the fascists focused their efforts under a single command, the republicans were a bunch of factions that often fought among them for primacy. In Barcelona, the communists and the anarchists openly engaged in street battles, and once the communists had won, the Stalinists purged the Trotskyst faction and murdered their leaders. All this in the midst of the war and while the enemy armies were advancing. As to why the most radical groups targeted priests, the Catholic church hierarchy had been a vocal opponent of the Republican government. Not only because they were natural adversaries with the communist and anarchist parties of the government, but also because the government took some controversial anti-Catholic measures (such as forbidding clerics to engage in teaching activities). Once the war started, some Catholic bishops from the fascist-controlled zones openly supported them, with dire consequences for the priests living in areas under Republican control that were seen by some as an hostile group.
  5. Glokta Sr. says that he saw lions when he was on campaign in Gurkhul, so there are lions there. Kanta is a huge continent, so there's enough room for plenty of biomes: deserts, steppes, savannas, rainforests, etc. That said, there used to be lions in Europe well into our era, until they were extinguished by hunters. Fossils have been found as far in the North as Germany or England. So I guess it would be realistic to find lions all around the circle of the world.
  6. The hairy bear

    Languages used in Westeros and Essos

    The problem is that only the upper classes would have access to a maester. In Westeros there are no public schools, no widespread press, and most people won't leave the valley they are born in. The fact that the citizens of some remote village in the North, who would never met a maester or a septon in their life, speak or even understand "Andalish" is completely outlandish. The only explanation I can think of is "magic". I don't know where this "the Church tried to keep Latin a secret" comes from. The mass was still in Latin 50 years ago. All the prayers that the Church insisted that every good Christian had to learn (Lord's prayer, Credo, Ave Maria,...) were only in Latin. Also, the use of Latin wasn't restricted to the Church. It was the language of the Universities, and the one used by learned men (Descartes, Euler, Gauss, Newton) to write their works. Latin "fared poorly as a language" not because of some hidden conspiracy, but because it was a language of the elites. And the language of the elites has nothing to do against the language of a huge uneducated majorities. (Just as French never took hold in England or Russia even though it was once the language of their courts).
  7. Yes. In TBI, the first time Jezal sees Logen, he is surprised by how many scars he has, and notices that "One ear had a big notch out of it, one eye seemed a touch higher than the other, surrounded by a crescent-shaped wound." And by the time of ARC, the crescent has turned into a star: "Summers past love company,’ mused Lamb, scratching at the star-shaped scar on his stubbled cheek." Another big Northern man with a star-shaped scar, half an ear and a fierce temper seems too much of a coincidence. But still, the fact that Broad only notices those two particular traits (when Logen has many other scars, and a bent nose) makes the identification doubtful. Correct. King Jezal says that Emperor Uthman "is deposed", and Zuri says that he "has been cast down". It almost seems as if the text is avoiding to say he's dead...
  8. The hairy bear

    Languages used in Westeros and Essos

    Do you assume that the characters in ASOIAF are shiny cephalopods, but Martin adapts them for our convenience and makes them be homo sapiens? After all, how it could be than in this imaginary world, which isn't earth, there are humanoids exactly like us?
  9. The hairy bear

    Why does Balon Greyjoy want to attack the North?

    Ned was the one who stole his heir. His two elder sons dying in battle is something that Balon could stomach. It's the risk that comes with being a reaver. But kidnapping his only remaining son and taking away from him to be raised away from the iron culture in the green lands is needlessly cruel, in his view. Theon was taken by Ned when he was ten, and at the beginning of AGOT, nine years later, he was still a hostage. His own heir was someone alien to his own culture, that he couldn't rely on. I can see how Balon would grow to hate Ned for this.
  10. The hairy bear

    Languages used in Westeros and Essos

    So, Martin may not know what he's doing, but you do? I don't think so. Tolkien main interest was languages, their evolution, and their relationship. His initial purpose when creating his mythts was to create the setting where his Adûnaic, Sindarin, Quenya and Westron could evolve and interact. Martin, instead, always looks for the easier solution when approaching world-building aspects he doesn't want to invest time in. He uses a ruler on a map to calculate distances, ignoring the inaccuracy of medieval cartography and the effects that a spherical planet should have on them. He combines colors on shields at will, ignoring heraldry rules and the fact that many of his banners would be impossible to distinguish on a battlefield. And in this context, making English the common tongue is the easiest approach.
  11. If Zuri worked for Glokta, that would mean that he knew about the incest and didn't act on it. I don't see how this could happen, to be honest. I agree. It should be plain obvious to every single Union citizen that Bayaz is the true power behind the throne. It is public knowledge that he was the founder of the Union (Risinau acknowledges so), that he personally choose and crowned the three most emblematic kings of the Union (Harod, Arnault and Casamir), that he was instrumental in proclaiming Jezal king in the Open Council, and that he personally exterminated the Gurkish assault force while personally destroying half of the Agriont in the process. Everyone should realize that he is immortal and has the power to level the Adua when he wants. With this in mind, it makes little sense that Rikke treats Bayaz as some weirdo, Savine asking Glokta "What the hell has Bayaz to do with anything", or that Orso says to his father "You shouldn't indulge that old fool". Even if their parents didn't explain them the specifics, it should be common knowledge in the Union how powerful he is. We saw in the trilogy that Bayaz was weakened by the use of magic. Perhaps Zuri can take forms for some period of time with some effort, but to maintain another form permanently would be unfeasible. Sulfur also seems to have one "true form", and use other faces only sporadically. This being Joe's world, he still has two books for either becoming evil and depicable, or being utterly fucked up by the greater powers.
  12. The hairy bear

    Languages used in Westeros and Essos

    Martin was asked about languages in Westeros and he admitted he is not very good at creating them or devising linguistic relationships. I think that in George's mind, the common tongue just happens to be English and he is happy to leave it at that. Everything else would complicate things too much. To support this we could argue that the metrics and rhymes of the songs fit English perfectly, that Jeyne and Reek do rhyme with pain and meek, that "rain" and "Rayne" are homophones, that the short for Aegon is an "egg", ...
  13. The hairy bear

    funny or annoying translation mistakes

    In Catalan, we got two translations. The second one is OK, but the first one (hurriedly done by a small publishing house) included gems such as the "dome of Valyria" and "Barristan the Bald".
  14. I guess it could be that Leo and Stour fight war against the Union. I hadn't considered this possibility, tbh. However, Isn't Angland mainly populated by people from Midderland? They may be a little discontent towards the Union right now, but not sure if it would be to the point of joining their natural enemies to fight their brothers. So, while I could see Leo doing that, I don't see Angland following him (starting with his own mother). Someone at Reddit suggests that perhaps it's meant to be Monza. After Orso throws her from Montezarno, Shenkt heals her and mentions that he has mended the broken pieces of her skull with golden coins. Seems a good bet. Probably Ardee and Glokta see Orso as most of Adua does, some completely unreliable dunce, that shouldn't be trusted with anything. The odd think here is that Valint&Balk office in Valbeck was one of the first things that the revolutionaries burned. It seems that the bankers are not seen by the population as a neutral agent, but as the financiers of the explotation of the workers. If Bayaz is the Weaver (and I still think it's likely) one would think that he would be financing the revolt through his bank. And perhaps he is. But then, why was its office burnt?
  15. Just finished it. An amazing book. Can't wait to read the next installments. What I loved As always, Joe excels at writing really enjoyable, well-rounded characters. I immediately fell in love with Orso, and the moment he realizes he is not as useless as he believes himself to be, it'll be memorable. Savine is a character I love to despise. Completely unredeemable as his adoptive father, but fun to read. Vick is a really sad person. All of them are really interesting. The pace was great. Much better than The Blade Itself, which would be the logical comparison. The feeling that the world is progressing, both in terms of technology and in terms of geopolitics, is refreshing. What I didn't like While I loved all the characters, perhaps the cast wasn't as varied as in previous installments. There was an overdose of promising youths trying to find their place in the world and escaping the shadow of their parents. It didn't help that some of them felt like newer versions of previous ones. Jonas Clover seems to be a combination of Craw+Tunny. Gunnar Broad was Logen with a family. Vick was a female version of Glokta... A little bit more of world-building wouldn't hurt, IMO. It seems as if Joe limits its creation strictly to the requirements of the plot. It would be nice if there were at least another conspiring lord besides the three that contested for the throne in LAOK, other magis than the four we met in the original trilogy, or other Union kings besides Harod and Castamir. Throwing away the names of some more members of the Closed Council or locations in Adua would also help to flesh out the setting a bit. As someone has mentioned upthread, I don't buy that Orso and Savine are able to keep a relationship secret from the Inquisition, and I don't buy that Finree and the Dogman don't care that their kids are having sex. At the first Clover chapter, Black Clader comes to see him accompanied by "a black-haired lad of maybe twelve or thirteen years old with a cleft top lip and watchful eyes". The boy is insightful and the scene is cut before Clover is able to identify him. It should be assumed that this boy will end being someone important, but if so, I don't think that his introduction has been well done. Errors? ALH takes place from spring to winter of 604, established by Orso being 27 (he was conceived in LAOK, 576). I seem to recall that Joe confirmed this date somewhere. But in ALH Isern-I-Phail says both that she was 10 during the battle of the High Places (which is fine) and that she has seen thirty-six winters (it should be 38). When Leo and Rikke arrive at Adua by ship and are escorted by an honor guard to the Agriont, Bayaz mentions that they pass through the Three Farms. This route makes no sense, since LAOK established that the docks are in the central district, and that the Middleway goes straight to the Agriont. The Three Farms is supposed to be a peripheral neighborhood in the south-west. Zacharus is defined in the appendix as "the fourth of the Magi", but in TBI Malacus said that Zacharus was "the fifth of Juvens' twelve". Random thoughts Missing characters in the Adua/North area that I'd like to hear about in the following books: Countess Shalere (is she still around?), Curnden Craw, Jolly Yon, Inquisitor Lorsen, Colonel Felnigg. We hear of Lord Marshall Brint and a Lord Marshall Rucksted, meaning that the two Lord Marshall seats in the Closed Council are accounted for. That would mean that Mitterick is no longer a Lord Marshall. I'd like to now what happened with him too. Where are the rest of the Magi? In the Original Trilogy we heard that two died in the assault to the House of the Maker, and Yulwei was trapped there, leaving nine. We also heard that Leru is "hiding under some stone" and Karnault "sailed away across the wide ocean". We know about Bayaz, Khalul, Canweil and Zacharus. But the absence of the other three seems strange to me. I love the indirect references to Ferro as a demon. I hope that Khalul hasn't been killed off-scene, though. It would feel weird to have a book puting the focus on yet another wave of social conflicts, border wars and dynastics struggle when the real interesting things are happening in South. One of the twelve being murdered would be much more huge than e What was the Closed Council/Glokta thinking when they replaced Finree with Leo as Lord Governor in the middle of a war? It's a very weird move that could have had disastrous consequences. Even though Monza has won three wars against the Union and crowned her son Jappo as King of Styria, it seems that she is far from controlling of all it. THe Union still owns Westport, one of Jezal daughters is married to the Chancellor of Sipani. The countess of Affoia is also considered as a potential bride for Orso, and in the past two years Gunnar has successfully participated in the taking of five cities including Musselia. It would seem that Jappo is King of Styria only in name. By the way, does Shivers realize or suspects that he could be the King of Styria's father? I'd like to see some hint in this regard. If Stour honors his word and joins Leo to fight common enemies and make a name, it seems that attacking Styria would be the most logical target. It could be an excuse for Shivers to return there and face his past. Black Calder must be really desperate if the best man he could find to put his son in the right path was Clover. Perhaps when his hidden past is clarified we will understand why he was chosen, but his carelessness and unreliability are plain to see. I also think that Zuri is an eater. Her brothers too, of course. Could Hildi be Orso's daughter? She is blond, and came from a brothel. It would require Orso to have sired at 13 or 14, and he should have thought about it at some time, so probably she isn't. But at least it's something that the people in Adua would be spreading rumors about.