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About falcotron

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  1. falcotron

    GoT Actors in Other Stuff - Part 2

    Yeah, he played Richard I at least twice, but to be fair, he's played just about everyone in English history (starting with Aethlstane, the king before whom there was no such thing as English), so he had to double up somewhere.
  2. In regards to the Critiques of ASOIAF thread. I posted last night "find some common cause" between you and Walda. This morning I reread and realized I was just posting a "lite" version of what you posted, framing it as "can't we all be friends?"

    My apologies for this redundancy...


  3. falcotron

    Casterly Rock Why?

    Also, I think he still really, really wants to take Casterly Rock away from Cersei, because he was supposed to be the heir—far more so than he consciously realizes, which may have distorted his judgment a bit.
  4. falcotron

    Casterly Rock Why?

    WoIaF says "Legends says that Visenya Targaryen, upon seeing it, thanked the gods that King Loren rode forth to face her brother Aegon on the Field of Fire, for if he had remained within the Rock, even dragonflame would not have daunted him.” But in the novels, Casterly Rock isn't just a castle on top of a mountain, it's a castle carved out of the mountain. The halls and chambers are built by digging out areas around the mineshafts. Even the port is in a cave in the mountain. The only thing on top of the mountain is a small ring for that they use for surveying and scouting. In the show, it's a pretty standard castle, and I don't think it would hold up to a serious dragon attack nearly as well as the one in the books.
  5. falcotron

    GoT Actors in Other Stuff - Part 2

    Speaking of Doctor Who, David Bradley (Walder Frey), after playing First Doctor actor William Hartnell in the 50th anniversary docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, is now playing the actual First Doctor in this year's Christmas special. A friend of mine who doesn't watch GoT regularly wanted to know why Ashildr was impersonating the Doctor at the start of this season. Also, someone posted a list of GoT/DW crossovers earlier, but only included connections from the 2005 series. Most of the older cast members were on the classic (1963-1989) series or involved in the "wilderness years" between 1989-2005 in some way, just because most British actors old enough to play an older person were on the show at some point in its 26+ years. Rather than list them all: Earliest (I think): Julian Glover (Pycelle) playing Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade in 1965 (he's also Scaroth in City of Death, maybe the most famous one-off villain in the classic series, the one who was unstuck in time and secretly had a head made of green spaghetti). Last: RIchard E. Grant (Izembaro) playing the Ninth Doctor in the 2003 animated pilot Scream of the Shalka. Most crossovers: Richard E. Grant (Izembaro), Jim Broadbent (Archmaester Ebrose), and Jonathan Pryce (High Sparrow) as Ninth Doctor, Tenth Doctor, and Master in the 1999 semi-official parody The Curse of Fatal Death. Also, the shortlist for the Eighth Doctor included Jonathan Pryce (High Sparrow), Liam Cunningham (Davos), and Tim McInnerny (Robett Glover).
  6. falcotron

    GoT Actors in Other Stuff - Part 2

    Has anyone mentioned DIana Rigg joining Victoria this season? I've only watched the first episode, but it's pretty strange casting. Diana Rigg is basically written as Olenna Tyrell. The real Duchess of Buccleuch was 30 years old, deeply religious, a "lifelong romantic", and an agreeable woman who became Victoria's best friend. It's also the only role I've seen her in since her return from retirement in 2013 (for Doctor Who) where she's basically just playing Olenna. It seems like a waste, given her range. But maybe she'll do more with it in later episodes. I think the only other actor Victoria and GoT have in common is Guy Oliver-Watts, who had a minor recurring role as Sir James Hayter in S1 of Victoria, and was a unnamed Lannister general this year, although I think his scenes were cut from all but the last episode. (Victoria and Doctor Who, on the other hand…)
  7. falcotron

    Casterly Rock Why?

    Yeah, people tend to forget that Tyrion has been away from Westeros for a few years, and couldn't possibly know about the amazing strides made in transmat technology. When he left, you could only transmat a single person, and only if he was a kind of small person; now, an entire navy can go from one side of the continent to the other.
  8. What a fun vacation home that would be. When you tire of the Weeping Water, a river that features ice fishing even in the summer, come inside, through the door that looks like a sharp-toothed bestial mouth, and relax in the smoke-filled great hall by the dim light of torches held by skeletal human hands. The all-stone furniture is no more uncomfortable than the decor is spooky. While you're there, don't forget to visit the largest torture chamber on the continent, and the room full of thousands of years of flayed human skins.
  9. falcotron

    Jon will get wightified, a theory by Lothar Frey

    So what? Do you actually believe in the Old Gods or something? Are you sacrificing kids to the trees in your backyard? Why should R'hllor care that Jon followed the Old Gods any more than he cared that Cat and Beric followed the Seven, or any more than the Great Other should care that some of the corpses he's raised were left behind by Northerners and others by Southerners? The gods aren't that prejudiced. (And of course R'hllor and the Great Other and the other gods probably aren't real, anthropomorphic gods like their followers believe anyway, and some impersonal magic force has even less reason to be interested in what Jon's religious beliefs were than R'hllor would.) As long as all those gods stay away from Vargo Hoat's corpse, because that would be wrong on so many levels, as the Black Goat is obviously real.
  10. 1 hour ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

    Useful is not all it's cracked up to be. I'd love the details. I'm a total history nerd. Feel free to send them in a PM if you like.

    If I were smart, I would have just started at Plantagenet England, realized that it fit pretty well, and have been done. But instead…

    The most famous cadet house traditions are the early modern HRE ones, I'm pretty sure GRRM didn't borrow from there, because the reason they're famous is all the the wacky results that still persist to modern times, like the British royal house being a cadet branch of a cadet branch of a Wettin duchy and the German imperial house being a cadet branch of the County of Hohenzollern. There doesn't seem to be anything like that in Westeros.

    So, next, medieval France, which is the original basis for most other European systems (since they had strict primogeniture before anyone else, so they needed it). The heraldic rules fit, and the few descriptions we get of cadet houses seem to work, but there's a huge problem: In France, if you can't acquire a new territory through marriage or conquest to give to your second son, you almost always split off a new fief within your main holdings for him. In Westeros, acquiring territory through marriage seems to be actively discouraged rather than encouraged. Conquest may be about as common as in France (like House Lannister of Darry) but that's not very common. And we don't see subdivision every generation—it's rare enough that it's presumably something you only do if you really like your second son or are really worried about him rebelling, rather than it being expected.

    Norman England directly brought over the French appanage traditions, but William immediately ran into the problem of his heir trying to overthrow him twice, so he ended up leaving everything to his second son, William II. Meanwhile, William II and Henry I were trying to flatten out the aristocracy and shrink all the old and new earldoms down, so nobody wanted to subdivide their domains either, because that would just make it easier for the kings to turn everyone into little more than barons. But when it did happen (often after acquiring new territory—e.g., Edward II conquered north Wales and part of Scotland, then his son gave York and Lancaster to his cadets), they followed the French rules. Which is basically the same thing we see in Westeros.

    And if you assume that GRRM borrowed this system for cadet houses, everything works, including the heraldry.

    What about bastard houses? They weren't very common in Plantagenet England, but they were common a few centuries later. And if you look at the Westerosi heraldic pattern—the father's arms quartered on a plain field with a baton sinister—that was invented by the King of Arms standardizations in the late 16th century. At that time, it was clear that bastards were not considered cadets—this was explicit with Charles II's bastards. Appanage was pretty much dead at that point, but if it had still existed, I don't think it would have applied to bastards. At that time, appanage was pretty much dead anyway, but also, Charles II's bastards were explicitly not called cadets.

    So, my guess is that Westeros's cadet house system is borrowed from Norman to Plantagenet England, but its bastard system is borrowed from Stuart England.

    As you can see, there's a lot of guessing here, but I think it all fits.

    1. Lady Blizzardborn

      Lady Blizzardborn

      Very cool! Thank you for sharing all of that with me.

  11. falcotron

    Can we talk about Jon?

    I honestly can't tell what you're arguing here. There are probably no genetic defects linked to inbreeding, and therefore there might be genetic problems? In the real world, cultures that marry cousins about as often as Westeros don't have any problems. (It does become a problem if you marry first cousins most of the time, but it seems to be every 2-4 generations or so, based on the family trees, not most of the time.) There's no indication in-story that the Westerosi nobles have aey problems. So, why are you insisting that they change their system? And meanwhile, go back to my hypothetical: If a study showed that we'd have slightly fewer genetic defects if we married second cousins a lot more often, would you think we should change our culture to encourage more second cousin marriages? I doubt it. I certainly wouldn't be out there campaigning for it. So why are you campaigning for a change in the other direction? Because your reactions to incest are much less a result of logical thinking about public health issues than a visceral reaction to the taboo you were born with, as with every other human being. Sure, but cultural practices shouldn't be changed just for the hell of it. If there are social benefits to their current system, and no costs to it, why do you want them to change it?
  12. falcotron

    Can we talk about Jon?

    But there are proven benefits to, for example, marrying your daughter to someone at her own social level and in their own region. (You get a powerful nearby ally; she gets the lifestyle she grew up accustomed to.) And similarly for your heir, and for your second sons. And to unifying potentially contentious split claims (so there's no succession crisis/war a few decades down the line). And so on. So, there are benefits. And what are the costs? Nothing at all in-universe, practically or theologically, just the fact that if someone from a completely different culture happens to be reading a book about you somehow they won't be offended that you're different from them.
  13. No, Donella does inherit. She then comes to the Starks, of her own choice, to resolve the problem that she has no heirs of her own. They do consider taking the inheritance away from her to give it to the sister or the bastard, but they don't do so. And look at the other two cases. Why would marrying her to someone with an adult son solve the problem if her husband didn't become her heir and thus be able to pass it along to his adult son? Why would Luwin and Rodrik reluctantly conclude that if Ramsay's marriage to her was legal there's no way to void his inheritance? Meanwhile, the UK has a number of written laws that control the succession. And, more to the point, the fundamental rule is that Parliament can pass any laws related to succession that they want. In fact, when a case arises that isn't clearly and unambiguously covered, the courts or other bodies are not allowed to decide the case; Parliament has to pass a new Act (as with Edward VIII's abdication). And, since each Commonwealth realm has its own Parliament, if two of them have different laws, they can end up with different monarchs (which is why they needed a treaty in 2011 to make sure all realms made the last set of changes simultaneously in 2015). This is how people are able to unambiguously draw up lists of all 5107 eligible heirs in order of succession (subject to change if someone dies, gives birth, converts, etc., of course, or if Parliament changes the laws). The current rules are: Of the legitimate, natural-born, Protestant (the exact meaning of this has been refined multiple times since 1689) heirs of the body of Sophia of Hanover who aren't otherwise disqualified by other Acts of Parliament (of which there have been several), the one who's nearest by strict equal-preference (male-preference until 2015) primogeniture inherits the throne.
  14. falcotron

    Can we talk about Jon?

    There's no evidence that cousin marriages among the Starks are any rarer than in any other noble family. I don't know why people just really, really want to believe that the Starks would never do anything like that, even after being told that Ned's own parents did. (In fact, I suspect the reason GRRM decided to make Ned's parents cousins was specifically to shut down this line of thinking, but if so, it obviously didn't work.) Meanwhile, the Targaryens violate Westeros's incest taboos by regularly marrying brother to sister. And the Targaryens have lots of birth defects (and concentrate presumably recessive traits like pyromania, too), but nobody else in Westeros does. That's an argument for getting the Targs to start thinking and acting like everyone else in Westeros, not an argument for changing the way everyone else in Westeros thinks. I honestly can't see any reason why people want to change Westeros's taboos except "They're not identical to my own", which is not a rational reason. If you have a better reason, I'd love to be proven wrong. ETA: One last thing: There is evidence that marrying people at the level of second cousin or first cousin once removed 40-50% of the time actually leads to fewer birth defects than never marrying anyone that closely related. Does that change your views on incest? Do you think we should start encouraging America to have more second-cousin marriages? Of course not.
  15. falcotron

    Can we talk about Jon?

    I think the story doesn't excuse Targ incest, and even in-story most people don't, they just accept it against their will because they've been forced to by a series of strong Kings. And I don't see any problem with that. But again, they do think ill of incest, they just have a slightly different definition than you do. And I don't see why that's a problem. Is a broader definition of incest really automatically better? In very late medieval Europe, the Catholic Church actually did make a change like this, deciding that anything up to six degrees is incest. Lots of people were suddenly guilty of incest. Would you consider it disgusting or sinful if you found out that your wife was your second cousin three times removed from a branch of your family you'd never heard of? I doubt it. But people back then were encouraged to, at least if you were rich or powerful enough for someone to want to blackmail you or destroy you. And then they were allowed to buy the equivalent of indulgences to make it ok with the Church. Which is one of the things that led to Protestants rejecting the Roman Church. Meanwhile, the numbers of first cousin marriages among upper nobility actually went up drastically, because if almost everything is incest, why try to avoid it, just pay the fine. I'm not saying that widening the taboo automatically weakens it, just that it isn't automatically an improvement. Meanwhile, our current taboos come from late-19th century health fads. At first it was calculations about things like marrying first-cousins is fine as long as your family does it less than 50% of the time, but it quickly led to people selling snake-oil cures that would prevent birth defects as long as you bought the right one for your specific family relationship. And the theory that eugenics would be unnecessary and we wouldn't have any accidental race mixing if only people would be scientific about marrying second cousins but avoiding first cousins And so on. I don't think that was any healthier or more moral than what preceded it. What bad consequences? Do you see any evidence of genetic defects caused by inbreeding among the Starks? If not, what are you trying to cure by changing their incest taboos?