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sweetsunray

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  1. There's cognitive empathy and affectionate empathy. Psychopaths and narcissists are capable of the first: they "know" intellectually that it will hurt, anger or pain someone else if they do a certain thing. The last is the sensation of feeling the pain, anger and hurt another person would have. Psychopaths and narcissists do not have the latter (or barely a glimmer with the latter). Linguistically we refer to it as "feeling sympathy". Because they have the first, they can be sadistic: by knowing they will hurt someone, they get enjoyment out of it. The second will bar us from inflicting pain, because the emotional response is too strong. When people say that neither disorder have empathy, they mean the latter. In contrast, someone with autism will lack the first type of empathy, but has the second one. They have difficulty foreseeing they will hurt someone with their behaviour or actions, but can feel it acutely once shown the consequences. When it comes to empathy, people also often make the mistake that because psychopaths and narcissists can feel very sorry for themselves, they must be able to have affectionate empathy. But alas, that is the sole person they can "empathize" with - themselves. Except, we cannot count that as "empathy", because the point of empathy is that you can feel sympathy for another, not just yourself. This is exemplified in Cersei by her solely having sympathy for Jaime as long as he looks like her. Her empathic range goes no further than herself and someone she identifies as an extension of herself. This is the range of empathy a narcissist can have. And there is also a misconception that empathy itself is absolute - you have it or you don't. But once you have empathy it can actually exist along a spectrum. The range depends on how much they can empathize with a stranger - those they identify as being like them (Jaime, Joffrey in Cersei's case until Jaime looks no longer her image), close family, wider family, friends, neighbors, complete strangers they only know by name. When Arya puts people on her list for raping a woman she hears off only through a story told, her empathy spectrum is the broadest available. That is the range of affectionate spectrum of someone we refer to as an "empath". Most people have affectionate empathy towards people they know. To complicate matters empathic people, including empaths, are able to override their feeling response intellectually. We can switch-it-off momentarily. It's what most of us do, when we walk passed someone asking for coin. Even when people feel for them, they will rationalize why they cannot give that person an alm - no change, can't give to everyone, etc. And it's what Arya learns to do in Braavos for example. With Cersei, I'm more inclined to see her as a malignant narcissist than a psychopath. Even disordered psychopaths are more calculated and cool-headed behind their mask than Cersei is (Roose Bolton is an example). Cersei's coolness is the mask, but inside she's nothing like it. How differs a malignant narcissist from a narcissist? Add sadism to the narcissism, and of this we have ample examples with Cersei. As for the arguments on how to deal with the checklist of psychopathy of Robert Hare: Hare did not make the list to be seen as "absolute" yes/no. It's a scale that totals to 40, with a cutoff at 30. Someone who manages to acquire 30 is regarded a psychopath. That doesn't mean a 25 or even 15 is not a harmful human being. 30 represents the 1% of population range on the attributed. 50% of the population though score between 0-4 on the test. Machiavellists and narcissists would score highly though, but beneath 30. If you know that the average of the prison population on the Hare scale test is 25, you get an inkling on 1) how many convicts are in the psychopathy range in comparison to the general population 2) don't get personally involved, because if you are a 0-4 you're going to be hurt. Anyway, empathy is a complex concept and complex to measure. It's not enough to say "that character shows no sympathy". You must ask yourself whether they could have sympathy, but chose not to have it (sign of empathic person, switching it off momentarily). Likewise it's not enough to say, "they feel sick at the sight of a mangled corpse, so must have sympathy". Emotions are a higher level process than a physical sensation only. Without processing of the sensation it cannot be called an emotion and therefore is not regarded affectionate empathy. Instead of just feeling /being sick, we end up saying, "I am disgusted". In other words, there's a linguistic filter component to the concept of emotions, to differentiate our bodily sensations and responses between pure reactive physical reaction and a more complex reaction. This is a learned/experience process. Apply that to Cersei. We know she sympathizes with herself. Rather than choosing to not have affectionate empathy for people, she chooses to mimic empathy when it suits her. She may have bodily responses to seeing the worst results to another person, showing she has the wiring to spark the sensation that could result into affectionate empathy, but she does not do the processing.
  2. I hated it before reading aCoK. And since the time I read it, I hate it even more. No matter where you believe Dany's coin will fall, George wrote her superbly and with depth and her POV in such a manner that you naturally feel her rage, her frustrations and the betrayals she perceives. Every character was destroyed, no matter whether they were fans of the actor/actrice/character or hated the character/actor, main or side character.
  3. Oh, but Emilia has a great sense of humor when it comes to the weird decisions they make for Dany. Perhaps they thought they were writing the Qartheen arc for Harry Lloyd to show his acting muscles. Yeah. Dinklage certainly could have pulled off darker Tyrion. That's why their "writing to show off the actor" doesn't fully apply on what they wrote for Tyrion. They certainly seemed to have an interest to write him as the innocent one.
  4. As to GOT - yeah, after season 8 barely anything of the series withstands the dread of rewatching anything, even in my head. I started to binge watch the series before S4 was aired, and I bought the books after having seen S2, caught up with aSoS by the end of S4. Reading the books was sometimes very confusing, because a lot of plots were quite different, and George's were subtler, so that some clues went over my head, because I kept expecting some series events to happen. In retrospect only S1 survives as being watchable, and the whole changing of plots and characterization from S2 onwards is blatantly this showing off actors. When I watched S2 the first time, I hadn't read the books yet, but I remember I loved Arya's arc in the show. Then I read her aCoK arc and ended up feeling absolutely robbed. It seems to make "streamline" sense to have the Mountain attack Yoren, instead of later after Arya escaped Amory's clutches, and to give the Mountain a "motive" to attack them (Gendry), but when I think of it now, remembering that the show washed Cersei's hands of the murders of the bastards, it makes no sense to portray the Mountain as Jofrey's dog requiring an excuse to do anything. And sure, the Mountain had his men torture people willy nilly in the books, but none of them were stupid to want to kill a valuable apprentice armorer. Nope, this streamlining was not done to "streamline" but to make Charles Dance the smart one. They robbed Arya from her escape of Amory, her using Jaquen to free the Northern prisoner and her independent escape of Roose. I remember S2 confusing me when it came to Robb's battles, but while much of it goes on off-page, it's not nearly as confusing in the books, because Roose and Robb are split up. In S2 all we know is that Robb faces some forces of Lannisters somewhere and beats them, but for some weird reason Tywin remains at Harrenhal. Robb's war in the show was just a background setting where Richard Madden could fall in love with a field nurse. The books make Robb's motives far more clear as well as Tywin's, even when both are off page. Also S2 made me reluctant about reading Jon's arc beyond Craster's as well as Dany's arc in Qarth. The show made both arcs irritating and imo even boring. I couldn't stand Dany with her demanding and threatening attitude in Qarth, Ygritte annoyed me. Qhorin was mischaracterized, even if you hadn't read the books and Jon killing him some interspersed haphazard spur of the moment fight without gravitas. I don't consider Dany's chapters in Qarth the most exciting, except from tHotU onwards, but when it comes to court intrigue and behind-the-screens-politics they are actually a good match to King's Landing politics in aGoT. And while she may have unrealistic expectations from the Qartheen, she doesn't go promising their destruction at every "no" either. They wrote that Qarth arc for spectacle and so that Emilia Clark could make a ruthless face and spout angry threats, and while I do believe George planted dark seeds in Dany's arc once she aims to persuade Drogo to invade Westeros and she was wrong to burn MMD, I think D&D wronged Dany severely in their warped Qartheen arc by making her sound like an entitled brat. Meanwhile the "turncloak" arc for Jon north of the Wall is less exciting than it is in the books, and already makes him look like a bumbling fool who doesn't know what's going on. I don't think Tyrion's show arc is "writing for Dinklage". They stripped him of his darker side even in S1. No gloating over Masha Heddle being hanged. No mocking of Alisser Thorn. No poisoning of Cersei. No capture of Tommen (so that they can have the emotional scene of Cersei nearly poisoning her children) or that dangerous and distrusting plan to bust Jaime out, but instead it's just Jaime's own plan by killing his own cousin. Nope, Tyrion was kept squeaky clean, only having to outwit Cersei (which isn't hard to do) and have a romantic arc with a Shae who loves him and cares for Sansa, because they wanted to give Dinklage and the actress who played Shae a romantic story that fell flat on its arse when Shae suddenly had to revert to her book character during and after Tyrion's trial, and they eventually had to have Dontos whom they introduced in S2 premier save Sansa after all, without him doing anything in between. As a character Cersei really is less interesting in the show, often portrayed as only acting in self-defense out of protective love for her children, and putting the blame on Ned Stark for Robert's death. While Cersei's motive is partially fear, she's also far more cunning and dangerous and pro-active in the books. In the show it's Joffrey who has the bastards killed, not Cersei. She's not dressed in hunter green, riding boots and brown cloak when meeting Ned (aka either on her way to meet Lancel or just having returned). She had a dark-haired baby who died in the show, and thus never aborted any of Robert's children. She betrayed Robert only because Robert still loved Lyanna. And it's not feminist at all. No matter what vicious woman Cersei was, no matter how much she betrayed her marriage vows before marrying Robert, she never deserved to be raped or beaten by him. It's why I like Ned - no matter how much he suspects Cersei of being involved in the assassination attempt of his son or Jon Arryn, he recognizes that Robert shouldn't treat Cersei the way he does. Anyway, the writing on the wall was present as far as S2.
  5. I know I found that type of fantasy boring after a while even in the Wheel of Time. The Witcher series as a show became boring shlock when the witch turns herself into a beautiful woman. Only the episode with the witcher at the feast with the queen and the groom appearing for her daughter was okay. I honestly cannot laugh at the bard's forced jokes. Meh, I'd rather rewatch Xena the warrior princess.
  6. To both "agreed". To @tscchope First of all, the Reek that is killed off-page in aCoK wasn't the first Reek anyway. Roose tells Theon that Ramsay has had various Reeks, the first one naturally having a bad smell that despite bathing so often and even drinking cologne didn't help. This Reek was sent to Ramsay while he was still living with his mom. After the first Reek died in unknown circumstances, Ramsay remade any other servant into a Reek, forcing them to live in circumstances that would make them stinky. Ramsay is with his latest Reek when pursued by Rodrik Cassel. They were raping a girl, and he convinced that Reek to switch clothes with him, before Cassel caught them. The real Reek was killed, with Cassel believing him to be Ramsay and Ramsay was arrested and taken to Winterfell as Reek. Ramsay-Reek then served Theon, using Theon's biggest weaknesses to manipulate him into doing the worst stuff - kill the millers family; pretend the millers' boys are dead Bran and Rickin; then Ramsay-Reek kills the Ironborn who know who the dead children truly are, for which Theon accuses and frames the kennel master. And then when Theon gets taken captive in the end and is dragged to the Dreadfort, he gradually transforms Theon into his latest and newest Reek. While Jeyne Poole is forced into an arc pretending to be Arya, and this ties her to Arya, it is not Arya's arc. Arya was never the one to end up or remain in a captured situation with people recognizing her as Arya. The what-if-scenario doesn't even work with Arya, for neither LF, nor Roose (and we know he had her within his grasp unwittingly once) could ever keep her their captive. Even Jon rightfully questions how long Ramsay could manage to stay alive if Arya was his bride. The sole what-if scenarios that work for Arya are her parallalling characters such as Farman, or Alysanne, or Arianne, or Asha, or Meera, Nymeria, Arianne's sandsnake cousin journeying to Storm's End. These are all Arya-types that George uses to explore various alternative story possibilities that he has other characters play out for Arya, so that Arya doesn't even will have their stories.
  7. Hehe, I watched the Witcher and refer to it as "High cost, pretty looking crap-fantasy". I haven't read the books, but from what I gather from reading reviews and plot of the books, I gather it's the type of fantasy that I have been avoiding since the millenium, with a nod at Conan which I'm pretty certain is great writing in comparison.
  8. The logic: we make a series/movie to attract an audience... audience doesn't like it...conclusion: we made great stuff, but the audience "yadayadayada"... it's the audience's fault!
  9. I tried not to talk too much about the show itself. Overall the sentiment and vibe in Belfast is one of gratitude towards the show for the economical boost. Can't blame them. Some of the attendees were extras on the show. For them it was a life experience that they were part of something big for years, not a tv-experience. No matter how badly it was written and produced by D&D, their life experience isn't any less for it. So, I would keep mum to them about my opinion of the show, and just listen to them and smile at them glowing when they talked about it. Some attendees were disappointed and did feel it wasn't up to par to the books, others were obvious fans and only miffed about Dany's demise, and several weren't there for aSoIaF or GOT and cared little. The one retrospective panel about the show had a majority of panelists defending the show with the usual arguments, especially when it came to female exploitation, and only one panelist had a somewhat critical voice.
  10. When Martin the extra talked so passionately about his experiences at the feast, while we were eating our Frey Pies (for those not there - vegan Frey Pies), it just felt bittersweet. At least it wasn't meaningless to him.
  11. And dealing with sensitive issues - slavery, sexual exploitation, rape, piracy, women (including poc) seeking their role befitting their dreams and personality either in a society ruled by machismo or patriarchy, LGBT, violence, but also love... and yes, of course Toby Stevens! And Luke Roberts And Ray Stevenson in the most intense scene I've ever watched
  12. Did a coach tour during Titancon at the end of late August. Been ranting about the show since the start of S5, but the sets are lovely, because the island is just beautiful!!!!
  13. The irony of course is that the treason is committed against the people knowingly putting or keeping a fraud on the throne, that they all seek someone who stands for "truth" instead.
  14. Yes, both Dany and Cersei end up hairless. Cersei even loses her pubic hair. Dany's hair is burned twice, and twice her heir that never gets to take its first breath. Rhaego is born dead long years before, and Dany's hair is burned in the pyre, after she is told the prophecy when she will see Drogo again (never), when she will have a child (never). She loses her hair once again during the events of Daznak's Pit, and miscarries her heir in the Dothraki Sea. Cersei was prophesied that she would have three children, but that they would all die before her. There is no information on Jon Arryn's hair, but Lysa Tully still had lush locks of hair I believe. Stannis has shadow babies and his brother's by-blows. But his own direct heir Shireen we expect to die. What about the Prince of Dorne? He has his hair I believe, but Norvosi women shave theirs off and wear a wig. Arya's hair is shaved as well at the moment. Will she allow to grow it back? Xaro of Qarth is bald too. He regularly asked Dany to marry him, but she refused, for he prefers men. Hizdahr too went almost-shavepate. There's likely something with altered hair-color too, but no idea yet what either. It's usually a dye to hide they are an heir, unless you're Tyroshi (except for Daario methinks).
  15. Not sure if it has been brought up yet, and if it was my apologies. How about hairlines/heirlines. George makes his eunuchs bald. Real world eunuchs actually didn't go bald. But eunchs have no heir, so George makes them have no hair. There are some Lords in Westeros with "receding hairlines" - Tywin, Jeor, Jorah, Stannis... It's not just their hairlines, but also their heirlines that are receding. So, does this apply to women being shaved or having their hair burned off as well? Dany lost her hair after Rhaego died, and she lost it again not long before she miscarries. Cersei was even shaved at the pubic area.
  16. Theon I is published in my aDwD edition: Harper Voyager, paperback edition 2012, 26
  17. Well, Cersei as regent of Tommen does appoint Qyburn instead of Pycelle as well before her shame walk in the books too.
  18. Qyburn took Pycelle's place, and Varys's, and the money-counting Mace, and organizing the Queensguard. Qyrbun was a 1 man small council.
  19. Only good thing about that scene was when he brushed off Qyburn and he was dead. I thought, "ok, that one went down quick at least."
  20. Made no sense to me either why Gregor would care about fighting Sandor over anything else. He's a dead dumb guy.
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