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Jon Mark Selmy

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon Book

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9 hours ago, SeanF said:

I note the one he liked most was the Battle of the Blackwater, which he wrote, and that was undeniably very good.  It's one of the best battle sequences I've every watched.

And yet, the battle sequences just got sillier.  It should not have been hard to have a military historian on hand to point out how things worked.

Very few people really care about military accuracy.  GRRM certainly doesn't bring someone in either.  People just stopped suspending disbelief because the outcome wasn't very satisfying. 

Popular understanding of medieval warfare is almost entirely constructed by movies like Braveheart or the LOTR movies that aren't even close to accurate either.  Unless you are catering to military history fans, its all RULE OF COOL.

Damn near every major battle in ASOIAF/GOT includes armies marching hundreds of miles undetected (or with their numbers masked) and catching someone else off guard.

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8 minutes ago, Desert Fox said:

Very few people really care about military accuracy.  GRRM certainly doesn't bring someone in either.  People just stopped suspending disbelief because the outcome wasn't very satisfying. 

Popular understanding of medieval warfare is almost entirely constructed by movies like Braveheart or the LOTR movies that aren't even close to accurate either.  Unless you are catering to military history fans, its all RULE OF COOL.

Damn near every major battle in ASOIAF/GOT includes armies marching hundreds of miles undetected (or with their numbers masked) and catching someone else off guard.

Bernard Cornwell has advised GRRM on battle scenes.

The problem for D & D is that there are lots of military history buffs, and medieval history buffs, who got invested in it.

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22 hours ago, Dalinar said:

You are discussing with people here, who are constantly forced to chew what they dismissed yesterday. 

Says the person who has posted 0.61 messages per month in the last ten years.

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2 hours ago, Desert Fox said:

Popular understanding of medieval warfare is almost entirely constructed by movies like Braveheart or the LOTR movies that aren't even close to accurate either.  Unless you are catering to military history fans, its all RULE OF COOL.

Not in my world. I learned the first notions in elementary school and then more in depth in middle school. At age 13/14 I could tell the difference between a catapult, a trebuchet or a scorpion

Throughout my childhood the chateau fort was the most popular toy for boys. At school, the teachers would show us gigantic painted canvases showing the evolution of the castle from Motte-and-Bailey to Norman Castle, etc.

I am sure that millions of Europeans had the same education.

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I just wonder how we managed to get any worthwhile episodes or scenes at all.

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12 hours ago, Desert Fox said:

Very few people really care about military accuracy.  GRRM certainly doesn't bring someone in either.  People just stopped suspending disbelief because the outcome wasn't very satisfying. 

Popular understanding of medieval warfare is almost entirely constructed by movies like Braveheart or the LOTR movies that aren't even close to accurate either.  Unless you are catering to military history fans, its all RULE OF COOL.

Damn near every major battle in ASOIAF/GOT includes armies marching hundreds of miles undetected (or with their numbers masked) and catching someone else off guard.

ITs not about 100% correct medieval battle plans and tactics or full realism. Its about common sense during a scene. I mean come on... i am no historian or anything, i enjoyed the good FX of the show, i even enjoyed that silly scene in BoB where the horses crash around Jon... however when the background build up for the battle gets so absurd like the last season it bothers me and its hard to enjoy the good stuff.

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7 hours ago, bluntt said:

ITs not about 100% correct medieval battle plans and tactics or full realism. Its about common sense during a scene. I mean come on... i am no historian or anything, i enjoyed the good FX of the show, i even enjoyed that silly scene in BoB where the horses crash around Jon... however when the background build up for the battle gets so absurd like the last season it bothers me and its hard to enjoy the good stuff.

Exactly. Is it too much to ask to see armies kept behind or on top of walls to use ranged tactics, or to use light cavalry to flank opponents and not to charge enemies head on?

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I mean...as far as Jon's actions are concerned I wouldn't be surprised if GRRM writes him to be more stupid, more impulsive, more of failure, terrible at battle plans.

Because he feels the need to prove his point about that Gandalf!Upgrade that pissed him off when he was 13.

 

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On 10/9/2020 at 11:59 AM, Rose of Red Lake said:

I mean...as far as Jon's actions are concerned I wouldn't be surprised if GRRM writes him to be more stupid, more impulsive, more of failure, terrible at battle plans.

Because he feels the need to prove his point about that Gandalf!Upgrade that pissed him off when he was 13.

 

Well, we've already had 5 books of Jon where he is smart and mostly strategic so it seems unlikely that GRRM will degenerate Jon into the imbecile he became on the show, a bystander in his own story without a successful idea for years.  

I'm interested in how GRRM will think he's solved the worldbuilding problem by ending his story with a god-king-child in charge though, as that seems at odds with his desire to know Aragorn's tax policy.  

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44 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

 

I'm interested in how GRRM will think he's solved the worldbuilding problem by ending his story with a god-king-child in charge though, as that seems at odds with his desire to know Aragorn's tax policy.  

He is taking the easy way out with Bran. That is for sure. A godlike figure is undoubtly a cheat to that particular question. 

On the other hand, we shouldn't have taken his words regarding what makes a king a great king too serious. The author is a normal human being, and as such can not provide an answer to that, since no one can. 

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1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

as that seems at odds with his desire to know Aragorn's tax policy.

In my opinion this Aragorn tax policy quote is not about worldbuilding. GRRM used it as one of a few examples to question Tolkien's approach that a good human being automatically makes a good king. GRRM does not really care about the tax policy of Aragorn. But he wants to know how Aragorn dealt with daily business and harsh crises and the remaining enemies. He is not satisfied with "Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good" (over-simplified). So as long as GRRM does not write something like 'Bran became king and for the next hundred years Westeros flourished because he was so great', I do not think it is at odds with the quote.

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3 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

Well, we've already had 5 books of Jon where he is smart and mostly strategic so it seems unlikely that GRRM will degenerate Jon into the imbecile he became on the show, a bystander in his own story without a successful idea for years.  

Beyond winning resources to help at the Wall, he has major flaws. He is smarter in his head. His actions are not. Also, the groundwork is being laid in the books for him to be fooled by Dany. I think his major contributions will be the same, trying to win back Winterfell (and failing) and fetching Dany. The heroic, hidden heir needs to be deconstructed anyway so expect more adventures of Jon the Fuck Up.

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1 minute ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Beyond winning resources to help at the Wall, he has major flaws. He is smarter in his head. His actions are not. Also, the groundwork is being laid in the books for him to be fooled by Dany. I think his major contributions will be the same, trying to win back Winterfell (and failing) and fetching Dany. The heroic, hidden heir needs to be deconstructed anyway so expect more adventures of Jon the Fuck Up.

No, almost all of his strategies are correct, his problem is not recognizing that he needs to sell his ideas.  I very much doubt that GRRM turns Jon into a total imbecile, he's already turned Tyrion into a worthless pile of crap, and based on the show, Dany will turn into a villain, someone has come out positive, and that leaves Jon, he will be the unsung forgotten, a prince of the blood toiling away in obscurity in the North. 

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1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

No, almost all of his strategies are correct, his problem is not recognizing that he needs to sell his ideas.  I very much doubt that GRRM turns Jon into a total imbecile, he's already turned Tyrion into a worthless pile of crap, and based on the show, Dany will turn into a villain, someone has come out positive, and that leaves Jon, he will be the unsung forgotten, a prince of the blood toiling away in obscurity in the North. 

Jon's problem is that he is highly competent, as a leader and administrator, but also a terrible politician. I just don't know what he'll be like, once he returns from the dead/warged into Ghost, however.  In general, I'd expect conditions at the Wall to be like those in the Red Army in WWII.

Edited by SeanF

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30 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Jon's problem is that he is highly competent, as a leader and administrator, but also a terrible politician. I just don't know what he'll be like, once he returns from the dead/warged into Ghost, however.  In general, I'd expect conditions at the Wall to be like those in the Red Army in WWII.

Yeah, I would imagine he'd have to be more ruthless, which kind of goes back to the idea that show has shown the ending is going to be something that a lot of people won't like, much, much too dark.  Jon, a ruthless forgotten zombie, Dany, however it happens, loses the best part of herself, fails and dies, POS Tyrion end up top, Arya is so broken she leaves Westeros, dragons and wolves almost all dead.... Color me uninterested in that dark ending. 

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2 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

Yeah, I would imagine he'd have to be more ruthless, which kind of goes back to the idea that show has shown the ending is going to be something that a lot of people won't like, much, much too dark.  Jon, a ruthless forgotten zombie, Dany, however it happens, loses the best part of herself, fails and dies, POS Tyrion end up top, Arya is so broken she leaves Westeros, dragons and wolves almost all dead.... Color me uninterested in that dark ending. 

You have to stop to view ASoIaF as this political story. That is part of the plot, yes, but the least part, the whole civil war nobility killing each other nonsense was only to cover to first book. The second one would cover the (attempted) Targaryen restoration plot ... and the third book the actual story: survival of a humanity which is threatened by ice demons and undead monsters.

There is some room for more mundane and silly cruelties and monstrosities in the Targaryen restoration plot, to be sure, but in light of the fact that Daenerys and Jon will both be crucial players in the final stand against the Others, the question who is going to rule won't matter for the people who lead the anti-Others movement when things are done. This just isn't the silly TV show where the only thing people cared about was the political nonsense.

And as for the Bran thing - one really should read that as Martin being an anti-Tolkien here. Tolkien wrote about the death of magic, George will rejuvenate magic and give Westeros as sorcerer king or living god.

In that sense the pointless bickering and backstabbing and civil war nonsense might actually lead to some real change this time.

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7 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

No, almost all of his strategies are correct, his problem is not recognizing that he needs to sell his ideas.  I very much doubt that GRRM turns Jon into a total imbecile, he's already turned Tyrion into a worthless pile of crap, and based on the show, Dany will turn into a villain, someone has come out positive, and that leaves Jon, he will be the unsung forgotten, a prince of the blood toiling away in obscurity in the North. 

I think you're making my point for me. Three heads of the dragon, Dany, Tyrion, Jon - all fuck ups. It's a running theme. Jon excels at winning over the free folk and prepping. But a resurrected character constantly! winning! and! being! amazing! goes against everything the author has said about those characters.

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16 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

Yeah, I would imagine he'd have to be more ruthless, which kind of goes back to the idea that show has shown the ending is going to be something that a lot of people won't like, much, much too dark.  Jon, a ruthless forgotten zombie, Dany, however it happens, loses the best part of herself, fails and dies, POS Tyrion end up top, Arya is so broken she leaves Westeros, dragons and wolves almost all dead.... Color me uninterested in that dark ending. 

But it would fit to the overall tone of the books so far. I mean, when did anything remotely happy happend in the books that would suggest a sort of "happy ending"? This far the books have been nothing but depressing and to an extent nihilistic. The main theme, this far, has been the abuse of power, corruption and the cruelties that humans are able to comit to achieve their goals. Honorable men and honorable actions have led to nothing but death and destruction for those characters and their families. I think every reader hopes for a change in the tone at the end of the book series, that good people are rewarded and bad people are somehow punished. But looking the story so far, nothing points to that direction. And knowing the main plotpoints thrue the show (although not in detaill) we can be pretty sure, that the tone of the story will remain depressing. Good people are dead or broken at the end.

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27 minutes ago, Dalinar said:

But it would fit to the overall tone of the books so far. I mean, when did anything remotely happy happend in the books that would suggest a sort of "happy ending"? This far the books have been nothing but depressing and to an extent nihilistic. The main theme, this far, has been the abuse of power, corruption and the cruelties that humans are able to comit to achieve their goals. Honorable men and honorable actions have led to nothing but death and destruction for those characters and their families. I think every reader hopes for a change in the tone at the end of the book series, that good people are rewarded and bad people are somehow punished. But looking the story so far, nothing points to that direction. And knowing the main plotpoints thrue the show (although not in detaill) we can be pretty sure, that the tone of the story will remain depressing. Good people are dead or broken at the end.

We know three big plot points.  If James Hibberd is telling the truth, the main characters' endings are different ones. The show was ultimately cynical, nihilistic, and depressing.  "Honour is stupid", being like Cersei or LF is sensible, abuse makes you stronger, etc. Martin may finish his tale the same way, but I hope not.  He says he is not a nihilistic writer, so hopefully, he'll keep his word.

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