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More Dragon Casting Announced

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Posted (edited)
On 4/22/2021 at 5:55 PM, Lord Varys said:

Yes, on the personal level the paternity of the children is an issue. But effectively the children's quarrel could be about anything - things could also escalate over the question who the rightful heir is, say: the mother of the boys, or Aemond's elder brother - the crucial point there is that Aemond loses his eye. That is what deepens the rift between the two factions.

Yes and some of the story has to have some personal level drama - or its gonna be a mockumentary.

On 4/22/2021 at 5:55 PM, Lord Varys said:

If you think about it then the idea that Corlys had a Summer Islander mother could even help explain his success as a explorer since his mother could have taught him some of the shipbuilding techniques of the Summer Isles, allowing him to build both the Ice Wolf and the Sea Snake. With them also preparing a Corlys Velaryon show about the Nine Voyages I'm reasonably confident that connecting Corlys Velaryon to the Summer Islanders is actually not accident.

Omg, this is really nice! I hope this is how they'll do it.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The idea is that we do have a more primitive racism - one where a different class effectively does constitute a different race.

The justification for this is that noble/royal/magical blood is better than 'common blood' and you do not only avoid marrying commoners because they have no money but because they fundamentally *different* from you as nobility/royalty on a *biological* level. In the sense that they birth sets them completely apart from the rabble, basically.

Nope. Social classes and racism aren't the same. Social classes can discriminate/abuse the same as racism does, but but differs where there can be social climbing/falling between classes - while racism is implaccable (like sexism).

I can see how you'd come to that conclusion; beyond the valyrian apartism, houses do have their signum looks which are emphasised over and over. But in absurdum they'd have to be like Targs and only marry in their own house to preserve their magical features for it to be the goal. Which they don't. There's some; Neds parents and Tywin-Joanna. The rest are happy with Tully-looking Starks, Frey chins on Lannisters or Florent ears on a Baratheon. Marriages are not about protecting/preserving these traits, its about protecting and preserving wealth, power and prestige. 

edit: this is why I think the house-traits are magical rather than heredetary.

If a house is empoverished enough they'll marry a merchants daughter for a good dowry. Davos is a self-made nobleman. 

Compare with Drogo marrying Dany, Illyrio hints as to where her value lay: 

Quote

"Look at her. That silver-gold hair, those purple eyes … she is the blood of old Valyria, no doubt, no doubt … and highborn, daughter of the old king, sister to the new, she cannot fail to entrance our Drogo."

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In Westeros the deciding factor what are suitable marriages are not skin color or eye color or hair color ... but your nobility by virtue of birth. That is the most important criterion. Wealth and fame, etc. also figure into it but they are secondary criteria.

I'd say they are the first critera. It's strategic protection/preservation/accumulation of wealth/power/prestige.

The qoute from Illyrio rates Danys genetic before being highborn. 

Edited by Sigella

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53 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Yes and some of the story has to have some personal level drama - or its gonna be a mockumentary.

As I said a couple of times - they could technically keep the entire fake history aspect of it, including Gyladyn and Mushroom and Eustace and Orwyle/Munkun as 'narrators' ... but that would likely not be very successful.

They could certainly keep the thing about the parentage of Rhaenyra's sons ... but as I said that's very reminiscent of GoT, and they might not want to do that. The whole Joffrey thing is a kind of funny nod, but I'm not sure that would be very successful in the show.

53 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Omg, this is really nice! I hope this is how they'll do it.

George could even do something like that for his version of Corlys if he were to ever comment on Corlys' parents - which are so far unknown to us. If he made Corlys mother a lighter-skinned Summer Islander - say, the daughter of an earlier Velaryon-Summer Islander pair arranged in the wake of the Conquest - then Corlys' looks (his skin color is never described, anyway) and the looks of his children and grandchildren wouldn't really be an issue.

53 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Nope. Social classes and racism aren't the same. Social classes can discriminate/abuse the same as racism does, but but differs where there can be social climbing/falling between classes - while racism is implaccable (like sexism).

My point was that in real medieval time classism worked like racism, because it was based on racisim. Nobility(royalty were effectively a different breed/race than the rabble. This was used to justify and perpetuate the social order. And it is the same in Westeros. Conceptually, nobles and commoners are 'different races' set apart by blood and breeding (with the Targaryens being 'the special race' above them all).

The fact that occasionally somebody is ennobled and even makes a career to rise well beyond his station isn't contradicting this ideology. Even in society with very strict racist laws/rules there are always exceptions. But it is literally unthinkable that a born peasant becomes king in Westeros, just as it was unthinkable that some English or French peasant took the throne instead of a Plantagenet or Capet.

At the same time - we do not have a similarly modern racist ideology creating hierarchies of different peoples. I mean, sure, Yandel gives us a lot of racist talk about how there are different races of men with the Ibbenese and the Bridled Men and all that ... but there is no hierarchy there. The Ibbenese are not dehumanized because they are different - folks trade with them like with everybody else and they have their own culture and stuff.

Racism is also not used to justify slavery in the east, unlike modern slavery in the real world ... but it is very much used in Westeros to justify the feudal order in the sense I outlined above.

There are also no racial issues between the Andals and the First Men and the Ironborn and the Rhoynar. The Seven Kingdom are basically a working multinational state, if you will, with nobody having any interest to separate the Andals from the First Men, etc. - like it people were doing when nationalism started to get popular in 19th century Europe. And the independent Seven Kingdoms as such are also more feudal domains than nation states - the borders are set by the whims of the lords and kings. If a particular lord decides to switch with his territory from House Gardener to House Lannister, say, then the borders of the Reach/Westerlands change.

Not to mention that the big kingdoms like the North or the Reach are unions of previously independent kingdoms with their own traditions and laws, etc. The common denominator is not 'We are Northmen/Reach men' (if the latter is even a word in Westeros) but rather 'We are ruled from Winterfell/Highgarden' or 'Our kings are the Starks/Gardeners'.

53 minutes ago, Sigella said:

I can see how you'd come to that conclusion; beyond the valyrian apartism, houses do have their signum looks which are emphasised over and over. But in absurdum they'd have to be like Targs and only marry in their own house to preserve their magical features for it to be the goal. Which they don't. There's some; Neds parents and Tywin-Joanna. The rest are happy with Tully-looking Starks, Frey chins on Lannisters or Florent ears on a Baratheon. Marriages are not about protecting/preserving these traits, its about protecting and preserving wealth, power and prestige.

Oh, it is not just that - it is also the fact that the nobility do marry only among themselves. We do have to assume that they marry a lot of cousins to maintain their 'distinct family looks' (especially the fair-haired families), but the main point is the general fact that they marry (almost exclusively) fellow nobles. And the justification for that - as well as for nobility as such - is they better people by right of birth and blood.

That is a racist ideology, although not modern racism.

53 minutes ago, Sigella said:

edit: this is why I think the house-traits are magical rather than heredetary.

Thankfully, the only 'hereditary magical trait' we do seem to have is the whole dragonriding thing. Skinchanging/greenseeing are not hereditary in specific bloodlines as far as we know, nor are all magical talents talents you have to be born with.

And 'house-traits' should be interpreted more as traits within a specific set of people. Say, the West should be imagined as being full with fair-haired, blond pricks, because there are so many Lannisters there, and Lann would have had other descendants. It makes no sense to assume *only* the Lannisters are this blond. And it is the same with the fair-haired Arryns - there should be many other Andalish looking folks in the Vale as well.

Even the 'Stark look' could be quite common in the North, both among the nobility and the smallfolk since the noblemen do also father their share of illegitimate children

53 minutes ago, Sigella said:

If a house is empoverished enough they'll marry a merchants daughter for a good dowry. Davos is a self-made nobleman. 

Yes, there are such exceptions. But as I think I demonstated with the Westerling example something like that can border on 'racial defilement' considering Sybell's children are no longer eligible to marry Kevan's children because of their mother's background. This is not just classism - the Westerlings are an ancient house and the Spiders are pretty rich ... yet this union did ruin the Westerlings in Kevan's eyes, it did not strengthen it.

Knighthood allows for some social advancement, but a knight isn't a knight - the glass ceiling isn't a knighthood, obviously, since there are many hedge knights. It is becoming a landed knight and, more importantly, acquiring a lordship. The latter you need the king for, meaning this happens not all that often. And the few heiresses that do exist would almost exclusively marry younger sons/brothers of established noble houses, not newcomers.

Davos is a landed knight, but despite the favors shown to him by King Robert's brother he didn't marry into nobility and none of his sons were betrothed to daughters of powerful houses.

53 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Compare with Drogo marrying Dany, Illyrio hints as to where her value lay: 

I'd say they are the first critera. It's strategic protection/preservation/accumulation of wealth/power/prestige.

The qoute from Illyrio rates Danys genetic before being highborn. 

Oh, I think that particular thing has more to do with the fact that Khal Drogo did want a dragonlord bride. He married both the Targaryen name as well as the Targaryen looks. He wanted that the bride had both the name of a dragonlord family as well as the looks people associated with him.

If Dany had looked like Alysanne or Alyssa Targaryen Drogo may have rejected her, I guess. Even more so if she had looked like Baelor Breakspear or Duncan Targaryen.

And in exile Viserys and Dany are basically exotic pets. Their name and their looks make them interesting and entertaining. The last assets they have are their name and their looks.

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So if rhaenyras children will all be legitimate velaryon-targaryens. I guess this means the blacks will be given the good guys treatment. Although to be fair it wouldn’t rub well with the audience having two shows about an unfaithful queen.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

So if rhaenyras children will all be legitimate velaryon-targaryens. I guess this means the blacks will be given the good guys treatment. Although to be fair it wouldn’t rub well with the audience having two shows about an unfaithful queen.

Or it could be a question throughout the series that works as rorschach test for the audience depending on who you support. They could show Rhaenyra having sex with both men. Both Laenor and Harwin Strong can be played by biracial black men, Laenor with the silver valyrian hair and Harwin brown/black hair. If the boys are all visibly biracial, but with brown/black hair its still a question because Rhaenys, their official grandmother has black hair. Who is to say either way? I think they would be smart to never really answer it.

Edited by Sotan

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20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But the nobility does this only in less exclusive manner - by marrying outside the family but only within the noble gene pool. And while Cersei is basically dismissed by Aerys II in a racist manner, Kevan dismissed a Westerling girl in the same manner - because they were effectively 'tainted' by their Spicer marriage.

 

That's not racism. That's classism. Aerys rejected Cersei because he saw her as the daughter of his servant. Kevan didn't like Jeyne because of her mother's "upjumped spice trader" heritage.

 

14 hours ago, Sotan said:

I agree Lord Varys, Westeros does have a primitive form of racism, not our modern day version of it, and manifests itself differently as you laid out. Its a complex issue in universe, but the example of Baelor Breakspear leads me to believe that if Rhaenyra's sons are visibly non-white, it will be something that the Greens can possibly exploit. We'll have some idea the once Velaryon siblings and The Strongs specifically are cast. 

Probably true.

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15 hours ago, Sotan said:

I agree Lord Varys, Westeros does have a primitive form of racism, not our modern day version of it, and manifests itself differently as you laid out. Its a complex issue in universe, but the example of Baelor Breakspear leads me to believe that if Rhaenyra's sons are visibly non-white, it will be something that the Greens can possibly exploit. We'll have some idea the once Velaryon siblings and The Strongs specifically are cast. 

As I said, I'd find it problematic to have Corlys' descendants being black becoming an issue with Rhaenyra's children problematic because that would then also play a role in the decision of 92 and 101 AC. In the book both Rhaenys and Laenor are serious claimants to the Iron Throne, and they are rejected because of sex and age, basically, not because of their looks or blatant racism.

But, as you say, the general issue of Valyrian looks equaling 'royal looks' in Westeros is a real thing - although we don't yet know how Baelor Breakspear's looks compared to those of Daemon Blackfyre contributed to the Blackfyre Rebellion, we do know that Baelor was more approachable to commoners (Dunk) because of his looks, whereas Valyrian features gave the royals a more aloof aura.

In sense of all that I'd prefer it if the issue with the Velaryons were about existing/non-existing Valyrian looks in particular (or more precise, them not resembling their father Laenor) and not so much about skin color.

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3 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

That's not racism. That's classism. Aerys rejected Cersei because he saw her as the daughter of his servant. Kevan didn't like Jeyne because of her mother's "upjumped spice trader" heritage.

No, class-wise the Westerlings and the Lannisters were both eligible to marry into the royal/Lannister family. Tywin was a great lord and the Targaryens had married the children of their Hands and those of great lords before. The same with the Westerlings - they once were eligible to marry Lannisters of Casterly Rock (Johanna Westerling even served as Lady of Casterly Rock).

Aerys' excuse is framed somewhat more classist, I grant you that, but when Viserys III declares the blood of the dragon doesn't lay with the beasts of the field then this is blatantly racist - as is the Doctrine of Exceptionalism is based (which describes the Valyrian dragonlords literally as a different race with characteristics that set them apart from 'lesser men').

And Kevan's point is that Sybell being of the blood of Maggy tainted the Westerling bloodline. Economically the Westerlings profited from the Spicer match ... but it clearly 'tainted' the 'nobility' of their blood.

The reason why people have problems viewing or phrasing this as racism has to do with the fact that we are talking about very small groups here, especially when we talk the Targaryens. But the nobility as whole basically act as one large collective body who follow very clearly defined breeding policies - arrange only marriages within your (larger) group. Never mate with the people who are beneath you.

And the line which is drawn there goes through the society, the country, not along the borderlines. Foreign nobility are eligible to marry Westerosi royalty/nobility, but Westerosi peasants are not.

 

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3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Aerys' excuse is framed somewhat more classist, I grant you that, but when Viserys III declares the blood of the dragon doesn't lay with the beasts of the field then this is blatantly racist - as is the Doctrine of Exceptionalism is based (which describes the Valyrian dragonlords literally as a different race with characteristics that set them apart from 'lesser men').

 

They technically are a different race of men. They're still humans, though. 

 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The reason why people have problems viewing or phrasing this as racism has to do with the fact that we are talking about very small groups here, especially when we talk the Targaryens. But the nobility as whole basically act as one large collective body who follow very clearly defined breeding policies - arrange only marriages within your (larger) group. Never mate with the people who are beneath you.

 

True. We do have a few cases of nobility marrying "commoners" or "lowborn", i.e, Podrick Payne. Maybe Ser Eustace?

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Just now, Jaenara Belarys said:

They technically are a different race of men. They're still humans, though. 

Of course. But it is still racist to say certain people have different rights/are worth less because of who and what they are, even if there were (or are) actual differences. Which there are not *really* in Westeros with the Valyrians and the Westerosi - they look different and they have dragons, that's it, basically. That doesn't mean they have the inherent right to rule or the inherent right to marry their sisters or any of the other stuff.

Or we can illustrate it with the Ibbenese and the Brindled Men, etc. They seem to be truly different biological races of humans (or perhaps not, if Brown Ben's family tree is correct) - but this doesn't mean they are worth less than the other humans or should have less rights/be treated differently just because you are not supposed to be able to mate with them.

And this kind of modern racism - people who are not white are worth less and don't deserve the same rights as white men - isn't something we find as  a concept in Martinworld. At least not to my understanding.

Even Essosi slavery is in no way connected to race. The Volantenes, Ghiscari take them all. And the Lyseni even like to enslave their own.

Just now, Jaenara Belarys said:

True. We do have a few cases of nobility marrying "commoners" or "lowborn", i.e, Podrick Payne. Maybe Ser Eustace?

That it happens occasionally doesn't contradict the overall ideology. Even in strictly racist societies the rules are not always followed. But the rules don't suddenly change or are insignificant if you can point out a couple of exceptions.

There are a lot of non-incestuous marriages in the Targaryen family tree ... yet their predominant marriage ideology is still incest.

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57 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And this kind of modern racism - people who are not white are worth less and don't deserve the same rights as white men - isn't something we find as  a concept in Martinworld. At least not to my understanding.

Even Essosi slavery is in no way connected to race. The Volantenes, Ghiscari take them all. And the Lyseni even like to enslave their own.

You're absolutely right, Westerosi racism is expressed in suspicion and fear of anything different, not the hierarchical racial pyramid of modern racism, which has elements of the former. The experiences of the very white Lara Rogare who left Westeros because she couldn't handle the reaction to her, or Lady Darklyn who was blamed for every bad decision her husband made speak to that. Being foreign, or worse looking foreign opens up you up to fear, suspicion and hostility even if you're a noble/royalty and breathing that rarefied air. 

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7 minutes ago, Sotan said:

You're absolutely right, Westerosi racism is expressed in suspicion and fear of anything different, not the hierarchical racial pyramid of modern racism, which has elements of the former. The experiences of the very white Lara Rogare who left Westeros because she couldn't handle the reaction to her, or Lady Darklyn who was blamed for every bad decision her husband made speak to that. Being foreign, or worse looking foreign opens up you up to fear, suspicion and hostility even if you're a noble/royalty and breathing that rarefied air. 

Larra Rogare (and Serala of Myr, too) seems to suffer from a confluence of misogyny and xenophobia in addition to, in Larra's case, religious bigotry.

But this isn't really based on a coherent or developed ideology, but rather there prejudices and stereotypes which are widespread among the ignorant and uneducated population. We also see that earlier when the mob murders Rego Draz.

That it is not based on race/skin color one can really see in the Rogares - they effectively are Valyrian or 'of the Targaryen race', if you want to call it that, and Lady Larra might even be more beautiful than the Targaryens that are presently alive. What sets them apart is the fact that their are foreign interlopers who don't speak the Common Tongue and who follow strange gods. And certain nobles at court loathe them because they are rivals for power at the court of Aegon III.

There is also something resembling or referencing certain antisemitic stereotypes in the treatment of the Rogares, especially in Torrhen Manderly's so-called judgments. The way George has him treat the Rogares is remiscent of how medieval nobility (especially in the works of Costain and Druon George is very familiar with) treated foreign (Jewish) bankers.

But there is never a question whether somebody like Larra Rogare is eligible to marry into the Targaryen family ... or any other noblewoman of the Free Cities for that matter. We do have two Tyroshi brides for Targaryen descendants, one Pentoshi sorcerer queen, and two Targaryen descendants who nearly married into a Sealord of Braavos (or his son).

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Of course. But it is still racist to say certain people have different rights/are worth less because of who and what they are, even if there were (or are) actual differences. Which there are not *really* in Westeros with the Valyrians and the Westerosi - they look different and they have dragons, that's it, basically. That doesn't mean they have the inherent right to rule or the inherent right to marry their sisters or any of the other stuff.

 

I find it funny that Gyldayn and people on Dragonstone think that the Targaryens are closer to the gods than most people. "Weeeeee, he has a dragon. He's super close to the gods!"

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That it is not based on race/skin color one can really see in the Rogares - they effectively are Valyrian or 'of the Targaryen race', if you want to call it that, and Lady Larra might even be more beautiful than the Targaryens that are presently alive. What sets them apart is the fact that their are foreign interlopers who don't speak the Common Tongue and who follow strange gods. And certain nobles at court loathe them because they are rivals for power at the court of Aegon III.

 

1. Valyrian race, not Targaryen race specifically.

2. Only Larra and Moredo didn't speak the Common Tongue. Lotho and Roggerio did. But they all follow "false" gods.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Larra Rogare (and Serala of Myr, too) seems to suffer from a confluence of misogyny and xenophobia in addition to, in Larra's case, religious bigotry.

 

Maybe in Lady Serala's case it's misogyny, but I don't see any in Larra's. Both of them have xenophobia pointed at them. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

I find it funny that Gyldayn and people on Dragonstone think that the Targaryens are closer to the gods than most people. "Weeeeee, he has a dragon. He's super close to the gods!"

It is the ideology they all grew up with. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism is pretty much part of Westerosi culture by the time of the main series.

9 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

1. Valyrian race, not Targaryen race specifically.

In Westeros it is basically 'the Targaryen race', because the Doctrine of Exceptionalism is a Targaryen doctrine, not a Valyrian doctrine. It pushes the rights of the Targaryen family, not those of other Valyrians. But, yes, Targaryen specialness is justified by them being Valyrian dragonlords.

9 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

2. Only Larra and Moredo didn't speak the Common Tongue. Lotho and Roggerio did. But they all follow "false" gods.

I know that, but they were all Lyseni and, presumably, Lotho and Roggerio did have Lysene accents. Even if they didn't, folks knew they were foreigners from Lys.

9 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Maybe in Lady Serala's case it's misogyny, but I don't see any in Larra's. Both of them have xenophobia pointed at them.

The misogyny is the part where folks tell horrible tales about how she worships her strange gods and what kind of dreadful stuff she does in her free time, etc. Not to mention what they said after she inducted her sons in her own religion.

George really seems to model her on Tolkien's Queen Berúthiel, the evil woman who controlled all the cats.

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21 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

My point was that in real medieval time classism worked like racism, because it was based on racisim. Nobility(royalty were effectively a different breed/race than the rabble. This was used to justify and perpetuate the social order. And it is the same in Westeros. Conceptually, nobles and commoners are 'different races' set apart by blood and breeding (with the Targaryens being 'the special race' above them all).

Not so, it's still different. It's correct that classism can abuse/discriminate in a similar manner to racism. But this is true of an indefinitive amount of things, like; communism, religion, dialect. Different hands using the same tool aren't necessarily the same.

Ramsay does messed up stuff to commoners - does this make him a racist against them? Do we ever think he justifies his deeds with being biologically superior like he's Nietzsche or Viserys? I know I don't. 

If not for material gain, the bloodline thing in noble marriages was about the prestige and bragging rights rather than biological essence. Medieval royalty claimed to be god-appointed and from god's will they gave out lordships etc so nobles were special because "god" not because they were biologically different from anyone they rule over.

The "blue blood" myths (there are a number of those; pale skin/visible veins in the temples, skinny ankles and wrists, small feet and delicate hands were all at some point seen as a hint/proof of nobility) - all turned out to be lifestyle-made rather than biological. Although the expression blue blood was a way for spanish royalty to distinquish themselves to the Moors as well as the general rabble, so there's perhaps a grain of actual racism in there.

22 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, there are such exceptions. But as I think I demonstated with the Westerling example something like that can border on 'racial defilement' considering Sybell's children are no longer eligible to marry Kevan's children because of their mother's background. This is not just classism - the Westerlings are an ancient house and the Spiders are pretty rich ... yet this union did ruin the Westerlings in Kevan's eyes, it did not strengthen it.

It's about loss of prestige for Kevan. Maybe some discriminatory pre-concieved notions that with a merchant-class mother the kids might not be raised properly or lack necessary skills. House Westerling was impoverished and refilled with Spicer gold, loosing out on second-tier Lannister matches is the price in prestige for that gold.

22 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Davos is a landed knight, but despite the favors shown to him by King Robert's brother he didn't marry into nobility and none of his sons were betrothed to daughters of powerful houses.

Davos is a lord since aSoS. He says in Clash that his sons were lowborn like him (at least those sons present at the Blackwater) so he was already married with kids when he was knighted so his kids will not get splendid matches due to being lowborn, but if they assimilate well enough (and marry strategically) their children will be at normal minor lord status. Higher if house Seaworth keeps bringing home the prestige.

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Posted (edited)

@Lord Varys

this gem from the aFfC prologue illustrates both racism and classism in the story:

Quote

Leo's eyes were hazel, bright with wine and malice. "Your mother was a monkey from the Summer Isles. The Dornish will fuck anything with a hole between its legs. Meaning no offense. You may be brown as a nut, but at least you bathe. Unlike our spotted pig boy." He waved a hand toward Pate.

 

Edited by Sigella

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10 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Not so, it's still different. It's correct that classism can abuse/discriminate in a similar manner to racism. But this is true of an indefinitive amount of things, like; communism, religion, dialect. Different hands using the same tool aren't necessarily the same.

The idea is that it is classism based on racism if the justification for discrimination is racist. That is still part of modern-day classism, by the way - say, when the idea is that certain groups of people do not deserve the same kind of education because their biological backgrounds are allegedly different from others (say, certain people are genetically less intelligent than others). And for racist discrimination you also don't really have any real (visible) differences - just ideology is enough as, say, Nazi Germany and the holocaust show. The people who went to the concentration camps were declared a different subhuman race, never mind how they looked or what they believed or whether they thought they were German or not.

The ideological justification of a hereditary aristocracy is always based on the assumption that the people in power are entitled to power/wealth because they fundamentally *better* than those who have no/less power. The way they phrased that in the middle ages (or in Westeros) isn't in modern scientific terms but nobility is certainly viewed as a different 'race' in that context, since they are not just set apart from the other classes by class distinctions - which is about societal/economical functions - but by a more fundamental concept: special blood.

This is why while aristocratic concepts/ideals were still more widespread in modern societies an impverished highborn lady was still worth much more than an impoverished commoner. The former was entitled by right of both and blood to wealth and power, whereas somebody who earned money or had to work to have money, etc was 'a completely different animal', so to speak. Even to today folks talking to a princess associate her with castles and mansions and don't think she has to work for a living.

It is unusual to view things in this manner, but it is not that hard to wrap your mind around the idea.

10 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Ramsay does messed up stuff to commoners - does this make him a racist against them? Do we ever think he justifies his deeds with being biologically superior like he's Nietzsche or Viserys? I know I don't. 

I'm actually not sure Nietzsche cared (much) about 'biologically superiority' - his super man ideas are more about philosphical/metaphysical concepts.

But the issue is not so much what individuals think about other people and rather what the overall political ideology is. And that is an ideology that fundamentally sets apart nobility from commoners.

An non-racist classist society would, say, look down on/discriminate commoners while they are not part of the elite. But when they marry into a noble family they would welcome them because, fundamentally, they would not be viewed as different. But that is really not the case in Westeros. People who overreach themselves, who rise above their station are anathema to the social order.

Of course there are exceptions - Jenny-Duncan spring to mind - but those are very rare and huge scandals.

10 minutes ago, Sigella said:

If not for material gain, the bloodline thing in noble marriages was about the prestige and bragging rights rather than biological essence. Medieval royalty claimed to be god-appointed and from god's will they gave out lordships etc so nobles were special because "god" not because they were biologically different from anyone they rule over.

Yes, kingship also had a religious aspect in ancient days and the middle ages, first with kings being divine themselves, then in the Christian form of the divine right of kings, sacramental anointing of the kings, etc. And this quality is there in Westeros, too, with the person of an anointed king being inviolable unlike other members of the royal family, etc.

But the point is that you don't really have to have a detailed racist ideology to be racist. You can basically just say 'the nobility are fundamentally better than the smallfolk' or more particular 'the Targaryens are a special race apart from lesser men' or even 'the Starks are better than the Reeds'. Insofar as you refer to those people as a bloodline or a group set apart from other because of their hereditary traits, genes, magical blood, etc. you are racist.

What one should also consider in this context is how Westerosi nobility is different from real world European nobility. In Westeros there are merchant lords like the Manderlys, Graftons, Velaryons, Redwynes, Hightowers and Lannisters (of Lannisport). Making money by doing trade isn't something that goes against the rules of certain noble houses ... whereas the idea to make money by doing trade was something European nobility had very big problems with.

10 minutes ago, Sigella said:

The "blue blood" myths (there are a number of those; pale skin/visible veins in the temples, skinny ankles and wrists, small feet and delicate hands were all at some point seen as a hint/proof of nobility) - all turned out to be lifestyle-made rather than biological. Although the expression blue blood was a way for spanish royalty to distinquish themselves to the Moors as well as the general rabble, so there's perhaps a grain of actual racism in there.

Of course, but it is the racist ideology we are talking about, not actual facts. 'Blue blood', 'royal blood' isn't special, of course. But the what I'd call the racist ideology of aristocracy claimed that it was, that noble people were different from lesser people, and that you could see that. That is no different from people saying that Jews are fundamentally different from Germans for 'reasons' or the idea that different skin colors indicate more than differences in skin color.

We all have that in Westeros with the Targaryens especially, but to a lesser degree also with the 'family traits' of some of the other noble houses.

10 minutes ago, Sigella said:

It's about loss of prestige for Kevan. Maybe some discriminatory pre-concieved notions that with a merchant-class mother the kids might not be raised properly or lack necessary skills. House Westerling was impoverished and refilled with Spicer gold, loosing out on second-tier Lannister matches is the price in prestige for that gold.

I'd say it is more than that. Gawen's daughters are not just descended from any merchant, but a family of very questionable background. But with Maggy being dead for quite some time, the only reason I see why Kevan would shun a marriage there is that whatever questionable traits Maggy brought into the Spicer bloodline would creep into the Lannister bloodline as well.

If prestige in that context could be just reduced to wealth and the fact that the Westerling were lords then there shouldn't be that much of problem ... that only comes when nobility needs noble blood to maintain their nobility and marrying the wrong people can taint the noble blood of your family.

10 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Davos is a lord since aSoS. He says in Clash that his sons were lowborn like him (at least those sons present at the Blackwater) so he was already married with kids when he was knighted so his kids will not get splendid matches due to being lowborn, but if they assimilate well enough (and marry strategically) their children will be at normal minor lord status. Higher if house Seaworth keeps bringing home the prestige.

Davos has been given a title by a pretender king. He is not a lord in any real sense of the word. Just like Stannis isn't really a king. That new men rise high when kings or entire dynasties are deposed and others rise in their place is normal in this societal framework. But those are exceptions, not the rule.

In a sense, Davos' rise to knighthood is already a result of the outcome of the Rebellion. If the Targaryens had won he wouldn't have gotten his knighthood. And the established order rarely calls on the help of misfits and outsiders to win - they have the quality people on their side.

Something like the rise of Bronn or the Kettleblacks is also very unusual, since this kind of internal rivalry in a family dominating the court which is threatened by a larger civil war isn't exactly representative of court life.

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18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is the ideology they all grew up with. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism is pretty much part of Westerosi culture by the time of the main series.

 

It's still ridiculous, though I'd probably feel different if I was in the story and only lived there.

 

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In Westeros it is basically 'the Targaryen race', because the Doctrine of Exceptionalism is a Targaryen doctrine, not a Valyrian doctrine. It pushes the rights of the Targaryen family, not those of other Valyrians. But, yes, Targaryen specialness is justified by them being Valyrian dragonlords.

 

True....but the Targaryens are Valyrians.

 

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I know that, but they were all Lyseni and, presumably, Lotho and Roggerio did have Lysene accents. Even if they didn't, folks knew they were foreigners from Lys.

 

You could probably tell from their clothing, their looks, etc. 

 

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The misogyny is the part where folks tell horrible tales about how she worships her strange gods and what kind of dreadful stuff she does in her free time, etc. Not to mention what they said after she inducted her sons in her own religion.

 

Ah, OK. We hear that Aegon might've been inducted into all Larra's religions, but do we know if Aemon was too?  

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They're trolling at this point. A big countdown to announce filming? At least show some promotional images of the actors in costume. 

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