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Actions being acceptable/standard practice in-universe does not mean they cannot be atrocities

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43 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

While my guilty pleasures comment was a joke, it's also the admittance of this. We do sometimes don't care if a villain's head gets chopped off, and cheer for it. Slynt's head on a block is my absolute guilty pleasure, and I'm very glad that George allowed me this as a reader without having to be conflicted about it, or feel pity for him... despite the fact that I consider the death penalty barbaric.

I recognize that my feelings to see "mess around, comes around" with certain characters is quite primal and primitive. Hence "guilty" pleasures.

I was fine with Slynt's head getting walloped off, just as I'll be fine with Bowen & Co. feeding R'hllor's fires.  Those are not even guilty pleasures for me.  Simply pleasures.

I suppose my main guilty pleasure is the Frey Pies, objectively awful, but bloody funny.

Edited by SeanF
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3 hours ago, SeanF said:

Honestly, i thought Joffrey deserved worse.

I'd have given Joffrey the Edward II treatment.  He's not just a bully, but a revolting little sadist.

Father Joseph Furniss wrote The Sight of Hell, in 1847, a charming book for children.  This is how I imagine Joffrey's fate.

"You are going to see again the child about which you read in the Terrible Judgment^ that it was condemned to Hell. See ! it is a pitiful sight. The little child is in this red-hot oven. Hear how it screams to come out. See how it turns and twists itself about in the fire. It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little feet on the floor of the oven. You can see on the face of this little child what you see on the faces of all in Hell — despair, desperate and horrible "

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Pretty well everyone in this tale,  commits what would be considered war crimes in the modern world, but I think it would be trite to call all of our protagonists war criminals.  For that matter, when the chips are down, and it's one's own life, and the lives of strangers, over the lives of strangers, i suspect that most of us would commit war crimes as well.

IMHO, in universe war, crimes would be:

1. Sacking a friendly city.  So, I think that Tywin's sack of Kings Landing would be considered a war crime, even though he got away with it.

2. Murdering highborn women and children (such as Elia and her children)

3. Breach of guest-right, and related to it, killing someone under a peace banner.

4. Failing to honour the terms of a surrender. 

5. Dishonouring one's oaths of fealty, to one's liege lord or king.  People do so, and if they get away with it, they get forgiven.  If they don't get away with it, they can expect no mercy. 

6. A bit of a grey area, but I think that the murder and rape of enemy civilians on the march, would be considered a war crime, by the more decent leaders in this world. The worse leaders, either don't care, or actively encourage such things as terror tactics, like Tywin and Kevan.

OTOH, sacking a city that gets taken by storm, pillage and arson inflicted on enemy civilians, executing captives who have surrendered at discretion, taking and executing hostages, including children, nobody would consider such acts criminal in war.



Edited by SeanF
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