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Analyzing the analyses: Categorical investigation of demographics


Mladen

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Well, let's get this going.

Starks

I think one has to differ the Stark household as a whole from the current Stark family that begins the series. Many, if not most readers, like the current Stark family as honourable and virtuous, because those are Ned's traits, and the other Starks are his offsprings. We first saw the family through Ned's eyes, and I think that biased a lot of people's POVs to the rest of the family, including Robb's shenanigans and Arya's murder sprees. How many people have you heard say "Robb did many stupid mistakes, but he didn't deserve his end" or "poor Arya is the result of her terrible fate, she tried to do good, but it was impossible even for a Stark...", and when that happens to other characters, these same people are much harsher to them.

The Stark family as a whole has a different fascination, being linked to magic, old ways and traditions, and a general feeling of forgotten knowledge. That is very strongly present in Bran's storyline, and older historical Starks. But that infatuation is different from the one above, as not all Starks are good and likable characters (take Ned's brother, Brandon, for example).

Lannisters

Same thing can be said of the Lannisters. First time we meet them, we meet the direct result of Tywin's lack of morals and arrogance. Afterwards Jaime gets off the hook, but the damage is already done. But when we meet the other parts of the family, such as Daven, Kevan, indirectly Gerion and the Lanns of old from the D&E novellas, and we see that they are also honourable and inspire a lot of respect. At least to me, the more I hear about the rest of the family, the more I tend to actually like them and separate them from Tywin's posse.

Targaryens

I don't think people really have much in favour or agains the Targaryens, mainly because we barely know them. We can hardly consider Dany and Viserys as Targaryens, they were raised on their own in a far-off place, and are quite different from the general Targ feeling we have from D&E. Especially after the immediate invasion danger of the first book, when Dany goes off on her own path, she's not really more the "last Targaryen", but rather the khaleesi and mother of dragons, the exotic girl from afar who plans to wreck havok in Westeros. Would it be that much different if she was from any other house? Same thing can be said of Aegon, my feelings toward him are more because he's the lost offspring of an extinct clan than because of his supposed Targaryen descendence. Would it be that much different if he was, say, a lost Gardener or Hoare?

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This thread is dedicated to one important thing. How our POV influences our reading and how that possibly changes what might be the message of ASOIAF. We will lightheartedly discuss analyses, POVs and threads that have influenced our reading and changed the perspective. Those who want will give us some demographic data, so we could use it to create, if it's possible, the prophiles of certain character's fan. With all these information, we could create a great research about readership of ASOIAF, but not just that, then also to widen the perspective as we can, with as many POVs we could gather, and therefore have richer reading experience.

Mladen, this is really cute. I take it this is supposed to be lighthearted, right? You're asking us to look at character preferences to extract demographic "data?"

So like:

Varys fans are a sophisticated lot. The appreciate a good work ethic, enjoy complexity in simplicity, and probably work in a design profession or as Ad men.

Roose fans have impeccable taste, sort of like Hannibal Lecter. They probably wear black, speak with perfect diction, enjoy German Expressionist films, and tend to laugh at funerals.

Is this what your thread is?

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Mladen, this is really cute. I take it this is supposed to be lighthearted, right? You're asking us to look at character preferences to extract demographic "data?"

Is this what your thread is?

Cute... My favorite adjective... that's what ladies say to the guy they want to break up with :). But, yes, butterbumps is right, the original idea, that somehow got lost was to dempgraphicaly represent each character, Houses, and what analyses say about those that write them...

Varys fans are a sophisticated lot. The appreciate a good work ethic, enjoy complexity in simplicity, and probably work in a design profession or as Ad men.

I always thought of people who like Varys like ballet too...Ah those creepy times :)

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Interesting topic, Mladen. I would add that your analysis and post was not what I expected given the word "demographics" in the title. You seem to focus on readers' preferences WRT qualitative features of each house, but you haven't really touched on the actual demographics of the fan. We could start with race, gender, age, country of origin, and you could even consider occupation, marital status, etc. Of course this could get too personal, beyond what most posters would like to reveal. However, I find it interesting to consider.

So, staying as generalized as possible, here are some hypotheses I would consider, just random thoughts. I don't necessarily think they are likely, but I have wondered about these from time to time:

- Are most Targaryen fans people who got into ASOIAF via watching the show first?

- Are most Stannis fans male?

- Would most Greyjoy fans consider themselves "counterculture"?

- Are most Stark fans traditionalists and conservative leaning?

I have thought of many more of these, but this would be a starter.

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Tale as old as time. Here we have the classic claim/right discussion, with who came first question? Analysis on this one suggest the need of order, and the continuum. As fruitless as the discussion may sound, it discovers a lot about the posters...

We now know the Egg did,Might as well find this out too.

Oh and what exactly does it tell about me??

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So, every analysis about Targaryens will inevitably lead to continuation of 300 year-old practice of their reign? Not mentioning, that magic element is far stronger in analysis about Targaryens. Yes, people will debate wolves, but Stark characterization is much more discussed than Targaryens. For Targs, dragons are usually what we associate them with, and Starks have much deeper conotation about it... Therefore, people interested in Targaryens are usually younger with wilder imagination...

Maybe, you have been on the forum longer, but I have already seen numerous threads about Dany being the "true" queen. There are a lot of people, who support the Targaryens, because they believe they are the rightful rulers.

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Although I am generally intrigued by the Ironborn culture and history for several reasons (They don't care as much about birth as other major houses cultures do and carrying out rituals including participation on a continent where almost everything is hereditary, at least they used to), I resented the Ironborn basically from the point Balon expresses his plans to invade the north, and that resentment only grew over time.

i think the greyjoys are hard to peg down as a family. they're all over the place and have their hands in so many different things. i think the greyjoys are far less important than they think they should be and there in lies the problem for them. as a pirating culture, i don't think they ever had the wealth and power they'd hoped for. there just wasn't as much activity on the western seas as on the eastern side.

they are a relatively new family and came into power after the targaryens do. if people think the targaryens keep themselves away from the common people, the greyjoys are physically, economically and culturally disconnected from westeros from the very beginning. their lives are hard and thus their culture evolves to value strength and aggressiveness. paying the iron price is preferable than any peaceful negotiations and eventually becomes more important than anything, including wealth and comfort. what little power they accumulated is crushed after being on the wrong side of robert's rebellion and after that, they really have nothing except themselves. and oh, what a bunch of people they are. they are strong, good looking, physical people. i think balon recognized that their time was limited and made an attempt to take the north, as payback to the starks that crushed him during the rebellion but probably because it's the only way they might obtain enough resources to continue. now that their forces have been defeated, victarion is making a last attempt to regain power by finding dany and her dragons but does anyone expect him to be successful? i do believe asha will somehow survive but what she will become queen of (i think the kingsmoot will be done again) i'm not sure.

i don't see a future for the greyjoys unless they radically change their culture and their way of life and that's not an easy thing to change.

as for theon, his story is so tragic. he showed all the bravado and aggressiveness of his people but it served him as poorly as it served the rest of the iron islanders. but his punishment is far more extreme most likely because he betrayed the starks. i think theon's story is nearly done but he still has one or two more important things to do. he has paid the iron price with his own suffering tenfold.

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I always thought of people who like Varys like ballet too...Ah those creepy times :)

lol, very good then. I'd say Varys is more of an Opera guy, but ballet is not mutually exclusive.

Have you been following me? ;)

lol, eh, I based it on me, minus the wearing all black.

- Are most Stark fans traditionalists and conservative leaning?

I don't think it's that so much as the fact that I have a soul (I mean, despite having laughed at funerals and what have you).

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Interesting topic, Mladen. I would add that your analysis and post was not what I expected given the word "demographics" in the title. You seem to focus on readers' preferences WRT qualitative features of each house, but you haven't really touched on the actual demographics of the fan. We could start with race, gender, age, country of origin, and you could even consider occupation, marital status, etc. Of course this could get too personal, beyond what most posters would like to reveal. However, I find it interesting to consider.

The idea was that we should talk about fans through their analysis, because nothing better reveals who you are than the posts about the books. The thread would be of lighter form because people don't like sharing personal data. I thought that the best way to see ASOIAF fan and westeros.org poster is through what we write. And add to that butterbumps' view on things...

lol, very good then. I'd say Varys is more of an Opera guy, but ballet is not mutually exclusive.

He is like those ballet teachers that make your life miserable... Appearing tender soul, but harshness inside... from fan' perspective, it would be interesting to see what they like about him, and how that reflects on them?

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I have carefully studied the demographics of posters on this forum. Several months ago, I came up with an excellent analysis of what user names tell us about a particular reader. You can read about that here.

While I'm searching through my notes and working to write a coherent analysis, I'll leave you with this:

All Baratheon fans are from New Jersey. If they aren't, they want to be.

ETA:

Copy of the in-depth analysis I wrote way back in the Dark Ages (i.e. November 2012)

What user names say about posters:

  • Baratheon-related names: Frat boys. Drunk or high more often than not, talking about getting drunk or high the rest of the time. Spends a lot of time fixing their hair into the perfect messy, just-hopped-outta-bed style.
  • Targaryen-related names (this includes Blackfyres): Fancies themselves divas. Narcissistic, takes lots of bathroom mirror photos and updates facebook several times a day. Prone to use the 'taste' argument (see below)
  • Lannister-related names: Contrarians or hipsters. Likes the Lannisters because liking Starks or any Northern folks is too mainstream. Prone to like King Scum as well for the same reason.
  • Greyjoy names: Kids rejected from the frat, but still sorta cool enough to hang out with them. Tries too hard, wears popped collars, talks about getting drunk a lot but doesn't really like being drunk.
  • Stark names: Cautious folks. Well-read and thoughtful, but with fierce tempers that pack a punch. Can withstand any winter- literally and metaphorically - so steer clear of provoking the inner wolves on these ones.
  • Littlefinger names: I-bankers or injury lawyers. Accumulation of wealth by whatever means is considered the highest form of achievement for these folks.
  • Frey names: Procrastinators. Mad at the world for always being late. Usually very testy.
  • Fools names: These are sweet and funny, but beware of that motley protection. They know EVERYTHING. Seriously, no joke. Try to argue with them and you will lose.
  • Beverage names: Total wet blankets. Fact checkers. The type of teachers who annoyed you because they didn't let you get away with asking questions that could be easily answered by looking in a book, dictionary, or using a search function. Easily annoyed by gibberish and failures to use logic. Some might call at least one in this group 'a dominatrix maester'.

What argument and posting styles say about posters:

  • 'Taste' argument: "X theory is incorrect because I don't like it." These folks most often have Targaryen related names, so it's a style that leans more towards the divas. Usually friendly folks, but tend to annoy the Beverage names.
  • 'I hate Cat': 20-somethings, basement dwellers or boomerang kids. Not yet ready to accept that mothers aren't automatically supposed to mother all children. Definitely don't have kids of their own.
  • Spam posters: Likely to have Targaryen or Baratheon names. Tend to have not really read or thought about the text. Lovers of fanfiction and gibberish. Definitely narcissistic.
  • Sansa supporters: Geniuses of subtly. These folks understand human nature more than others. I imagine them to be good diplomats or spies or psychiatrists or activists.

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Starks

I would come under the typical Stark fan list. The only Stark I dislike is Catelyn and I consider her to be a Tully anyways. It's interesting to note that initially I started rooting for the Starks because they were just and honorable, yet now I want nothing more than the Starks to throw away all that honor and slaughter every Frey, Lannister and Bolton they can lay their hands on. Nothing would please me more than the series ending with a Stark King of Winter(Rickon) like Brandon Ice Eyes.

Lannisters

Very difficult to generalize the Lannisters as one family - they are so different from each other. It's entirely possible(and probably quite likely) that people are so divide over the Lannisters because they love some Lannisters(Tyrion or maybe Jaime), hate some Lannisters(Cersei, Joffrey) and respect some Lannisters( Tywin, Kevan). My personal views are as divided as everyone else - I love Tyrion but hate Cersei and am completely undecided over Jaime.

Targaryens

Well If Daenerys is an example of a sane and good Targaryen, I cant imagine anyone ever liking a Targ. I pretty much hate them all and would prefer an end to dragons once and for all.

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Targaryens

Well If Daenerys is an example of a sane and good Targaryen, I cant imagine anyone ever liking a Targ. I pretty much hate them all and would prefer an end to dragons once and for all.

Read the Tales of Dunk and Egg then. The Targs had their rotten apples aye, but they also have their positives, plenty of them actually.

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Well, I like many characters from different houses and non-houses as well. Although, I must say that I am biased for obvious reasons.

From Dorn: definitely, Doran, Ellaria Sand, Hotah. I do not like Sand Snakes, may be only Sarella, if she is, indeed, Alleras.

Lannisters: always Tyrion, sometimes Jaime (I pity him), the Hound. I liked Kevan not for long and Genna (she seems to be interesting and smart enough).

Targs: Dany (in some way), Aemon. I loved Baelor and Egg very much in Dunk and Egg stories... I liked Bloodraven as well, I do not know why (even before ADWD), he is described as too bad, which I consider as too obvious.

Greyjoys: only Asha...although, I pity Theon now.

Baratheons: Davos, Brianne (technically they are Stannis's man and Renly's woman). I pitied Bob in some way and Stannis at the beginning, but not for long for obvious reasons. Renly - never really, only when he laughed at Joffery's sword (that lasted only few seconds).

But Starks: they are all my favourite, I didn't like Cat much, but she is more Tully than Stark, technically...anyway Ned and the kids, as well as most of their people, are great (Cassels, Mormonts (except Jorah ), Manderly...).

But what I really can't understand how Boltons are loved. I do not mean to offend, but I just do not understand that.

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  • Sansa supporters: Geniuses of subtly. These folks understand human nature more than others. I imagine them to be good diplomats or spies or psychiatrists or activists.

Well well Mladen.

Quilty as charged... Although Sansa fans are diverse... There are all sorts of Sansa fans, as I have noticed.

The division between Sansa fans/haters:

1. Those that love Sansa and know that: Stubborn but kind people, they love all the characters, and hate isn't in their vocabulary. Great as teachers, docors, artists...

2. Those that love Sansa and don't know it: These people live in denial. They are shy, sometimes even closeted persons. Great for indoor activities.

3. Those that doesn't love Sansa and don't know it: Strange type of fellas. These people want to be seen as kind, compassionate souls but ultimately their ambition prevails. They are excellent corporate lawyers and soldiers.

4. Those that doesn't love Sansa and know it. Simply, they are hopeless. Ambitious-driven, ruthless, with incompromising behavior. You don't want them to be your friends. Excellent liars and players of real-life version of the Game. Most likely they hold some position of power that allows them to look from high horse on others. Presidents of third-world countries

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But what I really can't understand how Boltons are loved. I do not mean to offend, but I really do not understand that.

I don't think any of us who like the Boltons find them redeemable or sympathetic. Roose has a certain style and presence that I find interesting, and oddly alluring. It really is kind of like the way we watch something like Hannibal Lecter or Alex from Clockwork Orange. It's a combination of darkness, self restraint and mysetery. The things he says and does are so wrong that I can't help laughing at them because of the sheer wrongness.

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All Baratheon fans are from New Jersey. If they aren't, they want to be.

Spot on as usual brah. As head baratheon broseph i can honestly say, most of us are from jersey.

Also im still waiting for the analysis of people that have real life nicknames as their forum name.

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Also im still waiting for the analysis of people that have real life nicknames as their forum name.

We are delightful people... :)

ETA: We should start prophiling certain users... So people would know and take care. :)

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