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  2. The Marquis de Leech

    World Cup 2018: Celebratin' Your Nation.

    La France est, et a toujours été, la plus grande puissance en Europe. Nous sommes le seul pays au monde à posséder à la fois de bonnes armes nucléaires et de bons fromages.
  3. The Marquis de Leech

    Match Day 8: Denmark v Australia; France v Peru; Argentina v Croatia

    It's a very very secure sense of security. Meanwhile, in defeating Peru, we French have proved that Asterix is superior to Paddington Bear. Onward and upward, and keep the (genuine) champagne on ice...
  4. Leonardo

    Decline in gravitas among major characters as series progresses

    Barristan the Bold is among the most storied and famous people in Westeros. I can't think of anyone with equal gravitas to him outside of Tywin and Robert who we see in the series, and I think his name may pop up the most of all for the commonfolk
  5. The Marquis de Leech


    And the French defeat the collection of eleven Paddington Bears, and so we advance too!
  6. Corvo the Crow

    Most Powerful Houses- what evidence?

    But there's "men" and then there's MEN. A page or two earlier you said Boltons may raise 4000 men and I agreed. I'll say they may raise even more than that the way Freys raised more than 5k, but of men trained and equipped I believe he may raise no more than 3K give or take a couple hundred. It's the same for clansmen and Umbers. We see clansmen raise to date what, 3500-4000? But how many of them are armed and equipped properly? Between Jon's description and what Asha saw, not many, I think. Also how old are these men with Stannis? Are they too old? Too young? In their prime since they didn't ride their shaggy garrons off to war with Robb because they didn't have byrnies and greatswords? Wulls fantasies along with Whoresbane Umber leading the old and Manderly being suicidal with a tail of old knights with him make me think this is also a suicide mission, so this is probably older men, men without children and unmarried men... and yet Stannis' has swollen his numbers from 1K to over 5K with mountain clans, woodclans and surviving men of Rodrik's host. This makes me think mountains are more populated then it seems. Back on Umbers, we see they are down to old men and boys and yet their men are properly equipped. And one may assume properly trained as well since there's 100 bowmen in one of the groups. You may thrust a spear in a man's hand, send him off to battle and may expect him to do some damage even without training. Same with crossbows. Not so with a bow. Long story short, Umbers may raise many more (boys and old men) as well if they go the clansmen way of battering each other with ashen staff or sling stones instead of using sword or spear or bow.
  7. Trigger Warning

    Renly was a dummy

    It's simply unrealistic to expect whoever's backing an attempt to usurp the throne to have no personal ambition. They're using Renly to gain more power and Renly's using them to gain the throne. Every power structure in history has been made up of the intertwining ambitions of different people and besides Renly's not at the mercy of the Tyrells, Penrose lists half of the Reach's most prominent nobles as "those that love Renly best". The guy's been grooming friends in the Reach for a while evidently, what do the Tyrells gain from making Renly their enemy when they're getting nothing but benefits from having him as an ally, how can Renly getting one of the most powerful houses in the Seven Kingdoms that have personal ties to him to back his attempt to usurp his nephews be viewed as a bad decision.
  8. I forgot to mention Tyrion Lannister and Barristan as characters with gravitas. And Euron Greyjoy, Willas and Garlan Tyrell, Yohn Royce, the Blackfish, Roose Bolton, Howland Reed, and Greatjon Umber could all play important roles in future books. Any of them would bring gravitas to the proceedings.
  9. RedEyedGhost

    Watch, Watched, Watching: The Prequel

    Decided to check out Hard Sun on Hulu. The first two episodes have been fantastic. Well acted, well written, and brutal as all get out.
  10. Notice how men are the innocent victims here but women are wicked and wanton? Sansa, drunk and seemingly defiled, with Joffrey accusing her of seduction, would play perfectly well with this widespread belief. And again, Robert would have no choice but to absolve his son and attaint Sansa, and by extension Ned The High Sparrow is a religious fanatic, whose opinion may or may not have any relationship to overall opinion in Westeros on the subject, especially the nobility's. Probably not too much. And Sansa isn't a widow, or even, for that matter, a woman. She is an unflowered girl. BIG difference there.
  11. Curled Finger

    Predictions for the Sand Snakes

    Fun! I like this and have already been exposed to new ideas. I will venture a few guesses... Obara will join forces with Darkstar. In that there propably won't be new POVs, my guy Aero Hotah is likely to survive this and maybe join with them (hoping). They go off fighting together. Only question is which direction--Stormlands or Reach? I'm voting Stormlands. Sarella is a very likely ally for Sam. However, exposing an FM should be a big deal particularly if the dynamic duo abscond with whatever it is that "Pate" is after. I'm predicting boat travel will be impossible at that point and they have to ease on down a road, but where? Nym will have to cool her jets and be smarter in KL than she was in Dorne. She will be in an excellent position to gather intel and even sew some dissent. It's really too bad we won't get to read her thoughts because this character could be turned into something very very cool. Tyene is said to be so deceptively pretty and innocent looking. In truth, she actually may be the snake with a heart. She is the only family member who clues us in that Darkstar is innocent of whatever crime he was accused of during the family meeting. I'm thinking she seduces the High Sparrow or is at least taken into his confidence. Have to throw in with all thoughts above regarding Elia. It really sort of has to go that way, doesn't it?
  12. SerHaHa

    Board games!

    Anyone into Europa? I'd played the Western Europe campaign with a group in Calgary back in the 90s, the owner of The Sentry Box, probably the largest board/gaming store in Western Canada used to host it at his home. Good times. My interest in Axis and Allies as a youngster introduced me to that group and scene, I don't remember much about it now, other than it was a pretty great war game series. The only other war board game we played was "A line in the sand", which was a Desert Storm 1 board game, fairly simple but highly entertaining from what I recall.
  13. Today
  14. FictionIsntReal

    Renly was a dummy

    Renly was about 9 and had been raised at Storm's End rather than fostered in the Reach, he would not have had much in the way of political connections at the time. That may have started around the time he made his lord's progress at 16. Those reacher lords are named because they were in Renly army at Bitterbridge, making their absence later noticeable. Perhaps they liked Renly, but they were there for a political reason: they were supporting his attempt to become king just as their lord paramount did. Stannis is able to absorb the Stormlander part of Renly's army after his death because he's their lord paramount (Renly being lord of Storm's End had indeed undermined him, aside from being personally dislikeable). It's not a coincidence that those lords who didn't switch over are from the Reach, where the ruling Tyrells still oppose Stannis. I'm glad you're not speaking to me directly, because that's not what I claim. Renly & Loras are not openly gay, but they ARE openly allied. This relationship began when Loras squired for Renly, and that's part of the point of squiring & fostering. Robert, Ned & Jon Arryn were allies because the former two were fostered at the Eyrie. Olyvar Frey (yes, a Frey of all people!) was kept away from the Red Wedding because squiring for Robb made him too loyal, even after Robb's breaking of the betrothal led to him being sent back & replaced by a Westerling. Squiring & marriage together across families seems to be a common thing: Edric Dayne goes to serve Beric when his sister gets betrothed, king Robert had two Lannister squires in A Game of Thrones. It's not at all odd that Mace liked Renly, even in the eyes of people unaware Renly sexuality you'd expect that for Mace to hitch his horse to Renly via Margaery. I won't deny that Renly is politically skillful either, but I don't think it because he got various lesser reacher lords to support him. Instead it's that during his tenure as lord of Storm's End he got many stormlords to support him, even though Stannis should have come first. Then after that he got Mace Tyrell to support his schemes to make Margaery into Robert's mistress and then Renly's queen. But once he got Mace on board, the other reachlords follow. The bedding ceremony is normative in westeros, and there are even witnesses for that reason. Even today, it would be considered very unusual if a married couple had a chaste wedding night. That Renly didn't consummate his marriage despite those norms and the political importance in this situation is strong evidence to me that he was not sexually interested in her. He could have overcome that disinterest to do his duty, but on that occasion when he was expected to do so, he didn't. Renly wasn't publicly supporting the incest allegations, but it would indeed be sensible for the kids to look legitimate. That doesn't mean he has to be the father though.
  15. DMBouazizi

    NBA Free agency 2018: Where's the King landing?

    I feel like Robert Williams and Lonnie Walker are being touted as "steals" primarily because of who drafted them. Anyway, sounds like Orlando was looking at Bamba or Young, and I'm fine letting the draft come to them in that regard. They're both pretty big hit or miss picks - except in almost exactly opposite ways. But such is life when the draft lottery gods punish you for getting Shaq, Penny (via Webber), and Howard within a dozen years. And man do the Magic really need a point. I expect them to resign Gordon, just wondering how much it will cost in the current market. Maybe they can trade Vucevic to save some money and find a 1 - or ideally the best perimeter scorer available - next year after sucking again.
  16. Yukle

    US Politics: Sit Up Straight and Show Some Respect

    You made me think of this:
  17. Hmmm, not a very good sign if the principle mind behind the whole story starts phoning it in before it ends.
  18. Jace thought it was fine, but she also didn't finish it on account of getting bored after David Cage completely abandoned all effort at a certain point in Kara's storyline.
  19. Universal Sword Donor

    Military Strengths and More!

    I would never take pot shots. That would be ill done, as Garland Tyrell would say.
  20. Jace, The Sugarcube

    US Politics: Sit Up Straight and Show Some Respect

  21. DMBouazizi

    US Politics: Sit Up Straight and Show Some Respect

    It's a hard liquor world now.
  22. FictionIsntReal

    Cersei's thoughts about Joffrey's betrothal to Sansa

    They just arrived, so that's when Cersei meets with them to discuss whatever it is they discuss. None of them (with the possible exception of Ilyn Payne, who still disobeys her at the end of the book and facetiously recommends her death in A Feast for Crows) are part of the Lannister conspiracy and none of them seem to think it odd that Cersei met with them. We've had Selmy's POV after everything happened, and he doesn't look back with regret on that meeting with Cersei being a pretext for Sandor to abandon his post. The High Sparrow stands out for his misogyny, but even he doesn't regard men as innocents. He tortures Osney Kettleblack who came to him to confess beyond what Cersei expected and into reversing his testimony (the Blue Bard did not reverse under further torture because he had gone insane). The accused are still being held in dungeons. Robert dreads the idea of Joffrey becoming king (pointing to it as the one thing keeping from abandoning the kingship and its responsibilities all together), but he doesn't actually do anything to prevent the future he dreads. The risk to Joffrey's future reign is precisely why it would be insane to attempt such a plot. Relying on Robert to prioritize the future of the Baratheon dynasty after he's gone (without Jon Arryn there to prod him toward long term political prudence) is foolhardy even for Cersei. Even if Robert declined to label Joffrey a rapist, Sansa Stark is the 11 year old daughter of a Great House. Other families will be disinclined to simply accept the official judgement of Joffrey's character. If Cersei really can't stand the thought of any of her children marrying, I suppose pre-emptively ruining their reputations as marital prospects is one approach to take.
  23. Seams

    A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Reread

    Before we move onto The Sworn Sword, I was really hoping to pin down something about two other knights in the Ashford Meadow tourney. Leo Tyrell and Robyn Rhysling were addressed in an earlier post. If the tournament is a Targaryen family technique for deciding who will ascend to the Iron Throne, though, why are knights such as Humfrey Hardyng and Humfrey Beesbury out on the field at all? Again I turned to an anagram. GRRM makes a point of creating a single phrase to describe the close and thrilling match between the two Humfreys, who are good brothers (brothers-in-law) as well as jousting opponents: It was, smallfolk and high lord alike agreed, a splendid day of jousting. Ser Humfrey Hardyng and Ser Humfrey Beesbury, a bold young knight in yellow and back stripes with three beehives on his shield, splintered no less than a dozen lances apiece in an epic struggle the smallfolk soon began calling The Battle of Humfrey. (The Hedge Knight) It's a little bit of an odd phrase, "The Battle of Humfrey," and it seems as if GRRM went to a lot of trouble to create a situation that allowed him to use the phrase in the story. Why would he go to the trouble? So I ran it through the anagram website. The most intriguing possibility, to me, is: The Battle of Humfrey = Theme of Butterfly Ah. I look for bigger words as more likely to be meaningful when playing around with anagrams, and butterfly is a biggish word. But I also know that there is a lot of symbolic overlap between this Ashford Meadow tourney and the melee at Bitterbridge, associated with Renly and Brienne and the Rainbow Guard. One of Renly's key supporters is Ser Mark Mullendore, whose sigil is black and orange butterflies strewn over white. He is one of the opponents Brienne defeats in the melee. Aside from the strong Ashford Meadow / Rainbow Guard link, the Mullendore butterfly sigil seems important to me because the orange and black butterflies could be a type of butterfly called a "monarch". Orange monarchs could explain why The Battle of Humfrey, and its hidden allusion to butterfly symbolism, is part of the Targaryen family tournament for the Iron Throne. Bonus clue. There are very few Mullendores mentioned in ASOIAF - the current Lord is Martyn Mullendore, mentioned only in the AFfC appendix. Then there is Mark, who gets the most ink of all the Mullendores. Third is a seemingly very minor footnote in a Jaime POV, as he reads the entry describing the achievements of Ser Barriston Selmy in the White Book, the history of the kingsguard: "In the Oldtown tourney, defeated and unmasked the mystery knight Blackshield, revealing him as the bastard of Uplands" (ASoS, Chap. 67, Jaime VIII). Uplands is the seat of House Mullendore, so the inference is that Blackshield is an illegitimate son of that House. But we know which warriors use black shields, don't we? And we know of a famous bastard currently in the Night's Watch. He isn't from Uplands but he is from The North, which is "up" if you're anywhere else in the Seven Kingdoms. I think the butterflies and Mullendores are symbolic placeholders, if that's the right word, for Jon Snow's eventual participation in the game of thrones. (The fact that Barristan defeats Blackshield should not be considered indicative that he will defeat Jon for the Iron Throne. Barristan embodies The Stranger, and I think he gets to defeat everybody. In the same entry in the White Book, he defeats Robert Baratheon, Oberyn Martell, Balon Greyjoy and Rhaegar Targaryen, among other high-powered and high born lords and princes. He continues to serve as a member of the King's Guard, not expecting to gain power for himself. Although all those guys do kinda die, don't they? Well, Valar Morghulis. Some of his other tourney opponents aren't dead, though. Yet.) So what do we know about Mark Mullendore? He has a pet monkey. The monkey is black and white and comes from the Summer Islands. He was a part of the wager over who would claim Brienne's maidenhead. Because he was part of the cruel betting pool, Brienne sought him out (along with others involved in the wager) and defeated him in the melee. He supports Stannis after Renly's death. He fights in the Battle of the Blackwater and loses part of his left arm and his monkey. He is captured and bends his knee to Joffrey. Taena of Myr tells Cersei that Megga Tyrell, Margaery's cousin, is attracted to Mark Mullendore and wants to help him obtain a new monkey. (Megga will probably be betrothed to Ser Bulwer, however.) Mark is one of the men Cersei falsely accuses of being Margaery's lover, and he is thrown into the dungeon of the Red Keep. Monkeys are associated with Tyrion to some extent (although not necessarily exclusively). In ACoK, a begging brother rants about corruption in [ King's Landing ], calling Tyrion Lannister a "twisted little monkey demon" who controls the abomination King Joffrey Baratheon. Tyrion is hurt by the title, and often uses it mockingly in reference to himself thereafter (wiki). Is it possible that Mark and his monkey represent Jon Snow and Tyrion? Is there a sort of two-headed Maelys the Monstrous allusion? Taena: "... Megga has a new suitor every fortnight. Once she kissed a potboy in the kitchen. I have heard talk of her marrying lady Bulwer's brother, but if Megga were to choose for herself, she would sooner have Mark Mullendore, I am certain." Cersei laughed. "The Butterfly Knight who lost his arm on the Blackwater? What good is half a man?" "Megga thinks him sweet. She has asked Lady Margaery to help her find a monkey for him." (AFfC, Chap. 24, Cersei VI) This passage about Megga Tyrell is more about playing the game of thrones, I think. Like Maegor's Holdfast and Margaery, Megga's name suggests someone involved in the "game" or maybe a personification of the game itself. So her choosing to help someone or seeking a romance could be a sign that she wants someone to advance in the game of thrones. More importantly for our analysis here, we get some additional clues about butterfly knights. Cersei thinks a butterfly knight would be undesirable because he lost an arm. She refers to him as half a man. Losing an arm and the "half man" label are associated with Cersei's brothers. So Mark Mullendore is somehow a symbol for Jaime and Tyrion all of a sudden? And the Cersei has him locked up for sleeping with the queen. Note, too, that Cersei will soon be searching for Tyrion after he kills Tywin. Megga wants Margaery to search for a monkey. Another parallel between the two queens? Where is GRRM going with this Mark Mullendore stuff? But remember, it's not a Mullendore theme; it's a butterfly theme. So let's take a step back and look at Other butterflies in ASOIAF. In the first Daenerys POV after that Jaime POV with the Bastard of Uplands, Dany thinks about her lonely life in the Great Pyramid of Meereen and the god of Missandei's people on the Island of Naath: Up here in her garden Dany sometimes felt like a god, living atop the highest mountain in the world. Do all gods feel so lonely? Some must, surely. Missandei had told her of the Lord of Harmony, worshiped by the Peaceful People of Naath; he was the only true god, her little scribe said, the god who always was and always would be, who made the moon and stars and earth, and all the creatures that dwelt upon them. Poor Lord of Harmony. Dany pitied him. It must be terrible to be alone for all time, attended by hordes of butterfly women you could make or unmake at a word. ... The butterfly spirits sacred to their Lord of Harmony protected their isle against those who would do them harm. Many conquerors had sailed on Naath to blood their swords, only to sicken and die. The butterflies do not help them when the slave ships come raiding, though. ,,, (ASoS, Chap. 71, Dany VI) The butterflies of Naath come up again at a tragic moment for Missandei, when her brother Mossador has been found dead, a victim of The Sons of the Harpy: When she returned to her rooms atop the pyramid, she found Missandei crying softly on her pallet, trying as best she could to muffle the sound of her sobs. "Come sleep with me," she told the little scribe "Dawn will not come for hours yet." "Your Grace is kind to this one." Missandei slipped under the sheets. "He was a good brother." Dany wrapped her arms about the girl. "Tell me of him." "He taught me how to climb a tree when we were little he could catch fish with his hands. Once I found him sleeping in our garden with a hundred butterflies crawling over him. He looked so beautiful that morning, this one ... I mean, I loved him." (ADwD, Chap. 11, Daenerys II) After a really bad day in which Dany puts up with Hizdahr, wearing a tokar, resumption of the fighting pit and talk of slave trade, followed by rejection of Quentyn Martell, Dany's thoughts turn again to butterflies: "On the morrow I must bathe in blood. The price of peace." She smiled wanly and patted the bed. "Come. Sit. Talk with me." "If it please you." Missandei sat down beside her. "What shall we talk of?" "Home," said Dany. "Naath. Butterflies and brothers. Tell me of the things that make you happy, the things that make you giggle, all your sweetest memories. Remind me that there is still good in the world." (ADwD, Chap. 50, Daenerys VIII) So Dany's butterfly references are strongly linked to brothers, like Cersei's association of the butterfly knight with losing an arm and being a half man. These passages with Missandei really drive home the point that Dany and Missandei have a lot in common: Dany feels that she was sold, like a slave, when she was betrothed to Khal Drogo. She wants to go home (to Westeros and/or to the red door) and her brother has been killed. If Missandei is a symbolic version of Daenerys, how do the butterflies of Naath relate to Dany's personal story? An important clue for the reader is the tightly-wound tokar that Dany wears in order to fit in with the high born people of Meereen. The garment is a sort of cocoon of silk, just what a caterpillar would need before turning into a butterfly. Butterflies are a great symbol not only of "monarchs," but of living things that "die" when they weave a cocoon and are transformed and reborn. By the end of ADwD, of course, we will see Dany emerge from her chrysalis and take flight (on the back of her dragon). If the cluster of symbols works in Dany's story the way it seems to work in other stories, this transformation to butterfly could finally take Dany to home and to a brother. Perhaps the brother will also undergo a metamorphosis to become a monarch butterfly. There are more details and links to this butterfly stuff - why Mullendore and Bulwer are juxtaposed as rivals for Megga's affection, whether Mollander is linked to Mullendore, the butter in butterflies as part of the dairy motif, other flies (e.g., the dragonfly knight) and the gems that may connect Humfrey Hardyng and Humfrey Beesbury and Mark Mullendore to Brienne. But it's late here. I'll try to throw those into another post next time.
  24. Deadlines? What Deadlines?

    SOLO: A Spoiler Story (contains spoilers)

    Don't forget this sassy little number http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/WA-7_service_unit That maternity droid with a giant shoehorn for a hand that delivered Luke and Laia in Ep. III, I'm not so sure about that one. If you include the rest of the new cannon, I'm pretty sure Clone Wars, Rebels and the comics have more than a few as well.
  25. Bernie Mac

    Military Strengths and More!

    oh whelp, Universal's taking pot shots at me, guess I'll bow out in defeat.
  26. Bernie Mac

    Renly was a dummy

    yup, at no point have I claimed differently, I was just disagreeing with your notion that the only reason the Reach lords rebelled was because of Mace. The books are pretty clear on the fact that some of those Reach lords are very fond of Renly. Again, all great points, but not sure why you are telling me them. I would have thought they were fairly well known. You may want to brush up on the meaning of the word 'explicitly' Stannis always resented being given Dragonstone while Renly got Storm's End, and took that as a slight... but it's not necessarily true that Robert meant it that way. He gave it as a possible reason, but that does not mean it was the reason or the only reason. I'd guess decisions on this magnitude are done for various reasons. An important factor was that Stannis was given Dragonstone because Robert needed someone he could both trust and was strong enough to command the lords who would have been the biggest Targ supporters. He also needs a strong leader to command his navy as his biggest worry, even still in AGOT, is an attack from Essos. Stannis is the very embodiment of Robert's 'stick'. he uses him to keep the Targ hardcore royalists in line while he also marries him to a Florent to warn the Tyrells that there are other options to rule the Reach. Renly was the 'carrot' the charming younger brother who made releations between the Crown and the Reach better through his friendship with the Tyrells, Rowans, Tarlys, Oakhearts and even, seemingly, the Florents. Yup, both good reasons. Not quite. Stannis was given Dragonstone in the aftermath of the war while Robert only gave away Storms End a couple of years later, we learn in ACOK from Stannis that Renly has only had it for 13 years. It also stems from his popularity with the likes of Rowan, Tarly and Oakheart. "If that is so, why is the Knight of Flowers not among you? And where is Mathis Rowan? Randyll Tarly? Lady Oakheart? Why are they not here in your company, they who loved Renly best? And of course Loras is not the only Tyrell fond of him. "Renly was brave and gentle, Grandmother," said Margaery. "Father liked him as well, and so did Loras." Now I am generalizing here, not speaking to anyone directly but there is this bizarre attitude from some corners of the fandom that Renly's support was built primarily on having a boyfriend. There is this bizarre need to discount his popularity, with both commons and nobles alike and put it all down to who he was sleeping with. Renly didn't get the raise the largest army we have seen in the history of Westeros purely on whichever Tyrell sibling he was schtupping, he got it because he shared an awful lot of similarities with his big brother Robert, people seemed to have just been willing to follow these guys Why would he? We know how noble marriage work in the medieval world, and they are remarkably similar in Westeros as we saw with Edmure or were told about Tywin and Joanna' wedding. There would have been witnesses. Renly is surround by her father's bannerman, no answer to that question is really dignified. Possibly, possibly not. I'm not sure that has been confirmed either way. We really don't know the guys sexual persuasion, he could be bi, nor do we know how seriously he would take his duties or even if he aspired to have his own children. Theres a lot we don't know about him, but I'd guess a man of GRRM's age would not be under the same belief that some in the fandom have that gay men would never sleep with a woman. Again, before the incest allegations that may even be true, after the allegations it is not something either Renly or the Tyrells could take a chance on. At least one Baratheon looking child would be expected.
  27. sperry

    NBA Free agency 2018: Where's the King landing?

    Suns had a great draft. Celtics got a top 10 talent at the end of the first round. Nuggets get Michael Porter Jr. at 14. Those were the big winners in my book. Kings went the safe but unexciting route with Bagley. Doncic is the wild card. The NBA internet is convinced he's an all-timer prospect. I haven't seen enough of him to have an opinion, but it's weird that teams weren't as high on him.
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