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  2. Peadar

    Second Quarter 2019 Reading

    As part of my Hugo reading, I'm going to move on to Artificial Condition by Martha Wells.
  3. I can't believe they reduced Cersei to a weeping, frail ostensibly sympathetic villain. Up until The Bells, they had portrayed her as one of the shows most vindictive villains. The writers gave her even more short shrift than Danaerys imo. And don't get me started on what they did to the vestiges of 'Jaime.'
  4. Knight Of Winter

    What binds people together (?)

    Is it? Monkeysphere (and in-group vs out-group distinction in general) is as old as humans - or even older - appearing in every person in every society ever made. Latter two are not: nationalism, as we now understand it - started to develop only in 19th century. Racism as well - it was fa(aa)r from norm in human history. I've even heard Harari speak how nationalism could be considered as a step in tight direction. Before, people felt loyalty to their immediate family, friends and colleagues. Nationalism far broadened the scale, making people loyal to millions of strangers whom they've never met before. Next logical step would be to include not only one nation, but entire humanity into that circle of loyalty (as much as human nature allows, of course. People will always i.e. put interests of their kin ahead of interests of stranger; no matter how nationalistic or humanistic they are). Speaking of which, I think he was on the right track when he wrote about the very issue this thread is about: what binds people together. For smaller numbers (up to Dunbar's number linked by Kalbear): it's informal stuff such as loyalty based of kinhsip or friendship, common goals, shared interests etc. The concept of monkeysphere refers to this type of relationships: always informal and always on personal level. For larger groups, on the other hand, it's always a shared belief in some abstract common myth, and this can be applied to nations, religions, money, political parties etc.
  5. RFL

    Independent North

    We are told how great the northmen are. Lets exempt those that went south with Robb and were killed at the Red Wedding because those men seemed to be willing to stand up to anyone right up to the point of execution or a dire wolf taking off their fingers. Those remaining in the north seem to be, by vast majority, followers. I mean look how hard of a time Jon had finding people to fight Ramsey. We are left without the subterfuge of the Lord of White Harbor shown in the books even. The moment Jon wins they were all like "King in the North" which to me was more about "please don't make us think about anything" No one objects to Sansa like ever. When Lady Mormont stood up and said that were any of the other "leaders" in the north really of the personality to object? Non-confrontational doesn't even begin to describe it
  6. Feather Crystal

    Heresy 222 vindication

    There have been many discussions on the identity of the stone giant full of black blood, and all the suggestions and theories have some merit. I have been a proponent that the stone giant is Littlefinger, and later I thought it might be Robert Baratheon, however I am now beginning to suspect that the stone giant’s identity is much bigger in size and strength than any one man, and am influenced by GRRM’s modeling of the Faith of the Seven on the Catholic Church. The Andals brought the Faith of the Seven to Westeros and the tradition of knighthood along with it. Knights are romanticized both in the books and in real life, but we also know knights are capable and guilty of horrible atrocities. Sandor Clegane represents the ugly truth under the armor. He not only recognizes and accepts what he is, but he points out the hypocrisy of other knights, especially the Kingsguard. Robert Baratheon should be included in the symbolism of the giant in armor even if readers don't think of him as being a knight, but don't forget he was an Andal and trained as a knight, and I believe he played a hidden part in Lyanna's abduction either as the Smiling Knight or a direct parallel of the Smiling Knight. His bloody horror of a smile on his bed of blood is our clue. Furthermore, I suspect he was a willing pawn of the Faith of the Seven, grooming and encouraging him as their "Smith", whereas Tywin Lannister was their "Father". For these reasons, I believe the Faith and it’s Citadel are the anonymous darkness and thick black blood inside the armor.
  7. Lord Varys

    Aegon VI

    Tyene isn't going to kill anyone in the Red Keep. If a Sand Snake does that, it would be Lady Nym who had been sent to take Doran's seat on the Small Council. She would actually reside in the Red Keep, no need to infiltrate anything. But that all depends whether there still is a Small Council for her to sit in when she arrives, not to mention that she has to get there at all. There is a chance that the Golden Company captures her on route to KL.
  8. without knowing the end-games of Stoneheart, Aegon, Connington, Belwas, Arienne, Darkstar, and Victarion.... (also what Illyrio's end game is). I'd say it was Vargo Hoat and the Bloody Mummers. I know they were generally supplanted by a band of Boltons... but I felt they really carried a lot of the ambient danger in what would have been seasons 2-4ish. It was an interesting and brutal collection of villains. We were also missing elements of Gregor's brutality as well. Biter and Rorge, while werent missing were essentially written out. The whole "weasel soup" twist with Arya/Jaqen and her 'wasting' her last assassination to speed along the inevitable turncloaking of the bloody mummers, freeing, Northern prisoners, and handing Harrenhall off to Roose Bolton (who was a very grey area 'good guy' at this point).... was a great thread.
  9. martianmister

    Is it the End, or a new Cycle begins?

    New cycle. Targaryen progeny will rise in the north as the Kings beyond the Wall, Little Council with "little men" will eventually be a center of corruption, Drogon will return, etc.
  10. sologdin

    Small, unworthy things: part whatever

    Have you reached official old age, even if you just turned 31, because you think the current music scene is beyond awful? to qualify as 'old' on these grounds, one'd need to suffer acute méconnaissance when confronted with new music, interpreting it instead as mere noise. am nostalgic for when i had thought, at 30, that the grave opened before me like a large hole in the ground.
  11. Mystical

    Master thread on what the Show means for the book plot

    I could see this being GRRM's endgame for Bran because he is fond of those all-knowing, hive-minded entities (they are all over his stories) but I can't see how GRRM would get him there without taking major short cuts (aka time jumps). And even then, the populace of Westeros would need a major shift in their thinking in order to accept him. Society doesn't change over night and neither does political thinking or political system or religion. He's literally a boy, crippled, possibly can't father children, his power comes from Gods everyone south of the North would see as evil...he literally has everything stacked against him becoming King of Westeros.
  12. Ruki88

    Moral of each characters story?

    Good people get stabbed in the back. No matter how much good you do you'll end up betrayed if it means other ppl can get their greedy little hands on their piece of the pie...and your piece of the pie.
  13. Tywin should have done that anyways, its his biggest character flaw, even more so than his excessive brutality over Tyrion's fisrt wife. Its the most understandable one, but seriously man. Either that or naming Kevan and Kevan's descendants as his heirs. I do wonder what Stannis would do with Dany, and Viserys really. Especially if she goes far enough in her character arc to raise dragons from the eggs. I have read credible theories that they were at the Sealord's palace before they went on the run throughout the Free Cities. Perhaps Stannis brings them back? Or has them hunted down and killed earlier? Viserys is the real issue, only the Dornish would get behind Dany.
  14. What do ice and fire represent in the context of the story? All that we really know is that ice and fire are seemingly dualistic things. There are a lot of contrasting concepts that could represent ice and fire Pragmatism Vs Passion, Dragons Vs Others, Winter Vs Summer, Death Vs Life and R'hlorr Vs Great Other. Rhaegar seemed to have believed that the song of ice and fire was about finding some sort of merger between the two elements. What place does the COTF's song of earth have in this? Assuredly, earth has something to do with nature. The song of earth seems to be outside of the song of ice and fire. It seems to be an outside force in ice Vs fire. Perhaps it's a neutral force that stops one force from becoming dominant. After all, no matter if it's winter or summer, nature still remains and balances out the two. This makes sense, but it doesn't really explain why the COTF oppose mankind. It would be assumed that mankind do not sing the song of earth otherwise the Children of the Forest would be fine with them. This could mean that mankind sways to much to either ice or fire. I have a different idea than this. I think that earth represents harmony, nature, balance, and the unchanging mankind. Mankind represents something totally different from this. Humans struggle for power, they exploit the natural world and they represent progress over stagnancy. These things don't seem to with align with ice or fire, but rather a totally different song. When thinking of an element that opposes earth, we think of air, but I don't see how that represents humanity well. For a lack of a better term I think that they sing the song of metal (iron and steel sounds cooler but I regress). Humans oftentimes use metals to achieve dominance and progress. They use metal weapons to achieve their goals. On top of that, mankind believes that metals such as gold and silver represent power, and most spend their lives trying to acquire it. The First Men also used axes to chop down the weirwoods. Remember that the COTF use dragonglass as weapons as opposed to metals. The pursuit of scientific progress is also represented by the maesters and their metal chains. I've said previously that I think that earth is neutral in the conflict of ice and fire, but oppose metal. So that brings into question if metal is also neutral in this conflict. Well, kind of. Humans generally oppose harmony, going to one extreme or the other. Individuals definitely pick sides, however humanity as a whole is split on ice and fire (passion vs pragmatism, etc.) This means that there is a lot of infighting, unlike COTF. There's so much infighting that people can't see the big picture that the seasons are out of balance and winter is coming. This basically balances humanity in the ice vs fire conflict but that doesn't make them neutral. COTF are more like peacekeepers while humans are belligerents. It may be worth noting that the title, ASOIAF is said to be based on a Robert Frost poem in which someone is split on whether the world should end in ice or fire. Either is extreme but there isn't a choice for an in-between in which neither element becomes dominant. The narrator may represent humanity as a whole being split between extremes. Rhaegar seemed to believe that his third child would be the song of ice and fire. Perhaps this means that he/she will be the one to bring harmony to the seasons or represent a fusion of the two elements. What do you guys think?
  15. Yes, this is the frustrating thing for me - Jon wasn't so dumb in the books. In the show we got action hero Jon, the greatest swordsman (??), honorable Jon. Apparently, D&D were so impressed by Kit being capable of handling a sword that they decided to give him more sword battle scenes. Hence how Jon the action hero, best swordsman was born. It irks me because little by little we see book!Jon realize how honor doesn't mean as much as his father taught him, not in the real world, so to speak. This was such an awesome thing for me since I wasn't a fan of Ned frankly. All those plans he made for Stannis. All those plans on how to improve the Waych and how to man it. Naaaaaah, Jon wielding a sword and being constantly called short and pretty are obviously more important to show on screen.
  16. Yeah, it tells us we're not all hapless stooges who will accept whatever crap is crammed down our throats.
  17. Mordant Jester

    Rank the seasons!

    Tough one 1. Season 4. Nailed it and Oberyn was terrific. 2. Season 3. Hit Storm of Swords well (along with Season 4). Red Wedding done fairly well. 4. Season 6. Battle of the Bastards was the Greatest Episode in TV ever, and the finale, perhaps the 2nd or 3rd best. 3. Season 5. Hardhome was great and a top 3 episode. The Dorne plot didnt affect me like it did others. High Sparrow 5. Season 1. Classic, although there is little "action" and takes 3-4 episodes to start rolling. Best adaptation of the books, which makes me want to rank it higher. 6. Season 2. Qarth was butchered. 7. Season 8. I didnt like the rush job. The two battle episodes were great. 8. Season 7. The conception of the idea and the poor execution of the mission beyond the wall (as well as the 'ease' of escape) were by far the lowest point in the series and was nearly a show-ruiner for me. That sequence is all I can think of while pondering Season 7
  18. Fragile Bird

    U.S. Politics: You Didn't Think It Would Be So Easy, Did You?

    ‘Looks up Westeros restraining ordets’
  19. A Horse Named Stranger

    UK Politics: The End of May

    How about Andrea Loathsome or Chris Grayling? I mean if you want to go stupid, why stop half-way, when you go the whole grayling. The Tories have so much first class talent to choose from. The last time I saw such a dense group of political talent was during the last GOP primary in the US; and in the end that worked out for the best in the end...
  20. Gerg Sknab

    Where to start....

    Maybe Dunc and Egg.
  21. Cas Stark

    Master thread on what the Show means for the book plot

    The show has hated and minimized Bran's story since he left Winterfell. So, my guess is that the ONLY reason the show made him King is because this happens in the books, it was completely out of left field and makes no sense, and there easy and obvious thing for the show to do is have a great council rule without a king, but they had Bran be King so I believe absolutely this happens in the book story. And I'd further say, it's another sign of why GRRM will never finish the series because I can't see him being able to set up Bran as King in less than 3 books, especially if the war against the dead isn't until Dream of Spring.
  22. Daenerys has magic powers. I thought that was already established. She's like Daenys the Dreamer all over again.
  23. SeanF

    Moral of each characters story?

    Dany If you have senior advisors who keep giving your stupid advice, get rid of them.
  24. As I said, it is about what can be done and what needs to be done. Dany could have flown over the city and blown up the Red Keep and Red Keep alone. That is not an option that ground-bound army has. Stannis didn't do anything good? In the backstory, he did a lot of good. Even in the series itself, he defended the Wall against the Wildlings. Not sure whether him ordering his castellan at Dragonsone to dig up obsidian for the Night's Watch was included into TV show or not.
  25. Good thing that what happens off screen or is said off screen doesn't matter. It's not part of canon. Not that the canon on screen isn't already dumb enough...
  26. Lady Rhodes

    Heresy 222 vindication

    Not necessarily. The theory posits that all of her warmth went into the sword, leaving her as cold as ice. Meaning, she was not an Other until she was sacrificed. The act of the sacrifice turned her into a female Other.
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