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  2. I’m going to have to disagree with this bit. The image of the old woman with the bronze sickle, doesn’t so much play to my “prejudices” concerning witches from any outside stereotypes, it instead brings to mind a maegi already established in the series who also used a bronze instrument for what appeared to be a ceremonial slaying. And I think that may be intentional. Mirri using the bronze knife to cut the throat of the horse, so its spirit may be transferred to Drogo, may be an intentional parallel to what Bran is seeing through the tree. The old woman cutting the throat of a man perhaps so his spirt may be transferred into the Weirwood.
  3. TWoIaF does not only exoticise far away places like Yi Ti, Leng, or the Summer Isles, but also ephemeral cultures like the Ironborn (although we do have an aboriginal archmaester telling part of their history there), the Dornish, the Northmen (and especially there the crannogmen and Skagosi), and, of course, the wildlings. This is a trend the Yandel narrator continues very much with the cultures outside Westeros. This is intentional exoticism, I assume, although I imagine @Ran could tell us more about the intention behind the way Yandel talks about different cultures and peoples - and at times even about different species of men (which I found very racist when first reading it - all that crap about Ibbenese not being able to have offspring with other humans, etc.). And one has to consider that in context a place the Westerosi call 'the Summer Islands' clearly evoke a worldly paradise for them regardless how exactly the people there live - simply because it is a place of eternal summer, not touched or marred by winter. Which in this world is really a big deal. Even if the Summer Islanders were a very war-like people life there would be much better than in Westeros simply because there is no winter there - or no winter that includes snow and ice. If reports come from the Summer Isles telling that war on the islands is rare and always done in those ritualistic battles then this would be something that fits into a 'worldly paradise' narrative, but might not be the whole truth The actual Summer Islanders we meet in the books are not all nice people. Black Balaq commands the archers in the Golden Company, Jalabhar Xho is unhappy with his exile and apparently wants to convince Robert to help him with an invasion, Chataya turns her own daughter Alayaya into a whore (which isn't a decent profession in King's Landing) and exploits the other whores in her brothel the same way the proprietor of any other brothel in Westeros does. There is nothing voluntary about the sexual services these women provide. The crew of the Cinnamon Wind coaxes Samwell into sexual activities as well - which certainly do push his boundaries and might eventually be detrimental to his well-being thanks to his vows. Not to mention that they are not altruistic enough to just allow Sam and company tag along - they want money in exchange for their help. We also know the Summer Islanders are very secretive about their maps and the lands they discovered (they could have trade relations and colonies down in the south or even beyond the Sunset Sea), that they were not nice enough to Nymeria and her people to convince them to stay, and that they are more than capable to defend themselves and take on pirates and raiders of any kind. Considering that they seem to have been a very insular culture for most of their history - and seem to have no problems with resources, bad seasons, etc. - I don't think the way they settle things doesn't strike me as very odd. What reason for war could there be if they don't have to conquer new territories/resources? The whole temple sex thing also seems to fit well with historical temple prostitution and stuff. As a culture the Summer Islanders are less prude and more open about sexuality, but it is definitely not an ideal culture where young people are encouraged to see it as a duty to have sex with other people. That would certainly put pressure on at least some of them. In that sense I'd say the Summer Isles are not as idyllic as they seem to appear.
  4. I don't like ~17% being undecided or (worse) third party in any poll. It's not a dichotomy.
  5. Down almost 10 lbs from when I started my cut at the beginning of May, would like to cut about 10 more to really lean out and expect that to take a bit longer. Been doing a modified warrior diet with the vast majority of my calories coming at dinner and trying to lay off the sauce, limiting my alcohol intake to 1 or 2 low cal beers when I do indulge (found some decent 95 kcal IPAs at the LQ store). Feeling pretty good with my workout routine ATM
  6. I finished Clive Barker's Abarat: Absolute Midnight yesterday. I really enjoyed it. As one would expect from Clive Barker, it is a lot "darker" than most young adult literature, but it's not quite a "horror" novel in the same way many of his adult books are -- which is good for me, as I don't care much for "horror" since I tend to be disgusted rather than scared by many of the "horrific" scenes in the horror genre. The heroine of the Abarat books, Candy Quackenbush, is very resourceful and likeable. Near the end of this one she does get involved in a teenage romance which develops too quickly for my taste, but that's a very minor subplot. The main plot about the evil Empress trying to take over the Abaratian world was extremely inventive and absorbing for me. I recommend this to anyone who likes young adult literature and can deal with the "children's fantasy" trope of having a world made of islands where each island is stuck at a particular hour on the clock (8 am, midnight, 4 pm, etc.) Of course we also do have something of a GRRM/Rothfuss/Lynch problem with this series. Absolute Midnight is Book 3 in what is now projected to be a five book series. Book 1 came out in 2002, Book 2 in 2004, and Book 3 in 2011, and Book 4 is not out yet. Barker's fans can blame that on the fact that he illustrates the books as well as writes them, and these illustrations are paintings he's done. (The pictures are often more "horrific" to me than the writing.) There are well over 100 illustrations in Book 3, and many people seem to think finishing the pictures is slower for Barker than the writing is. Be that as it may, it's now been nine years since Book 3 with no indication that Book 4 is right around the corner, and some fans speculating Books 4 and 5 will never be published. Despite that problem, I do still recommend the first 3 books.
  7. I think that the hate is undeserved, the guy seems like a good kid. That said I don't think Aegon is better than Dany in anyway. Dany has experience as ruler, she has already lead armies and is a Conqueror... And well, we disagree in the indiscriminate bloodshed.
  8. Insulting people can be a act of love or hate. You is one silly old fogey church lady. See, you mean drunk. Andre the Giant would have had fun with you. Chappelle was a master at playing with race, and you can tell he's laughing at black people just as much as everyone else. He did exactly love the reaction he got though. Anyways, on race, he's great, but he's had some pretty noticeable blind spots over the years, and it was clear the jokes were intended to be mean, not playful. But hey, like I always say, comedians need to have more room than others to play with. And with that, a master class on joking about race:
  9. YESSS!!!!! Thank you!!! Everybody treats Euron as the 3rd Dark Lord of Arda, when it goes against everything this story stands for. Magic is dangerous, like a sword without a hilt, and the shit he is going for with the priests is clearly going to blow up in his face, probably resulting in a phyrric victory against the Redwynes.
  10. Aren't your local authorities telling people they should be doing social distancing in stores? I can believe that people in your local TJ Maxx are not obeying social distancing rules, but it is hard for me to believe that the authorities in your area are telling them that "packing themselves" inside the store is "OK". I think the size of most public swimming pools is such that if everyone DID obey the six feet apart rule at them, they wouldn't be able to allow enough people in at any one time to make it seem worthwhile for hiring the lifeguards. Whether or not the water is chemically treated has nothing to do with spreading Covid-19 -- it's who's close enough to breathe on you. People may not be properly obeying social distancing rules at beaches and lakes in your area, but they theoretically could be able to, which would be much harder at your average public swimming pool. (P.S. Plus it may not be the same people making the decisions about pools vs. beaches. Most public pools would be owned by individual cities or towns, while authorities that control beaches would usually be at the county or state level.)
  11. I know it's stupid. Dany fans realize that Aegon and Dany are going to clash so they make up all these ideas that make Dany be the knight in shinning amour. Like for real Dany is clearly going down a dark path, especially after gaining the Dothraki. Also why is everybody sure Aegon isn't legit. There is no proof saying he isn't. Yes it is likely he isn't legit but it's not provable. And let's be fair from what we know Aegon is a better King then Dany. He leads a well discipline Westerosi army instead of a bunch of literal savages with a very clear history of rape and genocide. He doesn't yet have any history of indiscriminate bloodshed, unlike Dany with the Great Masters. So why is all the Aegon hate?
  12. I don't know about that, I think Chappelle's humor stems from a very deep awareness about how the race issues of the US work and poking fun at that. Granted, that's just me speaking as a white European having watched his show back when I was a kid. But the only thing I put against him is making the experience that while a white dude in blackface is offensive, a black dude in whiteface is the stuff of nightmares!
  13. The selection sucks, but there's little "pocket" libraries all over where I live. It's basically a little cabinet on a pole where everyone and anyone can borrow a book, drop one off, etc. Some good Samaritan installs it at the street by their house for their neighbors to use freely. I don't know how germ-free they are, but it's easy to just wipe a book down with an alcohol wipe and enjoy! I've gotten some pretty good books from ours. Don't expect much, of course, but it's better than nothing or rereading your own books for the umpteenth time. I too feel really bad for the kids, especially high school age.
  14. Fair enough. I'll phrase it another way. Varys has spies where the story calls for him to have spies.
  15. Today
  16. I broke my rule about going to the US and attended a Pokémon Go fest last summer in Chicago, held along the waterfront. And I was there for my first Worldcon in 2011, and flew in a few times before that when I worked for Motorola in the 80s, (not the 90s, time flies!). It was so sad to see the violence going on. I’m glad you took that day trip last weekend out to the countryside before all this happened. This too shall pass. I hope saner heads start talking to each other soon.
  17. I'm glad Biden is being visible, but his team better be taking every single precaution imaginable. If he gets COVID-19 we're so fucked. In the opposite of getting fucked, the early polls say that this ain't 1968:
  18. Surprise, surprise White supremicist tattoos on the guy who tried to burn a Nashville Courthouse. https://mobile.twitter.com/MiaMBloom/status/1267483497914138624
  19. It would have made little to no difference. Stannis is a strong man who makes his own decisions. We cannot put blame on Selyse for what Stannis has become. He is what he is. His stock rose after the rebels won. The choices for wife is wide open. Still there were hard feelings remaining. Wounds are still raw to pick a bride from one of the Targaryen Supporters. Feelings drive the political views. The Tyrells, Hightowers, Martells, and Greyjoys would have made for an awkward in-laws.
  20. Great comedy doesn't come from a place of love. Even good comedy rarely does. Yes she's on the list. One of Biden's closer allies - and Clyburn's - really. Interestingly, Bottoms and Abrams have been political rivals within Georgia politics for quite a while.
  21. Man the recurring characters on DS9 were just the best, in some ways they even out shinned the main characters; this is especially true when it came to Garak. I often wonder just how better of a show Voyager would have been if they kept Seska alive and didn't make her a villain. I really do consider that character as Garak in the hands of stupid writers. Instead of making her a loyal crew member who's always willing to get the job done in the most scummy way possible, they just made her into a straight up villain, which sadly made the character less interesting.
  22. Trying to not derail too much, so just to clarify, I do think it's Joff just as GRRM says, but I think we haven't been told who helped him or the nature of that help. Bold: Tyrion's slap was over Joff not paying his respects over Bran. That scene began with Joff wanting to kill Summer for all of the howling and ended with Sandor's ominous warning that Joff would remember that slap over Bran.
  23. He did say his characters are in dark places right now. I assume that to mean they are doing things that are morally suspect.
  24. Lynesse would have been 14/15 when Stannis was married, so maybe a suitable age. But we have no idea how Hightower - Baratheon relations were at that point. She may not have been an option to some lingering bad blood or even the Hightowers not waning to make that kind of alliance to a fairly new dynasty. Robert's crown at the start of the series or even after the Greyjoy Rebellion will have been far more secure than it was in the years after Robert's Rebellion. Robert was in need of strategic alliances and heirs. He may not have had time to hope for the Tyrells or Hightowers to come round
  25. I don't have time to catch up on 20 pages of this thread, but it has not been a good few days here in Chicago. I'm heartsick at all of it. Even now I can hear sirens and the news choppers overhead intermittently. The mayor's press conference this morning was not at all reassuring.
  26. Bane was born in the pit it makes complete sense he will rise from the pit again. Part of me wants him to join Harley's gang but I'm concerned that might be too much of a good thing. I'm also hoping the show does a "suicide squad" episode where the gang are forced into heroics. It might be a good chance to test bane as a team member
  27. I’m very impressed with the mayor of Atlanta. Is she experienced enough to be on the VP list?
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