RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup

book2

Hey folks! As I begin to write up the final chapter analysis of A Clash of Kings, I thought I’d drop in with another Tumblr Roundup to tide you over:

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21 thoughts on “RFTIT Tumblr Weekly Roundup

  1. Winnief says:

    Or to make a long story short…greed can *never* be satisfied. And greed makes you stupid. (Look at what happened to the Boelyns!)

    And why Saltpans was a relatively wealthy community-pre Riverlands sack that is.

    Agree that Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon couldn’t have sold something like the destruction of castles, though maybe it would have been possible post Blackfyre-rebellion or after the Dance of the Dragons. And it could well happen post the current crisis as well…

    Is it wrong that the thought of Tywin’s whole damn army drowning in the Green Fork makes me feel wistful?!? That makes me a bad person right?!?

    Sadly, while Martin does tip the scales on a lot of things, I think the war crimes were actually well within the realm of possibility. Hell, look at the kind of atrocities that happen on the battlefield today.

    Always love your economic plans for Westeros, Steve!

    Agree there wouldn’t be much variation in the Common Tongue, but now that I think about it, it *is* a little strange that a land mass the size of Westeros even HAS a common tongue, without more regional dialects/languages to begin with.

    Can’t tell the Dornish whether its worth it to them to fight or not, but personally I think Torrhen Stark was one of the more sensible figures in Westerosi history. But again I wasn’t raised with the notorious Dornish sense of pride/warrior spirit was I?!?

    • I’m not sure why it’s always the Boleyns who get thrown around in this context, when the Seymours seem a better example of ambition. They really were pimping out Jane to Henry from the start, while Henry started chasing Anne Boleyn on his own and chased her for over a year before she even gave him a chance. Not to mention the later activities of the Seymour brothers.

      Come to think of it, people compare Margaery to Anne Boleyn, but book Margaery seems far more similar to Jane Seymour (from being pimped out to Robert to replace his unpopular queen, to the way she has the persona and public image of a perfect innocent lady, and the fact that the real Margaery and her feelings on all of it are a bit of an enigma), only with Anne’s fate of being framed and accused of adultery and treason. (Show Margaery is the historically inaccurate, popular culture version of Anne Boleyn.)

      • I think there are some stronger parallels with Anne Boleyn. First, there’s the numbering – Cersei is Robert’s first wife, Margaery would be the second. Second, there’s the bloodlines thing – the Seymours were a much older family than the Boleyns, which reminds me of the whole Tyrells as stewards thing. Third, as you point out there’s the framing for adultery thing, down to the dubious case of the minstrel and the possibly gay brother. Fourth, there’s the personality – Margaery’s rather outgoing and vivacious and politically active, whereas Jane was described as meek and rather retiring, whereas Anne was the more politically active queen.

        • The Tyrells *are* an old family. which was influential in the Reach way before Aegon the Conqueror’s time. They just weren’t royal at the time, 300 years ago, the way some other families in the realm were. They aren’t any less prestigious than the Baratheons, unless you consider the latter Durrandons. The “steward” thing sounds like simply a matter of inter-Reach rivalries (it’s spoken by a woman born as Redwyne, after all), nobody else in other regions ever seems to despise the Tyrells. i don’t think that the Seymours were *that* prestigious, and weren’t particularly distinguished until the reign of the Tudors. If anything, they were far less powerful and notable in England than the Tyrells are in Westeros.

          Anne Boleyn was outspoken and opinionated, and a passionate Reformist, which, among other things, made her quite controversial. Margaery is vivacious and politically active in the way that doesn’t rattle any feathers, she isn’t controversial in anyone’s eyes other than Cersei’s, her charity work and other political activities wouldn’t make her stand out as it’s just what’s expected from a queen, and only makes her and her family popular with the people. She is perfectly performing the persona of the feminine queenly ideal of sweetness and innocence, being just as vivacious and active as is required. Whether she’s really like that and who she really is, what she really wants, whether she’s highly ambitious or a mere pawn in the hands of her family, or something in between, is an enigma. Just like Jane Seymour is largely an enigma, down to whether she really was just naturally as meek and submissive as she is supposed to have been, or if she had to overplay that due to what Henry wanted from a wife at the time (and Jane did occasionally try to have some political say, she was against the dissolution of monasteries, but Henry quickly shut her up – and knowing how his previous wife ended up, it was better for her not to press too much).

          Book!Margaery strikes me as a mix of Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, rather than as simply an Anne Boleyn figure.

    • Glad you liked them!

  2. thatrabidpotato says:

    ‘ I would have let Tywin attack my position along the top of the hills and use a combination of spearmen and archers to mow down anyone who tries charging up that hill, while keeping my cavalry hidden behind the line of hills to be used only in emergencies (for example, if Marbrand’s right threatens to break my position).

    And when his infantry has been shot to pieces and his knights are lathered and de-horsed, that’s when I send my cavalry around his right, roll up the flank, charge my infantry down the hill and crack him wide open, and push his whole goddamned army into the Green Fork to drown. ”

    :’)

    I can almost see the glorious mountain of dead Lannisters. Thank you, Steven.

    • winnief says:

      Glad to know it’s not just me!

      Which I know is still wrong because as awful as the Lannister’s are its not fair to blame the peasants drafted into fighting for them…what we really needed here was some FM action on Tywin.

      I take an different attitude with anyone wearing Twins insignia. If you were awful enough to participate in the RW and *stupid* enough not to desert in the aftermath you’ve brought it in yourself. And let’s not get started on the kind of people you find working for the Boltons…

      • Grant says:

        That is going to be extremely expensive. Probably beyond what Robb could really pay even if he would use assassins.

        And what exactly are the people who were told to be part of the massacre going to do? Desert hundreds of miles or more from home, with no one anywhere around who would have any interest in helping them? Refuse orders to do this and get strung up for their trouble?

        • Winnief says:

          Well I said *like* the Faceless Men…he wouldn’t have needed an actual FM. And of course there was Arya and her murder genie.

          Fair points about the folks at the Twins, but its worth noting that a helluva the Frey’s men *are* deserting already by AFFC because they see the writing on the wall. Still there might be some not-so-bad ones roped into the mess as well who can’t see a way out so widespread slaughter isn’t right. Let them join the NW then.

          Probably the best thing would be to kill the ringleaders of the RW-then burn the Twins to the ground as being accursed and let the rest of the Frey’s go off and try to start over.

      • thatrabidpotato says:

        What, no mercy to Steelshanks Walton?
        And it’s not just peasants conscripts in the Lannister armies, I seem to recall they have a fair amount of knights. We can cheer for their gory deaths with a clear conscience!

  3. Haplo-6 says:

    It’s interesting that the horrors that are described in Martin’s work could be thought of as being worse than real life. I think a casual review of almost any conflict in any point in history would expose the shocking depravity that occurs when humans make war. Steven Pinker lays out a long history of the steady progress away from violence in his book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” The Middle Ages was brutal and ugly compared to the 20th century. Then you read something like Philip Gourevitch’s non-fiction classic, “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families,” or “The Rape of Nanking” by Iris Chang, and Martin comes across as mild in descriptions of violence towards civilians.

    Maybe it’s why I love AFFC so much; the consequences of all these high-born knights, lords, and ladies vying for power and wealth is revealed, and it sucks for 95% of the population. And I think what Martin is trying to express, is that this happens in every single conflict in history; the general population, particularly the poor, suffer most.

    • Winnief says:

      ITA. Anyone who thinks Martin’s over-stating the case should try watching Hotel Rwanda or read up on the Armenian massacre or about “Comfort Women,” in WWII.

      Hell look at the present situation in Darfur or Boko Haram.

      • Winnief says:

        Or what happened in the Balkans. And yeah mass rape, seems to be a constant among these conflicts to a sickening degree, so the sexualized nature of all the violence in the books isn’t just a lurid invention on Martin’s part either. Though, the show often goes too far in sensationalizing it no question.

    • “The Middle Ages was brutal and ugly compared to the 20th century. ”

      Really? I would say the exact opposite.

      • Haplo-6 says:

        Well, it’s mostly Pinker’s assertion. And murder rates in Western Europe have been crazy low since the beginning of the Cold War. In his words:

        “Statistics aside, accounts of daily life in medieval and early modern Europe reveal a society soaked in blood and gore. Medieval knights—whom today we would call warlords—fought their numerous private wars with a single strategy: kill as many of the opposing knight’s peasants as possible. Religious instruction included prurient descriptions of how the saints of both sexes were tortured and mutilated in ingenious ways. Corpses broken on the wheel, hanging from gibbets, or rotting in iron cages where the sinner had been left to die of exposure and starvation were a common part of the landscape. For entertainment, one could nail a cat to a post and try to head-butt it to death, or watch a political prisoner get drawn and quartered, which is to say partly strangled, disemboweled, and castrated before being decapitated. So many people had their noses cut off in private disputes that medical textbooks had procedures that were alleged to grow them back.”

        • First World War. The genocide of Armenians. Second World War. Holocaust. Concentration camps. Atomic bombs dropped on civilian population. Korean War. Vietnam War. Wars in the former Yugoslavia. Ruanda. Numerous other civil wars fought in Africa. The numbers of civilian victims of war (murdered, tortured, raped) are far, far greater, overall and proportionally, than in previous historical periods. Forced sterilization. Terrorist attacks on civilian populations. I could go on.

          Crime rates in Western Europe may be very low. But Western Europe is not the entire world. Crime rates are very high in many other countries. We may not see drawing and quartering or people with their noses cut off as a legal punishment if we live in, say, Europe or North America, but there are still countries that practice mutilation as a form of punishment. And as for the ‘civilized’ West… well, you won’t usually see mutilation in town square, but you’ll see shootings and bombings on TV all the time. The modern world prefers less hand-on and ‘cleaner’ forms of killing, which also allow the killing of many more people at the same time, without one necessarily even coming anywhere near them. And the rates of sexual assault, especially against women, are very high.

          • Haplo-6 says:

            Very true, all of it. However, the violent acts you described – murder, torture, rape, and genocide – have been occurring for thousands of years (the Cathars, the Crusades, and the horror that was the Protestant Reformation), and among a much smaller population base. So for most of the vast majority of humans living today, we are less likely to be the victim of violence.

  4. The first question is strange. Why ask that about medieval nobles, and not about modern politicians and tycoons?

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