RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! Now that Politics of Dorne (and with it, the entire Politics of the Seven Kingdom series) is done, it’s back to ASOS (which I know will make some of you very happy indeed). Also, I should have an exciting book-related announcement in a day or two.

In the mean-time, we’ve got Tumblrs:

ASOIAF

Non-ASOIAF

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11 thoughts on “RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

  1. Steven Xue says:

    One thing about the pre-conquest Riverlands that I don’t get is if their natural defenses are really that sucky, at some point shouldn’t they have built large scale defensive structures to better fortify their borders? Was it really that hard for a river-king to build a network of forts along the edges of their frontiers or better yet build a series of great walls at the boundaries of their kingdom. That seemed to be how many countries in ancient times that were not blessed with natural barriers defended themselves from constant invasions. So its pretty strange to me that the Riverlands never made any attempts to do so.

    • Grant says:

      I’d argue their weakness is internal that allows for external intervention. For whatever historical reasons, they kept having to watch their backs around each because every time one was distracted or rising up, they were attacked by their neighbors. Even when they had the good circumstances and fortune of a unifying house like Justman, events, circumstances, and probably that long history of disunity meant that they had centuries of unity compared to neighboring millennia (yeah that’s improbable but let’s just set aside the exact length of time as fantasy).

    • Sean C. says:

      Yeah, one of the worldbuilding things about the Riverlands that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me is the lack of fortifications around the major fords. If the Ruby Ford is so important, for instance, you’d expect it to be somebody’s seat.

  2. Keith B says:

    Wyman Manderly … planning to die.

    It could well be that he does die before he end of the story. He might already be dead as of the end of ADWD. We don’t know how serious his injuries are. Aside from that, he’s an old man by Westerosi standards, and he’s morbidly obese. But he’s not acting like a man with a death wish. He’s building ships, he’s plotting revenge against the Freys, he pledged to support Stannis if Davos can fetch Rickon back from Skagos, he’s well aware that having Rickon gives him effective control of the North at least until he grows up, and he spoke to Davos about the strength and wealth he has available to carry out his plans. These aren’t the actions of a man who intends to die in the near future. This is a man who wants to live at least long enough to complete his vengeance and see his enemies defeated. He may even have in mind marrying Rickon to Wylla. He could be thwarted, he could die anyway, but he’s not resigned to it. He has a purpose and wants to see it fulfilled.

    • Eric Ellis says:

      He could be relying on his son to follow through on all of those plans though.

      • Keith B says:

        Nothing that Manderly said or did indicates that he’s ready to have his son take his place. He was making his plans before he knew his son was coming home, even before he knew his son was alive. When he talks to Davos it’s about what he intends to do, not his son. The only thing he wants from his son is to get him back.

        Manderly has been following a consistent strategy in both White Harbor and Winterfell. He is giving the impression that he’s un-threatening and harmless until it’s time to strike. As Barbry Dustin says to Theon:

        The fat man would like to kill us all, I do not doubt, but he does not have the belly for it, for all his girth. Under that sweaty flesh beats a heart as craven and cringing as … well … yours.

        But we know this isn’t true. Manderly is putting on an act, and it’s good enough to fool even Lady Dustin, who is supposed to be one of the shrewdest characters around.

        What’s the plausible reason for Lord Manderly to want to die? Is he in such great pain that death appears to be the only way out? There’s nothing in the books to show that’s the case. Has he lost everything and has no reason to go on living? Not at all. He lost one son. He still has the other, and a wife and granddaughters. He’s still Lord of White Harbor. Does he have nothing left to live for? On the contrary. There’s plenty he can do and is doing to defeat his enemies and promote his family’s fortunes. Does he feel his work is complete? Of course not. He’s not done as long as the Boltons and Freys control the North. It makes no sense at all to suppose he wants to die. It’s completely contrary to his actions, his character, and his goals.

        But then there’s the fact that Hosteen Frey attacked and may have seriously wounded him. And the only proper response to that is “so what?” To assume Manderly meant for that to happen just because it did is a form of presentism. Or maybe a better word would be over-determinism. Since so many people in ASOIAF actually are secretly plotting, and a big part of understanding the book is inferring the hidden plans and motives, there’s a tendency to believe that everything is the result of some secret purpose. But there are many other events that happen that aren’t part of any plan because nobody could have foreseen them.

        Manderly is holding back a lot of anger. He’s not always entirely successful. He had insulted Hosteen before and gotten away with it. Nobody knew Hosteen would attack him until his remark about Little Walder. Nobody knew he would say that until Hosteen accused him of murder. Nobody knew Hosteen would make that accusation until Little Walder’s body was brought in. And nobody but Big Walder knew that would happen. And Big Walder could not have foreseen the sequence of events that followed. So there’s no plan here to commit suicide by Frey. Manderly isn’t a meek man and he can’t pretend every second of every day, even though he’s fooled everyone including Lady Dustin. And Hosteen had a violent temper and was already angry about his missing relatives. Little Walder was his breaking point.

        Wyman Manderly wants to overthrow the Boltons. He wants to destroy the Freys. He wants to be the most influential Lord in the North. He wants to restore the Starks. He wants revenge on his enemies. He wants to see it happen. That’s what he wants. His actions and his words to Davos proves that’s what he wants. And he can only get what he wants by being alive and not dead.

  3. Abbey Battle says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS Maester Steven – I trust that the Ravens have brought you glad tidings and that the Archmaesters will overlook your family occasions just this once … and throughout the coming year.

    In all seriousness Keep Well and if you cannot keep well then get better soon.

  4. About mutants (and Inhumans) – I wrote a comment on my Tumblr, but I don’t know if you’re read it, because of that thing where you reblog an answer to an ask and add your own comments, and the notes only show you’ve reblogged… (Why does this happen?) So I’m copy pasting it here.

    …“ show me a persecuted minority that wasn’t believed to be dangerous to the majority or to have unnatural abilities” is not a very good argument – because the mutants and the Inhumans do have dangerous powers that are different than anyone else’s and are, in fact, notably genetically different than the rest of humans to the point where they could legitimately be considered a separate ‘race’ (or sub-species). None of this has ever been the case with actual persecuted human minorities. The things that are merely propaganda and lies when it comes to the real world persecuted minorities, are actual facts when it comes to mutants and Inhumans. All the more when you feature characters like Magneto (or Jiaying or Hive on AoS) as villains actually endangering the human race.

    Does that mean it’s OK to hate all mutants/Inhumans, be prejudiced towards them and oppress them? Of course not. But a straightforward parallel to the real world racism or homophobia this is certainly not. In fact, I would say, if your goal of using these groups as metaphors for real life oppressed minorities is to change the opinions of people who are racist or homophobic, well, that may just be the worst possible way to go about it. If someone is racist or homophobic, I can’t see how reading or watching stories about mutants could possibly make them change their minds. (Not to mention the fact that, if you want to send the message that, say, hating black people is awful and stupid – well, just make that point, just as it is. There’s no need for any metaphors, let alone questionable ones.)

    Which doesn’t mean that I see those real world parallels as useless or harmful – as long as they are done well, and not done in the 1:1 way. If we assume that the target audience for these stories aren’t racist or homophobic people whose minds you want to change, but people who already despise racism and homophobia, so saying these things are bad to them is preaching to the converted – then the fact that the metaphor is so imperfect can be a strength rather than the weakness. It’s far more understandable for people to feel some fear and discomfort about people with ingrained superpowers that could easily – maybe even unintentionally, due to the lack of control – kill a bunch of people or destroy Earth – than it is for people to hate others just because of the color of their skin or the shape of their eyes, or their choice of sexual partners. This, in itself, brings a lot more moral ambiguity and complexity to these stories, since people with some degree of fear or discomfort or even prejudice towards mutants or Inhumans don’t have to look immediately evil and/or stupid and/or ignorant, how they got to feel that way -as 21st century people – is far more understandable, and this can result in more interesting storytelling.

  5. Sean C. says:

    Also, I should have an exciting book-related announcement in a day or two.

    You raided GRRM’s office and stole a draft version of TWOW?

  6. On Wyman Manderly, I think you’re forgetting his comment to Davos on guest gifts; Davos tells us that they’re given when the guest departs, and Wyman makes sure to say that he gave them guest gifts before they left. It seems pretty clear that he didn’t murder the Freys until after they had taken leave of his hospitality, and thus he hasn’t technically broached guest right by killing them.

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