Books, baby!



  • I didn't want to hijack the recommendation thread, but I did want to say that Octopus! is a fantastic read and there is a lot of cephalopodian awesomeness, from the dinner table to the military lab.

    Also, I need more knitting books. I might be picking up some tiny owl knits books, Knits for nerds or Vampire Knits. Tudor Roses has some gorgeous patterns, but those look headspinningly difficult.


  • Admin

    If anyone's been into the gunpowder-and-magic thing, The Autumn Republic is now out. Pretty solid read.


  • Admin

    I don't even know if it belongs in this thread but.

    (GoT Spoilers)

    ...

    For those who've watched uhm, an uncertain number of episodes from the newest season of Game of Thrones, holy shit are they diverging from the books considerably now! I didn't see it coming, with a few exceptions they were mostly faithful... now major characters are starting to get waaay off course.

    I think the biggest pivotal point was the decision to take Lady Stoneheart out of the equation. Once that happened Brienne 's quest had to be repurposed. Then shit got real.



  • I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa. I hate Sansa.


  • Pitcrew

    Daenerys is being way too angsty and is way too willing to listen to the Masters' bullshit sob stories.

    A real conqueror would've had their desecrated remains hung from the city walls.


  • Politics

    I like Sansa. She's strong in unexpected ways. Littlefinger continues to make me cringe every time he's on screen. Jaqen is awesome. Daenerys is running into the easily foreseeable problems that someone who is royalty and wants to continue being royalty will run into when trying to rule a society full of newly liberated slaves and their former masters. Anyone who didn't see this coming isn't paying attention to class perspective.


  • Admin

    George Martin himself said that he didn't like how in Lord of the Rings Tolkien tells us Aragorn is a great King but he doesn't tell us how. Like, for example, after Sauron's defeat there are still hundreds of thousands of orcs around in the mountains, does he put them to the sword? Go in and kill those orc babies? What about the humans who sided with the Enemy?

    If nothing else the series is always about how getting the Iron Throne is easy (look at how many people have sat it already during the course of the series/books alone!) but staying on it is hard.


  • Politics

    Tolkien had a huge hard-on for his own characters, which is to be expected, since many authors (and roleplayers) fall in love with their creations in one way or another. G.R.R.M., from what I've been able to gather, doesn't have that "problem". (I use quotes because sometimes it's that very passion that creates such compelling stories.) This isn't to say that I don't think Martin doesn't like his creation, but I think he sees the characters as moving parts rather than individuals, which is good for what he's creating.


  • Admin

    As for Dany, I think the series (and the books) do a fairly good job of portraying someone who's intelligent and whose heart is in the right place, but she's inexperienced and struggling to keep up while she has very few people to count on. There's no manual for what she's doing, next to everything she does is breaking new ground, from trying to control her dragons to dealing with deeply dividing social/class clashes in kingdoms she doesn't even want to rule (but feels she's responsible for).

    I dunno, I like it. She's not supposed to be infallible. Only to be struggling to do a basically impossible job.


  • Pitcrew

    @coin I disagree. Decimating the existing noble class and filling the void with those loyal to you is an entirely legitimate, if brutal tactic, and in this case one she probably should've employed.

    To paraphrase the War Nerd:
    Buy the corrupt. Make sure they know to stay bought.
    Spare the incompetent and the used-up figureheads.
    Brutalize the ambitious members of the old elite, ESPECIALLY the most egregious, if your conquest had a moral imperative (like Daenerys' did). Do not spare them, because they will come back to haunt you.

    To which I would add: empower those who have a reason to love you and loathe the old order. Make sure they stay empowered. Find the best of them. Give them land, titles, money, and men.


  • Pitcrew

    Also? That bit with the old slave in Season 4 was bullshit. Would his old master not have taken him in without some sort of writ of ownership? In that case, that institutionalized old man's tears were meaningless and he didn't know what was good for him.



  • @Coin said:

    Tolkien had a huge hard-on for his own characters, which is to be expected, since many authors (and roleplayers) fall in love with their creations in one way or another. G.R.R.M., from what I've been able to gather, doesn't have that "problem". (I use quotes because sometimes it's that very passion that creates such compelling stories.)

    From his interviews, I get the feeling that he does have this attachment to Tyrion. And Tyrion's one of the more compelling figures in the story, so that's kind of telling in and of itself.


  • Politics

    @The-Tree-of-Woe said:

    To paraphrase the War Nerd:
    Buy the corrupt. Make sure they know to stay bought.
    Spare the incompetent and the used-up figureheads.
    Brutalize the ambitious members of the old elite, ESPECIALLY the most egregious, if your conquest had a moral imperative (like Daenerys' did). Do not spare them, because they will come back to haunt you.

    How machiavellian.


  • Politics

    @The-Tree-of-Woe said:

    @coin I disagree. Decimating the existing noble class and filling the void with those loyal to you is an entirely legitimate, if brutal tactic, and in this case one she probably should've employed.

    To paraphrase the War Nerd:
    Buy the corrupt. Make sure they know to stay bought.
    Spare the incompetent and the used-up figureheads.
    Brutalize the ambitious members of the old elite, ESPECIALLY the most egregious, if your conquest had a moral imperative (like Daenerys' did). Do not spare them, because they will come back to haunt you.

    To which I would add: empower those who have a reason to love you and loathe the old order. Make sure they stay empowered. Find the best of them. Give them land, titles, money, and men.

    You're missing the point of my post (and giving Daenerys way more credit than someone of her age and position, with her upbringing, should get at this juncture). My point is, she's royalty. She's part of the nobility, and the fact that she sits on a throne and declares herself ruler is in itself an indication that she sees those differences and accepts them.

    So howevermuch she may be against slavery, she's still entirely for the segregation of classes, which in the long run is not that different, and which makes her--consciously or not--pliable to the plight of the former Masters. What you propose that she "should" have done is entirely remorseless and contrary to her values as someone who was brought up as fucking royalty. You can't just turn that shit off, man, much like you can't just be ruthless for ruthlessness's sake.

    She has had her strong moments, she has had her weak ones, and I hope she keeps having both. That's what makes her compelling. I find the idea of an implacable Mother of Dragons stomping all over everyone in perfect and brutal political fashion, the way you propose, pretty boring from an emotional standpoint, and I think Daenerys's story is highly emotional.

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said:

    @Coin said:

    Tolkien had a huge hard-on for his own characters, which is to be expected, since many authors (and roleplayers) fall in love with their creations in one way or another. G.R.R.M., from what I've been able to gather, doesn't have that "problem". (I use quotes because sometimes it's that very passion that creates such compelling stories.)

    From his interviews, I get the feeling that he does have this attachment to Tyrion. And Tyrion's one of the more compelling figures in the story, so that's kind of telling in and of itself.

    Well, that does sort of lend creedence to my point, yes.


  • Admin

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said:

    @Coin said:

    Tolkien had a huge hard-on for his own characters, which is to be expected, since many authors (and roleplayers) fall in love with their creations in one way or another. G.R.R.M., from what I've been able to gather, doesn't have that "problem". (I use quotes because sometimes it's that very passion that creates such compelling stories.)

    From his interviews, I get the feeling that he does have this attachment to Tyrion. And Tyrion's one of the more compelling figures in the story, so that's kind of telling in and of itself.

    It's quite likely. But also, there are characters who are probably integral to the plot and without whom it just won't work. Ned Stark had to die for the story to move in the general way Martin wanted, but if (for example) his plan is to have Tyrion eventually ride a dragon and take it to the Wall for the end game then that character is safe until that happens.

    As for Daenerys she has to act like Daenerys. She's not perfect but why exactly is she supposed to be? She's making mistakes, learning from them and hoping she survives the experience - the reader/viewer can tell she's making much of it up as she goes along because what choice does she have? Her mentors are biased, many of them are untrustworthy and everyone has their own agenda, no one at all has any clue how the hell you're supposed to train your own dragon(s) and she's yet to as much as step foot on Westeros where she's supposed to be heading off to rule. She's an interesting character.


  • Pitcrew

    That she is. I won't deny that. I suppose what I'm doing is musing that instead of conquest, she's opted for occupation... and that is, so far, her biggest mistake.



  • I think she's taken the smart path, really. Rather than storm through Westeros, burning villages and killing/trampling over peasants like most conquerors would do... she's building a reputation as a caring royal who has shown a distinct hatred for people being treated like chattel, which will endear her to the masses in Westeros. Add to that, she has shown she's unafraid to get her hands dirty and takes hardline 'take it or leave it' stances with her opposition... and has a huge fucking army with a trio of dragons to back up her threats. As its been said in the show... taking the Iron Throne is easy, STAYING on it is hard. She's building a good foundation for being able to stay on it.


  • Pitcrew

    Thinking about it, Occupation is just a fucking terrible idea and I'm surprised military theory doesn't strongly stress that you should NEVER, EVER DO IT. I can't think of an instance in history where occupation hasn't been a colossal clusterfuck.

    Where I see it, with every episode of the series she's losing control of the situation just a little bit more. Unless something happens to absolve her like a giant tidal wave washing Stupid City into the ocean one side or the other is going to revolt.


  • Admin

    @Miss-Demeanor said:

    I think she's taken the smart path, really. Rather than storm through Westeros, burning villages and killing/trampling over peasants like most conquerors would do... she's building a reputation as a caring royal who has shown a distinct hatred for people being treated like chattel, which will endear her to the masses in Westeros.

    From a meta-point of view I don't know Dany will end up sitting the Iron Throne. There's a very heavy investment in terms of narrative about her struggles across the sea and unless the next book spends a great deal of time with her over in Westeros dealing with the situation there it's not realistic she'll sweep in and take over in short order.

    What I expect is she'll spend some time there, become aware of the situation on the Wall where the end game seems to be unfolding, then probably share the post-war power structure with a certain someone who knows nothing.



  • Or with a certain someone currently trying to drink himself to death in the saddle. :)

    I'm not sure if Dany will ever be the SOLE ruler of Westeros, but I still think she's got a good campaign going for being a force to be reckoned with.


  • Admin


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