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Old July 17 2013, 05:54 PM   #1876
137th Gebirg
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Considering how much the Dothraki are known to hate crossing the narrow sea (or any salty body of water for that matter), Varys is probably betting on them taking the shortest route across the narrowest stretch of water, which would have them land in Dorne, near Sunspear. Considering the Dornish don't seem to be terribly favored in the Realm, I suspect Varys (or anyone) wouldn't care if the Dothraki were slowed down a bit by the small Dornish army and the large mountain range separating Dorne from the Stormlands, buying the rest of the 7 Kingdoms time to muster a counteroffensive. If Dorne burns, oh well...they're all out some sweet wine for a while. By the time they started moving up into the Stormlands, they would have been stopped cold and it would have been over.

Still a risk, but one that may be rooted in pure geography.
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Old July 17 2013, 06:31 PM   #1877
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Varys was probably planning on using Dany and the Dothraki to invade and cause devastation in Westeros so that he'd have Aegon and the Golden Company come in and defeat them which would make it easier for him to win public support (he saved them from the foreign invaders).

As well, Varys was hoping that by the time the Dothraki attacked, the Lannisters, Starks and Baratheons would all be enveloped in a Civil War that would have depleted their numbers and made it harder to put up a unified front so by the time they did try to fight the Dothraki they'd be in a better position to be saved by Aegon.

King Robert himself explained how it would be difficult to fight off a Dothraki Invasion and the Scorched Earth tactics they'd use. As well as any Anti-Robert Pro-Targ loyalists who remain (the Martells and Tyrells possibly) aiding Dany.
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Old July 17 2013, 07:41 PM   #1878
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Venardhi wrote: View Post
We don't really see that much of the Summer Islanders though. We've met a few who run the shipping lanes with their swan-styled ships, and an exiled prince. We know they have the best bows in the known world, they honor sex, they use feathers for decoration and. . . that is about it. Other than the sound of the names of people and places we know of sounding sound very much like they belong in Africa, there isn't much of a racial stereotype there.
The first view of a Summer Islanders is a Jalabar Xho frightening one of Sansa's handmaidens - so a big black guy scares a white girl by just standing there. Later we meet a few others and much is made of their excessive sexuality. Figuring black people as frightening and oversexed is about as classic a racial stereotype as you can get.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate how Martin characterizes their sexuality as doing honor to the gods in their eyes, but it's still a classic black stereotype.


On the subject of Varys, I'm not sure it's wise to take anything in relation to him at face value. I'm not so sure he's really doing anything as simple as just backing one particular candidate (Aegon) for the throne.
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Old July 17 2013, 08:01 PM   #1879
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Do you think a young black character who had never seen a white person before in their life would react differently? We fear the unfamiliar and unknown. Who or what is this person? why do they look like that? Are they a threat? These are entirely expected and natural questions to have when confronted with any person who looks completely unfamiliar. If he had been Ibbenese or Dothraki I expect much the same reaction would have taken place. I'll let you have the sexually uninhibited thing, but one character being scary to a child is far too broad to hold water as a criticism considering how many different peoples and clades of all skin colors have worn the 'scary' label through history.
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Old July 17 2013, 08:04 PM   #1880
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

I think George R.R. Martin just finds medieval white-European culture more interesting and sophisticated, so develops that aspect of the story more. I don't wanna force him in to giving the black or eastern cultures more detail, because they don't interest him or most of the readership. I wish we'd spend less time in Essos, but I don't think there's anything morally wrong about how the people there are portrayed.

I have no real opinion on the Summer Islanders either way, as they're thankfully a relatively minor culture in the books.
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Old July 17 2013, 08:40 PM   #1881
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
I'm not so sure he's really doing anything as simple as just backing one particular candidate (Aegon) for the throne.
There's really no reason to doubt his sincerity when speaking to the dying Kevan. Nobody else is around, apart from his own minions.
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Old July 17 2013, 10:51 PM   #1882
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Venardhi wrote: View Post
Do you think a young black character who had never seen a white person before in their life would react differently? We fear the unfamiliar and unknown. Who or what is this person? why do they look like that? Are they a threat? These are entirely expected and natural questions to have when confronted with any person who looks completely unfamiliar. If he had been Ibbenese or Dothraki I expect much the same reaction would have taken place. I'll let you have the sexually uninhibited thing, but one character being scary to a child is far too broad to hold water as a criticism considering how many different peoples and clades of all skin colors have worn the 'scary' label through history.
Do I have to point out the significance of the specifically American stereotype of the scary black male the week of Trayvon Martin's killer's acquittal? Seriously?

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Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
I'm not so sure he's really doing anything as simple as just backing one particular candidate (Aegon) for the throne.
There's really no reason to doubt his sincerity when speaking to the dying Kevan. Nobody else is around, apart from his own minions.
I don't know - I'm pretty sure he knows that his own minions can't be trusted to keep secrets since he himself pays them to relate secrets to him. And I'm pretty sure he knows that if he has little birds about hearing everything that's going on, others, especially Littlefinger, probably have their own listeners.

All I'm saying is Varys is always wheels within wheels and what exactly his final goal is remains unclear. Sure, his speech to Kevan makes him out to be after a just ruler - but do we know that this is really Varys' motivation?

I read a couple of interesting theories that Varys may have an agenda entirely his own in regards to his hatred of magic and the Targaryens have some sort of magic in their blood that has to do wth dragons, much as the Starks have warg magic in their blood. Doesn't he swear to destroy Stannis because he uses magic? Anyway, the ultimate question these folks were asking was why would Varys want to put someone of magical blood in the seat of ultimate power if he hates magic?
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Old July 17 2013, 11:12 PM   #1883
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Venardhi wrote: View Post
Do you think a young black character who had never seen a white person before in their life would react differently? We fear the unfamiliar and unknown. Who or what is this person? why do they look like that? Are they a threat? These are entirely expected and natural questions to have when confronted with any person who looks completely unfamiliar. If he had been Ibbenese or Dothraki I expect much the same reaction would have taken place. I'll let you have the sexually uninhibited thing, but one character being scary to a child is far too broad to hold water as a criticism considering how many different peoples and clades of all skin colors have worn the 'scary' label through history.
Do I have to point out the significance of the specifically American stereotype of the scary black male the week of Trayvon Martin's killer's acquittal? Seriously?
I really don't see any similarity or connection or relevance between a young black male's real life death and a fictional black prince who wears rainbow feathers.
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Old July 17 2013, 11:19 PM   #1884
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Do I have to point out the significance of the specifically American stereotype of the scary black male the week of Trayvon Martin's killer's acquittal? Seriously?
I wouldn't say it's specifically American. Violent black culture is a problem in my country too, and throughout Europe.
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Old July 17 2013, 11:46 PM   #1885
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Nagisa Furukawa wrote: View Post

I really don't see any similarity or connection or relevance between a young black male's real life death and a fictional black prince who wears rainbow feathers.
Then I'm afraid you don't understand the dangers of stereotypical cultural images. Start here: wikipedia article on "the black brute".

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Do I have to point out the significance of the specifically American stereotype of the scary black male the week of Trayvon Martin's killer's acquittal? Seriously?
I wouldn't say it's specifically American. Violent black culture is a problem in my country too, and throughout Europe.
I wasn't talking about "violent black culture", a phrase which is itself a stereotype. I was speaking about the constructed image of black men as frightening, which leads non-black people to believe that black people are more violent than people of other races.
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Old July 17 2013, 11:51 PM   #1886
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

If someone were inclined to find them, I don't doubt there are a handful of white characters that scare the sheltered little white children as well. That is their personal perspective, not an objective narrator's description.
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Old July 18 2013, 12:01 AM   #1887
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
I was speaking about the constructed image of black men as frightening
"Constructed"? You mentioned a media case which is currently resulting in violent, savage rioting and looting from the black community in America. Have the white people paid them to do this?

, which leads non-black people to believe that black people are more violent than people of other races.
Well, where I live most of the violent crime is committed by black people. This is because of economics, media agenda, and a cultural climate that does not exist in Westeros though, not their race. I wouldn't expect Summer Islanders to act like the scum in my city, and they don't seem to. Most white people in Westeros are douches too.
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Old July 18 2013, 12:10 AM   #1888
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Then I'm afraid you don't understand the dangers of stereotypical cultural images. Start here: wikipedia article on "the black brute".
No, I'm aware of this (whether I understand is open for interpretation, of course). As an English major, I've heard this opinion of "danger" in stereotypes more times than I count. I just don't put much stock in it, anymore than I do any other "people are too stupid to consume a piece of entertainment and not be influenced by it" be it horror movies produce serial killers, violent video games produce violent kids, rape jokes produce rapists, or any other that underestimates people's ability to separate reality from fiction. Again, I don't think there's any relevance between a novel written in 1996 which features a man in bright feathers whose appearance startles a character and the complex real life reasons behind Trayvon Martin's death and George Zimmerman's acquittal, and I think it belittles the real life occurrence by linking it to this totally unrelated case of a fictional man with dark skin scaring someone in a completely different context.
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Old July 18 2013, 12:23 AM   #1889
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Do I have to point out the significance of the specifically American stereotype of the scary black male the week of Trayvon Martin's killer's acquittal?
Wow...Did you really just go there?
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Old July 18 2013, 12:30 AM   #1890
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

One of the reasons I often prefer fantasy to sci-fi is that it isn't judged by its ability to pedal leftist political agendas like sci-fi has since the 1950s, and is viewed on its own merit as art and escapism. I've never seen the point of applying the neo-liberal school of thought to most fantasy. It isn't our world.

I've seen a lot of modern scholars try and shit on Tolkien's work for not being politically correct, which strikes me as odd as the work isn't at all political.
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