A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Out Of My Vulcan Mind, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    There's really no reason to doubt his sincerity when speaking to the dying Kevan. Nobody else is around, apart from his own minions.
     
  2. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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 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?
     
  3. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  4. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wouldn't say it's specifically American. Violent black culture is a problem in my country too, and throughout Europe.
     
  5. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then I'm afraid you don't understand the dangers of stereotypical cultural images. Start here: wikipedia article on "the black brute".

    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.
     
  6. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "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? :confused:

    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.
     
  8. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  9. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Wow...Did you really just go there?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  10. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  11. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Varys' minions are little children he acquires whose tongues he has cut out. They aren't hirelings.
    Varys' hatred of magic comes from things he tells Tyrion. He's lying to Tyrion about a bunch of other things, including his loyalty to House Lannister.
    A work doesn't have to be written as an explicit political tract to have political content. Virtually any novel will express the worldview of the author in some respect, and those are inherently political. Tolkien's glancing depictions of non-European civilizations are of their time, which is to say, kind of racist; it's not a major theme of the work or anything, but it is there.
     
  12. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Everybody in Arda is non-European!
     
  13. Stoo

    Stoo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah a non-political work still gets into murky waters when you have all the good guys as white and anyone with a darker skintone works for the Lord of Evil. I don't think LoTR is totally ruined by racism or something (especially as Sauron's human allies are mostly a sideshow) but it's got some issues we'd be rather critical of if someone tried to write that kind of thing today.

    I don't think fantasy writers have blanket immunity from any responsibility to be careful around social issues. Especially in settings that draw on real-life places and cultures. Fantasy worlds like GoT still have something of our world, and thus can't help reflecting something of the writers views of the world. And images and ideas they put forward can shape in turn how we think about our world.

    re summer islanders. I've only just started on book four and have hardly seen anything of them so can't really comment too much. One in a a feather cape startling some people who have probably barely ever even met a black guy doesn't sound like a big deal.

    re: essos in more general, it honestly looks like rather a pick and mix. The Dothraki look pretty savage but we frequently see plenty of savagery in westeros, and through the Hound's opinions we get a critique of the hypocrisy of western knights. ie they're meant to be morally upstanding heroes but they're really just violent guys with swords. Dany meanwhile is playing white liberator of non-white cities but as I understand it that goes really really badly so the narrative is hardly endorsing her.

    tl:dr: I reject Dalekjim's "it's only escapism" as a cop-out but GoT hasn't really thrown any major red-flags at me so far.

    [edit]It would be good to see a non-white culture that isn't based around either loot'n'pillage or slavery. But again I think one of the key points here is that Westeros looks more civillised at first glance but is in fact full of its own kind of barbarity. I mean, burning and murdering of the smallfolks seems a fairly regular pastime for warring lords. The riverlands are pretty fucked and all. Also the summer islands are supposed to be very peaceful, as I recall?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  14. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The superior race in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion are clearly the Elves. In The Hobbit, there isn't even a human as a main character. If the legendarium is racist, it's against humans in general, as they're shown as weaker and more corruptible than some other races.

    Both Tolkien and Martin are writing stories focusing on medieval Europe-influenced societies, therefore most of the people will be white. To accuse them of racism for not bending the knee to political correctness and making sure they represent all races as having an arbitrarily equal amount of goodies and baddies is absurd. Thinking like that just leads to the death of artistic expression.

    A huge chunk of the audience are only aware of The Lord of the Rings through Peter Jackson's adaptations. As far as I'm aware, nobody has complained that he didn't include token black characters (Who would likely have to be paragons of good otherwise it's racist?).

    Some people will always like being upset, it's not up to artists to aim to please such people.
     
  15. Stoo

    Stoo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just because some people always get upset doesn't mean it's ok to cause upset thoughtlessly.

    "bending the knee to political correctness" is rhetoric that shouldn't be seen outside of daily mail editorials. All your talk of arbitrary quotas and paragons of good is just, I dunno, getting excitable over strawmen.

    Also whatever elves and dwarves get up to doesn't negate the implications of the way humans are written.

    re: the films, Sauron's human allies are reduced in presence, and we rarely see their faces. I recall in teh dvd commentaries talk of finding quite obscure inspirations for their wargear so as to not look too obviously like a parallel for some eastern culture. And Faramir in the extended edition gets a speech where he looks at a dead soldier and says something along the lines of "was this just some regular dude doing his duty like we have to".

    So it's not about inserting token characters so much as playing down the Villainous Darkies side.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  16. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Emmy nominations are out. In major categories, the series and Dinklage are nominated again for Drama and Supporting Actor in a Drama, while Emilia Clarke gets her first nod as Supporting Actress in a Drama and Diana Rigg is nominated as Guest Actress in a Drama. Benioff and Weiss got a writing nomination for "The Rains of Castamere." Other noms include Casting, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costumes, Editing, Hairstyles, Non-Prosthetic Makeup, Prosthetic Makeup, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Special Visual Effects, and Interactive Program. Full list here.
     
  17. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Congratulations to Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, and Diana Rigg for being nominated for Emmys for season three.
     
  18. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Hmmm... If "Rains" is going to be focused on in the Emmy's, I wonder if they'll use any part of the RW as the demo clip. That may be pretty brutal for a more mainstream audience, considering the whirlwind it started on the web by the TV faithful/non-book-readers.

    Either way, I do hope they win something and will be watching.
     
  19. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Peter Dinklage being nominated instead of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a complete joke. Waldau and Charles Dance gave the best performances of the season, and delivered much more memorable scenes. Dinklage was good during his wedding episode, but other than that.. what did Tyrion even get to do? Argue with Shae?

    I agree with Emilia Clarke though. Her Valyrian was amazing.
     
  20. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    While I'm happy for Emilia Clarke, I'm shocked she was nominated at all. I consider her the weakest lead actress on the show. Maisie Williams, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Michelle Fairley all constantly do a better job than Clarke.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013