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OFFICIAL Game of Thrones Thread - Page 220

post #3286 of 4860
Thread Starter 
Just in general, both in the book, the series, and IRL, people that are "pure" anything are boring. It's the various shades of grey and how they conflict, interact, and and collide that makes the story, and life, interesting.
post #3287 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Just in general, both in the book, the series, and IRL, people that are "pure" anything are boring. It's the various shades of grey and how they conflict, interact, and and collide that makes the story, and life, interesting.

Well, Brienne is pure, but she challenges cultural norms both physically and "professionally" which makes her interesting.
post #3288 of 4860
hard for me to find any faults in rickon.
post #3289 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

hard for me to find any faults in rickon.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I can't wait until he rides into book 6 on Shaggy's back, drunk on unicorn blood and leading an army of 10,000 batshit Skagosi tribesmen...
post #3290 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Just in general, both in the book, the series, and IRL, people that are "pure" anything are boring. It's the various shades of grey and how they conflict, interact, and and collide that makes the story, and life, interesting.

Agree 100%. That was my next point, but I stopped typing because I didn't want to bore anybody. I think it's the one idea more than any other that drives GRRM's entire story.
post #3291 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlm4114 View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I can't wait until he rides into book 6 on Shaggy's back, drunk on unicorn blood and leading an army of 10,000 batshit Skagosi tribesmen...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #3292 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlm4114 View Post

Shit sorry if anyone saw that, I forgot about spoilers. Here we go...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Sam breaks his vows, Bran wargs into Hodor (the biggest no-no for his kind, and he knows Hodor hates it), Hodor, and Gilly is a pretty good one, touche. I guess all I could say about her is that she hasn't really done a ton in the story either way (it's more like stuff happens to her) so the answer for her might be more like "n/a." Saying that she abets Sam's vow-breaking is a stretch, but in a pinch you could go down that road. Great answer though.

Really, though? These are flaws, mistakes, but not the kind of thing that tips the moral scales that much. I dunno, I kind of feel that too much is made of this "moral ambiguity". Are there a lot of novels written for adults in the last century where the heroes are flawless and perfect? Even Lord of the Rings wasn't like that.
post #3293 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post

Glad to have you around. We have a small band of book readers here who get into some fun discussions, some who complain there are too many pages with no content except spoiler tags who only want to discuss the show, and institches who wants to be spoiled.

I opened the door earlier, so here are my favorite characters - both featured and minor:

1- Arya
2- Sandor Clegane
3- Barristan Selmy
4- Tyrion
5- Wyman Manderly
6- Jon Connington with a bullet
7- Brienne
8- Jaime
9- Strong Belwas
10- Davos

I also like the Queen of Thorns, Randyll Tarly, Stannis, all of the Umbers, Jojen, Moqorro, the Kindly Man, the Elder Brother, Ned, and a host of others.

Oh, how I liked Jon Snow until ADwD.

Thanks man, happy to be here. SF is a great community. Great list, lots of overlap actually, except for JonCon and Brienne. JonCon I don't feel too strongly about either way, although he did Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
annoy me quite a bit when he refused to lop off his greyscale finger

and Brienne I really don't care for all that much. I'd have Jaime higher and Barristan lower (or possibly out of the top 10, although I do like him a lot). One of my favorite moments in the first book was Tywin scolding Joffrey for dismissing Barristan because of how powerful of a symbol he would be for any challenger who could recruit him. And I don't think I could leave Dacey Mormont off of my top 10 in good faith (RIP). The Greatjon would be in my top 10. Young Bobb, Jaime, and Sandor would have the top 3 slots locked down though. Arya, Tyrion, Davos, and the Greatjon make 7... I'd have to think more about those last three. Tormund is cool, Mance and Euron intrigue me, Beric is solid. TBH I think some of the casting decisions the show made have made me like certain characters less because I thought they were miscast, which sucks but is my fault.
post #3294 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchausen View Post

Really, though? These are flaws, mistakes, but not the kind of thing that tips the moral scales that much. I dunno, I kind of feel that too much is made of this "moral ambiguity". Are there a lot of novels written for adults in the last century where the heroes are flawless and perfect? Even Lord of the Rings wasn't like that.

It doesn't tip the moral scales for Sam (although Bran's path is, I think, less clear), and I wasn't trying to imply that it does, which probably wasn't all that clear, my fault. I wrote a longer post a little after that one that explained what I was thinking a bit more.

I'm glad you brought up LOTR, because I think that avoiding the binary morality scheme of LOTR animates everything GRRM writes. I've read a bunch of interviews with him where he has talked about how he set out specifically not to write his homage to LOTR, which he (correctly) pointed out has been the dominant m.o. for a huge swathe of the genre. Rightfully so, because LOTR is the modern fantasy OG. But I would challenge anyone who reads too much depth into the morality of the characters, and, as far as the larger story itself goes, there really is no depth. It's clear who's good and who's bad. The longer ASOIAF goes on, the clearer it becomes that trying to pinpoint good guys and bad guys is a fool's errand. I don't mean that on a micro, character-by-character level, I mean that on a macro, the-entire-story level. Saying that every character in the story has personal shades of gray -- undoubtedly true in ASOIAF, quite a bit less so in LOTR -- is entirely different from grappling with the fact that ASOIAF has totally abandoned any semblance of a traditional protagonist-antagonist structure. We can debate the extent to which that statement is accurate, but I am pretty convinced it is as it stands now, and looking back, I think it becomes easier to understand that that was always the case, we just didn't see it (at least I didn't). This never was Ned's story, just like he never was "the only honorable man in Westeros," or anything like that.

In the absence of good/bad, or even a central conflict, it can get hard to casually discuss the big characters casually without trying to defend them as being "on the right track" or at least operating in service of a broader, not immoral/bad objective. I don't mean casually in the sense of unemotionally, I mean casually more in the sense of chatting about the story and where it's headed (or where you'd like it to go) without ending up having to take a butter knife to what appears to be a Gordian knot of interconnected conflicts. That's when the gray pops out in individual characters, and when it's floating out there all by itself, without the black or white of a larger conflict frame it against, understanding the story can get kind of frustrating. A big reason this happens a lot in ASOIAF (in my mind) is because I really think that GRRM might be the best writer in the game at characterization. He lives and breathes these characters, for better or worse, and it comes out in the story. Gurm fumbles stylistically here and there -- he's not Fitzgerald or anything, and stuff like trenchers and rashers of bacon and lamprey pie dribbling all over everyone can end up coming off pretty thick.

But I think he just hits the characters out of the park, and then the slow realization of just how freaking messy this story really is makes it hard to talk about good and bad, which is only natural whenever you're talking about people who are physically fighting each other in a medieval fantasy epic. Take Davos. Undoubtedly a great guy, right? But he is unflinchingly loyal to Stannis -- it's arguably his defining characteristic -- and Stannis has had some extremely close brushes with outright brutality in this story. Is it possible for a truly good man to live his live in service of a tyrant? The best example of what I'm trying to say is Jaime, who gets my vote for "best" character in the series. Sorry for another wall of text! TL;DR -- carefully consider after-dinner coffee when you eat dinner at 845 PM.
post #3295 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post

Good point. By the point he enters the story he's reformed, so I didn't consider his past. But, yes, he's a gray character like all the others. Except Brienne to this point they're all gray or haven't had enough personal choice to be rated any which way. With the three obviously bad actors who aren't grey enough to be discernible from evil - Joffrey the least evil of the bunch, Ramsay, and Gregor - and then there's Gregor's men and the Brave Companions including the two from the Black Cells.

Brienne is a rather too close minded (and dim-witted) individual to be called purely good, imo. Her loyalty was decided first by attractiveness and then by circumstances. She copied her liege lady's demeanor to 'the kingslayer' to a fault. She's dutiful, but I don't know about good. Her character is fleshing out in the later book(s) though.
post #3296 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDFS View Post

Brienne is a rather too close minded (and dim-witted) individual to be called purely good, imo. Her loyalty was decided first by attractiveness and then by circumstances. She copied her liege lady's demeanor to 'the kingslayer' to a fault. She's dutiful, but I don't know about good. Her character is fleshing out in the later book(s) though.

Her first loyalty was to the first male who treated her nicely. Renly danced with her. She was the ugly duckling and most men ignored her or mocked her. Her loyalty was because of fair treatment. While she became enamored with him, he continued to treat her fairly - by naming her to his Rainbow Guard when it was obviously not a woman's role and all of the others in his service were upset by it.

She didn't like the Kingslayer, not because of Catelyn's anti-Lannister proclivities, but because she viewed him as an oathbreaker and an un-true knight. Her only goal was to be a knight, something she was denied because of her sex. Jaime had that opportunity and she believed he violated all that is perfect in her mind. To that extent, she is similar to Sansa. But, also she takes the place of the reader - at that point we all hate Jaime- he pushed Bran from the Tower, violated our sense of decency, and violated his oath. Her conversion on Jaime tracks ours - yes he pushed Bran from the Tower, but it was to save the lives of his own children, the Royals have been engaging in incest for several hundred years, and his oath- well, he explains there were many conflicting oaths. Mayhaps, he's not as bad as we think he is.
post #3297 of 4860
So, we agree then?
post #3298 of 4860
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDFS View Post

So, we agree then?

Well, I disagree that it was based upon attractiveness. She was loyal to the first one who treated her with respect. It made it more reasonable that her father was a Storm Lord, so Renly was her Lord Paramount. It was presumed by others that it was because Renly was nice to look upon, but that was not the true reason.
post #3299 of 4860
i quite like brienne. i was hoping she was going to kill that bear. that would have been amazing.
post #3300 of 4860
I fell down the deep assed rabbit hole and started reading those GOT Wiki pages. Its like crack because you click on a character and then before you know it its 45min later and you've read over the quick biographies of 35 different characters. I used to do this with The Wire - but not to this degree.

the great part is that even though I'm constantly spoiling the story for myself it doesn't really take away from the enjoyment of listening/reading the GOT books (I'm on book one - the audio book is like 50hours long LOL).
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