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Review: Game of Thrones Season 6
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SPOILERS UP TO END OF SEASON 6

Review: 6/10

I am no longer a big fan of the series (the only TV series I follow through the excellent cable alternative qBittorrent). It’s not even that I’m a stickler for book accuracy, or a “bookfag”; as I have pointed out, I believe that some things the show did do better. A few characters and organizations – Tywin, Bronn, the Faith Militant especially come to mind – were fleshed out better. The absence of Lady Stoneheart was a welcome departure from the book. Even Sansa’s “ordeals” with Ramsay Bolton were a bold, if questionable, plot decision.

Still, as the book/show timelines have continued to diverge, it has become increasingly clear that Benioff & Weiss (or “D&D” as they’re disparagingly called) are talentless hacks incapable of maintaining interest in the story without a constant stream of illogical “surprises” and shock deaths. The Dorne episode has been universally panned as a disaster from start to finish, and yet IMO it was still good in comparison with the ridiculous fate of Show!Stannis, who rage quit on the Baratheon family line thanks to Ramsay Bolton and his 20 good men. And Brienne just had to be there in the midst of a chaotic battle to personally put Stannis out of his misery.

Season 6 hasn’t much much of an improvement over the disaster that was the previous one.

Kingslaying is supposed to be this great taboo in Westeros, but we are to believe that the Dornish guards stood by by as their popular and benevolent ruler was cut down by his dead brother’s consort and her bastard daughters. It doesn’t even make any sense from Ellaria Sand’s viewpoint; are we really to believe that the dying wish of the man she loved would have been for her to avenge Elia Martell by… killing all of the rest of the family line? (Not even going to go into the mechanics of how the Sand Snakes managed to instantly kill that massive black dude, the captain of Doran’s guards, with a single dagger in the back). That entire scene made no sense from either common sense or the ethical framework of Westeros.

Anyhow, I found that particular scene so overly ridiculous that, on seeing it a year ago, I didn’t even bother watching the rest of the season in disgust until a week ago.

The Dorne debacle could have perhaps been excused as the price the show had to pay for putting an end to all that nonsense with the Sand Snakes. To the contrary, kinslaying and kingslaying have actually become entirely normalized affairs – in a society where Jaime Lannister faces widespread opprobrium for betraying and killing the “Mad King.” Euron openly bragged about killing his king and brother at the kingsmoot of the ironborn, apologizing only for not doing it sooner, and was duly elected king to voluble applause; at which point he immediately proceeded with a further attempt at kinslaying. Ramsay stabbed his father, Roose, and assumed lordship of House Bolton without any major problems or resistance… even though the Boltons kill and torture peasants pretty much at will, surely that should have been a step too far even for them. But apparently not.

That said, I can’t say it was too bad, especially relative to the low expectations I had developed for it. I would even say it was better than Season 5, though perhaps primarily because that was when we had to come to terms that GRRM’s story was finished, and that D&D didn’t have a tenth of his talent.

It also featured what is IMO the finest soundtrack of the entire show, by Ramin Djawadi:

What’s going to happen in Season 7? (no spoilers)

The newly crowned Cersei is in a completely untenable position. The Tyrrells, the single richest House in the Seven Kingdoms, with an army of 80,000, are now her sworn enemies; with all its direct heirs dead, the House’s matriarch Lady Olenna has nothing to lose, and has made common cause with Dorne, with its army of 50,000 spears untouched by the War of the Five Kings.

As if that isn’t enough, they have made an alliance with Daenerys, who has a host of 50,000 Dothraki horsemen, 8,000 Unsullied, a bunch of mercenaries, an armada, and three dragons. The North and the Vale are also hostile; the former has been wracked by years of war, but the latter are at their prime strength, having remained neutral in the war. At least there is the hope that the northern kingdoms are going to have their hands full now that winter has come and the White Walker invasion is imminent.

And if all that isn’t bad enough, the Lannisters’ gold mines have run dry, and the Crown owes untold amounts of septims to the Iron Bank of Bravoos (my pet theory: The Iron Bank also has the Faceless Men at their beck and call… there’s presumably a good reason why the Bank always get its due. And who’s the conveniently located Faceless Man in Westeros with a grudge against Lannisters?)

The Lannisters have, at most, perhaps 40,000 worn down troops, including the King’s Landing city guards. Furthermore, if the first episode of Season 7 is anything to go by, a significant propotion of their army now consists of green recruits.

The commonfolk, the septons, and the nobles whose friends and relatives were burned to a crisp by wildfire at the Sept of Baelor all hate Queen Cersei.

Their only allies are the Freys, who are of questionable worth in the first place, and whose continued existence is, in any case, open to doubt following Arya’s assassination of their patriarch Walder in the final episode of last season.

What do these ominous comparisons presage for the Lannisters? Their triumph, of course.

Yes, this is going to be my bet for this season. For Daenerys to put Cersei out of her misery and team up with Jon against the White Walkers would be too logical, boring, and predictable. The game of thrones will not stop even as the song of ice and fire reaches its apocalyptic crescendo – and for that to happen, Cersei will have to hang on for just a bit longer.

Here is how I think the season will go, to be proven or disproven in the next seven weeks.

Euron’s Iron Fleet will triumph over Daenerys’ armada. I don’t know how he will deal with the dragons. In the books, Euron has a horn that can “bind” dragons, but including it in the show would be too much of a deus ex machina (though nothing can be excluded with D&D). In any case, Daenerys’ armada will be destroyed and a large percentage of the Dothraki and Unsullied will have to pay their mite to the Drowned God. She herself will be confined to Dragonstone, like Stannis after his defeat at the Battle of the Blackwater.

This will demoralize the Lannisters’ enemies. The Dornishmen will start asking WTF they’re doing fighting for kingslaying usurper bastards, and the lesser Houses of the Reach will rebel against the ruling Tyrrells and their Redwyine allies (the Tarlys are prime candidates to head this betrayal). Highgarden finishes the season under the gold-red flag – as well as its vast grain, manpower, and monetary resources. The Iron Bank is satiated, and extends Cersei a new loan.

Seeing no realistic chance of furthering her claim to the Iron Throne in the near future, coupled with Jon’s insistence that the real struggle is the one against the White Walkers, Daenerys will decide to follow in Stannis’ footsteps, taking her dragons and what remains of her army and fleet to the North – as well as copious dragonglass supplies. Since this is the penultimate season, the final highlight will surely be hordes of White Walkers and the undead poring south over the Wall.

Cersei will eventually meet an exceedingly sticky end, her murderer’s hands wrapping about her pale white throat and choking the life from her – at least, going by the valonqar prophecy – but that is for the last season.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Film, Game of Thrones, Review 
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  1. I didn’t think too much about the taboo on kingslaying and all that, but the Sand Snakes was absurd because it’s something that never happened in human history: a coup by a coalition of women. There are queens who have come to power through scheming with others, but there’s never been a female cabal like that in history. And they fight too! Despite being 110 pound girls. Now Jon Snow is drafting girls of all ages to fight the White Walkers. The feminist propaganda has killed much of the enjoyment for me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    The feminist propaganda has killed much of the enjoyment for me.
     
    Feminist propaganda, homosexualist propaganda, antiracist propaganda, exploitation and normalisation of pornography - the show seemed to me to have all the most harmful tropes of US media cultural pollution, which is why despite its undoubted but inadequate redeeming qualities I decided to stop watching it early on (somewhere in the second series iirc). I'm surprised they haven't yet started showing strong White Walker characters as noble heroes making their way in Westeros society despite facing all the racist hostility to immigrants that bigots like the people who built the Wall could throw at them (perhaps they have).

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway - what is the benefit of making fantasy stories with dragons and magic grittily "realistic" anyway? I used to think that would be a good idea, until I encountered the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin. Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
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  2. Yevardian says:

    Stop reviewing post-murican prolefeed.

    Read More
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  3. vinteuil says:

    The TV shows got worse & stupider at a slightly slower pace than the books – but only slightly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    Have not read a single word,nor seen a single scene.
    The question is,...should I consume any of this content?
    A) Yes indeed this is a most wonderful show and the book is superb. Go for it!
    B) Worthwhile,certainly. Not the best use of time,but not the worst.
    C)Don' believe da hype. Avoid!
    D) Who cares what you do schmuck?
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  4. Randal says:
    @Jeremy Cooper
    I didn't think too much about the taboo on kingslaying and all that, but the Sand Snakes was absurd because it's something that never happened in human history: a coup by a coalition of women. There are queens who have come to power through scheming with others, but there's never been a female cabal like that in history. And they fight too! Despite being 110 pound girls. Now Jon Snow is drafting girls of all ages to fight the White Walkers. The feminist propaganda has killed much of the enjoyment for me.

    The feminist propaganda has killed much of the enjoyment for me.

    Feminist propaganda, homosexualist propaganda, antiracist propaganda, exploitation and normalisation of pornography – the show seemed to me to have all the most harmful tropes of US media cultural pollution, which is why despite its undoubted but inadequate redeeming qualities I decided to stop watching it early on (somewhere in the second series iirc). I’m surprised they haven’t yet started showing strong White Walker characters as noble heroes making their way in Westeros society despite facing all the racist hostility to immigrants that bigots like the people who built the Wall could throw at them (perhaps they have).

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway – what is the benefit of making fantasy stories with dragons and magic grittily “realistic” anyway? I used to think that would be a good idea, until I encountered the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin. Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway...
     
    I certainly wouldn't recommend Wheel of Time as a redpill alternative to ASoIaF... quite the opposite, in fact.

    Also it becomes increasingly evident as the series goes on that Robert Jordan is a BDSM freak. :)

    ... the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin
     
    GRRM is a dogmatic leftist in person but the series itself is remarkably based. 90% of the grrlpower shit is show-specific.

    Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.
     
    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple - no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactionss between the sexes.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    I've mentioned it before, but I highly recommend Chronicles of Amber. I wouldn't call it "redpilled" insofar as it is simply the result of being written from an earlier age, but its generally enjoyable and avoids most modern disgustingness. The sheer murderous dysfunction of the main character's family is genuinely third-world like, though, along with the hilariously convoluted reasons for the clan fights.

    "Well, the king was married to a woman and she had some boys...but then he changed his mind and divorced her, ex nihilo, such that the marriage never happened! This means that they are delegitimized, I think. Anyway, my mother had my elder brother...but she was only the King's mistress then. After she married him, she had me, so that makes me the legitimate heir. All the other boys disagree, though."
    , @songbird
    Judged against the full spectrum of fantasy writers I wouldn't call Martin "dogmatic" at all. Le Guin (and many others) -- absolutely. Le Guin makes a point of making many of her characters black, and derided some diverse TV adaptation as being "too whitebread." Wasn't she the child of two social anthropologists?

    Martin, by contrast, watches the NFL and is fairly Eurocentric. A lot of his story is based on European history. Once, some black guy on WJL Live asked him why so many fantasy books focus on white guys . Martin's response was politely dismissive: the writers are white guys.
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  5. neutral says:

    On this topic, what do Russians watch on TV (or the torrent downloads) ? I would imagine that the urban latte coffee drinkers in Moscow and other big cities might watch Game of Thrones because they want to be seen as sophisticated liberals. What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?

    Also, do the non Russian tv shows have subtitles or spoken translation, what about really big movies like Star Wars ? Final question, how do Hollywood movies get received considering that Hollywood is now openly supporting the “Russians are evil” narrative ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    "Final question, how do Hollywood movies get received considering that Hollywood is now openly supporting the “Russians are evil” narrative ?"
     
    No problem, Hollywood movies - 90% of all movies in the cinema. On television there are constant American series. The ideological component completely indifferent to the Russian audience
    , @The Big Red Scary
    Foreign film is dubbed. Very annoying. But hardly unique to Russia. Can't tell you what Russians watch on TV because none of my friends do so. But then they are mostly espresso drinkers.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?
     
    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.

    Here's a fun anecdote which we discussed in one of our recent ROGPR episodes - a huge percentage of Communists (sovoks) on their online forums use avatars from the Command and Conquer video series. Simply because the Team Red aesthetics that some Californian pot smokers created is superior to what an actual Communist state managed over 70 odd years.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. melanf says:
    @neutral
    On this topic, what do Russians watch on TV (or the torrent downloads) ? I would imagine that the urban latte coffee drinkers in Moscow and other big cities might watch Game of Thrones because they want to be seen as sophisticated liberals. What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?

    Also, do the non Russian tv shows have subtitles or spoken translation, what about really big movies like Star Wars ? Final question, how do Hollywood movies get received considering that Hollywood is now openly supporting the "Russians are evil" narrative ?

    “Final question, how do Hollywood movies get received considering that Hollywood is now openly supporting the “Russians are evil” narrative ?”

    No problem, Hollywood movies – 90% of all movies in the cinema. On television there are constant American series. The ideological component completely indifferent to the Russian audience

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    The ideological component completely indifferent to the Russian audience
     
    Does this include "patriotic" US series like the dreadful Navy CIS? That occasionally has Russian villains, is something like this shown in Russia?
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  7. @neutral
    On this topic, what do Russians watch on TV (or the torrent downloads) ? I would imagine that the urban latte coffee drinkers in Moscow and other big cities might watch Game of Thrones because they want to be seen as sophisticated liberals. What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?

    Also, do the non Russian tv shows have subtitles or spoken translation, what about really big movies like Star Wars ? Final question, how do Hollywood movies get received considering that Hollywood is now openly supporting the "Russians are evil" narrative ?

    Foreign film is dubbed. Very annoying. But hardly unique to Russia. Can’t tell you what Russians watch on TV because none of my friends do so. But then they are mostly espresso drinkers.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. @Randal

    The feminist propaganda has killed much of the enjoyment for me.
     
    Feminist propaganda, homosexualist propaganda, antiracist propaganda, exploitation and normalisation of pornography - the show seemed to me to have all the most harmful tropes of US media cultural pollution, which is why despite its undoubted but inadequate redeeming qualities I decided to stop watching it early on (somewhere in the second series iirc). I'm surprised they haven't yet started showing strong White Walker characters as noble heroes making their way in Westeros society despite facing all the racist hostility to immigrants that bigots like the people who built the Wall could throw at them (perhaps they have).

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway - what is the benefit of making fantasy stories with dragons and magic grittily "realistic" anyway? I used to think that would be a good idea, until I encountered the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin. Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway…

    I certainly wouldn’t recommend Wheel of Time as a redpill alternative to ASoIaF… quite the opposite, in fact.

    Also it becomes increasingly evident as the series goes on that Robert Jordan is a BDSM freak. :)

    … the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin

    GRRM is a dogmatic leftist in person but the series itself is remarkably based. 90% of the grrlpower shit is show-specific.

    Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.

    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple – no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactionss between the sexes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    I certainly wouldn’t recommend Wheel of Time as a redpill alternative to ASoIaF… quite the opposite, in fact.
     
    Fair enough, but I don't expect my escapist fantasy necessarily to have an element of political indoctrination. Though I don't object to a bit of even leftist political indoctrination when it's well written and reasonably open and honest about its purpose - for example the left anarchist stuff in Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed, or even the ancap stuff in Ayn Rand's books (if only she were a competent writer).

    Also it becomes increasingly evident as the series goes on that Robert Jordan is a BDSM freak.
     
    Really? More so than Martin!?

    I suppose thinking back (it's a while since I read them) there was a lot of talk about corporal punishment, discipline and power-mediated relationships, but I mostly assumed that was just his own cultural background together with the unavoidable results of having a system of magical compulsive control. There was never anything explicitly sexual about it, as far as I can recall.

    Certainly not as much of an ever increasing whiff of that kind of tendency as the superb George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, which were more sexually explicit about it.


    GRRM is a dogmatic leftist in person but the series itself is remarkably based. 90% of the grrlpower shit is show-specific.
     
    I certainly got the impression of dogmatic pc-ness both from the books and the series without following either too far. Maybe I'm hypersensitised.

    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple – no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactionss between the sexes.
     
    True. Like I said, though, it didn't stop him writing superb and exciting stories, and nor imo did it stop his fiction being immensely truthy.
    , @The Big Red Scary
    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray. In the Lord of the Rings, the relation between Frodo, Gollum, and Sam is quite complex. Frodo comes to understand Gollum as a tragic figure, something like a normal Hobbit destroyed by his curiosity for seeking out the roots of things and by the weight of being a Ring bearer. Sam, an otherwise completely virtuous character, is absolutely merciless to Gollum and accuses him of treachery just at the moment when he is on the edge of repentance. In the end, Frodo simply fails. He takes the Ring and is saved only by Gollum biting offing his finger and falling into the fire.

    Concerning relations between the sexes, there is much more of this in the Silmarillion. But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don't play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.

    About politics, maybe this is fair about the Lord of the Rings. There is some, but it is in the background. There is more in the Silmarillion. But if you read Tolkien's letters, he seems to have had not much interest in politics, and a very low opinion of politicians. In particular, he refers to Churchill quite mockingly even in the midst of the Blitz.
    , @John Gruskos

    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple – no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactions between the sexes.
     
    Have you read the Silmarillion and Tolkien's other tales of the First Age?
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  9. @neutral
    On this topic, what do Russians watch on TV (or the torrent downloads) ? I would imagine that the urban latte coffee drinkers in Moscow and other big cities might watch Game of Thrones because they want to be seen as sophisticated liberals. What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?

    Also, do the non Russian tv shows have subtitles or spoken translation, what about really big movies like Star Wars ? Final question, how do Hollywood movies get received considering that Hollywood is now openly supporting the "Russians are evil" narrative ?

    What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?

    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.

    Here’s a fun anecdote which we discussed in one of our recent ROGPR episodes – a huge percentage of Communists (sovoks) on their online forums use avatars from the Command and Conquer video series. Simply because the Team Red aesthetics that some Californian pot smokers created is superior to what an actual Communist state managed over 70 odd years.

    Read More
    • LOL: AP, German_reader
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Simply because the Team Red aesthetics that some Californian pot smokers created is superior to what an actual Communist state managed over 70 odd years.
     
    I always thought that the series would benefit from more deranged rambling about capitalism in its cutscenes.
    , @melanf

    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.
     
    Book/movie/game heroes of modern Russia. 3/4 of them are of American origin

    https://imgur.com/a/2srbx

    , @inertial
    Actually, they like it for the high klyukva quotient. The same series have hilarious "Soviet" march sung in broken Russian with lines like "Stolitsa, vodka, Sovetsky medved." John Batchelor sometimes uses it as a theme for his weekly talks with Professor Stephen Cohen. He apparently thinks it's an actual Soviet song.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @Anatoly Karlin

    What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?
     
    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.

    Here's a fun anecdote which we discussed in one of our recent ROGPR episodes - a huge percentage of Communists (sovoks) on their online forums use avatars from the Command and Conquer video series. Simply because the Team Red aesthetics that some Californian pot smokers created is superior to what an actual Communist state managed over 70 odd years.

    Simply because the Team Red aesthetics that some Californian pot smokers created is superior to what an actual Communist state managed over 70 odd years.

    I always thought that the series would benefit from more deranged rambling about capitalism in its cutscenes.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @Randal

    The feminist propaganda has killed much of the enjoyment for me.
     
    Feminist propaganda, homosexualist propaganda, antiracist propaganda, exploitation and normalisation of pornography - the show seemed to me to have all the most harmful tropes of US media cultural pollution, which is why despite its undoubted but inadequate redeeming qualities I decided to stop watching it early on (somewhere in the second series iirc). I'm surprised they haven't yet started showing strong White Walker characters as noble heroes making their way in Westeros society despite facing all the racist hostility to immigrants that bigots like the people who built the Wall could throw at them (perhaps they have).

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway - what is the benefit of making fantasy stories with dragons and magic grittily "realistic" anyway? I used to think that would be a good idea, until I encountered the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin. Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I highly recommend Chronicles of Amber. I wouldn’t call it “redpilled” insofar as it is simply the result of being written from an earlier age, but its generally enjoyable and avoids most modern disgustingness. The sheer murderous dysfunction of the main character’s family is genuinely third-world like, though, along with the hilariously convoluted reasons for the clan fights.

    “Well, the king was married to a woman and she had some boys…but then he changed his mind and divorced her, ex nihilo, such that the marriage never happened! This means that they are delegitimized, I think. Anyway, my mother had my elder brother…but she was only the King’s mistress then. After she married him, she had me, so that makes me the legitimate heir. All the other boys disagree, though.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    I wouldn’t call it “redpilled” insofar as it is simply the result of being written from an earlier age, but its generally enjoyable and avoids most modern disgustingness.
     
    I think that's probably generally true of genre fiction written by people who grew up prior to the real beginning of mass indoctrination on leftist dogmas in the 1970s, isn't it?

    A much higher proportion of those writers also had experienced military service or (in the case of the earlier writers) actual military action in WW2, which I think gave many of them a much more grounded view of the world.

    Pretty sure I read and liked Nine Princes in the 1970s. Certainly I read most such stuff printed around that time or previously, as my father had a pretty big collection and that was certainly in it. Just checked, though, and it's not available on Kindle, otherwise I'd pick it up and reread it now. Come to think of it my father's collection is still boxed up and in storage so I might be able to hunt it down there. I don't allow myself to buy genre fiction in hard copy these days - it just takes up too much space and my wife complains I never get around to chucking it out.
    , @melanf

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I highly recommend Chronicles of Amber.
     
    Really great book, much better than "the Lord of the rings" or "Song of Ice and Fire" . This is the most cheerful book I know of

    Fanart from St. Petersburg
    https://imgur.com/a/ZXTqK#ygsFwMV

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  12. Randal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway...
     
    I certainly wouldn't recommend Wheel of Time as a redpill alternative to ASoIaF... quite the opposite, in fact.

    Also it becomes increasingly evident as the series goes on that Robert Jordan is a BDSM freak. :)

    ... the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin
     
    GRRM is a dogmatic leftist in person but the series itself is remarkably based. 90% of the grrlpower shit is show-specific.

    Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.
     
    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple - no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactionss between the sexes.

    I certainly wouldn’t recommend Wheel of Time as a redpill alternative to ASoIaF… quite the opposite, in fact.

    Fair enough, but I don’t expect my escapist fantasy necessarily to have an element of political indoctrination. Though I don’t object to a bit of even leftist political indoctrination when it’s well written and reasonably open and honest about its purpose – for example the left anarchist stuff in Ursula LeGuin’s The Dispossessed, or even the ancap stuff in Ayn Rand’s books (if only she were a competent writer).

    Also it becomes increasingly evident as the series goes on that Robert Jordan is a BDSM freak.

    Really? More so than Martin!?

    I suppose thinking back (it’s a while since I read them) there was a lot of talk about corporal punishment, discipline and power-mediated relationships, but I mostly assumed that was just his own cultural background together with the unavoidable results of having a system of magical compulsive control. There was never anything explicitly sexual about it, as far as I can recall.

    Certainly not as much of an ever increasing whiff of that kind of tendency as the superb George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books, which were more sexually explicit about it.

    GRRM is a dogmatic leftist in person but the series itself is remarkably based. 90% of the grrlpower shit is show-specific.

    I certainly got the impression of dogmatic pc-ness both from the books and the series without following either too far. Maybe I’m hypersensitised.

    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple – no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactionss between the sexes.

    True. Like I said, though, it didn’t stop him writing superb and exciting stories, and nor imo did it stop his fiction being immensely truthy.

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  13. Randal says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    I've mentioned it before, but I highly recommend Chronicles of Amber. I wouldn't call it "redpilled" insofar as it is simply the result of being written from an earlier age, but its generally enjoyable and avoids most modern disgustingness. The sheer murderous dysfunction of the main character's family is genuinely third-world like, though, along with the hilariously convoluted reasons for the clan fights.

    "Well, the king was married to a woman and she had some boys...but then he changed his mind and divorced her, ex nihilo, such that the marriage never happened! This means that they are delegitimized, I think. Anyway, my mother had my elder brother...but she was only the King's mistress then. After she married him, she had me, so that makes me the legitimate heir. All the other boys disagree, though."

    I wouldn’t call it “redpilled” insofar as it is simply the result of being written from an earlier age, but its generally enjoyable and avoids most modern disgustingness.

    I think that’s probably generally true of genre fiction written by people who grew up prior to the real beginning of mass indoctrination on leftist dogmas in the 1970s, isn’t it?

    A much higher proportion of those writers also had experienced military service or (in the case of the earlier writers) actual military action in WW2, which I think gave many of them a much more grounded view of the world.

    Pretty sure I read and liked Nine Princes in the 1970s. Certainly I read most such stuff printed around that time or previously, as my father had a pretty big collection and that was certainly in it. Just checked, though, and it’s not available on Kindle, otherwise I’d pick it up and reread it now. Come to think of it my father’s collection is still boxed up and in storage so I might be able to hunt it down there. I don’t allow myself to buy genre fiction in hard copy these days – it just takes up too much space and my wife complains I never get around to chucking it out.

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  14. @Anatoly Karlin

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway...
     
    I certainly wouldn't recommend Wheel of Time as a redpill alternative to ASoIaF... quite the opposite, in fact.

    Also it becomes increasingly evident as the series goes on that Robert Jordan is a BDSM freak. :)

    ... the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin
     
    GRRM is a dogmatic leftist in person but the series itself is remarkably based. 90% of the grrlpower shit is show-specific.

    Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.
     
    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple - no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactionss between the sexes.

    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray. In the Lord of the Rings, the relation between Frodo, Gollum, and Sam is quite complex. Frodo comes to understand Gollum as a tragic figure, something like a normal Hobbit destroyed by his curiosity for seeking out the roots of things and by the weight of being a Ring bearer. Sam, an otherwise completely virtuous character, is absolutely merciless to Gollum and accuses him of treachery just at the moment when he is on the edge of repentance. In the end, Frodo simply fails. He takes the Ring and is saved only by Gollum biting offing his finger and falling into the fire.

    Concerning relations between the sexes, there is much more of this in the Silmarillion. But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don’t play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.

    About politics, maybe this is fair about the Lord of the Rings. There is some, but it is in the background. There is more in the Silmarillion. But if you read Tolkien’s letters, he seems to have had not much interest in politics, and a very low opinion of politicians. In particular, he refers to Churchill quite mockingly even in the midst of the Blitz.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray
     
    You make a good response to Anatoly's point, with Gollum. In general, I suppose, although Tolkien's was a universe of absolute good versus absolute evil, people's motivations were often complex and even understandable when they turned to the dark side or generally behaved badly. And though there was always repentance and forgiveness available, the latter always depended upon the former - there was never any pretence that the behaviour itself was other than evil even if it was understandable, and it always had consequences.

    But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don’t play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.
     
    I agree with this. Eowyn was a good attempt by a male conservative to understand and explain the motivations and psychological issues of feminism in the context of a medieval human society, imo.
    , @reiner Tor

    In the end, Frodo simply fails.
     
    Because everyone else would have failed, a point that is repeatedly made in the book. The Ring simply has so strong supernatural powers that no mortals (and probably not many immortals either) could withstand it. It's hardly a "fault" of Frodo to be unable to resist it in the end.

    Sam's mercilessness towards Gollum is probably really a fault (or could it be the result of some subtle manipulation by the supernatural powers of the Ring?), but it's not something that is difficult to understand.

    To me the characters seemed to be a little like cardboard figures. It was still good to read it.
    , @vinteuil
    "In the Lord of the Rings, the relation between Frodo, Gollum, and Sam is quite complex. Frodo comes to understand Gollum as a tragic figure, something like a normal Hobbit destroyed by his curiosity for seeking out the roots of things and by the weight of being a Ring bearer. Sam, an otherwise completely virtuous character, is absolutely merciless to Gollum and accuses him of treachery just at the moment when he is on the edge of repentance. In the end, Frodo simply fails. He takes the Ring and is saved only by Gollum biting offing his finger and falling into the fire."

    This is exactly right. I mean, really - exactly right.

    In all of Western literature, Frodo is an absolutely unique hero. His struggle is, ultimately, not against any external enemy, but against himself. And his struggle ends in failure.
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  15. Randal says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray. In the Lord of the Rings, the relation between Frodo, Gollum, and Sam is quite complex. Frodo comes to understand Gollum as a tragic figure, something like a normal Hobbit destroyed by his curiosity for seeking out the roots of things and by the weight of being a Ring bearer. Sam, an otherwise completely virtuous character, is absolutely merciless to Gollum and accuses him of treachery just at the moment when he is on the edge of repentance. In the end, Frodo simply fails. He takes the Ring and is saved only by Gollum biting offing his finger and falling into the fire.

    Concerning relations between the sexes, there is much more of this in the Silmarillion. But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don't play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.

    About politics, maybe this is fair about the Lord of the Rings. There is some, but it is in the background. There is more in the Silmarillion. But if you read Tolkien's letters, he seems to have had not much interest in politics, and a very low opinion of politicians. In particular, he refers to Churchill quite mockingly even in the midst of the Blitz.

    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray

    You make a good response to Anatoly’s point, with Gollum. In general, I suppose, although Tolkien’s was a universe of absolute good versus absolute evil, people’s motivations were often complex and even understandable when they turned to the dark side or generally behaved badly. And though there was always repentance and forgiveness available, the latter always depended upon the former – there was never any pretence that the behaviour itself was other than evil even if it was understandable, and it always had consequences.

    But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don’t play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.

    I agree with this. Eowyn was a good attempt by a male conservative to understand and explain the motivations and psychological issues of feminism in the context of a medieval human society, imo.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Speaking of feminism in the context of medieval society, I find Chaucer very interesting. There is of course the hilarious Wife of Bath's Tale, but the Franklin's Tale is quite serious and makes an interesting point about how equality between the sexes was only possible in the privacy of the home, but not in public, especially when the man is of lower social status than the woman. Basically, he can't afford to treat her equally in public without losing face, and she appreciates this. What's interesting about this is that Chaucer cared enough to feel that equality was desirable while at the same time understanding that there were real obstacles to it.
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  16. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?
     
    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.

    Here's a fun anecdote which we discussed in one of our recent ROGPR episodes - a huge percentage of Communists (sovoks) on their online forums use avatars from the Command and Conquer video series. Simply because the Team Red aesthetics that some Californian pot smokers created is superior to what an actual Communist state managed over 70 odd years.

    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.

    Book/movie/game heroes of modern Russia. 3/4 of them are of American origin

    Comic-Con Russia 2016

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    People who are into Cosplay aren't really representative of the general population though.
    Also not clear to me the majority of the costumes shown on those pics is really US-inspired, I could discern only some Star wars and Marvel superhero costumes...Japanese video games/anime might be more of an influence. But then I don't know much about these things and probably don't get the references.
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  17. melanf says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    I've mentioned it before, but I highly recommend Chronicles of Amber. I wouldn't call it "redpilled" insofar as it is simply the result of being written from an earlier age, but its generally enjoyable and avoids most modern disgustingness. The sheer murderous dysfunction of the main character's family is genuinely third-world like, though, along with the hilariously convoluted reasons for the clan fights.

    "Well, the king was married to a woman and she had some boys...but then he changed his mind and divorced her, ex nihilo, such that the marriage never happened! This means that they are delegitimized, I think. Anyway, my mother had my elder brother...but she was only the King's mistress then. After she married him, she had me, so that makes me the legitimate heir. All the other boys disagree, though."

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I highly recommend Chronicles of Amber.

    Really great book, much better than “the Lord of the rings” or “Song of Ice and Fire” . This is the most cheerful book I know of

    Fanart from St. Petersburg

    Olga Sluchanko illustrations for The Chronicles ofAmber

    Read More
    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
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  18. @Randal

    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray
     
    You make a good response to Anatoly's point, with Gollum. In general, I suppose, although Tolkien's was a universe of absolute good versus absolute evil, people's motivations were often complex and even understandable when they turned to the dark side or generally behaved badly. And though there was always repentance and forgiveness available, the latter always depended upon the former - there was never any pretence that the behaviour itself was other than evil even if it was understandable, and it always had consequences.

    But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don’t play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.
     
    I agree with this. Eowyn was a good attempt by a male conservative to understand and explain the motivations and psychological issues of feminism in the context of a medieval human society, imo.

    Speaking of feminism in the context of medieval society, I find Chaucer very interesting. There is of course the hilarious Wife of Bath’s Tale, but the Franklin’s Tale is quite serious and makes an interesting point about how equality between the sexes was only possible in the privacy of the home, but not in public, especially when the man is of lower social status than the woman. Basically, he can’t afford to treat her equally in public without losing face, and she appreciates this. What’s interesting about this is that Chaucer cared enough to feel that equality was desirable while at the same time understanding that there were real obstacles to it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    an interesting point about how equality between the sexes was only possible in the privacy of the home, but not in public, especially when the man is of lower social status than the woman. Basically, he can’t afford to treat her equally in public without losing face, and she appreciates this.
     
    That's an interesting point, though I'd suggest that at root it's probably an eternal human truth and not specific to medieval society. Those societies that refuse to admit it, such as those of the modern feminist west, pay a heavy social price.
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  19. songbird says:
    @Randal

    The feminist propaganda has killed much of the enjoyment for me.
     
    Feminist propaganda, homosexualist propaganda, antiracist propaganda, exploitation and normalisation of pornography - the show seemed to me to have all the most harmful tropes of US media cultural pollution, which is why despite its undoubted but inadequate redeeming qualities I decided to stop watching it early on (somewhere in the second series iirc). I'm surprised they haven't yet started showing strong White Walker characters as noble heroes making their way in Westeros society despite facing all the racist hostility to immigrants that bigots like the people who built the Wall could throw at them (perhaps they have).

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway - what is the benefit of making fantasy stories with dragons and magic grittily "realistic" anyway? I used to think that would be a good idea, until I encountered the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin. Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.

    Judged against the full spectrum of fantasy writers I wouldn’t call Martin “dogmatic” at all. Le Guin (and many others) — absolutely. Le Guin makes a point of making many of her characters black, and derided some diverse TV adaptation as being “too whitebread.” Wasn’t she the child of two social anthropologists?

    Martin, by contrast, watches the NFL and is fairly Eurocentric. A lot of his story is based on European history. Once, some black guy on WJL Live asked him why so many fantasy books focus on white guys . Martin’s response was politely dismissive: the writers are white guys.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Le Guin's a poser. If you are going to write fantasy, black is at least as boring as white. Why not give the characters variegated skin?
    , @Randal
    I'm not familiar with much of LeGuin's work - I read the original Earthsea books and The Dispossessed and one or two other early sf works, but nothing of hers written after the mid-1970s, as far as I recall. Enough to recognise a very competent writer even if I didn't like her politics particularly.

    The political stuff in Dispossessed though, I found much less obnoxious than the kind of routine political correctness of Martin's stuff (though I think Game of Thrones is probably far worse and might well have coloured my recollections of the book for the worse). But I certainly didn't manage to continue with reading that series (long before the TV series). It was recommended to me by a very good friend who couldn't stomach the Wheel of Time books I was reading at the time because he assumed it was just hollow Tolkien imitation (which I can understand, but isn't correct imo). Anyway, he never read the WoT and I never read the SoIaF series.
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  20. @songbird
    Judged against the full spectrum of fantasy writers I wouldn't call Martin "dogmatic" at all. Le Guin (and many others) -- absolutely. Le Guin makes a point of making many of her characters black, and derided some diverse TV adaptation as being "too whitebread." Wasn't she the child of two social anthropologists?

    Martin, by contrast, watches the NFL and is fairly Eurocentric. A lot of his story is based on European history. Once, some black guy on WJL Live asked him why so many fantasy books focus on white guys . Martin's response was politely dismissive: the writers are white guys.

    Le Guin’s a poser. If you are going to write fantasy, black is at least as boring as white. Why not give the characters variegated skin?

    Read More
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  21. @melanf

    "Final question, how do Hollywood movies get received considering that Hollywood is now openly supporting the “Russians are evil” narrative ?"
     
    No problem, Hollywood movies - 90% of all movies in the cinema. On television there are constant American series. The ideological component completely indifferent to the Russian audience

    The ideological component completely indifferent to the Russian audience

    Does this include “patriotic” US series like the dreadful Navy CIS? That occasionally has Russian villains, is something like this shown in Russia?

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    Does this include “patriotic” US series like the dreadful Navy CIS? That occasionally has Russian villains, is something like this shown in Russia?
     
    I don't know about the show "Navy CIS", but for example the movie "Rambo in Vietnam" (Rambo: First Blood Part II ) was a great success in Russia. And in last New Year, state TV showed "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

    The reason is probably that Hollywood shows Russians so grotesquely implausible that in Russia it has cause only laughter
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  22. @melanf

    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.
     
    Book/movie/game heroes of modern Russia. 3/4 of them are of American origin

    https://imgur.com/a/2srbx

    People who are into Cosplay aren’t really representative of the general population though.
    Also not clear to me the majority of the costumes shown on those pics is really US-inspired, I could discern only some Star wars and Marvel superhero costumes…Japanese video games/anime might be more of an influence. But then I don’t know much about these things and probably don’t get the references.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    People who are into Cosplay aren’t really representative of the general population though.
     
    Here's another example: a local festival in my town, 16 June 2017. By order of the city fathers, the American robot (from the animated series "Transformers") entertains children.

    http://imgur.com/a/TWXTK

    You will be funny, but the festival was dedicated to the totem of the town - a giant mutant ant
    http://imgur.com/a/d4vh8

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  23. melanf says:
    @German_reader

    The ideological component completely indifferent to the Russian audience
     
    Does this include "patriotic" US series like the dreadful Navy CIS? That occasionally has Russian villains, is something like this shown in Russia?

    Does this include “patriotic” US series like the dreadful Navy CIS? That occasionally has Russian villains, is something like this shown in Russia?

    I don’t know about the show “Navy CIS”, but for example the movie “Rambo in Vietnam” (Rambo: First Blood Part II ) was a great success in Russia. And in last New Year, state TV showed “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.

    The reason is probably that Hollywood shows Russians so grotesquely implausible that in Russia it has cause only laughter

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Russians must be somewhat masochistic if they can enjoy something like Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today's point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)...though you're right of course that it's so grotesquely over the top it's hard to take seriously.
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  24. @melanf

    Does this include “patriotic” US series like the dreadful Navy CIS? That occasionally has Russian villains, is something like this shown in Russia?
     
    I don't know about the show "Navy CIS", but for example the movie "Rambo in Vietnam" (Rambo: First Blood Part II ) was a great success in Russia. And in last New Year, state TV showed "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

    The reason is probably that Hollywood shows Russians so grotesquely implausible that in Russia it has cause only laughter

    Russians must be somewhat masochistic if they can enjoy something like Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today’s point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)…though you’re right of course that it’s so grotesquely over the top it’s hard to take seriously.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    Russians must be somewhat masochistic if they can enjoy something like Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians
     
    Absolutely no masochism, these scenes in Russia were perceived as parodic farce, and caused a healthy laughter
    , @Randal

    Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today’s point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)
     
    Personally I find it hilarious watching US films from the 1980s which were propagandising for islamist terrorists as heroes because they were using them to do their dirty work in Afghanistan. The film eulogies came to an abrupt stop in 2001, I think, although not the use of islamist terrorists as geopolitical battering rams, obviously.

    Another great example of the mujahideen-worship genre was The Beast of War, made in 1988 and about a Russian T-55 crew who get lost in Afghanistan. Features as the vicious baddie a Russian tank commander, iirc, who grew up as a child in Stalingrad known as "tank boy", and who comes out with the classic Hollywood line: "how come we're the Nazis this time?", or some such. Interesting to note that the military adviser for the film had the necessary contacts to pick up a couple of captured T-55s from the Israelis.
    , @reiner Tor
    Do Germans watch Hollywood WW2 movies? I guess so. Even the Pearl Harbor movie was marketed in Japan. Either these are weird, too, or Russians watching the Rambo movies are just normal.
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  25. Randal says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    Speaking of feminism in the context of medieval society, I find Chaucer very interesting. There is of course the hilarious Wife of Bath's Tale, but the Franklin's Tale is quite serious and makes an interesting point about how equality between the sexes was only possible in the privacy of the home, but not in public, especially when the man is of lower social status than the woman. Basically, he can't afford to treat her equally in public without losing face, and she appreciates this. What's interesting about this is that Chaucer cared enough to feel that equality was desirable while at the same time understanding that there were real obstacles to it.

    an interesting point about how equality between the sexes was only possible in the privacy of the home, but not in public, especially when the man is of lower social status than the woman. Basically, he can’t afford to treat her equally in public without losing face, and she appreciates this.

    That’s an interesting point, though I’d suggest that at root it’s probably an eternal human truth and not specific to medieval society. Those societies that refuse to admit it, such as those of the modern feminist west, pay a heavy social price.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  26. melanf says:
    @German_reader
    People who are into Cosplay aren't really representative of the general population though.
    Also not clear to me the majority of the costumes shown on those pics is really US-inspired, I could discern only some Star wars and Marvel superhero costumes...Japanese video games/anime might be more of an influence. But then I don't know much about these things and probably don't get the references.

    People who are into Cosplay aren’t really representative of the general population though.

    Here’s another example: a local festival in my town, 16 June 2017. By order of the city fathers, the American robot (from the animated series “Transformers”) entertains children.

    View post on imgur.com

    You will be funny, but the festival was dedicated to the totem of the town – a giant mutant ant

    View post on imgur.com

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I find this somewhat sad tbh..."Transformers" is trash even by the standards of US pop culture. I don't get why Russia needs to import such crap instead of building on its own traditions of children's literature, television programmes etc.
    The reading ant is quite original though.
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  27. Randal says:
    @songbird
    Judged against the full spectrum of fantasy writers I wouldn't call Martin "dogmatic" at all. Le Guin (and many others) -- absolutely. Le Guin makes a point of making many of her characters black, and derided some diverse TV adaptation as being "too whitebread." Wasn't she the child of two social anthropologists?

    Martin, by contrast, watches the NFL and is fairly Eurocentric. A lot of his story is based on European history. Once, some black guy on WJL Live asked him why so many fantasy books focus on white guys . Martin's response was politely dismissive: the writers are white guys.

    I’m not familiar with much of LeGuin’s work – I read the original Earthsea books and The Dispossessed and one or two other early sf works, but nothing of hers written after the mid-1970s, as far as I recall. Enough to recognise a very competent writer even if I didn’t like her politics particularly.

    The political stuff in Dispossessed though, I found much less obnoxious than the kind of routine political correctness of Martin’s stuff (though I think Game of Thrones is probably far worse and might well have coloured my recollections of the book for the worse). But I certainly didn’t manage to continue with reading that series (long before the TV series). It was recommended to me by a very good friend who couldn’t stomach the Wheel of Time books I was reading at the time because he assumed it was just hollow Tolkien imitation (which I can understand, but isn’t correct imo). Anyway, he never read the WoT and I never read the SoIaF series.

    Read More
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  28. melanf says:
    @German_reader
    Russians must be somewhat masochistic if they can enjoy something like Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today's point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)...though you're right of course that it's so grotesquely over the top it's hard to take seriously.

    Russians must be somewhat masochistic if they can enjoy something like Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians

    Absolutely no masochism, these scenes in Russia were perceived as parodic farce, and caused a healthy laughter

    Read More
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  29. Randal says:
    @German_reader
    Russians must be somewhat masochistic if they can enjoy something like Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today's point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)...though you're right of course that it's so grotesquely over the top it's hard to take seriously.

    Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today’s point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)

    Personally I find it hilarious watching US films from the 1980s which were propagandising for islamist terrorists as heroes because they were using them to do their dirty work in Afghanistan. The film eulogies came to an abrupt stop in 2001, I think, although not the use of islamist terrorists as geopolitical battering rams, obviously.

    Another great example of the mujahideen-worship genre was The Beast of War, made in 1988 and about a Russian T-55 crew who get lost in Afghanistan. Features as the vicious baddie a Russian tank commander, iirc, who grew up as a child in Stalingrad known as “tank boy”, and who comes out with the classic Hollywood line: “how come we’re the Nazis this time?”, or some such. Interesting to note that the military adviser for the film had the necessary contacts to pick up a couple of captured T-55s from the Israelis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Randal,

    Yeah - The Beast of War is a classic 80's anti-Commie film. I think it was even shot in the Negev desert. Those Israelis are down for some prime propaganda when needs be.

    Peace.
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  30. @melanf

    People who are into Cosplay aren’t really representative of the general population though.
     
    Here's another example: a local festival in my town, 16 June 2017. By order of the city fathers, the American robot (from the animated series "Transformers") entertains children.

    http://imgur.com/a/TWXTK

    You will be funny, but the festival was dedicated to the totem of the town - a giant mutant ant
    http://imgur.com/a/d4vh8

    I find this somewhat sad tbh…”Transformers” is trash even by the standards of US pop culture. I don’t get why Russia needs to import such crap instead of building on its own traditions of children’s literature, television programmes etc.
    The reading ant is quite original though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    …”Transformers” is trash even by the standards of US
     
    The robot is familiar to children from the cartoon, not from the movies. Cartoons about transformers - it is a normal cartoon for kids

    I don’t get why Russia needs to import such crap instead of building on its own traditions of children’s literature, television programmes etc.
    .
     
    It's not so bad. Modern Russian cinema is a cesspool. But the cartoons for kids are the exception - these cartoons are produced in Russia in large quantities and sell in different countries of the world. But the American cartoons and movies for children of course also popular.

    Similarly, in the literature - the original Russian literature for youth is alive and well, but competes with Anglo-American literature (which is also popular).
    In the Soviet Union was a similar situation - the beloved children's character was Karlsson-on-the-Roof from Stockholm

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  31. Talha says:
    @Randal

    Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today’s point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)
     
    Personally I find it hilarious watching US films from the 1980s which were propagandising for islamist terrorists as heroes because they were using them to do their dirty work in Afghanistan. The film eulogies came to an abrupt stop in 2001, I think, although not the use of islamist terrorists as geopolitical battering rams, obviously.

    Another great example of the mujahideen-worship genre was The Beast of War, made in 1988 and about a Russian T-55 crew who get lost in Afghanistan. Features as the vicious baddie a Russian tank commander, iirc, who grew up as a child in Stalingrad known as "tank boy", and who comes out with the classic Hollywood line: "how come we're the Nazis this time?", or some such. Interesting to note that the military adviser for the film had the necessary contacts to pick up a couple of captured T-55s from the Israelis.

    Hey Randal,

    Yeah – The Beast of War is a classic 80′s anti-Commie film. I think it was even shot in the Negev desert. Those Israelis are down for some prime propaganda when needs be.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    It's certainly in my DVD collection, along with Kelly's Heroes, the greatest Vietnam film set in WW2 ever made.

    Those Israelis are down for some prime propaganda when needs be.
     
    The best there's ever been. That's one part of the reason the world's so f'ed up today.
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  32. @German_reader
    Russians must be somewhat masochistic if they can enjoy something like Rambo II which has Rambo kill dozens of Russians (the 3rd one is even worse from today's point of view, with its depiction of mujahideen as heroes)...though you're right of course that it's so grotesquely over the top it's hard to take seriously.

    Do Germans watch Hollywood WW2 movies? I guess so. Even the Pearl Harbor movie was marketed in Japan. Either these are weird, too, or Russians watching the Rambo movies are just normal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Germany lost in 1945, it's a defeated nation. Besides Nazi Germany really was evil in a way the Soviet Union wasn't (probably even during the Stalin era, but most certainly after 1953).
    But despite that I actually refuse to watch movies like Saving Private Ryan or that relatively recent movie with Brad Pitt about a Sherman tank (Fury iirc). It's one thing to admit that Germans deserved to lose WW2, it's another to watch American heroes mow down dozens of Germans as entertainment...I actually do think there's something psychologically wrong with Germans who do the latter.
    , @Anon
    Americans watched "Little Big Man", and that wasn't even entertaining.
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  33. Randal says:
    @Talha
    Hey Randal,

    Yeah - The Beast of War is a classic 80's anti-Commie film. I think it was even shot in the Negev desert. Those Israelis are down for some prime propaganda when needs be.

    Peace.

    It’s certainly in my DVD collection, along with Kelly’s Heroes, the greatest Vietnam film set in WW2 ever made.

    Those Israelis are down for some prime propaganda when needs be.

    The best there’s ever been. That’s one part of the reason the world’s so f’ed up today.

    Read More
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  34. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    What do the Vatniks and Sovoks prefer to watch ?
     
    As melanf said, popular culture is almost completely Americanized.

    Here's a fun anecdote which we discussed in one of our recent ROGPR episodes - a huge percentage of Communists (sovoks) on their online forums use avatars from the Command and Conquer video series. Simply because the Team Red aesthetics that some Californian pot smokers created is superior to what an actual Communist state managed over 70 odd years.

    Actually, they like it for the high klyukva quotient. The same series have hilarious “Soviet” march sung in broken Russian with lines like “Stolitsa, vodka, Sovetsky medved.” John Batchelor sometimes uses it as a theme for his weekly talks with Professor Stephen Cohen. He apparently thinks it’s an actual Soviet song.

    Read More
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  35. @The Big Red Scary
    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray. In the Lord of the Rings, the relation between Frodo, Gollum, and Sam is quite complex. Frodo comes to understand Gollum as a tragic figure, something like a normal Hobbit destroyed by his curiosity for seeking out the roots of things and by the weight of being a Ring bearer. Sam, an otherwise completely virtuous character, is absolutely merciless to Gollum and accuses him of treachery just at the moment when he is on the edge of repentance. In the end, Frodo simply fails. He takes the Ring and is saved only by Gollum biting offing his finger and falling into the fire.

    Concerning relations between the sexes, there is much more of this in the Silmarillion. But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don't play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.

    About politics, maybe this is fair about the Lord of the Rings. There is some, but it is in the background. There is more in the Silmarillion. But if you read Tolkien's letters, he seems to have had not much interest in politics, and a very low opinion of politicians. In particular, he refers to Churchill quite mockingly even in the midst of the Blitz.

    In the end, Frodo simply fails.

    Because everyone else would have failed, a point that is repeatedly made in the book. The Ring simply has so strong supernatural powers that no mortals (and probably not many immortals either) could withstand it. It’s hardly a “fault” of Frodo to be unable to resist it in the end.

    Sam’s mercilessness towards Gollum is probably really a fault (or could it be the result of some subtle manipulation by the supernatural powers of the Ring?), but it’s not something that is difficult to understand.

    To me the characters seemed to be a little like cardboard figures. It was still good to read it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Sam’s mercilessness towards Gollum is probably really a fault (or could it be the result of some subtle manipulation by the supernatural powers of the Ring?)
     
    iirc Sam is actually pretty much the character most resistant to the ring's effects...doesn't he use it when Frodo is held captive in that Orc tower?
    And personally I don't think Sam was unnecessarily cruel towards Gollum, that was just prudent (and in the end Gollum does prove to be irredeemable...making all the hints about his possible redemption rather pointless imo).
    iirc Tolkien once stated that he modelled Sam on WW1 British soldiers...and of course the Shire is basically an idealised version of England (one of the reasons why LotR is hated by many "progressives").
    Btw, wasn't there some Russian who wrote a novel in which Sauron and the Orcs actually are the good guys, standing for scientific advancement, whereas the Elves etc. are nasty feudalist reactionaries? Has anybody here read that?
    , @Anon
    Gollum is all very Jungian. He is Frodo's psychological 'shadow' or weak side which is always causing problems but in the end is necessary to get the job done.

    Given that Tolkein was highly religious in a Christian sense, it doesn't surprise me that biblical symbolism has also slipped in somewhat oddly. Frodo and Sam are the 'two witnesses' of Revelation but in reverse. In the book, these two appear at the end of the magical age and perform the deeds that cause it to fade away, leaving only the mundane physical world of men. In the Book of Revelation, the two witnesses supposedly end the mundane physical world of men and create the supernatural world of the Kingdom.
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  36. @reiner Tor
    Do Germans watch Hollywood WW2 movies? I guess so. Even the Pearl Harbor movie was marketed in Japan. Either these are weird, too, or Russians watching the Rambo movies are just normal.

    Germany lost in 1945, it’s a defeated nation. Besides Nazi Germany really was evil in a way the Soviet Union wasn’t (probably even during the Stalin era, but most certainly after 1953).
    But despite that I actually refuse to watch movies like Saving Private Ryan or that relatively recent movie with Brad Pitt about a Sherman tank (Fury iirc). It’s one thing to admit that Germans deserved to lose WW2, it’s another to watch American heroes mow down dozens of Germans as entertainment…I actually do think there’s something psychologically wrong with Germans who do the latter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    You're being rather hard on the Nazis,aren't you?
    , @neutral

    Besides Nazi Germany really was evil
     
    Evil is whatever society decides it to be. Had the Third Reich won then it would not have been called evil. All of us have come about because some ancestor exterminated some other rival people to procreate. As Hitler correctly said, the iron law of nature is absolute regardless how much you don't like it.
    , @anon

    Besides Nazi Germany really was evil in a way the Soviet Union wasn’t (probably even during the Stalin era, but most certainly after 1953).
     
    After 1917 the bolsheviks murdered the top 10% of Russian society in concentration camps including gassing them in trucks. Part of the focus on the holocaust after WW2 is a smokescreen for what the Bolsheviks did.
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  37. @reiner Tor

    In the end, Frodo simply fails.
     
    Because everyone else would have failed, a point that is repeatedly made in the book. The Ring simply has so strong supernatural powers that no mortals (and probably not many immortals either) could withstand it. It's hardly a "fault" of Frodo to be unable to resist it in the end.

    Sam's mercilessness towards Gollum is probably really a fault (or could it be the result of some subtle manipulation by the supernatural powers of the Ring?), but it's not something that is difficult to understand.

    To me the characters seemed to be a little like cardboard figures. It was still good to read it.

    Sam’s mercilessness towards Gollum is probably really a fault (or could it be the result of some subtle manipulation by the supernatural powers of the Ring?)

    iirc Sam is actually pretty much the character most resistant to the ring’s effects…doesn’t he use it when Frodo is held captive in that Orc tower?
    And personally I don’t think Sam was unnecessarily cruel towards Gollum, that was just prudent (and in the end Gollum does prove to be irredeemable…making all the hints about his possible redemption rather pointless imo).
    iirc Tolkien once stated that he modelled Sam on WW1 British soldiers…and of course the Shire is basically an idealised version of England (one of the reasons why LotR is hated by many “progressives”).
    Btw, wasn’t there some Russian who wrote a novel in which Sauron and the Orcs actually are the good guys, standing for scientific advancement, whereas the Elves etc. are nasty feudalist reactionaries? Has anybody here read that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Eskov.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer
    http://www.salon.com/2011/02/23/last_ringbearer_explanation/

    I haven't read it myself, but I agree with him that something doesn't add up in the official histories. Sauron did nothing wrong!

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/679269582524121088
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  38. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @reiner Tor
    Do Germans watch Hollywood WW2 movies? I guess so. Even the Pearl Harbor movie was marketed in Japan. Either these are weird, too, or Russians watching the Rambo movies are just normal.

    Americans watched “Little Big Man”, and that wasn’t even entertaining.

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  39. I am a Kraut and recently watched “Fury”…

    Too much of a history nerd. “Where the fuck did a full SS unit come from in 1944/1945 at the western front? And why do they fight like Morons? Red army killed all moron SS units by then.”

    Film never explained that.

    When I was in the German army, there was a Rambo based drinking game.
    Drink whenever an actual Speznaz would have just killed Rambo.
    This often lead to interesting exchanges like this:

    Gefreiter A: Hej, Gefreiter B, why didnt you drink? Clearly, this stupid stunt would have resulted in immidiate death by Speznaz!
    Gefreiter B: But this was so moronic, what if the Speznaz thinks this is some sort of hidden camera thing?
    Gefreiter A: Do they have hidden Camera shows in Russia?
    Feldwebel C: They do, and they are watching us right now, its probably titled “4 dumb Fritzes watch Rambo while drinking just before the VDV says privet”, and they are
    undoubtetly dubbing over us with a very poor quality. Oh the horrible dubs! They are truely the vilest invention of the Russian war machine, a most direct assault on our culture and our logistics!
    Me: Logistics?
    Feldwebel C: Yes of course, an army marches on its steady supply of readily available cheap Porn. If the Porn has even the female parts dubbed over by the same overweight guy from Novofuckoffograd, it no longer fullfills any porn related function! Dubbing porn is like poisoning the water supply! Now stop talking and restart drinking you morons.
    Me: But couldnt you watch them with the sound off?
    Feldwebel C: Porn with sound off? HERESY! Where is the Politcommisar? Ah crap, we are no longer NVA (East German army), you got lucky!.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ussr andy
    Soviet dubbing is was actually renowned for its quality, technical and artistic alike.
    it was in the late 80's that guys with speech defects began to dub movies on consumer equipment.
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  40. ussr andy says:
    @Mightypeon
    I am a Kraut and recently watched "Fury"...

    Too much of a history nerd. "Where the fuck did a full SS unit come from in 1944/1945 at the western front? And why do they fight like Morons? Red army killed all moron SS units by then."

    Film never explained that.


    When I was in the German army, there was a Rambo based drinking game.
    Drink whenever an actual Speznaz would have just killed Rambo.
    This often lead to interesting exchanges like this:

    Gefreiter A: Hej, Gefreiter B, why didnt you drink? Clearly, this stupid stunt would have resulted in immidiate death by Speznaz!
    Gefreiter B: But this was so moronic, what if the Speznaz thinks this is some sort of hidden camera thing?
    Gefreiter A: Do they have hidden Camera shows in Russia?
    Feldwebel C: They do, and they are watching us right now, its probably titled "4 dumb Fritzes watch Rambo while drinking just before the VDV says privet", and they are
    undoubtetly dubbing over us with a very poor quality. Oh the horrible dubs! They are truely the vilest invention of the Russian war machine, a most direct assault on our culture and our logistics!
    Me: Logistics?
    Feldwebel C: Yes of course, an army marches on its steady supply of readily available cheap Porn. If the Porn has even the female parts dubbed over by the same overweight guy from Novofuckoffograd, it no longer fullfills any porn related function! Dubbing porn is like poisoning the water supply! Now stop talking and restart drinking you morons.
    Me: But couldnt you watch them with the sound off?
    Feldwebel C: Porn with sound off? HERESY! Where is the Politcommisar? Ah crap, we are no longer NVA (East German army), you got lucky!.

    Soviet dubbing is was actually renowned for its quality, technical and artistic alike.
    it was in the late 80′s that guys with speech defects began to dub movies on consumer equipment.

    Read More
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  41. @Anatoly Karlin

    Then again I always preferred the Wheel of Time books to the Song of Ice and Fire books anyway...
     
    I certainly wouldn't recommend Wheel of Time as a redpill alternative to ASoIaF... quite the opposite, in fact.

    Also it becomes increasingly evident as the series goes on that Robert Jordan is a BDSM freak. :)

    ... the results of it being done by a writer as dogmatically leftist as Martin
     
    GRRM is a dogmatic leftist in person but the series itself is remarkably based. 90% of the grrlpower shit is show-specific.

    Tolkien seemed not to need the props of explicit sex and gratuitous, gloatingly described violence in order to write an exciting story.
     
    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple - no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactionss between the sexes.

    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple – no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactions between the sexes.

    Have you read the Silmarillion and Tolkien’s other tales of the First Age?

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Silmarillion has been compared to the Old Testament...maybe somewhat unfair, but it's almost theological in parts. Characters also seemed quite flat to me, much less developed as individuals than the characters in LotR (maybe not surprising, Tolkien never produced a final version of it iirc, it was all drafts and many different versions of the same stories). It's interesting as mythology, but it's even more removed from a "realistic" version of a fantasy world than LotR.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, I read The Silmarillion. It was very boring and getting through it was a struggle.

    Might have had something to do with me reading it immediately after LoTR when I was around 12 so I might find it more interesting now but no time to check now. All the lore is now available on wikis anyway.
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  42. @John Gruskos

    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple – no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactions between the sexes.
     
    Have you read the Silmarillion and Tolkien's other tales of the First Age?

    Silmarillion has been compared to the Old Testament…maybe somewhat unfair, but it’s almost theological in parts. Characters also seemed quite flat to me, much less developed as individuals than the characters in LotR (maybe not surprising, Tolkien never produced a final version of it iirc, it was all drafts and many different versions of the same stories). It’s interesting as mythology, but it’s even more removed from a “realistic” version of a fantasy world than LotR.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    Very, very off-topic, but with policies like this - Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects refugee limit for Germany in TV interview - how is Merkel able to remain party leader?
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  43. inertial says:

    Tolkien wasn’t interested in “realism.” He was interested in Myth. Realism is a strange criteria for a fantasy work anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Game of Thrones is supposedly "realistic" though with all its violence, political intrigues and shades of grey. That's what distinguishes it from Tolkien's works (you're of course right that Tolkien was interested in myth, iirc he would have liked to create the mythology England lacked in his opinion).
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  44. @German_reader

    Sam’s mercilessness towards Gollum is probably really a fault (or could it be the result of some subtle manipulation by the supernatural powers of the Ring?)
     
    iirc Sam is actually pretty much the character most resistant to the ring's effects...doesn't he use it when Frodo is held captive in that Orc tower?
    And personally I don't think Sam was unnecessarily cruel towards Gollum, that was just prudent (and in the end Gollum does prove to be irredeemable...making all the hints about his possible redemption rather pointless imo).
    iirc Tolkien once stated that he modelled Sam on WW1 British soldiers...and of course the Shire is basically an idealised version of England (one of the reasons why LotR is hated by many "progressives").
    Btw, wasn't there some Russian who wrote a novel in which Sauron and the Orcs actually are the good guys, standing for scientific advancement, whereas the Elves etc. are nasty feudalist reactionaries? Has anybody here read that?

    The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Eskov.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer

    http://www.salon.com/2011/02/23/last_ringbearer_explanation/

    I haven’t read it myself, but I agree with him that something doesn’t add up in the official histories. Sauron did nothing wrong!

    Read More
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  45. @inertial
    Tolkien wasn't interested in "realism." He was interested in Myth. Realism is a strange criteria for a fantasy work anyway.

    Game of Thrones is supposedly “realistic” though with all its violence, political intrigues and shades of grey. That’s what distinguishes it from Tolkien’s works (you’re of course right that Tolkien was interested in myth, iirc he would have liked to create the mythology England lacked in his opinion).

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    Game of Thrones is supposedly “realistic” though with all its violence, political intrigues and shades of grey. That’s what distinguishes it from Tolkien’s works (you’re of course right that Tolkien was interested in myth, iirc he would have liked to create the mythology England lacked in his opinion).
     
    "Song of Ice and Fire " is quite realistic in the initial three volumes in regard to "European" Westeros. Where Martin begins to describe the wicked slaveholders, starts pure trash.

    Starting from 4 volum trash covers all narrative - the endless repetition of the protracted plot, Martin disguises by pornography, and savoring of cannibalism
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  46. @John Gruskos

    Tolkien is a great writer, but his epic was thematically simple – no different shades of gray (just black and white), no politics, no realistic interactions between the sexes.
     
    Have you read the Silmarillion and Tolkien's other tales of the First Age?

    Yes, I read The Silmarillion. It was very boring and getting through it was a struggle.

    Might have had something to do with me reading it immediately after LoTR when I was around 12 so I might find it more interesting now but no time to check now. All the lore is now available on wikis anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    I also struggled through the Silmarillion when I was about 12. But I read it a few more times as a teenager and at least once in my mid-twenties. If you like myth, and you appreciate Tolkien's aesthetic, then it is worth the read. It's not even very long. The story of Numenor I find particularly interesting, and even relevant, as a meditation on the blessing and the curse of civilization. The Numenoreans begin as a highly intelligent, fertile, vigorous civilization, only to descend into an obsession with death and a desire to dominate weaker peoples. Not unlike our own civilization.

    Faramir to Frodo in the Twin Towers:

    "Kings made tombs more splendid than houses of the living, and counted old names in the rolls of their descent dearer than the names of sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars. And the last king of the line of Anárion had no heir."

    In fact, funny enough, someone has even done a demographic study of the Numenoreans.

    http://www.zarkanya.net/Tolkien/Decline%20of%20the%20Numenoreans.htm#_ednref13
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  47. @vinteuil
    The TV shows got worse & stupider at a slightly slower pace than the books - but only slightly.

    Have not read a single word,nor seen a single scene.
    The question is,…should I consume any of this content?
    A) Yes indeed this is a most wonderful show and the book is superb. Go for it!
    B) Worthwhile,certainly. Not the best use of time,but not the worst.
    C)Don’ believe da hype. Avoid!
    D) Who cares what you do schmuck?

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    • Replies: @anon
    i stopped watching early on after some particularly nasty torture but binge-listened later (had it on in the background while browsing) just so i'd know what people were talking about.

    it's cultural poison - very good drama but cultural poison all the same. don't watch it but listen if you feel the need to understand references.
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  48. @German_reader
    Germany lost in 1945, it's a defeated nation. Besides Nazi Germany really was evil in a way the Soviet Union wasn't (probably even during the Stalin era, but most certainly after 1953).
    But despite that I actually refuse to watch movies like Saving Private Ryan or that relatively recent movie with Brad Pitt about a Sherman tank (Fury iirc). It's one thing to admit that Germans deserved to lose WW2, it's another to watch American heroes mow down dozens of Germans as entertainment...I actually do think there's something psychologically wrong with Germans who do the latter.

    You’re being rather hard on the Nazis,aren’t you?

    Read More
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  49. melanf says:
    @German_reader
    I find this somewhat sad tbh..."Transformers" is trash even by the standards of US pop culture. I don't get why Russia needs to import such crap instead of building on its own traditions of children's literature, television programmes etc.
    The reading ant is quite original though.

    …”Transformers” is trash even by the standards of US

    The robot is familiar to children from the cartoon, not from the movies. Cartoons about transformers – it is a normal cartoon for kids

    I don’t get why Russia needs to import such crap instead of building on its own traditions of children’s literature, television programmes etc.
    .

    It’s not so bad. Modern Russian cinema is a cesspool. But the cartoons for kids are the exception – these cartoons are produced in Russia in large quantities and sell in different countries of the world. But the American cartoons and movies for children of course also popular.

    Similarly, in the literature – the original Russian literature for youth is alive and well, but competes with Anglo-American literature (which is also popular).
    In the Soviet Union was a similar situation – the beloved children’s character was Karlsson-on-the-Roof from Stockholm

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  50. melanf says:
    @German_reader
    Game of Thrones is supposedly "realistic" though with all its violence, political intrigues and shades of grey. That's what distinguishes it from Tolkien's works (you're of course right that Tolkien was interested in myth, iirc he would have liked to create the mythology England lacked in his opinion).

    Game of Thrones is supposedly “realistic” though with all its violence, political intrigues and shades of grey. That’s what distinguishes it from Tolkien’s works (you’re of course right that Tolkien was interested in myth, iirc he would have liked to create the mythology England lacked in his opinion).

    “Song of Ice and Fire ” is quite realistic in the initial three volumes in regard to “European” Westeros. Where Martin begins to describe the wicked slaveholders, starts pure trash.

    Starting from 4 volum trash covers all narrative – the endless repetition of the protracted plot, Martin disguises by pornography, and savoring of cannibalism

    Read More
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  51. vinteuil says:

    B) Worthwhile,certainly. Not the best use of time,but not the worst.

    There’s just no denying that the first two or three books, and the first two or three seasons of the TV show, were thoroughly captivating. And I say this as somebody who doesn’t read much fantasy literature, let alone TV.

    I recommend watching the first couple of seasons of the TV show, if you can do it for free, just so you’ll know what people are going on about. At that point, you should have no trouble deciding whether you want to see any more, or check out the books.

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  52. vinteuil says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    I disagree about Tolkien, particulary about shades of gray. In the Lord of the Rings, the relation between Frodo, Gollum, and Sam is quite complex. Frodo comes to understand Gollum as a tragic figure, something like a normal Hobbit destroyed by his curiosity for seeking out the roots of things and by the weight of being a Ring bearer. Sam, an otherwise completely virtuous character, is absolutely merciless to Gollum and accuses him of treachery just at the moment when he is on the edge of repentance. In the end, Frodo simply fails. He takes the Ring and is saved only by Gollum biting offing his finger and falling into the fire.

    Concerning relations between the sexes, there is much more of this in the Silmarillion. But I found (many years ago) the character Eowyn (lady of Rohan) and her relations with Aragorn, Faramir, and Theodyn interesting and believable (relative to the suspension of disbelief necessary for appreciating the story). The truth is that women don't play a very large role in the Lord of the Rings.

    About politics, maybe this is fair about the Lord of the Rings. There is some, but it is in the background. There is more in the Silmarillion. But if you read Tolkien's letters, he seems to have had not much interest in politics, and a very low opinion of politicians. In particular, he refers to Churchill quite mockingly even in the midst of the Blitz.

    “In the Lord of the Rings, the relation between Frodo, Gollum, and Sam is quite complex. Frodo comes to understand Gollum as a tragic figure, something like a normal Hobbit destroyed by his curiosity for seeking out the roots of things and by the weight of being a Ring bearer. Sam, an otherwise completely virtuous character, is absolutely merciless to Gollum and accuses him of treachery just at the moment when he is on the edge of repentance. In the end, Frodo simply fails. He takes the Ring and is saved only by Gollum biting offing his finger and falling into the fire.”

    This is exactly right. I mean, really – exactly right.

    In all of Western literature, Frodo is an absolutely unique hero. His struggle is, ultimately, not against any external enemy, but against himself. And his struggle ends in failure.

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  53. @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, I read The Silmarillion. It was very boring and getting through it was a struggle.

    Might have had something to do with me reading it immediately after LoTR when I was around 12 so I might find it more interesting now but no time to check now. All the lore is now available on wikis anyway.

    I also struggled through the Silmarillion when I was about 12. But I read it a few more times as a teenager and at least once in my mid-twenties. If you like myth, and you appreciate Tolkien’s aesthetic, then it is worth the read. It’s not even very long. The story of Numenor I find particularly interesting, and even relevant, as a meditation on the blessing and the curse of civilization. The Numenoreans begin as a highly intelligent, fertile, vigorous civilization, only to descend into an obsession with death and a desire to dominate weaker peoples. Not unlike our own civilization.

    Faramir to Frodo in the Twin Towers:

    “Kings made tombs more splendid than houses of the living, and counted old names in the rolls of their descent dearer than the names of sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars. And the last king of the line of Anárion had no heir.”

    In fact, funny enough, someone has even done a demographic study of the Numenoreans.

    http://www.zarkanya.net/Tolkien/Decline%20of%20the%20Numenoreans.htm#_ednref13

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  54. neutral says:
    @German_reader
    Germany lost in 1945, it's a defeated nation. Besides Nazi Germany really was evil in a way the Soviet Union wasn't (probably even during the Stalin era, but most certainly after 1953).
    But despite that I actually refuse to watch movies like Saving Private Ryan or that relatively recent movie with Brad Pitt about a Sherman tank (Fury iirc). It's one thing to admit that Germans deserved to lose WW2, it's another to watch American heroes mow down dozens of Germans as entertainment...I actually do think there's something psychologically wrong with Germans who do the latter.

    Besides Nazi Germany really was evil

    Evil is whatever society decides it to be. Had the Third Reich won then it would not have been called evil. All of us have come about because some ancestor exterminated some other rival people to procreate. As Hitler correctly said, the iron law of nature is absolute regardless how much you don’t like it.

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Evil is whatever society decides it to be. Had the Third Reich won then it would not have been called evil. All of us have come about because some ancestor exterminated some other rival people to procreate.
     
    That is historically untrue. Empire-builders have traditionally conquered other peoples and either slaughtered or added their leaders to the ruling classes (depending on how troublesome they were in fomenting armed revolt) while adding those that did not take up arms against them, to their people. Rome was more or less similar to other empires except it was bigger. Hitler was unusual because he chose to exterminate Slavs, Jews and gypsies. He was simultaneously uniquely wicked and uniquely stupid.
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  55. @German_reader
    Silmarillion has been compared to the Old Testament...maybe somewhat unfair, but it's almost theological in parts. Characters also seemed quite flat to me, much less developed as individuals than the characters in LotR (maybe not surprising, Tolkien never produced a final version of it iirc, it was all drafts and many different versions of the same stories). It's interesting as mythology, but it's even more removed from a "realistic" version of a fantasy world than LotR.

    Very, very off-topic, but with policies like this – Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects refugee limit for Germany in TV interview – how is Merkel able to remain party leader?

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Christian Democrats care only about staying in power, they don't really have any programme apart from that...was illustrated a few weeks ago when the Bundestag legislated in favour of gay marriage (which means giving homosexual couples the right to adopt children, they already had everything else). There was hardly any protest from the Christian Democrats about this, in fact many Christian Democrats voted in favour of it...great for Merkel who removed an obstacle for a coalition with the Greens.
    There really isn't anything conservative about the CDU anymore, they don't have any principles apart from the belief that they are the natural party of government. Merkel's still liked by many Germans (yes, they are that dumb), media is still quite favorable to her, and it's pretty much certain that the CDU/CSU will be the strongest bloc again after the elections because there aren't really any viable alternatives. Merkel will stay chancellor, and as long as she delivers electoral victories she won't be removed by her party...as long as they stay in power, Christian Democrats are happy.
    There is also zero democracy within the CDU itself, Merkel basically runs the party like her own property, and her obedient yes-men just accept that. The CDU's electoral programme was apparently written pretty much alone by one of Merkel's henchmen, Peter Altmaier, a disgusting fat eunuch without wife or children whose sole reason for existing seems to be serving Merkel (and helping radical pro-asylum and open borders groups who enjoy a good relationship with him). No intra-party discussion about it. But then that programme doesn't matter anyway...the CDU has this weird personality cult around Merkel (supposedly extremely capable, a firm rock in a scary and unpredictable world), and that's enough for them.
    , @anon

    how is Merkel able to remain party leader?
     
    50 years of the media's cultural carpet bombing over racism - anyone who stands up to oppose her will be destroyed by the media
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  56. @Johann Ricke
    Very, very off-topic, but with policies like this - Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects refugee limit for Germany in TV interview - how is Merkel able to remain party leader?

    Christian Democrats care only about staying in power, they don’t really have any programme apart from that…was illustrated a few weeks ago when the Bundestag legislated in favour of gay marriage (which means giving homosexual couples the right to adopt children, they already had everything else). There was hardly any protest from the Christian Democrats about this, in fact many Christian Democrats voted in favour of it…great for Merkel who removed an obstacle for a coalition with the Greens.
    There really isn’t anything conservative about the CDU anymore, they don’t have any principles apart from the belief that they are the natural party of government. Merkel’s still liked by many Germans (yes, they are that dumb), media is still quite favorable to her, and it’s pretty much certain that the CDU/CSU will be the strongest bloc again after the elections because there aren’t really any viable alternatives. Merkel will stay chancellor, and as long as she delivers electoral victories she won’t be removed by her party…as long as they stay in power, Christian Democrats are happy.
    There is also zero democracy within the CDU itself, Merkel basically runs the party like her own property, and her obedient yes-men just accept that. The CDU’s electoral programme was apparently written pretty much alone by one of Merkel’s henchmen, Peter Altmaier, a disgusting fat eunuch without wife or children whose sole reason for existing seems to be serving Merkel (and helping radical pro-asylum and open borders groups who enjoy a good relationship with him). No intra-party discussion about it. But then that programme doesn’t matter anyway…the CDU has this weird personality cult around Merkel (supposedly extremely capable, a firm rock in a scary and unpredictable world), and that’s enough for them.

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    Christian Democrats care only about staying in power, they don’t really have any programme apart from that ... There really isn’t anything conservative about the CDU anymore, they don’t have any principles apart from the belief that they are the natural party of government. ... There is also zero democracy within the CDU itself, Merkel basically runs the party like her own property, and her obedient yes-men just accept that.
     
    Do you think the American primary system - the political equivalent of all-against-all gladiatorial combat performed in full view of the public - would be an improvement? Not that the powers-that-be in Germany would go for such a thing, given the risk to their sinecures.
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  57. @German_reader
    Christian Democrats care only about staying in power, they don't really have any programme apart from that...was illustrated a few weeks ago when the Bundestag legislated in favour of gay marriage (which means giving homosexual couples the right to adopt children, they already had everything else). There was hardly any protest from the Christian Democrats about this, in fact many Christian Democrats voted in favour of it...great for Merkel who removed an obstacle for a coalition with the Greens.
    There really isn't anything conservative about the CDU anymore, they don't have any principles apart from the belief that they are the natural party of government. Merkel's still liked by many Germans (yes, they are that dumb), media is still quite favorable to her, and it's pretty much certain that the CDU/CSU will be the strongest bloc again after the elections because there aren't really any viable alternatives. Merkel will stay chancellor, and as long as she delivers electoral victories she won't be removed by her party...as long as they stay in power, Christian Democrats are happy.
    There is also zero democracy within the CDU itself, Merkel basically runs the party like her own property, and her obedient yes-men just accept that. The CDU's electoral programme was apparently written pretty much alone by one of Merkel's henchmen, Peter Altmaier, a disgusting fat eunuch without wife or children whose sole reason for existing seems to be serving Merkel (and helping radical pro-asylum and open borders groups who enjoy a good relationship with him). No intra-party discussion about it. But then that programme doesn't matter anyway...the CDU has this weird personality cult around Merkel (supposedly extremely capable, a firm rock in a scary and unpredictable world), and that's enough for them.

    Christian Democrats care only about staying in power, they don’t really have any programme apart from that … There really isn’t anything conservative about the CDU anymore, they don’t have any principles apart from the belief that they are the natural party of government. … There is also zero democracy within the CDU itself, Merkel basically runs the party like her own property, and her obedient yes-men just accept that.

    Do you think the American primary system – the political equivalent of all-against-all gladiatorial combat performed in full view of the public – would be an improvement? Not that the powers-that-be in Germany would go for such a thing, given the risk to their sinecures.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Maybe; Merkel would probably get destroyed in such a system (the woman is hardly capable of stringing more than a few rehearsed sentences together in a coherent manner and deliberately avoids all discussion and debate; she would have no chance against a competent, eloquent opponent).
    Now the US and German political systems are quite different in some ways, but another useful element of the US system imo is the two term-limit for presidents. Something like Merkel's career with a chancellorship of probably at least 16 years is simply a nightmare...no one should hold power for such a long time in a democracy.
    But there's not much point to such thoughts of course, since there clearly won't be any attempt at reforming the system in the next few years, so things will go on as they are now, until some sort of collapse happens.
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  58. @neutral

    Besides Nazi Germany really was evil
     
    Evil is whatever society decides it to be. Had the Third Reich won then it would not have been called evil. All of us have come about because some ancestor exterminated some other rival people to procreate. As Hitler correctly said, the iron law of nature is absolute regardless how much you don't like it.

    Evil is whatever society decides it to be. Had the Third Reich won then it would not have been called evil. All of us have come about because some ancestor exterminated some other rival people to procreate.

    That is historically untrue. Empire-builders have traditionally conquered other peoples and either slaughtered or added their leaders to the ruling classes (depending on how troublesome they were in fomenting armed revolt) while adding those that did not take up arms against them, to their people. Rome was more or less similar to other empires except it was bigger. Hitler was unusual because he chose to exterminate Slavs, Jews and gypsies. He was simultaneously uniquely wicked and uniquely stupid.

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  59. @Johann Ricke

    Christian Democrats care only about staying in power, they don’t really have any programme apart from that ... There really isn’t anything conservative about the CDU anymore, they don’t have any principles apart from the belief that they are the natural party of government. ... There is also zero democracy within the CDU itself, Merkel basically runs the party like her own property, and her obedient yes-men just accept that.
     
    Do you think the American primary system - the political equivalent of all-against-all gladiatorial combat performed in full view of the public - would be an improvement? Not that the powers-that-be in Germany would go for such a thing, given the risk to their sinecures.

    Maybe; Merkel would probably get destroyed in such a system (the woman is hardly capable of stringing more than a few rehearsed sentences together in a coherent manner and deliberately avoids all discussion and debate; she would have no chance against a competent, eloquent opponent).
    Now the US and German political systems are quite different in some ways, but another useful element of the US system imo is the two term-limit for presidents. Something like Merkel’s career with a chancellorship of probably at least 16 years is simply a nightmare…no one should hold power for such a long time in a democracy.
    But there’s not much point to such thoughts of course, since there clearly won’t be any attempt at reforming the system in the next few years, so things will go on as they are now, until some sort of collapse happens.

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  60. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @German_reader
    Germany lost in 1945, it's a defeated nation. Besides Nazi Germany really was evil in a way the Soviet Union wasn't (probably even during the Stalin era, but most certainly after 1953).
    But despite that I actually refuse to watch movies like Saving Private Ryan or that relatively recent movie with Brad Pitt about a Sherman tank (Fury iirc). It's one thing to admit that Germans deserved to lose WW2, it's another to watch American heroes mow down dozens of Germans as entertainment...I actually do think there's something psychologically wrong with Germans who do the latter.

    Besides Nazi Germany really was evil in a way the Soviet Union wasn’t (probably even during the Stalin era, but most certainly after 1953).

    After 1917 the bolsheviks murdered the top 10% of Russian society in concentration camps including gassing them in trucks. Part of the focus on the holocaust after WW2 is a smokescreen for what the Bolsheviks did.

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  61. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Father O'Hara
    Have not read a single word,nor seen a single scene.
    The question is,...should I consume any of this content?
    A) Yes indeed this is a most wonderful show and the book is superb. Go for it!
    B) Worthwhile,certainly. Not the best use of time,but not the worst.
    C)Don' believe da hype. Avoid!
    D) Who cares what you do schmuck?

    i stopped watching early on after some particularly nasty torture but binge-listened later (had it on in the background while browsing) just so i’d know what people were talking about.

    it’s cultural poison – very good drama but cultural poison all the same. don’t watch it but listen if you feel the need to understand references.

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  62. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Johann Ricke
    Very, very off-topic, but with policies like this - Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects refugee limit for Germany in TV interview - how is Merkel able to remain party leader?

    how is Merkel able to remain party leader?

    50 years of the media’s cultural carpet bombing over racism – anyone who stands up to oppose her will be destroyed by the media

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  63. anon says: • Disclaimer

    on-topic

    whatever Martin’s politics he’s of an age where most of the women in the book who are power hungry seek power in the traditional and logical way women seek power

    (and exceptions were either physically huge or rare and specially trained)

    as soon as the show ran past the books it turned into the usual pozfest of girl ninjas

    i disagree about the ending though. the ending was always clear if you know your ancient history – the mass slaughter of white people by Maghrebi liby-pheonician spearmen in a re-run of the Rome-Carthage war with the genocidal fantasy aspect disguised by making the two leaders of the massacre white.

    the Romans (Lannisters) will be slaughtered first and the Germans (white walkers) will be slaughtered second – probably sacrificed in dragon fire like burnt offerings to Moloch.

    (the same ending the oligarchs have planned for western Europe)

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  64. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @reiner Tor

    In the end, Frodo simply fails.
     
    Because everyone else would have failed, a point that is repeatedly made in the book. The Ring simply has so strong supernatural powers that no mortals (and probably not many immortals either) could withstand it. It's hardly a "fault" of Frodo to be unable to resist it in the end.

    Sam's mercilessness towards Gollum is probably really a fault (or could it be the result of some subtle manipulation by the supernatural powers of the Ring?), but it's not something that is difficult to understand.

    To me the characters seemed to be a little like cardboard figures. It was still good to read it.

    Gollum is all very Jungian. He is Frodo’s psychological ‘shadow’ or weak side which is always causing problems but in the end is necessary to get the job done.

    Given that Tolkein was highly religious in a Christian sense, it doesn’t surprise me that biblical symbolism has also slipped in somewhat oddly. Frodo and Sam are the ‘two witnesses’ of Revelation but in reverse. In the book, these two appear at the end of the magical age and perform the deeds that cause it to fade away, leaving only the mundane physical world of men. In the Book of Revelation, the two witnesses supposedly end the mundane physical world of men and create the supernatural world of the Kingdom.

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  65. Sean says:

    I’m very pleased that George [R R Martin], who’s a good friend, has had such a huge success. But ultimately it’s a soap opera. In order to have success on that scale, you have to obey certain rules. [...]

    We live in a Philip K Dick world now. The technology-led, military-led big names like Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Arthur got it dead wrong. They were all strong on the military as subject matter, on space wars, rational futures – essentially, fascist futures – and none of these things really matters today. It’s Dick and people like Frederik Pohl and Alfred Bester who were incredibly successful in predicting the future, because they were interested in social change, ecology, advertising. Look at Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Google . . . These are Philip K Dick phenomena.”

    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/07/michael-moorcock-i-think-tolkien-was-crypto-fascist

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