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Film Review: Game of Thrones S07
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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

RATING: 3/5.

I largely lost interest in Game of Thrones by the end of Season 5 (the only TV series I follow through the excellent cable alternative qBittorrent). So much so that it was not until just a week ago that I realized Season 8 had already started. As I explained in my review of Season 6, as the series has sprung ahead of the books, it has become increasingly clear that show writers D&D are talentless hacks who substitute expensive CGI and ever less subtle SJW propaganda in favor of a credible plot or genuine immersion in GRRM’s world. (Incidentally, now that GoT is finishing up, those two are now going to be working on a TV series about a scenario in which the Confederate States survive, which I imagine will be something like a cross between Django Unchained and the Draka Saga).

Since I have already invested quite a lot of time in the series, I’ll still watch the last season, and review it in due course. But first let me explain how it has continued going so horribly off the rails.

Any concerns about keeping logistics even halfway credible have been done away with. D&D essentially disappeared the 80,000 strong Tyrrell army, allowing the Lannisters – who had twice fewer troops, most of them worn down by previous wars – to easily take Highgarden (the richest and most populated province in Westeros). This is not credible, even taking into account Tarly’s betrayal of the Tyrrells. Moreover, the very fact that the Lannisters have any major supporters left at all is surprising, considering she’d just blown up a large percentage of the Westerosi nobility.

In my last review, I actually predicted this would happen; it wouldn’t be very interesting if the rest of Westeros were to just curbstomp them. But I also posited that the Lannisters would accomplish this through an alliance with Dorne, which has 50,000 spears and has also escaped war thus far. The 40,000 Lannister troops, 50,000 Dornish spears, and however many troops Tarly has would be comparable to the host mustered by the Tyrrells and their retainers, so a Lannister victory would at least be plausible. Thinking up of a reason for Dorne to ally with the Lannisters would be difficult, but not impossible. Perhaps an internal revolution?

But no, there was none of that. Just some handwaving about how the Tyrrells – the strongest military force on the mainland – are “not a martial house.”

Meanwhile, after casually kinslaying and kingslaying his way to leadership of the Iron Islands – things that used to be unspeakable tabooes, but which are now universally hunky-dory – Euron has embarked on a grand naval construction program. And what a program it is! The Iron Islands – a small piece of territory that has been described as “shitstained rocks”, and which I can’t imagine support more than 500,000 ironborn at the very most – have apparently built 1,000 longships over the course of a few months. 1,000 longships multiplied by a typical longship crew of 30 equals 30,000 reavers, or ~6% of their population (and that’s not counting Yara’s “defector” fleet). Medieval societies rarely mobilized more than 1-2% of their population. Moreover, the Iron Fleet appears to be imbued with magical enchantments, such as the “Invisibility”, “Telepathy”, and “Medieval Ekranoplan” perks. Or at least that would seem to be the most logical explanation, given how the Iron Fleet first ambushed and destroyed Yara’s fleet – somehow managing to sneak up on it in the open ocean during night-time – before swinging over to the other side of the continent in the very next episode and destroying the Targaryen fleet supporting the Unsullied assault on Casterly Rock.

I suppose that making the Iron Fleet so OP was necessary given the sheer disproportion that had developed between Lannister and Targaryen military power. But it was done in a way that left no room for suspension of disbelief.

Then there’s other small things which may not be critical by themselves but combine to massively degrade the quality of the series.

The Iron Bank isn’t going to side with Cersei because Daenerys disrupted the slave trade. The Iron Bank doesn’t invest in slavery. Moreover, as an institution founded by runaway slaves, it does not condone slavery. Braavos has even forced other city-states that it has defeated, such as Pentos, into abolishing slavery. Abolitionism is, like, its one value apart from making money hand over fist. They are not going to be impressed by Cersei’s arguments about the evil Daenerys freeing the slaves, sooner the opposite. But D&D couldn’t care less for world consistency.

How did Jaime manage to evade capture, and swim out of the river suited up in heavy armor? If I was writing the show, I’d have had Daenerys capture him, and Tyrion persuade her to use him as bait to draw Cersei into negotiations.

While there’s always been a bit too much of a grrl power element for a “gritty realistic” fantasy, in this episode it has been jacked up to eleven. Brienne has been built up to be this elite “tank” woman who can go head to head – and win – against people such as the Hound, one of the very best warriors in Westeros. But now we have a little girl who has been trained up by ninjas and maxed out her Agility and Dexterity stats into owning her with her little sword without so much as breaking a sweat.

The trial against Petyr Baelish was a sham. While we know all the accusations were true, the “evidence” in question wasn’t worth anything, and neither was Bran’s testimony, based it was on mere “visions” (which only we, the audience, can confirm). Moreover, I would point out that Sansa’s accusation that Baelish murdered Lysa contradicted her initial testimony to the Lords of the Vale, in which she claimed that her aunt had committed suicide. While the Arryn men were always suspicious of Baelish, why should they have trusted and automatically sided with Sansa? Now that she had directly contradicted her own, earlier testimony. Conveniently, Littlefinger broke down and appeared to (though not really) confess to everything, which prevented the whole thing from coming off as a show trial to uncritical viewers. But seen from the side, the Starks displayed far less concern for due process than either Lysa or Tywin had done with respect to Tyrion; both of the latter, at least, had granted the accused a trial by combat, as opposed to just slitting his throat. An ignominious end to one of the best characters in the series, and one that he was blatantly railroaded into by a pair of hacks with no regard for logical consistency.

More logistics autism. Ravens and dragons alike can now fly at the speed of the Corcorde airliner. Or perhaps the South American-sized continent of Westeros has shrunk down to the size of Great Britain now that winter has come.

Now I realize that that the show needs to strike a certain balance, to make things understandable for the audience and maintain the pace, which often comes at the cost of world consistency, logical plot progression, and suspension of disbelief. But I do strongly feel that D&D didn’t really even try. The entire narrative structure has progressively collapsed as the show has become more and more untethered from the plotlines laid down by GRRM in the books. The show writers are uninterested in continuing a great epic. They are interested in cheap drama, dumbed down plotlines, CGI porn, and getting a wide variety of sexual fetishes out onto the silver screen.

That said, the series does seem to have continued getting rave reviews since Season 5, when it all started going steeply downhill. So can one really blame D&D for playing to the peanut gallery.

I’ll review the eighth and final Episode in another couple of months or so.

 
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Film, Game of Thrones, Review 
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  1. Mitleser says:

    🙁

    Even worse: the books seems to have declined as well.

    Some spoiler from Fire & Blood

    [MORE]

    Jaehaerys “the Conciliator” now solves every major conflict with either implied threats of death by dragon or by actually using dragons.

    The only resistance Lord Stark offered when Alyssane wished to give the New Gift to the Night’s Watch is that the lords living there would grumble about changing who’s their overlord, and agrees as soon as Alyssane bats her eyelashes at him and says “I’m sure you could convince them”. Because clearly, he didn’t care for or needed the income and soldiers from those lands.

    To get Prince Vaegon to become interested in girls, the Grand Maester gives him a smutbook with straight, lesbian and bestiality “erotica”. We needed this detail, for some reason.

    This book is shit written with the maturity of a 15-year-old.

    So, from what I understand it was entirely right to glass Dorne because they were slaving assholes little better than the Ironborn?

    After the Iron Throne goes to war with a Vulture King that has raided the Stormlands extensively, the Prince of Dorne plans a naval invasion to exterminate the population of Cape Wrath just to send a message to the Iron Throne that they can’t simply waltz into Dorne without his leave, despite the war being entirely in the Marches and against a bandit army, with no Dornish civilians getting hurt. His fleet was burned before they reached land, but his goal was still literally to destroy at least 100 castles and towns. Because they killed some bandits operating from his land.

    Dorne doesn’t deserve to burn, but every single Martell and Dornish noble who served them need to have their lands taken and sent to the Wall.

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/posts/52631914/

    • Replies: @songbird
  2. AK: Deleted for posting S8 spoilers (with no spoiler warning, or additional commentary). Do it again and I’ll ban.

    • Replies: @Steve Johnson
  3. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:

    the Draka Saga

    Are you old Internet alternate history community veteran, Mr. Karlin?

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

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheDraka

    Story how super evil, super competent, super bisexual South African slavemasters conquer the whole world and rape, torture and enslave everyone (lovingly described in great details in the books).
    Known as the most implausible alternate history ever, it was very popular in the bygone times (in the negative sense) and spawned numerous meta-fics and alternate-alternate histories where Drakas got what they deserve.

    Not many people these days remember it, and it is sad. If would be perfect story for our time, only problematic part is the whiteness. Make Drakas, for example, into super-Zulus and it will be smashing worldwide success.

  4. now calculate the physics of one dragon melting a wall of ice that size. oh my god, they got the math wrong!

    TL:DNR you should stop paying attention to all movies and television shows.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  5. @Steve Johnson

    Just trying to point out another logistical absurdity that struck me as particularly egregious in Season 8. Didn’t know this was a spoiler-free discussion.

  6. While logistics ignorance is certainly part of what’s been making GoT so cringeworthy lately, the real damning failure is in the imbecility of the storytelling strategies.

    Danaerys has spent six whole seasons painstakingly acquiring an army, a cavalry, a fleet, trusted advisors, and three mature dragons. Oh, and now alliances with Highgarden and Dorne. Now she’s finally ready to march on the 7 Kingdoms. The show is called GAME of Thrones — we were all waiting to see how she plays the game: what is her strategy, what are her deployments, how does the enemy respond, etc. we’ve been waiting for this campaign, in full detail, for the whole series. The big question was supposed to be: how, exactly, will she pull it off?

    Instead she loses half her forces in a ludicrous eye blink,then makes the imbecilic decision (not just strategically, but dramaturgically) to seek a truce with Cersei and March north. She’s never made a sound decision in her life. WHY does anyone follow this woman?

    Battling the White Walkers and the Dead is dramatically uninteresting: they don’t have a plan, they don’t retreat, they don’t make crafty interesting decisions. There’s nothing to pay attention to.

    Then there’s the Wall. It’s supposed to be made of not just ice, but “strong magic” as Uncle Benji says, which can prevent the unholy from passing through. So far the Night King’s plan was just to march south to the Wall, and… then what? He doesn’t know the dragons exist, or that Jon and Danaerys would be so stupid to put one in his hands. (And where did he get miles and miles of giant chains?)

    The big question there was supposed to be: CAN the White Walkers breach the Wall? If so… HOW?!!!

    Instead this major plot question is resolved through a series of dumb implausible accidents.

    Oh, and btw… we’re led to believe that ANY body who dies north of the Wall will turn, if their body isn’t burned. If Jon Snow really needed a sample wight that badly, he didn’t have to march into the frozen waste to get one. He could have taken some random peasant or pig thief right outside the gate, slit his throat, trussed him up, and waited for him to turn.

    The producers don’t seem to know why audiences watch things. Granted, part of the motivation is a) lurid sex, b)blood casting and performances, and c) mostly a vacation from Diversity. It’s why you this boom in costume dramas; White people are bloody /exhausted/.

    • Replies: @neutral
  7. @anon

    Not many people these days remember it, and it is sad. If would be perfect story for our time, only problematic part is the whiteness. Make Drakas, for example, into super-Zulus and it will be smashing worldwide success.

    Don’t the Drakans at some point (when they start conquering space?) genetically modify their slaves so they can’t interbreed with the master race? This part would probably have to be dropped.

    • Replies: @anon
  8. @prime noticer

    Bad example. Magical wards hold up the Wall, not so much physics. Also known that dragon breath is lore of a magical than a physical effect. Suspension of disbelief is maintained.

  9. @Steve Johnson

    OK, apologies, it was late and I didn’t realize that. But yes, please don’t post spoilers (or alternately, give a warning and hide them under a more tag).

  10. neutral says:

    I don’t mind fantasy settings getting their logistics messed up, the bigger problem is the leftist politics that was being increasingly inserted everywhere. There are many leftist things I dislike in the show, but the worst is that I am supposed to cheer for a non white foreign army defeating a white army defending their own land, truly sickening.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  11. neutral says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Instead this major plot question is resolved through a series of dumb implausible accidents.

    Made even worse by the fact that the reason they got an undead dragon was because the humans were trying kidnap an undead to prove to the others that an undead threat exists…

  12. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hyperborean

    Don’t the Drakans at some point (when they start conquering space?) genetically modify their slaves so they can’t interbreed with the master race? This part would probably have to be dropped.

    Since 1976. In this timeline, slavery is marvelous for scientific and technological progress.

    http://www.geocities.ws/hentaihelper/postEW.htm

    Gene-engineered tobacco that has virtually no carcinogens or lung contaminants. Human genome completely catalogued.
    Eugenics Directorate encourages Citizen children to have improvements. These include eliminating allergies, menstrual pain, back trouble, etc., increasing intelligence, tweaking libido and aggressive/passive balance, and adding complete memory control, idiot savant mathematical abilities, hemoglobin and muscular improvements, voluntary control of some autonomic functions, and many other minor modifications — most are keyed to activate at puberty. This is the initial “New Race.”
    Serf modifications include a chromosome change so they aren’t interfertile with Citizens (or “normals”?).

    After the final victory, Drakas remake themselves into true supermen, and create many new genetically engineered species (dog people, cat people, satyrs, centaurs, trolls, and other fantastical and mythical creatures) so they can hunt and rape them. This will appeal to the furry community.

    • Replies: @Crypto-Brythonic
  13. neutral says:
    @anon

    I don’t understand why the Third Reich would add states such as Spain, Romania and Hungary, but then leave out Switzerland (which is much more Aryan than the others) and Bulgaria?

    • Replies: @anon
  14. anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:

    Any book recommendations on manpower and logistics considerations in grand strategy?

    • Replies: @Vinnie O
  15. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @neutral

    I don’t understand why the Third Reich would add states such as Spain, Romania and Hungary, but then leave out Switzerland (which is much more Aryan than the others) and Bulgaria?

    Grey color here clearly means all German allies and puppet states, and Bulgaria was held by Draka since WWI (Drakas were on Allied side and took all of Middle East and Bulgaria).

    Yes, it is stupid. Despite super powerful, super technologically advanced slave state in Africa, whole history till 1941 is the same, but it is S.M.Stirling story.

  16. @Steve Johnson

    To AK: couldn’t it be reposted under a More tag, with adequate (bold+capitalized?) warnings?

    I won’t watch it anyway, but pointing out idiotic plot holes (where they could’ve solved the issue with a little effort) is one of my favorite hobbies, e.g. in Star Wars (which I also stopped watching now anyway).

    The Star Wars universe is another wasted opportunity, actually two wasted opportunities. The original trilogy was pretty dumb, if you think about it, but it had a lot of potential to add substance and realism. Of course it’d never have become realistic hard SF, but they could’ve explained how the bad guys weren’t all that bad, and the good guys weren’t all that good. (It could’ve been something like the Dark Knight trilogy compared to the idiotic original Batman stories.) This could’ve happened in the prequels, but they were kinda screwed up to a large extent. (At least Lucas tried, but it turned out he had no talent for an internally consistent and intelligent story for adults.) The story is so extremely idiotic now that even the already pretty dumb original trilogy pales in comparison.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  17. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:

    The Star Wars universe is another wasted opportunity, actually two wasted opportunities.

    No it is not. You know very well what are Star Wars about, and it is not about “realism” or “substance”.

    https://www.quora.com/How-much-money-did-the-Star-Wars-franchise-earn-so-far-all-movies-games-comic-books-and-merchandise-in-total

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_media_franchises

  18. @anon

    You know very well what are Star Wars about, and it is not about “realism” or “substance”.

    The current SJW Star Wars is doing badly with merchandise, because no one wants to buy the obese Vietnamese girl or even the Mary Sue character.

    I understand the argument that the main goal is to make money. People want action scenes, CGI spaceships (CGI monsters in the case of GoT), and a few other things (like gore and sex in GoT). It doesn’t preclude an intelligent story. You can pack CGI monsters or gore and sex into an intelligent plotline, too. And it’s pretty cheap: you don’t need money to create an intelligent plotline. You only have to think a little bit. That’s for free. Or at least dirt cheap. They could hire some fans to write an intelligent plotline. They could start a contest, with paying some minimal prizes to the winners and second and third place contestants. Or they could then use the best parts from each contestant.

    It’s a myth that you cannot pack an intelligent story with lots of CGI monsters, BDSM sex scenes or torture porn. You can. You don’t need to, but you can, if that’s what sells the product.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Logan
  19. @reiner Tor

    Unfortunately I deleted the comment, I just assumed he was posting spoilers for no reason. As it turns out I was wrong as he was posting just example of bad GoT writing, so yes, I should have done that instead. OTOH, posting spoilers without warning is considered to be bad Internet etiquette.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  20. @anon

    It is incredible that Star Wars has generated $1.8 billion in book sales alone.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  21. @reiner Tor

    It really does seem to me that these cultural products are getting dumbed down much faster than idiocracy is progressing IRL. I do wonder to what extent this may be linked to cronyism within Hollywood. I don’t know what D&D are even doing as screenwriters. However, if they’re part of a clique that excludes outside talent, then that would explain how incompetence could fail upwards. Eventually market forces would put a check on that, but you’d have to get *really* bad writing before they overcome the cheap drama, shlock, and CGI. Also the effective thing about aggressive SJW signalling is that criticism makes you hateful or even a Russian bot (e.g. as happened in the last Star Wars movie), so status-conscious and conformist people would refrain from it.

  22. @Crypto-Brythonic

    I remember reading a few of the Expanded Universe books in my young days. I also read the original trilogy in book form. Though I never spent any of my money on it.

  23. @Anatoly Karlin

    these cultural products are getting dumbed down much faster than idiocracy is progressing IRL

    Yes. And the world (and US, and Los Angeles) population is growing, so the talent pool should stay the same, eventually. (Hollywood does import talent from abroad, after all.) So theoretically the quality of the products could even improve while the audience is getting dumber. It’d be possible, simply because idiots can also watch intelligent movies, provided there’s a lot of action scenes and sex and gore and CGI etc. in them. So it’s pretty strange it’s happening.

    Due to monopoly power, unfortunately it’s difficult to compete with it. Maybe Russia could compete to an extent, but I’m not sure they have a chance to break into the Western market.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Crypto-Brythonic
  24. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    It’d be possible, simply because idiots can also watch intelligent movies, provided there’s a lot of action scenes and sex and gore and CGI etc. in them. So it’s pretty strange it’s happening.

    You still keep complaining that there is no trace of floor wax in your desert topping.
    People like you who want “intelligent story” are so minuscule minority that Hollywood feels no need to pander to them. Admit that mission of Hollywood is to make money (and spread propaganda), not to make you personally happy.

  25. neutral says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I do wonder to what extent this may be linked to cronyism within Hollywood

    Hollywood is obviously totally about (((cronyism))), however it is more than just that. Bad stories and bad writing is absolutely done on purpose, a dumbed down population is very much in jewish interests, any trace of independent thought outside their well constrained narrative is a threat to them.

  26. @reiner Tor

    It’s a shame that Chinese films look even cruder than Western ones and Chinese audiences have notoriously poor taste.

    Many of the large-budget Russian films (from what I have seen) are historical epics, which are sadly a relatively unpopular genre in America even when they are about American history

    • Replies: @notanon
  27. @anon

    The same thought has occurred to me; intelligent features of a film are basically self-indulgence by the director for a negligible subsection of the audience.

    In the past though, having a reputation for making intelligent or artistic films could at least give a director a caché that would appeal to aspirational audiences though; I think that is mostly gone now. For instance the directors of these large-budget superhero films or the new Star Wars film are almost all anonymous and workmanlike.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  28. @anon

    You still keep complaining that there is no trace of floor wax in your desert topping.

    Okay.

    People like you who want “intelligent story” are so minuscule minority that Hollywood feels no need to pander to them.

    Maybe.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion about the importance of my opinions.

  29. @Crypto-Brythonic

    intelligent features of a film are basically self-indulgence by the director for a negligible subsection of the audience

    Maybe the extra sales would be negligible. But the extra costs would be negligible, too. It just requires a little thought.

  30. Game of Thrones became Game of Handwaves during Season 5. I have a theory, that in order to write highly intelligent characters e.g Tyrion, Baelish, Varys – the writer has to be a very smart guy as well. There’s no doubt that GRRM is a very smart guy. D&D were capable of excellently adapting GRRM’s intelligent plotlines in seasons 1-4, but as soon as they were out on their own, they found themselves incapable of playing (writing) the Game of Thrones.

    Hence why all the intelligent and competent characters have been relegated to minor roles or killed. Tyrion’s job is now to be shouted at by Daenerys, Varys serves as a banter device with Tyrion, Baelish and Stannis (the one true king) died in a ridiculous fashions, etc.

    After season 4 it stopped being a world of intrigue, politics, complex characters, and grey morality. Now we have caricatures like Euron and a plotline of Zombies vs Niceguys. Logistics and even continuity are gone, decisions no longer make sense within the established world. However, apparently the show is only getting more popular, and with each passing nonsensical episode filled with ‘badassery’ and battles, the fans love it more and clap clap clap at their television screens.

    What they’ve done with the show is akin to Beethoven ending his 9th symphony with a long wet fart.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  31. @reiner Tor

    I think it is riskier than you believe. For instance, let’s say that they had made the new Star Wars films less boring and stupid by coming up with new baddies and not having the plot revolve around blowing up the Death Star again. That is much more confusing and potentially alienating for audiences than what they did. It also failed when they tried to do it in the prequels.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  32. @reiner Tor

    Another advantage – such films have a much better chance of becoming cult classics, earning their directors and writers money and reputation for years or even decades to come.

  33. Anonymous[332] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    It’s not an either-or choice between pandering to intellectuals and brainlets. Were the flaws Anatoly pointed out easy and cheap to fix? Yes. Are there people who care? Yes. Would fixing the flaws somehow affect people who don’t care? No. “We don’t care about your money because there are idiots who will buy our shit anyway” isn’t profit driven thinking.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  34. @anon

    Edited – question already answered. @ AK feel free to delete.

  35. Beckow says:
    @neutral

    ….I don’t mind fantasy settings getting their logistics messed up, the bigger problem is the leftist politics

    They are the same thing. Modern progressives, liberals and leftists alike, live in a melodramatic fantasy. They dismiss realities like logistics, numbers and geography. The two go together: abolish money, abolish gender and family, abolish borders – anything that prevents the fantasy is ignored or abolished in their world.

    Each era can be understood through its myths, GoT is the globalist liberal myth: a multi-colored alliance of foreign raiders, slaves and woke liberals, fights evil rich white people. Bastards who stand for outsiders, grrrl power, thoughtful meritocratic know-it-alls, heroic bisexuals – it is all there. It came out of the Obama globalist doldrums and awkwardly stayed around, doubling down on the preachy themes just as the liberal globalist era is ending.

    What do we see in the myths? Magic – the ultimate nuclear weapon – is on the side of good. Sometimes liberals have to be cruel to assure a better world. Evil exists and drinks a lot of wine – but the justice always prevails. Redemption is possible if one sees the ‘true way‘. Women are just better at everything…

    The big question is who are the ‘Dead walkers’ and their king: they clearly hate freedom, invade countries, are grey and zombie-like, can be killed without a second thought. I suspect they also meddle in elections and have kept women from assuming top positions. What we need are better dragons…

    • Replies: @blank-misgivings
  36. Yevardian says:

    I’m proud to say I’ve still never seen a single episode or trailer and can’t name a single character.
    Go review some Russian media or novels instead of this bullshit ffs.

    • Replies: @Spisarevski
    , @reiner Tor
  37. Yevardian says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The rapidity of the dumbing down is obviously due to the foreign market and non-native English speakers. I’m sure any monolingual Bangladeshi or Egyptian is not going to miss much by not being able to understand the dialogue in the next Capeshit or whatever.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  38. Just some handwaving about how the Tyrrells – the strongest military force on the mainland – are “not a martial house.”

    Well, look at Italy in WW2 for example and how underwhelming their performance was for their population and economy size. And this was a modern, technological war where martial spirit matters much less than in a medieval setting. The Tyrells folding surprisingly easy due to lack of fighting spirit is one of the more believable random twists.

    Otherwise I agree with pretty much everything in Anatoly’s post and the comments, especially in light of the latest episode from today. A random plebbitor or youtube commenter can write a more intelligent, interesting and compelling script than D&D. I have a faint hope to be surprised in the last 3 episodes but not holding my breath.

    Somehow I haven’t head of this Draka saga before, sounds awesome, may give it a read.

  39. @Yevardian

    Go review some Russian media or novels instead of this bullshit ffs.

    Russia doesn’t have anything to write home about on this front. It produces good films on occasion, but too few and far between. I liked Kolovrat and The Duelist, but recent Russian sci-fi attempts that I’ve seen were atrocious (Attraction, The Guardians).
    Add some WW2 movies that people would only watch if they have sovok nostalgia and a historical movie here and there and that’s it.

    90% of Russian TV series are boring detective/police bullshit, I think even Putin complained about this one time. “Sleepers” was somewhat decent but I dropped it at some point so it probably wasn’t that good.
    Other countries, even ones with globally viable entertainment industries have this problem too – Korean TV series are all sappy love dramas or detective stories or a mix of both.

    Even with all its problems (SJW propaganda, braindead writing at many points) GOT is sill directed well as far as pacing and the composition of the scenes are concerned, and the actors are good. I am mad because it could have been much better than it is, but even as it is it’s still better than the vast majority of other shit still there, and no matter how dumb the plot gets, I can watch it for the characters alone, to see their interactions and what happens with them.

    Thank God for the Japanese and for Anime, the only true alternative to Hollywood out there if you want to watch something that’s entertaining, original, funny and without political propaganda in your face.

  40. @Yevardian

    I’m proud to say I’ve still never seen a single episode or trailer and can’t name a single character.

    Me neither, if it interests anyone.

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  41. Lots of fun things here.

    1. Cersei blowing up the Sept and killing her daughter in-law seems like an allegory for 911. It’s brought home when the dowager of High Garden blames it on “a lack of imagination.”

    2. The Lannister vs. High Garden can be explained by two things Grit and Gold. High Garden are the Boys of Summer, they lack grit. The fact that the heir of High Garden is known as the Knight of Flowers should tell you something.

    The Lannisters have a reputation for paying their debts which gives them the ability to recruit mercenaries. The sack of High Garden and looting of its treasures would bring in every tramp with a pitchfork.

    3. The bit with Yara is interesting. Her uncle is a pirate who has been reaving on the high seas for most of his adult life. She really isn’t in his class when it comes to issues of command, strategy and low animal cunning.

    4. The part about Little Finger is interesting. This is probably meant to signal Sansa’s arrival as the Queen in the North. She kills her de facto mentor for a lot of reasons, but the fact that he gave her to the Ramsay the Bastard of Bolton, would probably have been enough. She knew he was a snake.

    In one the early scenes Lord Stark beheads someone in a summary execution. Later, he gets beheaded with the same sword, after a “fair trial.”

    A great show. Something for everyone including SJWs. Including this scene where a bunch of newly freed slaves kneel down and start calling a white girl–even her hair is white–misa.

    Not massa, that would be wrong.

  42. @Yevardian

    I’m sure any monolingual Bangladeshi or Egyptian is not going to miss much by not being able to understand the dialogue in the next Capeshit or whatever.

    Yes, but as has been pointed out, you can basically put CGI monsters and battles and BDSM sex scenes into any kind of stories, including intelligent stories. While intelligent stories cost very little, basically nothing. Some fans might be willing to write it for free.

    In other words, the argument you are making is that a large portion of the audience doesn’t care that the plotline makes no sense. That’s probably true, but it doesn’t explain why they dumb the stories down: after all, no one actually prefers dumb stories.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  43. AaronB says:
    @Spisarevski

    Thank God for the Japanese and for Anime, the only true alternative to Hollywood out there if you want to watch something that’s entertaining, original, funny and without political propaganda in your face.

    Yup.

    Anime really is a world of its own, some of it being exceptionally high quality. And with a really different sensibility.

    It may be, paradoxically, because Anime doesn’t have mass audiences. Many people won’t watch it because its “childish cartoons”, so the creators are free to appeal to the intelligent few.

    Maybe.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Spisarevski
  44. @Spisarevski

    Russia doesn’t have anything to write home about on this front.

    There occasionally seem to be interesting video games from Russia though, like that recent Atom rpg (set in a world where there was a nuclear war in 1986) which supposedly contains many allusions to Russian literature and to Soviet culture.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  45. @AaronB

    It may be, paradoxically, because Anime doesn’t have mass audiences. Many people won’t watch it because its “childish cartoons”, so the creators are free to appeal to the intelligent few.

    I am pretty sure Japanese children are a mass audience.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  46. @Crypto-Brythonic

    Well, there was Jar Jar Binks, to begin with. The Clone Wars contained no space battle – so dumb people didn’t like it so much. I actually consider the prequels lost opportunities, too.

    It must be noted that all three prequels were great commercial success stories anyway. Despite the foreign market being much smaller back then, for example China didn’t amount to much in 1999 or even in 2005. So did it matter that the story was slightly more intelligent? (I think still way too dumb, but anyway.)

  47. @German_reader

    Does anyone know if German_reader plays video games? Or his account has been hijacked. Maybe it’s already the Verfassungsschutz writing in his name?

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Yevardian
  48. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    I don’t think Japanese children are watching, for instance, the Berserker movies.

    That would be NC-17 in the US.

    Probably a lot of mass anime aimed at children too, like maybe the Conan series. I wonder if they are any good. Have you seen them?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  49. @AaronB

    It may be, paradoxically, because Anime doesn’t have mass audiences. Many people won’t watch it because its “childish cartoons”, so the creators are free to appeal to the intelligent few.

    The thing is, even with licensing in such big markets like the US, things like Crunchyroll and so on, for some reason only the Japanese market and Japanese opinion really matters to the studios.

    For a recent example, when the SJWs raised a stink about “Legend of the Shield Hero” the creator simply replied “This show is not considered controversial in Japan, we will not change anything”.

    It’s a double edged sword since the Japanese are not perfect and many good animes have been denied a second season because they were commercial flops in Japan, but overall it’s a good thing and the reason why the “really different sensibility” you mentioned is preserved.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  50. @reiner Tor

    Does anyone know if German_reader plays video games?

    I occasionally do, though obviously you’re right, I really shouldn’t, it’s definitely not something I’m proud of.
    I don’t want to encourage AK to play them either, but if he reviews retarded pop culture like GoT, he could just as well tell us about Russian video games. That Atom game I mentioned at least seems somewhat interesting, because it does seem to contain quite a few references to Soviet communism and even the Russian civil war from what I’ve read.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  51. @German_reader

    I’ll review Underrail.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  52. AaronB says:
    @Spisarevski

    Yes, that is a very good thing. And I suspect way more people watch anime in Asia than in America, so I doubt SJWs will be able to exert serious influence.

    What is interesting is that Netflix last year featured Seven Deadly Sins, which has the main hero constantly grope his female counterpart. His groping is extremely sexually explicit, and played for comedic effect. Its extreme sexual harassment by any definition, except that the girl loves him and is totally fine with it (which is itself an SJW crime), and it really is kind of innocent and funny, not malicious at all.

    Nothing like that could ever, ever be seen on an American show, yet Netflix seemingly has no problem featuring this Japanese series. There is some SJW grumbling on the reviews on IMDB, but there is a new season in the works, so apparently its ok.

    Very interesting.

    The foreign section on Netflix is a very good way of exposing Americans to divergent perspectives and sensibilities, and somehow for the moment that’s OK. I wonder if SJWs will ever clamp down on that.

  53. @Anatoly Karlin

    tbh I’m less interested in a technical review about gameplay, graphics etc. (because one can get that on any gaming site), but more in the cultural context of certain games. That’s why I mentioned this Atom rpg, because its depiction of the Soviet legacy might potentially be interesting.
    The Metro games and novels also would be an interesting case (if I understand correctly, it features both commies and fascists in its post-apocalyptic setting), iirc you once mentioned that the author of the novels is kind of anti-Putin nowadays, so it might be an interesting example of the intersection between politics and pop culture.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Yevardian
  54. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:

    Not a spoiler but while I’ve generally enjoyed Season 8 so far, the dialogue has been noticeably weak. The earlier seasons had a lot of good back-and-forth, characters were witty and thoughtful, and everybody made the best possible case for their position (no straw men). This season all the characters just speak in hackneyed quips; the show used to feel like the West Wing, now it’s just the next generic superhero movie.

  55. I’ll allow the first three seasons were pretty rad and hard not to watch, but GoT is and always was ultimately a POZ pill coated in a sweat medieval exterior.

    Now I’m not going to say I have the willpower all the time to resist media POZ vectors from Hollywood, but if you find yourself unable to not watch a show/movie, dear friends, you can use the Mormon streaming service VidAngel which will let you select the level or filtering. I used this service to remove homosexual sodomy scenes from the TV series Rome. It would be good for GoT as well. Frankly it’s not normal to watch people do sex, gay or otherwise.

  56. Patricus says:

    Recently watched The Searchers, a 1950s John Wayne flick. The decline of Hollywood product since that time is striking. There were imaginative writers and producers in generations past. No so much any more. I know there was lots of dreck in the mid twentieth century and there are a small number of decent writers and producers alive today. We have apparently declined overall.

    Every modern film has a main character or two who are gay. The gays have always been with us but they have never been 30 or 40% of the population. Inevitably these gay characters are the only honorable actors in the stories. Another petty gripe, five foot two, 110 pound women regularly knock senseless six foot three, 230 pound males. In professional prize fighting a 150 pound male is never put in a ring with a 175 pound fighter. It would be a cruel spectacle as the larger man would use his bulk to inflict serious damage upon the smaller fighter, even if the bigger man is less talented.

    Watching Netflix B and C quality movies I am struck by superior writing in various foreign films or series. It is necessary to use subtitles if one doesn’t speak various obscure languages. At least there is less political correctness in these cultures, and plots show more imagination.

    As for the Game of Thrones and dubious credibility in military tactics, keep in mind the plots include dragons, magic spells and other drivel.

    • Replies: @Crypto-Brythonic
  57. Anon[351] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    I saw one episode, and it was bloody and stupid and bloody stupid.

    It had a dwarf with a crown.

  58. @Patricus

    You didn’t even mention the now-obligatory random Orientals knocking about in recent films. I am very surprised that there is (as far as I know) not yet a Chinese superhero.

    Is there a Chinese character in GoT?

    Watching Netflix B and C quality movies I am struck by superior writing in various foreign films or series.

    I was quite surprised watching a French police show when it turned out that the girl gang they had been investigating for the series was entirely black, except one blonde girl (who turned out to be good ultimately). I don’t think you would see that in an English or American TV program.

    • Replies: @Matra
  59. I saw a GoT episode in my younger days. (Last year, when I was a year younger.) It contained Sibel Kekilli while she was young. There was also a guy. Okay, maybe it was not a GoT episode, and it was very short, just a few minutes. But definitely the longest video I’ve seen with a GoT actor (actress, as it happened) on screen. I could recommend it.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  60. notanon says:
    @Crypto-Brythonic

    Many of the large-budget Russian films (from what I have seen) are historical epics, which are sadly a relatively unpopular genre in America even when they are about American history

    given the success of GoT you’d imagine they could take russian history (or mythology) and put a fantasy/scifi spin on it (e.g. space mongols) and get westerners to watch

    except with non-pozzed morality and gender roles etc.

    • Replies: @Crypto-Brythonic
  61. @reiner Tor

    Is that an oblique reference to Sibel Kekilli’s career as a porn “actress”?
    Btw, I think her character in GoT was a prostitute, who had scenes with that dwarf character. I guess that could be a symbol for the mainstreaming of porn.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  62. melanf says:
    @Spisarevski

    Go review some Russian media or novels instead of this bullshit ffs.

    Russia doesn’t have anything to write home about on this front.

    Russian cinema (with rare exceptions) is perfect shit, but the literature of the fantasy/sci-Fi genre is quite good.
    Ridiculous feature – if the Western fantasy promotes the SJW ideas, the Russian authors have strange attraction to alt-right ideals.

    Here, admire the illustrations to the dilogy “Empire above all”. In the distant future, the interstellar Empire of people built… by Prussia (!!!) headed by the Kaiser.

    And here on different planets people learn German, cadets take the oath under the portrait of Frederick the Great, etc., etc. Probably from such a picture of the future von Momsen or Hans Delbrück would fall into ecstasy. And the main character of the book (Russian of course) first considers the Prussians as the main enemy, but then realizes that the moderate wing of the Prussian military are normal people with whom he can form an Alliance against the fanatical leftists (leftists allied with the evil aliens)

  63. @notanon

    That is essentially the Witcher (although obviously Polish not Russian); sadly Netflix have decided to fill it up with non-whites (the game adaptation made by Poles had none)

    Some of the actors who will be in a Medieval European setting:

    [MORE]

    And a picture of the writers

    • Replies: @notanon
  64. Matra says:
    @Crypto-Brythonic

    That sounds like the French TV series Spiral. In an earlier series/season – maybe 4 – anarchist anti-racist activists are portrayed fairly negatively.

    Leaving aside the politics, not being able to portray non-whites or other victim groups as villains makes these Hollywood ‘products’ very predictable and boring.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  65. @Matra

    not being able to portray non-whites or other victim groups as villains makes these Hollywood ‘products’ very predictable and boring.

    It must be horrible for the nonwhite actors, too. Playing a villain is often the more interesting role.

  66. melanf says:
    @melanf


    Modern Russian science fiction – in the future, the world government relocates Africans to Siberia. Dialogue of the main character with the police:


    — You think it’s right to kill Federal employees, too? — strained police — Those who are at least doing something to overcome the chaos?

    — No, I don’t think it’s right to kill people at all, — I said, but then I said — except for the animals, of course.

    — Why do you dislike African migrants so much? And why your call they animals?

    — How they behave, so we called them — explained I. — Why we don’t like them? Hmm guess…

    — People lost everything, they fled from their continent on the other continent. Can you be a little more tolerant? Time will pass, and they will become a normal part of society…

    — Blah,blah,blah, — I laughed. — Lies.

    — This does not justify the massacre of civilians…

    — Yeah? What kind of civilians?! There were no civilians! These unfortunate victim immediately as they arrived here began to establish they orders and to take away everything. And when they were rebuffed, they started yelling about genocide and Nazism.

    — Isn’t that true?

    — They gave various bad labels for us now, but that’s not change anything. Most importantly, we survived. And we spit on someone else’s opinion.

  67. @melanf

    These unfortunate victim immediately as they arrived here began to establish they orders and to take away everything. And when they were rebuffed, they started yelling about genocide and Nazism.

    Pretty accurate description of what’s already happening in parts of Europe.
    The part about the world government relocating Africans isn’t that absurd either, given the UN global compact for migration.
    Interesting that there’s a subculture in Russia talking about those issues like that.

  68. notanon says:
    @Crypto-Brythonic

    That is essentially the Witcher

    yes, good example

  69. @German_reader

    No way I’m spending 100 hours on Atom RPG. The only reason I did Underrail was because I had never played through a turn based, old-school RPG before. I wanted to see what the genre was like, having missed out on Fallout 1/2, and the setting strongly appealed to me. But not going to go through that again. It’s almost certainly going to be the first and last game in that genre I play.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @inertial
  70. Vinnie O says:
    @anonymous

    Well, gee. “Supplying War” by Martin van Creveld is a VERY useful book for the historian or wargamer, but it mostly explains how generals have IGNORED logistic limits whilst planning campaigns. And any serious student of war should read “Campaigns of Napoleon” by David Chandler. But of course right through the 19th century no one even PRETENDED to actually PLAN wars. The German General Staff calculated rather early on that NO VERSION of the von Schleiffen Plan could actually WORK (if the French offered any resistance at all). But, hey, nobody was ever supposed to USE the thing. The US Army spent something like 3 YEARS planning the invasion of France; ALL of those plans were thrown out within 24 HOURS of actually encountering Germans in combat. Logistic plans failed COMPLETELY (everything was simply dragged off the ships first come, first served, and DUMPED someplace in northern France. NOBODY had ANY idea what had been dumped where. The US Army REPEATED this performance when the Quartermaster Corps demanded that the Navy Supply Corps turn over management of “the Port of Saigon” because it had been reclassified as a “Port of Debarkation”, which according to DoD manuals is ALWAYS run by the Army…)

    A key idea, however, is the idea of a Campaign: a SERIES of connected battles with a SINGLE over-arching objective. Only a few men in all history (most specifically Napoleon, most specifically NOT Bobby Lee) could CONCEIVE a “campaign”. Everybody else just throws together the largest number of warm bodies they can and walks off in the general direction of the Enemy. When 2 armies blunder into each other, you have a battle, etc., etc. If your opponent BELIEVES he lost the battle, you’ve won.

    Oh, I have wargamed for lo! these many decades, learnt D&D from the guys who INVENTED the game, and have NEVER had ANY desire to watch or understand ANY of “Game of Thrones”

  71. @Anatoly Karlin

    having missed out on Fallout 1/2

    You haven’t played the first Fallout game? That was probably the best one of the series (the only one with a somewhat decent post-apocalyptic atmosphere), after that it was all decline.
    But anyway, you’re of course right that one shouldn’t waste one’s time on games, life is short enough as it is.

  72. Epigon says:

    Everything Hollywood touches is turned to shit.

    Tolkien went to great lengths to explain the Dark Age equivalent armour and weaponry of Middle-Earth (chainmail is top tier, spears are still viable, longbows are deadly, orcs are short and individually no match, Uruks are almost man sized) and logistic-strategic balances – and what does Hollywood do?
    They introduce munition-plate armour, 10 000 heavy infantry armies raised over night composed entirely of in-book elite soldiers, ballista grapples, proto-pike and (crossbow) shot armies.

    They manage to outdo themselves in Hobbit. Instead of a rag tag light spearmen and bowmen army of Silvan Elves and smallish Dwarven and Human hosts, all together vastly outnumbered by scrawny goblins, we are instead presented by full plate clone Noldor shinies, and bizarre ballista anti-arrow umbrellas, goat and boar riders and thousands of full plate Dwarven clones – their opponents full plate Uruk size orcs and some large armored halberd Gundabad host (Legolas I won’t even mention – everything he does is pure cringe in all movies).
    The moment I lost it altogether was when the Elves jumped over formed phalanx/shieldwall of Dwarves right into attacking orcs.

    And somehow, every single battle in GoT is far worse. Swordplay is disastrously bad – armour is not a thing – broadswords cut through plate – cavalry is expended first in a battle – naturally with a gallop frontal charge – large creatures are not immediately killed by massed arrowfire – stupid savage armies are not massacred by better equipped and formationed armies etc etc

    Star Wars had ridiculous potential. And then they decided that a Moon sized space station superweapon is vulnerable to 10 one-man fighters, protected by 3 one-man fighters, a cargo freighter has more speed, agility, shielding, and firepower than purpose built fighters, rebels have better tech than galaxy spanning empire of trillions of sentient lifeforms and a faster-than-light-travel civilization hasn’t developed targetting computers, guided weapons, radar gunsights and uses weapons with less muzzle velocity than shortbow.

    And they did that same shit, again, with some minor reskinning, and released it as a *NEW* movie, 30 years later.

    Episode VI is cringe – “elite” 501st humbled by Furrbies, 10 mile warship destroyed by a single *Japanese* pilot 10 meter fighter ramming it etc. etc.

    • Replies: @Logan
  73. DreadIlk says:
    @melanf

    Going to give this a read. Where can I find.

    • Replies: @melanf
  74. magic holds up the wall, but the troop logistics don’t make sense here. is that the argument?

    that’s just retarded, my man. why don’t you suspend disbelief about infantry too then? oh, dragons and magic walls are ok, but these guys don’t have nearly enough cavalry to effectively herp derp derpity derp.

    stop talking about this stuff like it’s real or matters in anyway. it deserves zero seconds of your thought.

    also, (David Benioff) and (D. B. Weiss). obviously.

  75. Epigon says:

    I remember watching Saving private Ryan as a kid, people praising it as a great war movie – it was mind-boggingly retarded in every single combat scene.

    The very premise is retarded – a squad literally penetrates the hottest frontline and walks to *isolated* *cut-off* paratroopers holding a town to extract one guy.

    Stupid Market Garden planers, why didn’t they think of that, on a larger scale. And the German attack was Jew wet dream – German infantry running about like headless chickens, gunned down by assorted Amerimutts, Tiger + Marder (impossible mix) entering 100 m range to open fire – Germans towing an unshielded Flak 38 into 50 m range only for its crew to be gunned down. And the best stupid detail – pushing the SMG into vision periscope slit and killing the crew – riiiight. I watched the movie after I had played Russian Blitzkrieg game and thought to myself what kind of a retard could write such stupid movie.

    Then you have Pearl Harbor, where there is an exact quote: “Zeroes are faster than P-40 but we can outmaneuver them” and then they proceed to outturn a Zero in a horizontal low altitude, low speed turn, after a Zero kept firing at his tail for 10+ seconds and not shooting him down.

    Finally, more recent movies like Fury are dogshit as well. Tiger I was vulnerable to 76 Sherman well past 1000 meters – APCBC M62 – HVAP even further. Tiger sides and rear are 80 mm because it was designed as a breakthrough, offensive tank and needed all-round protection so no need for that rear shot from 100 m – the infantry battle was painful to watch.

    The supposedly “great” and “acclaimed” Band of brothers is one giant saving private Ryan combat-wise. Unrealistic, stupid, plotholed and Germans failing at basic aiming and combat.

    I personally believe they are taunting us with displays of sheer nonsense and stupidity in their excrements (movies) that people consume.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  76. @Epigon

    Finally, more recent movies like Fury are dogshit as well.

    There now seem to be similar movies in Russia as well though, so it’s not just a Hollywood problem:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34_(film)

    I don’t watch movies anymore and have little idea of military tactics, but that movie seems to be pretty unrealistic.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  77. Mitleser says:
    @melanf

    Sounds like Legend of the Galactic Heroes, a Japanese novel series that was later adapted into OVAs/animes.
    The plot is about the last phase of the long war between the German-esque Galactic Empire and the American-esque Free Planets Alliance and the rise of the protagonist Reinhard von Lohengramm in the Empire.

  78. @melanf

    Distinguing feature of modern Russian sci-fi is ofc the попаданцы genre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accidental_travel

    It reaches levels of cringe previously thought to be impossible.

    Just looking at the covers is sufficient: https://horrorzone.ru/page/popadanec-stalin-tovarishh-gitler-i-drugie-knizhnye-hroniki-debila

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Ray P
    , @melanf
    , @Mr. Hack
  79. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    I would applaud if penal colonies were reestablished for writers, directors and producers of this atrocious shit.
    The movie is actually disrespectful to those few surviving WW2 vets, and especially to millions who died or were wounded fighting against the Germans – it took great courage to go to battle in a T-34 post-1942, infantrymen accompanying tanks had the shortest life expectancy on all sides, the Germans were experienced and experts in warfare and in no way naive and/or stupid. So instead of filming a movie about Kursk – blunder at Prokhorovka included – and why can a battle with significantly higher suffered losses still be a turning point (Kursk and Stalingrad) they create a fantasy tale.

    They could go all in patriotism and show desperate 1941 defence heroes – KV-1 (Kolobanov) and KV-2 (Raseniai) last holds amid disintegrating RKKA around them (Lavrinenko), or Rzhev debacle, or Bagration, or Sandomierz annihilation of an entire King Tiger battalion in mere days- but no, a gay and fake story with tanks engaging at 100 meter range is made.

  80. @Beckow

    Haha. True about the last few seasons. Not true about the first couple – which were a dark celebration of ‘realism’ in the broadest sense. The true story, which was never developed, was Cersei versus the Starks, in which Cersei actually turns out to have had a point about the primacy of Hobbesian / Machiavelian power and the downside of Stark or Daenarysian idealism is exposed.

    Instead Cersei became just plain soap opera vindictive – ignoring the need for rational alliance building and decent administration. Perhaps the writers couldn’t allow a realist voice to be anything but stereotypically evil.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  81. So I just binge watched Game of Thrones up to the last episode, The Battle of Winterfell: The Charge of the Dothraki Brigade.

    *spoilers*

    [MORE]

    Quite possibly the worst order of battle I have ever seen in a movie, even a fantasy one. The elves leaping over the Dwarf phalanx in The Hobbit was tame compared to this. Cavalry charging out in front, trebuchets in front of the Unsullied phalanx are immediately overrun by zombies, palisades right behind the Unsullied leaving them only a narrow gap to retreat to. No thought of building scorpions to help out in the fight against the Night King’s dragon. All the masses of Dothraki and Unsullied that died in front of Winterfell thanks to Winterfell’s Galaxy Brain battle strategy turned into zombies themselves. I was sorry the Night King had to lose because stupidity needs to be punished.

    Also the grrl power was again plumbing new levels of cringe. Ok, we can accept Brienne as a biological freak, we can accept Arya as a ninja assassin. But now we have a shrieking 13 year old girl stealing the show with absurd heroics.

  82. Adam says:
    @melanf

    What book?

    • Replies: @melanf
  83. anon[157] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Distinguing feature of modern Russian sci-fi is ofc the попаданцы genre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accidental_travel

    See the differences between Russian and Japanese mind.

    Russian popadanec conquers England and hangs Churchill for the glory of the motherland, while Japanese hero fallen into another world in Isekai genre collects harem of adoring anime girls like he was collecting comic books and pokemons as hardcore hikikomori nerd at home.

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

    And for American character… American wish fulfilling fantasy is ISOT (Island in the Sea of Time) genre, where whole community (small town, big ship, military unit etc) is thrust back in time or into fantastic world and proceeds to save, uplift and civilize it at gunpoint.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MassTeleportation

    Invented nearly simultaneously by neoconservative neoimperialist S.M. Stirling, creator of Draka, and Trotskyite Eric Flint in the late 90’s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1632_series

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

    Does it say anything about national character, or is it pure coincidence?

  84. Epigon says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Number of men who charged into battle as part of an army led by a woman: 0

    Number of women who personally led armies: 0

    Number of women who distinguished themselves in personal combat or generalship: 0

    Since earliest times men would follow those who lead by example. In Germanic, Norse, Celtic societies there was a strong connection between social rank and combat skill.
    Caesar himself led his men at critical moment at Alesia.

    No one would be willing to throw his own life away for politics and claims of imbeciles that constitute GoT storyline.
    The book writer is a disgusting degenerate, the producers are usual suspects. I use opinion of GoT in real life as a filter for people.

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
    , @Thorfinnsson
  85. @Epigon

    The books are fantastic character studies with some of the most in-depth development in fantasy. You can think GRRM is a degenerate if you want, but as a writer – a character writer in particular – he is truly gifted.

    Don’t let your personal opinion of a content creator stop you from enjoying their content. Principles are for the weak.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  86. @Epigon

    There was Boudica.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  87. Epigon says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    If we take the story at face value – a huge army of men led by a woman was annihilated by a much smaller force led by someone who knew what he was doing. Although not quite the “an army of sheep led by a lion will beat an army of lions led by a sheep” analogue it is still telling.

    More realistically, the Britons lost the stomach to press on with the attack after initial failure – there was no plan B – nor were they eager to throw themselves at the Romans and bite their shields.

    To me, the whole reported affair down to her father’s will, Boudica’s role seems like a fancy narrative spun by Romans – it was probably a native revolt very similar to Illyrian or Gaulish tribal revolts/anti-Roman alliances.

    • Replies: @Logan
  88. @anon

    I didn’t know S.M. Stirling was a neocon. Pretty disappointing.

    • Replies: @anon
  89. Ray P says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I liked the idea of a T-34 and its crew transported to Narnia and Red atheists forced to deal with Aslan. Has any Russian written it?

  90. anon[221] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    More like old British empire “Unite the Anglo Saxon people and civilize the wogs at bayonet point” type (wog – everyone non Anglo Saxon), hard core neo conservatism is today the closest political position.
    If you were there in the old times and saw his unhinged rants, you would understand.

    typical example:

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/rec.arts.sf.written/WvrUJ9GgjVw/TUCtBRjF-gQJ

    Had he mellowed with the failure of GWOT? Not very much.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/worldaffairsjournal/no_proxy_war_against_russia/#comment-1844622970

    S.M. Stirling The Kievan • 4 years ago

    Russia could have joined the West. They could be a real country, like Australia or France — and have NATO troops on the eastern border. Instead they chose another klepto tyrant and a role as an opportunistic spoiler, backing the Assads of the world. Time to cuff, kick and beat them until they get the message.
    Cutting off their access to the international bank clearing network would be a good start. Let’s see how popular Tsar Putin is when there are food riots in the streets of Moscow.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/thehill-v4/the_isis_defeat_myth_no_one_talks_about_isis_sympathizers_and_us_military_remaining_in_syria/#comment-3726525553

    S.M. Stirling • a year ago

    An exit strategy is a defeat strategy; if you win, you stay. What’s our exit strategy for Germany and Japan and Korea?
    The Israelis have a saying about dealing with these scum; it’s like mowing the grass. When the grass grows, you mow the grass.

  91. Ray P says:
    @anon

    Stirling is insane: Australia is not real.

    • Replies: @anon
  92. @anon

    Of course, Saddam could launch missiles with chemical weapons at Israel. That wouldn’t be likey to do much real damage to Israel, thankfully, but it would provide a splendid excuse for the Israelis to launch half a dozen 250 kilotonne nukes at Iraq.

    Since a large majority of Iraqi Arabs live in a few big cities, that would mean _Iraq delenda est_.

    Without hurting oil production, since the cities are far from the fields.

    And since the Palestinians would almost certainly follow their suicidal instincts and side with Saddam, they could be dealt with at the same time, once and for all.

    War with Iraq — it’s looking better and better!

    Give war a chance!

    Yeesh!

    I don’t throw these terms around casually, he seems to be a legit Ziocon: https://disqus.com/by/smstirling/

    • Replies: @anonymous
  93. @Anatoly Karlin

    *spoiler* (humor)

    [MORE]

    Ok, I think I figured D&D out. Thing is, true to their moniker, you should look at the Battle of Winterfell as a TBS RPG, not an actual military battle.

    * Cavalry was controlled by Leeroy Jenkins type player
    * No evasion bonuses from taking cover
    * No accuracy penalty when shooting at moving targets
    * Fire wall conceals NPC line of sight, they literally don’t see the wights behind it and hold their fire
    * Not enough free tiles to fit vast majority of your troops into the fortress
    * Lv. 80 Night King has 100% ice and fire resistance, one shots anyone from within melee range, can only be killed by critical strike from stealth by a max initiative, high AP character.

    I am still not sure how to explain away the trebuchet placement.

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
  94. @Anatoly Karlin

    *SPOILER*

    I don’t buy them not having enough free tiles in (I think) Westeros’ third largest fortress. It seemed more like too many tiles and not enough men.

    Evidently someone rolled a 1 in their Troop Management skill since the Knights of the Vale, the North’s armies, and others disappeared into the aether before being able to be placed on the battlefield – hence the severe dearth of soldiers. There were a few shots where main characters were manning the battlements with zero support troops. Great rolls for Luck and Bravery for sure, intelligence less so.

    Playing D&D with D&D is an experience I never want to have to endure.

  95. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    *spoilers*

    [MORE]

    The Dothraki charge was indeed pointless, however taking into account that

    -The Night King cannot be killed with fire
    -The Night King can start a blizzard which renders fire weapons useless against his army
    -The White Walkers have hundreds of thousands/millions of fighters, making their overrun of the castle an inevitability

    Any strategy would involve sacrificing essentially all soldiers in order to lure the Night King into the castle. And Arya was the logical choice to kill him: he can’t be killed with fire (rules out Dany), his superhuman speed and strength make him unbeatable in single combat (basically every other character), so the only route left is ninja-style sneak attack, which only Arya is really capable of.

    The Night King was in any case just a pretense to unite the Targaryens and Stark contingents against Cersei. Of course Dany has lost 99% of her army and 1/3 dragons so her position isn’t exactly optimal.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  96. @Anonymous

    *minor spoilers*

    Off the top of my head Daenerys is supposed to have several tens of thousands of Dothraki screamers (hopefully she still has some at Dragonstone) and 20,000 Unsullied. Not really sure about the native Northerners, but surely at least 20,000 as well, as well as a few thousand Knights of the Vale. Anyhow, that’s at least 50k in total, maybe more like 70k. So that’s quite a lot of soldiers.

    Some fire weapons wouldn’t work but the important ones would. E.g., boiling oil/tar, which I don’t think was even used.

    How many troops can the Night King have at this point? Beyond the Wall has very low population density. Even assuming that NK managed to turn most of them into wights, there can’t be many more than a few hundred thousand of them at the very most. Nowhere near enough to take a renowned redoubt *intelligently* defended by soldiers with siege weapons, two dragons, etc.

    NK’s optimal strategy on breaking past the Wall should have been to make a beeline south for King’s Landing. He could freeze the ocean around the harbor and have his wights swarm the city from that direction, bypassing the walls entirely. He would immediately multiply the size of his host to close to a million, allowing them to clean out the South within the next few months and raise their numbers into the millions. Don’t bother attacking the keeps! You lose a lot of bodies that way, even if they don’t have dragonglass. Just wait, freeze, and starve them out. This is exactly what happened in the last war between humans and White Walkers. Instead, NK had his host assault a heavily defended point whose defenders were armed with dragonglass, and only came close to succeeding because they were opposed by Galaxy Brain generals.

    *bigger spoiler*

    [MORE]

    About the Night King in particular. He might be a tough cookie, but if a Valyrian steel blade can kill him, I am sure that so can a barrage of dragonglass tipped arrows.

    • Replies: @neutral
  97. Beckow says:
    @blank-misgivings

    I agree about the first few seasons, they were very good. Unfortunately what followed was a gradual turn towards preachy narratives and an increasing lack of logic – suggesting that maybe it was a setup all along to get people watching, so eventually a ‘teaching moment‘ can be delivered.

    But I am not sure – maybe writers just lost the source material and being the Hollywood hacks went for the expected: grrl power, queens freeing slaves, soap opera stereotypes, good magic (basically the eternal ‘Gods are on our side‘, we are good, so magic works for us).

    the writers couldn’t allow a realist voice to be anything but stereotypically evil

    Realism is evil for the progressives – it destroys their dreams, it is ‘mean’. I have not kept a count, but it seems that Daenerys-Stark idealism has caused more suffering than anything else. What Starks lacked was initiative – they were objects of others’ actions and that made them unfocused. The disappointing thing is the slow migration of most survivors to the Daenerys-Stark camp – something extremely unlikely based on human history. It has started to resemble a mindless drum circle.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  98. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:
    @Beckow

    I don’t think there was any planned slide into political correctness, it just fell victim to several coinciding forces:

    -As you said, they ran out of GRRM source material and fell back on superhero cliches
    -Received a fair amount of criticism for the gratuitous nudity and to a lesser extent the rapes, which the creators took to heart (or HBO told them to take to heart, consistent with that network’s newfound de-emphasis on sex-heavy programming)
    -The overall cultural moment shifted massively under their feet. GoT started in 2011: Obama was in his first term, Harvey Weinstein was a pillar of the Hollywood community, the country was just much less neurotic and uptight overall. People aren’t looking for nuance anymore, they want their own simplistic beliefs blasted back in their faces in high definition. The days of Hollywood producing anything novel or provocative are over.

  99. To construct a more realistic contemporary setting, put about 1/3rd of the non-womb-productive, single ninja-warrior girls in their parents’ basements since they can’t afford rent, with even more of the womb-less young men there.

  100. Anybody who discusses brainless tripe like “The Game of Thrones” in earnestness is automatically consigned to the underclass of former people.

    It’s the mental equivalent of a face tattoo.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @neutral
  101. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous coward

    Sure. Let’s have instead round #2743 of Russian-Ukrainian friendly debate, this will make things much better.

    • Agree: melanf
  102. melanf says:
    @Adam

    What book?

    Павел Корнев “Пятно”

  103. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Distinguing feature of modern Russian sci-fi is ofc the попаданцы genre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accidental_travel
    It reaches levels of cringe previously thought to be impossible.

    it’s very very marginal trash. Publishers publish books of crazy graphomaniacs (without paying money for it, or even receiving money from graphomaniacs). In order to at least someone bought a book, to this book is attached to the most shocking cover and title

    попаданцы genre – is not science fiction, but separate genre (a close rather to fantasy). The archetypal history of Russian “popdanec” – student loser wakes up in the body of king Gilgamesh.
    He defeats all enemiesCarries out sexual revolution in a haremAnd builds a 200-meter ziggurat of his name
    Typical Russian popdanеc here:If with the expectation of readers – women

    There are books about reverse popadanec – when the elf becomes the head of the guerrilla unit in WWII,

    or a hero of armored forces

    • Replies: @Ray P
    , @Mr. Hack
  104. neutral says:
    @anonymous coward

    You may not like it, but you cannot deny that those that wield the levers of power consume it as the highest form of culture and entertainment, to ignore this fact is stupid.

    • Replies: @Ray P
    , @anonymous coward
  105. Ray P says:
    @melanf

    Looking at the last cover, I think I can say that the T-34 in Narnia story exists. Thanks.

  106. Ray P says:
    @neutral

    Has Putin mentioned it?

  107. @AltSerrice

    So basically the original books have been completely mined, and the TV show developers have fallen back on “cheap drama, dumbed down plotlines, CGI porn, and getting a wide variety of sexual fetishes out onto the silver screen“.

    Well colour me shocked, I would never have seen that coming from Benioff and Weiss.

    Must be just me, but I have as much interest in GOT as I did in Breaking Bad or the whole series of “must-watch” TV shows going back to Twin Peaks (i.e. zero). Sounds like someone melded together LOTR, the Icelandic Sagas, medieval English wars, and stirred in a dollop of incest. But then I always did prefer books to TV, unless there’s a documentary on.

    Now if you really had to visualise them, Eiriks saga and the Greenland saga would make a cracking series, as would Njal’s saga. Plenty of beautiful but unpleasant women (Hallgerður and Freydis for starters), lots of fighting, and dramatic scenery you don’t need CGI for. And if you really want a suggestion of incest, why is her foster-father Þjóstólfr so very fond of the lovely Hallgerður that he kills her first two husbands?

  108. SteveK9 says:

    Gave up much earlier than that. I think I watched some of Season 4. The show seems stupid and boring for the most part with a few interludes of decent acting. Early on, I started skipping anything involving Jon Snow and the ‘Wall’ … that was tedious beyond endurance. Why the show is so popular is a mystery to me, like a lot of popular culture.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  109. anonymous[273] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Surreal exchange from 2002, just before the Iraq war.

    Justin Raimondo:

    Tens of thousands of casualties, billions in tax dollars,
    an economic shock that could send the U.S. economy into a tailspin –

    Raimondo was proven wrong. But who would take him seriously if he predicted cost in trillions?

    That Stirling guy:

    As for the monetary costs, when Iraqi oil comes back on the market the price
    per barrel will drop from around $24-$28 per barrel to around $10-$12. It
    should take no more than six months to get the oil flowing again, and no more
    than a year to eighteen months to ramp the fields back up to four million
    barrels a day.

    With follow-on effects, this will boost the US economy a minumum of a billion
    dollars in a single year, well beyond anything a colonial thrash-the-locals
    expedition in Iraq is likely to cost. Probably much more.

    In fact, the automatic increase in tax revenues from increased economic
    activity alone will probably more than pay for the war in a single year — and
    the revenues will come rolling in for decades, until we’ve pumped Iraq dry.

    With such record, why Trump hadn’t invited this guy into his administration?

    • LOL: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Ray P
  110. Greg21 says:

    OT but how would a United Westeros under the Targaryens, without dragons fare against an Ottoman invasion force of about 150000 from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent or the late 17th or early 18th century? Say the Ottomans land on the Riverlands. Or an invading force of 150000 Yuan army similar to the one that tried to invade Japan? Or say Gondor under the Ship Kings vs. Westeros?

  111. Anonymous[157] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t understand the dislike for Game of Thrones by the right. It’s a decent show for what it is but by all means keep going nuts that your enemies don’t make agitprop to suit your agenda.

    I’d also like to add if you’re not donning a hair shirt and living in a cave you’re part of the problem.

    • Replies: @notanon
  112. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:

    The success of Game of Thrones shows that with the right amount of publicity in the proper places, a hack that produces mediocre if not downright literary garbage can be a success. This multiplies tenfold if the hack is endorsed by Opra Winfrey.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  113. Yevardian says:
    @reiner Tor

    I remember him talking about Halflife, don’t recall anything else. I haven’t played any games myself since 2010 except for very casual CS 1.6, an occasional Deus Ex replay and Europa Universalis IV.

  114. Yevardian says:
    @German_reader

    I was briefly interested in Cyberpunk 2060 (or whatever it is) because it was a from a famous Polish developer, but immediately lost interest when I found it was entirely in English with a very generic setting and storyline.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  115. @Greg21

    OT but how would a United Westeros under the Targaryens, without dragons fare against an Ottoman invasion force of about 150000 from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent or the late 17th or early 18th century?

    High Medieval feudal kingdom (although a very large one) vs. centralized gunpowder empire with large standing navy. Ottomans would stomp.
    OTOH, would be pretty interesting to see how Westeros would do with a couple dozen dragons.

    Or an invading force of 150000 Yuan army similar to the one that tried to invade Japan?

    This is largely like asking if the Mongols could have conquered Europe in the 13th century. The answer is probably not: https://akarlin.com/2019/01/could-the-mongols-have-conquered-europe/

    And especially not if they also had to ferry themselves across a large body of water with limited naval forces (historians believe the size of the Mongol invasion forces sent to Japan were strongly exaggerated).

    Or say Gondor under the Ship Kings vs. Westeros?

    Technology in LotR was still mostly in the Dark Ages, when chainmail was the best armor available. Westeros plate armor, crossbows, and siege engines stomp.

    • Replies: @AP
  116. @Greg21

    Or if some Transformers on board the Ark and the Nemesis allied with the Starship Enterprise fought a battle against a fleet of three Imperial Class Star Destroyers?

    And what would happen if Wotan dueled Zeus?

    • Agree: Yevardian
  117. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Please, give us more! 🙂

    Allow melanf to do a piece, he seems to know his way around this goldmine!

  118. neutral says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Even worse than that. No explanation is given what the Night King actually wanted of Bran and who the the Night king even was. Linked to that what was the purpose of Bran and his mysterious character. Normally killing some super powerful being involves some kind of great sacrifice or plan, not just sneaking up to him and stabbing him in the back. Also Dragons prove to be pointless as well.

  119. @Yevardian

    I was briefly interested in Cyberpunk 2060

    I watched a video of it, and it seemed like pseudo-adult (that is overly violent and sexualised, lots of profanity) trash, with probably very mediocre gameplay. Doesn’t interest me at all.
    I did play the first Witcher game a few years ago (had gotten it very cheap, for about 1,50 Euro, on Gog)…that was mildly entertaining, but nothing that special, and had a really stupid combat system. The later games don’t run on my laptop, supposedly they feature very dumbed down gameplay, focusing more on a “cinematic” experience. In general games nowadays seem to be even dumber than they were 20 years ago.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  120. @AaronB

    Probably a lot of mass anime aimed at children too, like maybe the Conan series. I wonder if they are any good. Have you seen them?

    I don’t watch much anime at the moment compared to manga, however many of my classmates and high-school age acquaintances seem to like Detective Conan.

    Children’s anime was probably a wrong word choice since teenagers’ manga and anime (shounen and shoujo) has more in common, albeit toned down and more slapstick humour, with their adult counterparts (seinen and josei) than they do with the kind aimed at primary school children and younger.

    Teenage age manga is for me distinct from its elder counterpart mostly due to the use of furigana (which also make them useful for learning Kanji). For example, Freezing, although officially a seinen manga, in terms of plot, can easily be enjoyed by teenagers.

    I would recommend Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? (So I’m a Spider, So What?). I think a few anime episodes have started to be released but the manga is much further along.

    It is an isekai, but unlike many Chinese and Japanese isekai the protagonist is not OP. The main character is an unpopular school girl who dies along with the rest of her class and is reincarnated as a puny spider in a dungeon filled with dangerous creatures.

  121. Mr. Hack says:
    @melanf

    There must be some real doozies about the Putlera boys taking on the ‘Kievan Junta Fascist Nazies’. Please tell us more, unless you’re headed off to class! 🙂

    • Replies: @Adam
  122. @anon

    On one hand:

    I detect the distressed cries of those invested in a shattered paradigm. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that there was a strong element of ‘Lysenkoism’ in the dominant school of interpretation for the last few generations. The sheer horror displayed at the thought of previously banished ideas resurfacing powerfully reinforces this.
    The work of Reich and others in ancient DNA is demonstrating fairly incontrovertibly that yes, migrations do occur and are a major historical motor; and therefore yes, sometimes — quite often in fact — pots do mean people. Not in every case, but often enough that the anti-migrationist orthodoxy visibly distorts the record simply because its partisans don’t like the implications of admitting otherwise.
    The arguments against this were always shady — they required, for a beginning, believing that somehow historical causation became radically different the moment there were no literate observers. And that the radical difference, by some astonishing coincidence, agreed with the political, cultural, and institutional needs and preferences of those making it.
    So for example it can now be demonstrated that in Britain the arrival of the Beaker pots was indeed the product of a new population — and one which replaced the previous one with astonishing thoroughness, and which can be traced to a specific area.
    The previous neolithic population simply… ceased, for the most part, to have descendants visible in the record. And every increase in sample size reinforces this deduction, with none of it contradicting the thesis.
    How this happened is not yet clear; however, I seriously doubt that confronted with the cool, superior ceramic decorations of the newcomers the previous Neolithics decided on mass suicide and all swallowed hemlock or slit their wrists with their flint knives. That’s scarcely the most parsimonious explanation, no?
    Or I suppose one could argue that it’s -entirely a coincidence- that the genetic turnover, from a source population that already exhibited that material culture, resulted in the change in styles in Britain.
    The Vanatu paper is, so far, based on a much smaller sample size. But the size is increasing, and each new data-set supports the initial findings, and none contradict them.
    Falling back on complaints about sample size or casting political aspersions are the mark of a defensive crouch by a weak argument.
    Somewhere in Archaeologist’s Valhalla, Gordon Childe and Marija Gimbutas… and yes, Kossina… are smiling. They haven’t been proven absolutely right, but they’ve been demonstrated to be “more right” than their successors.

    On the other… [discussing criticism of his new book]

    Like virtually everyone in the period except some Catholics and Marxists, Teddy Roosevelt -was- a eugenicist; read his letters and speeches. It was one of the ‘in things’ among modern-minded people at the time.

    A practical proof-of-concept radar was demonstrated in 1903, by Christian Hulsmeyer.
    Gay people also existed 100 years ago, hate to break it to you… including Jane Addams, the woman who gave the nominating speech for TR at the Progressive Party convention in 1912… Something of which he was quite aware — everyone who knew her knew about her and Mary Smith.

    Virtually everything TR’s government is shown as doing in the books is listed in the Progressive Party platform of 1912 or elsewhere in TR’s speeches, books and letters in the post-1909 period. He’d become quite radical.

    He advocated a national health insurance agency, for instance.

    One of the problems of writing alternate history is that you run in to the noise level of most people’s conceptions of history. Sigh.

    As the saying goes, it’s not what you don’t know that will kill you, it’s what you think you know that just… ain’t… so.

    […]

    Actually, it’s all taken from contemporary sources.

    For example, TR wrote an essay advocating complete legal equality for the sexes while he was at Harvard in the early 1880’s.

    Including women no longer taking their husband’s surname, to list just part of it.
    Most of the ideas and opinions around today were there in the 1910’s; the relative strengths were different, of course.

    For example, belief in eugenics was extremely common, on all parts of the political spectrum, from conservatives like Madison Grant to W. E. B. Du Bois and Fabian socialists like H.G. Wells.

    […]

    Oh, and before I forget, TR also helped get a black guy (named John R. Lynch) as chairman of the Republican National Convention in 1884. TR gave the speech proposing him.

  123. melanf says:
    @Greg21

    OT but how would a United Westeros under the Targaryens, without dragons fare against an Ottoman invasion force of about 150000 from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent

    Westeros (in Martin’s books) roughly corresponds to Europe of the 15th century, without firearms, but with an effective class of professional scientists (which was absent in Europe, even in the 17th century), developed cities, developed crafts, etc. Respectively, either the Turks with firearms will be able to carry out blitz-Krieg, or Westeros (after the initial defeats) will quickly surpass Turkey in the production and use of firearms.

  124. FD says:
    @melanf

    This is pretty good. Thanks for the recommendation.

  125. @Hyperborean

    I would recommend Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? (So I’m a Spider, So What?). I think a few anime episodes have started to be released but the manga is much further along.

    Forgot to mention, I don’t know if you read web novels, but if you do, the web novel is farthest along (300+ chapters).

  126. @Hyperborean

    My friend liked anime and joined his university’s anime society. Now he is married to a domineering Chinese woman. Watch at your own risk.

    • LOL: Hyperborean
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  127. notanon says:
    @Anonymous

    it’s consciously amoral.

    • Replies: @Logan
  128. Anonymous[198] • Disclaimer says:

    I really don’t understand how people can take this infantile trash so seriously. The one benefit this thread has is that it really highlights the brainlets, underaged and people with no taste among the regular commenters.

    Also notice how Akarlin doesn’t have a single regular commenter living in Russia except gerard2… hmmm

  129. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    To try a real old-school turn based RPG game, play nethack.

  130. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Interesting. I will check it out.

    I have never really read manga, and only got into anime in the past 2 years – but I was so surprised by the quality of some anime, and the unusual sensibility that you don’t find in Hollywood but is nevertheless so human and relatable, if often quirky, that I’m not averse to giving manga a shot.

    The weird thing about Japanese cinema and anime is that I find it so peculiarly human and relatable in a universal sense, often more so than American fare, yet the Japanese are so insular and see themselves as so different than others.

    I enjoy a good shouenen anime too, and maybe I’ll even try some of the younger stuff.

    In the West, we often call “childish” what does not relate to the “sober” task of making money or extending the reach of technology (our control over things), which is seen as the only fit task for an adult.

    But much literature that is considered childish by us is actually excellent, and deals with perennial human themes or the psychological precursors to living life well as an adult.

    That the Japanese have retained a touch of the childish is refreshing and appealing.

  131. Ray P says:
    @anonymous

    His passion for war in middle-east makes John Bolton uncomfortable.

  132. @Anonymous

    Akarlin doesn’t have a single regular commenter living in Russia except gerard2

    I thought Felix Keverich lived in Russia, too..?

    Anyway, it’s an English language blog. Are Russians aware of its existence? Are there English language blogs about Hungary? I don’t know, nor do I care much.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  133. @Anonymous

    Game of Thrones is the single most popular show in the actual Russia, at least outside the babushka demographic. Try to signal authenticity harder, you anonymous faggot.

    • Replies: @Adam
    , @anonymous coward
  134. Adam says:
    @Mr. Hack

    What the hell are you even talking about

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  135. Adam says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Are average Russians supposed to have good taste? I haven’t seen much of the show but it seems to consist mostly of murder plots and softgore pornography, is there really something to it?

  136. @neutral

    You’re nuts. Those that wield the levers of power don’t even use the Internet, much less watch TV.

    Obsessing over TV shows is a mark of a subhuman. That’s why TV shows exist in the first place.

  137. @Anatoly Karlin

    Game of Thrones is the single most popular show in the actual Russia

    What’s your point? That the average Russian TV viewer is a subhuman? I don’t think anybody denies this.

    That said, “most popular TV show” is a flawed metric, since a huge chunk of the Russian population lives outside of the many trappings of modern dyscivilization. (Including things like watching TV.)

  138. @Anonymous

    Also notice how Akarlin doesn’t have a single regular commenter living in Russia except gerard2…

    No, I’m the other commenter.

    Which is why you idiots make fun of my comments. You’d think a real perspective of a real person living in Russia would be interesting, but it turns out projecting your own American mental strictures and memes is more important that figuring out how the real Russia works.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  139. Epigon says:

    If you want to see what happens when Ottomans meet feudal European armies, look no further than Nicopol 1396, Varna 1444, Kosovo 1448 and Mohacs 1526.

    And those battles were actually fought by knight/quality-heavy supranational armies.

    Maritsa 1371 is a fictional account (cue Velbazhd 1330 and Kosovo 1389 Serb battle strenghts, and those battles involved Serb core lands and population), while Kosovo 1389 was a strategic defeat, tactical draw that left Serbia defenseless and with most of the aristocracy and nobles dead, trained soldiers killed.

  140. @SteveK9

    “Why the show is so popular is a mystery to me”

    I speak as one who has never watched it, but who has heard and read an awful lot of people talking and writing about it.

    In a world where for white Americans (and Brits) many important personal choices are increasingly constrained by PC, and what used to be considered the desirable life (raising kids in a stable marriage, your own house and yard, safe streets and good schools) is increasingly hard to achieve, escapism is very important, just as it was in the 1930s.

    The 60s and 70s realism of the ‘kitchen sink’ school in the UK, and films like ‘Five Easy Pieces’ in the US, were produced at a time of rising prosperity, when ‘nostalgia for the gutter’ was entertainment for people increasingly unlikely to end up there. Now times are harder, it’s back to escapism big-time.

    And the (anti-?)heroes of GOT are not at all constrained and not at all PC. They see what they want and try to take it. There’s also the aristocratic principle aka breeding – it gets you the push from polite society to say that some behavioural characteristics are in your genes, but every viewer understands the bloodline of the Lannisters or Targaryens – “fair-haired, tall and handsome, the modern Lannisters are the blood of Andal adventurers who carved out a mighty kingdom…”.

    There’s even more incorrectness in Harry Potter – while most HP fans (who seem a very PC, girly bunch) don’t even seem to realise they’re cheering for a privately educated, superior hereditary elite, it must register in the hindbrain somewhere.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  141. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    As a piece of escapism I don’t think Game of Thrones will ever be surpassed: the sets, costumes, all the little mythologic/anthropologic details that define the different tribes are beyond anything I’ve ever seen. The make-up is one of the most underrated aspects of the show too: everybody’s hair is always just as mussed and greasy, their faces as dirty and their teeth as yellowed as would be expected of their social class and predicament.

    They also do a good job of suffusing the show with a modern feel: the characters speak with appropriate British accents (aristocrats = RP, commoners = Scouse/Geordie/Scottish), they speak colloquially, they swear like modern people do. The attention to detail should be commended; I wasn’t surprised to learn that a lot of the directors in the early seasons came from The Sopranos, another show that obsessed on little throwaway details to create a more immersive experience.

  142. Mr. Hack says:
    @Adam

    Stuff like this:

    And this:

    And how can we let this one slip our memory:

  143. LondonBob says:
    @anon

    The Passion shows Hollywood is more concerned with propaganda than money.

    As Ron Unz has documented the current generation of Jews are painfully mediocre, and this reflected in the output. More talented gentiles just aren’t hired.

    Never watched this show and this article has made sure I never will.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Logan
  144. LondonBob says:
    @reiner Tor

    Foreign viewers don’t get the humour due to language nuance or obscure cultural references so films don’t include humour anymore. It is a huge issue.

  145. LondonBob says:
    @anonymous

    Yes those crappy novels about the Holy Grail that got turned in to films with Tom Hanks shows what the right marketing can do.

  146. anonymous[110] • Disclaimer says:

    In related news, another episode of the biggest show in the world seems to be beginning.

    The previous one was a smashing success, with record rating.

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

    Can we repeat the performance?

    Fasten your seatbelts, and watch the big screens, big show is about to begin! Bigly!

  147. anonymous[110] • Disclaimer says:
    @LondonBob

    The Passion shows Hollywood is more concerned with propaganda than money.

    You think Hollywood shall drop the fantasy and superhero crap and return to the Bible?
    Not bad idea. If done true to the original with attitude to the detail, Biblical epic on on the big screen will make Game of Thrones look like kindergarten play. Guaranteed worldwide box office hit.

  148. @Crypto-Brythonic

    My friend liked anime and joined his university’s anime society. Now he is married to a domineering Chinese woman. Watch at your own risk.

    Yes, girlfriends/wifes/mothers can be domineering, however, I do get a lot of compliments from Chinese women.

  149. Had it occurred to you that you can’t spoil The Brothers Karamazov, The Stranger, The Trial, 1984, One Century of Solitude, or even Great Expectations? Why are these modern works of art, like GoT, so vulnerable to the idea that the fleeced would learn the end? Is it because the first 120 minutes are shit? I can’t see why people would care about the ending, if the rest would be decent.

    And why you so defensive about this mental fast-food that sucks money out of your country? You haven’t been so tense when you were called a KGB or CIA asset. Relax. Be assured that most of us are adults who couldn’t care less about the end of your Masha and The Bear. Even the few who cared would still watch it after reading “spoilers”, because they are feeble minded, and feel a compulsive need to give (((them))) money.

    If there’s anything sad, it’s you describing the first half of a cartoon. There’s a billion BN doing the same on Twitter, describing scenes, “reacting”, and generally insisting that carton watching and cartoon commenting are adult occupations. Is this how you want us to remember you? “The great film critic”?

  150. @reiner Tor

    This is why I went straight to the comments. I haven’t got a clue about the crap my coworkers were spouting these days. All of a sudden, the Turkish soap operas that delight the secretary felt more exclusive, and therefore possibly more refined.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  151. “Or if some Transformers on board the Ark and the Nemesis allied with the Starship Enterprise fought a battle against a fleet of three Imperial Class Star Destroyers?

    And what would happen if Wotan dueled Zeus?”

    • Replies: @anon
  152. anon[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @prime noticer

    And what would happen if Wotan dueled Zeus?

    \

  153. Yevardian says:
    @German_reader

    I watched a video of it, and it seemed like pseudo-adult (that is overly violent and sexualised, lots of profanity) trash, with probably very mediocre gameplay. Doesn’t interest me at all.

    Oh I agree with everything you said, I was just interested in the idea of a Polish take on the cyberpunk genre. But unfortunately from the first minute of the trailer it just looked like more vulgar Americanised trash.

    Speaking of vidya and culture (like you, I don’t think I’ve seen any gameplay innovations in decades), there was a game called Company of Heroes (I never played it) that was so offensive, ignorant and stupid in it’s depiction of the USSR that it actually managed to get a petition launched against it by Russian gamers themselves, and not merely boomer government officials.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_of_Heroes_2

    Generally, I have vaguely noticed a shift of vidya villains from Arabs/generic Muslim terrorists to Russians in the past couple of years. But again, I haven’t followed the scene for years and my ‘gaming’ is basically a few 10-15 min sessions of CS to pass tired dead hours in the same way sovoks play Durak or Patience.

    Stalker was of course highly successful, though the lack of triple A experience and funding heavily showed in the endless bugs and glitches of that game. If you’re wondering, it bears no relation to Tarkovsky’s classic film whatsoever.

    As for Russian blockbuster type films, there have been a few good ones that weren’t at least offensively stupid, like Metro, The 9th Company, Burnt By the Sun, House of Fools, Mongol, and Christmas Trees.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  154. Yevardian says:
    @reiner Tor

    Pretty much every English speaking internet-savy Russian knows about Akarlin’s blog at this point, so kudos to his self-promotion, though whether he’s liked is another question.

    Well speaking as an Commie-block emigre myself, Russia’s cultural significance is several orders of magnitude larger than Hungary. It’s not as if Russian is some provincial language that anyone with journalistic ambition would abandon as a mode of expression without regret.

    Someone from Finland, Greece or even Germany has some excuse for adopting an Americanised worldview and cultural tastes, but it looks pretty pathetic for Russians living in Russia imo.
    Whatever economic arguments there are, there’s no question that Russia’s cultural standards have experienced an almost unremitting decline since 1991. The Baltics and Caucasus are even worse, pretty much a total collapse of local cinema, television and literature. I guess Armenia has the new ‘rabaz’ subculture and music now, though that’s pretty debatable.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @reiner Tor
  155. @Yevardian

    there was a game called Company of Heroes

    Had never heard of it…I can see how it might be offensive if statements like “Returning to Stalingrad, Lev recalls that the only thing driving the Soviet soldiers to fight was Order 227, in which soldiers caught retreating would be executed as traitors” are accurate, which would seem to discount any positive motivations of Red army soldiers like patriotism.
    In general it’s probably a bad idea to attempt to deal seriously with WW2 issues in games.
    There’s a Czech “game” though about life during the German occupation which supposedly is historically accurate:
    https://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czech-video-game-relives-drama-following-heydrich-assassination
    Probably not something many people will “play” though outside of educational settings.

    Generally, I have vaguely noticed a shift of vidya villains from Arabs/generic Muslim terrorists to Russians in the past couple of years.

    iirc there was a game from one of those stupid shooter series (Call of duty?) already quite early this decade which had Russian terrorists carrying out an Islamist-style airport massacre (which got a lot of negative attention, because you were playing one of the killers, gunning down defenseless civilians).

  156. melanf says:
    @Yevardian

    there’s no question that Russia’s cultural standards have experienced an almost unremitting decline since 1991.

    This is only true of cinema (which has indeed experienced a catastrophic collapse). In the field of literature, architecture, painting etc. there is no decline in Russia. Another thing is that with the exception of the literature these areas of art today are of marginal importance (or even almost dead as classical music)

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  157. @anonymous coward

    Oh yes, I forgot. Also melanf.

    So now we have found:

    – Gerard2
    – anonymous coward
    – Felix Keverich
    – melanf

    There used to be others, like Sergey Krieger (?), IIRC. Any more?

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @Dmitry
  158. @Yevardian

    Pretty much every English speaking internet-savy Russian knows about Akarlin’s blog at this point

    I pretty much doubt it. In my experience in Hungary, the example I know the best, many internet-savvy people are unaware of relatively large and well-known Hungarian language (let alone English) web portals, or just barely aware of them. Political blogs rarely have very wide reach. Most people are not much into politics, and even if they are, they just won’t frequent blogs unless its contents are shared on Facebook or not even then.

    It’s not as if Russian is some provincial language that anyone with journalistic ambition would abandon as a mode of expression without regret.

    So you imply there must be loads of ambitious Hungarian journalists who have abandoned Hungarian in favor English? I’m not aware of any.

    But my point was that I wouldn’t really be interested in such a blog that much. Even if a Russian knows about the Karlin blog, would he come here to comment? How many people know about Unz Review around the world? How many read it? How many comment?

    The fact that only four (maybe some more?) of the regulars are Russian (out of how many? two dozens, at most?) signifies what, exactly?

    • Agree: HammerJack, melanf
    • Replies: @Yevardian
  159. Yevardian says:
    @reiner Tor

    Actually, I’ll concede my point to you, of course regular people don’t care about politics generally unless it affects their pocket. Pauline Kael effect I suppose (“How did he win? I never met a single person who voted for Nixon”), which is very much exaggerated in diaspora circles.

    So you imply there must be loads of ambitious Hungarian journalists who have abandoned Hungarian in favor English? I’m not aware of any.

    I’m not savvy on the topic of Hungary in particular, but for Russia the journalists Masha Gessen and Vitaly Vitaliev come to mind. But you’re right, I’m being unnecessarily prissy.

    Since this has become a general culture thread, could you recommend the works of Laszlo Krasnohorskai? Of course I’m only familiar with him through the films of Bela Tarr, but it seems a good a place as any to start with Hungarian writers. Apparently the country has many top-tier authors that remain unknown due to the difficulties of the language, but I don’t know how true that is.

    (obviously I know Hungarian is useless, just a hobby)

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  160. @Spisarevski

    Thank God for the Japanese and for Anime

  161. @Spisarevski

    Thank God for the Japanese and for Anime

    Could you please suggest a good intelligent entry point into Anime? I want to learn about it but know absolutely nothing to that field.

    Thank you.

  162. Yevardian says:
    @melanf

    Another thing is that with the exception of the literature these areas of art today are of marginal importance (or even almost dead as classical music)

    Would you call architecture of “marginal importance” though? Imo it’s arguably the most important of all the arts, as people have no choice but to live and see with embodiment of architectural trends everyday of their lives.

    Ok, so architecture has underwent a definite revival in Russia with all the Church rebuilding, and post-Stalin architecture has nothing to be proud of.

    But I’d also say television and film are also preeminent importance, since most people rarely read nowadays, people generally take their worldview more from serials and blockbusters than even the daily news, really. It’s not healthy when the most popular shows in a (large) country are all foreign imo.

    • Replies: @melanf
  163. Yevardian says:
    @Froggie the Murican

    I don’t really care about Anime (but perhaps that’s a recommendation, as I’m basically a casual and don’t have any special interest in it) but you basically can’t go wrong with any of the classic Studio Ghibli features from 1985-2000.

    On the other big series everyone knows, I liked Serial Experiments Lain, though I found Evangelion to be pretty stupid and not particularly interesting.

    On non-animated film, Korea has made as many if not more great movies than Japan since the late 90s. I generally find Korean plots and characters to be a lot more relatable than Japanese ones, perhaps that speaks for it’s Westernisation or it’s just me, idk.

    • Replies: @Toronto Russian
  164. Yevardian says:
    @reiner Tor

    melanf is Russian? I always assumed he was an American Jew.
    There’s another Armenian commenter who lives there or in Russia, but he comments very rarely.

    • Replies: @melanf
  165. melanf says:
    @Yevardian

    melanf is Russian? I always assumed he was an American Jew.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
    Why American Jew?
    I am Russian, live in St. Petersburg, never been in America
    Here I am in my natural environment

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  166. Yevardian says:
    @melanf

    I was thinking of iffen sorry. Very vague similarity in assonance maybe.

  167. melanf says:
    @Yevardian

    Would you call architecture of “marginal importance” though? Imo it’s arguably the most important of all the arts

    98% of modern architecture (worldwide) is a purely technical field, which has nothing to do with art. The remaining 2% is the marginal (now) art of architecture. And on the relics of the art of architecture hang labels kitsch, bad taste, etc

    Ok, so architecture has underwent a definite revival in Russia with all the Church rebuilding

    Thanks to the deep anti-aestheticism of the Orthodox Church, the modern Russian churches are extremely ugly. But among the secular buildings began to appear interesting buildings, which were not built since Stalin

    But I’d also say television and film are also preeminent importance, since most people rarely read nowadays, people generally take their worldview more from serials and blockbusters than even the daily news, really.

    Yes, really. But Russian TV series in Russia, successfully competing with the American series. With films is really a complete failure.

    • Replies: @Crypto-Brythonic
  168. @melanf

    98% of modern architecture (worldwide) is a purely technical field, which has nothing to do with art

    The buildings are still being built in a certain style, it is just a hegemonic one; so hegemonic, in fact, that you can say that its ‘purely technical’

    • Replies: @melanf
  169. @Froggie the Murican

    Could you please suggest a good intelligent entry point into Anime? I want to learn about it but know absolutely nothing to that field.

    I recommend Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress. It’s a movie (so you don’t have to sit through 13+ episodes) by one of the more intellectual directors (his other works are too weird and crazy for a beginner, this is the most normie-friendly one.) It has realistic graphics without giant eyes or blue hair, beautiful music, and interesting bits about historical Japan – either real in the 1930—1960s, or fictional historical Japan of about 1000—1900 from the period movies that the actress stars in. There’s no ‘unsafe’ content like sex or graphic violence, nor gross fetishes (e.g. loli) that make many animes off-putting.

  170. melanf says:
    @Crypto-Brythonic

    The buildings are still being built in a certain style,

    These ugly boxes are not style, it’s just trash

    • Replies: @AP
  171. songbird says:
    @Mitleser

    Which Xi are we to believe? The one that cites War and Peace or the one that references GoT?

  172. @melanf

    Here, admire the illustrations to the dilogy “Empire above all”. In the distant future, the interstellar Empire of people built… by Prussia (!!!) headed by the Kaiser.

    Dead ringer for Mikhail Ulyanov.

  173. AP says:
    @melanf

    And I’ve found a post in which I am in complete agreement with you.

  174. songbird says:

    One of the stupidest things in the show was how they just walked into a seemingly empty Dragonstone. Small islands near where you want to invade are massively strategic. There are many examples, like Tsushima or Iki-shima, but Malta might be the best.

  175. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    High Medieval feudal kingdom (although a very large one) vs. centralized gunpowder empire with large standing navy. Ottomans would stomp.

    Probably, but did the Ottomans go to war against a large High Medieval European state of comparable size? The Serbian and Hungarian states whom they occupied were much smaller, and Europeans still proved to be troublesome:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_G%C3%BCns

    The Siege of Kőszeg or Siege of Güns (Turkish: Güns Kuşatması) was a siege of Kőszeg (German: Güns)[Note 1] in the Kingdom of Hungary within the Habsburg Empire, that took place in 1532. In the siege, the defending forces of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy under the leadership of Croatian Captain Nikola Jurišić (Hungarian: Miklós Jurisics), defended the small border fort of Kőszeg with only 700–800 Croatian soldiers, with no cannons and few guns.[1] The defenders prevented the advance of the Ottoman army of 120,000–200,000 toward Vienna, under the leadership of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (Ottoman Turkish: سليمان‎ Süleymān) and Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha

  176. anonymous[133] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mitleser

    Is it a new trend on AK blog? Instead of every thread ending in another round of Eternal Ukrainian Shitstorm, we will now talk about anime and comic books?

    Let us hope so! Let make the dream a reality!

    • Replies: @Spisarevski
  177. @Froggie the Murican

    Could you please suggest a good intelligent entry point into Anime? I want to learn about it but know absolutely nothing to that field.

    Thank you.

    You don’t need an entry point, animes where you need to have watched a lot of other animes to get the jokes and references are rare.

    Just grab a show you’ve seen mentioned somewhere that seems interesting to you and if you happen to like it, certainly more will follow.

    You can use myanimelist.net like IMDB for anime. Generally everything with a score above 7 should be good and above 8 should be very good.
    For downloading you can use nyaa.si and select English-translated when you search.

    Actually I guess a good entry point would be shows that are popular, easy to watch (i.e. interesting and grabbing your attention as opposed to something slower where you need to be in a certain mood to appreciate it) and original, so that you can see what we’re talking about when we say that anime gives you something that hollywood just can’t.

    Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) should be a good start. Action-oriented, set in an interesting world whose mysteries get slowly uncovered.
    One Punch Man – a comedy about superheroes, where you can see how a show about someone who’s never challenged and can defeat anybody with one punch (hence the title) can still be interesting.

    Both of these are ongoing too, their latest season is currently airing.

    The trash literature genre of people transported to another era, sometimes in the body of a famous historical figure was mentioned here, but for the reverse – historical figures transported to another strange world after death – check out Drifters. It’s good, though only one short season for now.

    Something else from a few seasons back – Hinamatsuri – it’s not super popular or anything but it’s good and combines some of the main things people like about anime – moe (cute girls doing cute things), original Japanese humor and an original setting/premise. So if you want to get what anime is about and whether it’s for you, I think it’s a good choice.

    If you tell me what genres/tropes you’re into, I will happily try to recommend the best out of the several hundred shows that I’ve watched.

  178. @anonymous

    For an excellent gay communist anime, I recommend Shinsekai Yori (From the New World).

    The homosexual moments (a couple of kisses between male characters) are only done to reinforce the creeping feeling of something very wrong with the society – which while not strictly communist, is a supposed utopia that does tyrannical, horrible shit for the greater good.

    Otherwise it’s a sci-fi/supernatural horror drama about humanity evolving extremely powerful psychic abilities.

  179. Logan says:
    @anon

    Known as the most implausible alternate history ever

    Not sure why anyone would so describe it, other than the massive speed of Draka technological advance., which is indeed more than a little over the top. However, their development of genetics and biological weapons can be largely explained by perfect willingness to use humans as experimental animals.

    As far as the social aspects of the society, all the Draka do is take modern identity politics seriously and play it to win. If all that matters is power and conflict between groups, why shouldn’t we play to win? In fact, the Draka universe is what the world would be like if whites and men were actually what the SJWs believe they are.

    In the end, to maintain their master race status the Draka have changed not only their slaves but also themselves to no longer be even vaguely human. So did they really win? Good question.

    • Replies: @anon
  180. Logan says:
    @Epigon

    The Britons massively outnumbered the Romans. They could have just surrounded them, prevented them from moving and let them be weakened by thirst and hunger. Attacking a well-led Roman force permitted to pick its ground was never a good idea.

    Of course, doing that would require disciplined troops, which the Britons were not. All commentators on Roman wars with the barbarians pointed out that if the barbs didn’t win at their first rush they generally lost.

  181. Logan says:
    @LondonBob

    I thought the Hollywood reaction to the immense amount of money made by The Passion was hilarious.

    “People want Christian moves, we’ll make Christian movies.”

    So they went out and made a number of movies that mocked and vilified and made Christians look stupid, then wondered why the Christian audience didn’t show up.

    OTOH, my wife loves Christian movies, so I often accompany her. With very rare exceptions, they are quite painful for me to watch. Just as propogandistic as the PC stuff, but with much worse acting and production values.

    I don’t think it should be impossible to make compelling stories from a Christian perspective, Tolkien certainly did so, but the producers have to put the story before the moral or it just doesn’t work.

    • Replies: @AP
  182. @Yevardian

    I found Evangelion to be pretty stupid and not particularly interesting.

    Well, it wasn’t supposed to be brainy. I remember the creators said they put no deep meaning into all the ‘religious’ imagery, it just looked cool. And giant electric sockets and the giant boxcutter as Asuka’s weapon are nothing but purposely ridiculous. What’s the real strength of Evangelion is exploration of characters’ psychological troubles (Shinji – depression, Asuka – bipolar, Misato – daddy issues, etc.) That was very well-acted and even scientific, if on a simple level. See review by a known Russian anime critic, who has a psychology degree and was (unpleasantly) reminded by the show of his professors reading their first-year lectures.

    https://sam-newberry.livejournal.com/270106.html

    That said, I felt much dissatisfaction with the second half of it because they underdeveloped Rei’s character and completely forgot about Shinji’s classmates, to give us the boring world conspiracy plot and repetitive “let’s get inside a character’s brain and show a lot of seizure-inducing flashing pictures” sequences instead. Thankfully, the manga (which was drawn for many years after the show ended) set some of it right.

  183. Logan says:
    @reiner Tor

    Firefly had good stories and characters, even if its worlds didn’t make much sense.

  184. Logan says:
    @notanon

    That’s what led me to give up on the book series after the first couple.

    Medieval societies are based on reciprocal relationships between superiors and inferiors. The power of the lords comes from the willing support of their vassals.

    The vassals have no way to enforce their rights against a lord, so are dependent on his honor. For them to be willing to fight for him, they have to believe he will honorably take care of their families if they die.

    The constant and open dishonor of lords (and ladies) in GoT would result in their losing support from their vassals.

    For instance, England’s King John gained a well-deserved rep for dishonor and managed to not only lose all his lands in Europe but to have a large chunk of his nobility invite the Dauphin over to displace him. When John died they all abandoned the French claimant because there was some hope the new regime for John’s infant son would not be so dishonorable.

    A rep for dishonor in medieval times was not just a personal character flaw, it struck at the very heart of a lord’s power base. Even Machiavelli adviced his Prince to cultivate a reputation for honorable behavior until he was able to seize absolute power.

    • Replies: @notanon
  185. Logan says:
    @Epigon

    My favorite in the LOTR movies was the orc army marching on Helm’s Deep apparently armed entirely with pikes. What use are pikes in a siege?

    Then, later, at Minas Tirith the orcs are armed with shortish halberds to fight off a cavalry charge when pikes would have actually been useful.

  186. @Yevardian

    of course regular people don’t care about politics generally unless it affects their pocket

    Even if they do, their time is limited. I’m aware of a number of (Hungarian language) websites and blogs, which I nevertheless don’t follow because my time is limited. Same thing with English language blogs, that’s a big reason why I only sporadically read Ann Coulter, Steve Sailer, and a number of other authors.

    I’m aware of one English language writer about Hungary (Kim Lane Scheppele, a filthy liberal), but I only commented under one of her articles once, to correct her when I bumped into an article of hers where this supposed expert of the history of Hungarian constitutional law referred to Horthy as “prime minister.”

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

  187. melanf says:
    @anonymous

    BTW, how popular is this in Russia? Is this classic work banned or compulsory?

    This work is almost completely unknown in Russia (although as I discovered translated and posted for free reading – http://readmanga.me/the_ride_on_king )

  188. AP says:
    @Logan

    The Chronicles of Narnia movies were good.

  189. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    “– anonymous coward”

    He doesn’t know basic Russian words (it’s a American or Canadian guy) and seems to live in a fantasy world.

    Anatoly is known in some weird places of the Russian internet – for example dvach and with Egor Prosvirnin’s streams. Actually he has quite a lot of fans.

  190. RSDB says:
    @Dacian Julien Soros

    This is essentially a faux-medieval version of the Turkish soap operas, some of which are also medieval.

    I don’t know enough about either to compare them in any more depth than that. It’s interesting, though, that medieval(-ish) soap opera seems to be more popular either than ancient (“Rome”) or Renaissance (“Tudors”) soap opera.

    • Replies: @melanf
  191. melanf says:
    @RSDB

    medieval(-ish) soap opera

    soap opera Ivan the Terrible, Netflix production

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anon
  192. Anon[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @melanf

    For when your soap opera involves actual soap, I guess.

  193. Anon[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @melanf

    Also– is this a common method for depicting the sign of the cross? They are using the old style, no?

    • Replies: @melanf
  194. melanf says:
    @Anon

    is this a common method for depicting the sign of the cross? They are using the old style, no?

    The times of Ivan the terrible are a hundred years before Nikon’s Church reform. Before the reform people make sign of the cross with two fingers. Sectarians who do not recognize the reform of Nikon is still so make sign of the cross:

  195. Anon[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Done in 1979 by Pournelle in Janissaries and also with King David’s Spaceship in 1981; before this there was a genre more like the Russian stuff, where one guy goes and civilizes something. Poul Anderson satirized this genre in The Man Who Came Early when the title character’s technological schemes for medieval Iceland fall apart completely.

    • Replies: @anon
  196. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Poul Anderson satirized this genre in The Man Who Came Early when the title character’s technological schemes for medieval Iceland fall apart completely.

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

    If was supposed to be realistic answer to Lest Darkness Fall by Sprague de Camp.

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

    None of these are realistic. In realistic time travel, you will drop dead of ancient disease you have no immunity to, and spread to ancient world modern disease. Maybe the Black Death and other plagues were started by careless chrononauts?
    There is a good reason why time travel is strictly prohibited and why we never see any visitors from the future.

    • Replies: @melanf
  197. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @Logan

    Not sure why anyone would so describe it, other than the massive speed of Draka technological advance.,

    other than Draka getting away with all their stuff in the 19th century British Empire

    other than Draka making slave based economy outperform everyone else

    other than Draka inventing everything while rest of the world does not notice

    other than Draka wonderweapons actually working as described

    other than Draka overrunning Africa in 19th century without dying of malaria, sleeping sickness and numerous other diseases

    other than Draka not dying of AIDS

    As I said, you should be there when Draka author actually visited alternate history and science fiction forums, insisted his work was absolutely plausible, and was completely demolished by people who actually understand something about weapons, airplanes, computers and space technology.

    However, their development of genetics and biological weapons can be largely explained by perfect willingness to use humans as experimental animals.

    http://shalaph.fortunecity.ws/draka.htm

    Show me how to grow carbon nanotube bones in a living organism.

    The Draka TL biotech is as real as the weapon, aerospace and computer tech in this timeline, this means Star Wars grade techno babble.

  198. melanf says:
    @anon

    None of these are realistic. In realistic time travel, you will drop dead of ancient disease you have no immunity to, and spread to ancient world modern disease.

    Science knows quite a large number of “time traveler” (for example Laperuz spent the last years of life among Polynesians) that did not cause epidemics.

    Can you guess who it is (100% real historical figure):
    “time traveler” as a result of natural cataclysm accidentally appeared in the society for 4000 years more ancient. First he he was taken prisoner of evil ruler who kept him in prison and was going to kill him. But the hero escaped from prison and took refuge in the woods. After the adventure he came to another ruler, the enemy of the first. For some time the hero was a slave, but then, thanks to his courage and talent, he became an outstanding military commander and won many victories. Thanks to his “time traveler” knowledge, he carried out a reform of military, completely reorganizing it. Naturally he married a local aristocrat, noble and rich girl (according to the canons of the time traveler literature she should still also be a stunning beauty – but historical sources are silent about this topic). In the places of time travel, considered to give him the monuments, etc while it took many hundreds of years. Now (many hundreds of years later) he is still revered as a great hero

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  199. melanf says:

    Filming in the modern series

  200. notanon says:
    @Logan

    yes, honor (or terror) is necessary to retain loyalty and honor is easier.

    • Replies: @Logan
  201. @melanf

    Can you guess who it is (100% real historical figure):

    One of the conquistadors in the Americas?

    • Replies: @melanf
  202. Logan says:
    @notanon

    Yup. Terror requires a large Brute Squad, and then you have the problem of keeping its members loyal to you. A group that by definition is usually not what you’d call intrinsically honorable or loyal.

  203. Logan says:
    @anon

    This is a very old SF plotline. The Kalvan series, for instance. H. Beam Piper.

    Or, much earlier, Twain’s Connecticut Yankee.

    I enjoy a good many of them. Nice wish fulfillment stuff for a 20th/21st century American. Or, I presume, Russian or Japanese.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  204. @anon

    Drifters is a Japanese manga that follows the “Conquer the World” plotline although it’s partly to mock the naive nature of many fantasy universes. Famous historical samurai appear in fantasy universe, promptly proceed to introduce gunpowder and ridiculous Sengoku era brutality. No one comes off looking particularly good at the end.

    Hilariously, Hitler incarnates in this world as a heroic if mentally disturbed figure.

  205. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Episode 4 was a return to form and quite good imo, albeit with some continued tactical silliness. They’ve set up episode 5 as the big no-holds-barred grudge match between good and evil (or evil vs. less-evil, in any case). I’m quite sure we’ll see at least 2 of the Cersei/Jaime/Tyrion/Jon/Dany/Sansa/Arya group die.

  206. anonymous[155] • Disclaimer says:
    @Logan

    Also Lost Regiment series by William Forstchen

    Technically not modern people time slipped – it is Union regiment from American Civil War that ends in fantasy world populated by medieval Russians (so it is on topic here). As usual, the American heroes proceed to save the Russians from monstrous cannibal hordes and bring freedom and democracy.

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

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheLostRegiment

    • Replies: @Logan
  207. Logan says:
    @anonymous

    Yes. I’ve read a number of them. Not among my favorites.

    I have a strong stomach for depictions of evil and torture, but Bill goes over the top even for me.

  208. anon[235] • Disclaimer says:

    The show writers are uninterested in continuing a great epic. They are interested in cheap drama, dumbed down plotlines, CGI porn, and getting a wide variety of sexual fetishes out onto the silver screen.

    Exactly, because this is what the wiewers want to see. Next time, you will complain that Coca Cola contains sugar 😉

    Full explanation of the GoT decisions:

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