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Dec 4th 2014 at 11:59:53 PM •••

I don't know if this counts as headscratcher so I'll put it here to be sure... It says that Dany's reputation is tarnished by the lessons she has to learn the hard way in Essos which take a long time in ADWD (along with Daario Naharis, which point I can see) and by the fact that she had a Plot Armor for quite a while. Isn't the case of the lessons simply her blunders catching up to her and her Plot Armor being rewoked, making her earlier successes a case of "beginner's luck" as well as, well, cos of dragons?

Edited by
Feb 26th 2014 at 9:29:42 AM •••

Removed from Memetic Badass:

  • Look all over the internet and you'll find Stannis Baratheon has literally become the Chuck Norris of the fandom, many circles reaching zealous worship of the character. Stannis however truly is a man of great reputation; having held Storm's End for a year against the Tyrells with food supply running dangerously low.

I think Stannis's memetic reputation is about his Game of Thrones counterpart. I didn't hear any "Stannis is a badass" talk until the show came out, in which he's given more badass things to do than on the page.

May 11th 2013 at 10:18:29 AM •••


  • Marty Stu: Prince Rhaegar was exceptionally handsome, even for a Targaryen, well-read, one of the best fighters in the seven kingdoms, a talented musician, brave and honorable. Plus, plenty of characters keep going on about that. And according to some very popular theories regarding Jon Snow and his true parentage, he might have fathered the reincarnation of Azor Ahai

I don't think a posthumous character can qualify as a Marty Stu. We only get a smattering of other people's opinions of him, which are obviously biased. Robert thinks he was a monstrous rapist. His supporters think he was totally awesome. Aren't Marty/Mary Sue characters supposed to be the main character anyway?

Mar 15th 2013 at 1:12:30 PM •••

Removed this:

  • Unfortunate Implications: Despite all the different viewpoints the books go through and some of the female protagonists being LGBT, and two female on female sex scenes, we have as yet not had a non-heterosexual male protagonist.

This seems to be a simple case of Author Appeal and Girl-on-Girl Is Hot. We get lesbian sex scenes, but Martin apparently didn't decide to write male homosexual scenes. It doesn't imply anything unfortunate. It's just what the author is into.

If the story had indulged in Girl-on-Girl Is Hot and yet implied that male homosexuality is immoral, then you would have an argument due to rather obvious hypocrisy.

Edited by CaptainCrawdad Hide/Show Replies
Jun 15th 2013 at 11:40:39 AM •••

Also there are gay characters (Loras) its just that the guys are pressured into marriage anyway and having kids so it isn't as apparent

Mar 15th 2013 at 1:04:52 PM •••

Removed from Unfortunate Implications:

  • Likewise, only an extreme minority of the POV characters are lowborn: Davos, Areo Hotah and Melisandre (and all of them now have a station beyond their humble origins). The unfortunateness here is that, while we are told again and again that the smallfolk are the real victims of the game of thrones and care little about its winner, they ultimately end up being the victims of storytelling too, their perspectives excluded and marginalized in the same way that the commoners of history always have been.

This seems more like a review than an example of the trope. You might see it as a flaw of the series to not include the POV of a simple peasant, but I think it's a bit of a jump to say that it's an unfortunate implication of some sort of classist agenda.

Does anyone have any opinions on this?

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Mar 15th 2013 at 1:12:46 PM •••

I'd say it is perhaps a flaw, but doesn't really seem like an unfortunate implication. As that example itself notes, it is seemingly a deliberate stylistic choice to show the nobles are really alienated from the suffering peasants.

This is one of those things like the status of women where in an effort at (arguable) historical accuracy, Martin's stylistic choices reflect the setting.

Also, there are characters like the Brotherhood Without Banners and the new High Septon who exist to show that while the game of thrones has been going on, a lot of lower class people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

Edited by
Jun 15th 2013 at 1:01:43 PM •••

The example itself mentions two important PO Vs who are lowborn (and at least one of those is portrayed as all the better for it) and discounts them just because they now find themselves in a position to actually influence world events. Perhaps it would be more democratic to occasionally drop into the head of Hot Pie, but it's hard to see how it would serve the narrative of a continent-spanning epic story.

OK, Arya's storyline could easily be transplanted to a random Flea Bottom orphan, but then what connection would she have to the rest of the characters? She'd look like even more of a First-Person Peripheral Narrator than Arya already does.

Edited by
Dec 9th 2012 at 3:39:22 AM •••

From YMMV:

  • Stupid Evil: YMMV on the "evil" part, but you'd be hard pressed to argue that Balon Greyjoy's war strategy wasn't utter idiocy.

How? They captured several significant strongholds almost effortlessly. Balon's death interrupts things and Theon throws a Spanner in the Works by attacking Winterfell, but apart from that it was incredibly successful.

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Dec 9th 2012 at 12:58:51 PM •••

I think the issue is that while Balon could have gotten a lot of perks out of an alliance with Robb- he would have gotten semi-indepenence and all the wealth and saltwives that Lannisport has to offer. However, he doesn't really get anything out of hurting Robb and by implication, helping the Lannisters.

As IIRC conversations of Tywin and Cersei at their small councils bring up, the Lannisters basically are happy that Balon did their work for them, but have no interest in rewarding him (the show does a good job of bringing up that the Lannisters are still pissed since the Ironborn torched the Lannister fleets during the Greyjoy Rebellion).

Now granted, as you say the Ironborn did capture strongholds so arguably, that put them in sort of a good bargaining position- the problem is is that as far as I can tell, the Starks were the only people interested in bargaining with them/in a position to reward them, and the Starks were the people Balon attacked.

So, I'm not sure if it's necessarily stupid. It's certainly Revenge Before Reason coupled with Balon's obsession with taking the iron price rather than going semi-legit.

Dec 9th 2012 at 3:16:46 PM •••

I think that last paragraph is an excellent summation. He wasn't thinking politically, he wanted to put one in the Starks' eye, which he achieved magnificently.

Jul 7th 2012 at 3:53:04 AM •••


  • Anvilicious: The notion that the Middle Ages were a romantic time of heroism and chivalry is complete BS. War is always hell, even (and especially) when it's waged by knights in shining armor. And when noble lords wage power struggles, the common people get shafted in the end no matter who wins. As cool as dragons and wizards may be, everyday life in a Tolkien-esque fantasy world would be hell for most people. This trope applies, however, because sometimes Martin goes overboard- for instance, in Real Life if the nobility of the Middle Ages tried to treat their peasantry half as bad as some of the Houses of Westeros did, the economy would have collapsed and the Houses would have been very poor- and very dead- very quickly. Also, most Middle Age battles were not actually as brutal (or as epic) as they are portrayed- most of them were skirmishes and ended before they had a chance to get that far, because commanders and soldiers at the time were too Genre Savvy to let them get that far and achieve nothing but scores of dead soldiers. Only a handful ever really reached that level of violence and scale.
    • Although this is depicted as one of the bloodiest and most politically unstable times in the history of the world. Which kind of leans into Broken Aesop territory when you realize that the whole point of the series is to teach how horrible it would be to live in medieval times. Depicting medieval times in middle of their bloodiest conflict in millenia is like depicting Earth in the middle of the apocalypse.

The crapsack medieval setting isn't an aesop, it's just the setting, so it's not Anvilicious.

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May 4th 2013 at 9:37:15 AM •••

But isn't one of Martin's intentions to show that the Middle Ages weren't a nice place to live? If so, it sounds to me like he's using the setting to send the aesop.

May 11th 2013 at 7:21:16 AM •••

An aesop is a moral of the story. One of the author's stylistic intentions was to subvert the glossiness of Heroic Fantasy, that's not the same as the central point of the story being to teach the lesson that the middle ages were nasty.

May 7th 2011 at 10:19:57 PM •••

Euron Crow's Eye seems like a pretty good candidate, seeing as how he's considered a monster even in the borderline-always chaotic evil iron islands. Viserys might be a candidate if he weren't so goddamn pathetic. Qyburn is probably one as well, though so far most of his psychotic villainy has been (barely) offscreen and he's managed to remain affably evil through it all. Aerys II probably would have qualified though we haven't actually seen enough of him to confirm it definitively. This troper also feels that Walder Frey qualifies with no ifs, ands or buts.

Nov 18th 2011 at 1:04:03 PM •••

First, do think Qyburn should be added, but I deleted Victarion. He doesn't fit the criteria.

Here are the current criteria:

  • The character is truly heinous by the standards of the story, which makes no attempt to present them in a positive light.
  • The character's terribleness is played seriously at all times, evoking fear, revulsion and/or hatred from the other characters in the story.
  • They are completely devoid of altruistic qualities. They show no regret for their crimes.

  • As I noted, he's not truly heinous by the standards of the story, or even by Ironborn standards. He's presented in a somewhat positive light- he has a certain code of honor.
  • I don't know how to address the terribleness. He's kind of played for laughs (for readers) in ADWD, and in-universe, he's not really hated by anyone. I mean like as a contrast, Euron is looked at by Ironborn as a monster- Vic is an ok guy by Ironborn standards
  • Vic is not devoid of altruistic qualities. He loathes slavery, and will free slaves when he can (granted, to make them thralls, but still...) He doesn't show any regret for his crimes, but that's because he's Obliviously Evil.

Edited by Jordan
Nov 18th 2011 at 1:15:04 PM •••

Well, he did kinda feel bad for beating his wife to death, and the Complete Monster qualifications are strict enough that 'kinda felt bad' is more than enough to disqualify you.

Remember, we're talking about the embodiment of evil here.

Nov 27th 2012 at 10:14:46 AM •••

I don't think Qyburn qualifies. He does what he does For Science!, rather than For the Evulz, and seems to have the goal of helping people in a deeply warped way.

Edit: just realised this is over a year old, rather than a few days - oops.

Edited by IronLion
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