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May 17th 2019 at 12:31:21 PM •••

Could this entry on Unintentionally Unsympathetic be summarized? It\'s quite a Wall Of Text and against our policy to write examples in a Clear Concise Witty way.

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The show also wants us to sympathize with Tyrion for being the sole moderate voice of reason in Dany\'s council over zealots like Grey Worm, and someone whose faith in Daenerys is betrayed, while Dany browbeating him is treated as her being a Bad Boss. Others point out that Tyrion has genuinely been a terrible Hand who has screwed up multiple chances and opportunities given to him, starting right from the beginning with his handling of Meereen where he got suckered by the Masters of Slave Cities, over the objections of both Missandei and Grey Worm who warned him but gave him the initial benefit of the doubt until his mess nearly got them killed, which explains and justifies Grey Worm\'s hardened resolve against his \"advice\". Tyrion\'s plan to attrition war Cersei into submission has led to tremendous losses for Dany, both in military and personal terms. Tyrion\'s peace deal with Cersei to create a Grand Alliance to stop the Long Night was based on his total misreading of his sister\'s personality. In other words, when Tyrion negotiates a Last-Second Chance for the city to surrender by ringing the bells and opening the gates (with the bells being run after the breach well past the deadline), there\'s little to no reason for Daenerys to listen to him. In the long run, fewer lives would have been lost had Daenerys gone to King\'s Landing right from the start and not prolonged the war the way Tyrion has. Anyone in real life with as many failures as Tyrion has in military and civil service, would have been removed from service and demoted and the fact that Daenerys kept him around for as long as she has is indeed a sign of her mercy.

Edited by XFllo Hide/Show Replies
May 17th 2019 at 1:02:36 PM •••

How about this:

Tyrion is presented as deserving of sympathy for being the sole moderate voice of reason in Dany\'s council and someone whose faith in Daenerys is betrayed, while Dany browbeating him is treated as her being a Bad Boss. However, Tyrion has genuinely been a terrible Hand who has screwed up multiple times during his tenure, bearing responsibility for the siege of Meereen, the loss of Highgarden, the destruction of Yara\'s Iron Fleet, and the imprisonment of Dany\'s Dornish allies. Anyone in real life with as many military and civil service failures would have been removed from service and demoted; Daenerys keeping him around for as long as she has is indeed a sign of her mercy.

May 17th 2019 at 1:07:27 PM •••

^ I like that! I would just propose one small wording change?

Tyrion is presented as deserving of sympathy for being the sole moderate voice of reason in Dany\'s council and someone whose faith in Daenerys is betrayed, while Dany browbeating him is treated as her being a Bad Boss. However, as Hand, most of Tyrion\'s advice has been genuinely awful and he has screwed up multiple times during his tenure, bearing responsibility for the siege of Meereen, the loss of Highgarden, the destruction of Yara\'s Iron Fleet, and the imprisonment of Dany\'s Dornish allies. Anyone in real life with as many military and civil service failures would have been removed from service and demoted; Daenerys keeping him around for as long as she has is indeed a sign of her mercy.

_____

But if you disagree, I agree with the example you\'ve proposed!

Edited by cherrychels
May 17th 2019 at 1:10:06 PM •••

Both are better than the current. Kudos for your efforts! :-)

May 17th 2019 at 1:15:36 PM •••

^^ Yup, that\'s much better; not all his advice has been terrible. Thanks! :)

^ Cheers!

May 17th 2019 at 1:30:21 PM •••

Thanks for considering it, guys, and for your efforts! :)

Edited by cherrychels
May 17th 2019 at 10:42:38 AM •••

Okay, I pulled this because it really comes across as straight up apologia for the wholesale slaughter of innocents. Under incredibly flimsy pretenses to boot.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Grey Worm\'s anger towards King\'s Landing and him leading the sack of King\'s Landing is understandable when you factor in that throughout Season 8, he has voiced displeasure at the racism that he and Missandei were greeted with in the North, despite coming to their aid against the Long Night. In Episode 2, Grey Worm confesses bitterly to Missandei that for the likes of them, there\'s No Place For Me There, the Westerosi will never accept them and that after Daenerys wins her wars, he plans to go to Isle of Naath with her and help the locals resist slave ships. The unjust death of Missandei at Cersei\'s hands, which in his mind counts as a Happy Ending Override since both of them had survived the Long Night only to lose in what they saw as a post-epilogue skirmish, coupled with Tyrion\'s and Jon\'s repeated granting of second chances to King\'s Landing (which given that following Tyrion\'s advice in Meereen nearly got him and Missandei killed when Tyrion had ignored their warnings he has reasons to be skeptical and dismissive about) simply made him fed up, with him and the Unsullied unleashing Revenge By Proxy on the people of King\'s Landing for the xenophobia he and Missandei had experienced across the season, coupled with his loss of patience with honoring the norms of Westeros while the latter never accepts him and other outsiders.

Okay, where to begin...

Okay, let\'s start with \"anger is understandable.\" Okay, honestly I\'m on board with that. The man\'s pissed off and angry because his lover just died. Except that isn\'t ACA, that\'s just... what happened.

Let\'s get into the xenophobia, which was... one scene of some people in the North snubbing him. Which is there and affects him. Which is Character Interpretation. Which leaps off the slippery slope into \"therefore he\'s justified in killing the people of King\'s Landing.\" Which... honestly, fuck, man.

So if this were to go it, I would say it would have to be more Alternative Character Interpretation than \"Character Interpretation\" and a lot less on the \"and this is why what they did was okay.\" The only thing \"alternative\" that I\'m seeing in the writeup is that he\'s committing Revenge By Proxy on the King\'s Landing people, and even that is filled with language like Create Your Own Villain is just... off.

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May 17th 2019 at 10:50:21 AM •••

Yeah, I\'d agree with this. I have similar feelings about the entry as written. Grey Worm\'s feelings are certainly understandable after seeing Missandei executed in such a brutal way but I don\'t it\'s reason enough to participate in a massacre against a) a city that\'s already surrendered and b) people who are not responsible for his grief.

Edited by cherrychels
May 17th 2019 at 10:54:36 AM •••

The words \"therefore he\'s justified\" isn\'t anywhere in the paragraph.

ACI is about audiences trying to provide alternative interpretations of scenes. The slaughter at King\'s Landing feels excessive compared to stated reasons. If its Dany going mad, it doesn\'t explain why Jon\'s Northmen forces for the most part followed her along and not Jon. By the same token, Grey Worm\'s anger and hatred seems deeper than just \"they killed Missandei\", so I thought the racism that we saw in the first two episodes and his displeasure at the poor treatment the Unsullied got from the North was a deeper motivation. The intend is certainly to try and humanize him, in the same way people humanize and interpret villains across the spectrum. Like people offer up sympathetic motivates for Scar in lion king and other villains too. So I don\'t see why treating this as a real life moral issue works. This is a fictional work and we are allowed to express feelings and sentiments through fiction which we don\'t in real life.

Grey Worm clearly despises Tyrion and Jon Snow as seen in this episode. And he\'s given a lot of focus here so obviously we need to explain him. He\'s certainly more than a throwaway character in Dany\'s story at this point.

May 17th 2019 at 11:03:30 AM •••

I think it\'s still a moral issue because it\'s clearly wrong In Universe as well as in real life, given there was no need for this massacre. Plus, for me, it\'s super uncomfortable reading explanations to explain away mass murder of innocents when these things do happen in real life. This wasn\'t an execution or revenge against a person for their own specific actions, it was indiscriminate mass murder.

You\'re right, this is a fictional piece, but I feel this argument is a slippery slope and can be used to justify all sorts of atrocities that happen in stories.

Likewise, the language in the example does feel to me like it\'s trying to justify unfounded actions against those not responsible for those actions because of a character\'s anguish and resentment — Grey Worm was taking his anger out against people who have nothing to do with his grief.

Even the wariness and distrust the Northerners display to Grey Worm and Missandei because of their race (in the opening scene when Dany and Jon arrive at Winterfell in which they stare at Grey Worm and Missandei and in the 802 scene when Missandei tries to talk to two small girls and they rebuff her) isn\'t enough motivation, I think. Plus, those people are in the North — the people of King\'s Landing have nothing to do that.

The Northern soldiers hardly get a pass either — their behavior is not justified in any way either.

Edited by cherrychels
May 17th 2019 at 11:13:01 AM •••

Okay how about this rewrite based on some of the feedback here:

  • Grey Worm, openly showing rage and at times outright hatred to Jon and Tyrion in his interactions with them, and then eagerly leading the sack of King\'s Landing on people who had nothing to do with Missandei\'s death seems pretty inexplicable given his pre-established mild-mannered stoic characterization and likewise his belief that after the battle is done, he wished to leave Westeros for good. But it makes sense if you see it as Revenge By Proxy as a result of Grey Worm\'s distaste towards Westeros as a whole. Grey Worm in the first two episodes of Season 8, had voiced displeasure at the racism that he and Missandei were greeted with in the North, despite coming to their aid against the Long Night. In Episode 2, Grey Worm confesses bitterly to Missandei that for the likes of them, there is No Place For Me There. As for Tyrion, Grey Worm had resented him since his period governing Meereen where Tyrion\'s refusal to listen to his and Missandei\'s advice nearly led to their deaths or re-enslavement, coupled with Tyrion\'s advice to Daenerys prolonging the war (with Grey Worm and the Unsullied losing many men in the pointless capture of Casterly Rock in Season 7). As such Grey Worm leaps at sacking King\'s Landing out of spite, the city that Tyrion was trying to save, while also jumping at his chance to cut down the people of Westeros of whom he had already formed a low opinion of.

Edited by Revolutionary_Jack
May 17th 2019 at 11:24:27 AM •••

I think I\'ll have to leave this for somebody else to give a better judgment on. For me, this still feels so uncomfortable because Grey Worm\'s participation in the massacre against a surrendered city feels like a Disproportionate Retribution x10000000 against people who have done nothing to him or — as far as he knows — nothing wrong. Also, as rude as those Northerners were to Grey Worm and Missandei because of their race, I don\'t think it is reason enough to massacre, even if Grey Worm grew to hate Westeros for it. Also, why would he hate Jon at this point?

That said, if Grey Worm had targeted Cersei, even if he killed soldiers who tried to fight him off on his way, I think that would be motivated. Likewise, Dany was fully within her rights to execute Varys because she was killing him for his own actions (treason). I also think she was in the right when she executed the Tarlys because they were her prisoners and she gave them a choice. They chose.

But this the massacre is different. Still, that\'s just my opinion and maybe others can better give their thoughts.

Edited by cherrychels
May 17th 2019 at 11:28:05 AM •••

I am not saying Grey Worm didn\'t participate in that massacre and so on. I am simply trying to interpret why he did it. He\'s a character, he performed actions that are surprising to people who are familiar with him from earlier. The episode didn\'t provide a lot of explanations for why he did it. Obviously as viewers we have a right to try and understand why characters we thought we knew did horrible things we didn\'t expect? And the whole paragraph makes it clear that his attitude is disproportionate.

May 17th 2019 at 11:35:17 AM •••

I see where you\'re coming from and what you\'re trying to get at but it still feels uncomfortable. Maybe others can offer up an opinion? Maybe I\'m too sensitive to this?

To me, I think the problem comes with \"But it makes sense if you see it as Revenge By Proxy as a result of Grey Worm\'s distaste towards Westeros as a whole.\" To me, it doesn\'t make sense. I don\'t think that\'s enough to motivate Grey Worm into these actions. Before this, Grey Worm wasn\'t a villain and even with his very human grief, it doesn\'t make sense as to why he\'d take actions like this. I think the same of Dany. If they had better built up their progression to the Dark Side (I mean, if Ramsay had a dragon and burned down King\'s Landing, I wouldn\'t bat an eye — he\'s evil!), I think it\'d make more sense...?

But that\'s just my opinion and I could be totally, totally wrong!

Edited by cherrychels
May 17th 2019 at 12:35:10 PM •••

I\'m with cherry. Genocide apologia aside, it seems like a shoehorn because it\'s less \"Alternative Character Interpretation\" as \"the character interpretation, but said out loud.\" The episode also didn\'t say why Dany did what she did, out loud either. But that doesn\'t earn an ACI entry because there\'s only one logical inference as to why she did what she did.

To be an Alternative Character Interpretation, it needs to differ from the given character presentation. And it doesn\'t, instead going just exploring the shown but not outright stated reasoning. This is more of an attempt at a character analysis (hence the wall of text).

The only thing that\'s really alternative is \"he\'s mowing down King\'s Landing because he\'s mad at Tyrion\" which... well it\'s a stretch, but at least it\'s alternative.

May 17th 2019 at 12:40:07 PM •••

Fine. Everyone\'s voted so it goes. I do think people aren\'t getting into the spirit of fiction. I mean in The Iliad, \"heroes\" like Achilles or Kriemhild do horrible things and so on and we are meant to empathize and understand why they do those things. Separately from that I do have quibbles with people throwing the word genocide when what they mean is massacre, sack, bombardment, mass murder. Genocide is a separate specific thing. The reference the show used was the bombings of Dresden, which was done by the Allies to the Nazis (you know the people who did the genocide thing). But I\'ve made my say.

Edited by Revolutionary_Jack
May 17th 2019 at 12:54:15 PM •••

Am I too late here? No matter, I\'ll sum my thoughts up:

1. It\'s \'xenophobia\', not \'racism\'. The Northeners dislike Dany as well, and she\'s lilly-white. And has dragons to boot.

2. Your counterproposal is still a Wall Of Text. There\'s no need to list every single time where Grey Worm and Tyrion butted heads.

3. Even if it were trimmed down, that\'s just one viewpoint (as was pointed out above).

May 18th 2019 at 12:14:00 AM •••

Can I add an entry for this in the Fridge page. That seems more open to character-centric looks.

May 18th 2019 at 10:35:43 AM •••

So long as it\'s not bashing other characters (especially Tyrion, whose actions you\'ve gone out of your way to critique in multiple entries), it\'s not a wall of text, and it\'s not excusing genocide, I don\'t see why you couldn\'t. Although, considering that Grey Worm\'s motivations are pretty obvious and telegraphed during this episode, I don\'t see how FB applies.

May 18th 2019 at 10:59:53 AM •••

^ I agree. I\'d especially encourage avoiding character bashing, especially coming into the home-stretch, so it doesn\'t appear like Prescriptive Vs Descriptive Language or Righting Great Wrongs.

I agree with RoundRobin that I\'m not sure Fridge Brilliance would apply to Grey Worm\'s motives as I think what the showrunners provided was clear.

Edited by cherrychels
May 15th 2019 at 6:14:30 AM •••

While we\'re on the subject of controversial edits, I\'d like to bring up this one:

  • Values Dissonance: What Daenerys talks about in this episode, about the people of King\'s Landing not turning against Cersei and as such legitimate targets is accurate to the psychology of siege warfare in the medieval era. It was widely agreed that if a defending city had rejected all offers of surrender, then quarter would be denied, and the whole city would be made examples ofnote . The only countervailing case is the issue of the bells of the city ringing for surrender but which in any case was made after the walls were breached and the city infiltrated, well past the deadline. As per Tyrion, the sign for surrender is \"ring the bells and open the gates\", that deadline ended when Dany on Drogon destroyed the gates and opened the breach. When the bells finally rang it was left unclear as to the order to ring them coming from the court or the panicked local cohort since Cersei in the preceding scene had ordered her soldiers to fight to the last man. As such Daenerys, from a medieval perspective, is quite correct in her decisions, even if other characters are horrified by her actions:
    \"While medieval law made a distinction between combatants and civilian in combat this was not the case in siege of a city that refused to surrender. Against a city that refused to surrender it was acceptable that the norms of law that regulated discipline on the battlefield would be suspended, the local population shared the same fate as the defending troops. Responsibility was shifted to the defender for the ‘harm befalling non-combatants as a result of a siege – starvation, bombardment, sack—was understood as incidental effects of warfare’ ... Sieges in the medieval period began typically when a herald went forward and demanded that a town or city surrendered. If this was accepted it was expected that the inhabitants would be protected. If the population refused ‘this was regarded by the besieging lord as treason’ and all rights were revoked Quarter was denied to all who had failed to surrender under the proper conditions.\"
    — Leonard F. Taylor, There Shall Be Survivors: The Prohibition of the Denial of Quarter in International Law

Besides being a massive Wall Of Text, the second half [from \"The countervailing case...\" onward] strikes me as less of a documentation of medieval siege warfare and more like a justification of mass murder.

Should it be reworded to a more neutral (and much shorter) paragraph?

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May 15th 2019 at 6:32:19 AM •••

So to be honest, I kind of wondered whether it should be there at all. Values Dissonance, as I know it, is \"this was acceptable/unacceptable when/where this work was released, but time/distance exposed it to an audience that found it unacceptable/acceptable.\"

The argument here is medieval norms are different from modern ones. Which is true but... is it relevant? Because right now, we\'re not talking medieval norms, we\'re talking Westerosi norms. And given the wholesale slaughter and targeting of civilians is played for horror in this case and is a massive Kick The Dog in other sieges, I don\'t think they\'re exactly playing by Westerosi rules either.

May 15th 2019 at 7:25:21 AM •••

I agree. I have those same concerns too. There was no basis or justification for Daenerys to go after a city\'s civilian populace when the city had already surrendered.

I\'m no expert on medieval warfare or laws and while I think these medieval laws can explain the correctness of other things (ie. executions of individual criminals and traitors — I agree with Daenerys\'s execution of Varys, for instance), I\'d be hesitant to use this trope to justify genocide.

Maybe it can be used to provide a neutral documentation of how it would be viewed in medieval times but Larkman brings up an interesting point of medieval norms vs. Westerosi norms.

Edited by cherrychels
May 15th 2019 at 8:01:05 AM •••

non-example, because the trope is about stuff acceptable when the work was done becoming obsolete.

Additionally, the entry is implicitly relying on Like Reality Unless Noted , but as that other trope says, the assumption doesn\'t apply to Medieval European Fantasy because the established divergence is too wide.

Edited by TrollBrutal
May 15th 2019 at 8:12:52 AM •••

Can I put it in Accidentally Correct Writing. A troper tried to put it in a trivia page and referred to here, but it was removed (rightly so) for being a ZCE?

May 15th 2019 at 8:24:34 AM •••

I might be okay with that if A: The entry leads by noting the (seemingly obvious but apparently forgotten) fact that Westeros\' norms and customs are different than in the real world, B: Not sounding quite so much on the side of \"so they basically deserved to die\" and C: Trimming it (at the very least, putting the quote in a label note).

May 14th 2019 at 11:30:08 AM •••

Internet Backdraft

Under discussion (for now removed from the page):

  • Internet Backdraft:
    • It began almost immediately after the release of the episode due to Dany\'s conduct:
      • Multiple reviewers have stated that while they didn\'t necessarily have issues with Dany becoming the Big Bad, the way that the show handled this transition left a lot to be desired. This is an entirely different issue from merely cheering team Dany.
      • One element that caused particular dismay was the implication that the last straw for Dany was Jon\'s decision to not resume their romantic and sexual relationship, suggesting that a man refusing to have sex with her was the last thing needed to push her over the edge.
      • Daenerys\'s \"paranoia\" is presented as a sign of growing insanity despite her being completely right that people are plotting to betray her (Varys is trying to poison her), and that she correctly guessed how word got from Jon, through Sansa and Tyrion, to Varys. Again, Tywin back in Season 2 executed his own soldiers to investigate the assassination attempt on his life (which the audience knows to be false), yet his sanity is never questioned. After all, Daenerys still keeps Tyrion as Hand of the Queen despite him repeatedly failing her during a war. Brynden Rivers and Ned Stark, while serving \"less tyrannical\" kings Aegon V and Robert, got sacked over less than this.
      • The show seems to try to portray the execution of Varys for treason without trial as a tyrannical act. And yet, Jon Snow beheading Janos Slynt for disobedience is viewed as one mature step of the characters. Contrast this with Theon killing Ser Rodrik Cassel or Robb Stark killing Lord Karstark, which the show makes to visually parallel each other.
    • Jon\'s lack of desire for the throne is again presented uncritically by Varys as a reason why he\'d be a good ruler, which again ignores the lessons and consequences of Robert Baratheon\'s apathetic kingship... that Varys himself was a part of. Furthermore, Jon\'s own flaws and history of bad decisions, ones that might diminish his fitness for rule even in comparison to Dany\'s, continue to be glossed over to focus more on Dany\'s Villain Ball. He can\'t even control his own troops during the sack!
    • Jaime not killing Cersei, instead opting to run away with her as King\'s Landing is being destroyed as well and claiming he doesn\'t care for the smallfolk, thereby destroying his Character Development over the past seven seasons.
    • Many didn\'t like Cersei getting a beautiful death, i.e. dying in Jaime\'s arms, considering all the horrible things she did. It didn\'t help that the audience didn\'t even get a chance to see her dyie on-screen due to Gory Discretion Shot.
    • The fight between Euron and Jaime is hated for coming out of nowhere and adding nothing to the plot other than killing off Euron. Euron\'s claim that he kills Jaime is also hilariously empty because it\'s the collapsing Red Keep that kills him. Many viewers feel that giving Cleganebowl more screentime would have been better than wasting it on this fight.
    • At the time of writing, the \'Inside The Episode\' featurette for this episode from the show\'s official YouTube channel has notably more Dislikes than Likes.


Also, please don\'t use phrases like \"as of now\" or \"at the time of writing\". Examples Are Not Recent. It also implies This Troper.

ETA: The info about six-month waiting period was incorrect. I (and other tropes) got it mixed up with Broken Base.

Edited by XFllo Hide/Show Replies
May 14th 2019 at 12:54:13 PM •••

Xfillo you may have jumped the gun. There is no six month waiting period for Internet Backdraft.

I explained on that same Ask The Tropers thread.

Edited by miraculous
May 14th 2019 at 1:27:26 PM •••

Yes, sorry about that. It got mixed up with Broken Base.

That said, we could wait for about two weeks — as is suggested in the very same thread — and add the examples back then when people calm down a bit.

May 14th 2019 at 2:09:20 PM •••

I don\'t think so. Nobody took off the Internet Backdraft trope off when the last two controversial episodes came out, after all, and this one deserves every bit like those two. One week at best, since that\'s the finale (and thus a whole NEW backlash given where this season is heading).

May 14th 2019 at 2:17:00 PM •••

^ That\'s not much of an argument. I considered snipping Internet Backdraft in S8-04, but I wasn\'t certain whether that would be in accordance with wiki policy.

To put it really, really bluntly: there\'s a lot of complaining going on in both YMMV.TheBells and YMMV.TheLastOfTheStarks. IMHO, both pages are in dire need of some trimming.

Edited by RoundRobin
May 14th 2019 at 2:26:58 PM •••

^ Agreed (about YMMV.TheLastOfTheStarks as well).

There is lots of complaining, lots of nitpicking, arguing with other entries, posting links to negative reviews, exaggerating — none of this is wanted.

Let\'s not forget that YMMV entries still need to be about reactions of the majority of the fandom and viewers (not this one reviewer plus me plus trolls). There are also positive reviews and positive comments about this episode.

This is a high profile show. It seems like lots of people have had their pet theories, personal head canons, favourite ships and ideas how it should end and now can\'t handle when it\'s ending differently. There are definitely problems with writing and there is definitely some backlash (considering how almost universally the show was praised earlier), there\'s no denying it, but posting three entries about every single character and complaining about every single scene is excessive.

Edited by XFllo
May 14th 2019 at 8:17:09 PM •••

I\'ve said before the problem is Internet Backdraft is by definition complaining, and as is it lacks any rules to what isn\'t an example. The problem is bigger than this episode.

May 15th 2019 at 5:48:18 AM •••

I\'ve said the same. A two-week waiting period is a band-aid, but the problem is that you\'re trying to put a band-aid on a fire. It\'s inherently a complaint-magnet and the low set standards don\'t help.

... which is why when an entry manages to not reach said set standards it\'s an incredibly bad sign.

May 15th 2019 at 5:59:16 AM •••

It\'s very true that this is a complaint-magnet. I think Narm is the same, especially regarding GoT.

I guess it\'s more or less okay for shows that are less in the focus when people post one entry for Internet Backdraft about a particularly bad decision or poorly received episode, or describe one narm-y moment that really stands out (and that really fits the current definition), but with a show this popular, it\'s really, really bad.

Personally what I dislike most about those examples is that it describes the episode from every angle and how certain people/fans/reviewers didn\'t like it, while claiming it wouldn\'t be problematic in itself if only things had been done differently.

Could we summarize the whole wall of text of nine examples and make it into one paragraph?

Edited by XFllo
May 15th 2019 at 9:15:01 AM •••

How\'s this? Tried to summarise the main points.

  • Daenerys as the Mad Queen, which has been criticised as Out Of Character by some and in-character but poorly executed by others. Issues with the development include the rushed nature of Dany\'s mental breakdown, the sexist implications of Dany and Cersei\'s madness compared to Jon\'s Character Shilling, and the actions of other characters (Sansa, Jon, Varys, Tyrion) making Dany\'s breakdown more sympathetic than intended.
  • The resolution of the Jaime/Cersei subplot. Jaime\'s decision to die with Cersei was seen as a destruction of his character development (shunning his healthy relationship with Brienne, and claiming he doesn\'t care for the smallfolk), and Cersei dying in Jaime\'s arms was seen as unsatisfying for a character that has caused so much destruction.

edit: No idea how to get rid of all the forward slashes after every apostrophe

Edited by Clanger00
May 15th 2019 at 9:30:58 AM •••

^ That looks great.

Edit: Don\'t worry about the forward slashes; they\'re some kind of bug in discussion pages.

Edited by RoundRobin
May 14th 2019 at 6:37:56 AM •••

I removed this example from Catharsis Factor:

Seeing Dany burn King\'s Landing to the ground could be this considering many of those citizens were the ones jeering Ned during his execution, who also attempted to rape Sansa during the riot before being killed by the Hound. Likewise, for many who were upset and disgruntled that the Long Night and White Walker threat isn\'t the actual Big Bad of the story, the fact that the city that sat out of it got retribution for their ruler trying to stab the alliance in the back is also immensely satisfying.
I removed it with the reason, \"I don\'t know, dude. This feels like blaming the many, including the ones who did nothing wrong, for the sins of the few because they happened to live in the same city as rapists and because they live in the same city as Cersei, who was the sole one responsible for backing out of the alliance. Likewise, with Ned, they were told he was a traitor. We know he wasn\'t a traitor and made a false confession to save Sansa but, In Universe, the smallfolk didn\'t.\"

Because this is YMMV, I thought I\'d bring it to Discussion in case there\'s a reason it should be re-added and to get other thoughts on this?

Thanks!

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May 14th 2019 at 6:52:37 AM •••

Agreed. Applying collective responsibility/ guilt on smallfolk is in poor taste.

May 14th 2019 at 9:28:57 AM •••

Wouldn\'t Unintentionally Unsympathetic apply to specific characters for specific actions they have done? In contrast, this is applying collective responsibility to everybody just because they live in the same city and it feels sort of like it\'s justifying something as extreme as genocide.

Are they all responsible for the crimes of the assholes in their city, for Cersei\'s decision to back out of their alliance, for rapists living among them? For believing what their monarch told them when Ned Stark was labeled a traitor? The smallfolk don\'t have the same information we do, they are acting with what information they know, which is what they\'re told by Cersei, by Joffrey, by the High Sparrow. But even still, does everyone deserve to die because they live in a city where people are assholes?

Edited by cherrychels
May 14th 2019 at 9:33:23 AM •••

This is an audience reaction, not a real-life one. If you say in real life that Hitler is cool and so on, people would rightly call you a far-right nut. But if you say the Galactic Empire is cool, that Moff Tarkin is cool, that Palpatine or Kylo Ren is cool, even if all of them committed genocide multiple times in Star Wars then it doesn\'t really have the same weight to it.

Saying that people didn\'t care for King\'s Landing because of how the show have depicted the smallfolk in a fairly 1-dimensional way, falls in with that.

May 14th 2019 at 9:39:39 AM •••

I don\'t think it really meets the trope\'s criteria. Unintentially Unsympathetic seems to a trope specific to individual characters for the actions they themselves committed, as opposed to the actions their community committed.

May 14th 2019 at 9:47:26 AM •••

The show\'s episode certainly treats King\'s Landing and the civilians as characters and that falls in with the trope — When a character\'s purpose is to get sympathy or motivation from the audience which fails because their story or personality is written badly.

The setting of King\'s Landing is supposed to command some kind of emotional sentiment in the manner of the famous Scouring of the Shire episode from LOTR but for some audiences the opposite effect happens.

May 14th 2019 at 9:58:01 AM •••

I think the key word is (a\') character\'s purpose, not an indiscriminate mass of characters living in a city under impoverished conditions which happens to contain a fair amount of assholes and jerks. There are those who are not participating in the actions you\'ve cited and are operating with limited knowledge of the situation at hand (ie. Ned\'s execution). I think holding all responsible for the actions of the city\'s jerks isn\'t really in the spirit of Unintentionally Unsympathetic. However, we seem to be reaching a stand-still. I\'ll bring this to Ask the Tropers.

Edited by cherrychels
May 14th 2019 at 10:05:06 AM •••

I think trying to compare this to real-world stuff is breaking the spirit of YMMV of a fictional work. It\'s possible for the bad execution of a particular scene or moment in a fictional world to override and suspend the moral concerns that people have in real life. As Oscar Wilde said about a sentimental scene where Dickens showed a poor girl dying, \"One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.\" Perhaps other tropers here can make a call.

May 14th 2019 at 10:38:10 AM •••

As I said in ATT, I think that the audience reaction is there (I\'ve seen a version of it on my social media), but it\'s currently written as an argument, not documenting an opinion. It skews heavily on the \"so fuck the smallfolk\" side and seems to be trying to convince the reader that\'s the correct side, rather than maintaining anything resembling neutrality.

May 14th 2019 at 10:48:12 AM •••

Yeah, that\'d be a compromise. If it was rewritten to document an opinion in a neutral POV.

May 14th 2019 at 11:03:38 AM •••

Agree with the rewrite. Here\'s my proposed draft. Too big but it\'s a start.

  • Many fans felt this way about King\'s Landing, owing to the fact that the capital city was established as a Wretched Hive right from Season 1 with little emotional investment to really care that much for Daenerys\' rampage other than, \"I guess attacking civilians is bad\". Benioff and Weiss admitting in Inside the Episode that they inserted Arya in the later part of the scene to serve as an Audience Surrogate precisely because they felt they needed a main character in that sequence to get the emotional impact, further confirms this sentiment among audiences. Throughout the show, the smallfolk at various times jeered Ned during his execution, with one of them also attempting to rape Sansa during the riot before being killed by the Hound, while also gleefully participating in the Sparrows\' misogynistic humiliation of Cersei, apathetically accepting the Destruction of the Sept while also cheering Euron Greyjoy in a victor\'s parade, being classic examples of Apathetic Citizens for whom Daenerys\' rampage is exceptional only in degree but not in kind. Tyrion\'s plea for them to be spared because \"they\'re not heroes\" is belied by the fact that a huge chunk of the invading army, including Jon\'s Northern contingent, who jump at plundering them very much are heroes who defended the entire realm from the Zombie Apocalypse, a fight in which King\'s Landing both sat out of and indeed benefited from the sacrifices made by the people of the North, the Unsullied, and the Dothraki.

Edited by Revolutionary_Jack
May 14th 2019 at 11:26:19 AM •••

I don\'t think it\'s quite neutral enough as it\'s still making some judgments more akin to personal opinion rather than documentation. I\'d like to propose this as a possible suggestion, asking for thoughts?

There were fans who felt little sympathy for the inhabitants of King\'s Landing, owing to the behaviors of residents in past seasons including their approval of Ned\'s execution, the riots against Joffrey\'s reign in which Sansa was nearly raped, the crowd\'s participation in Cersei\'s walk of shame when they pelted rotten produce at her, and cheering for Euron Greyjoy when he lead Yara through the city on a collar.

I hesitate to add their non-participation in the fight against the army of the dead because a) that was Cersei\'s choice and this isn\'t a democracy so I struggle with how they\'re responsible and b) if Cersei had held up her end of the deal, she\'d be sending their military forces, not civilians, so I don\'t think they\'d be part of the Lannister army anyway...?

Edited by cherrychels
May 14th 2019 at 7:04:33 PM •••

OK. I\'ll keep that in. I think you need to mention Apathetic Citizens though and the capital being a Wretched Hive.

  • There were fans who felt little sympathy for the inhabitants of King\'s Landing, owing to the behaviors of residents in past seasons including their approval of Ned\'s execution, the riots against Joffrey\'s reign in which Sansa was nearly raped, the crowd\'s participation in Cersei\'s walk of shame when they pelted rotten produce at her, and cheering for Euron Greyjoy when he lead Yara through the city on a collar. They\'ve been shown as Apathetic Citizens who basically submit and accept any amount of atrocity and corruption in the past, which makes Dany\'s rampage, for some viewers, exceptional only in degree but not in kind. Furthermore, the city was established from Season 1 as a Wretched Hive which makes it hard for a big part of the audience to be invested in what is played and intended as a \"Fall of Troy\" moment.

May 14th 2019 at 7:51:56 PM •••

Thanks for considering it! I hesitate to classify all the inhabitants as Apathetic Citizens or say the city was established as a Wretched Hive as that seems to be painting them all with the same brush, I think. Because this is a difficult subject, fictional or not (particularly as it\'s drawing from the real life bombings), I think Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment should be in play. I\'d stray from language trying to push a certain point of view and stick with bare-bone facts.

Perhaps I\'m being too cautious about this — if I am, I\'d definitely welcome other views on this.

Anyway, for your review :)

There were fans who felt little sympathy for the inhabitants of King\'s Landing, owing to the behaviors of residents in past seasons including their approval of Ned\'s execution, the riots against Joffrey\'s reign in which Sansa was nearly raped, the crowd\'s participation in Cersei\'s walk of shame when they pelted rotten produce at her, and cheering for Euron Greyjoy when he lead Yara through the city on a collar. For these viewers, it makes Dany\'s slaughter exceptional in degree but not in kind.

Let me know your thoughts and yes, I\'d certainly welcome all views on this :)

Edited by cherrychels
May 14th 2019 at 7:55:06 PM •••

Thanks for being open with this, Revolutionary_Jack. Likewise, if there are other thoughts and views on this — if people disagree with me and think I\'m being too cautious (which is totally possible) — I\'d definitely encourage more voices on this.

Edited by cherrychels
Jun 15th 2019 at 11:18:21 PM •••

I put Wretched Hive in reference to how Olennas commets about the people in the city when she talks with High Sparrow, in part due to his treatment of her grandkids. He doesn\'t refute her statements, but is making a point that the nobility aren\'t above the rules of the Faith. Which would, hopefully, in turn make the populace realize as well.

As for large numbers of people getting massacred can fall flat, it\'s part of how A Million Is A Statistic works. There have even been videos on the lack of characterizing the populace makes the Sparrow movement come out of nowhere.

Jun 15th 2019 at 11:30:16 PM •••

^ Thanks for clarifying where the quote came from, OmegaRadiance. Maybe we can add in how Olenna views the city? I don\'t think Olenna is an expert on the people of King\'s Landing because she hasn\'t lived among the smallfolk there so I don\'t think her view is a certainty but I don\'t doubt that viewers have referred to Olenna\'s statement so I think it can be documented as part of a viewer reaction.

As for the High Sparrow, I think it\'s tricky to put much into a character failing to refute a statement because that doesn\'t mean either agreement or disagreement. I feel it\'s hard to put meaning into a non-response because the character doesn\'t say what it means.

I see what you mean with A Million Is A Statistic but even so, I don\'t think the massacre of large numbers of people fell flat with all viewers though. I think that is tricky to say definitively.

Edited by cherrychels
Jun 15th 2019 at 11:41:02 PM •••

I added in Olenna\'s view of the city. If there are problems with this edit, please feel free to voice them/edit/etc.

Edited by cherrychels
May 14th 2019 at 6:37:26 AM •••

[Gah, started discussion post in wrong place!]

Yes, there is a discussion on Ass Pull just below :)

Edited by cherrychels
May 13th 2019 at 6:30:57 PM •••

why is the Internet Backdraft entry a 3 paragraphs explanation of how \"daenerys was right\"? in the best of cases that is not the place nor the entry.

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May 14th 2019 at 6:55:09 AM •••

This whole page needs to be trimmed and I wouldn\'t be opposed to locking it, at least temporarily. It\'s getting messy and if I\'m not mistaken, there is an early stage of edit war over some entries.

May 14th 2019 at 7:21:08 AM •••

I\'d agree with a lock and clean-up — things seem to be getting pretty passionate.

May 13th 2019 at 6:38:22 AM •••

I\'m thinking that the Ass Pull needs to be trimmed.

As much as I didn\'t like the direction they took, it was (oftentimes poorly) foreshadowed and thus can\'t be an Ass Pull.

Dany going Mad Queen has been constantly teased since S1. Jaime\'s conflicting loyalties has been major, and as dumb as it was, he did go back to Cersei last episode.

I think both of these were done poorly, but they were set up. If anything, the set up was so heavy handed that that audiences didn\'t think they\'d go through with it.

Hide/Show Replies
May 13th 2019 at 8:39:53 AM •••

I think the issue with Dany is that they kept foreshadowing her being too ruthless/obsessed with justice, or too set on the throne. Neither one of those things foreshadows her going \'mad\' particularly well, at least not in terms of a jump to torching an entire city of innocent people when before she had been the one to insist that they had to do the right thing in the face of opposition from her advisors (i.e. not leaving her cities in Essos in a bad state, helping Jon out instead of sailing for King\'s Landing) and her goal was to break the wheel, not just rule for power\'s sake (or at least, not solely). They could have had her show paranoia where none was needed, but her paranoia in s8 has been justified since the Starks refuse to accept her despite relying on her military aid, and Tyrion and Varys are ready to throw her over for the first male alternative that comes along. For something like the sound of bells to set her off, the sound of which indicated her victory, then she should have shown instability before, on top of an overactive sense of justice, righteousness and entitlement.

With Jaime I think the greater upset is it walks back on his character development.

May 13th 2019 at 12:42:17 PM •••

I disagree. As much as I dislike Jaime\'s actions in this episode, they don\'t really fall under Ass Pull. Character Derailment, perhaps?

And as for Daenerys\'s actions... They\'re also not an Ass Pull. Remember that she\'s always resorted to burning things and/or people in order to get what she wants. Astapor, Yunkai, Meereen, the Tarlys... It\'s the (poorly foreshadowed, perhaps) culmination of her character arc.

May 13th 2019 at 1:52:08 PM •••

Exactly. I dislike the direction taken, but calling it out of nowhere is disingenuous.

Jaime\'s decision being an asspull here is utterly nonsensical since it\'s a decision he made last episode. We just hoped for a twist to it that never came.

As for Dany, the argument of \"this particular bit of Mad Queen\" falls flat to me because... yeah. Never mind those particular examples RR cites, but people In Universe have been comparing her to the Mad King since the first season. Not in absolutes, but as a possibility. There\'s a reason the \"Previously On...\" is basically a recap of people questioning whether or not she\'s going to be a Mad Queen.

Edited by Larkmarn
May 13th 2019 at 2:11:57 PM •••

I agree that Ass Pull entries should be pulled or trimmed.

I already took away the Dany part because the example context itself was contradictory (something like \"it was foreshadowed, but not very obviously and it was heavy-handed\"). I\'m sorry for not participating in this discussion earlier, but I forgot to check it, I only looked into the page\'s history to make sure I was not edit-warring.

Honestly, I\'m tired of all the negative audience reactions and complaining.

Now, there are definitely problems and there is some backlash, but the nitpicking is getting pretty bad.

May 17th 2019 at 8:31:00 AM •••

So I removed the Dothraki example.

The Dothraki isn\'t an Ass Pull because it A: Doesn\'t actually resolve anything, B: Doesn\'t actually contradict anything in the show itself. It\'s only Word Of God that said they\'re extinct, in the show some made it back, and in discussing their forces on the big war board, IIRC they say they lost half their forces at the big war board and remove half of the Dothraki pieces, and the entry itself posits a justified reasoning.

May 21st 2019 at 6:09:28 AM •••

I believe the Ass Pull entry regarding the bells signaling surrender seemed like a valid example, regardless of troper\'s agenda. It is major plot point, never established before and contradictory to the show, made to justify what happens in what is more or less the climax of the show\'s narrative.

User Tuvok has argued it was part of that troper\'s shilling of Dany, which I agree with, but I don\'t believe it\'s relevant. In isolation, the example as written isn\'t advocating sympathy for Dany, just saying that it came out of nowhere in order to make it clear the Lannister soldiers have surrendered and Dany\'s actions were therefore knowingly needless. They have also argued it isn\'t and contradiction, but it is still listed as an example of Series Continuity Error and either way it hasn\'t been established until this point.

Edited by strejda
May 21st 2019 at 6:33:56 AM •••

Agreed.

The simple breakdown is thus:

  • Writers need a way to mass-communicate that the Lannister forces have surrendered to show Dany has gone off the deep end.
  • From nowhere, \"the bells\" are treated as a well-known universal sign of surrender despite there being no indication this is the case.
  • Furthermore, all previous discussion indicates that if anything, they don\'t mean surrender (Varys\' statements) and that this is Tyrion\'s personal signal, yet it\'s common knowledge.

May 22nd 2019 at 4:51:57 AM •••

I think adding back ass pull that bells mean surrender in hindsight is right. It was just recently mentioned so that seems valid. Danys fore shadowing of ruthlessness and meglomania however is not an ass pull. We have seen it prior but as Tyrion pointed out we cheered it because before it was against \"bad\" people. Fact is her fall was because she was frustrated and felt unloved. We saw her execute a former slave and former member of the inner circle when he disobeyed her in Slavers bay. She had one former master burned by Dragonfire and watched pleased and only spared the other when he begged for his life appeasing her. Then said he would be her trophy husband to prove a point. She has threatened blood and fire and delivered when she felt it was warranted even when it wasn\'t. Same with Sam\'s ass of a father and noble brother for example. I think the ass pull should be added to the meaning of the bells, foreshadowing left untouched as it doesn\'t matter if she knew what it meant as in her rage she targeted a city that had no ability to defend itself including it\'s citizens as the final episode pointed out to break them.

Edited by Tuvok
May 22nd 2019 at 10:06:26 PM •••

About the \"bell means surrender\" Ass Pull:

The definition of Ass Pull is, by the trope\'s entry, \"a moment when the writers pull something out of thin air in a less-than-graceful narrative development, violating the Law Of Conservation Of Detail by dropping a plot-critical detail in the middle, or near the end of their narrative without Foreshadowing or dropping a Chekhovs Gun earlier on.\"

Is the information dropped \"in the middle or near the end of their narrative\"? If you define the narrative as just within the episode, then it may arguably count as \"early\". However, the fact is that it is ~30 minutes between Tyrion\'s proposal and the surrender i.e. less than half of the episode. This makes the Chekhovs Gun argument less convincing.

It\'s also a fact that throughout the entire 7 seasons of the shows and all the novels, there isn\'t a single mentioning of bells meaning surrender, despite there have been many city/castle sieges and assaults in both Westeros and Essos (Blackwater, Yunkai, Meereen, Riverrun, Casterly Rock, Highgarden). The show could\'ve added a bell sound for had the attacker demand to ring the bells in any of the aforementioned occasions, but it didn\'t.

The quote in S 02 E 09 by Ser Davos is that \"I have never known bells to mean surrender.\" It is as unambiguous as it could be.

Therefore, I found the original paragraph that you deleted to make sense and supported by facts (I wrote half of it lol).

Finally, this is a separated issue from whether Daenerys understood the bells. Tyrion said that directly to her so of course she got it.

Can I restore it?

Edited by buihuuduyet
May 23rd 2019 at 7:17:24 AM •••

^ Not as it is right now. A short and concise paragraph would be acceptable, but that Wall Of Text won\'t fly.

May 23rd 2019 at 7:24:43 AM •••

I think the bells-surrender thing is the definition of Ass Pull inserted to rake Dany over the coals. My advice, just add in the Davos entry at Blackwater, and add in the stuff never expressed before. Never expressed before + One direct verbal claim rejecting it = Ass Pull.

May 23rd 2019 at 7:40:45 AM •••

^ If you\'re looking for a not-Ass Pull example demonstrating that what Dany did was not okay, here it is: The Lannister soldiers had dropped their weapons, and she and her army killed them anyway. Bells or no bells, the Westerosi (and indeed, universal) sign of surrender is dropping your weapons.

If there\'s consensus to add Ass Pull again, then it\'s going to: a. be confined in this page, and not on other episodes\' YMMV pages, and b. be only about the inconsistencies between what was stated before about the bells and what Tyrion is saying now.

Speculations about the writers\' intentions, Dany\'s thoughts, etc, have no place in this particular example.

May 23rd 2019 at 10:52:27 AM •••

^ Sounds good.

How about: \"There is no in-universe precedence of tolling the city bells to signal surrender. Back in S02E09 Ser Davos, who grew up in King\'s Landing and participated in the siege of Storm\'s End, even said to his son: \"I\'ve never known bells to mean surrender\"\"?

The rest of the lore is to be put in a note.

Edited by buihuuduyet
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