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  • #61
    it's sort of hard to fault Westeros for not replicating European interactions with the rest of the world or their norms when it's a very differentiated place with a different history (Westeros is really governed as some kind of continent sized mega empire that possibly has more parallels to a medieval China, which experienced few interstate conflicts and much more extreme civil wars in absolute scale.)
    Originally posted by Lioness View Post
    It also has irregular winters that can last for years. If I was a noble in Westeros a summer home overseas would be a really high priority.
    Originally posted by Roswynn View Post
    Like when a Black person asked George R. R. Martin why European-based fantasy is so white and monocultural and he said, "Because it's mostly been written by white men". Yes, but Europe did have quite a few PoC back in the related eras (or how more recently a Black fan asked him for more diversity and he said there will be some PoC characters in Winds of Winter... but not too important) and even then, why, since it's all fantasy, why not making it a more diverse setting?
    I might have misread, but I think these lines of thought tie together?

    I always find it useful to ask the reverse question. The question - "why not make it a more diverse setting?" demands the reverse - "why should it be a more diverse setting?"
    • Is it fair? Is diversity demanded elsewhere?
      Where are the voices clamoring for "Hindi" and "Anglo-American" representation in Telenovelas?

      Where were the voices arguing that Romance of the Three Kingdoms needed to feature a couple token non-East-Asian characters? Why is it so China-centric?

      When we did a Yoruba-inspired play a few years back - where were the voices asking the playwright to feature Huitzilopochtli as a guest-star?

      Should future renditions of Chinese epics with the Monkey King feature Greek satyrs for diversity?

      In fact, when Japan produced Evangelion - they didn't make it great by "diversifying" it with Buddhas or Shinto spirits - instead, they doubled-down on Judeo-Christian esoterica. Not just Christian, they make abundant references to the Old Testament, to the Midrash, Kabbalah and a host of authentic symbols that a lot of Christians aren't familiar with. Doing one thing "really well" produced a better work than "mythology soup" would ever have. And if the Japanese creators were willing to do a Judeo-Christian setting justice (by keeping it authentic within itself) - why is should an American creator be held to a different standard?
    • Is it necessary? Is diversity demanded in art?
      • What right do "fans" have to make claims or demands of an artist? At what point are they obligated to do something they're not inspired to do?
        • Do I get to chastise Keegan & Peele for not having more Hispanic jokes (or better yet, for the caricatures they use)? (Disclaimer: I actually love their humor.)
        • Eminem is a great rapper - I'm a fan - so can I demand he rap in Spanish so as to be more inclusive? Can I impugn on his reputation until he does so?
    • Is it welcome? What reaction would the artist face?
      • If Martin did comply - iInevitably there will be people who would argue that George Martin is "culturally appropriating" non-white peoples to enrich his setting - or they'll claim the characters "weren't important enough" or "bad caricatures" or "reinforce negative stereotypes".

        Is it not a bit cruel to demand someone do something that they will inevitably be chastised for? Sure - it's nice to think "of the fans seeking representation" - but the artist also is a human being and perhaps he rather not dip his toes into areas of contention.
        • To his credit, I think Dorne and Oberyn Martell were great - but then settings like Warhammer fantasy are so Nord-centric, it feels like the psuedo-Southern-Europeans are reduced to an incompetent footnote and the "Roman Empire" was a Nordic invention.

          My point being that even with Europeans creating expys of other Europeans, there is ample room for intentional - or unintentional - insult. Is it not a sufficient miracle that an Irish-Italian American writer from Jersey created such an entertaining show - without clamoring for him to include people he might know little about?
    • Is it well-aimed? Is this the best way to diversify?
      • Why should George R.R. Martin be held liable for providing diversity - why not pursue diverse voices?
        • I don't go to Justin Bieber or Beyonce for Spanish songs - I go to Spanish artists. I might appreciate their cross-over gestures (Pharell featuring on J.Balvin's song is dope) - but I don't expect it from any of them. I don't want some "white guy" pandering to Hispanics - I'll watch new channels like FLAMA or Mitú. If we want diverse work, we should write it ourselves and produce it ourselves and get it out there.
        • Moreover, if I want more diversity - why not ask it of Jordan Peele (who has new projects in the works)? Or Tarel Alvin McCraney (playwright, screenwriter, MacArthur Genius Award winner, Moonlight is the tip of the iceberg of his work); my friends are hyped for Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You. And those are the Americans! If you specifically want to see more North & West African inspired works - find people there. Do more Black Panther films (it certainly sold well enough).

          Why are "white guys" responsible for writing creative works for other people? Do the Chinese and Hindi sit around, waiting for Hollywood to include them in their scripts before Bollywood starts hiring?
    So no, Westeros does not need to lampshade every European interaction. It's a fantasy setting. Multi-year winters are more inspired by Fimbulwinter than by X, Y, Z, historical event. We should be thinking "grim dark Nordic people seeing death and desperation" not "this show is making commentary on the Great Frost of 1709".

    People also had soap and a sort of toothpaste, so their teeth weren't all rotten (that's okay) and they didn't walk around caked with filth (why are people in fantasy always caked with filth?).
    Piss and baths!

    re: Teeth
    Actually, even back to Roman times, Iberians were known to have clean teeth - because they washed their mouths with piss. You didn't have chalk-and-soap mixes until the 1850s+.

    re: Bathing
    The Romans wrote about Celtic hair-washing - but the mixture in the water they used thickened their hair such that the Romans claimed it made the Celts look like satyrs. Combine this with Iberian-Celtic piss-gargling and you have hairy, pearly-teethed barbarian satyrs as models of "cleanliness". Now make them Western Iberian Celts and you can add "mark their property with decapitated heads so as to warn away enemies" to the list of "cleanliness" practices. Or go with tribes who worshiped Toutatis - whose form of ritual sacrifice was drowning - and debate how often you want to take a plunge.

    Anglo-Saxons at one point thought Vikings were "overly concerned with cleanliness" since they bathed once a week.

    Saints - I love Saints! St. Fintan of Clonenagh was so austere, his monastery didn't even own a cow for milk - the other monks had to beg for permission to spruce up their diet (and St. Fintan permitted it, but he refused to indulge himself). He also bathed once a year - just before Easter - for 24 years.

    And then you have odd rules for bathing - like the healing baths at Burmi (Italy, near Switzerland's border). Rules included "no bathing if you had sex recently" (keep that sexy bump-and-grind smell on you), "no bathing if you ate recently" - you "cant pour water on your head unless clean-shaven". Oh, and if you bathe for 15 days for 1 hour each, the "health benefits" last 6 months.


    Also, Arabic culture was a central and very important presence in Europe - at the court of kings, in universities, in the way it influenced poetry, philosophy, trade, science... PoC weren't confined to another continent an ocean away, all slavers and slaves and assassins and exotic eunuch soldiers.
    Depiction of all peoples - regardless of skin tone - should be equal.

    Yes, Arab culture was important - and some of it positive (they preserved a lot of Greco-Roman writings that had been lost during wars/fires) - but the pretext for their appearance was expansion by conquest in pursuit of slaves (because of religious prohibitions against enslaving their co-religionists - they had to constantly seek out more heathens).

    They don't get to escape that legacy any more than the Nords escape being Vikings who rape and pillage (despite that the whole feudal system was a synthesis between Roman law and Nordic culture).

    Influencing "poetry, philosophy, trade, science" doesn't redeem much. When the Portuguese monarchs fled Napoleon, they fled to São Paulo - and brought university, craftsmen, architects and your "poetry, philosophy, trade, science". The Portuguese monarchs presence in Brazil is credited to the stability of the country and the peaceful development of the country. Do the Portuguese get a "free pass" to no longer be depicted as Conquistadors?

    And I'm fond of Arabic. There are Arabic-specific expressions/meanings/idioms like there are Spanish-specific ones - neither of which translate to English. Double-meanings that add-up a hundred ways to then point to cultural differences. Different ways we deal with ambiguity (a virtue in Spanish but a flaw in English). I'm extremely fond of Nizar Qabbani, Mahmoud Darwish, Mohammed Abrar Ahmed - and I'm dying to find that Iraqi translation of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (I'm familiar with the English, obviously - but the Arabic version implies new meanings because it's the nature of translation that you can't avoid such).

    But my admiration (for the positives) does not result in blindness (for the negative).

    Qabbani's poetry wouldn't exist without the negatives - he was inspired by his sisters' arranged marriage (and subsequent suicide) as well as the deaths of two wives (different time periods, different wars). He criticized his own culture - and was lauded for it (it was an Omani professor who pointed me to this Syrian with praise).

    The Iraqi version of Leaves of Grass takes "To a Stranger" but adds overtones of exile, culture, migration - and the author/translator was exiled 2 years later. It was the negatives of his culture that helped inspire the translation into a new work.

    In other words, the desire to "only showcase the positive" can be ill-informed. Without the negatives, many of the positives wouldn't exist. It reduces people to "happy, friendly, perfect" little caricatures divorced from reality (and worse yet - when people believe those caricatures, they inevitably demonize the opposition).


    Also the Dothraki's utter cruelty would be almost comical if it didn't involve raping hundreds of women in the streets... *sigh*.
    You mean like the Mongols who - in addition to horse-riding tribes that bragged about mass genocide - they also spread their seed to include 8% of all men living in the former Mongol Empire? That's everyone from China to Iran - up to Turkey and Russia - and back across Kazakhstan to Mongolia. They did a few nice things for women on the side.

    We either "accept everyone" (good and bad) or "condemn everyone" (good and bad).
    No one gets a Disney-approved rendition in history just because they're non-European.

    Also, where are the wall decorations and colors, where are the graffiti? Why is everything so brown and grey and dead, is Dorne the only decent place to live in? Since at least Classical Greece times, people have always painted their architecture - the Middle Ages were no exception.
    Would the difference be building materials and culture?

    Greeks and Romans painted their stuff - but I thought Anglo-Saxons didn't - with most castles/forts being plastered white (at best) and any luxuries reserved for indoors. Different climates in Northern vs Southern Europe shaped the architecture and decor.

    There are other cultures (outside Europe) who were less keen on paint and more keen on sculpture or architecture.

    Dorne's inspirations (I think) are Iberian/Berber/Arab. By Islam prohibiting paintings & sculpture, the art was "funneled" into calligraphy, geometry and patterns - so you end up with architecture that better resists the elements (using different stone or cuts instead of paint - which in turn resists sun bleaching).

    IE, Europeans permitting paint resulted in (a) vulnerable public works that bleached over time and (b) an expensive method of decoration considered frivolous in more austere times. Arabs prohibiting forms of art resulted in (a) trying to create beauty without paint, leading to geometry & architecture that endures longer.


    just say you wanted a gritty setting and you only took the worst aspects from various actual sociopolitical realities, at most.
    Does this have to be spelled out? I never watched Game of Thrones expecting historical accuracy.

    Originally posted by Roswynn View Post
    Oh yeah, being a gentleman, greatest aspiration of white male protagonists everywhere - reminds me of how [URL="https://io9.gizmodo.com/5959794/the-firefly-episode-were-really-glad-joss-whedon-didnt-get-to-make"]Joss Whedon wanted to have Inara Serra raped by a whole ship of Reavers so that Mal could be all gentlemanly and stop slut-shaming her
    Why is the worst interpretation the defacto one?

    Why is the possibility of Mal having some (awful) realization and character growth as a result of a friend's tragedy so offensive? Isn't it important to (clumsily) convey "you don't know what other people have gone through - so don't judge" than to chastise them for daring to ponder a script to have the conversation?

    Victims have stories - but the people around those victims also have stories. How do you expect to create allies if you condemn the mere contemplation of such dialogue?

    Take for instance Gamora in the comics - and when she was raped and beaten. The comics don't glorify the rape - and Thanos is stereotypically the "protector who shows up to the rescue".... but that's the point.
    • That even the most genocidal, callous warlord finds it reprehensible.
    • And that even having "all the power" won't protect your loved ones (so in a sense, if you're a dick, fear karma and beware the influences you bring around your family).
    • That being overly protective leaves your children vulnerable - you need to give girls liberty to experience things.
    • That disobeying your parents warnings can lead you to horrors at times (if you think a conservative family member is "bad" - take a step to consider what their prohibitions might be trying to protect you from)..
    It's not about glorifying Thanos. It's not about the "aspiration of male protagonists". It's about a shitty relationship with shitty situations and people having the "oh fuck" moment. And if a guy writes that script, can we blame them? At least they're trying to engage the topic from whatever perspective they have (as opposed to moving on to something more self-absorbed).


    You want to disregard male characters who strive to be "gentlemen"? That's fine. But what are you elevating in it's place then? Because these choices don't exist in a vacuum.

    If the characters who show concern for females (even if they're clumsy, misguided or wrong) deserve nothing but ridicule - then why would anyone admire them?

    And what prevents the ugly logic of "well, if the good guys are heckled - who gives a fuck?" There are plenty of men who are glad for women who don't desire gentlemen. I'm not even talking about rapists - just really jaded people who love really jaded women because they can get their dicks wet - and if a girl makes overtures wanting more, they can shrug and go "you knew the terms - I never promised more than dick".

    It creates a "new normal" where since "trying to be decent" gets you heckled, the safest bet is to promise to be an asshole. You need to show compassion to receive compassion (and mocking tropes that try to glorify compassion is the quickest way to mock compassion itself).


    Or by analogy, yes - if you had a film where a "British people show up to save East Asia!" - I might smirk and roll my eyes. And I'll engage in a fun convo when appropriate. But I'm not going to demonize the mere concept of wanting to save people -- unless I'm ready to later go "oh gee, why are the British disinterested in East Asia?"

    Better a clumsy - but well-intentioned - ally than a disinterested, jaded or callous stranger.

    Incidentally, this goes hand-in-hand with the 2004 Tsunami relief efforts. $6.25 billion was raised - the highest single-donors being the British (approximately $529 million - or 8%). The European commission, the US, Germany, Canada, Norway all showed up to donate and save people.

    And I remember it because Ong-Bak was used to promote a lot - Tony Jaa toured to perform stunts and raise awareness. Tons of "dumb macho jock" customers who like action films & kung-fu - showed up in droves to buy Indonesian and Thai films as part of the fundraising effort. Thank (whatever god you believe in) that they aspired to be good men and valued brotherhood and compassion and weren't rotted away by the cynicism people preach. They didn't need to know shit about East Asia - their intentions were enough.


    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    As for the Great White Savior thing, that was actually just an unfortunate accident of logistics; Slaver's Bay and the Free Cities are all extremely cosmopolitan in the books but when you're casting extras you have to make do with whoever's in the area and they filmed most of those scenes in Morocco.
    There are all kinds of appropriate/odd coincidences (or maybe they're deliberate choices).

    I'm not going to dispute the "Great White Savior" thing if that's what folks latch on to.

    But Morocco and Mauritania and other Moorish/Berber territories still have slavery today, buried as cultural practices and traditions. So filming there is appropriate.

    And when they raided Iberia? They favored Basque women for being especially "white" - taking them as slaves/concubines. The practice was so popular it recolored their bloodlines, and today - despite that the Beydan and Haratines are both descended from "black" African roots (and in Spanish we'd call both Morenos) - the Beydan have Berber and Basque blood as well. So the Beydan are considered "white" and the Haratines are "black".

    And then the Basque - coincidentally - still have their reputation as "witches" (neither Christianity, Islam nor the Inquisition could fully convert them).

    So I see Daenerys as a juxtaposition of a Basque woman ("magical bloodlines who look different" + "white slave-concubine") and her skin-tone means nothing more than "she's foreign". Meanwhile, Mirri Maz Duur - the witch who results in the child being stillborn? She's a Maegi (female blood magic practitioner)? Well in Galicia, the witches are called Meiga (different from a Bruxa / Bruja = pronounced "Brew-Ha"). Although they reached the region, the Moors abandoned Galicia because the people "lived in a mountain full of monsters" and "their only sport is violence" and they'd make terrible slaves.

    So the Dothraki are essentially Mongols with a pinch of Moors.
    The Maegi are psuedo-Galicians with blood-oaths (willing to die for revenge).
    And Daenerys is a psuedo-Basque victim-turned-leader with ancestral magic.
    (Tangent: And Dorne is Moorish Spain with a splash of Welsh/Cornish. Crazy how exotic one real-world peninsula can be.)

    And Slaver's Bay is cosmopolitan - but non-locals can't tell the difference between group A and B (much like with Spaniards or Latin Americans - where we all get conflated into a "homogenous" mental image - even though we can totally tell each other apart by other queues).

    .

    I mean, I thought she's a cool, empowered female character who overcomes horrible circumstances. Her skin color is irrelevant.

    But maybe I'm just reading too much into historical parallels.


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    • #62
      Originally posted by Lioness View Post
      Yeah. A Song of Fire and Ice isn't anywhere near as clever as people like to pretend it is. A lot of the grittiness in the world only serves to paint our heroes with one colour and our villains with another.

      -The bedding ceremony exists in the form that it does so Ned Stark and Tyrion Lannister get to be gentlemen by refusing.
      -Primae Noctis was a thing in Westeros so Roose Bolton could highlight how evil he is.
      -Joffery Lannister needed to be an evil little shit to absolve Ned of the fact he basically put Cersei' children on Stannis' hit list.
      -Rape and accepting it is basically a shorthand for "this person is evil" its not a major part of Greyjoy and Dothraki culture dehumanising their enemies because apparently Daenerys can just tell them to stop.
      I agree with a lot of this but I need to point out you’re conflating the show without ASoIaF on a few points. Ned didn’t forbid the bedding at his own wedding in ASoIaF, and Tyrion’s treatment of Sansa is only gentlemanly in comparison to what was expected of him - stripping naked in bed with a... what was she then, 13 year old? fully aroused and saying you won’t take her till she wants to would still be sexual abuse in a modern (and plenty of historic) social context.

      Tyrion being continuously presented as a modern moral man (except when the plot suddenly demands otherwise, as with Shay’s death) is one of the show’s obsessions that differs most strongly from the book.
      Last edited by glamourweaver; 05-16-2018, 01:07 AM.


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      • #63
        Originally posted by Salagimsim View Post
        So no, Westeros does not need to lampshade every European interaction. It's a fantasy setting. Multi-year winters are more inspired by Fimbulwinter than by X, Y, Z, historical event. We should be thinking "grim dark Nordic people seeing death and desperation" not "this show is making commentary on the Great Frost of 1709".
        If you look back you'll see my issue was with people defending the world-building of Game of Thrones with "it's historical". You're welcome to take the approach of "it's fantasy, I haven't got to explain shit!" but that's an entirely different discussion.


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        • #64
          Originally posted by Salagimsim View Post
          [/I]
          (Tangent: And Dorne is Moorish Spain with a splash of Welsh/Cornish. Crazy how exotic one real-world peninsula can be.)
          .
          Delurked just to ask, what Cornish or Welsh influence do you see in Dorne?

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          • #65
            Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

            I agree with a lot of this but I need to point out you’re conflating the show without ASoIaF on a few points. Ned didn’t forbid the bedding at his own wedding in ASoIaF, and Tyrion’s treatment of Sansa is only gentlemanly in comparison to what was expected of him - stripping naked in bed with a... what was she then, 13 year old? fully aroused and saying you won’t take her till she wants to would still be sexual abuse in a modern (and plenty of historic) social context.

            Tyrion being continuously presented as a modern moral man (except when the plot suddenly demands otherwise, as with Shay’s death) is one of the show’s obsessions that differs most strongly from the book.
            Yeah, you're right... a while ago I got some friend of mine to read the Black Company series and it's made me realise how good I've gotten at supressing extremely creepy moments in fantasy novels. This seems to be more of the same.

            Originally posted by A Storm of Swords
            Roslin had gone white. Catelyn wondered whether it was the prospect of losing her maidenhead that frightened the girl, or the bedding itself. With so many siblings, she was not like to be a stranger to the custom, but it was different when you were the one being bedded. On Catelyn's own wedding night, Jory Cassell had torn her gown in his haste to get her out of it, and drunken Desmond Grell kept apologizing for every bawdy joke, only to make another. When Lord Destin had beheld her naked, he'd told Ned that her breasts were enough to make him wish he'd never been weaned.


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            • #66
              Originally posted by soul_porpoise View Post

              Delurked just to ask, what Cornish or Welsh influence do you see in Dorne?
              Colour me curious as well, as it's not as if the two are identical, any more than Irish and Scots are.

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              • #67
                I've seen the Welsh/Dorne comparison made before here.


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                • #68
                  Hmmmm... well, I see their point about the Prince, but it's hardly unique. Most medieval Kingdoms had sub-Realms like this (because kingdoms were very politically messy).
                  It certainly in no way gives me a Welsh feel. Not nearly enough rain. Or sheep.
                  And certainly not Cornish.

                  Tbh, Daenerys is based partly on Henry Tudor, who marched in to take over from the Lannisters and Starks... sorry, Lancasters and Yorks. His men marched under a dragon banner.
                  So surely that makes the Targaeryans, with their dragon obsession, the Welsh!
                  (I'll remind anyone who doesn't know of it that this is the Welsh flag: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ales_2.svg.png )

                  (On a serious note: Martin tends to get bits of British history he likes or is interested in, mash it all together and change it around, add a splash of other history, mash it and mix it, throw in a bunch of his own ideas, and that's what you end up with. So you can find the odd bit and piece from different places, but I don't think you can really say that because he got the idea of Dorne having a Prince even though there's a King, from Welsh history, that makes Dorne based on Wales. It's not really enough. To get back to Lioness's point about people taking it like real history, I wouldn't want people looking at Dorne and thinking that's like Welsh history, because it's not. At all.)

                  Anyway, on A Song of Ice and Fire more generally... it is better than the show in a lot of ways as have been mentioned, including the inclusion of non-white characters (partly because a number of characters are rather more white-skinned than I expected from the books). As Roswynn noted, there's a fair few non-white characters in the book that are played by white actors in the show. It's not brilliant, but better.
                  Martin tends to vary a bit between deconstructing things and presenting them to entertain young male readers, so it's quite variable in how sensitive and realistic it is.
                  Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 05-16-2018, 04:17 PM.


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                  • #69
                    Watching GoT I've always gotten the impression that most of its cultures and societies are basically caricatures of real ones. Compelling and usually fairly nuanced caricatures, but caricatures nonetheless.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      Hmmmm... well, I see their point about the Prince, but it's hardly unique. Most medieval Kingdoms had sub-Realms like this (because kingdoms were very politically messy).
                      It certainly in no way gives me a Welsh feel.
                      And certainly not Cornish.
                      Yeah, at best you've got a similarity in terms of the political structure, but as you say, that's not even particularly unusual (also lines of fealty in Wales were so messy that for a while you could argue that Anglesey was part of the Norwegian empire, though King Magnus didn't really enforce it). There's not even the slightist bit of Dorne that strikes me as culturally Welsh, in part because it's too bloody warm and not nearly rough enough.

                      (It's also worth noting that 'Prince' in the case of the senior members of Welsh royal houses generally just meant leader [0], and that the 'Principality of Wales' never covered the entire territory of Wales [1], whereas the short-lived Kingdom of Wales actually did.)

                      [0] Arguably 'a leader who doesn't want to provoke the perfidious Saeson by claiming to be King of the Britons, because they might think he was about to liberate Shropshire from the Norman/Saxon yoke'.

                      [1] Under English rule the Principality was an area roughly corresponding to the present Fro Gymraeg that was under direct colonial rule by the English Crown; that changed under Henry VIII when the Laws of England and Wales Act unified the legal systems and abolished it. It's had no legal existence since, except apparently in the mind of Dafydd Ellis Thomas, and he's probably trolling.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Sith_Happens
                        Watching GoT I've always gotten the impression that most of its cultures and societies are basically caricatures of real ones. Compelling and usually fairly nuanced caricatures, but caricatures nonetheless.
                        That's not really surprising: as Salagism pointed out, why would you watch/read it for historical accuracy? It's a fantasy setting after all.

                        But then, as Lioness said, some people will go "ooh, it's so accurate!" and think it shows things accurately.

                        TBH, there's plenty of actual historical (rather than fantasy) shows that are just as bad in many ways. The middle ages is routinely depicted in an incredibly inaccurate way (and one that's harmful to modern society, because it reinforces certain stereotypes).
                        If even historical fiction shows do a bad job, it's not really surprising that GoT doesn't do well either. In fact, it's sometimes better than some historical fiction I've seen; it does actually have some non-white people, cultural variation inside kingdoms, people not culturally identifying with the overall state as much as their local historical lands, it's not full of anachronistic racism, etc.

                        Still. Would be nice.
                        Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 05-16-2018, 04:28 PM.


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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Iozz-Sothoth View Post

                          [0] Arguably 'a leader who doesn't want to provoke the perfidious Saeson by claiming to be King of the Britons, because they might think he was about to liberate Shropshire from the Norman/Saxon yoke'.
                          Territorial claims is generally the main reason for declaring/not declaring yourself king, after all.

                          Though the Scots sometimes got away with saying "I'm King of the Scots but I admit the English King is totally awesome and better than me, and he's Top King of Britain."
                          Still, King of the Scots doesn't really have the same territorial threat as claiming to be King of the Britons.


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                          • #73
                            Obviously the OP doesn't seem to care, but I just wanted to say this has become the weirdest Conan thread ever for the past page and a half.


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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              Territorial claims is generally the main reason for declaring/not declaring yourself king, after all.

                              Though the Scots sometimes got away with saying "I'm King of the Scots but I admit the English King is totally awesome and better than me, and he's Top King of Britain."
                              Still, King of the Scots doesn't really have the same territorial threat as claiming to be King of the Britons.
                              Yeah, the Welsh also got away with being Kings of various Kingdoms until shortly after the Normans turned up, after which it got a bit fraught. I think the Tudors got a bit of milage out of being Kings/Queens of the Britons (at least in Welsh-facing propaganda) via references to King Arthur but my general opinion of them is unspeakably rude, so.

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                              • #75
                                I swear my posts break forums. I thought my post (above) hadn't gone through - so rewrote and trimmed it, waiting to give it a final glance this morning - and now I see the original is live. Ugh - I could have slept more! lol
                                Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                                If you look back you'll see my issue was with people defending the world-building of Game of Thrones with "it's historical". You're welcome to take the approach of "it's fantasy, I haven't got to explain shit!" but that's an entirely different discussion.
                                There is an implied dichotomy that is unhelpful - and thus I want to avoid.

                                I feel that if we say:

                                "Game of Thrones is fiction!"
                                • People will argue that "so it's easy to write in more minorities!"
                                  • But that is not the point. No one has the right to tell an artist what they must perform or write or produce - it's their reputation, their work, their legacy on the line. You can't force creatives to have ideas - nor should we expect people to produce work they're not inspired to produce.
                                "Game of Thrones is based on history!"
                                • People will argue that "so every outlier example must be represented!"
                                  • But that is not the point. He uses real-world tropes because they're intuitive to him and his audiences.
                                    • And if he does use a trope - it's dishonest to suggest we need the Disney-approved version of those tropes - especially when the story isn't geographically nearby. As a Hispanic, I'm impressed with Dorne without needing to quibble over specifics.
                                Overall, PoC are not "noble savages" who need glorified depictions that hide tropes our ancestors sought. The Mongols, Vikings and Nizari (Assassins) alike embraced their reputations - because it meant glory and fear and victims submitting with less effort. Italians to Romans, Mexicans to Aztecs, French to Napoleon, Turks to Ottomans & Hittites - all of these cultures can reminisce on the "glory days" of their ancestors (no matter how bloody all of them were).

                                A fantasy-setting featuring a continent-sized version of the British Isles doesn't need to go beyond that region. George R.R. Martin has already impressed me with his inclusion of "us foreigners" above and beyond what might be reciprocal.




                                If I'm going to be offended? I'll start with Warhammer Fantasy.

                                Human?
                                You must be a psuedo-English or psuedo-French member of a glorious empire.

                                Edgy badass human?
                                Chaos Warriors are Nords/Goths/Slavs.

                                The implication being both "the English come from the Saxons" and "Humans become Chaos Warriors" - so both "races" amount to "Northern Europeans are human" and "if we decide to go monstrous, we're more badass and feared than any other race".

                                Everything goes downhill from there.

                                Southern Europeans (Portuguese, Spanish, Italian) are merged and caricatured into the Tileans - their architecture being "the ruins of elves". So the real-life source of the Roman Empire.... is belittled into a bunch of incompetent humans squatting in the ruins of another race, a barely respectable "buffer" zone against Orcs and co....

                                ...which is uncomfortable close to paralleling real-life racist Nords - who claim Southern Europeans have "dirty blood" (at best) or are an "invasive species" (at worst), squatting in the ruins of dead European civilizations. People who say Greeks, Italians and Spaniards are all really Turks, Libyans and Moors who wiped out the indigenous populations.

                                This unflattering portrayal of their "Southern European" neighbors is just the start. Dwarves are "gold-hungry clannish psuedo-Jews" whose ghettos "insidiously lurk beneath human kindgoms". Orcs are psuedo-African barbarians (because you can't even be bothered to differentiate between a continent). Non-Imperial native americans are deleted - with the "big 3" (Aztecs, Incas, Mayans) being merged into a race of Lizardfolk.

                                I mean Jesus. This I can sink my teeth into criticizing. It doesn't merely show disinterest in foreign cultures (which is fine) - it reduces them to sub-human predatory monsters - including people who would be considered similar. And that last part is the tell-tale sign. I would expect an East-Asian to be baffled by a West-African - or for a Northern-European to be clueless about Aboriginals. That's fine. But when you turn your neighbors into monsters and sub-humans, that is when you go "no wait a second - you know these people".


                                Game of Thrones is far removed from that level of criticism.


                                Originally posted by soul_porpoise View Post
                                Delurked just to ask, what Cornish or Welsh influence do you see in Dorne?
                                Language, to start.

                                Wrong letters - Spanish has "K" and "W" for loanwords - so no "Lewyn", no "Yronwood", no "Blackmont". And for Arabic, I don't see glottal stops (I still struggle to properly pronounce Hamza). Both serve as a kind of Shibboleth. Plus Quentyn, Lewyn, Arianne are pretty Welsh. And check out Doran's son Trystane -- and Oberyn as Oberon.

                                Wrong rhythm as well. Spanish is more sing-songy. Names like Mellario and Olyvar sound good - "Blackmont" has so many consonants. If it means "black mountain", the name would be "montaña negra" (the "ñ" sounds like "ne-ya"). If my parents read Trystane or Blackmont "as is", it'd probably sound like "Tres-ta-neh" (no silent vowels) or "Bi-lac-mon". God forbid you have them try to pronounce Twelfth ("wel-fff") or Strength ("ste-ren"). Get where I'm going with the consonant issue?

                                Moreover the naming format - Spanish and Arabic are both big on lineage. Even if it has become muddled over time (especially in the New World) - I could still guestimate the "home region" of my friends. No shit a "Couto" is Galician-Portuguese (it's a small area near the border) or that a "Useche" is Basque.

                                Also, history.

                                Someone once compared the Targaryen / the Normans - trying to conquer the Dornes / the Welsh - both of which failed and then took centuries to turn around. The difference is that the Welsh kept fighting but the Dorne were absorbed by intermarriage. Plus the Welsh and Dorne refer to their rulers as "princes" - not Caliphs, Emirs, Sultans, etc.

                                I'm not an expert on the Welsh! So there are probably more parallels than I know about. But I can see a "3rd influence" that is neither Islamic nor Iberian.


                                Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
                                It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
                                Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
                                - Their Eyes Were Watching God

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