Thad wrote:Mongrel wrote:That's the thing. I know enough about the series to know what beat posted; that being "good" is some kind of punishable offence in Westeros. That even the few characters with plot armour out of a *very* large cast end up as either functional villains or at least rationalizing consequentialists. While I can stay attached to SOME characters like that (Tyrion is the easiest, really), but if you do it to every single one, it's clear that there's no point in investing anything into those characters.
I think that's an absolutely horrifying message for our age. Or any age, really. Of course lots of people contain a mixture of good and evil which many of us find hard to process, most people, really. But not EVERYONE.
It reminds me of an argument I had with a fellow over Blood Meridian. While I can concede the book is impressive in a purely prose sense, it's just so repellent there's no way I could ever enjoy it. People keep telling me that this is intentional and that the book is mean to bring the horror and hopelessness of "reality" to the reader, but I'm always screaming internally "DO YOU NOT READ THE NEWS?! HAVE YOU NEVER PICKED UP A HISTORY BOOK?! HAVE YOU NEVER LISTENED TO PEOPLE WHO'VE FLED REAL HORROR?! DO YOU EVEN GO OUTSIDE OR TALK TO ACTUAL HUMANS?!?!?!?".
I do not and will never need a book of fiction to tell me people are awful or conflicted or that the world is a terrible place, or - worse in my mind - that we should not grow attached to innocents or anyone who could be broadly defined as "genuinely good people", because they don't really exist.
"Evil always wins because good is dumb" is a joke, people. You're not actually supposed to take it at face value.
It's also why I appreciate Tolkien more. Because the core of the story, which is often overlooked, is that the heroes are profoundly ordinary people who learn through adversity to become heroes. They're not born as selfless paragons of virtue, or "chosen ones" (Bilbo is arguable there, but that's the Hobbit and not LotR) they're fat little ignorant bumpkins living a coddled life, who have to learn a lot, and quickly.
You...DO realize that you were just scoffing about how "most Tolkien haters got about a chapter in (if that), complained that Hobbits were gay, and stopped there," and then immediately turned around and wrote an essay about the themes and messages of a series of books you've never read, right?
I've had plenty of exposure through watching the show (intermittently), being dragged along while one of my groups of friends natter on endlessly about the both the show and the books, and Starr's read the books, and has discussed them with me in detail in the past.
I mean, sure you can still complain that I have incomplete knowledge or that what I know is filtered (although this is through dozens of people with differing opinions and not just one), but I'm not talking from a position of total ignorance. I feel like I have enough exposure to form opinions on the broad themes and major arcs of the story. I actually kind of wish I DIDN'T know any of this stuff, that it was just another fantasy series I'd not read, but AGoT is everywhere thanks to the TV show, such that it's practically unavoidable.
So can we not play the "You haven't consumed X in full, excruciating detail, so you're barred from having an opinion on it" game?