Even Cersei isn't purely evil (though she is trying her best)... and Jaime is a far more nuanced character.It seems to me that Martin may, especially in his portrayals of the incestuous, limitlessly unkind Lannister twin siblings Jaime and Cersei, have rediscovered human evil in its purest form.
Depends how much you enjoy watching people be riled.Bet Hitchin's a fun guy to have round the dinner table!
No author and no person alive or dead gets to decide what stands the test of time. It is the only metric that counts in the end. Everything else must bow before it.No English child ... “have certainly found a permanent place in English literature.”
Or, you know, they are not the same people as you are with same interests and same experiences. Individual experiences mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, they are a shabby basis for good reasoning and valid conclusions. In a more formal language, anecdotal evidence is not really evidence of anything.The modern world is too noisy and heedless for them... has departed from the world.
This is a rather romanticized version of the Middle Ages. They were too concerned with surviving measles or famine which descended upon them after their goods were confiscated by this or that nobleman.So I was only...his saints that civilized them in the past.
Yeah, no. Literature of the time certainly tried to give some divinity to their lives, but that is far from an everyday reality of men of that time which was a (comparatively for us today) a harsh struggle against the odds for survival.For me, Conan Doyle’s description was a vital revelation. The men ... in the last era when it was possible for anyone in England to think such a thing.
Pantheism is a thing. Not every author has to follow the same staple and not every author has to use their works as an allegory.What men and women believe is so important that it is almost a solid fact, like an ocean or a castle. This is why I am often puzzled when I consider the curious absence of any explained common religious belief in J. R. R. Tolkien’s great epic ... Meanwhile, in neighboring Calormen, they bow down before the terrible monster Tash, who eventually turns out to be real.
In my opinion, Pullman's book are reflection of author's beliefs to the point where no other alternative is allowed to exist. I don't like his books, but it is not because they might actually do something. I just think that characterizing and redeeming characters solely on the basis of their relationship with religious beliefs is simplistic and boring. It is actually rather the opposite of complicated. Also, something I noticed is that moralizing d-bags tend to equate a reader with a passive consumer of books who without any critical thought will instantly embrace whatever they read as the gospel of truth. It is not what happens...Most such fantasy worlds have room for God. The anti-Christian—and anti-Lewis—author Philip Pullman has invented, in his alternative Oxford, ... and possibly too complicated to have as much of an effect as I once feared they might.
Aside from the extremist religious people and extremist atheists who already supported Pullman's beliefs, I highly doubt anyone else took those books seriously in the intent to draw lessons for real life from them. If anything, I personally found them to be difficult to effectively apply to our world because our world is anything but perfectly and easily divisible based on one single criteria.But there is one important fantasy ... the subject is at least taken seriously again.
The author believes did not exist, but I very much doubt that human wickedness is a product of newer times. If anything, humans have grown in compassion and understanding and empathy (at least in most of the Western Cultures) and it is veritable if we just look at the rights people have nowadays compared to 100 years ago. The author argues the perceptions of Middle-Ages based on their belief. It has no support in any sources or any facts except that it references thoughts of people who already romanticized the Middle Ages.But there is not so much hostility to Christianity in the world brought into being by George R. R. Martin ... It relies for its power and effect upon a profound cynicism about human goodness, which, I believe, did not exist in such societies. He gives twenty-first-century religious opinions to people who have fifteenth-century lives.
Yeah, because accomplishing the goal no matter what it takes is more effective than having scruples. It is truth in fiction and has nothing to do with punishment. They are all, including Ned, playing a game of thrones. In Game of Thrones, you either win or you die. Winning is just easier when you are cunning and ready to do whatever needed.In his imaginary country, virtue and trust are always punished. The most attractive major character, Eddard Stark, dies swiftly, unjustly, and horribly. He dies largely because he is so honorable and dutiful. His horrified family is scattered to the winds to suffer or perish. And from that moment on in the story, almost everyone associated with honesty, selfless courage, and justice is doomed. Almost the only likable figure who survives through all the books is the dwarf, Tyrion, who is occasionally kind, but also consumed with cynicism and despair.
Sure, yeah. Which is why Cersei is so good at ruling the country and her position is so firm. Martin's world is not Conan Doyle's world. Nor does it have to be. They both have their own merit.Bravery and charity toward others are rewarded with death or betrayal. The simple poor are raped, robbed, enslaved, and burned out of their homes. Chivalry, a real thing in Conan Doyle’s world, is for Martin a fraud. All kinds of cruelty and greed, typified by the House of Lannister, flourish like the green bay tree. Treachery and the most debauched cynicism are the only salvation, the only route to safety or advantage. Perhaps the most intense moment of the entire saga, the “Red Wedding” is composed entirely of the most bitter betrayals, including a terrible violation of the laws of hospitality. Yet as far as I can see, the betrayers gain advantage by their action. Three major figures, all in the grip of different versions of amoral cynicism, dominate all the thousands of pages that follow, and while others are murdered all around them, they live on.
Citation needed.It is often said that much of the narrative is based on the true and gruesome conflicts of England’s Wars of the Roses ... England in that era never sank into the utter misery and desolation portrayed here.
Yes. It is a genre of fantasy. It is bound to have the fantastical.The story also leaks at both ends into worlds of supernatural horror or marvel...Princess Daenerys manages to hatch actual dragons from ancient eggs. But even in temperate, seagirt Westeros, lethal shadows can kill and spells are cast.
Far be it from me to say that Martin sometimes does not waste time describing minutest of details, but his inspiration comes from literature and history. Else, we would not be able to recognize influences in his works and the author raved about the War of Roses inspiration just a few short paragraphs before this one.Martin cannot write as well as Tolkien or Lewis, in my view because he cannot draw on Tolkien’s or Lewis’s enormous storehouse of legend, saga, poetry, and literature. ... And goodness, he has the storyteller’s gift. It seems to me that Martin may, especially in his portrayals of the incestuous, limitlessly unkind Lannister twin siblings Jaime and Cersei, have rediscovered human evil in its purest form.
Argumentation needed. Why would it be worse off for not acknowledging Christ as king? Because it is different from the author's belief system which is so fragile he cannot acknowledge it could happen.Until recently, I am not sure anyone would have dared to enter mainstream publishing or entertainment with unpunished wickedness of this kind... But it is a civilization very different from and inferior to one that acknowledges Christ as King.
Absolutely and categorically no. Arguably the best kings and queens and assorted nobles who were named were those concerned with "small folk". All of those messages are found in many cultures though in different stories and different ways. They are found in Westeros as well in the teachings of their religions.Martin’s creation is a society in which man knows how to build and travel, to make himself comfortable, perhaps to cure and treat some diseases, and to fight wars scientifically—but in which there is no trace of Christ. The Good Samaritan is not known of here. Nobody has heard of the Prodigal Son, and the Sermon on the Mount has never been delivered... “Do as you would be done by” rapidly becomes the very different “Appear to do as you would be done by.”
No, you don't. Arguably, the strongest lesson Sansa learnt from Cersei who seems to actually depict what the author claims is the foundation of Martin's world is to have people love her instead of fear her.In such a kingdom, power and virtue are entirely separate. The snarling brute rules, unrestrained by reminders that a just God will judge him in turn. He is wealthy, powerful, and clever, like the figures depicted by the Riace Bronzes. He sits at the pinnacle of a civilization of impunity, which delivers many joys to the rich and the strong, and misery to the weak and poor. Imagine that, stretching out in all directions and forever, and you have George Martin’s world.
By far the greatest threat to Christianity are some of the Christians.As far as I can find out, Martin is a lapsed Roman Catholic and has quite banal views about how religion causes wars and God is a “giant invisible guy in the sky.” I do not think he has set out to make an attack on Christianity. I do not think he especially likes it, but I suspect he has discarded it, and so he has written an account of a world in which it simply does not exist. His fantasy greatly disturbs me, because it helps to normalize the indifference to Christianity which is a far greater threat to it than active atheism.
Actually, there is a passage in the books which clearly states that the Seven are all aspects of one god, but that the distinction is lost on most believers much like it was for early Christians.Some readers of Martin’s stories see a kind of Christianity in the worship of “the Seven.” ... Nor does anyone else. The worship of the Seven is exactly what atheists think Christianity is: an outward vesture.
It does not. All of those deities are interconnected while the science folks are actually the Maesters.A rival older faith, officially tolerated, survives in silent groves of ancient trees. There is also a rather nasty Drowned God, who seems to encourage piracy among seafarers (which suits them very well), and a highly intolerant Red God with a touch of the Cathars, ... This recalls the way in which, in our time, science and power walk hand in hand, often destructively and dangerously.
The author has it backward. The books are the reflection of reality and not the other way around and they are actually a reflection of reality that is worse than ours, a reality from which we progressed. Middle-Ages were a far more cruel world to live in than ours is. Westeros pretty much disregards a lot of our progress. People in our world often succeed on kindness, charity and generosity. There is still a lot of bad in the world, but on the whole, it is mostly getting better.And in the midst of this it is those who are most indifferent to justice and truth, and the most carefully concerned for their own selves, who prosper, and also who appear to be the wisest and cleverest. Is this not very much like our own age, as it develops? Our minds are emptied of faith and hope, and we are emptied of charity. God’s visible hand is nowhere. Dead is dead. What is stolen remains stolen. Corruption is becoming normal. No help can be expected, and there is no reason to believe that a divine justice awaits the greedy or the crooked. The rainbow and the comet, the thunder and the wind, have been explained till there is no wonder left in them. We laugh at the very idea of the devil. And now, for the first time, the world of selfism and indifference has its bard, whose stories are lodged firmly in the minds of tens of millions. If we cannot counter the cruel message of Game of Thrones with something better, we have much to fear from the years to come.
Man walked in fear and solemnity.
Tell that to Thomas Beckett and Henry IIKings genuinely feared God and his justice. And their subjects, in turn, did not dare to touch the Lord’s anointed
I don't really understand this. the concept of the Golden Rule can be found in religions outside Christianity (ie. people who don't believe in Jesus) so the argument kinda falls apart from the get go. But also, the golden rule isn't "do unto others or you will be punished". the Golden rule is just a description of how you would act if you felt empathy.The only appeal is to a very basic common decency, the absurdly overrated Golden Rule, which in a world without Jesus has two great unavoidable flaws. The first is that the weaker and poorer you are, the less other people are inclined to hope for favors from you, or fear your revenge.
I admit that this one confused me. Is he saying that, with Jesus' help, he can read minds? and that, in a world without Jesus we wouldn't be able to read minds any more? in all seriousness though, can someone explain this sentence to me? I mean, to me he seems to be saying, without really knowing how a person wants to be treated, we can't really know how we should treat them. but what does that have to do with whether or not Jesus is involved? also, that isn't what the golden rule is about, the idea is that you should treat others how YOU would WANT them to treat you.The second is that, having no way to find the mind’s construction in the face, or to see into our neighbors’ secret hearts, we have very little true knowledge of the secret deeds and inward thoughts of others. “Do as you would be done by” rapidly becomes the very different “Appear to do as you would be done by.”
All he's doing is setting up a strawman, by applying an impossible test to the Golden Rule, or rather to the Golden Rule that he has invented (which bears no real resemblance to the real one).in all seriousness though, can someone explain this sentence to me?