Less concerned with who’s first up against the wall than with how to decorate it

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Aylwin
    February 8, 2016 @ 11:47 am

    “She ‘ad red ‘air.”

    I don’t really recognise that description of Melisandre. Even considering her solely in terms of her significance to Stannis, sex seems a pretty small part of what’s going on there. And overall, wouldn’t it be truer to say that Stannis exists purely to supply a dummy protagonist for Melisandre’s mythology?


    • Aylwin
      February 8, 2016 @ 1:46 pm

      Also, in as much as boner-giving is a major aspect of Melisandre’s character, surely it’s less about her interaction with Stannis in particular than about her toolbox for dealing with the male world in general, and about her impact on the male (or otherwise lady-fancying) audience. There’s a distinct repertoire of unsettlingness and psychological connotation pertaining to sexy witches that doesn’t apply with unsexy ones.


  2. Aylwin
    February 8, 2016 @ 12:46 pm

    On Robb, I don’t see this as such an incongruous breakdown of character consistency, given that it fits into such a long sequence of comparable cock-ups from the start of season 2 onwards (i.e. since very shortly after he took on a leadership role in the first place). Trusting Theon, breaking his marriage contract, failing to brief Edmure, imagining for one moment that he can get Walder Frey genuinely back onside – they’re all about failing to accommodate the predictable responses of his putative allies/followers, because he fails to anticipate them and/or knowingly prioritises emotion over calculation. (He has related difficulties with Cat (releasing Jaime), and with the snake-faced UXB that is Roose Bolton, but he really had no means of averting what happened with Cat, while I’m not sure there was a good answer to the Bolton question.)

    The running theme throughout is that he never really puts a foot wrong in playing the war-game against his acknowledged enemies, but is chronically accident-prone when it comes to managing those actually, notionally or potentially on his side. All he really has going for him there is charisma (yes, I know, but in theory), and the point is that the combination of that with a gift for abstract generalship are enough to give you a good run, but not enough to win. He differs from his father, but neither is a politician.

    Which doesn’t mean that this is not a clumsy, and pointless addition to the gallery of failures, or even that the overall scheme is all that clearly thought through. But it’s not a great departure from how he has been presented previously, nor from what he signifies.


  3. Aylwin
    February 8, 2016 @ 1:09 pm

    Oh, and answers on a postcard please to my Jaime plot-hole conundrum: what happened to all the sodding wildfire?

    I mean, even if we accept it as psychologically credible that he would refuse to tell anyone why he killed Aerys out of some kind of bizarre self-lacerating petulance (which I don’t), how could he avoid it? The whole object of the exercise was to protect the city from the multiple caches of potent and volatile incendiaries stashed all over it – wouldn’t he need to make sure the stuff got cleared away, rather than leaving it sitting there to get accidentally ignited next time someone’s cooking-fire got out of control in the wrong part of town? Which would surely involve telling people they were there, and hence how they got there. (If merely keeping his mouth shut seems unlikely, making elaborate arrangements for their laborious and covert removal and disposal through some secret conspiracy of helpers somehow sworn to silence, just so that he can avoid admitting to saving the city, would be entirely beyond the bounds of credibility.) And if he was inclined to keep silent because he didn’t think anyone would believe his story, wouldn’t all the wildfire caches constitute rather compelling material evidence?

    Also, given that he didn’t tell anyone, is all the wildfire in fact still there?


    • liminal fruitbat
      February 8, 2016 @ 7:04 pm

      In the books it is: during the preparations for the Battle of the Blackwater Hallyne tells Tyrion they found a large cache of wildfire they had no idea existed.


      • Roy
        February 9, 2016 @ 12:56 pm

        As I recall, the alchemists also state in the book that production of wild fire had gotten easier recently, and it’s strongly implied that this is due to the existence of living dragons in the world, even as far away as they are.


  4. Dadalama
    February 9, 2016 @ 5:43 pm

    I think I’ve proven myself to be dreadfully immature.

    All the talk of boners, and I read the first line of the fourth paragraph as “As for the other main source of fire, the Brotherhood Without Boners,”. I giggled like a child.


  5. Jarl
    February 12, 2016 @ 8:53 pm

    Speaking of boners:
    I’ve been thinking about what Ygritte said to Jon Snow about how she knew he was still holding to his vows after their special time in the cave, and it’s got me wondering… did he know where to put it after all? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


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