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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    I never found it to be cynicism so much as "extreme realism." When I first started reading, I felt that it was a little over the top, but then I sat back and thought "you know, it's not so much cynical as it is a realistic appraisal of how people would react in such a situation absent comfortable modern, western morals and the consequences thereof." Yeah, there are some contrivances, but this is fiction, and some of them need to exist in order for their to be continuity of story and character.
    Perhaps, but the Seven Kingdoms do have an influential, active state religion in the Faith of the Seven, which seems firmly entrenched in all aspects of daily life and has moral tenets not that far from 'comfortable modern, western' morals.

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    On cynicism. I might be a bit biased here since most of what I read outside of fiction is on Greece, Rome, and Quattrocento Italy, but when compared to those periods GRRM doesn't seem very cynical at all. Honestly some of his characters survive when they really shouldn't. And no one has really gone on a full on purge yet.

    On Twilight. I honestly do think the book is pretty bad from every standard I can tell. It's prose is bad, it's story is bad, and while I admittedly only read the first one to see what the fuss was about, I did not grow an emotional attachment to anyone.

    But. My standard response to these situations is to raise a glass to Meyer. She beat the system, congrats, I wish I was half so lucky as her. Or even had the motivation required to take pen to page and look for a publisher.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlec View Post
    Perhaps, but the Seven Kingdoms do have an influential, active state religion in the Faith of the Seven, which seems firmly entrenched in all aspects of daily life and has moral tenets not that far from 'comfortable modern, western' morals.
    So did the Crusades, what's your point?
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2012-11-01 at 09:10 AM.

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlec View Post
    Perhaps, but the Seven Kingdoms do have an influential, active state religion in the Faith of the Seven, which seems firmly entrenched in all aspects of daily life and has moral tenets not that far from 'comfortable modern, western' morals.
    The same could be said for the Church of Medieval Europe, really.
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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlec View Post
    Perhaps, but the Seven Kingdoms do have an influential, active state religion in the Faith of the Seven, which seems firmly entrenched in all aspects of daily life and has moral tenets not that far from 'comfortable modern, western' morals.
    Take out the "modern" aspect of your sentence, and I'll buy the argument.

    The Faith of the Seven is very close to the Western Christian (catholic) church. Part of it is corrupt, part of it is genuinely devout. There are crazy fundamentalists and there are mild-mannered devouts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    So did the Crusades, what's your point?
    I'd say that's not true; there were quite a few elements of 11th century Christianity that would be at odds with modern-day morality. By contrast, the Faith of the Seven seems quite capable of co-existing with other religions and does not condemn those who do not follow it, with more of a focus on charity, goodwill and trying to offer counsel. There seems no religious tension in Westeros. There seems to be no agressive push to, for example, evangelise the North.

    Only in later books have we seen the Seven become more militant, but that change seems genuinely motivated by the ravages of war upon the kingdoms and its people.

    Edit: In short, it doesn't feel like the kind of religion that would come out of this world.
    Last edited by SmartAlec; 2012-11-01 at 09:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlec View Post
    I'd say that's not true; there were quite a few elements of 11th century Christianity that would be at odds with modern-day morality. By contrast, the Faith of the Seven seems quite capable of co-existing with other religions and does not condemn those who do not follow it, with more of a focus on charity, goodwill and trying to offer counsel. There seems no religious tension in Westeros. There seems to be no agressive push to, for example, evangelise the North.

    Only in later books have we seen the Seven become more militant, but that change seems genuinely motivated by the ravages of war upon the kingdoms and its people.
    There is a rather dismissive attitude from each Faith members toward the other's faith. (talking of the relation between Old Gods and the 7. Everybody hates the Red God, and he gives it back). With the exception of honorable and respectful characters, off course.

    I'd say the attitude of the Faith of the 7 toward the Old Gods is a bit like the latest Pagan holds in early Middle-Age. You don't want to go Evangelic on their ass since you don't have the power to actually enforce that faith upon them. As long as they don't encroach on your territory, you let these primitive people to be damned.

    Remember that the only person converting from the 7 to the Old Gods created something of a stirr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlec View Post
    I'd say that's not true; there were quite a few elements of 11th century Christianity that would be at odds with modern-day morality. By contrast, the Faith of the Seven seems quite capable of co-existing with other religions and does not condemn those who do not follow it, with more of a focus on charity, goodwill and trying to offer counsel. There seems no religious tension in Westeros. There seems to be no agressive push to, for example, evangelise the North.

    Only in later books have we seen the Seven become more militant, but that change seems genuinely motivated by the ravages of war upon the kingdoms and its people.

    Edit: In short, it doesn't feel like the kind of religion that would come out of this world.
    I'll give you that one. The Seven is more tolerant of others, probably because it's tied to a conqueror who did not really care about the religion of his followers (Aegon brought it over didn't he?)

    But most of the violence is of people forgetting or ignoring the morals of a religion to complete their political aims. Which happened a lot in the medieval and renaissance periods.

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    I'll give you that one. The Seven is more tolerant of others, probably because it's tied to a conqueror who did not really care about the religion of his followers (Aegon brought it over didn't he?)

    But most of the violence is of people forgetting or ignoring the morals of a religion to complete their political aims. Which happened a lot in the medieval and renaissance periods.
    Nah. He merely did the intelligent thing and "converted" to have the Church of the Seven on his side. Kind of like Clovis, now that I think about it.

    The Faith of the Seven was introduced in Westeros by the Andals who defeated and conquered the First Men, thousands of years ago. The only kingdom they couldn't conquer (and convert) was the North.

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    Hasn't been mod-locked yet, so I guess the discussion is okay.

    We may be drawing comparisons from the wrong time period. Suppose we go back a little farther, to Imperial Rome. We have mostly "live and let live" mainstream polytheists and pagans, each of them thinking the others' beliefs are silly but not forcing conversion at swordpoint, and the rise of a militant monotheism that does force conversion at swordpoint.
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    I think Krade is protesting the use of the word mad in in the phrase mad scientist as it promotes ambiguity. Are they angry? Are they crazy? Some of both? Not to mention, it also often connotates some degree of evilness. In the future we should be more careful to use proper classification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Nah. He merely did the intelligent thing and "converted" to have the Church of the Seven on his side. Kind of like Clovis, now that I think about it.

    The Faith of the Seven was introduced in Westeros by the Andals who defeated and conquered the First Men, thousands of years ago. The only kingdom they couldn't conquer (and convert) was the North.
    Thank you for the correction.

    I think another reason for the laxity of the Seven's anti-pagan stance would probably be the lack of expansive rivals. A surprisingly passed over topic was that the Muslims were considered an actual threat of conquering or at least attacking early Christendom. The conquest of Spain, and the Muslim raiders in the Mediterranean are the examples that first come to mind. Westeros really didn't have that, the Old Gods stayed up North for the most part and everything reaches a nice agreeable stasis.

    Well, except the Ironborn. But I honestly think logically that culture should have been wiped out years ago, and the fact that they're still around one of the weaker parts of GRRMs world building.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2012-11-01 at 11:09 AM.

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Well, except the Ironborn. But I honestly think logically that culture should have been wiped out years ago, and the fact that they're still around one of the weaker parts of GRRMs world building.
    I do wonder why the Dragonkings ever tolerated the continuing existence of these jerks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    I do wonder why the Dragonkings ever tolerated the continuing existence of these jerks.
    They probably paid their taxes on time and wiping them out would be costly. Just because you can win a brutal war doesn't mean you should fight it. And likely, whomever replaced the ironmen as vassals wouldn't be as efficient in making money. So, tax revenue would go down.

    In fact, Balon Greatjoy thought--wrongly, of course--that Robert would let him break away because the cost of subduing the islands is high. Balon knew that he couldn't win a war if Robert really wanted one; he just thought that Robert wouldn't think that a war would be worth it. What Balon didn't consider was that Robert had to show his other vassals that he was a strong king. So the war was about demonstrating political strength instead of economics.

    Therefore, as long as the ironmen paid lipservice and taxes to the king, they were fine. It wasn't until they actually forced the king's hand that they had to be smacked down. That begs the question, of course, of why didn't Robert go Rains of Castamere on them when he had the chance? Outside the fact that Ned Stark and probably Jon Arryn wouldn't go along with it?

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    They probably paid their taxes on time and wiping them out would be costly. Just because you can win a brutal war doesn't mean you should fight it. And likely, whomever replaced the ironmen as vassals wouldn't be as efficient in making money. So, tax revenue would go down.

    In fact, Balon Greatjoy thought--wrongly, of course--that Robert would let him break away because the cost of subduing the islands is high. Balon knew that he couldn't win a war if Robert really wanted one; he just thought that Robert wouldn't think that a war would be worth it. What Balon didn't consider was that Robert had to show his other vassals that he was a strong king. So the war was about demonstrating political strength instead of economics.

    Therefore, as long as the ironmen paid lipservice and taxes to the king, they were fine. It wasn't until they actually forced the king's hand that they had to be smacked down. That begs the question, of course, of why didn't Robert go Rains of Castamere on them when he had the chance? Outside the fact that Ned Stark and probably Jon Arryn wouldn't go along with it?
    Because that wasn't Robert's style. He wasn't Lannister.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    You make two rather blunt assumptions in that sentence:

    1- That the Twilight fandom only extend to hormonal, pubescent teenage girl. That is a rather strawman narrowing of one's audience, and a wrong one as that. I know plenty of 20s-30s women who love Twilight as well. Should we lump them into the hormonal group?

    2- You imply anybody who can pick up a pen could inspire emotions into hormonal, prubescent teenage girls. That is rather dismissive of the competition already exists for that lucrative market. Point is: it is not that easy. Some people fail to event make a dent in that litterature genre, and then underplay their failure by underplaying other people's success.
    The only assumptions I make are

    1) The primary demographic for Twilight is hormonal, pubescent teenage girls. They may not the only group, but they are the largest.

    2) That hormonal, pubescent teenage girls tend to be more prone to emotional extremes than pretty much any other demographic.

    Neither is unreasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    While this is a good discussion, perhaps it migh be better off in a twilight related thread? Or you can turn it back on OP to Song of Ice and Fire. Either way. <3
    Yes, let's do that please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Because that wasn't Robert's style. He wasn't Lannister.
    Indeed. Robert was very much a man who wanted to be loved. Loved by his allies, loved by the common people, even loved by his enemies. He was the kind of man who liked to turn enemies into close allies and was very capable of doing it with most people. He was a piss-poor administrator, but he had a great talent for dealing with people.
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2012-11-01 at 12:41 PM.
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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    They probably paid their taxes on time and wiping them out would be costly. Just because you can win a brutal war doesn't mean you should fight it. And likely, whomever replaced the ironmen as vassals wouldn't be as efficient in making money. So, tax revenue would go down.

    In fact, Balon Greatjoy thought--wrongly, of course--that Robert would let him break away because the cost of subduing the islands is high. Balon knew that he couldn't win a war if Robert really wanted one; he just thought that Robert wouldn't think that a war would be worth it. What Balon didn't consider was that Robert had to show his other vassals that he was a strong king. So the war was about demonstrating political strength instead of economics.

    Therefore, as long as the ironmen paid lipservice and taxes to the king, they were fine. It wasn't until they actually forced the king's hand that they had to be smacked down. That begs the question, of course, of why didn't Robert go Rains of Castamere on them when he had the chance? Outside the fact that Ned Stark and probably Jon Arryn wouldn't go along with it?
    It's noted at least once that Robert was quite forgiving where others would not have been. Stupidly so from time to time.

    Also keep in mind Tywin's comments to Joffrey that (and I'm paraphrasing here) if you don't help your vassals to stand back up once they've knelt before you, nobody will kneel before you again.
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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    It's noted at least once that Robert was quite forgiving where others would not have been. Stupidly so from time to time.

    Also keep in mind Tywin's comments to Joffrey that (and I'm paraphrasing here) if you don't help your vassals to stand back up once they've knelt before you, nobody will kneel before you again.
    Nanana. The rule is, if you don't help your ENNEMIES to stand back up once they've knelt.

    Rebelling vassals, you have to exterminate with righteous fury and make an example of them that people will sing songs for hundreds of years.

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    What Would Tywin Do?

    Robert's rebellion... At one point, Jon Connington was once huning for Robert in the town of Stony Sept. Jon failed to find Robert before Ned Stark arrived with reinforcements and the two of them managed to beat Connington in the following battle (Robert was hiding in the brothel). Jon claimed to have done everything in his power to find Robert, and even that Tywin Lannister himself could not have done more.

    When someone (can't remember who) heard him say that, they told him that Tywin would've set fire to the town, killing Robert (and all of the people in it) and then when Ned and his reinforcements arrived with no hope left for their rebellion, Tywin would've offered them terms so generous that they would have no choice but to surrender and come back to the king's peace.

    That is Tywin's style. When someone defies you, destroy them in the most dramatic way possible. Make an example. Then, once you have made your point, show the rest that so long as they are willing to play by your rules, they have nothing to fear from you. Make them know that it is in their own interest to obey and respect you. Let them know what happens if the do and let them know what happens if they don't.
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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Nanana. The rule is, if you don't help your ENNEMIES to stand back up once they've knelt.

    Rebelling vassals, you have to exterminate with righteous fury and make an example of them that people will sing songs for hundreds of years.
    That's probably closer to what was actually said in the novel. It's been a bit since I've read it so mea culpa.

    But yes, the distinction there is actually quite important. And you might view it as one of Robert's major mistakes, not dealing with the Greyjoys as he "should have." But it might also be a point showing something a little more complicated, that such modern ideals of mercy and the like only really make sense when all persons involved are playing by the same set of rules as you are. Showing mercy to the Greyjoys is like scolding a rabid, killer dog. It's not like you've actually adressed the problem appropriately, here.
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    Indeed. The important thing is that the enemy has to be willing to bend the knee in the first place.

    That said, the Greyjoys did stay rather tame until Robert died and The War of Five Kings broke out. Tywin had no involvement in any of their uprisings, so it's difficult to say how he would've handled them. Had they rebelled against him, he might've given them one chance like Robert did, but he certainly wouldn't give them another if they decided to test him again.
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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    That's probably closer to what was actually said in the novel. It's been a bit since I've read it so mea culpa.

    But yes, the distinction there is actually quite important. And you might view it as one of Robert's major mistakes, not dealing with the Greyjoys as he "should have." But it might also be a point showing something a little more complicated, that such modern ideals of mercy and the like only really make sense when all persons involved are playing by the same set of rules as you are. Showing mercy to the Greyjoys is like scolding a rabid, killer dog. It's not like you've actually adressed the problem appropriately, here.
    The other thing about possibly smacking down the Greyjoys is that no one likes them. If Robert would have taken away all of their lands, then chances are that no one would have too bothered about it. The ironmen had a nasty habit of raiding everyone else. It isn't like smacking down, for example, the Tullys where you risk offending the Starks and the Arryns.

    And Robert does want his enemies to like him; unless, of course, their last name happens to be Targaryen

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Indeed. The important thing is that the enemy has to be willing to bend the knee in the first place.

    That said, the Greyjoys did stay rather tame until Robert died and The War of Five Kings broke out. Tywin had no involvement in any of their uprisings, so it's difficult to say how he would've handled them. Had they rebelled against him, he might've given them one chance like Robert did, but he certainly wouldn't give them another if they decided to test him again.
    I doubt it. If memory serves the army had already breached the walls of Pyke before the Greyjoys tried to surrender. At that time I think Tywin would have set the place burning.

    Also, does anyone else think a political discussion between Augustus Caesar, Tywin Lannister, and Niccolo Machiavelli would be just about the most interesting thing ever?

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Robert was willing to forgive anyone except a Targaryen. I suspect that his refusal to forgive them stems from his belief that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped his fiance. (We don't know if their relationship was consensual or not and we probably never will, but what matters is that Robert believed that Lyanna was forced.)

    Robert Baratheon was the Ulysses S Grant of Westeros. He didn't want the responsibility of power - he just wanted the booze and whores that came with the power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Mango:you sick, twisted bastard <3
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryffon View Post
    I think Krade is protesting the use of the word mad in in the phrase mad scientist as it promotes ambiguity. Are they angry? Are they crazy? Some of both? Not to mention, it also often connotates some degree of evilness. In the future we should be more careful to use proper classification.

    Mango is a dastardly irate unhinged scientist, for realz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    Robert was willing to forgive anyone except a Targaryen. I suspect that his refusal to forgive them stems from his belief that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped his fiance. (We don't know if their relationship was consensual or not and we probably never will, but what matters is that Robert believed that Lyanna was forced.)
    I think we'll find out from Howland Reed or perhaps Barristan Selmy or Jon Connington whether Lyanna eloped or was kidnapped (and whether Jon Snow is Ned's son or Lyanna's or. . . both! ). But you're right in that the truth doesn't matter as Robert (and Ned) believed Lyanna was kidnapped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    Robert was willing to forgive anyone except a Targaryen. I suspect that his refusal to forgive them stems from his belief that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped his fiance. (We don't know if their relationship was consensual or not and we probably never will, but what matters is that Robert believed that Lyanna was forced.)

    Robert Baratheon was the Ulysses S Grant of Westeros. He didn't want the responsibility of power - he just wanted the booze and whores that came with the power.
    And, just as important, he wanted to be liked and popular, which is almost as fatal or perhaps even more so. It crippled him when it came to actually making truly tough decisions which he pawned off on people who did not have his or the Kingdoms' interests at heart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    Robert was willing to forgive anyone except a Targaryen. I suspect that his refusal to forgive them stems from his belief that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped his fiance. (We don't know if their relationship was consensual or not and we probably never will, but what matters is that Robert believed that Lyanna was forced.)

    Robert Baratheon was the Ulysses S Grant of Westeros. He didn't want the responsibility of power - he just wanted the booze and whores that came with the power.
    That is an incredibly unfair assessment of Grant. I mean the man was a terrible president bu still.

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    I doubt it. If memory serves the army had already breached the walls of Pyke before the Greyjoys tried to surrender. At that time I think Tywin would have set the place burning.
    I think it's a fairly accepted rule of war. When the battering ram hits the door, there is no more talks.

    You shouldn't consider diplomacy when you are 2 seconds away from being conquered. Therefore, I shall crush you like a bug as an example to others that you'd better negotiate with me BEFORE you make me miss my weekly D&D game by raising an army to kill you.

    Because otherwise, I'm pissed.

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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    Just posting a new gripe I found with something SoIaF.

    My wife, knowing my affinity for the show, gave the first season on Blu-Ray to me as a birthday present. The audio commentaries are alright, though nothing special (Sean Bean being completely absent, and Peter Dinklage only in one), but there is one that stands out in terms of being interesting: GRRM as the sole commentator on "The Pointy End" (he also wrote the screenplay for that particular episode). I thought it was chiefly a wasted opportunity, since he did virtually nothing except point out where the differences between the show and book were, and say how he would have made it much more expansive, costly, and longer if he'd had his way. Only rarely did he take advantage of the opportunity to give new perspective on the show or books. Though he did mention:
    Spoiler
    Show
    That while the show will have little influence on the books going forward, he liked Natalia Tena's portrayal of Osha so much that when she reappears, she will be more like the show's version.


    That said, if anyone has the chance to watch the histories they included with the set, do so. They're in-character and narrated by several actors from the show: Maester Luwin, Arya, Robert Baratheon, Viserys, and Tywin Lannister. Very well done. They also provide accounts of the same events, as seen from different viewpoints.
    Last edited by Sinfonian; 2012-11-01 at 07:16 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: What are the problems with the "A song of ice and fire" series?

    They're also on Youtube, though a bit disorganized.
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    Strange is the night where black stars rise,
    And strange moons circle through the skies,
    But stranger still is
    Lost Carcosa.


    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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