George RR Martin shares his thoughts on internet fan culture

georgerrmartin

George R.R. Martin recently invited Jessie and Leonard Maltin, the hosts of the podcast, Maltin on Movies to interview him at his theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in New Mexico, to chat about his career, the entertainment industry … and the internet!

Though their conversation, which clocked in at just under an hour and a half, covered a range of topics, Martin and the Maltins chose not to address the various controversies surrounding the final season of Game of Thrones. However, Martin did weigh in on how the internet has transformed fandoms and fan discourse from the sort that he participated in when he was younger.

“The internet is toxic in a  way that the old fanzine culture and the fandoms, the comic fandoms and sci-fi fandoms in those days was not,” he said at 21:04. “Yeah, there were disagreements there were feuds but nothing like the madness that you see on the internet.”

To be clear, the tone of the podcast was largely positive. Martin discussed how he decided to to become a full time writer at the age of 32 (at 27:10), the mercurial nature of writing for television (43:00) and that most perennial topic for any author whose work has been made into a television show or movie: adaptation.

Martin reasoned that A Song of Ice and Fire is simply too large in scope and scale to be translated directly into a televisions format.

“As lavish as [the Game of Thrones] production was … they still couldn’t include all the characters,” he said at 1:10:57, but then compared the character consolidation to Gone With The Wind‘s omission of two of Scarlett O’Hara’s children.

“How many children did Scarlett O’hara have? What’s the answer to that?” he asked. “She had three in the novel, one in the movie … so you can tell the story as you want with one child or with three children. There’s no right answer or wrong answer, there, as long as you get the essence of the story.”

You can listen to the entire interview on the Maltin On Movies website, here.

83 responses

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    1. Online fandoms are largely place for depression and misery.

      They are already whining and creating negativity around Witcher even before the trailer lol

      Book purusts and gate keepers turn every fandom to shit. It happend to Star Wars, Harry Potter, LOTR, GOT, … and it will happen to every other fantasy fandom.

      As someone wise said, people who are happy with their own lifes don’t go online to constantly whine about movies, shows and books.

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    2. Did anyone see the comments from Linderhof, the creator of Lost? He called out GRRM for whinging about the ending of LOST.

      He basically said that GRRM belongs to House Glass – as it persons in glass house should not throw stones. Very funny.

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    3. Mango,

      False equivalency imo and Lindelof looks like an ass for calling George out. George is allowed to have an opinion on the Lost ending. That’s not toxic. Making ridiculous, immature insults and attacking the creators in a personal way = toxic. Such as referring to someone’s opinion as #turd.

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    4. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      A #turd IS toxic…. Toxicity varies however, proper effluent plants are established for a reason…. Unfortunately, “maintenance” gets forgotten and sh$t happens. The longer it gets left or, worse still sub par repair work hides/ignores the issues until a wall or more break to burst.

      GRRM is an adult (intelligent one to boot), so he can defend himself. He made some cash and didn’t consider all reasonable foreseeable issues. At the very least naive.
      Just consider the potential story arc conclusions if we had just 1 ep per season 6, 7, 8. Better yet, after S5 the only way to watch it (legitimately) GoT is in the cinema. Could wait until release on DVD etc as well.

      It’s very sad this had to happen to a product as intricate as GoT the series was and yet, not. Perhaps our wallets might just gain abit more respect instead of just expectations that fans will accept, forget and rinse and repeat over and over.

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    5. The GoT finale was fine for casual viewers. I’ve personally asked at least 10 close friends how did they feel about the finale. They’ve all said it was fine. It was an OK conclusion.
      The problem the series has is with the non-casual viewers. The ones who saw the series at least three times, that red the books three times or more.
      We’ve got the essence of the story George. Jon and Dany’s quests are tragic, both of them.
      But the show has a lot of logic issues. I’ll just address 2:
      – Dany is on Dragonstone and the decision is to convince Cersei to join their cause against the dead. “There’s no time” to finish the war against Cersei, but there is time to go north, try to capture a white, bring him to KL and hope Cersei will accept a deal.
      So here’s the “there’s no time” issue:
      Dragonstone->The Wall – 2 weeks (at least);
      Beyond the Wall – At least 1 week;
      The Wall->Dragonstone – 2 weeks (at least);
      Meeting in KL – 2..3 Days;
      KL->Winterfell – 2 Weeks.
      All of this to maybe gain 10.000 more soldiers. Well, basically… nothing.
      So almost 2 MONTHS of a delay, to maybe get 10.000 Lannister soldiers.
      Here’s the fast version:
      Tomorrow, early in the morning, Dany flies with the three Dragons to the Red Keep:
      “Cersei, bend the knee or burn!”
      That is 1 day. Cersei problem solved. Now let’s fight the dead.

      Second issue: What is Tyrion searching for through the ruins of KL? You only search through the ruins, if you’re looking for dead bodies…What else did he expect to find?
      These are minor issues. I’m not even going to address the fact that “Chaos is a ladder” policy works like a charm. Also, the best leader is the one who knows whatever he wants, sees whatever he wants and CONTROLS whoever he wants. That is horrible! That is the exact opposite of liberty, of freedom. Of course, he is elected FOR LIFE having absolute power. Westeros should expect “SUMMER” under his reign ? (Get it ? summer… after winter…Bran’s direwolf).

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    6. Fandom just drags you into misery and toxic group think.

      I am convinced the only purpose of fandom is bolster and justify anger.

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    7. “The internet is toxic in a way that the old fanzine culture and the fandoms, the comic fandoms and sci-fi fandoms in those days was not,” he said at 21:04. “Yeah, there were disagreements there were feuds but nothing like the madness that you see on the internet.”

      That’s definitely true. There are several reasons:

      + The most persistent nasty trolls are actually sadistic psychopaths. There was a research paper a couple of years ago that confirmed it. You can read an article about the findings here.

      + Hardcore fans of any given subject tend to include a higher than normal number of people on the Aspergers spectrum, for obvious reasons. A lot of people commenting online seem to have the condition too.

      + Commenting too much online causes a psychological state called the “Online Disinhibition Effect”. It can gradually sneak up on people, and the individuals affected don’t even necessarily realise what’s happening to them, but the neurological changes in the brain are real and can cause the type of “unwise” behaviour we’ve all seen online.

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    8. Iul,

      No, the reason for the wight hunt was to gain a cease fire with Cersei, not to gain her troops. The reason Danerys didn’t just fly her dragons to the Red Keep was explained ad nauseum. Tyrion was trying to see if Cersei and Jaime got out.

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    9. mau,

      I’d noticed the unpleasantness expressed in some comments about The Witcher (largely about some of the casting choices – and some of the armour which admittedly did look a bit naff). I’ll wait and see what the show is like when it comes off before making a choice.

      I’m saddened that some fans were much disappointed in the ending of TV show GoT. Do they have a right to an opinion? Absolutely, but I’d appreciate it if they didn’t make out that anyone who DIDN’T hate the TV ending is as thick as three short planks, never mind two short planks. I don’t want to argue about the ending in any case because obviously if someone dislikes the ending that is his or her instinctive feeling/reaction.

      Jai has already correctly quoted the part of Mr Martin’s statement where he (Mr M) states how toxic the internet can be. It’s true, the internet can be really rancid – and no matter how unpleasant it is when X calls Y stupid for having a different opinion, there are some folk who are saying far more damaging things on the internet, for instance accusing people of being paedophiles with absolutely no proof.

      I’m retired but I do a little work via the internet (not big bucks) so I do need the internet but otherwise I might have internet free days for my own good. Of course like any tool, the user is responsible for how he or she employs it.

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    10. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      Mango,

      False equivalency imo and Lindelof looks like an ass for calling George out. George is allowed to have an opinion on the Lost ending. That’s not toxic. Making ridiculous, immature insults and attacking the creators in a personal way = toxic. Such as referring to someone’s opinion as #turd.

      Two creators of very famous series that ended with their series “in disarray” having an ill-tempered exchange – that made me chuckle. I thought it mild enough.

      As for the #turd, I saw it but did not “fill in” any meaning on my own. He did not actually say GRRM’s opinion was a turd. Other less likely interpretations – maybe he meant that the Linderhof himself was a turd. Or GRRM was a turd. Maybe he meant that GOT was a turd or LOST was a turd. Hashtags are odd things – one-word versions invite you to fill in the meaning yourself and then react to your own assumption. So often, I look at the hashtags but do not take it beyond an observation.

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    11. Young Dragon,

      No, the reason for the wight hunt was to gain a cease fire with Cersei, not to gain her troops.

      Cease fire is an even worse logic! They got a false deal to join the battle against the dead. Great !

      The reason Daenerys didn’t just fly her dragons to the Red Keep was explained ad nauseum.

      “I don’t want to be queen of the ashes” – Well, if she’d burned Cersei (for not bending the knee) all good. Maybe a new “Harrenhal” with the Red Keep would have worked – if necessary…And Dany did want to do that. It would have been the right move. Westeros would have been united, minimal casualties (Cersei and some Red Keep soldiers perhaps). In 2 weeks and 1 day the whole Westeros would have been in Winterfell prepared to fight the dead.

      Tyrion was trying to see if Cersei and Jaime got out.

      Do you actually see logic in your statement ? I’m gonna go and search a mountain of rubble. If I can’t find them, they are in Pentos for sure.

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    12. The internet can be wild and negative. It can be dangerous and we need to police how we interact with and by it. But, it has added a great deal of positive stuff and I think most of us would not give it up for good.

      The books and GOT have benefitted from many extreme fans being very extremely positive. (Was it ever that good to justify the adulation? Was it ever perfect?) Now that many extreme fans are extremely negative, perhaps GOT’s creators could reflect that the books and show have both benefitted and suffered from extreme behavior.

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    13. Iul,

      No, the logic is sound. Cease fires have worked before, and they tend to happen between two sides that have no reason to trust each other.

      Tyrion wanted Danerys to appear to be a liberator, not a conqueror. Flying up to the Red Keep and setting it on fire would have conflicted with that image. Besides, Lannister archers wouldn’t be standing idly by. They would start loosing arrows, and all it would take was one lucky shot and the war would have been over.

      Yes, I see the logic just fine, and it completely holds up. He was worried for his siblings safety, so he went to be sure they weren’t caught in the rubble. If he didn’t see any sign of them, then yes, he would have assumed they got out. Do you the logic in your statement? Danerys brought the entire Red Keep down, where Tyrion very well knew his sister was located and his brother was heading. Was he just going to assume they got out without at least checking to be sure?

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    14. Iul:
      The GoT finale was fine for casual viewers. I’ve personally asked at least 10 close friends how did they feel about the finale. They’ve all said it was fine. It was an OK conclusion.
      The problem the series has is with the non-casual viewers. The ones who saw the series at least three times, that red the books three times or more.

      I’m far from a casual viewer (having seen the series through 5+ times and read the books) and I very much liked the ending. That’s not to say I don’t have issues with some aspects of it and how the show got there, but it’s nowhere near the dumpster fire train wreck some are making it out to be.

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    15. Enharmony1625,

      “but it’s nowhere near the dumpster fire train wreck some are making it out to be.”

      Oh, Yes! Let me just give some examples of stupid complaints:
      1. Plot Armor – if you complain of plot armor in Season 8, you should have started way earlier. Maybe culminate with Hardhome (the white walker grabs Jon and throws him, instead of just stabing him with the ice spear – then he sword fights Jon) and Battle of the Basterds (arrows, many arrows… no hit).
      2. The Dothraki reappeard in ep.6. Well, in ep.3 there should have been around 40.000 Dothraki. After the long night battle, we’ve got under 1000 Dothraki left. It’s ok. Around 39.000 died.
      3. Dany went mad, She couldn’t take it anymore, Targaryen madness. Wrong! She was neither of the above. She knew exactly why she has to burn the city down. The show only told us that “all who followed Cersei had to die – after they’ve surrendered”. That is a legit complaint. Very few words for a huge decision like this. Long discussion here. There’s the Dany article for that. Almost 400 comments.
      4. No Valonqar, no Azor Ahai. The show doesn’t mention neither of the above. Don’t expect the show to close book narratives. The show has “the prince who was promised” though. Now he must be Jon Snow “promis me Ned, promis me!”
      5. Jon should have been the first choice for the new king because he was the heir. That is stupid! If the only change is: now kings will be elected, you should ignore the old way and any “rightfulness”. The problem here is that this is the only change! (aside from the independent North). The one elected knows whatever he wants, sees whatever he wants and the worst thing, controls whoever he wants. That is the exact opposite of any notion of freedom and liberty.
      There are many other stupid complaints, but there sure are legit ones. And they are huge.

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    16. Some people need their Two Minutes Hate. Actually, many people. I feel like it’s getting worse and worse…

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    17. Young Dragon,

      Tyrion wanted Danerys to appear to be a liberator, not a conqueror. Flying up to the Red Keep and setting it on fire would have conflicted with that image.

      Oh yes, definitely. Tyrion’s advices certainly worked. They had lost Dorne and Highgarden. I’m not even going to address the Meereen situation Tyrion beautifully managed. That is why Dany listened to him. Oh, wait, she didn’t.
      As soon as Jon received the letter from Bran and time became critical, see my first comment. 1 Day, done. Not almost 2 months, for a small hope Cersei would accept.
      This Tyrion dual-loyalty (Dany-Family) is great though. That is why Dany doesn’t kill Jaime in ep.5. She just locks him up. This way, she tests Tyrion’s loyalty. And he fails Dany, again.
      And yes Tyrion, thanks to your actions, you truly are the biggest Lannister killer alive.
      Season 8 is not that bad; unfortunately, is not that great either.

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    18. Enharmony1625: I’m far from a casual viewer (having seen the series through 5+ times and read the books) and I very much liked the ending. That’s not to say I don’t have issues with some aspects of it and how the show got there, but it’s nowhere near the dumpster fire train wreck some are making it out to be.

      For what is worth, I absolutely loved season 8 and I’m not a casual fan either: I started reading the books in 2007, I’ve read each of them three times already, I’ve been watching the series since the beginning and every year I’ve rewatched the whole series before the new season.

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    19. The “only casual” line is exactly the sort of stuff GRRM is talking. How dare you assume that those who like the ending are “casual” fans?

      Why does it even matter for no other reason other than to gate keep? That is the only reason people like the poster above say such disrespectful crap like that. If this is how the fandom’s going to react then tbh I hope GRRM never releases any other material for this world.

      Fans and internet fandoms fucking suck. Sad to see GOT descend to Star Wars levels of pettiness, bickering and insults. But hey it’s the internet. Lot easier to be a dick when people hide behind nicknames and avatars.

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    20. oierem,

      Great!
      Can you tell me please why is Arya’s direwolf named Nymeria?
      Extra: What the hell was Jaqen H’ghar doing in KL ? Early season 2…
      3Eyed Raven: “He (Jojen) died so you can find what you have lost.” What did Bran lose?
      Thanks in advance!

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    21. Iul,

      You’re really showing yourself as a gatekeeper here you know that right? Seriously who the hell cares about any of the stuff you listed here other than to say “OH I’M A MUCH BETTER FAN THAN YOU!”

      Stop being so condescending for a minute and think. Think about what you’re saying here. Then understand – this is a fucking TV show not a history test.

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    22. Jack Sharpe,

      You need to loosen up. Someone made you angry. Easy…
      First, I said the all the casual viewers I’ve asked were fine with the ending.
      Second, some of the non casual viewers (including me) have asked some very legit questions that the show did not answer; like some I’ve mentioned in the posts above. There are also some stupid complaints, like the ones I’ve stated in a post from above.
      My main problem are the so many loose ends left by the show. I hope this has a good reason.

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    23. Mango,

      I thought Lindelof would be far more mature and intelligent no to resort to such a petty thing, but i guess i read him wrong, not to mention the two situations are completely different in that Lost was just a tv show not a book series also which hasn’t finished yet .

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    24. Mango,

      Wtf are you even talking about, extreme positive reaction, Jesus Christ i can’t even bother with you anymore . I really wish there was an ignore option on this site, it REALLY needs it .

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    25. Dee Stark,

      Same! I also miss the off-season discussion leading up to season 8 on this site — following filming news, cast/crew interviews, theories..

      As much as I was anxious for season 8 to start because I wanted to see how it all would end (and also so I could stop agonizing over things I did not want to happen), now that it’s come and gone I look back on that time fondly.

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    26. Jack Nabble,

      From FAQ – Moderation Policy

      2. What is the moderation policy when commenting on Watchers On the Wall ?

      “WatchersOnTheWall.com has an open commenting policy for the most part, but personal attacks on other commenters are not permitted. Spamming and trolling are also not allowed, and comments of this nature may be deleted without warning. If your post contains language that is racist, extremely vulgar, or otherwise abusive, it may also warrant deletion.”

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    27. Iul,

      “… 3Eyed Raven: “He (Jojen) died so you can find what you have lost.” What did Bran lose?”
      _____
      Yeah, that cryptic, never-resolved comment by 3ER has always irked me. In S4e10, he told Bran [this may not be verbatim] that Jojen died “so you could find what you have lost.” 3ER expressly said he was not referring to Bran’s ability to walk, telling him he’d never walk again “but you will fly.

      As you noted. I don’t think if was ever revealed or even implied what Bran had “lost”, let alone that he had “found” or rediscovered something. Plus, when 3ER said Bran would “fly”, I thought maybe Bran would ride a dragon. (To me, Bran rolling back his eyes and using flocks of ravens or crows as surveillance drones does not constitute “flying.”)

      If anybody’s got any viable explanations, I’m all ears.

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    28. Mango,

      I have to say he is half right. George was very harsh on the ending of lost. (which I personally liked very much except maybe the last season on its own. But the final was amazing in my opinion). But grrm is not getting any time soon to the end, (I doubt that winds is out before july 2020 which grrm stated last month). He is also stuck in the story and mysteries how to solve them. And the ending of the show of got wasn’t receive well (personally I loved the ending of got).

      So I see lindelofs point. Grrm was very harsh about something his story didn’t conceive either.

      Iul,

      I have to agree. Beyond the wall was amazing, but it didn’t make sense storywise. Not the episode itself but what you brought up. But I think that problems lies more to season 5 and 6 not setting up season 7 at the right place it should have been. I love winds of winter but I think because they omitted many parts of the books (darker dany already in essos, horn of winter, Griff, visions that dany have) they cornered themselves. They needed the story to end with dany going mad but that wasn’t prepared yet. And before that the wall needed to go down. So another path needed to go there. A dragon wight. And many more.

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    29. Jai,

      I didn’t know that. Thanks for the interesting information. It make sense.

      Young Dragon,

      I think the real reason for the dragon hunt was because there needed to be a reason for the wall to come down. The show doesn’t have the horn of winter. Which for grrm is much easier. Dany arrive in westeros. Get vision to go north. She goes there. The horn of winter is used. Wall comes down. Fight with the white walkers. After that the war of the Iron throne starts.

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    30. Dame of Mercia,

      I never played or read witchers. But I read something about a woman being cast of color but the books and game it was a white woman. Lots of backlash. Later in was revealed that that actress was playing another character not in the books or something. I found it very toxic when I read those comments and scary.

      Dee Stark,

      Same here, luckily we have the prequels. And of course the books when they are finished. So we have years to enjoy this story and world.

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    31. mau:
      Online fandoms are largely place for depression and misery.

      They are already whining and creating negativity around Witcher even before the trailer lol

      Book purusts and gate keepers turn every fandom to shit. It happend to Star Wars, Harry Potter, LOTR, GOT, … and it will happen to every other fantasy fandom.

      As someone wise said, people who are happy with their own lifes don’t go online to constantly whine about movies, shows and books.

      What the hell are you talking about? Everyone is loving the Witcher pics that just came out. Stop spreading lies.

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    32. Toxic fandom can slice both ways need I remind you. The positive people who enjoy the show can be quite vicious as well. Case and point, my experience on this site where I’ve been called names, spoiled, threatened, bullied and attacked very viciously all for having a dissenting opinion. I was practically risking my life every time I came on here at one certain point.

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    33. Re: fan fiction, the ending of GOT has inspired many Jonmund fics. Most of these stories have given Jon a happy ending in the North. This is something that I needed after the end of GOT. Sure, some of these fics include porn (you can take them or leave them). Many are well written. And in these stories Tormund supports Jon as he faces his PTSD and Jon finally finds hope for a future with Tormund and the Northern peoples. These stories satisfied my need and lifted my spirits.

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    34. Ten Bears,

      If anybody’s got any viable explanations, I’m all ears.

      I will try.
      Bran lost his purpose. First scene with Bran, failure. Archery is not for him. Then we see the show hinting what his purpose is. He is brought to the beheading. This is also the first POV of Bran, in the books. “Don’t look away!” Is the key phrase here. Don’t look away from death. Look death right in the face. He also hears about the white walkers (who represent death).
      What does he do in the end of the episode? He almost dies. Then he fights death, and he wins.
      So Bran’s purpose is to be the key in the life vs. death battle. Also, his direwolf’s name is Summer. Which is the opposite of winter. Winter is used a lot as a metaphore for death. Then summer is a metaphore for life. A new life.
      I liked a lot that long stare with the NK in ep.3. He did not look away anymore. He was ready, he looked death right in the face.
      I’m not gonna go further to my “Bran is the god of life” theory.
      “Death is forgiving, being forgotten”. Bran remembers everything so nobody is actually dead thanks to Bran.
      “What is dead may never die” – Ironborn sacrifice for Bran, so that what is dead may never ever truly die.
      “The north Remembers” – yes; Bran does remember everything.
      “Hodor!” – the metaphoric door between life and death. Bran opens that door everytime he remembers.
      But I’m not gonna further with my theory… This is just something for me.

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    35. I do have my own answers to some of my previous questions.
      Arya’s direwol’s name is Nymeria, because Nymeria was a Warrior princess. The key word being Warrior. She worships the warrior. That’s what she must become: a warrior. And she does. In the show, they hinted at Visenya Targaryen being a great warrior. “She’s a heroin of yours I believe”.
      In the books, Nymeria is a warrior with her superpack.
      The warrior God from the light of the 7 inspires courage. “We can’t beat them! Don’t you see that you stupid whore? We’re fighting death. You can’t beat death!” – “Tell her that!”
      Like I said, season 8 had it’s moments. But when you go in to that level of detail, it’s hard to make me believe the Scorpion arrows turn from behind the mountain. It’s just hard…
      (This time, everything before the word BUT is not horse shit).

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    36. Kevin1989,

      I have to agree. Beyond the wall was amazing, but it didn’t make sense storywise. Not the episode itself but what you brought up.

      They (the writers) did apologise for this choice. Jon: “I’m sorry! It was stupid, it was so stupid! I wish I can take it back”.
      The writers kind of said sorry to us through Jon. At least that is how I saw that dialog (aside from Jon actually apologizing to Dany). Kind of cute if they actually did that.

      Maybe the “was it right” dialog between Jon and Tyrion serves a similar purpose. Was it right? to do what we did to Dany? I think Dan and Dave are telling us: ask us again in 10 years… :D.

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    37. rizwan,

      You must have seen different comments about The Witcher than I have, rizwan. I read some mean-spirited comments about one of the lead actresses, basically because she’s not White Anglo-Saxon.

      Brian, I’m sorry if you have felt people have virtually bashed you unnecessarily. Are you sure you haven’t expressed your displeasure with the series (which you are of course allowed* to do) in a snarky way which might have provoked a response.

      It’s not just fandoms (as I said earlier in this thread) that have become a maelstrom of unpleasantness now though. The internet is still (relatively) new though I realise the younger visitors to this site will have grown up with it. I think babies drink computer savviness with their mother’s milk these days. On a history site I visit sometimes one lady had said that we didn’t really have animated discussions there in the way we used to because everyone was “treading on egg-shells”. The leader of the site had posted a copy of the infographic linked here for information (and Brian I’m not getting at you with this – I’m just putting it there for people to look at – after all the people who maintain this site already have guidelines in place).

      http://https://teachonline.asu.edu/2016/04/teaching-good-netiquette/

      * Sorry to repeat something I’ve said before but one thing Mr Martin shows in his world albeit it’s a fantasy world is how restricted the freedom of the “small folk” was. The right of an individual who is not at the top of the social pile was hard won (and indeed in some countries it still hasn’t been won) so I don’t want to deny freedom of expression to folk (with the caveat that they aren’t lying or promoting hoaxes or far-fetched conspiracy theories etc. etc.).

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    38. So, I’m going in and out of this article reading the comments and all hesitating about writing my own. But I will.
      Martin has said “art is not a democracy”. He’s right, of course, and he’s a good story-teller himself.
      And yes, the internet can be toxic. No matter what you write, you’re under critique, sometimes fair, sometimes not fair, sometimes unjust and toxic.
      There is, however, the magic option to delete or block what you don’t like and forget about it.
      Mr Martin forgets that the time he’s referring to -the 80s and the 90s- was not that “democratic” in this respect. The discussions were going on among a handful of people who all knew each other, and that by itself predetermined their reactions and responses. 99% of the planet wouldn’t even dream about participating in such a discussion about art, stories and TV shows, and frankly, even if they did get a chance to participate, no one would listen, because no one (artists, producers, story-tellers) wouldn’t give a damn about them.
      So, excuse me, but I tend to appreciate the internet a lot. One can’t just see only the bad stuff and ingore all the good stuff. And the fact that through the internet people get to become acquainted with other people’s thinking and ideas, and get to see what artists, producers, story-tellers, politicians etc are doing, and actually hold them accountable for it, is deeply democratic.
      You don’t get to winge about the bad side of it, while at the same time ignoring, or pretending to ignore, how your own work has been affected by it. If you take the good, you’ll also take the bad critique too.
      You’re not justified to not like that you’ve taken bad reviews for the ending of GOT (or refuse to talk about it like Martin does) and blame the internet for it while at the same time ingoring that the ending was partly a result of the pressure of public opinion, so much so, that story-wise it seems like they picked up a Reddit thread and put it on screen; it’s where logic disappears and emotion is “gone” along with Bran’s eye-rolling.
      Because yes, no one wanted to see Dany becoming the cold mass murderer she was always destined to be, and not many wanted to see Jon Snow die again.
      As for Bran, the more comments and analyses I see on his character, the more I am convinced that his arc is all about the North (but that’s just me). And, my favorite: the worst criminal in GOT, the gallactically stupid Tyrion Lannister, was rewarded in this ending with a position similar to a modern prime minister. Talk about internet influences! He’s one of the fandom’s favorite, right?
      I didn’t see any of the producers of GOT answering to legitimate questions about the ending. It’s almost two months now, and they’ve charged the actors with defending their characters’ arcs in s8. GRR Martin’s name figures in GOT opening credits among the producers.
      It seems to me like someone is operating on double standards.
      Perhaps they’ll answer the audience’s questions in the ComicCons and the other events that are programmed for late July and August.
      But I am far too old for optimism and for trusting in people.

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    39. rizwan,

      Then you didn’t watch the first news. There was uproar when a woman of color was cast for a role. They though it was about a woman of silver hair if I’m not mistaken from the games. There was weeks of backlash. Twitter feeds to the makers. Memes made. Hate spread. Later it was announced she will be playing another character and everything was fine all of a sudden.

      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Namecalling is never oké. And should not be tolerated. But risking your life?

        Quote  Reply

    40. Kevin1989,

      Sorry, Kevin, but I feel like I have to explain the situation regarding “The Witcher” and that casting scandal. “The Witcher” written by a Polish author and based on Polish/Slavonic mythology and history themes, so the attempt to cast a mythological Polish princess as a POC was understood as an insult and as a blatant attempt to rob Poland of its national heritage and creative achievements based on that. So, I would strongly advise you to do some research, before finding something “toxic” and “scary”.

      As for the fandom “toxicity” in general, it’s true that the Internet has provided more means to express negative opinions and do that immediately without thinking things through. However, it’s true for every field of human activity. Yesterday I was searching for a plumber and also found a lot of negative comments about many of them. So, I guess plumbers can also start complaining that customers became more “toxic”. However, dissatisfaction is a customer’s right and I don’t see why providers of the entertainment goods and services should be entitled to different treatment than providers of all the other goods and services, even if quality standards for entertainment goods and services are harder to set.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Dame of Mercia,

      I have already explained The Witcher backlash to Kevin, repetitio est mater studiorum. The character we are talking about was not supposed to look “Anglo Saxon”: she was supposed to look “Polish”. It would have been nice for Netflix to give an opportunity for a Polish actress but OK: there might have been a language barrier and many other complications, so we can accept “Anglo Saxons” standing in for Poles. However, shoehorning a POC into that role would have been a straightforward insult to the Polish nation and and I can only be happy that the fandom prevented that from happening.

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    42. I finally just watched the “Last Watch” documentary and I actually feel sorry for all those involved in the GOT production due to the trolling and criticism of S8 from a very vocal minority. The deliberate trolling on IMDB and some of the toxic stuff on here really saddens me and GRRM is right to call it out.

      That said, S8 is not above criticism and people are entitled to an opinion but there is a line and some people did cross it.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Inga,

      I wasn’t referring to the controversy about the casting of Cirilla (sp?), Inga, and as I understand it the actress who has been cast in that role is not dissimilar to the book character. One of the sorceresses (who is supposed to be dark haired) is being played by a (pale skinned) British lady but of Indian descent and there were some unpleasant things said. I saw the said lady in The ABC Murders at around Christmas time and she played a British (as in English) character and was a decent actress in my opinion though of course she wasn’t playing the lead.

      I have only reached part way through the first Witcher story so can’t REALLY judge how well a casting fits a character; if there is an actress who looks very much like character X but doesn’t have the acting chops and another actress who perhaps physically is not such a good fit but has genuine acting ability I would prefer a casting director go with the actress who is more talented at acting.

      I haven’t read much Polish literature if I am honest (and the limited amount I have has been in English translation). I read Pan Michael by Henryk Sienkiewicz veritably decades ago and can’t remember the story awfully well after this length of time. However, I had been thinking about spirited ladies in literature (trying to think of feisty female characters from a time before Mr Martin wrote Arya Stark and Lyanna Mormont [though I know Lyanna hasn’t appeared in the books herself as yet, just her letter]) and I thought to myself, how could I have forgotten Pani Basia from Pa Michael. Sorry if I have left out accents from foreign (to me – well not English) names but they are hard to insert on my computer.

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    44. Inga, I should have said “Pan Michael” above. Also when I mention Lyanna Mormont’s letter I mean the one about knowing no king except the one in the north whose name was Stark. Again, if I’m honest there have been some portrayals of supposedly English characters by non-English actors which have had my eyes rolling. It wasn’t the only reason I wasn’t struck on Camelot which I didn’t consider a good show anyhow, but Morgan Le Fay’s French accent jarred somewhat. Then again, some people who watched the 2015 film version of Far From the Madding Crowd had a laugh trying to work out the nationality of the actor playing Farmer Oak. (It was Belgian – the actor’s name is Matthis Schoenaerts).

        Quote  Reply

    45. Inga,

      I know I read the story behind. What’s scary about it that they already assumed the casting call was for that character. Which I read that later it was revealed that she was going to play another character in the series not that character. So yes it is toxic and scary. They already went onto the bandwagon by assuming what they though that casting call was about without even knowing all the facts. They made up fake memes and fake news story’s that said it was that character. I read the reactions of many the racist slurs and reactions like: no one with a colored skin should be cast into witchers series. Yes it is toxic.

      Same thing is happening now with the matrix prequel. Michael b Jordan is cast as the lead. Already fake newsstories and memes and hate speech is happening with game assumptions that they are making neo black when he was white in the main series. Hate slurs are happening. Later it’s revealed that the story is about morpheus. And still the hate is going on.

      Look at it this. If in season 2 there was a casting call that got was looking for a man of color that will play a lord. The hate is going on, stannis is white not black, how could they. Even when if they think they would know it would have been about xaro xhon doxos. People just assume already their hate before all the information is ready. (just a fake example of what I read of witchers and matrix prequel)

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    46. Enharmony1625:
      Dee Stark,

      Same! I also miss the off-season discussion leading up to season 8 on this site — following filming news, cast/crew interviews, theories..

      As much as I was anxious for season 8 to start because I wanted to see how it all would end (and also so I could stop agonizing over things I did not want to happen), now that it’s come and gone I look back on that time fondly.

      Over the last few weeks, there have been some outstanding discussions of GOT all over the Internet. Take a look, if you can find the time!

      I started by reading the work of the formal newspaper and radio critics. Some of them I have read for years on non-GOT works. These persons are not “fans’ in the regular sense – this is their job.

      In addition to these, on the Internet there are some truly worthwhile analyses. Of course, there is a lot of “Dany was a great saint”, “D&D are terrible”, and “Jaime was always bad” – those you can skip. Look and find some of the really strong discussions of the series, the plus/minus of the ending and so on. Even if one loved everything about the GOT ending (the “how” and the “what”), some of these essays may deepen the understanding of the series and books. They did for me.

      I do not read fanfiction but I understand that this area has flourished as well.

      Just a suggestion.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Ten Bears,

      My comment had none of that, this is the second time you are shadow modding and failing at it, i just said i wished there was an ignore comment because i’m sick of having to force myself to read this guy’s comments when they have nothing insightful to say, disquus and other platforms have that option why not this one too, if people were sick of my comments also then they would also be free to ignore me, wouldn’t that be nice, not being forced to wiggle through posters we don’t care about ?

        Quote  Reply

    48. rizwan,

      How about you stop spreading bs instead, he is right, there was a lot of negativity over those . Never call someone a liar if you can’t back it up !

        Quote  Reply

    49. Inga,

      Your comparison with the plumber makes no sense at all, you should change your username to Grasper at Straws ! I’m pretty sure a plumber would not have their lives be put in danger by rabid fanboys or made fun of constantly by a bunch of people that they never even met in person, that’s the kind of toxicity that George was talking about, not constructive criticism

        Quote  Reply

    50. Mango:
      Did anyone see the comments from Linderhof, the creator of Lost? He called out GRRM for whinging about the ending of LOST.

      He basically said that GRRM belongs to House Glass – as it persons in glass house should not throw stones. Very funny.

      As someone who hated the ending of Lost (I loved the first few seasons) and enjoyed the ending of GOT (with some moderate criticism) I found Linderhof’s comments to be in poor taste and cheap shot to be honest.

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    51. Jon Snowed,

      Fair enough.

      Linderhof may have found GRRM comments to be a cheap shot when they were made hence that strike back.

      I am not an advocate for either of the two – but an ill-tempered exchange instead of mutual sympathy did make me chuckle.

      I did not watch Lost but the ending is famous – for exactly the same reasons that GOT now has a famous ending.

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    52. Dame of Mercia,
      Kevin1989,

      Frankly speaking, I have a strong suspicion that the whole conraversy about “The Witcher” casting was an intentional provocative PR: there were plenty of ways to clarify the issue when the buzz began but apparently they wanted it to continue.

      And it’s also true that sometimes POCs go over the top. I can understand that actors want roles and that there’s a shortage of roles for POC but complaining about POCs not being cast for “Chernobyl”..! Sorry, but who was toxic in this case?

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    53. Mango,

      Lost ending was great. Many of the people disliking the ending didn’t understand half what was going on. (not all but a big portion, there were also critics with reasonable complaints). The problem with lost was more some mysteries are solved the “think for yourself” kind of way. If you watch the show multiple times you can answer those questions. But not everyone have the time for that.

      The problem with lost itself lies more with season 5 and 6. The writers wanted 2 seasons 4 and 5 of 24 episodes. ABC wanted 3 seasons. So they restructured the seasons for 3 seasons of 16 episodes. Then they were writing season 4 and writers strike happened. So they restructured again with a season 4 of 14 episodes. 5 of 17. And 6 got one extra coming to 18.

      What lost did good with its ending was being true to its characters. And finishing it with that in mind. Characters first mystery second. If you are more mystery above character you may not like the show. Otherwise try it.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Inga,

      I can see them doing pr like that. They did it with sonic movie if I remember right. Making a mistake on purpose. Letting the fans let them correct the mistake.

      As for poc. As many times stated here. I not a big fan of forced inclusion. But neither am I against having more poc in shows and movies. If for instance mellisandre was a person of poc or other characters I wouldn’t have mind. Neither do I mind now with not many people of poc being part of the cast.

      As for chernobyl. Those complaining about lack of poc in chernobyl are in my eyes also toxic. Instead of talking about the story, they talk about casting calls. Toxic comes from both sides.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Kevin1989,

      Yes, it’s true that negativity comes from all the sides including creators themselves. IMO the best way to deal with it is to ignore unmotivated rants and concentrate on more or less reasonable criticism (at least that’s what I try to do when I get slurs for my books and articles). However, it looks like some creators are tempted to write off any criticism as “toxic” or maybe it’s the media who’s boosing the conflict: IDK. Anyway, I don’t like this tendency.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Some of the internet bitterness over GOT may abate after the CONS and the Emmy interviews for the actors. While I think D&D work will never be fully accepted, the actors seem more willing to mention/support alternative endings and that recognition will give some upset fans acknowledgement of their ire.

      Lena already said she wanted a different death for Cersei.

      The weekend Nikolaj also took a line that was different from the comments he gave in the formal interviews at the end his story in the show. From what I understood, he said Jaime loved Brienne. Jaime would have gone to KL because of concern about the child. He considered Jaime’s final scene to be the one in which Brienne was writing in the white book. This was this scene he found poetic and fitting. In his mind, in an alternate universe, Jaime and Brienne are together in a meadow somewhere. He also asked fans not to use bad language even if they did not like the ending. GOT needed to end and that was an ending.

      They did not criticize D&D or GOT but they both indicated a different journey for their characters – one perhaps that is more consistent with the direction they were given for many seasons.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Mango:
      Some of the internet bitterness over GOT may abate after the CONS and the Emmy interviews for the actors. While I think D&D work will never be fully accepted, the actors seem more willing to mention/support alternative endings and that recognition will give some upset fans acknowledgement of their ire.

      Lena already said she wanted a different death for Cersei.

      The weekend Nikolaj also took a line that was different from the comments he gave in the formal interviews at the end his story in the show. From what I understood, he said Jaime loved Brienne. Jaime would have gone to KL because of concern about the child. He considered Jaime’s final scene to be the one in which Brienne was writing in the white book. This was this scene he found poetic and fitting. In his mind, in an alternate universe, Jaime and Brienne are together in a meadow somewhere.He also asked fans not to use bad language even if they did not like the ending. GOT needed to end and that was an ending.

      They did not criticize D&Dor GOT but they both indicated a different journey for their characters – one perhaps that is more consistent with the direction they were given for many seasons.

      Nikolai was very happy with his ending and considers it brilliant. Jaime is not meant to be redeemed, he stayed consistent with his burning desire for Cersei which often conflicted with his desire to be a better man. He wanted Jaime to stay with Brienne but that doesn’t change how he views the ending, which is Jaime is tragic.

        Quote  Reply

    58. BeardedOnion: Nikolai was very happy with his ending and considers it brilliant. Jaime is not meant to be redeemed, he stayed consistent with his burning desire for Cersei which often conflicted with his desire to be a better man. He wanted Jaime to stay with Brienne but that doesn’t change how he views the ending, which is Jaime is tragic.

      I can only tell you what Nikolaj said this weekend. He spoke at a Con in Germany. I only listened to a bit of broadcast and read reports on the rest.

      I do not think he said anything about Jaime and Cersei – burning desire or otherwise. He spent his time chatting about Jaime and Brienne. I think him saying that the baby was the reason to go back to KL many contain his views about Cersei. He may say more in another forum but that was the line he took at this event.

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    59. BeardedOnion,

      Even if he thinks “the tragic Jaime with a burning desire for Cersei is so brilliant” – he did not seem to have any interest in discussing it with the audience during at this weekend’s Con. Wherever he addressed Jaime’s story – it was all Jaime and Brienne.

      He said that GOT gave Sansa and Arya had decent arcs. He did not say GOT Jaime’s arc was brilliant although he could have done so.

      Maybe in his next CON, he will say something else. Who knows?

      Just reporting what I heard/saw reported, this is not an opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Kevin1989:
      Mango,
      Lost ending was great. Many of the people disliking the ending didn’t understand half what was going on. (not all but a big portion, there were also critics with reasonable complaints). The problem with lost was more some mysteries are solved the “think for yourself” kind of way. If you watch the show multiple times you can answer those questions. But not everyone have the time for that.

      Too true. Like the guy in this interview — let’s call him a “journalist” — who ends up having the ending explained to him by Lindelof (starts around 6:10 in the video). I mean.. the number of people who thought that

      they were dead the whole time is baffling to me. Jack’s father flat-out says that everything happened, happened in the church scene.

      Lindelof has some interesting things to say in the interview, including how some ambiguity is far more interesting in a story/ending than explaining everything (e.g. that awful awful Architect scene from the Matrix trilogy).

        Quote  Reply

    61. Oh yes I agree with you with the lack of shared sympathy. I know it’s only my vantage point but I recall the ending of Lost (and prior seasons) getting significantly more criticism that GOT has. I feel the largest issue with Lost was the ending was exactly as many predicted and the show runners had said would never happen. Although GOT ending had been predicted by many the main criticism appears to be more in the final execution of the last few episodes not the outcome itself (well apart from some die hard Dany fans I guess).

        Quote  Reply

    62. Jon Snowed,

      But what did they predict?

      because the whole destroying the island story of the final couldnt be predicted. The heart of the island was only there since 6×15. And the prediction that they were all dead all along was just wrong because they weren’t as enharmony said.

      And predictability is not always bad. Look at lord of the rings where the ending is predicted since the first movie.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Inga:
      Kevin1989,

      Yes, it’s true that negativity comes from all the sides including creators themselves. IMO the best way to deal with it is to ignore unmotivated rants and concentrate on more or less reasonable criticism (at least that’s what I try to do when I get slurs for my books and articles). However, it looks like some creators are tempted to write off any criticism as “toxic” or maybe it’s the media who’s boosing the conflict: IDK. Anyway, I don’t like this tendency.

      That’s very reasonable, Inga. One of the things I didn’t like about (some) comments about the casting of The Witcher was that some people were making nasty comments about some of the cast based just on their ethnicity. I could accept something like “Actress X isn’t a book accurate representation of Character Y and I wish the casting director had chosen someone looking more like her book counterpart” but saying nasty things about someone just because of their ethnicity, I didn’t like that. After all, any non-white actors cast would just have been people who went to a casting call and been lucky enough to land the part.

      Merlin on BBC some years ago was a guilty pleasure of mine and I do remember being surprised when a mixed-race actress was cast as Guinevere, especially as “Gwen” in Welsh means white or fair (as in light-coloured) but in the event I liked Angel Coulby’s interpretation of the role.

      I know there is some discussion about “appropriation” in reference to culture in the world in general. I know that over the years a Japanese director and an Indian director have made stories based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth – the Indian one was about Indian street gangs. They weren’t direct adaptations though – they were taking elements from the Macbeth story and basing them in a different environment with characters with different names. West Side Story was loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet though of course Shakespeare didn’t originate the story himself. Could The Witcher work if the basic elements of the story (stories) were taken but placed in an alternative environment, I wonder.

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    64. It’s hard for me to say honestly and I’m only reflecting from what I recall having been a big fan of Lost (not comparable to my love of GOT) and seeing the reactions in the media at the time (social media then was not what it is today).

        Quote  Reply

    65. Inga,

      Literally no one was complaining about anything like that, stop inventing stuff out of thin air, you’re making yourself look worse with each post you make ! First the whole plumber nonsense and now this crap, apparently you can’t sustain an argument without using some fallacious stuff in it . But we do live in a fake news era, so i guess you’re just part of the course .

        Quote  Reply

    66. Inga,

      Also Chernobyl was using british actors with british accents even though the action was set in Soviet Ukraine, that was the only criticism as far as i know of the series and the creator did actually address that in one of his podcasts, funny how you don’t have a problem with that in terms of accuracy but god forbid if you saw a black or brown person, end of the world stuff ! In fact the whole trial of the last episode was mostly made up as great as it was, let’s be honest Chernobyl is a great series and as accurate as it can be but it’s not 100% historically accurate, it’s impossible to do that .

        Quote  Reply

    67. Jack Nabble,

      I’m sorry, but you are wrong: the lady who created the whole buzz about the lack of PoC in “Chernobyl” is called Karla Marie and is presented as “a British screenwriter” or “an actress” (sources vary). You can google her yourself.

        Quote  Reply

    68. People who complain about a lack of diversity in Chernobyl should be given no credibility because it’s simply daft. For balance I’d say the same if people made the comment about the lack of white people in Black Panther or Zulu.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Jon Snowed,

      The funniest thing is that “Chernobyl” did address diversity: the main characters based on real people Russians and Ukrainians + Greg Mazin made up a Byelorussian scientist to represent Belarus; then, among the minor characters, there was an Armenian; the Afghanistan veteran was an unidentified Caucasian and the guy who was making “egg baskets” had a typical Estonian look and was standing by the flag of Soviet Latvia. Only Kazakhstan and the Middle Asian Republics didn’t get their “representatives” but in general, the producers did a marvelous job making the point that the tragedy spread far and affecting people from all the Soviet Union. That’s why those daft complaints about the lack of POC in “Chernobyl” felt so offensive: after all, non-Russian minorities suffered much more under the USSR than POC’s in the US.

        Quote  Reply

    70. I’m not sure if this thread is still “live” but I’ll just make a brief comment. I can’t claim credit for the following sentence:-

      “Perhaps we should all stop worrying and go back to enjoying posting – say what we mean and mean what we say without being mean.”

      To give some context, as I’d mentioned previously, on a fairly small history site I visit there has been some discussion not dissimilar to that on this thread (without the focus on GRR Martin). We’d been thinking of solving the problem of saying things without being demeaning of other people but at the same time not making our comments so bland that the debate ceased to be animated. The sentence I’ve been quoted was a suggestion by another lady who visits that history site.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Dame of Mercia,

      A very good rule and I would also add that getting mean comments is not a tragedy either: one can ignore them or try to turn a mean opponent towards a more tempered discussion but whining about on-line toxicity is an extreme on the other side. After all, if creators aspire to represent “conscience and honor” they must take the fire and make the way, instead of crying for sympathy and protection.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Inga,

      Yeah sure, except all i saw were a bunch of actors doing british accents which is very difficult in spotting the so called diversity that you mention, maybe the writer should have been more specific, i also love how you completely ignored my point about the show not being accurate in terms of language and the background of the people cast, you’re just going on a tangent about how one guy might have looked Estonian or whatever,might have, as for your assertion about how people were treated in the Soviet Union versus POCs in America i’m not even going to bother because at this point you are just talking out of your own ass, you clearly have an agenda against some type of people and you can’t even find the decency to uphold to it, i much rather be in the room with upfront racists than undercover ones .

        Quote  Reply

    73. Jon Snowed,

      And yet they did complain about that in a very trolling and human garbage type of way but somehow i doubt you were there saying anything, the fact that you brought them out for no reason at all shows that’s your real opinion .

        Quote  Reply

    74. Jack Nabble,

      I am not sure what you are trying to say there Jack. I thought I expressed my opinion very clearly, are you implying I have some hidden agenda as I don’t.

        Quote  Reply

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