Monarchy represents the belief in a man who is completely superior – a leader, a savior, a demigod. Aristocracy represents the belief in a chosen few – in a higher caste. Democracy represents the disbelief in all great men and in all elite societies: everybody is everybody else’s equal. ‘At bottom we are all herd and mob.’
—  Nietzsche, The Will To Power

Plot 123: Victorian Era (1837-1901) Plots

  • Muse A has been groomed since birth to be a respectable noble-person, constantly reminded to practice the etiquette proper for their gender and expected to anticipate the day they will meet a well-bred suitor.  Muse B has never enjoyed the privileged life despite being within arm’s reach of it; they’ve worked on the estate grounds for Muse A’s family since they were a mere child and have observed the high life of the aristocracy all the while with envious eyes. Perhaps due to their contrary social standings, Muse A has always been fascinated with Muse B and vice versa. With Muse A constantly under the watchful eye of their chaperone, Muse A and Muse B have resorted to leaving letters for one another in an old tree on the property; they’ve been planning for several days to meet one another in secret.  
  • Muse A is fortunately matched to be married to Muse B, a wealthy aristocrat of higher ranking than the patriarchs of their own family. Though publicly reputed to be charitable and of high moral character, Muse B is a boorish, cruel person behind closed doors. Muse B’s sibling, Muse C, is sympathetic about Muse A’s undesirable union and one dreary evening they confide that this is not Muse B’s first marriage; they’ve had to endure their sibling’s awful behavior since they were young and they strongly suspect that Muse B was responsible for the demise of their first betrothed. Muse A and Muse C bond over their shared disdain for Muse B and they ultimately conspire to put an end to Muse B’s wickedness.
  • When their successful, merchant father amasses enough wealth to afford a valuable piece of property, a rather unrefined Muse A finds themselves thrust suddenly into the upper class. Though they have no title by birth, Muse A is now considered eligible for courtship by noble sort. Now more than ever, it’s of great importance that Muse A learns proper deportment- how to conduct themselves in society-from a professional; Muse B is hired for this purpose, to prepare Muse A for their debut to society at a grand ball. Every day Muse A attends etiquette lessons, in which Muse B attempts to teach essentials such as how to dress, how to ride a horse, and how to behave at a formal banquet and so on. Muse A proves to be an exhausting student, never quite behaving as they should, questioning every rule. 
  • Muse A is an unhappy member of the royal family.  Since they were a child, they’ve been reared to be a perfect model of virtue and modesty for the common people. For years, they’ve upheld boring traditions and repressed their true passions for the good of the crown. One afternoon, Muse A attends a play at the queen’s theater and is shocked by the vulgarity of the actors’ speech and risqué costumes. The shock quickly turns into intrigue. Though Muse A’s seated in an ornate balcony, sectioned off from the lower-class attendees, Muse A insists on meeting the actors after the play concludes. Muse B, the playwright and lead actor, is humbled when Muse A applauds their work and immediately commissions them to write another play. Muse B is excited, until Muse A reveals that they would like to star in this new play. If the queen disapproves of Muse B’s role for Muse A (or the new play in general), more than Muse B’s livelihood will be at stake.

“Aristocracy’s only an admission that certain traits which we call fine - courage and honor and beauty and all that sort of thing - can best be developed in a favorable environment, where you don’t have the warpings of ignorance and necessity.”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

Karlsruhe in Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany was founded in 1715 by Margrave Karl Wilhelm von Baden - it was laid out on the drawing board and consists of a central circle, containing the castle, and streets running towards the castle as radial “spokes” like the sun. The pattern is still visible today. It’s located near the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) and the French border. The local Rhein valley is the warmest part of Germany as it is only 115 m above sea level and it’s surrounded by the hills of the Black Forest and the Vogesen. There isn’t a lot of tourist traffic here as tourists generally gravitate towards Heidelberg (50 km) and Freiburg (100 km) with its well-preserved “romantic” old towns. Karlsruhe’s layout is one of the best early examples of New Urbanism architectural style. In food, try the local Flammkuchen (like thin crust pizza but with creme fraiche, bacon, onions), Käsespätzle (a special kind of pasta w/cheesy sauce), and Maultaschen (large ravioli-like things in broth or fried with onions).

anonymous asked:

Can you list your own view of Europe as the equivalent of Westeros?

Sure, I can try. I do agree w/ some of the ones from the Huff Post, though not all of them.

The North = Scotland

This one is the most obvious to me when one considers Scotland’s history with the English; going from being an independent nation to being unified with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, just as Scotland did with England, and then later the Jacobite cause in trying to reclaim independence to me seems very similar to Robb’s attempts to make the North an independent nation again. There’s also some mountain clans in the North similar to Scottish highland clans. Overall, I think Scotland and the North draw the most similar parallels.

The Westerlands = England

I agree with Huff Post on this one too; strong economy, a myriad of interesting and not-always-efficient leaders, very traditionalist, powerful aristocracy, (formerly) powerful navy, lion on their crests, etc etc. It also works in the sense that if you view Scotland and England as historical rivals, considering there is very little love between House Lannister and House Stark.

The Reach = France

Because COME ON. It’s flowery, wealthy, frivolous, vain, proud, pretty, open-minded yet economically sound and very influential. It’s hard for me to see them any other way.

Iron Islands = Norway

As in the Vikings, which they totally are, considering their traditions of raiding and pillaging, as well as having their own religion. Ruthless and bloody, ambitious to a fault– they fall in pretty well together.

This is where I stop agreeing with that Huff Post article:

Riverlands = Belgium (or any of the other Low Countries)

Here we have a newer nation, and in addition to that I think the Riverlands being conquered by Aegon is similar to the French annexation of Belgium in the early 19th century, and House Tully’s installation can be loosely compared to to Leopold I’s installation as king in Belgium after the Belgian Revolution. Belgium was also hit pretty hard during WWI and II (specifically by Germany, who invaded the country in WWI), which is similar to the Riverlands being ravaged by the War of the Five Kings. The Huff Post compared the Riverlands to Germany which is so ? because they don’t have nearly as much power or security or wealth imo.

Dorne = Middle East West Asia* (with a hint of N. Africa)

Maybe I’m just biased (though I am partial to Dorne as India, I think West Asia is more accurate), but I have trouble seeing them any other way. I think it does the Arab world a disservice to compare Dorne to Spain when one considers that Spain was conquered by the Muslims in the 700s and the Arab Umayyad Caliphate ruled Spain for hundreds of years afterward, followed by other Arab/Muslim powers until Isabela and Ferdinand took Spain back. Spain’s history is heavily influenced by Arabs, Muslims, and their culture– one only has to glance at some of Cordoba’s historical buildings to see the influence. Not to mention that the country itself had thrived due to religious freedom and a great amount of exchange of knowledge. Dorne was also unconquered for many years, and if we want to consider Aegon as a “western power”, the Arabs too were ruled by other Arabs for a long time (the Ottomans) until WWII when their empire fell apart.

With that in mind, and when one considers that Dorne is the most “liberal” nation in the Seven Kingdoms (and liberal is definitely NOT how I would describe Spain under Ferdinand and Isabela), and also perhaps the darkest-skinned out of all of them, Dorne is most clearly to me West Asia.

Geographically speaking it is rather similar to the Arabian Peninsula. But my personal favorite headcanon is that GRRM modeled Oberyn after Hassan-i Sabbah, the founder of the Order of Assassins in West Asia. He was said to be very intelligent and very powerful and he founded an order of assassins, like let’s just pretend that’s the same thing as fathering really dangerous daughters.

Also the show shot the Water Gardens in the Alcazar of Seville, a castle built by Moorish Muslims and is built in Arabesque style, so clearly I’m not the only one who sees the comparison to West Asia.

(*The term the “Middle East” is imperialist and Euro-centric in nature and it doesn’t hurt to unlearn the term. Same thing goes for a term like “Far East” to describe China and Japan)

The Vale = Sweden

Idk I just don’t see them as Switzerland so much? I understand the whole neutrality thing (which Sweden shares btw and for about 100 yrs longer), and they’re both really old nations, but whereas Switzerland is known for its banking, the Vale really isn’t. The Vale is just… there. Moreover Sweden, while officially neutral for WWI and II, was under much German pressure and often conceded to their demands– not too dissimilar to how the Vale is currently falling under pressures that are not its own and their participation in Robert’s Rebellion. And while I totally get that Switzerland has the Swiss Alps and all, Sweden has mountains too! DON’T SLEEP ON SWEDEN’S MOUNTAINS!

The Stormlands = Germany

This land is considered to be unyielding with a strong military, as well as proud, starting from House Durrandon onwards. Storm’s End from what I could gather from the books is rather wealthy. There’s probably something to be said about the Holy Roman Empire’s relationship with Germany here too, but I’m a little too tired to be drawing any connections right now (probably something to do with Robert/Stannis/Renly?). The Stormlands just seems to have a “won’t back down” attitude similar to Germany.

The Crownlands/King’s Landing = An (Italian?) City State

Because King’s Landing is dependent on the territories it holds outside of the Crownlands, I hesitate to draw a comparison to a real life country, especially when one considers that the Crownlands were never an independent nation to begin with as the others were. I can see KL as one of the bigger Italian city-states such as Milan, Venice, or Florence, or even as the Vatican City. It is after all the “center” of religion, where the High Septon lives, and on a meta level is dependent on the world’s belief in its power. And the fact that it’s leadership had changed from Targaryen to Baratheon doesn’t affect this comparison, imo. A city-state is still a city state, and it’s up to the leader of it to convince the rest of the world that they’re worthy of tribute.

Beyond the Wall = Celtic/Germanic/Hunnic tribes

Beyond the Wall really can’t be compared to a single country (not even Greenland, Huff Post, you do realize it’s cold in other places too?) seeing as it’s just a vast, largely empty land full of tribes and ice zombies. I think it’s possible to imagine the Wildlings as all three variations of the tribes that I named, since they’re not unified to begin with. Maybe someone else can narrow it down, though?

I think I got everybody; sorry for the walls of text!

Das Deutsche Kaiserreich (The German Empire) aka Imperial Germany, was the historical German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918, when Germany became a federal republic. It consisted of 27 constituent territories, most of them being ruled by royal families. This included 4 kingdoms, 6 grand duchies, 6 duchies (5 after 1876), 7 principalities, 3 free hanseatic cities, and 1 imperial territory. While the Kingdom of Prussia contained most of the population and most of the territory of the empire, the Prussian leaders were supplanted by leaders from all over Germany, and Prussia itself played a lesser role. As Dwyer (2005) points out, Prussia’s “political and cultural influence had diminished considerably” by the 1890s. The German Empire’s 3 largest neighbors were all rivals: Imperial Russia to the east, France to the west, and Austria-Hungary, a rival but also an ally, to the south-east. 

After 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron (and later steel), chemicals, and railways. In 1871, when the new German Empire was created, it had a population of 41 million; by 1913 this had increased to 68 million. A heavily rural collection of states in 1815, the united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, technological, and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than Britain, France, Russia, and the United States combined. 

Germany became a great power, boasting a rapidly growing rail network, the world’s strongest army, and a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy went from being a negligible force to one which was second only to the UK’s Royal Navy. Read more here.

Rihanna officially has more dance no. 1′s than Beyoncé.

Originally posted by fiercegifs

Beyoncé has worn the crown so long, “Queen” has become part of her name. But as of Thursday, the structure of our pop aristocracy changed. Billboard announced Rihanna has surpassed Beyoncé for most No. 1 dance/club hits. “Bitch Better Have My Money” brings her total to just one over Beyoncé’s.