last dynasty

SPOILS OF WAR AFTERTHOUGHTS

So this episode still upsets me somehow. Everyone around me is just like wow this was an amazing episode and I’m here trying to pinpoint why I still have concerns. And then I think I finally pinpointed what’s wrong. It’s Dany’s storyline. This episode really made me realize how problematic her character is no matter how much I love her.

At the beginning of the show she was introduced as this fragile young woman who awakened and seized her chance at living life on her own terms and she instantly became this symbol of feminism and girl power. All the while she retained her greatest quality: compassion. By season 3 she had become the badass Mother of Dragons everybody rooted for. At this point, I was cheering every time she accomplished something without really thinking about the other side of said something. When she torched Astapor and took the Unsullied I was like YEAH. Like everybody else. When she was celebrated as Mhysa I was like YEAH. Like everybody else. When she freed Meereen I was like YEAH. Like everybody else. Etc etc.

Until the Field of Fire where I should have been like YEAH. Like everybody else. Except I wasn’t. The scene itself was impressive but for the first time it was constructed differently. Instead of an epic and victorious variation of the Dracarys theme - as was used during every single one of her battle scenes (yes I pay much attention to the score) - we got a sad rendition of the Rains of Castamere. And so I realized what was wrong. The show had just gone on the other side for the first time. Apart from Jaime and Bronn who we naturally root for and so don’t wish to see dead, we met Ed Sheeran and his friends three episodes ago and it was a nice scene of humanizing what we still perceived as the enemy because they were Lannisters.

This got me questioning everything backwards. And I realized the show made us root for Dany by never showing us the other side of things. It always painted her storyline as her vs evil men. Plain and simple. Sure the guy in Astapor was a douchebag. He deserved to be torched. And yes the dynamic between masters and slaves is problematic and needs to be changed. But when you think about it the rest of the masters were just guilty of respecting centuries-old traditions. Nothing more. Same in Meereen. When she crucified them as retaliation for the slaves that were crucified I did not think twice about it because the show just identified the masters to bad men. That’s why the Sons of the Harpy storyline never properly worked to me. They were just depicted as rebellious terrorists who didn’t accept Dany’s reign. It would have been more interesting if we could actually go into their reasons. Reasons being they do not accept this foreign ruler who would come and change the way things had been in forever because nobody likes change. And so I did not even notice when she said or did problematic things because I was only seeing her side. She fed masters to her dragons just because they were masters and on the assumption they were guilty of helping the Sons of the Harpy. Those men were potentially innocent… but I only saw the badassery in it.

Now seeing the Field of Fire and how the show established that not all Lannisters are bad I noticed how big of a contrast there is between then and now. What helped during past seasons is that we could still see a soft side to Dany. She genuinely seemed to care for the small folk. When she had to execute one of them we could see she didn’t like it. But Westeros seems like a curse to her because she seems to have lost the last of her humanity since she stepped foot on it. Where is the girl who gave her followers the choice to walk freely and unharmed if they did not wish to go with her ? Compare this to her upcoming ‘Bend the knee or die’ speech. (Although we already got a taste of it before: ‘They can live in my new world or they can die in their old one’.) Some choice she’s giving here…

Where is the wit and the clever strategy we saw during past seasons ? When she conquered all those cities, when she killed the Dothraki chiefs, that was always through a smart plan with a twist. That was part of why we loved her so much. But now she’s reduced to traditional war ? Granted Westeros is not a city. It’s seven kingdoms. Still… And I get that this is war and that she is still a better person than Cersei because she comes with good intentions (at the very bottom of her heart she’s not bad. She just goes the wrong way). Yes war means soldiers will be lost. Innocent soldiers with lives and children and families. So I’m not saying that she did a bad thing in waging war. It is what it is. Dany has always been a conqueror more than she is a ruler. And she’s a beginner. That’s why she surrounds herself with people who are more skilled in that matter yet she does not always listen to them. Sure when she takes matters in her own hands we’re in for spectacular stuff. Most viewers stop at that. But what has she accomplished here on the Field of Fire? Besides weakening the Lannister armies, she’s also weakened her own - albeit significantly less - she’s harmed her most powerful dragon and she flambeed food reserves that would have been very useful. And she didn’t listen to every single one of her advisors. Tyrion was utterly devastated in seeing this massacre. (No matter his allegiance, he cares about Westeros and its people. And he still cares about at least his brother and Bronn). He chose her and he thought that with clever plans he could have her win the throne without too much bloodshed. She didn’t listen to Barristan in the past who once told her to be merciful. She didn’t listen to Tyrion when he told her to be patient in her war. War is not a matter of days, Dany. She didn’t listen to his strategy despite it being smarter than go upfront with the enemy. Or Jon for that matter. Who told her not to do it either. Jon who seems lately to think more about the small folk that she does. Both Varys and Tyrion said they chose her because she is the one who thinks about the people first. But since she’s arrived at Dragonstone all I could see from Dany is teenage-ish behavior of someone who throws a tantrum when they don’t get what they want. ‘Call me by my rightful title’ and ‘bend the knee’ seem to be her new favorite sentences. Bend the knee and I will help you save your people, she says to Jon. Uh you know you said the North is one of YOUR kingdoms so that’s your people as well who are going to be attacked. Where is Tyrion to give her a good wake-up slap ? A good ruler thinks about their subjects first, not about their crown. Wouldn’t it be better if you’d go save everyone in an unselfish way and then maybe perhaps they would be more willing to accept you..? Because so far, again let us go on the other side. The Westerosi just see this foreign queen, the last remaining of a dynasty they consider cursed because of its last ruler… of course they are weary. Of course I can understand Jaime and Bronn going against her and Drogon.

She made Varys swear to tell her to her face when she’s failing her people. Your first failure to do your duty, Varys. Varys? Varys where are you ? Oh over here with Tyrion discussing about maybe you chose wrong again. She used to genuinely care about the well being of the small folk and I believe she still does. She still refuses (for now) to attack King’s Landing and kill innocent people. But it’s not her priority anymore. Her priority is getting people to bend the knee. Meanwhile we have Jon whose new favorite sentences are ‘Help me fight the White Walkers and save the lives of everybody’ and ‘Do not touch my sister’. Jon who was thrust into the role of being King when that was clearly not his wish. Jon who united Wildings with Northmen to save them from the White Walkers. Jon who’s trying to rally everybody to save the lives of small folk and highborn alike. Jon who initially decided to take up the fight again because he could not fathom the idea of harm coming to his sister whether it be from Ramsey or the White Walkers. Jon who left his Kingdom in the care of his sister who’s trying her best to follow in his steps in her own ways - starting food reserves, making sure that the soldiers who will defend them are warm enough against winter, preparing Winterfell as a rallying location. Just Jon and Sansa caring more for the people than the power they were given.

And so here I am. Still liking Dany as much as before but not blind anymore to her faults. I still like her better on the throne than Cersei but really who are the better rulers here I ask you Tyrion and Varys?

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You can never completely understand her. Even though I grew up around her, like a son, I still feel afraid of her for no reason. [Guangxu]

Yuko Tanaka as Empress Dowager Cixi || The Pleiades

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Extremely Rare Gold Coin of the Pharaoh Nektanebo II: One of Few Examples of the Only Truly Egyptian Coin

This is a gold daric or stater from Egypt under the rule of Nectanebo II, struck circa 395-340 BC. It has the image of a prancing horse on the obverse. The reverse bears two hieroglyphs: a collar with six beads (nub = gold) and a heart and windpipe (nefer = good). Extremely rare, among the finest of few specimens known. A fascinating issue of great interest and about extremely fine/extremely fine. It sold at auction in 2009 for 120,810 USD.

Perhaps the most advanced of all ancient civilizations, Egypt, was among the most resistant to the use of coinage. The first indications of its use do not occur until late in Egyptian history, roughly the latter part of the 26th Dynasty (672-525 BC).

Keep reading

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HISTORY MEME → [8/9] Figures: Richard III of England

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England.

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Ashlon: Dare, can I call you Dare? I feel as if my hosting skills are below my usual standards so to make up for having you wait outside, I want to take you to a nice spot in the city.  But first I need to shower and get changed.

Adair: I thought we-

Ashlon: Don’t worry Dare, we’ll have plenty of time to discuss the machine while we’re out. (Ashlon says as he walks away).

Adair sighs. F&*#*ng shit sticks. He’d driven straight from Hylewood. Hadn’t even gone to the house he was supposed to stay at. He was tired and just wanted to discuss the job and get started so he could get back home to Sabi and Tyler. He’d tried to convince Sabeena to let him bring Tyler but she was having none of it. As far as he was concerned it’s never too early to start one on one male bonding time with his son. As he sips his martini he looks around the room.

When Ashlon returns he’s dressed to go out. Adair feels under-dressed and tells him so but is assured he’s dressed just fine for where they’re going. They both finish their drinks before heading out.

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This was not just a man who has left us. This was youth, beauty, a first love, scarcely awakened… This was a young man who personified all the hopes which a million brave men place in the future. This was nobility, goodness, friendliness, the spirit of justice and fair-play. This was the symbol of all that is dear and sacred to us on earth.” Stassioulevitch

April 24, 1865 – Death of the Tsesarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich

On Easter Monday 18 April, the Tsesarevich was dressed and place in an armchair to receive communion. News of his illness had drawn specialists from all over Europe, and one Professor Rehrberg from Vienna produced the first accurate diagnosis: cerebro-spinal meningitis. It was too late. Within days Nikolai was slipping into periods of delirium, when he could recognize no one. On Thursday Grand Duke Alexander arrived. Nikolai was pleased to see the brother whose gifts were apparent to no one but himself. Dagmar reached Nice on Friday with her mother, and at 2:30pm the Tsar himself came to the Villa Bermond. The Tsaritsa woke her son to tell him that his father had come; he kissed her hand, taking each finger in turn, and asked what she would do without him. It was the first time he had mentionned death, and his father knelt by the bed in tears. 

Nikolai was sleeping more now, thought the slightest sound would wake him. On Saturday he was Dagmar come into the room and whispered to his mother, “isn’t she beautiful?” Dagmar spent a long time beside him that day, arranging his pillows and stroking his hand, talking softly all the while; for some time Alexander also stayed by the bed, holding his other hand. Later the legend grew that Nikolai had joined their hands and told them to marry after his death, but there is no suggestion of this in the early eyewitness accounts. The end came on the evening of Sunday 24 April. Outside, in the sunshine of early spring, French infantru and cavalry and Russian sailors mounted silent guard on the Villa Bermond, while the family, their suites and the doctors filled the Tsesarevich’s room, and the clergy chanted prayers for the dying. Nikolai was beyond speech now, but a single tear was seen on his cheek. The tragedy chaged the future for the whole dynasty. 

|The last century of Imperial Russia : Romanov Autumn by Charlotte Zeepvat |

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Richard III of England

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the subject of the historical play Richard III by William Shakespeare.

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Favourite Historical People: Richard III

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England.

anonymous asked:

Pointing out that Aegon belives himself to be a targaryen, has lived is entire life as such and clearly has Targaryen ancenstors isn't he a True Targaryen even if hisfather is not Rhaegar?!

Thinking about Aegon as a Targaryen undermines the entire point of his arc, and buys into the very lie Varys is selling. Aegon’s whole identity is an invented one; his life has been a grand experiment by Varys (and to some extent Illyrio, though his motivations are more personal) on the very notions of power and rule itself. In their minds, Aegon is the tabula rasa on which any idea can be sketched and implemented. For Varys, Aegon is the field test of his answer to the riddle of power: if power resides where men believe it resides, can an Essosi boy with the right look and training sit the Iron Throne with popular acclaim? For Illyrio, Aegon is the realization of his beloved Serra’s familial promise, a posthumous tribute to the wife for whom he had sacrificed Pentoshi social position and political influence. 

The tragedy of Aegon is that he is not a Targaryen - that’s he not even really a Blackfyre - that he’s certainly not the fairy-tale hidden prince rosily described by Varys. He is his own individual, but he is trapped by the narrative which made him. Because he has been raised as the miraculously surviving child, the last hope of the Targaryen dynasty, groomed from infancy to be a king, he has to live his life as such. He has to play the mummer’s dragon, acclaimed by cheering crowds - but he also has to play the rival to Daenerys, the true Targaryen, who will see him as nothing but a false pretender and usurper of the throne which has been hers since Viserys’ death on the Dothraki Sea. That’s where the Targaryen identity forced on Aegon from his earliest days will destroy him. When Aegon dies in the jade holocaust wrought by Daenerys, it will be horrific and hellish - far away from the glory the fairy-tale narrative assured him would be his. Aegon will die, not because he is a Targaryen, but because he has been forced to play one, and that’s a key distinction.

I would also say that thinking of Aegon as a Targaryen undermines Daenerys’ story. I’ve said before that, despite Jon’s all-but-confirmed Targaryen paternity, Jon’s story is not a Targaryen one, and I think the same is true of young Aegon’s. Daenerys is the Targaryen in the story, the one for whom dragons were reborn, the one who has taken to heart again the “fire and blood” motto of her ancestors. So much of Daenerys’ story has been about her attempt to establish herself as her House’s true heir, as the last of the Targaryen dynasty. Adding Aegon into that equation simply muddies the water, narratively speaking. He is not a Targaryen; he is that mummer’s dragon about whom the Undying gave Daenerys warning, the hollow puppet whom fire will destroy.

- NFriel