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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Like a boss...

So might as well do something to forget the humid heat. Now if only I can get my most ideal career advancement within the next 1/2 year. Yes, this statement here is yours truly bullshitting... -.-'

P.S: I suddenly realised that people in my workplace suddenly have that weird penchant in calling me boss. As if I will make it big lol! -.-;

"Some had been heroes, some weaklings, knaves, or cravens. Most were only men-quicker and stronger than most, more skilled with sword and shield, but still prey to pride, ambition, lust, love, anger, jealousy, greed for gold, hunger for power, and all the other failings that afflicted lesser mortals. The best of them overcame their flaws, did their duty, and died with their swords in their hands. The worst...The worst were those who played the game of thrones."
DISCLAIMER!
Firstly, I never have any first person experience with the novels/HBO series. In short, a lot of stuff here is all about me fighting blind plus one hand tied. Therefore, my own analysis should be seen as my personal views. That plus I'm trying to get myself back in the groove so as to speak.

WARNING!
Swearing galore most likely, either you proceed with caution or no caution at all. Remember Ned and Robb, folks.

Question 1: Who is Ser Barristan "the Bold" Selmy?

One of the major talking points in-plot has always been about Ser Barristan Selmy's role, both during Robert's Rebellion and post-rebellion. Firstly, a lot has been said on Barristan being a yes-man in white. [1] However, the thing is this:

Just like the rest of the Kingsguard during the reign of King Aerys II, Ser Barristan Selmy is not one to question orders, he is also not one to question real honour.

In short, he KNOWS what the Mad King was guilty of, the only thing holding him back was duty to the king. Yet, it's also worth mentioning that Ser Badass' most ideal king was Rhaegar Targaryen and not anybody else. Alas, it seems that not even Rhaegar trusted him hundred percent.

Flaws of character and honour
Why is that the case? To me, Rhaegar is a far better judge in personal character than most before and after him. He trusted Ser Arthur Dayne because Ser Arthur Dayne was much more inclined to follow him rather than that mad fucker of his old man. Ser Badass Selmy, however, would be torn in between the two. [2]

Interestingly enough, his obsession in duty above personal needs might have a certain history in the form of a certain Prince Duncan Targaryen. They say the purest love will doom every dynasty more oft than not, Prince Rhaegar was not the first.

The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the price in corpses.
~ Ser Barristan Selmy

The Tragedy of Summerhall was the cause of Prince Duncan's death, it also signaled an eerie premonition where House Targaryen was concerned. [3]

In fact, when Daenerys commented his "sad" blue eyes, this was a testament on how far he has gone in terms of sorrow and self-denial. [4]

Still, we have to respect da boss
"Ser Barristan is as valiant and honorable as any man in King's landing."

This was Ned's take on Ser Boss Selmy. Given how Robert's Rebellion happened and Ned's relationship with Robert Baratheon taking a turn for the worse [5], it's worthy to note that House Starks' brand of honour had made Ned somewhat cynical towards 90% of those around him. [6] Seeing such a glowing statement of praise will only mean this: Ned and Barristan DO get along finely all the while. Even better than how he interacted with Robert if I say so myself. [7]

"...dismissing Selmy, where was the sense in that? Yes, the man was old, but the name of Barristan the Bold still has meaning in the realm, He lent honor to any man he served."

This was Tywin Lannister's appraisal. There was no love lost between the two [8], yet we must also understand that Tywin has always been an accurate judge of character. If Roose Bolton was all about scheming against whatever his enemies' weakness, then Tywin was truly a leader of men. And to be a worthy leader, one must understand the capabilities of those fighting for him and against him. [9] 

"The small folk talk of him the same way they talk of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield [10] and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight."

This time round, it's Tyrion's turn. Firstly, Prince Aemon the Dragonknight was a legendary Kingsguard who had served a whopping 4 generations of kings till the day of his demise. His skill in blade and years of service had secured Ser Barristan the same standing with Prince Aemon in the eyes of the small folk.

However, we have to note down an important coincidence. Namely, the little known fact that Aemon had fought a certain Cregan Stark before with claims that he never faced a finer swordsman. Should we see that as an eerie parallel on whatever friendship Ser Barristan had forged with the Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell? [11]

How to quit like a boss

Interestingly enough, Ser Boss already has the intent to ragequit like a boss. This was down to his thoughts on King Robert's reaction towards Rhaegar's dead children where upon he stated the cold hard truth. [12]

Of course since he's honour bound to serve, he could only give Robert that benefit of doubt. [13] In addition, there was also a legitimate reason behind him accepting Robert's pardon. You see, Robert Baratheon was always an admirer towards Ser Boss' purest brand of honour and fighting skills truly like a boss. When he was seriously wounded during Battle of the Trident, Robert chose to save him instead of Roose Bolton's dastardly advice otherwise entitled "cut his throat like a bawss, bawss."

In fact, it could be said that Barristan's only way of life is that of wearing the white cloak. Without such an office, he would have nothing to live for. This might explain a guilt-ridden mentality over his perceived failure in protecting King Robert, this WILL explain the reason behind words uttered by Die Chef himself..

"A hall to die in, and men to bury me. I thank you, my lords...but I spit on your pity...I am a knight...I shall die a knight."

"Have no fear, sers, your king is safe...no thanks to you. Even now, I could cut through the five of you as easy as a dagger carves cheese. If you would serve under the Kingslayer, then not a one of you is fit to wear the white."

A voyage of exile and renewal
After Ned's freak execution, Ser Boss was forced to make a choice. He knew he's lucky enough to exile himself out of self volition instead of death, he knew he had to find a more worthy king to serve. The only problem? He didn't know where to start. His service as a Kingsguard was one made out of self volition, he should be held equally culpable. [14] This was when he knew Dany to be his last chance saloon since she's the only other legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. [15]

Interestingly speaking, the thing about Ser Boss' self imposed exile is this: during his years as a pit fighter, Ser Boss would always opt to let every opponent cut him first before dealing the death blow. [16] Are we seeing a martyr mindset? To me, every cut allowed is a cutting reminder of Barristan's foolishness. His foolishness in serving the Usurper, his foolishness in mingling with the likes of Ser Kingslayer and his thunderslut sister-queen.

And what about Dany? Dany by then was no longer the shy and meek Dany. This was now Daenerys Targaryen, Daenerys the Stormborn. A worthy queen served by the future Lord Commander of the future Queensguard.

However, it's worthy to note that Ser Boss' own sense of self-guilt has given birth to another far more subtle failing and it's called "wa si li eh ah-kong". [17] You see, the last thing Ser Boss ever wanted was a repeat of King Aerys II more than anything else. He knew the fatal trapping behind the Targaryen lineage, it's called a 50-50 chance of madness. Viserys and the Mad King failed their tikam [18] test, Rhaegar however passed his graduation exam with flying colours. [19]

Even with Dany passing her graduation exam, Ser Boss wasn't that convinced of her ability. In short, it's not down whatever extent, but rather nature. More than once, opinion clashes had been somewhat of a constant fixture. Queen Boss says A, Ser Boss says B. The best example of constructive dissent? The Unsullied.

A Tale of Two Betrayers
Weirdly enough, title reminds me of a particular episode in my church, but still kids will always be kids. But anyway, one interesting fact is that there was only one betrayer to start with: Ser Jorah Mormont. [20] Back then, Dany didn't know Whitebeard to be Ser Boss' moniker. After a bout of ladylike petulance, fortune finally favours the bold. [21] Ser Betrayer got royally impeached, Ser Boss got royally reinstated.

A Dance with Dragons=A Dance with Dreams
This was finally Ser Boss' real moment of badassery. Firstly, he opposed to Dany's relationship with a certain Daario Naharis and this time round, he may be right after all. [22]

Secondly, this was arguably Dany's make or break transition as ruler. Will she be Aegon the Conqueror with tits or will she be Aerys the Mad with tits? Ser Boss Selmy might have found himself saddled with additional duties as a mentor.

Thirdly, he has truly proven himself not only as a fighter amongst men, but above all a teacher of men. [23]

Fourth is all about him gaining a far cooler head as an individual. If it's Ser Badass Selmy years ago, he would have cut down Bloodbeard just like how he would like to cut King Robert down to size. Apparently, importance of protocol has always been the fundamentals of diplomacy. Ser Badass Selmy understood that, let us all give him a hand.

Fifth: In spite of prior objection towards Dany purchasing the Unsullied, Ser Boss Selmy has finally convinced this badass army to follow him. Take note that as a truly badass army, the Unsullied are only obliged to follow Dany. Therefore, by managing to convince this very badass army to follow him should the Yunkai attack Meeren, we have finally seen Ser Boss like a boss. Not that he's never a boss anyway.

Lastly, what can I say?
Ser Barristan Selmy has spent much of his life floundering post-Rebellion, he is truly one bereft of the right to dream. His unrequited love for Lady Ashara Dayne nearly broke him [24], he still chose to soldier on. He remembers his failings, he remembers his duty. He is one not to flinch, he is one worthy of a peaceful death once his time calls. This is a bold man, a brave man, a wise man. Let future regrets worry for themselves, for the time of glory now beckons.

[1]: Nothing political in nature, so please longzong mai-chusiah.
[2]: In Minghui-matics equation, it means mad fucker still the king=everyone suck thumb
[3]: Full ver-Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it. Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her. Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar and the Seven Kingdoms bled. The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the bride price in corpses. All three of the sons of the fifth Aegon had wed for love in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had followed his heart when he chose his queen, he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies when he might have made fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at Summerhall in sorcery, fire and grief.
[4]: Otherwise known as Lady Ashara Dayne.
[5]: Promise me, Ned...
[6]: And Robert's callous reaction towards the manner of death where Rhaegar's family was concerned didn't help out that well.
[8]: Sack of King's Landing, Elia Martell and her two children. 'Nuff said.
[9]: Freakily enough, that was also the reason why Tywin knew Arya was a girl in disguise despite the obvious in all things female development.
[10]: Serwyn being haunted by the ghosts of every knight he killed do have an eerie ring.
[12]: Namely he would have gladly cut Robert Baratheon down to size.
[13]: In short, we call this an actual Rule 32.
[14]: Ironically, it also means Ned was the only one actually non-culpable.
[15]: Gendry doesn't count since Ser Boss knows nothing about him.
[16]: No, not this standard.
[17]: In Hokkien, it means I am your grandfather.
[18]: Singlish for gamble. Remember, kids and adults, gambling is bad for you.
[19]: Proof that you don't need 26K to prove your excellence... if only life is really like that.
[20]: Thankfully, Jeor Mormont didn't know a shit because he's away at the Wall. 老子我有教你当个不忠、不孝、不仁、不义的龟孙王八吗???? 凸(`0´)凸
[21]: No, this ain't a pun. It's meant to be literal.
[22]: ...three fires must you light... one for life and one for death and one to love... three mounts must you ride... one to bed and one to dread and one to love... three treasons will you know... once for blood and once for gold and once for love... See that one common word?
[23]: 50 Stark, 50 Targaryen. What's your breed, boy? Yes, this is me unofficially shipping Jon x Dany despite knowing G.R.R Trollolol himself.
[24]: If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark?
He would never know. But of all his failures, none haunted Barristan Selmy so much as that.