Game of Thrones (HBO)


Battle of the Bastards, a tactical analysis:

Jon Snow fucks up and doesn’t listen to his sister
Jon Snow fucks up some more and charges across an open field alone
Jon royally fucks up by forcing his army out of defensible positions
Jon gets bailed out by dues ex sister’s creepy stalker with an army
Jon ‘won’ so doesn’t realize how he completely botched it, so that he is unlikely to tactically improve going forward.


I appreciate you summarizing the amazing battle so I don’t ever have to go back and rewatch it!


From a visual perspective it was cool, until you start thinking about it tactically and have the least inkling of how tactics work.


Most post-Roman medieval battles were all pretty much clusterfucks though, right?

I mean, honestly, who the hell charges dismounted armored knights through knee-deep mud toward the best archers in Europe? Srsly


Even Edmure wouldn’t fuck up that badly.


I dunno, I think it was a perfect reversal / reinforcement of the “values” of the series. The big honorable hero does the big honorable thing and gets himself and everyone else dead / the intelligent and ruthless “big bad” does the intelligent thing and crushes the honorable good guy, except, oops, the opposite, because sometimes armies just teleport around to gank you.

Think it mostly works, if one allows for invisible travelling armies and the like…


Jon Snow is exactly like Eddard Stark, honorable, courageous and dumb as a rock. Jon’s tactics at that battle were perfectly in character.


And because Eddard is dumb and honorable, his adopted son is now doinking his half sister. Aunt?


I’m pretty sure he realized it. The problem is it was too late by the time he did.


FYI Martin fans. Have you read this?


Absolutely! That’s one I re-read every few years. I wouldn’t call it great literature, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.


Yeah great book. It’s Martin’s homage to the style of Jack Vance. So if you like this book, read more Jack Vance. :)


BIG JV fan here.

Martin’s care with naming things and people, and his tendency to describe the physical context of events in an evocative way that puts you mentally right there at the scene (right down to details about food), always struck me as the most Vancian aspects of his oeuvre.

They’re subtle things, but they give both authors’ writing a kind of 3-dimensional solidity that’s very satisfying to read; you’re always (as it were) hovering over the shoulder of the protagonist, right there where they are, and the way peoples’ names fit their characters sets a background vibe that substitutes for the subtle emotional cues you get from people in face-to-face contact.

Martin’s occasional use of florid speech with consistent formalisms is also reminiscent.

Reflecting this back to videogames, it reminds me of the perennial discussion battle between first person and third person fans - some think one more immersive than the other, and I’ve always thought that (apart from in narrow spaces like dungeons, where first person mimics fear-based tunnel vision) third person is more immersive, because although you don’t have that kind of third person overview in real life visually, it substitutes for the saccading, scanning and aural cues that we unconsciously do to build up a model of the world around us.

In the same way, although in real life the names of things and the names of people never coincide with their actual characters in the way they do in Vance’s or Martin’s books, the coincidence of naming with what things are substitutes for the kinds of intuitions and emotional cues one has about people and things in real life. It provides an extra dimension that leaps off the page.


Alternative endings for GOT:

  • For 4 episodes we see the world from the point of view of the white walkers. Showing the white walkers like some sort of Ice Elves with amazing lifestyles and art, and childrens. And losing most to the humans /forest guys. Then finnaly getting the upperhand and literally making their loved ones reborn from ice after conquering all of westeros.

  • The Upside Down. One character manage to find a strange tunnel that leads to a space-ship looking camera. It end being a space ship. This character fly with the space ship auto controls and travels around the world of westeros. Its visible that the world is a dyson sphere and is damaged causing the ice age thing.

  • High Fantasy Ending. Humans discover that they have been used by the gods, and they revolt against that. Every god is released in a battle where they directly fight each another.

  • Albion Triumps. A army of steam powered tanks/zepelins indades westeros and kill everything conquering the place, killing the old habitants.

  • Revenge of the World Tree. Everything is a setup of the childrens of the forest, when Ice seems to be winning, the world flourish with large trees and break the ice, turning the continent in a huge jungle where the childrens of the forest are reborn. They hunt everyone else (even the ice king) and the survivors have to escape in boats.

  • The Faceswappers reveal themselves as a faction from a space faring civilization that come from the asteroid (that is a space ship). They are tasked with controlling the westeros civilizationa and try to influence it. The Ice guys are other sentient race, and they can’t help humanity agains them.


insert here the Captain America “I got that reference” meme…….


I liked your connection between writing style and video game perspective, but how does third person do the above? Isn’t all that external, and thus shouldn’t first person stimulate it more? Not to derail…


Third person isn’t a direct translation of your visual field, but I think it functions more as a translation of your internal model of the world (built up unconsciously from subtle cues), which gives you a sense of the world around you in 3 dimensions. (Of course there’s the “able to see round corners sometimes” problem, which is I’d agree can a bit immersion breaking on occasion! :) )

First person though I think does mimic the visual field when you have tunnel vision (when you’re scared), so it’s great for games (or phases of games, like going into a Skyrim dungeon) that trade on fear in enclosed spaces.

I think as Carmack said when there was all that discussion about VR, we’re never going to get a really good 1:1 representation for the visual field until the VR visual system can interface with the way the eyes work together to focus on points in the distance. If such functionality were combined with really good audio, then the immersive aspect of 3rd person I’m talking about wouldn’t be as good as that.

But this is just a pet theory of mine, take it FWIW.


HBO just announced it. Season 8 in April.

Slightly longer trailer (all old footage)


So this will wrap up the story in some half-assed fashion, because Jar Jar Martin couldn’t be bothered to do so over more than two decades?



At this point, the show is the real GoT. It’s canon. Martin either can’t or won’t finish the books.

I’m fine with that. The show is fantastic :)