Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Cainebj, Mar 5, 2018.
Rick will kill Eugene
I think of the Saviors more of an example of feudalism. You have a King (Negan), you have Nobles (Gregory at Hilltop being a prime example), you have serfs/peasants, and you have knights (Negan's goons). The King offers military protection in exchange for resources. Not surprisingly if the resources aren't paid up on time, then the ones you're going to need protecting from most are probably the King's military.
Yes, it's a unpleasant system, especially for those at the bottom, but one could see such a system arising in a post-zombie-apocalypse world.
(Now, if one of our history experts could correct all the things I just misstated about feudalism, I would appreciate that... )
Unfortunately, we don't have anyone here who is an expert on medieval history.
Actually, "feudalism" doesn't have anything to do with serfs and peasants. Basically, it's a land-for-military-service deal between nobles and other nobles higher up the food chain. People often say the Middle Ages operated under a "feudal system," but that's because people are lazy and like to impose modern views on the past. I think what we're seeing on The Walking Dead with the Saviors is a lot more representative of how medieval society operated than any textbook that uses the term "feudal system" ("feudalism" isn't as bad, as long as you don't take it too seriously and too systematically).
Am I the only one that still loves this show? Yes, negan has dragged on a long time, but my son and I really look forward to watching this show together every sunday night. The weekends I don't have him i look forward to watching the it sunday night and again the following weekend when I do have him.
It may not be the best show on TV, but we can't be the only remaining fans, can we?
The problem I see, is that there are a lot of series that have had a season long big bad, and then another season long big bad, but they mixed in standalone episodes.
There's really no standalone episodes to be had on TWD, unless they did a full flashback, so it's just all big bad, and it wears out faster than the show wants to end it.
I'm expecting to see Jadis fly in with an attack helicopter and try and take out Negan and the Saviors now.
One thing that really struck me this episode in particular is the mournful, slowwwwwwww music present throughout most of the episode. That can be useful on occasion to strike the right tone, but this has been going on for so long. I found myself enjoying the parts without any music track much more than scenes with it.
I'd say it's more like extortion done by Organized Crime. Pay me x amount and I will protect you from the following:
1. Me. Myself. I.
2. My friends and associates.
3. Someone like me who is trying to extort you like I am doing right now.
While I'm a contrarian by nature, I don't agree with the "Rick is getting everyone killed" theme. I think he is fighting wars and battles; which result in death on both sides. But the alternative is pretty close to slavery. Rick simply comes along and reminds people that death is better than slavery.
Live Free or Die.
I was expecting her open up hatch, enter a bunker, get cleaned up and change back into uniform, and debrief her superiors that the local chapter of the Zombie Apocalypse is proceeding as panned, her cover as trash queen is still secure, and to requisition some new trash people.
I don't think it's slavery, but it's not freedom either. Organized Crime is a good example (though I still think medieval society may be a better fit, and would like to hear more from Rob on how these societies functioned). The shop owner paying protection to the mob isn't a slave, but he's not entirely free either.
Negan is providing something, protection from the walkers, from potential other warlords seeking conquest, management of resources, and expansion of civilization. While his methods are brutal (he is positioned as a villain, after all), he has designed them with maximizing resources and minimizing casualties in mind. We can see the difference between Negan and his lieutenants. Simon wants to kill everyone, Negan wants to kill only one, to send the minimum message that Negan feels is sufficient to achieve his goal. Negan indicates the strategy of killing one person worked well for him in the past, and Rick's resistance is unusual.
Let's say Rick kills Negan, and someone like Simon was left in charge. The greatest loss of life wouldn't be the killings Simon would carry out, but would be the loss of life due to starvation as the Savior society fell and resources ran out.
I love how all the radios are always on the right channel to talk to whomever they want to talk to, and always within range. Oh yeah, and the batteries are always charged.
Heh. Be careful what you ask for!
“Feudalism” or “feudal society” was a very popular way to describe how the middle ages were structured for many, many years. But over the past half-century there has been a serious backlash against it. Full disclosure; I have a dog in this fight, which I’ll get to later.
In 1974, Elizabeth Brown published a landmark article in which she argued that feudalism is a term that means so many different things, it had come to mean almost nothing. Furthermore, the term itself is not a medieval construction but rather something modern thinkers used to describe the middle ages. Two decades later, Susan Reynolds wrote a book expanding greatly on Brown’s thesis.
In the middle ages, society was not structured in a neatly-organized fashion. Rather, it consisted of a vast number of ties—vertical and horizontal; familial, political, religious, social—of which the feudal bond (holding land from a lord in exchange for providing him military service) was just one. Think of medieval society as a fabric, and feudalism as one thread in that fabric. And not only were there many different kinds of ties, but even the “same” tie could be vastly different depending upon the people it existed between. Some vassals might be servants bordering on slaves of their lords; other might be close friends. And different ties would be more or less important at different times depending on the circumstances...i.e., somebody would tend to favor the specific tie that favored him in a given situation.
But the modern mind is used to a much more carefully structured society, and when modern historians looked at the middle ages, they often would look for a much stronger structure than actually existed. That’s where “feudalism” as a carefully-considered political structure came to exist, and eventually came to be seen as the dominant structure of medieval society (a society which really didn’t have a dominant structure).
Now, there are still historians who believe in feudalism not simply as a modern construct imposed upon the past but as something that existed in the middle ages and had meaning to medieval people. I’ve written a couple of articles that argue otherwise.
A great historian of the early 20th century, Charles Homer Haskins, is best known for his book on Norman Institutions, in which he argues that many of the advances in English law and politics that were codified by Henry II were in fact pioneered by the Normans under Henry’s ancestors. One of these institutions was the jury, which was generally believed to have been created in its modern form by Henry, but which Haskins believed was actually developed by Henry’s father, Geoffrey Plantagenet, count of Anjou who conquered Normandy and ruled it for several years before turning it over to his son.
In early medieval law, the lord was effectively the law. When a dispute arose, the disputants would take their disagreement to their lord (or be dragged in front of him); the lord would hear their cases and, knowing the men involved and the history of the land involved (these disputes were often over land), would make a judgement. But as lordships grew bigger and bigger, there would arise more often cases where the lord did not personally know the people or property involved. This is the kind of situation that the jury was invented for. The lord would order a number (usually but not always 12) of upright and knowledgeable men of the neighborhood to be gathered; they would report on the facts of the case to the lord, so he would have the information necessary to make a fair decision. In effect, the jury was originally a panel of expert witnesses.
When Geoffrey conquered Normandy, he suddenly found himself ruling a land filled with people he had never met. Furthermore, it was only a generation after William of Normandy had conquered England, leading to fairly massive disruptions as the greatest men of Normandy moved to England, leaving power vacuums in their wake. Having a new ruler in Geoffrey encouraged people to raise old disputes in hope of getting a better result.
To quote from the conclusion of my article on the subject, “where earlier dukes had used the recognition sporadically and inconsistently, Geoffrey made a conscious effort to have it used on a more regular basis; it was his tool of choice when dealing with tenurial issues. Geoffrey was an outsider, and could not be expected to know who was right and who wrong in such cases. Thus, the recognition was an extremely logical tool for him. By using the knowledge of ‘ancient and legitimate men,’ he could be assured of being seen as just and fair in cases about which he personally could know nothing. For Geoffrey, the recognition would thus be not an institution, but rather an existing tradition that could be of particular use to him.”
Another writer who sought to institutionalize medieval society was Karl Ferdinand Werner, who wrote a landmark article in 1976 arguing that the titles of the Norman rulers were carefully constructed to show their relationship to their feudal lords, the Robertine family (who eventually became the Capetian kings of France). In his minds, the first Norman rulers were called “counts” at a time when their lords were “marquises.” When the Robertines became “dukes,” the Normans became “marquises.” And when the Robertines became kings, the Normans became “dukes.” I call this the corporate ladder theory of Norman titles.
But in another article, I argued that in fact the titles by which the Normans were referred did not follow any such logical progression. They were called “duke” before the Robertines became kings; they were called “count” afterward. Werner, like Haskins, saw the middle ages through the legalistic lense of the modern mind, and tried to impose order on a period in which there was less order than we are used to, and in which order took different forms than we are used to. Both Haskins and Werner saw feudalism not as one strand among many in medieval society, but rather its backbone, and thus they both tried to create formal medieval institutions where none existed.
The argument that the Saviors’ society on The Walking Dead is feudal in nature is interesting, but I think overestimates the importance of the feudal bond both in the middle ages and on the TV show. In both cases, feudalism in just one among many different kinds of bonds that connect people, and to focus on that one bond to the exclusion of others is reductive, and hides other important facets of society.
Aren’t you glad you asked? Aren’t you glad the forum software doesn’t allow for footnotes?
Elizabeth A. R. Brown, “The Tyranny of a Construct: Feudalism and Historians of Medieval Europe,” American Historical Review 79 (1974): 1063–88.
Charles Homer Haskins, Norman Institutions, Harvard Historical Studies, vol. 24 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1918).
Robert Helmerichs, “Princeps, Comes, Dux Normannorum: Rollonid Designators and Their Significance,” Haskins Society Journal 9 (2001 for 1997): 57–77.
Robert Helmerichs, “Norman Institutions or Norman Legal Practices? Geoffrey le Bel and the Development of the Jury of Recognition,” Haskins Society Journal 10 (2001): 81–94.
Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reconsidered (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).
Karl Ferdinand Werner, “Quelques observations au sujet des débuts du ‘duché’ de Normandie,” in Droit privé et institutions régionales: Études historiques offertes à Jean Yver, ed. Robert Aubreton et al. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1976), 691–709.
Is that a record for the longest post in a Walking Dead thread?
It's the most...um...something...I can just imagine Rob at a party!
Run for ze hills!
It was certainly more entertaining than any recent episode of The Walking Dead.
It's been too long since somebody's given me an excuse to get medieval on the world's @$$...
I'm curious about the hierarchy between the guy at the top and those under him. In my Walking Dead analogy I made Negan king and Gregory of Hilltop a lord. Is that an apt analogy?
Were the relationship between King and Lord generally mutually beneficial and mutually agreed upon, or was it a matter of the guy with the greater military power forcibly ruling over the guy with the lesser military power? If a lord wished independence from the kingdom, how did that usually go down?
I still enjoy the show, but it feels to me like the writers are just phoning it in at this point. Plots that should be resolved quickly are purposely drawn out. The problem isn't necessarily that this whole Negan thing is going to take two seasons to play out, it's the foolishness that's being used to drag it out. An example would be Rick sitting idly by while Negan stands there in the open and monologues in plain sight of every guy with a rifle for several minutes. It's delivering an absolutely decisive blow to the saviors, only to leave the compound half-ass guarded, allowing the saviors to trivially break out. It's walking into trash lady's camp, when she's been shown to double-cross you every time, and getting stuck there when you needed to be delivering the death blow to the saviors.
So yeah, still enjoying it, but it takes a lot of patience.
Not bad, except Gregory "paid" for "his land" with goods, not military service (feudal tenure was always about military service). But the idea that Negan "owned" the land and Gregory was just allowed to use it is exactly feudal.
Depends on the situation...how much power each has, how good or bad their relationship is. Sometimes, the vassal would be powerful and the two would be good friends, so the relationship tended to be pretty loose and amiable. In other cases, the vassal would very much be at the mercy of the lord. At the beginning, though, it would almost always be a matter of mutual benefit...the lord wanted the military service, and the vassal wanted the land. Problems often wouldn't arise until later generations, where that sense of mutual benefit might fade and a vassal might resent having to pay for the land he effectively inherited, or a lord might take the vassal completely for granted.
If the lord was weak and the vassal strong (in this case, my "lord" is your king and my "vassal" is your lord; the lord is always the one up the food chain in a feudal relationship, regardless of what titles the two men might hold...it is theoretically possible for a king to be the vassal of a duke, who would then be his lord), then the vassal could achieve practical independence. But it is rare (I can't think of a single example offhand) for a vassal to entirely declare independence, because of the terrible precedent that would set for his own vassals. Generally in such situations, the king and his vassal would continue to observe the formalities of the feudal relationship, but the vassal would never actually be asked to do anything.
Eventually, though, the king would grow stronger and be able to reassert his authority, through the threat of force or simply through force. And if he were pissed enough, and the vassal made it difficult enough, he might end up taking the fief away from the vassal altogether (that's how the kings of England lost Normandy to the kings of France; they refused to pay homage and made the French fight for it, when they could have just given in and maybe held onto their French lands).
At the end of the day the king, who was at the top of the feudal food chain, had one big advantage no matter how weak he might be at a given moment...he had other vassals, often on the same level as the one trying to get out from under him, and often some of them would be enemies of that guy. He could call on theoretically the entire kingdom to support him, and parts of the kingdom would often be very willing to cooperate. A sub-royal vassal would have no such support, unless he could convince others to join him...and go against the theoretical military might of the rest of the kingdom.