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Thread: My reflections on Yeung Gor (by hoatran)

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    Default My reflections on Yeung Gor (by hoatran)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cesare View Post
    I believe that Ken refers to that "aura of martyrdom" that JY so meticulously weaves around those two, to the point where it becomes honestly annoying.
    Sure, wuxia is to a great extent defined by protagonists who would get very high scores in most Mary Sue litmus tests, but with YG and XLN Jin Yong really went overboard.
    "Getting away with everything" in this context means - acting like a dumbass/jackass, bringing much of your misfortune on your own head, being badly written and coming out of it all with the aura of a saint.

    Most likely.
    My guess is he'd be perfectly willing to step down himself - and face the consequences.
    OK. I got some free time, so ... we can do it here, you will try to convince me to go over to your camp, or we can move to another thread.

    I read Ken's reasons for hating Yang Guo and XLN, but that was a few months ago. I'm not sure if I remember all of it, but I don't want to go back and read his comments again either. But as far as matyrdom, so what? When growing up, didn't you go through any rebel phase where you think I don't care what my parents said, and damn the consequences, I'll just do what I want? So Jin Yong penned a little fantasy. But he did say that his tale is a tale of great coincidences. If those chances did not come together, then ofcourse Yang Guo and XLN would not come out all roses. They would be toast. So if you don't have Jin Yong to pen out your life for you, don't immitate Yang Guo and XLN. You would be toast as well. What was that they often say on TV? Don't try to do this at home. We are the professionals ...

    Also you must understand that there are always two sides of a coin. Depend on how you see it, an ex-con who found love might think his life was pretty good, working a janitor job, then come home with his honey. But for someone else, he's still an ex-con with a crappy job and a little mousy woman for a wife. So what if Yang Guo and XLN are heroes to some like the Guo family and the whole Xiang Jiang? Who knows behind his back, there are still people who think that Yang Guo still an one armed man, XLN, a woman had more than one man, and they were still a sifu and a disciple who married each other? Think of Bratt Pitt and Jolie Angelina. Some think them a great couple who did a lot of charity work. But for some others Bratt Pitt was still a man who left his wife, and Jolie was still a home wrecker. So if you think one armed man Yang Guo had it pretty good with all his antics and still ended up being a great hero, and the most beautiful woman for a wife, then do so. If I can be as lucky, I might trade my life for his, but by no mean, I would be glad to have my arm chopped off, even to trade it to be one of the greatest kungfu master, or be glad to wait 16 years alone for someone, wasting away the prime of my life, and not knowing that after 16 years, I can still have my normal family life (XLN would be 40 then, and might not be able to have children any longer). If I'm Yang Guo, for someone like XLN, yes, I would wait that long alone. But I would wait knowing that it was a trade off: for a woman like XLN, but a chance that we might never have any children. So if you think it was all roses, then go ahead, but even in that fantasy world, apply real life to it, it might not be that rosie.

    Regarding to Yin Zhiping, I don't mean whether he was willing to step down or not. I don't have much problem with him. He committed a crime and paid for it. The problem I have was with the Quanzhen junta. If he lived, would they strip him of his position for his crime, or would they say because his loyalty and patriotism, he's worthy to keep his position despite his crime? Those priests seemed to talk well, but their actions were not that responsible, at least in that novel.
    Last edited by hoatran; 06-29-10 at 01:13 PM. Reason: fixed obvious mistakes

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    hoatran: Not sure if you got my meaning.
    Yes, YG and XLN suffered a lot and their ending, albeit a happy one, had a rather bitter tint to it. They probably aren't universally liked in jianghu (heaven forbid they were). But that's not what I was getting at.
    I'm talking about JY being too obviously in love with those two. No matter how they **** up, no matter how many stupid choices they make, no matter how unjust YG is in his judgment of others and no matter how profound XLN's displays of total lack of social intelligence, in the end, somebody else ends up bearing all the stench.
    And that is very annoying - to me at least.
    I might like XLN and YG as individuals if I got to meet them - but as protagonists of a story, they really get on my nerves - especially since the supporting crowd is so much more interesting and so much easier to admire or to identify with (or both).

    The way I feel about XLN and YG is strongly reminiscent of the way I feel about Beren and Lúthien in Silmarillion. Too much paper wasted on a very bland Mary Sue/Marty Stu couple. And again - the author loved them, while *I* would much rather read a similarly concise and polished story about the interesting guys - that is Fëanorians.

    In any case, I'm explaining my stance rather than trying to persuade you to join "our camp"...;-)
    I don't care if you like them or not. Different strokes for different folks. Go on liking them all you want... Occasional exchange of arguments and opinions is fun, but that's all there is to it - as far as I'm concerned, that is...;-)
    Last edited by Cesare; 06-30-10 at 12:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cesare View Post
    hoatran: Not sure if you got my meaning.
    Yes, YG and XLN suffered a lot and their ending, albeit a happy one, had a rather bitter tint to it. They probably aren't universally liked in jianghu (heaven forbid they were). But that's not what I was getting at.
    I'm talking about JY being too obviously in love with those two. No matter how they **** up, no matter how many stupid choices they make, no matter how unjust YG is in his judgment of others and no matter how profound XLN's displays of total lack of social intelligence, in the end, somebody else ends up bearing all the stench.
    And that is very annoying - to me at least.
    I might like XLN and YG as individuals if I got to meet them - but as protagonists of a story, they really get on my nerves - especially since the supporting crowd is so much more interesting and so much easier to admire or to identify with (or both).

    The way I feel about XLN and YG is strongly reminiscent of the way I feel about Beren and Lúthien in Silmarillion. Too much paper wasted on a very bland Mary Sue/Marty Stu couple. And again - the author loved them, while *I* would much rather read a similarly concise and polished story about the interesting guys - that is Fëanorians.
    Cesare is one of the few people who truly, totally "gets" it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cesare View Post
    I'm talking about JY being too obviously in love with those two. No matter how they **** up, no matter how many stupid choices they make, no matter how unjust YG is in his judgment of others and no matter how profound XLN's displays of total lack of social intelligence, in the end, somebody else ends up bearing all the stench.
    And that is very annoying - to me at least.

    In any case, I'm explaining my stance rather than trying to persuade you to join "our camp"...;-)
    I don't care if you like them or not. Different strokes for different folks. Go on liking them all you want... Occasional exchange of arguments and opinions is fun, but that's all there is to it - as far as I'm concerned, that is...;-)
    Like you said, arguments are fun. It's boring to just explain your stance.

    Yes, I did not find some of Jin Yong's story development very realistic either. But I don't think that was just on the side of Yang Guo and XLN. For example, if Huang Rong was supposedly very smart, but on the first fight between Yang Guo and Guo Fu, the Wu brothers, Huang Rong basically believed Guo Fu's story and did not bother to look further to find out the root of the problem. If she knew that it was her daughter and the Wu brothers were the ones who were looking for trouble and she wasn't going to teach Kungfu to Yang Guo, she could have taken steps to prevent such problems from happening again. But she did not, and ultimately that resulted in exiling Yang Guo to the Chongyang palace.

    Regarding to Yang Guo's judgments of others were unjust? Not that I thought all of his actions were totally justified, but I would love to see what you are talking about. As for XLN total ignorance of social behavior, assuming that she was actually grew up in a cave, which she was, what choices did you think she should have made? Were they that much different than similar characters like maybe Forst Gump? BTW, I did not read Silmarillion, so I have no idea what characters in that story did.

    Overall I guess the difference is that when Yang Guo blew up and used the Toad stance, it did not result in anyone's death or anyone's permanent harm. On the other hand, when Guo Fu's blew up, or just making a rash mistake, they resulted in an arm chopped off or a supposedly incurable condition for XLN, and the fact that Guo Fu and the Wu brothers were looking for trouble when Yang Guo blew up and Guo Fu was looking for Yang Guo when she blew up. Of course the author could have easily make some minor changes to make Yang Guo to be the instigator, and turn him into a bad guy, for example make it so that Yang Guo saw that the Ladies sword was with Guo Fu, went into Guo Fu's room, tried to interrogated her about it, beat her up, and in trying to defend herself, Guo Fu cut off Yang Guo's arm. Wouldn't that be more interesting? On the other hand, Yang Guo could have been a little more sarcastic, and arrogant when having to rescue Guo Fu. Maybe that that would be more realistic and fit with the description of his personality more.

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    I too am not really sure what you mean by YG and XLN f'ing up and coming out stench free and having it blamed on others. What exact events are you talking about ?

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    Yeah, I also would like to see some events.
    什麼是朋友?朋友永遠是在你犯下不可原諒錯誤的時候,仍舊站在你那邊的笨蛋。~ 王亞瑟

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    Overall I guess the difference is that when Yang Guo blew up and used the Toad stance, it did not result in anyone's death or anyone's permanent harm.
    That is one of the aspects of what I'm talking about. My fave example...:
    YG meets a random chick. YG has a private vendetta thingy going on. Random chick's eyes (or something) reminds him of GuGu. He's a pikin' idjit, so he puts a good guy's life at risk for a pair of pretty eyes.
    Now - in a way, I'd so like to see Yelu Qi die that day (despite the fact I genuinely like the character), so that YG would have to deal with the consequences of being a jackass.
    Yelu Qi or Guo Jing did survive his major screw-ups. When YG behaves like a jackass, it generally doesn't lead to disaster - not because he's less of a jackass than for example HR or Hao Datong, but because he's effin' LUCKY.
    JY kind of tends to spare YG any serious consequences of his screw ups but he makes sure that other people's screw ups have truly serious and often irredeemable consequences - preferably such consequences as further complications in the central romance.
    If Guo Fu had YG's luck, she would barely scratch him instead of chopping off an arm.

    As for YG doing ugly things yet never really getting to look ugly - for example, he spends considerable time bullying Lu Wushuang, simply because her face is somewhat reminiscent of GuGu's when she's angry. Most of the time, you get HIS perspective. To him it is more or less a play (aaand he misses his GuGu, poor sod). He's being a bully and yet he never comes out of it *smelling* like a bully. You don't get much of LWS angsting over being treated with so much disrespect. Her displays of indignation are fairly inconsequential. She winds up being a member of YG's fanclub, anyway.

    As for his unfair judgment of others - the Guo couple and QZ come to mind. Not saying Huang Rong or QZ sect didn't mess up, but YG is being very unfair with them at certain points. They are being unfair to him, yes, but they do get to bear their share of disgrace.

    And before anyone mentions how YG is not viewed favorably by this or that prominent person in jianghu - that is not the point. YG gets to cope with quite a lot of disgrace as a person, but not as a character - and YG as a character in a story is what I am talking about.
    Last edited by Cesare; 07-02-10 at 12:29 PM.
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    I still am not quite sure what your exact point is, since all main characters get this preferential treatment where their actions are from their point of view and rarely are they misunderstood. If we view LOCH this way, it would seem that Guo Jing exhibits this luck too.

    Guo Jing for vengeance kills millions of people for Genghis Khan. He is forced to betray the Khan who treated him as a father, but his decision is made extremely easy since his mom decides to commit suicide. He magically now has no connection to all the brutal murdering and war he was the leader of.

    He wrongly accuses Huang Rong and her father for murdering his masters, resulting in huge fights between Quan Zhen and Huang Yaoshi which could have got them all killed and letting Ouyang Feng totally dominate wulin if that were the case. (Hong Qi Gong is not fully healed at this point, and I doubt he can take him).

    Qiu Chuji almost dies to Jin mercenaries because of his moral dilemmas and unwillingness to help, but luckily ZBT happens to be around the corner.


    I think there's plenty more examples where he acts irrationally and stubbornly that could have resulted in really negative consequences, but he gets out of them all smelling like a rose also. It's not exclusive to Yang Guo.

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    I've nothing against Yang Guo at all, but I can see some differences in the examples. The main difference is in the motive behind the mistakes made.

    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    I still am not quite sure what your exact point is, since all main characters get this preferential treatment where their actions are from their point of view and rarely are they misunderstood. If we view LOCH this way, it would seem that Guo Jing exhibits this luck too.

    Guo Jing for vengeance kills millions of people for Genghis Khan. He is forced to betray the Khan who treated him as a father, but his decision is made extremely easy since his mom decides to commit suicide. He magically now has no connection to all the brutal murdering and war he was the leader of.
    This was motivated out of (a) loyalty to the Khan and the Mongol people who treated him well. He wanted to help them in their war, and at the same time (b) capture the man responsible for the death of his father (I suspect if GJ was idle and didn't have the WYHL factor there, he would still have joined the war if only to make sure his loved ones came to no harm during the fighting). When he realised the enormity of what he'd gotten into, and how many innocents were suffering, he did what he could, to the point where he was willing to sacrifice his happiness with Huang Rong and beg a different favour from the Khan that what he had originally planned.

    The decision to betray the Khan (actually it was more like not betraying the Song - you could argue that the Khan was betraying the Song) was made whether Li Ping commited suicide or not. GJ would have been willing to be executed by the Khan to spare his mother, but her suicide allowed him to escape. GJ was subsequently more than willing to return to the Khan to visit when summoned, and was unwilling to assassinate Tolui. It was a conflict between his loyalty to his country and his love for the people he grew up with. There wasn't really any other option. Had he chosen to serve the Khan he would, as his mother said, be no better than Yang Kang.

    He wrongly accuses Huang Rong and her father for murdering his masters, resulting in huge fights between Quan Zhen and Huang Yaoshi which could have got them all killed and letting Ouyang Feng totally dominate wulin if that were the case. (Hong Qi Gong is not fully healed at this point, and I doubt he can take him).
    This was motivated out of pure filial love for his teachers to whom he owed everything. The fight with Quan Zhen had nothing to do with him, and in fact at the first opportunity he stepped in to clarify matters for them, and to remove all misunderstanding even if it meant certain defeat against HYS without QZ support. It was entirely beyond his scope of responsibility that Qiu Chuji and Ma Yu should be so fond of him as to join in the fight even though they knew they no longer had a grudge against HYS.

    I do find it annoying that he was so much harder on HYS and HR when he thought it was their fault, than he was against OYF and YK (well, he was already dead) when he knew the truth, but that can be attributed to being hurt more when your friends hurt you than when your enemies do. When people close to you and whom you trust do something to harm you, it hurts far more than when someone you expect to hurt you does so.

    Qiu Chuji almost dies to Jin mercenaries because of his moral dilemmas and unwillingness to help, but luckily ZBT happens to be around the corner.
    This was a bit silly, granted, although in his defence he wouldn't even defend himself, so he'd at least keep Qiu company on the road to the afterlife. Qiu could probably have fled if he really needed to, though. GJ was motivated (or demotivated) by the perceived loss of everyone he held dear, though, even that of Huang Rong, and although he carried it too far, he did ask Qiu for advice which Qiu, disappointingly, couldn't really give properly.

    I think there's plenty more examples where he acts irrationally and stubbornly that could have resulted in really negative consequences, but he gets out of them all smelling like a rose also. It's not exclusive to Yang Guo.
    No, the irrational acts are not exclusive to YG, but where GJ's motives are all quite acceptable, or at the very least sympathisable, YG's motives all seem to stem from his either his lack of maturity, difficult childhood (granted, not really his fault, but nothing really in his favour either), or his infatuation with Dragon Girl (at least in those examples which were listed in this thread). Yes, he was a target of bullying, but he was never pleasant either. He had that "I'll respect you only if you earn it" attitude, which translates to me as "I reserve the right to be rude unless I like you". He wanted to be nice to people, but had difficulty in bridging communication, and he did get away lightly with a lot of stuff. With Guo Jing, at least there was an inherent noble motive behind those situations he got himself into. With YG much of it could have been avoided with a bit of commonsense and consideration for other people. but then again we'd have no novel if that was the case...
    Last edited by Ian Liew; 07-02-10 at 04:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew View Post
    No, the irrational acts are not exclusive to YG, but where GJ's motives are all quite acceptable, or at the very least sympathisable, YG's motives all seem to stem from his either his lack of maturity, difficult childhood (granted, not really his fault, but nothing really in his favour either), or his infatuation with Dragon Girl (at least in those examples which were listed in this thread). Yes, he was a target of bullying, but he was never pleasant either. He had that "I'll respect you only if you earn it" attitude, which translates to me as "I reserve the right to be rude unless I like you". He wanted to be nice to people, but had difficulty in bridging communication, and he did get away lightly with a lot of stuff. With Guo Jing, at least there was an inherent noble motive behind those situations he got himself into. With YG much of it could have been avoided with a bit of commonsense and consideration for other people. but then again we'd have no novel if that was the case...
    To be fair to Yang Guo, Guo Jing was older than Yang Guo when they entered jianghu. Guo Jing was 18 when he left Mongolia, and had already been taught ethics for most of his life by Li Ping and the Freaks. Yang Guo had lost his mother comparatively early, and had to scratch out a living by stealing what he could. After he was picked up by the Guo couple, there were a few months of tutelage under Huang Rong when she was plainly depriving him of the teaching the other kids had. Then followed the journey to Quanzhen with Guo Jing, then a few months under Zhao Zhijing. After his escape to the Ancient Tomb, there followed several years with Xiao Longnu. Not the greatest ethics teachers so far, and he is only 16 when his adventures properly begin, in which most of his immaturity occurs.

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Agreed there - I do like Yang Guo, and don't really hold much against him. He didn't have a good upbringing but it doesn't change that in those scenarios he did the wrong things for bad reasons. It's just when comparing those situations the scenarios are different. It's the difference between a lawyer successfully defending his client and pleading for leniency due to difficult upbringing.

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    I look at it differently from Ken. Rather than criticising Yang Guo for doing things wrong, I'm impressed that he turned out to be as great a hero as he became, when the vast majority of the ethics he figured out for himself. Other than short periods with Guo Jing, he wasn't trained to be a xia, but he found his way anyway, and turned out to be a greater xia (excepting Guo Jing of course) than anyone in his period, almost purely on the basis of his individual character, which was evident as early as his first appearance. Yes, he often thinks about himself. Yes, he doesn't have a solid ethical base. Yes, he favours gratitude over values. Approached differently, those were the very things that made him so loved as the Eagle Hero.

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    Yang Guo makes some bad decisions, but they are rather minor compared to the good ones he does make considering his lack of education on ethics and morality as pannonian pointed out. Despite his desire for vengeance and his immaturity, when it got down to it, he correctly made some tough decisions. He pretty much gives up his life to save Guo Jing, as doing so means his own death from poison. Sure he got him in the predicaments, but it's still very hard to actively do something that you know will result in your death.

    Besides his flirtatiousness, does he really make many incorrect decisions? Because I see that to be a very, very minor thing, even adjusting for the difference in ancient society. Guo Jing himself didn't deal very well with the whole Huazhen/Huang Rong situation.

    With the XLN situation, we can't blame him for loving her so much; most people love their teachers so much. She just happened to be smokin' and his age, so what do we expect him to do? Guo Jing always has his teachers in mind, and ZWJ would do anything in the world for ZSF or the Wudang heroes. YG is doing the same thing, except he also happens to love her because she's hot. Unless we can argue that YG wouldn't be as filial as the others if XLN was a man, we can't really say anything too negative about their relationship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    I still am not quite sure what your exact point is, since all main characters get this preferential treatment where their actions are from their point of view and rarely are they misunderstood. If we view LOCH this way, it would seem that Guo Jing exhibits this luck too.

    Guo Jing for vengeance kills millions of people for Genghis Khan. He is forced to betray the Khan who treated him as a father, but his decision is made extremely easy since his mom decides to commit suicide. He magically now has no connection to all the brutal murdering and war he was the leader of.

    He wrongly accuses Huang Rong and her father for murdering his masters, resulting in huge fights between Quan Zhen and Huang Yaoshi which could have got them all killed and letting Ouyang Feng totally dominate wulin if that were the case. (Hong Qi Gong is not fully healed at this point, and I doubt he can take him).

    Qiu Chuji almost dies to Jin mercenaries because of his moral dilemmas and unwillingness to help, but luckily ZBT happens to be around the corner.


    I think there's plenty more examples where he acts irrationally and stubbornly that could have resulted in really negative consequences, but he gets out of them all smelling like a rose also. It's not exclusive to Yang Guo.
    Agree with you. And HR still very much in love with GJ after how he treated her in Blossom Island. Not even an apology needed.

    Most main characters will come out smelling like roses despite their bad decisions because they are main characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by pannonian View Post
    I look at it differently from Ken. Rather than criticising Yang Guo for doing things wrong, I'm impressed that he turned out to be as great a hero as he became, when the vast majority of the ethics he figured out for himself. Other than short periods with Guo Jing, he wasn't trained to be a xia, but he found his way anyway, and turned out to be a greater xia (excepting Guo Jing of course) than anyone in his period, almost purely on the basis of his individual character, which was evident as early as his first appearance. Yes, he often thinks about himself. Yes, he doesn't have a solid ethical base. Yes, he favours gratitude over values. Approached differently, those were the very things that made him so loved as the Eagle Hero.
    Also agree with this. GJ has benefited from a moral upbringing his whole life, while YG doesn't have this benefit.
    Last edited by kidd; 07-02-10 at 09:16 PM.
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    To be fair to Yang Guo, Guo Jing was older than Yang Guo when they entered jianghu. Guo Jing was 18 when he left Mongolia, and had already been taught ethics for most of his life by Li Ping and the Freaks. Yang Guo had lost his mother comparatively early, and had to scratch out a living by stealing what he could. After he was picked up by the Guo couple, there were a few months of tutelage under Huang Rong when she was plainly depriving him of the teaching the other kids had. Then followed the journey to Quanzhen with Guo Jing, then a few months under Zhao Zhijing. After his escape to the Ancient Tomb, there followed several years with Xiao Longnu. Not the greatest ethics teachers so far, and he is only 16 when his adventures properly begin, in which most of his immaturity occurs.
    To be fair to HR, she only withheld teaching martial arts to YG. In fact, I think she centred her teachings on ethics and knowledge, with the excuse that this was relevant as GJ's second teacher was a so-called scholar. So you can't really blame HR for his lack of ethics and moral values as these was what she centred on teaching.
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    Quote Originally Posted by athlee View Post
    To be fair to HR, she only withheld teaching martial arts to YG. In fact, I think she centred her teachings on ethics and knowledge, with the excuse that this was relevant as GJ's second teacher was a so-called scholar. So you can't really blame HR for his lack of ethics and moral values as these was what she centred on teaching.
    This I also agree. Even though HR was unfair and he got treated unfairly while with the Guo's couple, HR's teachings and GJ's personal conduct (i.e. teach by example) contribute to him figuring out how to be a hero later. I don't know whether this was in the book or not, but, in ROCH95, YG did thank/credit HR for it.
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    I think the main problem why YG is hated so much is because of his close relation to GJ. Fans in the same light as the Kobe-Jordan comparisons look at GJ and YG similarly. YG is hated for not being close to GJ as a xia, but if you take away GJ and look at YG separately, he's actually a great hero but he's not in the same level of heroism as GJ.

    One thing to consider is that LOCH focused on heroism and patriotism as its main theme, this is evidenced by GJ and YK's decisions throughout their lives. ROCH is a different story, its about YG and XLN's love and what they would do in face of all challenges brought to them. Many people hates mushy stuff, so they probably don't understand what the point of ROCH really is, they probably expected a heroic story of battles and betrayals which isn't really what ROCH is. I mean 16 years, that is a long time to wait for someone, I'd would have forgotten XLN in 3 years or so if I was YG.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangs View Post
    Many people hates mushy stuff, so they probably don't understand what the point of ROCH really is, they probably expected a heroic story of battles and betrayals which isn't really what ROCH is. I mean 16 years, that is a long time to wait for someone, I'd would have forgotten XLN in 3 years or so if I was YG.
    Man does it in a wuxia story, and he's a "great romantic." Man does it in real life, and he's a "great fool."

    I hate double standards in general and I hate this one in particular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Man does it in a wuxia story, and he's a "great romantic." Man does it in real life, and he's a "great fool."

    I hate double standards in general and I hate this one in particular.
    Man should realise that fiction does not equal reality.

    Man can't fly just because Superman can.

    Not Jerry Siegel's or Superman's fault, if man couldn't see that.
    什麼是朋友?朋友永遠是在你犯下不可原諒錯誤的時候,仍舊站在你那邊的笨蛋。~ 王亞瑟

    和諧唔係一百個人講同一番話,係一百個人有一百句唔同嘅說話,而又互相尊重 ~ - 葉梓恩

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