Lit Diversity Special: Goran and Medrit

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Feb 12, 2013.

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IF YOU HAVE READ LOTF: At what point did you realize that Goran and Medrit were a gay couple?

Poll closed Feb 26, 2013.
During Sacrifice - Medrit's first appearance 8 vote(s) 20.5%
During Revelation - Medrit's second appearance 8 vote(s) 20.5%
Heard about it elsewhere after having finished both books 14 vote(s) 35.9%
Wait, Goran and Medrit are gay? 3 vote(s) 7.7%
Heard about it elsewere after finishing the first book but before reading the second 6 vote(s) 15.4%
  1. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Yeah, I think Goran in particular gets lumped in with a lot of generalized Traviss hate. Does she obsess over Mandos? Yes. Is every one of them a worthless character? No.

    Well technically, Rob's response to your post inspired it. :p

    Edit: Scratch that - Rob's response to Mia's response to your post. [face_mischief]
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 12, 2013
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  2. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    I found that Goran in particular had a lot of importance when I read those books. He was a bad ass who served with Fett during the Vong invasion and was essentially the leader of the Mandalorian people, as Fett was more of an absentee leader.

    Combined with him being a swordmaster who was Jaina's main trainer in Revelation(and I don't bring this up so people rant about it for a 1000 time :p), he became even more important.

    Anyway my itchy trigger finger hit the wrong poll choice. Instead of during Revelation in meant to hit heard about it elsewhere after I was already done Revelation. And by elsewhere I mean here on TF.N. :)
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  3. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 5
    No, I agree with that. I'm not arguning the merits of their relationship. My issue is that without that relationship, the two characters involved, after several read-throughs of LotF, still seem to be generic Traviss "family-focused Mandolorians". To me, it seems like the only distinctive characteristic Goran or Medrit have to make them memorable is "they are a gay couple!" That fact is well done, and feels natural. But as individuals, I felt they had no more distinct personality than any of the other non-spotlight Mandos in the series.

    OK. I found them rather bland and unmemorable. How would you describe them as individuals? What makes them stand out from the other Mandolorians in the same books, besides their relationship?
  4. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Like LI, I knew before I read them because it was all over the forums and I don't avoid spoilers. When I did read them, I found it pretty clear in Sacrifice, as I recall, but I haven't voted in the poll, because, well, I knew already.
  5. Robimus Force Ghost

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    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Medrit is a more minor character, presented largely as the homemaker of the pair, but I'm really not sure what you looking for when it comes to Goran. Medrit is a blacksmith while Goran is a farmer. Goran was Fett's most trusted friend and was left as acting Mandalore when Fett departed in Sacrifice.

    Goran is specifically asked to help training Jaina because he is a swordsman and skilled in hand to hand combat. He is Jaina's mentor on Mandalore and comes across as fairly soft spoken and easy going compared to some of the other louder characters we meet like Carid. More importantly he came across to me like a good leader and a quality person.

    I found Goran very memorable, certainly not a character who was only memorable for being gay. Yes he was family focused but also an important figure in Mandalorian politics, though I admit I'm unsure why being family focused is a negative trait. Most people have families, most people care for their families - I don't see why that should somehow define who they are.
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  6. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

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    May 23, 2005
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    OK, fair point on Goran. I've read the series through three times and forgot that he was essentially Fett's #2. Probably because I have a hard time telling most characters apart in a majority of Traviss books, like the City of Pearl books or her work in the Haloverse.
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  7. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    The way they speak, or in certain cases, when they speak. Their body language and mannerisms, their sense of humor, their political beliefs. It's not always as blatant as the commonly used verbal tics and strange quirks many authors use, but they're distinct in a way that's readily recognizable when you're invested enough to care and take in the subtle details.

    I don't begrudge you your opinion, as I'm sure there are things in Star Wars that captivate you I don't find particularly engaging. Such is life. But you do the characters a disservice by generalizing an empty sameness out of disinterest. Much as a good deal of Luke Skywalker's dialogue could be interchanged with half of anything said by a character of the generic "Wise Old Master" archetype, it is your familiarity and interest in the character that allows you to pick out the tells and perceive the uniqueness of Luke.
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  8. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

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    May 23, 2005
    star 5
    I agree that strange verbal tics or quirks are not necessary to differentiate characters, but at the same time, when you do need to look for the subtleties to twll two characters apart, much less individuals out of entire groups of similar characcters, there is a problem. You may see it as a disservice, but there does seem to be a lot of sameness in the Mandolorian affiliated characters. Not just in the Star Wars books, but I can pick up the City of Pearl series or Halo works, and shuffle entire dialogues or scenes between the stories, and still end up with a rather seamless whole. In Republic Commando, the four members of Omega squad were relatively easy to tell apart, even from dialogue or action. Triple Zero, Omega had sort of blended together a bit more, but it was still easy to tell Omega apart from Delta, and Skirata apart from Vau. But after that, the characters all sort of blended together, to the point where if you just looked at most of the dialogue, there is no way to tell apart the speakers. Granted, most of them are Clones, but when the point being made is that they are individuals and not meat machines, having their dialogue and personalities be practically interchangeable is a problem.

    Goran may have unique identifiers if you look closely, but thinking back, the only real way he stood out (separate from the relationship) was his screentime, and as a counterpoint to Boba Fett, who is distinctive compared to the other Mandolorians. Until it was mentioned, Goran as a character was unmemorable to me. It may be me, but I think it has a lot to do with the writing, as when I read authors like david Weber, Eric Flint, Harry Turtledove, or Allston, many of their minor characters remain distinctive and memorable, including some who do not even appear.
  9. The_Forgotten_Jedi Force Ghost

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    May 12, 2010
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    Yeah, I think even Traviss gets her Halo characters mixed up. I swear she describes Mal and Vaz in some chapters as completely opposite they way they were described in others. Her Gears of War books didn't have that problem.

    To me, Goran was memorable because he didn't act like the other Mandos. Instead of being a gung-ho warrior, he was more soft-spoken and thoughtful, thinking about long-term ideas for the good of all Mandalorians.
  10. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    I figured it out right away when I read Sacrifice. Wasn't that difficult to figure out.
  11. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6

    I think this was how I must have figure it out. I remember it was the first (?) scene they were in together, since one of them had mentioned having a spouse earlier on and when the second dude walked in acting all chummy during their first scene together the thought definitely crossed my mind. But I didn't put any stalk into it at the time since the LFL's so puritanically orthodox 99% of the time.

    There are a lot of characters I think need to step out of the EU closet.
  12. Robimus Force Ghost

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    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    There certainly are a lot of macho, similar characters in Karen's books and Karen likely could have done a little more to make some of them stand apart a little more for people. I just have never seen Goran as one of them.

    That said because the books have been a major interest of mine I do have a bit more luck telling the characters apart just due to familiarity. Venku and Gotab for instance sound very different than most of the other Mandalorians while Baltan Carid is something of a loud mouth - a trait shared by a few of the Mandalorians presented.

    That strong sense of family is a trait shared by all Karen's Mandalorian characters with the possible exception of Hokan. I'm guessing that it was meant in many ways to be a direct contrast to the Old Jedi Order's non attachment clause, but was a character trait that didn't hold as much meaning when viewed against the NJO.
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  13. jSarek VIP

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    Feb 18, 2005
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    Given, at Celebration IV (where Sacrifice debuted), Karen Traviss was hinting at us seeing a gay couple in Star Wars "soon" with Sue Rostoni and Shelly Shapiro sitting right there at the table with her ... I don't think it was a case of the editors not knowing.
  14. MistrX Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2006
    star 4
    Goran is a main character in the Traviss LOTF novels, so it's hard to argue he's not memorable. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure that I knew he and Medrit were both men, but I don't think I realized they were together. I don't have the excuse of skipping over sections since I don't do that, but I do think that my attention might wander from time to time, so in this instance their relationship just got by me. So yeah, I would argue Goran is an important, defined character. Not sure I feel the same for Medrit.
  15. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

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    Dec 19, 1999
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    I honestly don't remember, but I'm pretty sure I didn't catch it until I read it on here. This mostly stems from the fact that I didn't like Karen's mando stuff in LOTF, so I didn't really pay as much attention.
  16. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    I admit to not picking up on this until I heard it mentioned. Frankly, that has more to do with the quality of LotF in general than anything else, since I read that series all in one massive burst and by even the third book in a massive hurry for it to be over. Therefore the fates and relationships of minor characters, especially something that has no plotline relevance (and I think it's a good thing that this status has not plotline relevance btw) really don't stick in the head.

    I agree. In all honesty the entire Boba Fett/Mandalorian plotline to LotF was incredibly forced. That stuff had a place certainly, but the place was as a standalone trilogy about Boba Fett's later life, and so regardless of one's opinion's on Traviss' storytelling it is very clear that she was deliberately hijacking the story of LotF in order to tell a specific story she wanted to write. As a result, the first gay couple in Star Wars was introduced as part of said hijacking. Regettably that means what was a positive and sensibly handled development of the universe was tagged with an unfortunate association through no fault of its own.
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  17. Karohalva Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2008
    star 2
    To be honest, I didn't notice Medrit was a man until after I finished the books. This for several reasons among which are: Firstly, the phonemes in the name reminded me of female names I encountered while reading up on sixth-century Britain. Secondly, I don't notice pronouns so much when books bore me. Thirdly, I'm an intolerant religious bigot whose anachronistic worldview habitually assumes Iron Age sociology because almost all literature until the mid-20th century shared this presumption. But then again, I'm not very observant anyway. Case and point, it took me weeks to notice Will & Grace wasn't about heterosexuals...probably because I only tuned in to see the episodes with John Cleese. ;)
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  18. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    One of the things I liked most about Goran and Medrit was how anachronistic they were--the juxtaposition of such an "old-fashioned" woodsy lifestyle with a modern atmosphere of tolerance.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 13, 2013
  19. Karohalva Jedi Grand Master

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    May 27, 2008
    star 2
    My intolerance aside, I found this a strange part of the presentation. Admittedly, I did no exegesis while reading, but I cannot remember a good explanation for how their social order of labor intensive, fairly primitive agriculture and small-yield craftsmanship existed. Forget questions of gender role. How was there enough labor on their homestead and in the community itself to sustain the standard-of-living implied for Mandalorians. It was not the high life, for sure, but I am not seeing how their division of labor was able to create more than a meager subsistence life. There seems something almost Potemkin about it.
  20. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

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    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4
    Considering that Goran fought in most of Fett's Supercommando engagements I would assume he was a highly paid bounty hunter and merc. Medrit was once of the few who knew how to work Mandalorian Iron* properly and also seemed to have engineering skills past that.

    Depending on what age the kids are sent out as mercs...the homestead could make a pretty penny, and since Fett was pretty much rich and Goran kept his seat warm it wouldn't have surprised me if there was some kickbacks there.

    Their craftmanship was small yield on some items, but there was also the mentioned but rarely shown side that included the industrial portion of Mandalore that supplied warships and fighters to the galaxy. Once new ore deposits were found, the planet was on the uptick again with the monies being split among the clans and alliances.

    *I always thought there was a big pink elephant in the room in REVELATIONS that explained how the iron could be worked and formed (especially if the Taung originally created the iron as well as the manufacturing procedure), as well as how the galaxy could easily counter it, but it was never really picked up on.
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  21. Karohalva Jedi Grand Master

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    May 27, 2008
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    Wealth is worthless when there is nowhere and nothing on which to spend it. I saw no import-export stores or even traveling pedlars on Mandalore. No Wells-Fargo wagon was a-comin' for the River City Boys' Band either. Do freighters slink shamefacedly to Mandalore under shelter of cloaking shields to hide the dishonor of great rollback prices at Wal-Mart?
  22. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4
    Ah...sorry, now I take you point a bit better.

    There are strong economic ties between the Verpine and the Mandos, although that does raise the question of what besides weapons would those two races have in common, unless the Verpine also work as middle-men for trade with the Mandos...but again, we only see rural Mandalore in both the novels and even the comic books with their industrial bases either located in orbit or system stations. Most Mandalorians seem to leave Mandalore for work as it is, as the planet doesn't even have the population to support the new industry that the new ore discovered in the LoTF books provide.
  23. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Actually, according to Imperial Commando: 501st, the Mandalorian capital of Keldabe traditionally holds market days twice a week in the city, when food vendors and merchant stalls set up from all over, offering goods of different kinds and all sorts of foods. The street Chortav Meshurkaane is specifically noted to be crowded with tapcafs, and shops that sell everything from gemstones to leather wares. Elsewhere, there are shops selling—among other things—blasters, bladed weapons, wine, tools, and assorted toiletries. There are butchers, veterinary offices, and people can purchase and pick up machine and engine parts from MandalMotors tower. So there's certainly some level of urban commerce going on.

    There's also trade with the other worlds of the Mandalore sector. According to the New Battlefronts Visual Guide by Jason Fry, Harswee is a producer of high-end luxury carpets, while Jakelia is an exporter of tuft-oak, and Draboon was a source of fine quality lapis.
    Last edited by Mia Mesharad, Feb 14, 2013
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  24. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Just putting this out there--I'd love to hear from the person who selected "Goran and Medrit are gay?" Unless you were being facetious, in which case, hell with you. :p
  25. Mirax Terrik Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 5
    I chose that option, but was the second to do so. I just read the books and didn't even notice. I'm blaming my dyslexia. It takes a lot of effort for me to understand what I am reading and I also tend to skip around without really noticing. I have to read books more than once to catch everything.

    On the other hand, I completely missed the homoerotic overtones of Interview with the Vampire when I read that as well.