Initially, let's all agree that we are here to support, enjoy, revel in, and generally go googly about the relationship between Jaime and Brienne. Other Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire fans are welcome, but the board is pro-JB. That's not to say someone can't also enjoy Jaime/Cersei or appreciate other relationships, but this is not a board to support hatred of Jaime, Brienne, or Jaime/Brienne. Our love of the characters and their relationship is what brings us together.
With that being understood, we do need to have a few pesky rules.
Spoilers. This is not a spoiler-free board. Unsullied have been warned.
Cursing. We are watching a show that regularly uses fuck, cunt, and cock. If you're too young to read the books and watch the show, you shouldn't be reading this forum. Cursing is perfectly acceptable.
Check your sensitivities at the door. You may be obsessively in love with, or passionately hate other characters, ships or actors, but this board is, fundamentally, about Jaime and Brienne. Feel free to post about those other things, but don't be surprised if people disagree. The board is meant to be fun, so you should be reading posts in the most light-hearted manner possible. Tone is not always obvious on the internet. If you are upset about the tone of a post, read it again imagining it in PeeWee Herman voice. Is it still upsetting? If not, it's probably fine. We all have bad days and feel offended by things. That does not always mean something is actually intended to be offensive.
However, there are some things which are offensive like racism, sexism, all around hateration, etc. If you come across something like that, hit “Report” at the bottom of the post. Let one of the moderators decide if the post needs to be moved or edited, or if the post is acceptable. Do not be afraid to report. We would love to say we closely monitor every thread, but we all have lives.
Moderator authority. Your post may be edited, moved, or deleted at any time. That's just the way it is. However, if you post with respect, in the right thread or topic and aren't breaking any of the rules, your post will probably sit there, untouched in its brilliance. In the same vein, feel free to create new threads/topics at will.
This is a discussion board, not a rant board. If you want a rant board, there are plenty of them out there. If you don't want to find a rant board, make a Tumblr. Tumblr is great for ranting without response. If you post about something here, expect a response. That response might not be agreement; it may dispute every point you make. If so, fantastic. This is a discussion board, and arguing back and forth IS discussion.
Treat others with respect. Harassing, attacking, threatening, provoking, calling unwanted attention to, name-calling, insulting, flaming, baiting, bashing, trolling, or bothering other members or staff on the forums will not be tolerated. Play nice. For more specifics and examples, see “Defining respect” below.
Links and citation. If you want to link to a Tumblr post in any thread, even to a JC Tumblr that's posting some of those hilarious anti-JB comments, feel free. If you are uncomfortable posting the link, don't, but please include something that can help the reader locate the original post, be it Twitter, Tumblr, or another message board. It is your choice to link but it also your choice whether or not to click on those links.
Things that will get you warned or banned:
Disrespect (see “Defining respect” below), trolling, spamming, revealing personal information, encouraging any illegal activity, being an ass, baiting other posters into arguments, general flaming.
Diatribes on why particular posts are offensive or shouldn't be allowed. No one is making you read that post, so just stop. However, if the post is truly offensive or breaks one of the rules, hit the “Report” button at the bottom of the post. Let us deal with it. Reporting a post is more effective and efficient than writing a long post about why another post offends you. You can disagree with someone's opinion and write a big long post about that, but do not post things like, "You shouldn't post that because..." Don't tell other posters what they can and cannot post. That's our job.
Posting ads. That's a given.
Defining respect. (I shamefully stole these from the Spoiling Dead forum, but I did ask first. All credit to them for putting this into words):
"I can't believe you like Petyr Baelish/Aiden Gillen. He has the worst storyline ever. I wish that character would just be killed off."
Allowed. There is no criticism, insult, or defamation of another individual member or forum fan group. Criticism and even some smack talk about a character is just fine. They aren't real. If reading other people's criticism about your favorite character makes your blood boil, then this may not be the right place for you.
The only time this would be unacceptable is if you are hoping for the death of Jaime or Brienne because that just goes against the board's very existence.
"I can't believe you like Petyr Baelish. He has the worst storyline ever. I wish that character would just be killed off. You'd have to be really desperate and crazy to ever think Baelish is an asset to the story."
Not allowed. Indirect bashing of another member, i.e., insinuating the member is "desperate and crazy."
"I can't believe you like Conleth Hill. He has the worst storyline ever and can't act his way out of a paper bag. The show would be much better without him."
Allowed. There is no criticism, insult, or defamation of another individual member or forum fan group. While it's not exactly classy to insult an actor or actress who works hard on our favorite show, it is allowed as long as it is done as part of the topic of discussion and is not intentional trolling/baiting of another group.
(Example 4, or "where you post is important")
Let's say the thread topic is "Everyone Loves Sansa." Everyone is cruising along and lots of good things are being said about Sansa and then...
Poster: "I can't think of anything."
Not allowed. Baiting. Why even bother making the post if you have nothing to contribute? Again, it's context. Had this been a general character discussion thread, the comment wouldn't have been a problem. But it was in a "pro-Sansa" thread so now, the context is different.
"Did you see what was going on in the Tommen thread? I can't believe those weirdos. How stupid can they be?"
Not allowed. Bashing. Indirect insults to a forum fan group. This relates only to threads on this board and discussions on this board. If you want to post about some Anti-JB arguments from Tumblr, reddit, or another board, that is allowed.
"You're an idiot. Go play in traffic."
This is a tough one because this is a small community and people have friendships. If Mikki tells JustaGirl to go play in traffic, she knows Mikki means it with love and JaG might respond by throwing cooked fruit or saying moist. So if JaG is offended by this post, she should hit “Report” and making the moderators aware. However, if you see this post and you're unsure if it's said with love, first assume that it is, because again, we are just a happy community of JB lovers. If you think it might not be, hit “Report” and let the moderators deal with it.
Poster #1: "Can't wait to watch the GoT marathon this weekend. "Lord Snow" is the best episode ever IMO. So excited! :)"
Poster #2: "Hate to say it but you're wrong. That episode sucks. It's a cliché riddled with plot holes. The whole thing is a waste of 56 minutes. D&D should never have put pen to paper on that one."
Poster #1: "Geez man. You don't have to be a dick about it."
Poster #2: "I wasn't being a dick, I was just stating my opinion. D&D suck and that's all there is to it."
Poster #1: "Why don't you get out of this thread if you don't like the ep?"
Poster #2: "There it is again. HATE everywhere I go. Ever heard of freedom of speech?* Unbelievable."
(And so on....)
This one is tricky, but... we're going with 'not allowed': flame war. You can almost picture a Strawberry Shortcake-like character skipping along a forest path, happy and excited for all the goodness she will soon encounter. Then along comes Gargamel (yep, Smurfs fan) with his black cloud of nastiness and spews smoke in her face. Let's assume poster #2's opinion has a basis in reality, but she seriously exaggerates the episode's flaws. Unlike a troll, she truly believes in what she says. Her opinion is honest, but unnecessarily harsh and lacks evidence. Because poster #1 feels slighted by this direct attack on her episode choices, poster #1 enters defense mode. What results is a flame war, and both parties are at fault, even though they believe the other one caused the problem.
A general way to look at Example 7 is: Why is it so important to harsh someone's buzz? If someone is enjoying something, let them enjoy it. There are ways to engage in meaningful discussion of the episode and remain respectful.
Show-only people should respect book purists and vice versa. Respectful discourse is the goal, but there is no need to be the Gargamel to someone else's Warrior Smurf. The point is, we all love Jaime and Brienne.
*Just a little note about 'freedom of speech' and 'censorship.' Freedom of speech refers to a specific group of actions protected by the First Amendment, and posting on a forum isn't one of them. As for censorship, the moderators have guidelines to follow, and they will take steps to prevent a problem by creating an environment within which guidelines are implicitly invoked.
Not all negative opinions are automatically considered trolling or baiting. We can't stress this enough — when someone has an unpopular opinion, she is not a troll. And just because you are sensitive to a topic (character, ship, actress) doesn't mean you are being baited.
Determination of trolling, baiting, flaming, and bashing according to the above rules will be made at the discretion of mods. Mods look at a member's pattern and history of behavior and "talking style" across the board when determining whether or not a post is trolling and/or baiting.
If you're the one getting the warning, of course you're not going to like it. That's kind of the point. You either didn't think it was wrong (and now you know), or you were trying to get away with it by calling it something else. We don't expect you always to agree with the warning, but we do expect you to work within the rules as we interpret them and accept some responsibility when you're called out for breaking them.
With the upcoming season, there may be a lot of negativity happening. You can ignore a particular poster if you have no interest in reading what they have to say. Along with that, if you don't want to read about how Michael McElhatton makes Roose Bolton sexy, don't click on a thread about that. In the same vein, don't post about Roose Bolton being sexy in the Gwendoline Christie thread.
The board is here for you to enjoy Jaime and Brienne with other like-minded individuals. So go forth and enjoy.