Why does Ygritte Jon Snow hurt

Game of Thrones: Why We Love Some Characters - And Not Others!

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Series live from their characters. In hardly any other show are there such blatant worlds between love and hate - from the audience's point of view - as with game of Thrones. While admiring and pitying the one, one wishes nothing less than death for the other. Some of the characters are depicted so unsympathetically that their (preferably gruesome) demise provides pleasant pleasure for the audience. There is of course a calculation behind this, but from the beginning. game of Thrones-Creator George RR Martin once emphasized that he considered it a fraud if only extras were killed in war stories. After all, death is omnipresent, so you shouldn't be spared just because you're a cute child or the hero's best friend.

So that the serial death of important characters remains unpredictable and affects the viewer, complex and multi-layered people are a must. Which of course doesn't necessarily mean that we like them all. But even that can (almost) be achieved if it is tackled properly. In addition, it can also happen that a figure that you couldn't stand at first becomes quite acceptable over time. Or the other way around. Why is that? According to the expert and author Karl Iglesias There are three methods to emotionally bind the viewer to a character, namely curiosity, fascination and empathy. In this article we describe how this is achieved and show the result using various examples game of Thrones. Small warning: there is a risk of spoilers.

Curiosity: secrets and puzzling skills

The easiest and probably fastest way to bind the viewer to a character is to arouse curiosity. By expecting a mystery to be solved in the course of the plot, you stay tuned and wait for the solution. The puzzle can relate to the past, present or future. It can also be a general dilemma or a special, unexplained ability of a person. When something is obviously wrong and the story does not provide an answer for the time being, questions arise in the mind of the viewer. So one automatically resolves to keep an eye on the character in question and builds up a certain expectation of his actions. However, the resolution should not wait too long in coming. Because if viewers still haven't received an answer after a while, they could lose interest in the original question again. Granted, that sounds pretty abstract, so let's get to examples.

By following Eddard Stark in his research, we feel more connected to him. (Copyright: HBO)

Eddard Stark as a detective and many, many questions

Curiosity is certainly one of the most popular ways to keep audiences engaged, especially when it comes to crime series. Who was the killer, why did he do it, and why is the current case particularly freaking out the protagonist? The concept can also be applied to the fantasy series game of Thrones apply. If we tackle the first season, we are immediately showered with numerous questions. What happened to Uncle Benjen Stark? Who is Jon Snow's mother? What do these bizarre dreams of Bran mean? What does Eddard Stark find out about the murder of Jon Arryn? What's up with the White Walkers? Or in their first scene: What are Cersei and Jamie Lannister trying to hide from King Robert Baratheon? It is similar with the second season: How does Jaqen H'ghar manage to kill everyone who has been commissioned to him? And who is the man anyway? Why does Craster only have daughters? Who stole the dragons from Daenerys Targaryen?

The list of questions is endless. It is particularly noticeable that most of the puzzles revolve around the main characters, or at least they are well on their way to solving them. Eddard Stark is even reminiscent of a detective after he set out to solve the murder of Arryn. Of course you are all the more pleased when he appears again in a scene and you ask yourself whether he is getting closer to the respective secrets. For example, in order to bind the fans more closely to Bran Stark, the sixth season works almost exclusively with curiosity. After all, his visions provide numerous answers or even new puzzles in the past, which, however, are solved relatively quickly. At this point we can immediately come up with a small point of criticism. Because some questions took several seasons to finally be answered! For example the thing with Jon Snow's mother. Surely there is one or the other loyal fan who, even after a long time, does not lose sight of the secret and makes up his own theories. Usually, however, the curiosity method works best when an answer comes relatively quickly and you are confronted with new questions instead. As beautiful as the concept is, the remedy alone is not particularly strong either. You really want to know how things will go with a character or what they are keeping secret from the others, but that doesn't mean that you will become a fan of the person. For this, the swords have to be sharpened, which leads us to the next level.

Through Bran's visions, we finally find out who Jon Snow's mother is. (Copyright: HBO)

Fascination: uniqueness and special skills

If a character has several characteristics that viewers can admire in her, this triggers increased interest - one is fascinated. There are endless possibilities of external and internal dispositions to create an overwhelming character. For example, he might be very attractive, or he might just have an admirable job. But there is so much more that arouses fascination: wisdom, courage, power, entertainment, charisma, joy of action, humor, the passionate pursuit of a goal or a clear attitude in conflicts. Internal contradictions or unique abilities are also interesting aspects of a character. Often these people are less a figure of identification than an admirable hero. Mostly dark antiheroes or, above all, superior superheroes take on this role. But what about that in game of Thrones out?

Superhero Daenerys and other high-flyers

If you look around in forums, you can see relatively quickly which GoT characters are at the top of the favorites list. Daenerys, the mother dragon, is such a candidate. The Lannister dwarf Tyrion and the handsome Jon Snow also have countless fans. Overall, the house of Stark seems to make the race. Yet it cannot be denied that even the psychopaths Joffrey Baratheon or Ramsay Bolton have their followers. But first let's take a look at our dragon queen. Portrayed by Emilia Clarke Daenerys Targaryen is a stunningly beautiful woman whose sex appeal is enhanced by the noticeably many nude scenes. In addition to her appearance and a really courageous character, the Khaleesi gives us another unique ability: fire cannot harm her. Furthermore, she is the mother of dragons, i.e. the woman, at whose side three dragons could hatch and are also controlled by her. Well, halfway. So for a fantasy world, Daenerys is the superhero per se! The best conditions to be fascinated by her.

So to the crowd favorite Jon Snow. Again, it cannot be denied that actors are Kit Harington is a pretty handsome man. But let's not do it, Jon Snow also fights particularly well! Right from the start with the Night Watch, he was far superior to the other recruits in sword fighting. In line with this, he climbed the high wall of his career in record time and went from being the personal chamberlain of the Lord Commander himself to the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and ultimately even the King of the North. In addition to beauty, skill and ambition, Jon Snow is primarily characterized by his idealism. He steadfastly represents the rules of the night watch for several seasons and impresses with his strong will.


Arya Stark proves in the first episode that she is a marksman and gets stronger and stronger from season to season. The contrast that she is a young girl is all the more fascinating. Tyrion Lannister is particularly smart and a master of survival, which in many cases is thanks to his brains. Papa Tywin Lannister scores as an outstanding strategist and through incredible intelligence. The tyrannical Joffrey is bathed in power, which turns all secondary players into helpless victims. The same applies to Ramsay, who, however, goes one better with cruelty and with his consistently sadistic streak can not only trigger horror, but also fascination. Margaery Tyrell, on the other hand, is admirably diplomatic. Her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, always knows what's going on right away. Jaqen H'ghar is in a way invincible, the same applies to the red priestess Melisandre.
Obviously, there are many ways to add fascinating aspects to a character. The more extraordinary and unique the property turns out to be, the higher the chances of attracting a fan base. However, fascination is not enough to bind someone emotionally to a character over the long term. Something stronger is needed. THE strongest, to be precise. Empathy.

Even before Arya Stark grows up, she fights better than most seasoned men. (Copyright: HBO)

Empathy: compassion and social skills

Let's come to the most important method by far to bind the audience emotionally to a character: empathy. Even the greatest curiosity and fascination cannot compete with her. From an early age, people learn to compare the feelings of others with their own and to assess them. If we can empathize with these, we automatically take part in what others suffer, how they decide or act. This should not be confused with sympathy, because it remains individual what kind of people, faces or behaviors you particularly like. So it cannot be generalized. But empathy does.

There are two ways to achieve this. On the one hand, we empathize with characters who are inflicted with suffering or who are excluded from their social environment. For example, they could be innocent victims or be treated unfairly. Or have other problems for which they are not responsible because they may be restricted by an illness. On the other hand, empathy arises when characters behave particularly socially in their environment. This happens, for example, when they risk their life for someone or stand up for justice or simply be loyal and friendly to others. Overall, it is about qualities that maintain a harmonious balance in a community. And nowhere do you need anything more than in a fantastic world full of war and intrigue.

The unloved child Tyrion and social heroism

Undoubtedly, Tyrion Lannister is one of the most popular characters out there game of Thrones. So it is no coincidence that a funny picture with an author George RR Martin made the rounds on the Internet, holding up a sign with the following text: Be nice to me or Tyrion is next. The humor can only arise in the context that the large masses know about the numerous deaths of the series and Tyrion is accepted as a particularly popular figure. But why is it so popular? Sure, he's pretty smart. That's impressive, but no guarantee that you will like him better than other clever characters. His propensity to read and drink is also well known. Bookworms and friends of alcohol should find themselves in it and thus gain a sympathetic side. For people who don't like to get drunk or who can't read that much, the opposite can happen. So we have to dig deeper.

Especially in childhood, all people perceive their parents as super-beings whose opinion is universal. One has the urge not only to be accepted by them but also to be admired. Only then can you be really proud of yourself. Tyrion Lannister had no chance from the start. His father rejected him solely because he was short and his mother died in childbirth. In either case, Tyrion is not to blame and could not have done anything about it. As a spectator, one feels this situation as terribly unfair and pity for the dwarf automatically arises. However, the fact that he does not give up and continues to fight to gain recognition in society (and especially from his father) arouses admiration. But that's not the only aspect of empathy with Tyrion. He also defends Sansa Stark in front of her fiancé Joffrey, although from his point of view she should belong to the enemy camp. But he is generally committed to justice and thus behaves positively in the social network.

Speaking of defending Sansa Stark: First of all, apart from its pretty shell, this figure has no traits that could fascinate. She's just a well-adjusted, well-mannered girl. Viewers can still take it to their hearts, because it is played really badly and one feels pity. Not only did she have to endure the cruel Joffrey, in the course of the plot she also ends up as a wife to Ramsay. (At least in the series.) Her sister Arya, on the other hand, is out of place from the start and, unlike the other women, fails miserably at her sewing work. While this is an activity some of us cannot, others can. But everyone should be familiar with the general feeling of underperforming in society that is expected of us. Eddard Stark defends his son Bran from his brothers right from the start, when he does not do very well at the bow and arrow. As viewers, we perceive that Bran is embarrassed in front of his entire family and suffer from experience with him. More important, however, is his father's social behavior, who shows understanding and also encourages him by emphasizing that no one is a marksman by the age of ten. So many pluses for the Stark family.

Tyrion shows a lot of understanding for the battered Sansa. (Copyright: HBO)

As a Stark member in the broader sense, Jon Snow turns out to be the alleged son of Eddard Stark only as a bastard in society. This immediately brings empathy back into play. Being excluded from the rest of the social network is something that causes pity in all of us. The fact that Jon is not allowed to sit at the family table or is generally rejected by Catelyn Stark is definitely not his fault and is felt all the more unjust. He also behaves very socially, for example by defending the clumsy Samwell Tarly. Incidentally, we feel much less empathy with this fat boy, because he hardly does anything to be accepted by the others. He actually only collects plus points after taking care of Goldy or Gilly - clearly socially positive behavior.

The attitude towards Theon Graufreud / Greyjoy may also have changed for some. At first this seems quite inconspicuous. Although he is officially a hostage of the Stark family, this does not trigger any pity, as he is treated quite well and is even considered a best friend by son Robb Stark. With the decision to betray his “adoptive family” and burn young children, however, he developed into one of the most hated characters in the series. This hatred was later tempered by being humiliated and tortured by Ramsay Bolton over several seasons. What is initially perceived as a just punishment can at some point only be seen as torture. The fact that he helps Sansa Stark to escape her tormentor also shows itself to be social behavior and brings him back a few plus points. The change of Jamie Lannister is even clearer. At first he seems to be pretty selfish and even throws a little boy out of the window. But above all his behavior towards Brienne von Tarth is placed in an admirable social context. Not only does it save her from being raped, he even saves her life - without asking for anything in return. At the same time, he loses his right hand almost at the same time and is therefore restricted in all ways of acting, which also brings him pity.

As a final example, we will use Daenerys again. At first she is forced to marry a complete stranger whose language she does not even speak. Your insecurity can be emulated in this way. In the course of the plot, however, she molts quite a bit and has been in a position for a long time in which she can hardly be beaten. All setbacks are thrown back by her as quickly as possible. The mother of the dragons gradually developed into a person that one admires rather than identifies with her.This also explains why some fans are still fervently behind her, but others now consider her boring.

Those were just a few examples game of Thrones, nevertheless you can see very clearly that in the theory of Karl Iglesias what's on: With the methods of curiosity, fascination and empathy you can emotionally bind viewers to a character. All three levels were applied enough, which should also explain why most of the fans of the series not only remain loyal, but also have umpteen characters in their hearts. The rule is: curiosity catches, fascination focuses and empathy tightens the emotional knot. And sits somewhere George RR Martin and laughs up his sleeve that he has taken one of our favorites from us again. A serial death would be so uninteresting if no one mourned the character.

Seldom has a series shocked so much as Game of Thrones with the death of Jon Snow. (Copyright: HBO)

Game of Thrones blog tour including competition

This post is part of the wonderful action Fans on tour, the big blog tour too game of Thrones. A new contribution to the great fantasy series by will appear here every day throughout November George RR Martin. In addition to daily reading contributions, there is also a lot of merchandise worth a total of 1,200 euros to be won! Also included are a replica of Jon Snow's sword Longclaw (* cough *, self-promotion), but also the complete book series, calendar, graphic novels and much more. You can find an overview of the contributions and more information here.

To take part in the competition, all you have to do is answer a simple question, please directly in the comments: Who is your favorite character? game of Thrones and why?

On the Game of Thrones blog tour, in addition to daily posts, you get the chance to win prizes worth 1,200 euros!

  • The little one is the biggest ...

    Thank you for this great contribution!

    My avowed favorite is Arya Stark. A little girl who turns from a playing tomboy to a survivor in no time at all, you look up! Just because it's a girl!

    best regards

  • Strong yet vulnerable

    Nice contribution but in my opinion it focuses too much on the supposed main characters.
    My favorite is Brienne from Tarth. No other character in the series so hauntingly combines physical strength with inner vulnerability. Hardly any other character is as loyal and conscientious as she is without asking for something in return. No other character had to live with ridicule from childhood like her and has to prove himself again and again. A consistently successful figure with flaws that make her all the more human.

  • You have to love it .....

    Tyrion just because of his personality and heroics, of course! :-)
    LG Jenny

  • Strong

    Arya Stark is my favorite character, she is brave, brave a survival artist and she breaks the rules
    she shows the girl can fight too.

  • Tyrion :-)

    My absolute favorite, both in the series and in the book series, has been Tyrion from the beginning and he will probably remain so. Why? He is by far the most intelligent character, never gives up, is humorous and always has good ideas. Without him, GoT wouldn't be half as good. In the series you have to give Peter Dinklage the highest credit, of course, he plays Tyrion phenomenally.

    best regards

  • There is only one true hero:

    Jaime Lannister!
    I didn't like him at first, of course, but over time he has become one of my favorite characters. From boo man to celebrated denouncer of grievances. Especially since his trip with Brienne, he has undergone a transformation that is second to none. The highlight of this is sure to be the chopping off of his hand. After that he is a plaything for his sister and his father, but he still retains a certain independence. This and his repeatedly unexpected humor make him a great addition to the series.

  • Sansa Stark - from annoying spoiled girl to strong woman

    My favorite character is Sansa Stark. I love multi-layered characters that are not or remain rigid and stereotypical, but rather develop over the course of the story. Sansa was rather annoying from the first episode - a spoiled highborn girl, very naive at that. She ran straight into her misery. At some point she was pitiful. But what happened to her then made her develop more and more. At the end of the current season, she's strong and knows what she wants. At the same time, she has still remained herself and - in contrast to many film heroes who are unrealistically portrayed as "perfect" - her wounds are still noticeable. It acts out of what has happened. In my opinion, a very ingenious character design by the author and filmmaker!

  • Ygritte.

    Actually, women should be like that, so free and independent and self-determined. She gets along wonderfully on her own, but can also let herself go if she wants. She is quick-witted, emancipated and her skills are highly regarded in the group.

  • Brilliant head and yet understandable

    My favorite characters are the three mysteries Bealish and Varis, but above all Tyrion Lannister. The game of thrones that these three play and that their threads are everywhere has always fascinated me.
    The fact that Tyrion is one of the main characters and thus gets a lot, especially personal screen time, makes him more understandable and approachable for the viewer, which is why you sympathize with him more

  • Thank you thank you...

    Hello and good afternoon,

    Thanks for the great contribution to the blog tour of this blog today. It's nice that you always come across new blogs like this one.

    Arya Stark, I really like the small, sometimes cheeky brat. Even if I am often excited about whether everything will work out that way, the little one imagines it in her head. But that's why I like her so much, because she speaks her mind straight away and is always good for a surprise.

    LG..Karin ...

  • Very nice post

    The theme is implemented very well and even if you mainly limit yourself to main characters - you can't write about all characters from GoT haha
    My favorite character is actually Eddard Stark, but later Petyr Baelish;) excellently executed character by aiden gillen and I love the little squabbles between him and varys;) he is still so shrouded in mystery and still gets what he wants;)

  • Mind over matter

    Tyrion! It is important what you have in your head (and in your heart) and not how high it is carried.

  • From the little bird to the grown woman

    My favorite is Sansa, who through her experiences has developed from an initially vulnerable, naive girl (Little Bird) to a strategically intelligent and self-confident young woman. The weddings with Joffrey and Ramsey shaped her very much and allowed her to grow up, as did the early death of her father and the torments she had to endure. Even if she detests Petyr Baelish, she asks him for help in the battle against the Boltons in order to be superior to them in battle, and I am curious to see how she will develop in the future.

    Kind regards, Alena

  • Jon!

    Of course, Jon Snow!
    Just the fact that it wasn't always easy for him in the Stark family as a "bastard". Nevertheless, he has a big heart and loves his family so much that he always stuck to them! (Even if it was only in his mind) He also has the wonderful trait of character that he is courageous and on top of that has expressed and lived out the potential as a leader several times Has.


  • little girls really big

    Hey :)
    Thank you for your nice contribution.
    My favorite Game of Thrones character is Arya Stark. I just find them remarkable. She goes from being a little girl to being a great survivor and probably beats everyone. In addition, she is still a little girl and has probably achieved more than others. She is brave, brave, can fight and prevails against others. In addition, she doesn't pay special attention to the rules and always manages to impress me. That’s why she’s my darling.
    Greetings Shuting :)

  • Valar Morghulis

    My favorite is definitely Jaqen H'ghar. I love his way and the mysterious thing about him. And I think you have the feeling that there is a lot more going on in your head than it seems.


  • One favorite character is not enough ...

    Unfortunately, I can't even decide on one, because I find that a lot of the characters in GoT are fascinating and multi-layered. Tyrion is one of my favorites, but so is Catelyn Stark, especially in the books. Likewise Brienne. I also find Sansa's development exciting.

    best regards

  • Hard decision

    In fact, your question is almost impossible to answer. Who is my absolute darling? Ned Stark, who put his wife's trust at risk for his sister's secret. John, who is a lovable character for the reasons you mentioned? Arya because she's just more than a girl? Tyrion, because with his biting cynicism he hits my own dark humor well? There are so many, such great characters. But my darling is Sam.
    Apart from the fact that in every fantasy book / movie etc the main character should have a companion named Sam (we have already seen that it only works then with Frodo in the LotR), he is such a good-natured character. He is truly not a fighter, more of a reading teddy bear, but he surpasses himself and is always there for those who are important to him.

  • I like it!

    The question of the favorite character is not that easy, because I think some characters from Game of Thrones are really great. But I think it's Tyrion. Followed closely by Daenerys, Jon and Arya.
    Why? I love his sense of humor. He is a very multi-faceted figure who always manages to inspire anew. :)
    best regards

  • Aria

    For me it is Aria as she is a strong personality. She never gives up, cannot be pigeonholed and fights for her goals.

  • The agony of choice

    Arya has been one of my favorites since the first episode, as has Tyrion. Even Jamie has become very sympathetic to me thanks to his scenes with Brianne.

    Among all the great characters, Brianne is now my favorite.

    It shows men that women can be just as good knights - if not better.
    I always feel sorry for her when she talks about how uncomfortable she felt in clothes and laughs at her because of her size.

    She is brave like a Lannister and loyal like a Stark.
    If I were in Westeros, I would like her to be by my side.

  • justin [email protected]

    Varys (The Spider, Master of Whisperers)! The enigmatic eunuch, embodied by the brilliant actor Conleth Hill, is one of the best played and written characters in my opinion. His mysterious past, his unpredictability and his occasional amusing dialogues with Tyrion Lannister make him my favorite character on the series. (: Valar Morghulis

  • varys (The Spider, Master of Whisperers)!

    The eunuch played by the brilliant actor is, in my opinion, one of the best played and most written characters in the books. His mysterious past, his unpredictability and his occasional amusing dialogues with Tyrion Lannister make him my favorite character on the series (: Valar Morghulis!

  • Hear Me Roar!

    My favorite character is Tywin Lannister.
    He exudes such unbelievable power that nobody seems to be able to harm in the slightest. His family is completely under his command and he confidently leads them to the strongest of Westeros. He does this almost inhumanly only for the benefit of the family, to which he subordinates everything. Through his sons (Jaime in the Kingsguard, he hates Tyrion) he comes into a conflict with his honor, but this does not break him, it only seems to make him safer and to consolidate his power.
    This charisma makes Tywin a real shining light in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms and my favorite character.

  • "I just want to stand on the wall and piss over the edge of the world from up there."

    I just love Tyrion as a character. I like his character, how he developed, his quotes, his sayings and I think he is a really great and unique character. :)

    Kind regards, Tara

  • He drinks and knows things ...

    My favorite character is Tyrion Lannister because, despite his human weaknesses, he combines wisdom, humor and compassion. Although he is innocently despised by many, he (almost) always retains a positive outlook. He also has tremendous knowledge and is always joking. As the hand of the king, he has shown that he can handle great powers with care.

  • Darlings and great contribution

    In general, I like the direwolves best;)
    But if I have to choose then Tyrion and or Arya.
    They didn't necessarily have that much confidence in them. Both have undergone an uncanny change, not necessarily both for the better, but as it is the best for the characters at the moment.

  • The Wolves

    Great contribution!
    My favorite GoT character was and always will be Robb Stark. The young wolf is loyal, honest, combative and loves his family.
    He is not a coward and acts as a strong man should, according to his conscience and what his heart tells him.
    And of course the young wolf was pretty to look at too ...
    LG Melli

  • I love them all

    I don't have a single favorite character on GoT. Many of the characters are so interesting, multi-layered, go through an exciting development to be followed and the storylines are so captivating that I can't and won't commit to one. This is exactly what I like so much about GoT / Asoiaf, that there is not just one main character and his opponent, but a mass of characters, each of which is so different and yet so interesting!

  • Absolutely successful contribution

    ... which I can only agree with. My absolute favorite, however, was only mentioned in passing.

    Brienne is my unbeaten number 1. I love her loyalty, her character and that, like Arya, she is not ladylike but can also prove herself with arms and courage.

    Closely followed by Arya for the reasons mentioned above, the red-haired "You don't know anything, Jon Schnee" lady, who was very rough and yet feminine, sensual and loved in a sympathetic way, Tyrion, also the reasons and Ser above Jorah. Oh, his love for Daenerys is so heartbreakingly beautiful.

  • Honest & straight forward

    Olenna Tyrell - The Queen of Thorns

    It is a bit old - but still very powerful!
    She always says what she thinks & tries to get what she wants with every means available to her
    Obviously she would do anything for your family D: It worked less well, but at least the plan was interesting every time: D

    Momo: D

  • On the edge and yet in the center

    My favorite character is Arya Stark, because she goes through an interesting character development, is incredibly fun to watch, and yet, unlike the others, she does not participate in the game of thrones at all, just touches it.

  • Daenerys

    My favorite character is Daenerys. I think it's really cool how she shows in the first season that she ("although she is a woman") can take over the lead. She also has dragons and who doesn't love dragons? : 3 xD No, honestly, Daenerys excited me the most of all and I'm really looking forward to the new season. :)

  • Daenerys & Jon For Queen & King

    Good evening & thank you for this great contribution.
    I didn't realize how complicated and broad the whole thing is. :)
    I have two declared favorites.
    Jon Snow because he's attractive, good at fighting, warm and even-tempered, and compassionate at a time when that can be fatal. :)
    Daenerys Targaryen because she is attractive, can think strategically and mostly follows her heart. I like strong characters, which is why Arya Stark is one of my favorites.
    best regards

  • Arya Stark

    Arya Stark because she has such an amazing personality and strength.

    Best regards,

  • Tyrion and Arya

    A great contribution to shorten the time until the next season (or the next book

  • dwarfs

    of course tyrion! I think he's just funny and even if he's treated badly by a lot of people, he's a good person inside and helps many!