a more intimate affair, the latest step in a dance

Discussion in 'English Only' started by thetazuo, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. thetazuo

    thetazuo Senior Member

    China
    Chinese - China
    No great hosts encircled Raventree, as Riverrun had been encircled. This siege was a more intimate affair, the latest step in a dance that went back many centuries. At best Jonos Bracken had five hundred men about the castle. Jaime saw no siege towers, no battering rams, no catapults.
    (A Dance with Dragons, novel)

    Context: An amry, led by Jonos Bracken, was besieging a castle called Raventree.

    Hi. What does the bold part mean?
    Thank you.
     
  2. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    There were fewer troops surrounding the castle than was the case when Riverrun was besieged. Thus it was a smaller (more intimate) affair, lyrically described as the latest step in a centuries-old dance (perhaps referring to some never-ending feud?).
     
  3. thetazuo

    thetazuo Senior Member

    China
    Chinese - China
    Thank you, LB. I don’t know “intimate” can mean “small”.
     
  4. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    It doesn’t, literally. But it often does in practice. As in an intimate theatre, typically one so small that the whole audience is quite close up to the stage.
     
  5. Barque Senior Member

    India
    Tamil
    Yes, I agree. "Intimate" conveys the impression of people knowing each other well or interacting closely, and that's more easily achieved with smaller groups.
     

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