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Harold Godwinson

Harold Godwinson called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. Harold reigned from 6 January 1066 until his death at the Battle of Hastings, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England, his death marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England. Harold was a powerful member of a prominent Anglo-Saxon family with ties to Cnut the Great. Upon the death of his brother-in-law King Edward the Confessor on 5 January 1066, the Witenagemot convened and chose Harold to succeed. In late September, he repelled an invasion by rival claimant Harald Hardrada of Norway before marching his army back south to meet William the Conqueror at Hastings two weeks later. Harold was a son of Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex, of Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose brother Ulf the Earl was married to Estrid Svendsdatter, the daughter of King Sweyn Forkbeard and sister of King Cnut the Great of England and Denmark. Ulf and Estrith's son would become King Sweyn II of Denmark in 1047.

Godwin was the son of Wulfnoth a thegn and a native of Sussex. Godwin began his political career by supporting King Edmund Ironside, but switched to supporting King Cnut by 1018, when Cnut named him Earl of Wessex. Godwin remained an earl throughout the remainder of Cnut's reign, one of only two earls to survive to the end of that reign. On Cnut's death in 1035, Godwin supported Harthacnut instead of Cnut's initial successor Harold Harefoot, but managed to switch sides in 1037—although not without becoming involved in the 1036 murder of Alfred Aetheling, half-brother of Harthacnut and younger brother of the King Edward the Confessor; when Harold Harefoot died in 1040, Harthacnut became King of England and Godwin's power was imperiled by his earlier involvement in Alfred's murder, but an oath and large gift secured the new king's favour for Godwin. Harthacnut's death in 1042 involved Godwin in a role as kingmaker, helping to secure the English throne for Edward the Confessor. In 1045 Godwin reached the height of his power.

Godwin and Gytha had several children—six sons: Sweyn, Tostig, Gyrth and Wulfnoth. The birthdates of the children are unknown. Harold was aged about 25 in 1045, which makes his birth year around 1020. Edith married Edward on 23 January 1045 and, around that time, Harold became Earl of East Anglia. Harold is called "earl" when he appears as a witness in a will that may date to 1044. One reason for his appointment to East Anglia may have been a need to defend against the threat from King Magnus the Good of Norway, it is possible that Harold led some of the ships from his earldom that were sent to Sandwich in 1045 against Magnus. Sweyn, Harold's elder brother, had been named an earl in 1043, it was around the time that Harold was named an earl that he began a relationship with Edith, who appears to have been the heiress to lands in Cambridgeshire and Essex, lands in Harold's new earldom. The relationship was a form of marriage, not blessed or sanctioned by the Church, known as More danico, or "in the Danish manner", was accepted by most laypeople in England at the time.

Any children of such a union were considered legitimate. Harold entered the relationship in part to secure support in his new earldom. Harold's elder brother Sweyn was exiled in 1047 after abducting the abbess of Leominster. Sweyn's lands were divided between a cousin, Beorn. In 1049, Harold was in command of a ship or ships that were sent with a fleet to aid Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor against Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, in revolt against Henry. During this campaign, Sweyn returned to England and attempted to secure a pardon from the king, but Harold and Beorn refused to return any of their lands, Sweyn, after leaving the royal court, took Beorn hostage and killed him; when in 1051 Earl Godwin was sent into exile, Harold accompanied his father and helped him to regain his position a year later. Godwin died in 1053, Harold succeeded him as Earl of Wessex; this arguably made him the most powerful figure in England after the king. In 1055 Harold drove back the Welsh. Harold became Earl of Hereford in 1058, replaced his late father as the focus of opposition to growing Norman influence in England under the restored monarchy of Edward the Confessor, who had spent more than 25 years in exile in Normandy.

He led a series of successful campaigns against Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of king of Wales. This conflict ended with Gruffydd's defeat and death in 1063. In 1064, Harold was shipwrecked at Ponthieu. There is much speculation about this voyage; the earliest post-conquest Norman chroniclers report that King Edward had sent Robert of Jumièges, Archbishop of Canterbury, to appoint as his heir Edward's maternal kinsman, William of Normandy, that at this date Harold was sent to swear fealty. Scholars disagree as to the reliability of this story. William, at least, seems to have believed he had been offered the succession, but there must have been some confusion either on William's part or by both men, since the English succession was neither inherited nor determined by the reigning monarch. Instead the Witenagemot, the assemb

Zhuge Zhan

Zhuge Zhan, courtesy name Siyuan, was a military general and official of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period of China. He was a son of the first Imperial Chancellor of Shu; when Zhuge Zhan was 16 years old, he married a Shu princess and was appointed as a Cavalry Commandant. One year he was promoted to a General of the Household in the Yulin unit of the Imperial Guards, he subsequently held the following positions in the Shu government: Palace Attendant, Supervisor of the Masters of Writing and Military Adviser-General. Apart from serving as an official, Zhuge Zhan was skilled in painting and calligraphy. Since the people of Shu missed Zhuge Liang, who died in 234, they liked Zhuge Zhan for his talents because he reminded them of his father. Whenever the Shu government implemented a favourable policy, the people give credit to Zhuge Zhan though it might have had nothing to do with him; as Zhuge Liang banned the position of official historian in the Shu government, it was hard to distinguish which policies Zhuge Zhan had a role in, although it was clear that Zhuge Zhan's reputation was greater than his actual accomplishments.

Zhuge Zhan's frequent promotions continued until he reached the top of the imperial administrative system – the role of the Imperial Secretariat. At the same time, Zhuge Zhan was appointed as acting Protector-General and acting General of the Guards. Having seen his father adopt an aggressive foreign policy towards Shu's rival state Cao Wei in the form of six military campaigns between 228 and 234, Zhuge Zhan recognised the inherent dangers of overly using military force for Shu since it was far weaker than Wei in terms of military and economic power. After Jiang Wei became the de facto overall commander of the Shu army, Zhuge Zhan attempted to dissuade him from continuing to wage war against Wei but to no avail – Jiang Wei launched a total of 11 military campaigns against Wei between 240 and 262. After Jiang Wei suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Wei forces, Zhuge Zhan wrote to the Shu emperor Liu Shan, asking him to remove Jiang Wei from his military command and replace him with Yan Yu, a friend of the eunuch Huang Hao.

Zhuge Zhan's memorial to Liu Shan was preserved and was still available by the time of the Jin dynasty. However, it is not known whether Liu Shan heeded Zhuge Zhan's advice, because Jiang Wei did not return to the Shu capital, after his failure in the last of the 11 campaigns because he knew that the people of Shu were resentful of him. Liu Shan compromised Zhuge Zhan's proposal to switch from an offensive stance against Wei to a defensive one, because he had earlier replaced Wei Yan's tried-and-tested defensive layout with a high-risk-high-reward strategy by Jiang Wei; the Shu general Wei Yan had invented a defensive strategy to hinder and repel invading forces by setting up "covering camps" on the outskirts and exits of trails leading to Hanzhong Commandery, a strategic location on the road into the Shu heartland. After Wei Yan's death, Liu Shan had followed this arrangement, which allowed the Shu forces to keep Wei invaders out every time. However, Jiang Wei argued that Wei Yan's design "could only repel the enemy but not reap big profits."

Hoping to score a decisive victory, Jiang Wei proposed to abandon the camps set up by Wei Yan and vacate all the passes in the Qin Mountains, so an invading Wei army could be lured deeper into Hanzhong Commandery, where the weary expedition force could be blocked and rendered vulnerable to a Shu counterattack upon retreat. Jiang Wei claimed his arrangement could achieve a decisive victory unimaginable when they had just defended along the Qin Mountains. Since Jiang Wei's analysis had sound logic and merit, Zhuge Zhan did not oppose dismantling Wei Yan's intertwined fortifications. In early 263, Jiang Wei requested reinforcements from Chengdu after he heard that the Wei government had put the general Zhong Hui in charge of military affairs along the Wei–Shu border. However, Liu Shan believed in Huang Hao's witchcraft, according to which destiny dictated Wei that would not attack. Liu Shan did not inform Zhuge Zhan of Jiang Wei's warnings. Liu Shan did send reinforcements before the Wei invasion commenced.

When the Wei forces started advancing towards Shu in September 263, the first half of Jiang Wei's plan worked – the Wei forces marched unopposed until they reached Han and Yue counties, which served as bait to wear out the enemy. However, Zhong Hui sent two smaller detachments to attack the two counties and led the main Wei army further into Shu territory. In the meantime, Jiang Wei lost to the Wei generals Wang Qi and Yang Xin and had to retreat to the fortified mountain pass at Jiange. Upon learning that Jiang Wei's plan had failed and sown the seeds of destruction, Zhuge Zhan hastily assembled an army in Chengdu and moved to Fu County to prepare for a final defence; the aforementioned military movements happened within weeks, Zhong Hui's rapid advance shocked most of the Shu generals. As they realised the danger of letting the enemy in, Jiang Wei and his comrades were still stuck at Jiange; as he knew that Jiange was well-defended, Zhuge Zhan did not send reinforcements there and instead held his position in Fu County.

When the Wei general Deng Ai appeared in Jiangyou with his troops after taking a dangerous shortcut across mountainous terrain, the official in charge of Jiangyou surrendered without putting up a fight. Huang Chong, a son of Huang Quan, had urged Zhuge Zhan on

Kingmaker scenario

In game theory, a kingmaker scenario in a game of three or more players, is an endgame situation where a player, unable to win has the capacity to determine which player among others will. Said player is referred to as the spoiler. No longer playing for themselves, they may make game decisions to favor a player who played more favorably earlier in the game. Except in games where interpersonal politics, by design, play a decisive role, this is undesirable. In the context of a democratic election, this scenario is termed the spoiler effect. Consider this simple game: Three gladiators play, with strengths 3, 4, 5. In turn, each gladiator must engage another, they begin combat; the result of combat is that the weaker player is eliminated, the stronger player loses strength equal to that of the weaker player. The winning gladiator is the last one standing; each round of combat eliminates one gladiator, so there will be two rounds of combat. The first round of combat will eliminate one participant and weaken the other to a strength no greater than 2.

The nonparticipant's strength is at least 3, so they are guaranteed to win the second round of combat, the entire contest. Therefore, the game collapses: The winning gladiator is the one not involved in the first battle. Hence, the gladiator whose turn comes first is the kingmaker, they must be involved in the first battle, hence cannot win, but with the liberty of choosing their opponent in that battle, can elect either of the other two players to be the winner of the contest. Because they allow the outcome of the game to be determined by a player of inferior strategy, kingmaker scenarios are considered undesirable, though to some extent they may be unavoidable in strategy games. Of course the argument can be made that this means the winner, chosen by the kingmaker, played with the additional restriction of not annoying the other players as much a more difficult task. In these games, the game mechanics, players' outcomes and strategies are so interconnected that to eliminate all possibilities of this situation is impossible.

In tournament situations where for instance the first few teams proceed to the next round, a player, guaranteed to proceed can experience a situation similar to a kingmaker. They can sometimes influence. For such a player it can be profitable to make sure the weakest player proceeds, because this reduces his competition in subsequent rounds; this is seen as undesirable because it conflicts with the concept that the strongest few are allowed to proceed to the next round. Different games deal with the kingmaker problem in different ways: In the game of Puerto Rico, players conceal their victory point totals; this makes it unclear. By introducing randomness, games can make sure that everyone in the game still has a chance of winning the game, no matter how bad their situation may be. Obscuring victory points can accomplish this, for not knowing whether one can still win can have the same effect as still having a chance to win. For example, in the group stages of tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, the final set of games in the group are played at the same time.

This results in fewer situations. Games can have rules that eliminate players who have no chance of winning the game, so they can not influence the game further. Games in a tournament setting, can attribute value to places other than the first place; the potential kingmaker would be able to play for their own benefit if they can no longer win. In the example of the gladiators, if the gladiator with strength 4 has to be involved in the first round, they will choose the gladiator with strength 3 as opponent instead of being indifferent. Most games prohibit—with penalties greater than match loss —questionable or unsportsmanlike conduct geared toward effecting a kingmaker scenario. Stalling, or intentionally slowing game play in timed games, for personal advantage or to that of a leading player, is treated as unsportsmanlike conduct; the use of revokes, or intentional rules violations, in trick-taking card games, to void a round and effect a kingmaker scenario is discouraged by use of severe penalties.

In tournaments, doing this can be classified as cheating. In the rounds of a Magic: The Gathering tournament, the rules permit a player to concede defeat for any reason other than bribery; therefore if a player is too weak to obtain one of the top eight win-loss records, such that they cannot advance to the three-round single-elimination playoff that concludes the tournament, they can wield some degree of kingmaker influence by a) conceding to the one or more players whose victory they would most prefer but b) doing his/her best to obtain a win against anyone else. In tournaments featuring lower numbers of players and rounds, such that both a) players are more to encounter friends/allies and b) each win or loss counts more kingmaker situations are therefore frequent. For this reason, many players follow a practice of conceding to anyone who has a strong chance of winning one of the eight playoff spots, thereby avoiding as far as possible the appearance of engaging in unsportsmanlike collusion with any party in preference over any other.

Other games may explicitly encourage a kingmaker scenario. An example of this is the television series Survivor, where the last seven to ten contestants voted out form a jury that chooses a winner from the final