Which is irrelevant to how good the set is. I could add 40 Shadow Knights to the set on my own. That doesn't mean my impressions and judgement of the set should be based on what I can possibly add to it. The only way to judge the set itself is by how it is on its own, straight from the box.
this is true, but a confusing statement. you previously criticized it for being a bad modifier, and then said you aren't judging it based on how it might or might not be as a modifier. i seem to recall seeing sets often judged on what one could or could not add or subtract to them. i think it might be more accurate to say the set design is bad. the set itself are pieces in a box which have a suggested arrangment (and the pieces reflect that arrangment) but even the boxes themselves not only recognize but encourage modification. how many "sets" (meaning "bunch of pieces") have all of us taken apart, used pieces of, discarded parts of, et cetera.
this is lego. "sets" inherently only exist as you make them. as many customs as are on this site, you'd think we'd be past reviewing "sets" as if they exist independently of every other lego ever made.
your statement that you wouldn't buy it even at $5 boggles my mind. hyperbole aside, there are plenty
of pieces in this thing that i could do so many things with. all one needs is imagination, which i know all of us have.
all that said, i like the design. i don't find the interior to exist as simply space between pillars and actually don't know where you even get that impression (if i've misunderstood you i apologize). and i think there are plenty of things in this set to play with. it's a good way to get all the main characters in this universe (the inclusion of only one shadow knight is kind of silly, but i wouldn't want to have spent a whole lot more just for more shadow knights). and i would want to launch scorpions into a castle because they're poisonous. and dangerous. pretend that vladek controls them and they become little spies or attackers on the inside of the walls. again, just use some imagination. i've found more ways to play with this set than any other, actually. i've set up a blacksmith's shop in one of the smaller towers. i've played in the "dungeon" area below the whole thing. i've decorated the big room on the "first" floor with shields and other things, i've redecorated the throne room.
this is not a great set, and is designed very differently from many good, older sets. i don't expect it to be everyone's cup of tea. but nothing is as useless as as the vitriolic animosity spouted in this thread suggests this is. if you don't think it's worth the money, don't buy it, but to insinuate that it's so reprehensible that you'd barely want it for free is just stupid.