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[A Song of Ice and Fire, Books and Books+Show] Touch this thread and all shall be spoilt

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  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Sigh. I'd planned not to read the books again until the new book had an announcement date, but I've been wanting to make "what happens in this book" and "what happens in this chapter" flashcards, and now I want to read through with a critical "what can be cut here without harming the story?" eye.

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  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    I gotta wonder why some people even admit they read the books with how much they want to cut. Most things from the books are just establishing the setting anyways from a single point of view, the tv show is not stuck in first person. All kinds of things will take a 1000 words and turn it into a single picture.

    For me, the big thing from the books that I wonder if it will be cut or not is the songs. The whole appeal of these books for me is how much world is not like it is in bard's songs but then suddenly it is - that is the return of magic IMHO. Your fingers or your tongue, bard, which do you want cut?

    I like that what we're seeing in Westeros will one day probably be a rather cheerful bard's song, and then you realize all the stories from those songs were probably filled with horrific tragedy as well

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    I gotta wonder why some people even admit they read the books with how much they want to cut. Most things from the books are just establishing the setting anyways from a single point of view, the tv show is not stuck in first person. All kinds of things will take a 1000 words and turn it into a single picture.

    For me, the big thing from the books that I wonder if it will be cut or not is the songs. The whole appeal of these books for me is how much world is not like it is in bard's songs but then suddenly it is - that is the return of magic IMHO. Your fingers or your tongue, bard, which do you want cut?

    I like that what we're seeing in Westeros will one day probably be a rather cheerful bard's song, and then you realize all the stories from those songs were probably filled with horrific tragedy as well

    That is the impression I got too, especially when Bran went super sayan or whatever the fuck that was north of the wall that gave some really, really interesting insights into the setting - it was like all of a sudden the blue guy from the Watchmen was all "Yeah, so Bran, time doesn't exist" while the rest of us were distracted by his penis. Wait, maybe this is where he went... Dun dun dun!

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  • ShadowenShadowen Snores in the morning Registered User regular
    It's not that time doesn't exist. It's that somehow, weirwoods are a magical tree that has become unhooked from the fourth dimension.

  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Sigh. I'd planned not to read the books again until the new book had an announcement date, but I've been wanting to make "what happens in this book" and "what happens in this chapter" flashcards, and now I want to read through with a critical "what can be cut here without harming the story?" eye.

    I need to do something similar for the Malazan books.

    You think these are bad? A cast of thousands with strange names like "Sorry" and "Chance". Also, gods and goddesses and people ascending and dying and being cast into other dimensions. It's a headache.

    Tamin on
  • juggerbotjuggerbot Registered User regular
    Sigh. I'd planned not to read the books again until the new book had an announcement date, but I've been wanting to make "what happens in this book" and "what happens in this chapter" flashcards, and now I want to read through with a critical "what can be cut here without harming the story?" eye.

    Some people have already made summaries of each (or most) chapters. Unless you were simply doing it for the experience.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Honestly, it wasn't a threat. Arya just spoke a universal truth. "Anyone can be killed" is simply true. Yes, it can be viewed as a threat... if you're an insecure pussy. Tywin ain't that.

    Exactly.

    Tarantio wrote: »
    I don't talk about other book series on the internet much. Is it common for people to wish the author had cut out entire characters and plot arcs? Or to skip them when reading?

    It's just so alien to me, and the way I approach books.

    While it is certainly a matter of opinion, many people believe that large sections of ASoIaF were not really part of GRRM's original vision for a trilogy, but were later back-filled for the purpose of taking up a lot of time and space, and that they reek of it. So I don't know if it's particularly "common" for people to wish such things, but this series in particular is rather known for stretching out over many years IRL without giving fans any new material on their favorite characters, while drumming up hundreds of pages on things like the extended Greyjoy family, or a ridiculously drawn out saga of Dany in the East, which seem to serve no purpose whatsoever to the story we thought we were reading.

    Anyway, I was thinking the other day, and was wondering if the TV show is planning to use Ros as Jeyne Pool / Fake-Arya.

    Yar on
  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    She could also end up as the whore Cersei thinks she "gets Tyrion" with... Ch--something. I forget her name right now.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Tamin wrote: »
    Sigh. I'd planned not to read the books again until the new book had an announcement date, but I've been wanting to make "what happens in this book" and "what happens in this chapter" flashcards, and now I want to read through with a critical "what can be cut here without harming the story?" eye.

    I need to do something similar for the Malazan books.

    You think these are bad? A cast of thousands with strange names like "Sorry" and "Chance". Also, gods and goddesses and people ascending and dying and being cast into other dimensions. It's a headache.

    I didn't make it out of the first book. There's just no sense of what the "rules" are, and barely any of the characters are at all distinguished. Okay, the insane puppet was kind of interesting, but not enough that I continued reading.

    No matter how bad ASoIaF gets, I never had trouble telling two characters apart or understanding how things worked.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    Honestly, it wasn't a threat. Arya just spoke a universal truth. "Anyone can be killed" is simply true. Yes, it can be viewed as a threat... if you're an insecure pussy. Tywin ain't that.

    Exactly.

    Tarantio wrote: »
    I don't talk about other book series on the internet much. Is it common for people to wish the author had cut out entire characters and plot arcs? Or to skip them when reading?

    It's just so alien to me, and the way I approach books.

    While it is certainly a matter of opinion, many people believe that large sections of ASoIaF were not really part of GRRM's original vision for a trilogy, but were later back-filled for the purpose of taking up a lot of time and space, and that they reek of it. So I don't know if it's particularly "common" for people to wish such things, but this series in particular is rather known for stretching out over many years IRL without giving fans any new material on their favorite characters, while drumming up hundreds of pages on things like the extended Greyjoy family, or a ridiculously drawn out saga of Dany in the East, which seem to serve no purpose whatsoever to the story we thought we were reading.

    Anyway, I was thinking the other day, and was wondering if the TV show is planning to use Ros as Jeyne Pool / Fake-Arya.

    Which is a really dumb opinion based on not understanding that under the "original version" where the series would be only like 3 or 4 books, the ending of ASOS would have been the ending of like book 1 or 2 at most.

    The problem with people like this is they are just wrong when they claim stuff about "the series they were originally reading".

  • HeisenbergHeisenberg Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    AsoiaF at it's very worst is still not that bad, just boring. Bran has a few boring chapters between Book 3 and 5, and probably over half of Dany's chapters in Book 5 are even more boring. But that's the extent of it. I hated Cersei's chapters in book 4 but by the end they served a clear purpose. Hopefully in book 6 we'll be rewarded for being so patient with Dany and Bran.

    Besides, it's worth getting through the very few low points in the series for the constant unbelievable highs. It's still leagues better than any other fantasy available today, and for my money the best fantasy full stop since Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

    Heisenberg on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

    If you can't see the purpose of the Iron Born story within the larger context of the series, you are utterly hopeless. Even by the end of AFFC is was blatantly obvious how is was going to intersect with the already established plots.

    ASOS doesn't come anywhere close to closing out most of the storylines in ASIOAF. It does the opposite in fact, with basically all of the major characters being spread to the 4 winds in order to undergo some sort of "training" as an obvious set up for the second half of the series.

  • HeisenbergHeisenberg Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

    I agree that boatloads can be cut and the TV series by the end might be considered to be a lot more focused than the book series, but GRRM's ability with immersing the reader with atmosphere makes even the slogs enjoyable. That's the main reason I'm able to not mind the irrelivant stuff, though not delivering with the cliffhangers in DwD was extremely frustrating.

  • juggerbotjuggerbot Registered User regular
    Is there any talk of the TV show actually doing the 5 year gap which GRRM had originally planned? It seems that would be a convenient way to both save a lot of time and sidestep the problem of the child actors visibly growing older. GRRM had said he didn't want to rely on a ton of flashbacks in the books, but maybe that will translate better to TV? It would be interesting if their writers could figure it out.

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

    Call me when you're publishing your own epic fantasy series.

    (I think your opinion is baseless and unreasonable.)

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  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Tamin wrote: »
    Sigh. I'd planned not to read the books again until the new book had an announcement date, but I've been wanting to make "what happens in this book" and "what happens in this chapter" flashcards, and now I want to read through with a critical "what can be cut here without harming the story?" eye.

    I need to do something similar for the Malazan books.

    You think these are bad? A cast of thousands with strange names like "Sorry" and "Chance". Also, gods and goddesses and people ascending and dying and being cast into other dimensions. It's a headache.

    I didn't make it out of the first book. There's just no sense of what the "rules" are, and barely any of the characters are at all distinguished. Okay, the insane puppet was kind of interesting, but not enough that I continued reading.

    No matter how bad ASoIaF gets, I never had trouble telling two characters apart or understanding how things worked.

    I don't blame you in the slightest.

    The rules are fairly rigid, once you get to know them. It's actually based on a pnp game the author plays with his friends. He did a reddit ... thing.

    I struggled with the series for a long time. What I recommend doing is jumping to the fourth book: House of Chains; the first ... half or so (I forget how it's divided up) is a very point A ... point B story. Much smaller cast of characters, and you get a stronger grounding in the world. It helps, believe me.

    ---
    juggerbot wrote: »
    Is there any talk of the TV show actually doing the 5 year gap which GRRM had originally planned? It seems that would be a convenient way to both save a lot of time and sidestep the problem of the child actors visibly growing older. GRRM had said he didn't want to rely on a ton of flashbacks in the books, but maybe that will translate better to TV? It would be interesting if their writers could figure it out.

    I hope not. For one, that would mean I'd have to wait 5 years after season 4 to see the next episode, and the wait for book 4.5 nearly killed me. Second, these are actors. It would be really difficult to guarantee they would be available (not to mention alive, healthy and so on) in 5 years; replacing Maisie would be a terribly sad thing.

    Tamin on
  • juggerbotjuggerbot Registered User regular
    Tamin wrote: »
    juggerbot wrote: »
    Is there any talk of the TV show actually doing the 5 year gap which GRRM had originally planned? It seems that would be a convenient way to both save a lot of time and sidestep the problem of the child actors visibly growing older. GRRM had said he didn't want to rely on a ton of flashbacks in the books, but maybe that will translate better to TV? It would be interesting if their writers could figure it out.

    I hope not. For one, that would mean I'd have to wait 5 years after season 4 to see the next episode, and the wait for book 4.5 nearly killed me. Second, these are actors. It would be really difficult to guarantee they would be available (not to mention alive, healthy and so on) in 5 years; replacing Maisie would be a terribly sad thing.
    [/quote]

    I don't mean a real time 5 year gap, just the events in the show. If they could use makeup to keep Bran/Arya/Sansa etc. looking young as possible just before the in-show jump, then "age" them at the start of the next season, coupled with a "5 years later" on-screen explanation.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    juggerbot wrote: »
    Tamin wrote: »
    juggerbot wrote: »
    Is there any talk of the TV show actually doing the 5 year gap which GRRM had originally planned? It seems that would be a convenient way to both save a lot of time and sidestep the problem of the child actors visibly growing older. GRRM had said he didn't want to rely on a ton of flashbacks in the books, but maybe that will translate better to TV? It would be interesting if their writers could figure it out.

    I hope not. For one, that would mean I'd have to wait 5 years after season 4 to see the next episode, and the wait for book 4.5 nearly killed me. Second, these are actors. It would be really difficult to guarantee they would be available (not to mention alive, healthy and so on) in 5 years; replacing Maisie would be a terribly sad thing.

    I don't mean a real time 5 year gap, just the events in the show. If they could use makeup to keep Bran/Arya/Sansa etc. looking young as possible just before the in-show jump, then "age" them at the start of the next season, coupled with a "5 years later" on-screen explanation.[/quote]

    I doubt it. The book has basically abandoned the 5 year gap, so I imagine the series will do similar.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

    You're making a claim of fact, and then saying we don't get to disagree because it's your opinion.

    Which leads me to believe that your views are not worthwhile to cause me to subscribe to your newsletter, sir.

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  • Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Tamin wrote: »
    Sigh. I'd planned not to read the books again until the new book had an announcement date, but I've been wanting to make "what happens in this book" and "what happens in this chapter" flashcards, and now I want to read through with a critical "what can be cut here without harming the story?" eye.

    I need to do something similar for the Malazan books.

    You think these are bad? A cast of thousands with strange names like "Sorry" and "Chance". Also, gods and goddesses and people ascending and dying and being cast into other dimensions. It's a headache.

    I don't actually think they're that confusing or hard to follow... I just have a terrible problem remembering what books things happened in, and when a friend says "I just finished book 3. EH? Let's talk about it!" I want to be in a place where I can do that.

    Fortunately, other than RW, I tend to estimate that things happen later in the books than they actually do, so I haven't spoiled anything by accident yet... and the RW is so distinct, I always made sure they knew it had happened before going into that.

    As for what I might cut... I'm a writerish person, and it's less "these books were bad and you should feel bad" and more "hmm, a lot of the things I thought were important in book one and two aren't, and a lot of things I thought didn't matter do."

    I'm also pretty damn sure Martin didn't say "hey, let me stretch this all out!" He's made it pretty clear that he was trying to get to a point in the story where some particular plot point made sense or could happen, and couldn't maneuver the characters into the proper position. I completely understand that, but he seems to be over it now. Some of the weaker chapters are probably due to that.

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  • DomhnallDomhnall Registered User regular
    The real thing is is if you cut out the Greyjoys you cut of Victarion and if you cut out Dorne you cut out Doran Martell. I'm sure that when you think of it like this you see how utterly crazy it is to cut these things out from the story.

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  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    As for what I might cut... I'm a writerish person, and it's less "these books were bad and you should feel bad" and more "hmm, a lot of the things I thought were important in book one and two aren't, and a lot of things I thought didn't matter do."

    I didn't mean 'bad and you should feel bad', I meant 'bad' as in 'hundreds of characters, deeply interwoven plot, and a lingering sense of "what was fully explained or am I going off of supposition?"'

    Tamin on
  • SmoogySmoogy Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

    I couldn't agree with you more, except your harsh criticism on book 2. It might not have been as good as 1 and 3, but that's a damn good book!

    Do you guys really think the average HBO viewer of Game of Thrones is going to have the patience to have Dany running around in the desert doing nothing but pining over Daario as her dragons get slightly bigger each season? It was bad enough reading it - thinking about seeing it onscreen makes me cringe. Watching characters crop up, have huge sections of a book devoted to them, and then killed off with no reasoning or impact on other characters whatsoever? That's good TV!

    The problem for the show (and I would say to a lesser extent for the books) is going to be when more and more of the characters they know and love are killed off and replaced by lesser characters with less-fulfilling story arcs (Greyjoys, Martells, etc). You can sit here and say all you want, but books 4 and 5 were not what we expected from George R. R. Martin in terms of quality and actually pushing the plot to a conclusion (which is my main qualm with both of them) and, as a TV show, I can't imagine the ratings would be too good unless Benioff and Weiss make some amazing cuts/modifications. I don't think the show at that point would be all that enjoyable and would collapse under it's own weight, and I admittedly love the books. I think that feeling would go double for a non-reader who doesn't know the backstory/machinations behind everything that's going on.

    But if they can pull it off, I'll be super pumped. And I'll be the first to say I was wrong.

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  • DomhnallDomhnall Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I went into book 5 really excited for Victarion Greyjoy chapters so I'd disagree that they're not as fulfilling. I constantly skip Catelyn and Sansa chapters when I read chapters here and there but like the ones from Dorne because they have Doran Martell. So the whole 'not as fulfilling' thing is incredibly subjective. Dance had Reek's story arc and that could very well be my favourite out of the entire series. The stuff at the Wall with Jon was fantastic as well. So, in conclusion. lolopinions.

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  • AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Yeah I don't get the entitlement issues people have with these books, I liked ALL the books enough to read them voraciously in a 6 month span, and I never once thought "GOD THIS IS NOT WHAT GRRM PLANNED AT ALL" when I was reading AFFC or ADWD. I liked reading about new characters and places and thought it kept a nice pace throughout.

    It's sort of a "spoiled-brat" kind of attitude I think to sort of demand that the story this guy wrote cater to exactly what you want to hear.

    Allforce on
  • southwicksouthwick Registered User regular
    Allforce wrote: »
    Yeah I don't get the entitlement issues people have with these books, I liked ALL the books enough to read them voraciously in a 6 month span, and I never once thought "GOD THIS IS NOT WHAT GRRM PLANNED AT ALL" when I was reading AFFC or ADWD. I liked reading about new characters and places and thought it kept a nice pace throughout.

    It's sort of a "spoiled-brat" kind of attitude I think to sort of demand that the story this guy wrote cater to exactly what you want to hear.


    To have criticism does not mean you are a spoiled brat. I read the first three books and loved them. I got so bogged down and bored with the 4th that I had to skim just to get through it. Good for you that it is exactly what you were looking for. Personally I think it felt like too many similar fantasy stories where the author forgets how to edit and just keeps adding and rambling, spreading out what could easily be a concise story over multiple books. Hey it makes more money for the author so I can't really fault them, but that doesn't mean I can't criticize what I think is a pretty dull book.

  • AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    You can criticize all you want but post something of substance. The posters above using terms like "this isn't what we want" and "it's a fact these books are awful" just come across as whiny.

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    I honestly can't think of a single plot in AFFC that really dragged. Complaints about that book are really weird to me.

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  • SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    The only thing in book five that super annoyed me, was
    Spoiler:

    Yeah, Daenerys and Tyrion's chapters were slow, but I chalk that up to his writer's block and wanting to resolve certain other characters' plot lines before moving on.

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    That didn't annoy me so much, I thought it stood to reason that Dany and her brother weren't the only things that were remnants of a Dynasty that lasted for a very long time and it helped me gain new insights into The Spider.

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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I never demanded anything or stated anything as fact. I'm expressing a rather commonly-held opinion among even those who, like myself, admittedly really like the series as a whole.

    Here's a softer way of putting it:

    Ned was the hero in Book 1, and then he got his head cut off.

    No sweat, because Robb (and Cat) take up the cause and the vengeance. He's perhaps even more rewarding, because he's not just a feckless Hand trying to be a boy scout, he's a war prodigy and an actual King. Around the same time, Dany pulls together an awesome army and starts a trail of conquest.

    Then after a couple more books, Robb and Cat both die, too. Still, no sweat. I'm not complaing that good guys or main characters die. Dany decides she's just going to stop.

    No one has taken up a protagonist's or hero's cause in the two+ books since then. It's as if everything was building up, but then just cut the engines and coasted.

    Dany is still fucking around in the East like she has been since the beginning. All the excitement I had for her and her dragons and her eunuchs is long gone. Brandon is still trying to figure out the three-eyed crow thing, like he has been since the beginning. Rickon has been written off for some time. Arya's wandering around Braavos for two books, following up on the one interesting thing that happened to her (Jaqen) while she was wandering around Westeros for two books. John is still up north in the snow trying to figure out whether he meant it or not when he said his vows, like he has been since the beginning. Sansa is maybe, maybe, just starting to learn how not to be the idiot she's been for all 5 books, while she also wanders around Westeros. And so on.

    I've been waiting since book 1 for Arya to blaze a trail of death with her melee skills and her army of Westerosi wolves at her back. Or for Brandon to become the One Warg To Rule Them All and send armies of mind-control zombies after the Lannisters. Or for Snow to take an army of wildlings. Of for Dany to fly in on dragons with an army of eunuchs. Or for Sansa to find herself in a position of meaningful political power that she's ready to wield.

    When Robb got what he got, I figured it was nearly guaranteed that something like the above, or whatever GRRM chose to do in that same vein, was ready to explode. After two more whole books, what we got was a lot of new characters, and all the old ones just wandering around some more like they have been.

    It was charming that every single book ended with a fake death of a main character. It got frustrating and old when by Book 4, every single chapter ended with the fake death of a main character. If a death is followed up on immediately, it's a death. If a death cuts away at the last second, it's not a death. We figured that out long before it got old. Here we are 3000+ pages in, and we get 2000 pages of what seem to be just new background and piece-setting and a lot of fake deaths to try to keep it exciting. No hero to root for, no significant events or changes.

    That's my take on it. You can say, "you're wrong" but I'd rather hear an alternative opinion. Vague assertions like "she was learning to rule" or "those characters will obviously be important later on" don't really counter anything I've said above.

    Yar on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Smoogy wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

    I couldn't agree with you more, except your harsh criticism on book 2. It might not have been as good as 1 and 3, but that's a damn good book!

    Do you guys really think the average HBO viewer of Game of Thrones is going to have the patience to have Dany running around in the desert doing nothing but pining over Daario as her dragons get slightly bigger each season? It was bad enough reading it - thinking about seeing it onscreen makes me cringe. Watching characters crop up, have huge sections of a book devoted to them, and then killed off with no reasoning or impact on other characters whatsoever? That's good TV!

    The problem for the show (and I would say to a lesser extent for the books) is going to be when more and more of the characters they know and love are killed off and replaced by lesser characters with less-fulfilling story arcs (Greyjoys, Martells, etc). You can sit here and say all you want, but books 4 and 5 were not what we expected from George R. R. Martin in terms of quality and actually pushing the plot to a conclusion (which is my main qualm with both of them) and, as a TV show, I can't imagine the ratings would be too good unless Benioff and Weiss make some amazing cuts/modifications. I don't think the show at that point would be all that enjoyable and would collapse under it's own weight, and I admittedly love the books. I think that feeling would go double for a non-reader who doesn't know the backstory/machinations behind everything that's going on.

    But if they can pull it off, I'll be super pumped. And I'll be the first to say I was wrong.

    That's an argument that the TV viewer may not except the series style.

    That's not an argument that the series wasn't designed that way in the first place.

    The whole series is clearly designed around a pair of major arcs and we are building in to the second one. And that means alot of new characters or old characters throw to the forefront because the old main characters are often dead.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    I never demanded anything or stated anything as fact. I'm expressing a rather commonly-held opinion among even those who, like myself, admittedly really like the series as a whole.

    Here's a softer way of putting it:

    Ned was the hero in Book 1, and then he got his head cut off.

    No sweat, because Robb (and Cat) take up the cause and the vengeance. He's perhaps even more rewarding, because he's not just a feckless Hand trying to be a boy scout, he's a war prodigy and an actual King. Around the same time, Dany pulls together an awesome army and starts a trail of conquest.

    Then after a couple more books, Robb and Cat both die, too. Still, no sweat. I'm not complaing that good guys or main characters die. Dany decides she's just going to stop.

    No one has taken up a protagonist's or hero's cause in the two+ books since then. It's as if everything was building up, but then just cut the engines and coasted.

    Robb never even had a POV. He's in no way the main character. Catelyn isn't really either. There's been no main character in the sense you are implying since Ned got shortened.

    All the characters you've mentioned have made progress from their launching off points at the end of ASOS towards some sort of final arc.


    You main problem seems to be that, like many, you thought the whole "Lannister vs Stark with a side of other major Houses" was the main throughline of the series and are now bitching and complaining about "bloat" when it turns out you were wrong. Just cause a bunch of the major stuff from books 1-3 is all wrapped up doesn't mean the story is over since that wasn't the whole of the plot of the series in the first place, no matter how much you keep pretending it was.

  • DomhnallDomhnall Registered User regular
    Yar wrote: »
    No one has taken up a protagonist's or hero's cause in the two+ books since then. It's as if everything was building up, but then just cut the engines and coasted.

    That's my take on it. You can say, "you're wrong" but I'd rather hear an alternative opinion. Vague assertions like "she was learning to rule" or "those characters will obviously be important later on" don't really counter anything I've said above.

    You really don't see Jon Snow and Jaime as heroes in book 4 and 5? I certainly did. Jaime was setting the riverlands right after an incredibly devastating war. He was punishing outright bad guys like the Mountain's Men and trying to hold onto the oaths he held to Catelyn Stark when he really didn't need to ('Swear this oath or you die!'). I mean if Robb Stark was riding around the North helping out the commoners by killing bandits you wouldn't find that hero worthy?

    As for Jon
    Spoiler:
    \

    I'd like to see you make a case as to why things in book 4 and 5 aren't hero worthy whilst the stuff that happens in books 1-3 is. I don't see much of a difference.

    The fake deaths have got incredibly annoying though. I completely agree with you on that one.

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  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    Smoogy wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    I'll continue to state it as a matter of opinion, you feel free to continue to call it "just wrong."

    I am firmly convinced that GRRM, for whatever reason, took a great story that I see in books 1 and 3, and stretched it into 5 books so far, with very little in books 2, 4, and 5 that live up to the story in 1 and 3. I can almost guarantee that when the story is done, I'll still be wondering what the fuck a King's Moot had to do with any of it.

    Dany's story was awesome up until she decided she was going to stick around in Meereen. And eventually she winds up back where we found her, with dragons and a khalasar. Supposedly she "learned to rule" during this time. Fine. But for the sake of a TV show, I'd rather not have her spend 3 seasons fucking around in Meereen only to reboot her as the mother of dragons with a khalasar who just re-decided that she wants to take Westeros.

    I couldn't agree with you more, except your harsh criticism on book 2. It might not have been as good as 1 and 3, but that's a damn good book!

    Do you guys really think the average HBO viewer of Game of Thrones is going to have the patience to have Dany running around in the desert doing nothing but pining over Daario as her dragons get slightly bigger each season? It was bad enough reading it - thinking about seeing it onscreen makes me cringe. Watching characters crop up, have huge sections of a book devoted to them, and then killed off with no reasoning or impact on other characters whatsoever? That's good TV!

    The problem for the show (and I would say to a lesser extent for the books) is going to be when more and more of the characters they know and love are killed off and replaced by lesser characters with less-fulfilling story arcs (Greyjoys, Martells, etc). You can sit here and say all you want, but books 4 and 5 were not what we expected from George R. R. Martin in terms of quality and actually pushing the plot to a conclusion (which is my main qualm with both of them) and, as a TV show, I can't imagine the ratings would be too good unless Benioff and Weiss make some amazing cuts/modifications. I don't think the show at that point would be all that enjoyable and would collapse under it's own weight, and I admittedly love the books. I think that feeling would go double for a non-reader who doesn't know the backstory/machinations behind everything that's going on.

    But if they can pull it off, I'll be super pumped. And I'll be the first to say I was wrong.

    Agreed.
    Allforce wrote: »
    Yeah I don't get the entitlement issues people have with these books, I liked ALL the books enough to read them voraciously in a 6 month span, and I never once thought "GOD THIS IS NOT WHAT GRRM PLANNED AT ALL" when I was reading AFFC or ADWD. I liked reading about new characters and places and thought it kept a nice pace throughout.

    It's sort of a "spoiled-brat" kind of attitude I think to sort of demand that the story this guy wrote cater to exactly what you want to hear.

    You didn't wait 5 years for AFFC and another 5 years for ADWD. Of course you don't get it.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    valiance wrote: »
    You didn't wait 5 years for AFFC and another 5 years for ADWD. Of course you don't get it.

    Oh god, this argument. "WAHHHH, I had to wait!!!".

    How long you waited for a book has no effect on it's quality.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    I never said main character. In fact, Robb's lack of PoV is why I knew very early on that he would die. But I'd like to have some sense of there being a primary conflict. Stark vs. Lannister? Please, I knew that was only one of many possibilities, and not even the most interesting. I was more excited about Targaryen vs. whateverthehell got in the way. I guess what I found most likely was that Arya is going to become a straight-up evil menace, and that Tyrion, Brandon, Jon, and Dany would all first find themselves at odds but eventually team up (or Dany would defeat some of them) to then deal with whatever, Lannisters or Littlefinger or some other bad guys. Or I don't care, it could be none of those things. But it should be something. Deciding in Book 4 to leave off any primary conflicts and start backfilling and side-storying just seems out of place. We've known since Book 1 that Arya's wolf was following her and building a wolf-army, while Arya was training to be a super-ninja. That Brandon was a special kind of warg. That Jon would probably be the Lord Commander and Sansa probably the Queen. That Dany would have dragons and Dothraki and godknowswhatelse behind her. Since Book 1 it's been foreshadowed and telegraphed that they each have the potential for some seriously awesome power and influence and all have damn good reason to want to use it. We've got more setup and story potential than we could hope for by the end of Book 3. But now book 5's done, and none of those charcaters have doen anything yet. Dany took some cities in the East we don't care about and then gave up and married some asshole we all knew was a villain. Jon did do somehat interesting work at the Wall, killing wights/whitewalkers and bringing the wildlings into the fold. Otherwise no one's done shit. The same things I was expecting to happen in Book 2 and 3 and 4 are what I'm still expecting now to happen in Book 6, except for all that time spent on Greyjoys I also now expect that Victarian will have some role in it all too, I guess. Don't know why it couldn't have just been Theon and saved us all the trouble.

  • DomhnallDomhnall Registered User regular
    Theon's story arc is amongst the very best in the entire series.....Don't change it at all.

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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    So I bit the bullet, kept up with the Joneses, and watched the entirety of Season One yesterday. I'm actually two episodes into Season Two.


    Overall, my initial misgivings about the show have not been completely assuaged. The show, in my view, definitely suffers from both having too many characters and too few engaging characters, as even after an entire season the only characters I really ever gave a shit about are still limited to just Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister (and I'm losing patience with Jon). What's more, it isn't that the other characters aren't well-developed and I'm just failing to get on board with them, it's that I actively hate almost everyone else on the show. Never have I seen a program so filled to the gills with such horrible/petty/stupid characters.

    It's like watching a chess match in slow motion, but with a thousand pieces, and all the pieces are insufferable pieces of shit, and you don't even really care who wins. I haven't read the books, but at this point I'm kind of rooting for Daenarys' dragons to just grow huge and murder everyone, Dothraki, Starks, Baratheons, Lannisters, septs and all.


    Still, in the win column, the set design looks fantastic, and (almost) everyone is acting their balls off. I'll probably finish Season Two out, but I don't know that I'll follow into Season Three if the show remains as unfocused as it has to this point, without presenting a engaging protagonist with a sense of agency.

    From the TV thread... all I can say is that the above is very close to how I feel about the books. I'm not so negative or critical about it all, but otherwise about accurate. Jon and Tyrion are the ones I care about, and getting frustrated with the two of them, I really just want Dany to hurry up and burn down the planet. And if Ross doesn't see an engaging protagonist with a sense of urgency now, he sure as hell isn't going to see one any time in the forseeable future.

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