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[A Song of Firegames and Icethrones] We all hated it

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    I think a lot of people really underestimate the value of a good ending to a story. I've become much more wary of getting into episodic stories as I get older because I'm tired of them setting up crazy premises and then clearly having no idea what to do with them. The ending is the proof of a good storyteller.

    I would agree with this. If you cant END a story, then you can't write the story. If you can't end a story where it is now, then you need to simplify it and prune it. Remove characters, simplify motivations, combine factions until you CAN resolve the problem.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    You know, I had a screed about the difficulties of keeping armies in the field during the War of the Roses, but decide to not bore you.

    What I think ASOIAF needs is something akin to the Magna Carta; Namely the smallfolk and lesser bannermen deciding that they want a say in how the seven Kingdoms are run. I mean half the problems in the book come from the fact that power is held in the Iron Throne and few powerful magnates with zero accountability. Robert spending his days whoring and not ruling is how they got in this mess in the first place. Rob Stark executing one of his own bannermen without anything resembling a trial beyond; he who passes the sentence, wields the sword bullshit. Littlefinger borrowing millions from the Iron Bank and nobody noticing.

    Part of what makes the show so bad is that it ends with the same system, only with different people in charge. Bran isn't going to live forever,though probably longer than most. What is going to happen to Westoros once all the good people on his Small council are dead? You need a large council, like a permanent Kingsmoot from the Iron Isles.

    It could even be Dany's breaking point, she is Queen by divine/dragon right, who are these peasants to demand she share power?

    For a political story, you need a political ending.

    It's not just a political story though, or even primarily one. And I'm not sure it's really that interested in being about the establishment of a more stable government in Westeros in the end.

    The suffering of the smallfolk is highlighted a bunch, especially with the Brotherhood without Banners, but that kinda ends up in a nasty place. Though who knows where it's intended to go later since the meeting between Lady Stoneheart and Brienne seems like it should be a major turning point.

    The restoration of some kind of proper ruler seems like the kind of place a high fantasy story or a medieval romance ends.

    No. It’s definitely a political story. Complete with “and now we enter a time in which the faceless aren’t needed”. Arya literally rides a horse into the sunset and gets on a boat for the west. This is literally both of the major literary allegories for the changing of an age. The conceit of what we are reading being the writings of one of the main characters solidifies it even moreso.

    There is a reason that the song of ice and fire doesn’t end with Robert taking the throne. Because Rob is the same King as the last.

    Now if the book ended with the Targaryens taking the throne then OK I can see it. Here we tell the tale of the restoration of the true line of kings and the return of dragons to banish winter. But a Targaryen does not end up on the throne, a Stark does. And... since the title of the book is, in universe, a song of ice and fire. You would expect that, were there not a revolution at the end of it that the ruler at the end would be one of both ice and fire, as it was their song

    And yet

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  • OneAngryPossumOneAngryPossum Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    I mean, (and apologies to anyone looking to avoid spoilers at this stage), but I think the ending they arrived at, with the ruler they arrived at, makes sense thematically and narratively... if not presented as a straight up happy ending. It’s a setup for an incredibly tense peace.

    What putting Bran on the throne does is buy time - he’s not going to have any heirs, he’s barely human (although he is arguably somewhat Targaryen at this point after his mind meld with Bloodraven, so, fire and ice), he’s nobody’s idea of a king. But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    The critical thing is that he’s just not a threat to anybody.

    Maybe GRRM seeds in the possibility of Bran wanting to shake things up, but that’s not the basis on which he makes sense as king, or how you sell it to the remaining big families. You tell them it’s time to rebuild, there are no real legitimate claimants without massive issues, and if you wait patiently, you can make a play later down the road. So here’s a Stark kid who you can trust to keep his word (tying in the themes developing in recent books regarding the longevity benefits of a legacy based on values rather than blood).

    This all conveniently overlooks that, taken at face value as the show presented, they’ve just selected a potentially undying, borderline omniscient and mind-controlling tree-demon as their king, which is maybe a little more pessimistic than the ‘A Dream of Spring’ title suggests GRRM is aiming for.

    But the show also had the North secede from a unified seven kingdoms ruled by a Stark, so you probably want to allow for some mistranslations here.

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  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    If grrm saw how everyone hated the show ending and it bums him out, he's free to change it.

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  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    I know grrm's not dead, but I'm workshopping epigraphs to be prepared. I'm leaning towards
    "Real artists ship."
    or
    "Didn't finish what he"

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    Which is precisely why this is the wrong ending to a war of the roses narrative. The war of the roses ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in England and the creation of a unified line and ruled for 130 years of “peace”, prosperity, and expansion of the empire.

    “And then everyone kicked their wounds and prepared for Bran to bite it” isn’t a end to a political story. It’s the beginning.

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  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of all interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    I think a lot of people really underestimate the value of a good ending to a story. I've become much more wary of getting into episodic stories as I get older because I'm tired of them setting up crazy premises and then clearly having no idea what to do with them. The ending is the proof of a good storyteller.

    I definitely think that serialized works are judged much more harshly on their ending than things that get released as a completed whole. Especially if you want to do something unexpected with the ending, like a crazy twist, or getting weird & artsy, or just having an intentionally ambiguous end that doesn't really resolve things. People seem much more open-minded about those kinds of endings in stand-alone works (also when it is shorter).

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  • OneAngryPossumOneAngryPossum Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    Goumindong wrote: »
    But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    Which is precisely why this is the wrong ending to a war of the roses narrative. The war of the roses ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in England and the creation of a unified line and ruled for 130 years of “peace”, prosperity, and expansion of the empire.

    “And then everyone kicked their wounds and prepared for Bran to bite it” isn’t a end to a political story. It’s the beginning.

    I take your point, and if the War of the Roses framework is still his guide, you might well be right. But I think the series is fairly deep down the rabbit hole of following the extended consequences of various actions and events out, and anything that approaches tidiness seems out of step.

    I think ‘Everybody agrees to wait for Bran to bite it’ is a justifiable in-universe reasoning behind why he’d be acceptable, not necessarily how things wind up fifty years down the road. If it plays out the same way in the books in even the most bare details, you won’t be left wondering what the hell Bran’s/Tyrion’s/etc’s motivations are, you’ll have their inner monologues to understand their goals and expectations, which could include plans for cultivating a longer peace.

    It’s still the start of a new story, but that’s absolutely in keeping with the books as written. History is messy and doesn’t have a lot of neat breaks. Ending one thing starts another.

    OneAngryPossum on
  • HybridHybrid South AustraliaRegistered User regular
    I think the Malazan series does that same thing of stepping into a world during a pivotal point of history and covering a massive amount of area in that world before pulling it all toward a definitive conclusion while still leaving some hints of the history to come afterward, but I get that some people bounce off that series here. I was always the one who bounced off Ice and Fire the bunch of times I tried, and fell off the show after 3 or 4 seasons. I came back to the show just to see an ending out of curiosity, and the awful writing still got me mad enough to finally push through and read all the books in like a month. I actually like the way the last book was getting bigger and spread out across the world more and will probably check out the next book when/if it comes out.

    Malazan is the thing I always wanted and never got from fantasy but it was nice to finally be able to say I'd read the Ice an Fire books and understand a little more what people get out of them, and it was fun to shit talk the show with everyone

  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Wasn't the book thread different from the TV thread? Or were they merged after the show caught up with the books?

    Oh yes, most definitely

    The book thread was gleefully hate-watching the show for years and unfortunately some people couldn’t resist the urge to go into the show thread and make “clever predictions” which were actually book spoilers

    On the other hand we mostly kept mum on the Red Wedding, which eventually led to one of my favorite posts on these here forums...”the book thread sends its regards”

    And then I think they got merged after the show passed the books because there was no longer a point in keeping them separate.

    The fact that nobody spoiled that shit is a goddamn miracle and also yeah the day after the Red Wedding aired was pretty much spent with me leaning back eating some popcorn and reading so so many reaction posts.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    Which is precisely why this is the wrong ending to a war of the roses narrative. The war of the roses ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in England and the creation of a unified line and ruled for 130 years of “peace”, prosperity, and expansion of the empire.

    “And then everyone kicked their wounds and prepared for Bran to bite it” isn’t a end to a political story. It’s the beginning.

    I take your point, and if the War of the Roses framework is still his guide, you might well be right. But I think the series is fairly deep down the rabbit hole of following the extended consequences of various actions and events out, and anything that approaches tidiness seems out of step.

    I think ‘Everybody agrees to wait for Bran to bite it’ is a justifiable in-universe reasoning behind why he’d be acceptable, not necessarily how things wind up fifty years down the road. If it plays out the same way in the books in even the most bare details, you won’t be left wondering what the hell Bran’s/Tyrion’s/etc’s motivations are, you’ll have their inner monologues to understand their goals and expectations, which could include plans for cultivating a longer peace.

    It’s still the start of a new story, but that’s absolutely in keeping with the books as written. History is messy and doesn’t have a lot of neat breaks. Ending one thing starts another.

    Well... think of it from the story tellers and listeners perspective.

    The story teller should have a reason for telling the story and the story listener a reason for paying attention.

    “And then nothing changed the end” isn’t a satisfying ending to this story because it fulfills neither of those criteria. Was the period in history significant in some way? Is that why the story teller is telling it? If so what changed and why and for what purpose/effect? Is there some moral that we are supposed to get from the story? (Not likely in a grand political retelling)

    In one of my favorite history courses I ever took the primary source material was a contemporaneous fiction book. The purpose of the source was to understand the worldview and spirit of the time in which the book was written. Through which we could understand the events that unfolded rather than just know that they unfolded. A fantasy novel like ASOIAF is like both of those aspects combined into one. A dramatized contemporaneous history that a storyteller plucked out of a thousand different possible stories about the world of Westeros so that you could know the one most important thing in the world to that date. There must be a fundamental change in the world as well as worldview and spirit of the age or we would be learning about something else.

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  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    Dozens of new posts

    No news

    I hate you all

    There was news though!

    "Jackass that made bank off of his unfinished series signs a bunch of TV deals basically assuring he has no interest in and will never actually finish his series at all." is technically news even if the correct reaction is "Yeah, fucking duh."

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    I mean, (and apologies to anyone looking to avoid spoilers at this stage), but I think the ending they arrived at, with the ruler they arrived at, makes sense thematically and narratively... if not presented as a straight up happy ending. It’s a setup for an incredibly tense peace.

    What putting Bran on the throne does is buy time - he’s not going to have any heirs, he’s barely human (although he is arguably somewhat Targaryen at this point after his mind meld with Bloodraven, so, fire and ice), he’s nobody’s idea of a king. But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    The critical thing is that he’s just not a threat to anybody.

    Maybe GRRM seeds in the possibility of Bran wanting to shake things up, but that’s not the basis on which he makes sense as king, or how you sell it to the remaining big families. You tell them it’s time to rebuild, there are no real legitimate claimants without massive issues, and if you wait patiently, you can make a play later down the road. So here’s a Stark kid who you can trust to keep his word (tying in the themes developing in recent books regarding the longevity benefits of a legacy based on values rather than blood).

    This all conveniently overlooks that, taken at face value as the show presented, they’ve just selected a potentially undying, borderline omniscient and mind-controlling tree-demon as their king, which is maybe a little more pessimistic than the ‘A Dream of Spring’ title suggests GRRM is aiming for.

    But the show also had the North secede from a unified seven kingdoms ruled by a Stark, so you probably want to allow for some mistranslations here.

    I'm thinking they're going to be disappointed if that's the case.

    While it's unknown how long a greenseer's life is, if the previous one was truly Brynden Rivers (Bloodraven), he fought in the Blackfyre Rebellion. Assume he was at least 15, if not older. That was 195AC. Bran arrives at the Three Eyed Raven's cave in 305AC. And who knows how much longer he'd have had, if not for the violent death?

    Waiting four plus generations to get another bite at that apple,

    And given Bran has one of the best defenses you could have against regicide, you're probably going to have to wait.

    I figured they were going for a Dune "Leto II"/GW's Emperor type ending. Here's your nigh-immortal god-king, someone without regular human foibles. That's the only way you get consistency, and the only way you get some form of peace.

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  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    edited April 8
    I was going to write a long, insightful post with a thorough analysis of not only ASoIaF, but also place it in a wider social context and lay bare my feelings on the series and it's current status.

    But I abandoned it halfway through to write a one-sentence comment about my favourite sports team instead.

    Anyways, allegory is for junior high book reports.

    [Expletive deleted] on
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  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    I think a lot of people really underestimate the value of a good ending to a story. I've become much more wary of getting into episodic stories as I get older because I'm tired of them setting up crazy premises and then clearly having no idea what to do with them. The ending is the proof of a good storyteller.

    I definitely think that serialized works are judged much more harshly on their ending than things that get released as a completed whole. Especially if you want to do something unexpected with the ending, like a crazy twist, or getting weird & artsy, or just having an intentionally ambiguous end that doesn't really resolve things. People seem much more open-minded about those kinds of endings in stand-alone works (also when it is shorter).

    Probably because they're much more invested in works the longer they go on, and the more time people put into them. The more intimately you know characters and plotlines, the more upset you're going to feel if they are spoiled by an ending that doesn't wrap things up.

    I also think serialized works are judged more harshly (rightfully so) if they are intended to be viewed all together. The SoIaF books for example, don't really stand alone. You can't read just one and feel like you just read a coherent narrative with a beginning and an end - they have to be viewed in the context of the larger narrative to make any sense. This helps draw people into the world, but it also means your entire saga needs to have a coherent ending. A contrast to this would be something like Discworld. Even though there are narrative threads and characters that go through it, you can pick up pretty much any book and feel like you read an entire complete story there. So nobody gets mad that Discworld doesn't have an ending.

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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Trace wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Wasn't the book thread different from the TV thread? Or were they merged after the show caught up with the books?

    Oh yes, most definitely

    The book thread was gleefully hate-watching the show for years and unfortunately some people couldn’t resist the urge to go into the show thread and make “clever predictions” which were actually book spoilers

    On the other hand we mostly kept mum on the Red Wedding, which eventually led to one of my favorite posts on these here forums...”the book thread sends its regards”

    And then I think they got merged after the show passed the books because there was no longer a point in keeping them separate.

    The fact that nobody spoiled that shit is a goddamn miracle and also yeah the day after the Red Wedding aired was pretty much spent with me leaning back eating some popcorn and reading so so many reaction posts.

    I also remember one of my favorite reactions to that post that went along the lines of:

    "You knew... you knew and you did NOTHING!"

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  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Smaug6 wrote: »
    Shadowen wrote: »
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Jragghen wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    I actually stopped watching the show when it passed the books, and somehow the ending hasn't been spoiled for me years later cause no one seems to have given a shit enough to talk about the ending other than that it is supposed to be very disappointing!

    You're probably the happiest person in this thread!

    The speed with which GOT went from "talking about every episode" to "completely falling off of the pop culture landscape" was craaaaazy

    It really was.

    Like even in the final season people were talking about each episode and then the finale came and almost overnight everyone went "That... that's how this shit ends?" and then the entire thing was memory holed.

    Part of that is no doubt due to the speed of modern pop culture churn, but yeah, you expect at least a few diehards to stick with it.

    Instead it goes from "biggest thing" to even the people who liked the ending going "Okay, that was nice, what else can we watch now?"

    It's crazy especially compared to the berserk frothing over the game of thrones Scotch

    Wait, what? That stuff was popular?

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  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    I don’t mean to say Malazan is bad, it’s just not much like ASOIAF in any way apart from both being epic fantasy.

    ASOIAF is actually very plainly written: the complexity is not in language or worldbuilding but in the web of characters and their relationships.
    Agreed, and in that sense ASOIAF is much more complex than Malazan, in my opinion. Malazan has a ton of stuff going on and is grand in scale, but the depth of the relations between various factions and characters is generally less complex than in GRRM's work. The history is more vast but less full. And the characters are a bit shallower.

    I finally caved and started watching the show recently, after refusing to do so and managing to avoid spoilers all these years. I guess I just finally accepted that the remaining two books will never happen and so figured I might as well see how the show handles it, even though I know the ending is widely disliked. So far I'm enjoying it, but not loving it. Daenerys's acting bothers me, and Littlefinger sucks too, but aside from them the casting is great in my opinion. Jon Snow is boring, but he's the most boring character in the books too, so I guess that fits.

    It was a sad acceptance on my part, because I really love those books. Malazan is fun, but GRRM establishes a world that feels much more "real" to me than Erickson ever manages. And not just because of the lack of undead hive mind dinosaurs with swords for arms, but because he takes the time to really develop the locales and their culture. I know King's Landing and Volantis in a way that I don't know any of Erickson's settings, and as a result I care much more for what happens to those places than I do for places in Seven Cities or what have you.

    I've actually come to enjoy Erickson's writing style, though, and generally don't find it as obtuse or vague as some make it out to be. It's less straightforward than GRRM, but far less obscure than Gene Wolfe (although also less beautiful, RIP Mr. Wolfe). And while his characters are overall less deep than GRRM's, I enjoy their philosophical musings.

    Edit - I did pick up the Dunk and Egg stories the other day, so at least I have that and the Targaryen history book to end my travails in written Westeros.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    Which is precisely why this is the wrong ending to a war of the roses narrative. The war of the roses ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in England and the creation of a unified line and ruled for 130 years of “peace”, prosperity, and expansion of the empire.

    “And then everyone kicked their wounds and prepared for Bran to bite it” isn’t a end to a political story. It’s the beginning.

    I take your point, and if the War of the Roses framework is still his guide, you might well be right. But I think the series is fairly deep down the rabbit hole of following the extended consequences of various actions and events out, and anything that approaches tidiness seems out of step.

    I think ‘Everybody agrees to wait for Bran to bite it’ is a justifiable in-universe reasoning behind why he’d be acceptable, not necessarily how things wind up fifty years down the road. If it plays out the same way in the books in even the most bare details, you won’t be left wondering what the hell Bran’s/Tyrion’s/etc’s motivations are, you’ll have their inner monologues to understand their goals and expectations, which could include plans for cultivating a longer peace.

    It’s still the start of a new story, but that’s absolutely in keeping with the books as written. History is messy and doesn’t have a lot of neat breaks. Ending one thing starts another.

    Well... think of it from the story tellers and listeners perspective.

    The story teller should have a reason for telling the story and the story listener a reason for paying attention.

    “And then nothing changed the end” isn’t a satisfying ending to this story because it fulfills neither of those criteria. Was the period in history significant in some way? Is that why the story teller is telling it? If so what changed and why and for what purpose/effect? Is there some moral that we are supposed to get from the story? (Not likely in a grand political retelling)

    In one of my favorite history courses I ever took the primary source material was a contemporaneous fiction book. The purpose of the source was to understand the worldview and spirit of the time in which the book was written. Through which we could understand the events that unfolded rather than just know that they unfolded. A fantasy novel like ASOIAF is like both of those aspects combined into one. A dramatized contemporaneous history that a storyteller plucked out of a thousand different possible stories about the world of Westeros so that you could know the one most important thing in the world to that date. There must be a fundamental change in the world as well as worldview and spirit of the age or we would be learning about something else.

    Yeah, the show started because Robert was more interested in Whoring than in actual reigning and was not paying attention to the 7 kingdoms and their issues. Now we have Bran who is more interested in Waarging than in actual reigning and is not paying attention to the 7 kingdoms and their issues.

    Sure he has got a good small council, but they are not immortal even if he is.

    The Game of Thrones is a huge part of ASOIAF, to the point of being the title of the show. Without a clear resolution to the huge plotline of who should sit on the throne and why? The show loses the majority of its plotlines. Its one of the defining aspects of the series. Returning to the same old, same old is a failure.

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  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    Which is precisely why this is the wrong ending to a war of the roses narrative. The war of the roses ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in England and the creation of a unified line and ruled for 130 years of “peace”, prosperity, and expansion of the empire.

    “And then everyone kicked their wounds and prepared for Bran to bite it” isn’t a end to a political story. It’s the beginning.

    I take your point, and if the War of the Roses framework is still his guide, you might well be right. But I think the series is fairly deep down the rabbit hole of following the extended consequences of various actions and events out, and anything that approaches tidiness seems out of step.

    I think ‘Everybody agrees to wait for Bran to bite it’ is a justifiable in-universe reasoning behind why he’d be acceptable, not necessarily how things wind up fifty years down the road. If it plays out the same way in the books in even the most bare details, you won’t be left wondering what the hell Bran’s/Tyrion’s/etc’s motivations are, you’ll have their inner monologues to understand their goals and expectations, which could include plans for cultivating a longer peace.

    It’s still the start of a new story, but that’s absolutely in keeping with the books as written. History is messy and doesn’t have a lot of neat breaks. Ending one thing starts another.

    Well... think of it from the story tellers and listeners perspective.

    The story teller should have a reason for telling the story and the story listener a reason for paying attention.

    “And then nothing changed the end” isn’t a satisfying ending to this story because it fulfills neither of those criteria. Was the period in history significant in some way? Is that why the story teller is telling it? If so what changed and why and for what purpose/effect? Is there some moral that we are supposed to get from the story? (Not likely in a grand political retelling)

    In one of my favorite history courses I ever took the primary source material was a contemporaneous fiction book. The purpose of the source was to understand the worldview and spirit of the time in which the book was written. Through which we could understand the events that unfolded rather than just know that they unfolded. A fantasy novel like ASOIAF is like both of those aspects combined into one. A dramatized contemporaneous history that a storyteller plucked out of a thousand different possible stories about the world of Westeros so that you could know the one most important thing in the world to that date. There must be a fundamental change in the world as well as worldview and spirit of the age or we would be learning about something else.

    Yeah, the show started because Robert was more interested in Whoring than in actual reigning and was not paying attention to the 7 kingdoms and their issues. Now we have Bran who is more interested in Waarging than in actual reigning and is not paying attention to the 7 kingdoms and their issues.

    Sure he has got a good small council, but they are not immortal even if he is.

    The Game of Thrones is a huge part of ASOIAF, to the point of being the title of the show. Without a clear resolution to the huge plotline of who should sit on the throne and why? The show loses the majority of its plotlines. Its one of the defining aspects of the series. Returning to the same old, same old is a failure.

    Indeed. Plot is not just a series of events.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    Which is precisely why this is the wrong ending to a war of the roses narrative. The war of the roses ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in England and the creation of a unified line and ruled for 130 years of “peace”, prosperity, and expansion of the empire.

    “And then everyone kicked their wounds and prepared for Bran to bite it” isn’t a end to a political story. It’s the beginning.

    That's basically why I was expecting the ending to be Magna Carta. It dislodges the wheel of absolute monarchy, even if it doesn't exactly break it. Not God Emperor of Dune.

    H3KnucklesBlackDragon480
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    But when are we getting a TV show about Ulthos

    H3Knuckles
  • BobbleBobble Registered User regular
    Trace wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Wasn't the book thread different from the TV thread? Or were they merged after the show caught up with the books?

    Oh yes, most definitely

    The book thread was gleefully hate-watching the show for years and unfortunately some people couldn’t resist the urge to go into the show thread and make “clever predictions” which were actually book spoilers

    On the other hand we mostly kept mum on the Red Wedding, which eventually led to one of my favorite posts on these here forums...”the book thread sends its regards”

    And then I think they got merged after the show passed the books because there was no longer a point in keeping them separate.

    The fact that nobody spoiled that shit is a goddamn miracle and also yeah the day after the Red Wedding aired was pretty much spent with me leaning back eating some popcorn and reading so so many reaction posts.

    I also remember one of my favorite reactions to that post that went along the lines of:

    "You knew... you knew and you did NOTHING!"

    The thread at the start of the episode, for the curious

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    You know, I had a screed about the difficulties of keeping armies in the field during the War of the Roses, but decide to not bore you.

    What I think ASOIAF needs is something akin to the Magna Carta; Namely the smallfolk and lesser bannermen deciding that they want a say in how the seven Kingdoms are run. I mean half the problems in the book come from the fact that power is held in the Iron Throne and few powerful magnates with zero accountability. Robert spending his days whoring and not ruling is how they got in this mess in the first place. Rob Stark executing one of his own bannermen without anything resembling a trial beyond; he who passes the sentence, wields the sword bullshit. Littlefinger borrowing millions from the Iron Bank and nobody noticing.

    Part of what makes the show so bad is that it ends with the same system, only with different people in charge. Bran isn't going to live forever,though probably longer than most. What is going to happen to Westoros once all the good people on his Small council are dead? You need a large council, like a permanent Kingsmoot from the Iron Isles.

    It could even be Dany's breaking point, she is Queen by divine/dragon right, who are these peasants to demand she share power?

    For a political story, you need a political ending.

    It's not just a political story though, or even primarily one. And I'm not sure it's really that interested in being about the establishment of a more stable government in Westeros in the end.

    The suffering of the smallfolk is highlighted a bunch, especially with the Brotherhood without Banners, but that kinda ends up in a nasty place. Though who knows where it's intended to go later since the meeting between Lady Stoneheart and Brienne seems like it should be a major turning point.

    The restoration of some kind of proper ruler seems like the kind of place a high fantasy story or a medieval romance ends.

    No. It’s definitely a political story. Complete with “and now we enter a time in which the faceless aren’t needed”. Arya literally rides a horse into the sunset and gets on a boat for the west. This is literally both of the major literary allegories for the changing of an age. The conceit of what we are reading being the writings of one of the main characters solidifies it even moreso.

    There is a reason that the song of ice and fire doesn’t end with Robert taking the throne. Because Rob is the same King as the last.

    Now if the book ended with the Targaryens taking the throne then OK I can see it. Here we tell the tale of the restoration of the true line of kings and the return of dragons to banish winter. But a Targaryen does not end up on the throne, a Stark does. And... since the title of the book is, in universe, a song of ice and fire. You would expect that, were there not a revolution at the end of it that the ruler at the end would be one of both ice and fire, as it was their song

    And yet

    I have no idea what the ending is but saying that this must end with some sort of political advancement doesn't track at all. The story involves politics but does not revolve primarily around the political system and how it must change. And within the context of it's genre, ending with "and a good ruler took over and a new golden age emerged" is very normal. I would expect something a lot more nuanced and bittersweet from ASOIAF. But if the story has cared about anything it's the price that politics plays on the average person and not some idea of updating the political system.

    [Expletive deleted]
  • OneAngryPossumOneAngryPossum Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    Which is precisely why this is the wrong ending to a war of the roses narrative. The war of the roses ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in England and the creation of a unified line and ruled for 130 years of “peace”, prosperity, and expansion of the empire.

    “And then everyone kicked their wounds and prepared for Bran to bite it” isn’t a end to a political story. It’s the beginning.

    I take your point, and if the War of the Roses framework is still his guide, you might well be right. But I think the series is fairly deep down the rabbit hole of following the extended consequences of various actions and events out, and anything that approaches tidiness seems out of step.

    I think ‘Everybody agrees to wait for Bran to bite it’ is a justifiable in-universe reasoning behind why he’d be acceptable, not necessarily how things wind up fifty years down the road. If it plays out the same way in the books in even the most bare details, you won’t be left wondering what the hell Bran’s/Tyrion’s/etc’s motivations are, you’ll have their inner monologues to understand their goals and expectations, which could include plans for cultivating a longer peace.

    It’s still the start of a new story, but that’s absolutely in keeping with the books as written. History is messy and doesn’t have a lot of neat breaks. Ending one thing starts another.

    Well... think of it from the story tellers and listeners perspective.

    The story teller should have a reason for telling the story and the story listener a reason for paying attention.

    “And then nothing changed the end” isn’t a satisfying ending to this story because it fulfills neither of those criteria. Was the period in history significant in some way? Is that why the story teller is telling it? If so what changed and why and for what purpose/effect? Is there some moral that we are supposed to get from the story? (Not likely in a grand political retelling)

    In one of my favorite history courses I ever took the primary source material was a contemporaneous fiction book. The purpose of the source was to understand the worldview and spirit of the time in which the book was written. Through which we could understand the events that unfolded rather than just know that they unfolded. A fantasy novel like ASOIAF is like both of those aspects combined into one. A dramatized contemporaneous history that a storyteller plucked out of a thousand different possible stories about the world of Westeros so that you could know the one most important thing in the world to that date. There must be a fundamental change in the world as well as worldview and spirit of the age or we would be learning about something else.

    Yeah, the show started because Robert was more interested in Whoring than in actual reigning and was not paying attention to the 7 kingdoms and their issues. Now we have Bran who is more interested in Waarging than in actual reigning and is not paying attention to the 7 kingdoms and their issues.

    Sure he has got a good small council, but they are not immortal even if he is.

    The Game of Thrones is a huge part of ASOIAF, to the point of being the title of the show. Without a clear resolution to the huge plotline of who should sit on the throne and why? The show loses the majority of its plotlines. Its one of the defining aspects of the series. Returning to the same old, same old is a failure.

    Just to state the obvious, I’m speculating here, so don’t take any of my statements to represent actual confidence on my part. A lot of the other ideas here seem plausible to me, even if I’d place my bets elsewhere, if forced to choose. My main point is simply that Bran as ruler isn’t an inevitably terrible or unsatisfying ending, depending on how it’s presented and arrived at.

    That said, I think it’s incorrect to view it as a return to the same old same old. The wall is broken, the night king is defeated, the old ruling class has been all but wiped away, and, most importantly, there’s a chance that the seasons could become something more familiar to us as normal, which would be huge in this setting.

    Regardless of that last point, it’s a new generation of leaders in a new context, even if not everybody is ready to leave the old ways behind. You’re probably right in that you need at least one character who can assure the reader that the future may be bright after all this suffering, and, conveniently, Bran can fill that role. Not to put too much weight on one piece of evidence, but the final book’s proposed title, ‘A Dream of Spring’ sounds like an ending that’s hopeful about a better future, but not certain of it.

    Something else to keep in mind (and which I’m not really incorporating above, but I think is relevant) is how much of a response to trope-heavy fantasy the series started as. I think the context has changed a lot since then, so an ending that seemed subversive in the 90s might not seem that way at this point. If you look for the most cliche ending, I think it’s Jon on the throne as the good king who ushers in an era of peace and prosperity. Making it Bran instead is such an unsatisfying (within the cliche fantasy context) and political compromise that it just sounds right to me.

  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Wasn't the book thread different from the TV thread? Or were they merged after the show caught up with the books?

    Oh yes, most definitely

    The book thread was gleefully hate-watching the show for years and unfortunately some people couldn’t resist the urge to go into the show thread and make “clever predictions” which were actually book spoilers

    On the other hand we mostly kept mum on the Red Wedding, which eventually led to one of my favorite posts on these here forums...”the book thread sends its regards

    And then I think they got merged after the show passed the books because there was no longer a point in keeping them separate.

    Actually my favorite post of all time. I was like "mother fucker has been sitting on that for so long."

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  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    I mean, (and apologies to anyone looking to avoid spoilers at this stage), but I think the ending they arrived at, with the ruler they arrived at, makes sense thematically and narratively... if not presented as a straight up happy ending. It’s a setup for an incredibly tense peace.

    What putting Bran on the throne does is buy time - he’s not going to have any heirs, he’s barely human (although he is arguably somewhat Targaryen at this point after his mind meld with Bloodraven, so, fire and ice), he’s nobody’s idea of a king. But he is an acceptable compromise because with Bran on the throne, your family gets to take a shot at being in charge whenever he bites it, and he’s fairly unobjectionable if you haven’t actually met him.

    The critical thing is that he’s just not a threat to anybody.

    Maybe GRRM seeds in the possibility of Bran wanting to shake things up, but that’s not the basis on which he makes sense as king, or how you sell it to the remaining big families. You tell them it’s time to rebuild, there are no real legitimate claimants without massive issues, and if you wait patiently, you can make a play later down the road. So here’s a Stark kid who you can trust to keep his word (tying in the themes developing in recent books regarding the longevity benefits of a legacy based on values rather than blood).

    This all conveniently overlooks that, taken at face value as the show presented, they’ve just selected a potentially undying, borderline omniscient and mind-controlling tree-demon as their king, which is maybe a little more pessimistic than the ‘A Dream of Spring’ title suggests GRRM is aiming for.

    But the show also had the North secede from a unified seven kingdoms ruled by a Stark, so you probably want to allow for some mistranslations here.

    Yeah Bran being king is kind of dark when its considered, and I wouldnt be surprised if that and Dany's burninating were plot points directly from GRRMs outline.

    But, its not handled that way in the show.

    Really when Bran said "why do you think I came all this way?" everyone at the council with any sense should have been like, 'hold up, you knew fantasy 9/11 times a billion was going to happen?"

    Jeedan on
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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    The scriptwriter seemed to have no understanding of the implications of Bran becoming king, which is one reason why the ending was so terrible.

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  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    With Bran saying that thing, it seems far more likely that the idiots wanted to end the scene on a quip, than them intending it to have any deeper meaning.

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    The scriptwriter seemed to have no understanding of the implications of Bran becoming king, which is one reason why the ending was so terrible.

    It would be an even less satisfying ending to the series if, after Bran's coronation, we'd had a montage of all the people who would be scheming to bring him down/assassinate him/seize power when he eventually dies.

    And I, for one, have no idea what the implications of Bran being king actually are. Dude is now super-human with some kind of limited omniscience. Maybe he can actually usher in a golden age of progress and peace, leaving behind a democratic state with equal representation and minimal inequality. Who knows!

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  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    The scriptwriter seemed to have no understanding of the implications of Bran becoming king, which is one reason why the ending was so terrible.

    It would be an even less satisfying ending to the series if, after Bran's coronation, we'd had a montage of all the people who would be scheming to bring him down/assassinate him/seize power when he eventually dies.

    And I, for one, have no idea what the implications of Bran being king actually are. Dude is now super-human with some kind of limited omniscience. Maybe he can actually usher in a golden age of progress and peace, leaving behind a democratic state with equal representation and minimal inequality. Who knows!

    The Night King was Bran all along

  • StempyStempy Registered User regular
    Bobble wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Wasn't the book thread different from the TV thread? Or were they merged after the show caught up with the books?

    Oh yes, most definitely

    The book thread was gleefully hate-watching the show for years and unfortunately some people couldn’t resist the urge to go into the show thread and make “clever predictions” which were actually book spoilers

    On the other hand we mostly kept mum on the Red Wedding, which eventually led to one of my favorite posts on these here forums...”the book thread sends its regards”

    And then I think they got merged after the show passed the books because there was no longer a point in keeping them separate.

    The fact that nobody spoiled that shit is a goddamn miracle and also yeah the day after the Red Wedding aired was pretty much spent with me leaning back eating some popcorn and reading so so many reaction posts.

    I also remember one of my favorite reactions to that post that went along the lines of:

    "You knew... you knew and you did NOTHING!"

    The thread at the start of the episode, for the curious


    This is a gift. Thank you.

    I've just added my awesome to the post sending the book thread's regards.

    OrcaShadowenGiantGeek2020H3KnucklesKoopahTroopahElvenshae
  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    The scriptwriter seemed to have no understanding of the implications of Bran becoming king, which is one reason why the ending was so terrible.

    It would be an even less satisfying ending to the series if, after Bran's coronation, we'd had a montage of all the people who would be scheming to bring him down/assassinate him/seize power when he eventually dies.

    And I, for one, have no idea what the implications of Bran being king actually are. Dude is now super-human with some kind of limited omniscience. Maybe he can actually usher in a golden age of progress and peace, leaving behind a democratic state with equal representation and minimal inequality. Who knows!

    There is some dramatic irony in that one of the personalities within the three-eyed crow, Brynden Rivers, is a Targaryen, so after all is said and done a Targaryen still ends up sitting on the Iron Throne.

    monikerH3Knuckles
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Stempy wrote: »
    Bobble wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Wasn't the book thread different from the TV thread? Or were they merged after the show caught up with the books?

    Oh yes, most definitely

    The book thread was gleefully hate-watching the show for years and unfortunately some people couldn’t resist the urge to go into the show thread and make “clever predictions” which were actually book spoilers

    On the other hand we mostly kept mum on the Red Wedding, which eventually led to one of my favorite posts on these here forums...”the book thread sends its regards”

    And then I think they got merged after the show passed the books because there was no longer a point in keeping them separate.

    The fact that nobody spoiled that shit is a goddamn miracle and also yeah the day after the Red Wedding aired was pretty much spent with me leaning back eating some popcorn and reading so so many reaction posts.

    I also remember one of my favorite reactions to that post that went along the lines of:

    "You knew... you knew and you did NOTHING!"

    The thread at the start of the episode, for the curious


    This is a gift. Thank you.

    I've just added my awesome to the post sending the book thread's regards.

    The anguish and anger is hilarious

    it perfectly matched my own

  • Atlas in ChainsAtlas in Chains Registered User regular
    I don't think the books are leading to a place where Bran's personality gets erased and replaced by a tree computer. That's why his show ending feels so off, he's not Bran in the finale, he's possessed. In the books, he's the winged wolf in chains and the 3 eyed raven is going to teach him to break free and fly. He's still very much Bran Stark. It's very different to follow that as your king rather than the creepy dude they turned him into for the show.

    Mosati
  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    I don't think the books are leading to a place where Bran's personality gets erased and replaced by a tree computer. That's why his show ending feels so off, he's not Bran in the finale, he's possessed. In the books, he's the winged wolf in chains and the 3 eyed raven is going to teach him to break free and fly. He's still very much Bran Stark. It's very different to follow that as your king rather than the creepy dude they turned him into for the show.

    Well, we don't know yet*. From what I remember, last we saw book-Bran was with the Children feeding him weird blood-like paste, right after Jojen's mysteriously gone missing, and he was just starting to learn about looking into the past.



    *lol

    reVerse on
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  • Smaug6Smaug6 Registered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Smaug6 wrote: »
    Shadowen wrote: »
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Jragghen wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    I actually stopped watching the show when it passed the books, and somehow the ending hasn't been spoiled for me years later cause no one seems to have given a shit enough to talk about the ending other than that it is supposed to be very disappointing!

    You're probably the happiest person in this thread!

    The speed with which GOT went from "talking about every episode" to "completely falling off of the pop culture landscape" was craaaaazy

    It really was.

    Like even in the final season people were talking about each episode and then the finale came and almost overnight everyone went "That... that's how this shit ends?" and then the entire thing was memory holed.

    Part of that is no doubt due to the speed of modern pop culture churn, but yeah, you expect at least a few diehards to stick with it.

    Instead it goes from "biggest thing" to even the people who liked the ending going "Okay, that was nice, what else can we watch now?"

    It's crazy especially compared to the berserk frothing over the game of thrones Scotch

    Wait, what? That stuff was popular?

    The entire state of NH liquor store system sold out of all the different houses within like 1 week. People were buying the Scotch, drinking it and then selling the container online for the same price as the Scotch when they bought it.

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  • MonwynMonwyn Registered User regular
    The scriptwriter seemed to have no understanding of the implications of Bran becoming king, which is one reason why the ending was so terrible.

    It would be an even less satisfying ending to the series if, after Bran's coronation, we'd had a montage of all the people who would be scheming to bring him down/assassinate him/seize power when he eventually dies.

    And I, for one, have no idea what the implications of Bran being king actually are. Dude is now super-human with some kind of limited omniscience. Maybe he can actually usher in a golden age of progress and peace, leaving behind a democratic state with equal representation and minimal inequality. Who knows!

    Bran isn't immortal, but he's got a lifespan multiples of a typical human if he rules from the weirwoods

    He's not quite full God-Emperor, but it's pretty close

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    CptHamiltonH3KnucklesElvenshae
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Everyone here has given the ending of GOT more thought than any of the ahowrunners
    Smaug6 wrote: »
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Smaug6 wrote: »
    Shadowen wrote: »
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Jragghen wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    I actually stopped watching the show when it passed the books, and somehow the ending hasn't been spoiled for me years later cause no one seems to have given a shit enough to talk about the ending other than that it is supposed to be very disappointing!

    You're probably the happiest person in this thread!

    The speed with which GOT went from "talking about every episode" to "completely falling off of the pop culture landscape" was craaaaazy

    It really was.

    Like even in the final season people were talking about each episode and then the finale came and almost overnight everyone went "That... that's how this shit ends?" and then the entire thing was memory holed.

    Part of that is no doubt due to the speed of modern pop culture churn, but yeah, you expect at least a few diehards to stick with it.

    Instead it goes from "biggest thing" to even the people who liked the ending going "Okay, that was nice, what else can we watch now?"

    It's crazy especially compared to the berserk frothing over the game of thrones Scotch

    Wait, what? That stuff was popular?

    The entire state of NH liquor store system sold out of all the different houses within like 1 week. People were buying the Scotch, drinking it and then selling the container online for the same price as the Scotch when they bought it.

    That is fucking WILD. That shit sat on the shelves for months out here in Minnesota. I had no idea.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
    Bobble
  • ZeroCowZeroCow Registered User regular
    edited April 8
    Here's an impactful series of essays, https://acoup.blog/category/collections/that-dothraki-horde/, that I read recently that takes a critical look at GRRM's statement of the Dothraki being an “an amalgam of a number of steppe and plains cultures”. There are four parts total and it's pretty lengthy (so set aside plenty of time to read).

    The main takeaway is that the Dothraki horde are an amalgamation of stereotypes that have little resemblance to steppe and plain cultures.

    I think the hard part for me after reading this is and watching the HBO series left such a sour taste in my mouth that this didn't help (I've also read the books). I think it's problematic because there seems to be this belief that GRRM created a realistic world that just so happens to have magic in it (though I may be projecting here). I think about the articles a lot and how they impact my view of GoT's particularly given the broader conversations about race happening in the US (where I'm located).

    The website has some nice essays on other topics as well with a large focus on military history.

    ZeroCow on
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