A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  The Dude on Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:09 pm

Unfortunately it's a Hodor POV chapter. Just 20 pages of "Hodor, Hodor"
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  blixie on Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:07 pm

I'm re-reading ASOS, and man I forgot what a PITA Jojen is. He should be glad Bran has no legs, cause otherwise Bran would walk over and smack the shit out of him. "Are you SURE you never heard this story?! Surely SURE?!" I'm pretty sure it's obvious he's never heard it Jojen, Jesus.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  Red Wolf on Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:37 pm

Good point! I'm sure Ned knew the story, but he didn't want to bring up anything connected to Jon's parentage, ever.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  ulkis on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:16 am

blixie wrote:Well apparently that chapter release crashed the site? SEE GEORGE. Get to finishing. I just read George's "plan" for how the show won't catch up to him, he wants them to do THREE SEASONS of ADWD. Oh fuck NO George. No. Nope. If Benioff and White and HBO know what's good for them they will not honor that request.

Three seasons of A Dance With Dragons? The hell? He should have told them to do that with books 2 and 3 if he wanted three seasons of any book.

Also I couldn't care less if they just dropped everything about the Others/White Walkers.

And as for the fate of my lovely Jon Snow, we don't think he's dead, right? Because. That's not OK. I was tricked before, about Bran and Rickon, and I need this to go that way.

I imagine he'll warg into Ghost and then come back in some weird off way. And then probably die again lol.

I wish Glacier RR Martin would just hire a ghost writer to pull the thing together. I've heard from some fantasy nuts that the Whell Of Time actually improved after Robert Jordan's death, so maybe a fresh perspective would help here too.

That's probably what he's afraid of, lol. For someone to write the ending of the story for him and have everyone be like THIS IS THE BEST THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER EVEN THAN THE FIRST THREE BOOKS.


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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  Instant Monkeys on Mon May 05, 2014 3:36 pm

I FINALLY finished the last book and AT LAST I CAN READ ALL SPOILER THREADS EVERYWHERE YAYYY.

I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who was a little bored with (let me make a list): 1. The Ironborn and their stupid nuncles, 2. the extremely boring governance of stupid stupid Mereen, 3. ONE MILLION AND ONE NEW CHARACTERS and eighteen jillion sellswords and groups of people going to Mereen who have secret agendas about claiming the throne that I can't keep straight because they all have fake names and half of it is flashback and sometimes people who were talking in the flashback are now dead and I can't keep track of whose alias is whose and Griff and Gerris and what was up with that septa who was probably mysteriously someone else and Jon Connington and the Golden Company and the Cat Company and the Tattered Company and all the companies and Hizdahr and Grazblar and Grapthar and Harzdaq and Darzhaq and Blahrzqar and omg, I thought the Lannisters were hard.

In this book in particular I found the skipping around POVs annoying, frustrating, and boner-killing for I think the first time. It seems to go kind of like this:

Beginning of chapter. Who is this now? What is happening? Oh, this guy. OK, what is going on? Stuff has happened since we last saw him so let's try to orient ourselves. Where are we? OK, thing that was mentioned at the beginning of the chapter that didn't make any sense to me is now being explained a few pages later, good. OK, I'm with you now. Leadup to action. Leadup to action. Leadup to action. More exposition trying to get us up to speed with what has happened to this character in the meantime. Leadup to action. ACTION! MAYBE JUST A BIT OF ACTION. LEAVING OFF AT POINT OF HUGE SUSPENSE. Argh! Another chapter with somebody else. OK, who is this now?

...Next chapter with the first character: OK, who is this now? Oh yeah, this guy! That whole thing was going on! ...OK, but this is sometime later after that thing has concluded. OK, let me get up to speed with all the exposition of what has happened in the meantime...

I realize it's a technique to build suspense, and I'm not saying there was NO action, but there was SO MUCH cutting away from the action at the suspenseful point and then explaining later what had happened. It's like HOLY FUCK DRAGON ATTACK and now we have to read about Jon making political deals with the bankers. (that's probably not in the right order, just an example) After all the buildup, all the stuff about the fighting pits, all the stuff about Hizdahr, all the back and forth about whether she would marry him, all the description of the fight, the locusts, Strong Belwas barfing, finally we get the HOLY FUCK DRAGON ATTACK and then END OF CHAPTER! And then we wait and wait and wait to see what happened with Dany. And then when we finally get back to the thread of that story it's OH GOOD BARRISTAN IS TRYING TO DEAL WITH SOME PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT STUFF IN MEREEN and there's all this suspense about WHAT HAPPENED TO DANY and then we leave THAT chapter and it's "everyone's in the snow dying and eating horses and it sucks." AND THEN FINALLY we get back to Dany and the dragon and...she's leaving the dragon. We get to hear a little bit about riding on the dragon IN FLASHBACK as she is walking along the stream for 5,000 hours pooping and having her period all over the place. Then AGAIN at the very very end of that chapter that's mostly made up of Dany thinking about things and walking and being sick and flashing back to awesome dragon-riding that we didn't see, we get like five seconds of DRAGON AWESOMENESS and then the damn book is over. Except for a super long epilogue narrated by everyone's favorite, Kevan Lannister, and which is not so much an epilogue as...another chapter of exposition and piece-moving (or talking about piece-moving).

So, yeah. I actually have really been enjoying the books and enjoyed this one as well, but, yeah. I am pretty patient and can deal with a lot of buildup. But it's starting to be annoying that there is SO MUCH buildup and then basically no payoff. Or a tiny bit of payoff, but mostly the promise of later payoff! in the next book! or maybe the one after that! Like, I'll be retired before we get to the actual payoff.

One thing I really liked? All the spooky-ass old gods shit with Bran. Jojen really is a PITA though. I also was really invested, surprisingly (to me), in the Theon storyline. All that "you have to know your name" stuff was fucked up. Of course, the payoff was when he got dumped at Asha's feet finally, and that was the end of that story in the book so we didn't actually get that payoff either.

It reminds me a little bit of some of the bad habits of The X-Files, actually -- both pushing the action further and further forward until it becomes clear it's a stalling technique; and prioritizing "suspense" over actually showing things happening, often sacrificing important or emotionally rewarding scenes in the process. Like how when Mulder came back they never actually showed him finding out that Scully was pregnant. Or how, when she had the baby, they separated Mulder and Scully so the whole thing was Mulder trying to get to Scully, and her having the baby in a damn abandoned general store or whatever it was with fricking Moronica and her whale songs, and then we didn't even get to see Mulder find her, and then there was all this other bullshit about super soldiers or whatever, and literally it was like the last two minutes of the episode that we finally had Mulder with Scully and the baby, like I truly, honestly thought they were not going to show it at all. Then they had a 30-second super vague conversation and kissed and it faded out and then the next season it was "oh Mulder only stayed there for 24 hours and then he ran away into the desert forever."

That probably doesn't make any sense as an analogy, except to me, but there was a little bit of that. A lot of foot-dragging and a feeling that nothing important can happen until the very last second, and then be immediately cut away from. That only works if there's actually a reward.

STILL, THOUGH. I think this is a pretty damn great fantasy series. And (with exceptions) I'm loving having it realized on TV.

There WERE a few moments where I felt like the POV thing worked really well -- like when we see the dwarfs in the fighting pits and WE know it's Tyrion and whatshername, and then the thing with the lions and it's very scary and sort of screamingly suspenseful for a second because we're in Dany's POV and she doesn't know it's Tyrion but WE DO. That was cool.

Please let's not have three seasons of Mereen politics/Tyrion is on a boat/a lot of people we don't know are also on a boat and/or walking around a field/people are walking through the snow and it really sucks/Jon can't do anything right/Arya doing things for some reason.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  themis on Mon May 05, 2014 3:56 pm

One thing that helps me is to keep firmly in mind that GRRM really cut his teeth on television writing. I feel he developed most as a writer back when he was doing Beauty and the Beast. A network show. A soapy network show that really loved its commercial breaks. I actually really appreciate that he can pace well and paint scenery and characters very much like a TV show - but damn, does he really, really love a commercial break. It's why I was quite surprised he built the show on a premium cable channel. He really likes to cut away and come back later; without commercials on HBO, they really have to reach for scene breaks.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  Instant Monkeys on Mon May 05, 2014 5:01 pm

I actually didn't know that he started in TV writing, and that makes a LOT of sense. You're so right, he really does LOVE A COMMERCIAL BREAK.

And yeah, I think in general he lays groundwork and so on for stuff really really well, and foregrounds the important stuff so you remember it when you need to even though you didn't (I didn't at least) really notice that you were being prodded to notice something. And I think all the details and the insane worldbuilding are fabulous, and super well-executed. It's really only this last book where I started to be like "can you stop setting things up and DO SOME THINGS? And also stop introducing 15 new characters every 50 pages?"
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire (SPOILERS)

Post  Carrie Ann on Mon May 05, 2014 10:06 pm

Yeah, I think given that's the same reaction I had and everyone I've seen has had means that we're right. I see what he's trying to do, and I can understand getting so caught up in the world and your ideas that you want to do ALL OF THEM. But we have two books left apparently and like I said before, they would have to be entirely action--like all Red Wedding/Battle of the Blackwater all the time--in order to truly pay off the setup from the rest of the series. I don't think that's going to happen, so we're going to end up with dangling threads or otherwise unnecessary plotlines (like Quentyn Martell who just ended up dead anyway--so glad we spent time on that for NO reason). I just wish he'd plotted better along the way so that he could have sliced off the unnecessary stuff and put them into short stories or graphic novels or whatever down the road.
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