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Old 04-08-2012, 03:54 PM   #301
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

If you haven't already, try watching the first season. Reading the first ~80 pages (where the first episode ends) gives you a good idea of who's who so you're not lost watching it. If the show doesn't keep you interested (try to hold out until the 5th episode), then it's not for you.

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Old 04-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #302
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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Originally Posted by ChickenScratch View Post
Sure, seems to not be the book/s for you.

Great, you get it. It's closer to historical fiction than fantsy. If you go in expecting the regular tropes of fantacy (young hero, great quest, magic being common place) are not going to be there at all.

As I said before, maybe this series is not for you. You clearly do not enjoy reading them and it's not even close to the type of fantasy you want it to be and it's too far in to change a thing.
Well I picked them up because a lot of people said 'If you like fantasy, you've got the check out Game of Thrones', and when I was looking for fantasy book recommendations online, this kept coming up.

I guess it just bugs me that it's at the top of all these lists of best fantasy books ever... but it's not really in the same category. It's like saying the best fantasy books are the ones with the least fantasy elements in them. The ones that are more like history, and whose settings are more like the real world. Which I actually find insulting to the genre... but i'm probably just being silly.

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If you haven't already, try watching the first season. Reading the first ~80 pages (where the first episode ends) gives you a good idea of who's who so you're not lost watching it. If the show doesn't keep you interested (try to hold out until the 5th episode), then it's not for you.
I tried the first episode yesterday actually. It was okay... in exactly the same was as the Tudors was. I just don't see myself getting into it.

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"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


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Old 04-08-2012, 04:17 PM   #303
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

I love this series because it's not fantasy heavy. It has those elements within the story and world of the novels, but it's not blatant and in your face. I like that it feels a bit more historical and real. I can relate to it a bit more I guess.

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Old 04-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #304
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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I tried the first episode yesterday actually. It was okay... in exactly the same was as the Tudors was. I just don't see myself getting into it.
I couldn't get into The Tudors either (and I'm a history buff). I'd still recommend treading through to episode 5 since it becomes much more exciting from that point on.

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Old 04-08-2012, 04:21 PM   #305
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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I couldn't get into The Tudors either (and I'm a history buff). I'd still recommend treading through to episode 5 since it becomes much more exciting from that point on.
I might do. I'll let you know

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:21 PM   #306
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

Game of Thrones did take some slogging to get going, but once I got into it I was really into it. 150 pages out of 800 isn't much. At the 150 mark had they even made it to Kings Landing?

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Old 04-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #307
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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Originally Posted by hopefulsuicide;22893659[B
]Well I picked them up because a lot of people said 'If you like fantasy, you've got the check out Game of Thrones', and when I was looking for fantasy book recommendations online, this kept coming up. [/B]

I guess it just bugs me that it's at the top of all these lists of best fantasy books ever... but it's not really in the same category. It's like saying the best fantasy books are the ones with the least fantasy elements in them. The ones that are more like history, and whose settings are more like the real world. Which I actually find insulting to the genre... but i'm probably just being silly.

I tried the first episode yesterday actually. It was okay... in exactly the same was as the Tudors was. I just don't see myself getting into it.
This seems to be the problem here. You are thinking of all fantasy as one umbrella. There's high fantasy (LOTR, WOT, etc), low fantasy (Conan, GOT, Malazan, etc.) Sure GOT will show up on fantasy bestseller lists, but it'sa not high fantasy and is not gonna depend on the tropes of high fantasy.

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Old 04-08-2012, 05:06 PM   #308
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

Game of Thrones would come under high fantasy wouldn't it?

But your right, I am not being fair really.

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #309
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

No. High Fantasy has lots of magic, the line between the good guys and bad guys is also pretty clear (no gray areas).

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Old 04-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #310
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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So I finally decided to pick up Game of Thrones and see what all the fuss is about... and I got to admit, i'm still not getting it.

My question is, if i'm not loving it after 150 pages, then should I just give up? Or does it take a while to really kick in?

I mean, I love fantasy novels because I love escapism. I love magical worlds and beings and quests and journey's. But Game of Thrones isn't like that. It feels like an episode of The Tudors (which I also couldn't get into), with a bit of fantasy thrown in.

Also, it is really hard for me to stay interested in a story where I don't really care specifically about anyone or what happens to them (and i've been told a lot of people are killed off anyway, so even if you do start to like a character it might not be for long).

I hate giving up on something once i've started, but I genuinely think it'd be hard work reading it, and i'd much rather be reading something i'll enjoy.
I'd recommend you read the whole book and give it a fair shake. I do think it gets much better in the second and third book in the series (A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, respectively), but if you still are indifferent about the story or hate it by the end of the first book, you'll probably not like the later installments much better.

BTW I like it because it's not really like those other "fantasy series." It does play with those tropes a bit with Ned's honor, Robb stark's arc and the adventures beyond the Wall, but it is ultimately GRRM trying to ground the genre into a gritty medieval "realism." That won't appeal to everyone. Still, I recommend finishing the first book.

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Old 04-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #311
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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No. High Fantasy has lots of magic, the line between the good guys and bad guys is also pretty clear (no gray areas).
From Wikipedia (which is how I understood the difference as well)

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Low fantasy is a term used to describe a variety of works within the sub genres of fantasy fiction. Low fantasy has been defined as "nonrational happenings that are without casuality or rationality because they occur in the rational world where such things are not supposed to occur." Low fantasy stories are set in the real world. Low fantasy is contrasted with high fantasy, which takes place in a completely fictional fantasy world setting (partly or entirely, as high fantasy may start from or connect to the real world in places).

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*

Last edited by hopefuldreamer; 04-08-2012 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #312
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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I'd recommend you read the whole book and give it a fair shake. I do think it gets much better in the second and third book in the series (A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, respectively), but if you still are indifferent about the story or hate it by the end of the first book, you'll probably not like the later installments much better.

BTW I like it because it's not really like those other "fantasy series." It does play with those tropes a bit with Ned's honor, Robb stark's arc and the adventures beyond the Wall, but it is ultimately GRRM trying to ground the genre into a gritty medieval "realism." That won't appeal to everyone. Still, I recommend finishing the first book.
Hmmm... I might try. Maybe if I approach it differently, as not the kind of fantasy story I usually go for, i'll feel differently about it.

Mostly though, I read fantasy because I love the tropes and the sense of escapism from the real world. Not because I want to be reminded of how gritty the world is, or how ****** people are to each other

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #313
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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Game of Thrones would come under high fantasy wouldn't it?

But your right, I am not being fair really.
ASOIAF has the elements that makes it high fantasy, technically but it cherrypicks typical fantasy fare and wraps it in a conflict that is exclusively human with the characters and the political intrigues being the driving point and they are for the most part low fantasy, but I guess since it takes place on a fictional realm, it makes it high fantasy, despite that the series being more grounded in realism than your standard high fantasy series. It can be debated either way depending on your particularly definition on what it takes to be a high or low fantasy.

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Old 04-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #314
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I don't use that Wiki definition because it's wiki. High fantasy is not the sole realm of fictional worlds. If that were so then Low fantasy masters like REH, Moorecock, etc would be high fantasy heroes. Or how about the worlds created by Joe Abercrombie or the Malazan series?

The use of a fictional realm has some to do with high or low, but it's not the whole definition. The use of magic is a major part, high fantasy uses lots of magic while low fantasy tends toward pitched battle. In high fantasy there's a a clear line that divides good from back, low fantasy explores grays or even anti-heroes (Conan, Elric, Kull).

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Old 04-08-2012, 08:43 PM   #315
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

Can you guys direct me to a site that better explains high and low fantasy to me then? Because obviously i'm not understanding it right.

I thought low fantasy was things like Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere', where you have fantasy elements set in 'our' world; and high fantasy was basically anything set in a made up land.

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:35 PM   #316
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Wow. I have never, ever encountered that definition for "low fantasy" before. That's... huh.

What ****ing rock have I been hiding under? Haha.

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:37 PM   #317
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

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Can you guys direct me to a site that better explains high and low fantasy to me then? Because obviously i'm not understanding it right.

I thought low fantasy was things like Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere', where you have fantasy elements set in 'our' world; and high fantasy was basically anything set in a made up land.
That's called urban fantasy.

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #318
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

A story isn’t high or low fantasy based on whether it’s set in an imaginary world. High fantasy to me it's like an Arthurian adventure whereas low is more grounded in reality and magic and supernatural elements, you name it isn't so accepted easily regardless which world it's in but that's just my take. I guess it's only readers who's into fantasy that uses the definition, to me it doesn't really matter in the long run.

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Old 04-08-2012, 10:17 PM   #319
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Except I've never seen that definition, Crockett, and I'm an avid fantasy reader, and speak to avid fantasy readers. That's why I was surprised.

But exactly, as you put it - everything I've ever seen about high fantasy has used LotR as a quintessential example, or else Arthurian (though I'd call that classical, but that's probably apples and apples), or something like Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms D&D novels. Salvatore. Lewis. Some of Modesitt's stuff. The Shanarra books. Dragons, magic, and zombie bears, oh my!

Low fantasy I've always seen described as down and dirty. There might still be magic, but it has less a grasp on the everyday. Fantastical things are more the exception than the rule. ASoIaF, Erikson's Malazan world, and Abercrombie, as Chickenscratch identified.

At any rate, hopefulsuicide, if you're feeling that way about A Game of Thrones thus far, it might just be something that doesn't click with you. It might be something you just want to read right now, or ever. I think you were probably led somewhat astray - while A Song of Ice and Fire certainly is fantasy, and certainly is great literature, it's not something that every fantasy fan will want to read. There's nothing wrong with that.

If our definition of high fantasy is something that better satiates your mental appetite, you could consider reading Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series. The first book is Furies of Calderon. While it does have some historical elements to it, they are non-intrusive, and the world is very much his own fantastical creation, with some very unique features to it. It's a very good read. You could also check out R.A. Salvatore's The Highwayman for something that isn't Dungeons & Dragons related.

Do stay away from Joe Abercrombie, though, if you don't like GRRM.

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Old 04-09-2012, 05:25 AM   #320
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

Cheers for clearing that up for me guys

And i'll check some of those out, but I probably will try and at least finish book 1 of Game of Thrones to see if I get into it. If I don't, then i'll know it's just not my tastes. If I do, i'll be back here raving about it!

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:48 AM   #321
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Oh, and if you don't like GRRM I've got a couple authors you should stay away from. http://io9.com/5876715/10-great-fant...tins-next-book

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:59 AM   #322
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

Thanks for that, that's actually really helpful. I wish I had a list of books I SHOULD read though

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I think back to my father. As a farmer, he had a natural understanding for the Earth. I remember him telling me this world is capable of providing for all its creatures. Even now, with so many more people, there exists enough food for everyone.

"The problem," Pa used to say, "is people. As far back as we go, we've always had problems with sharing. Seems everyone's too busy holding on to what they've got to care how their neighbors are doing."


*\S/T*
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:50 AM   #323
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I'm not here to tell anyone what they should do, if that were the case everyone on this forum would have read the series already so we can keep the dumb questions to a minimum. Can't really talk plot depth and complexity when it keeps getting derailed by people asking who, what, where and all that explicitly stated already.

There's a lot unsaid, hinted at, etc in the books. Tough when people keep asking the obvious.

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Old 04-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #324
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I'd go along with that page you linked so far as to say nobody, period, should read Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles. Or Scott Lynch.

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Old 04-09-2012, 01:56 PM   #325
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire books

Finally made it to A Feast for Crows, and I'm really enjoying it! I've read lots of reviews, and most agree its a substandard book. This made me both anxious and excited to see if these reviews were right. I'm only 70 pages in, but it seems to be off to a good start. I can understand that at the time of its publication it was a shock to find out that some characters would not be appearing. Especially considering it had already been 5 years since A Storm of Swords publication. I believe that has warped the reviews this book got and the view some have of it. Am I correct in thinking this? This is not to say that there isn't any legitimant problems with the book, or that people's opinions are wrong, but as of now I think it deserves a lot better reviews than it got.

Perhaps it is too early into the book, and I will amend my original thoughts, but as of now this book has drawn me in quicker than A Storm of Swords did.

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