Game of Thrones - Book Readers' Thread - - - - - - - - Part 25

Discussion in 'Game of Thrones' started by Thread Manager, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Marvolo Registered

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    I subscribe to the belief that once an artist releases a piece of art to the public it's no longer entirely theirs. In the case of books it belongs to the author, the publisher, and the readers. GRRM made a contract with the publisher. I've little doubt hes failed to make good on numerous publishing deadlines so he hasnt given them what they are owed. And we the readers, who have literally put millions of dollars into his bank account he has failed repeatedly to give us the story. I also believe when an author publishes and sets out to tell a story in a series of books the readers enter a good faith agreement with the author that they will invest in his books and trust the author to return that investment and good faith with the rest of the story.


    GRRM has failed to uphold his part of the good faith agreement. He has said he doesnt want anyone to complete his story if he dies before completing it which becomes more and more likely. He has repeatedly missed projected deadlines set by his publishers, fans, and common sense. Fans have been incredibly patient with Martin. Fans have been patient for 23 years. And after 23 years we have 5 books, no end in sight, and Martin's schedule continually is filled up by more and more and more side projects. He constantly travels, and has publically stated he refuses to write while not at home.

    It's gone beyond good will and good faith. Martin doesnt respect his fans or his publishers. I dont think he does it maliciously. I dont even think he sees it as disrespecting his fans. But it is disrespectful. And at the risk of sounding mean, based on his work behavior, his inability to buckle in and finish, and his physical state I've long ago come to the conclusion that the man's just lazy and has the focus of a squirrel loaded with meth.
     
  2. Infinity9999x Registered

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    And again, this is just like....why? We know that it eventually has to come down to Danny going to Winterfell to fight the North, so the Dorne conflict will only come into play so much. Too many bloated side plots.
     
  3. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    Because a story is more than just getting from A to B to C.

    Clearly GRRM thinks that whatever it is he has to say about FAegon/The Golden Company/Martells is important to Dany and Jon’s story and character. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of FAegon’s gone into the show Cersei.
     
  4. Infinity9999x Registered

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    Sure. But also, your story loses potency if you cloud ABC with XYZ123F.24 F.25 F.26 XX XX2 before you get to D.

    His world is interesting, but in books 4 and 5, he appeared more focused on world building than his main plot, and that's why the books suffered. And, again, thematically, do we really need to see yet another unfortunate tragedy lead to war? We've seen it about ten times in the story already. Except this time we'll care even less because Quentyn was such a dull character.
     
  5. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    Look there’s an entire rabbit hole I could get into, about how the Dornish having relevance to the plot could feed into the book’s depiction and revelation about R+L=J, how the Blackfyre element of FAegon could be the culmination of everything GRRM intended with Varys and the fall of the Targaryen dysnasty. How Arianne arriving with Aegon and an overwhelming Army at Kl as the younger and more beautiful queen who drives Cersei to her final, suicidal spree that results in the closure of her and Jamie’s arcs.

    But I won’t, because frankly I think I’d be shouting into the void. You really don’t like the last two books so I doubt anything I say is going to change your opinion on them.
     
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  6. Infinity9999x Registered

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    Honestly, you probably won't. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to hear your reasonings against it. I'm genuinely interested in what other people have to say about this, because it does make me look at the books in a new light in some cases.

    And I don't actually hate the last two books, or even strongly dislike them. But I did find them incredibly frustrating, and needlessly bloated. However, that said, everything GRRM writes in that is still incredibly interesting. But at some point, you have to get on with the main plot.

    I actually love the idea of how the Blackfyre rebellion could play into the ultimate reveal of what Varys is doing. I was chatting about it in another thread. If the theories turn out to be true, it's a great revelation for his character that gives him a lot of dimension.

    However, it's a long and complicated plot where the big payoff is ultimately to flesh out a side character. And while he's a very interesting side character, he's still a side character. Which means that we spend a lot of time on something that, again, ultimately will have very little impact on the main narrative of the novels.

    And therein lies my main problem with these books. The world GRRM has created is incredibly fascinating, and the man is a master at world building. But his first three books had a very clear drive in how they advanced the main plot. In books 4 and 5 that momentum came to a screeching halt, largely because they were supposed to be one novel. And that starts to make for a very tiresome reading experience. It's also hard for me as a reader to engage with these new characters George keeps throwing in when I've invested 3,000 plus pages in the other main characters already, and at some point I just want to know how they continue to advance.

    It would be less frustrating if he was able to release the books on a more timely schedule...but even then, it's not a great storytelling tactic. I read all the Wheel Of Time books in one shot, and not having to wait between books did very little to ease my immense annoyance at having to go through 4 or 5 books that did almost nothing to move the main plot along. (Thankfully GRRM hasn't gotten to that level yet.)

    The TLDR version of this is: I think there is definitely critiques to be levied for how GRRM wrote books 4 and 5, but that doesn't mean that I think what he writes is bad. His quality hasn't suffered, but the quality of the reading experience does.

    At the end of the day, you have to remember that people are reading these because they want to be told a story. And if you lose focus of that story, people will get frustrated with you. And I think that's a fair complaint to make.
     
  7. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    I genuinely think the only POV character from books 4/5 who was added to flesh out the world was Aeron Greyjoy. He exists to show us the workings of the Ironborn culture and explain the Greyjoy mentality. But even then, he’s kind of important because he gives us an integral and human look at the third act antagonist.

    A lot of these things, they feed into different plot threads. Why is Jon Connington a POV character? Because he was Rhaegar’s best friend and a source of information that’ll ultimately explain...basically the source of our major protagonist in Jon Snow. Why is Varys important? Same reason Littlefinger’s important; to get Westeros to a point where it’s utterly in shambles so that when the Others/White Walkers coming rolling in the drama is all the more heightened. As I said with Arianne, she serves as a motivating factor to Cersei and Jamie’s ultimate endgame based on Cersei’s own mentality. I’d argue that in this series the thematic and dramatic is just as important to the plot.

    On the surface you don’t get instant payoff, but this stuff all serves a purpose to get something to where it needs to be or to maximise something else when the time comes.The show has the ability to just add in and use Bran as a massive plot tool to just give us swathes of exposition, or cinematic licence to have characters take a jaunt around the continent and return within a moments notice, but the books don’t have that. The books operate under their own rules that GRRM established from the onset, and I personally think it’s more satisfying seeing all the threads come together. I don’t love everything he wrote (Brienne’s 8 chapters in AFFC were a chore) but I see their purpose, and I think the way he plots makes each re-read more rewarding when I go back and find new things. It’s why I’m going to read Winds of Winter despite knowing I’ll have to read 8 chapters of Sansa or Sam that probably won’t interest me nearly as much as what Tyrion/Dany/Jon are doing.
     
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  8. Infinity9999x Registered

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    I do understand that. And I’m honestly in the same position. As annoyed as I was by books 4 and 5, if Winds drops tomorrow, you bet your Kahlasar I’m reading it.

    And I don’t disagree that much of what GRRM is weaving together is interesting, but I do feel that you could get to the main plot of in a much more expedient way than he has. I think you can still reveal Dorne’s machinations without making Quentyn a POV character, I think that while Jon Cunnington May play a role with Jon’s reveal, you could also achieve it through characters already introduced. Many of these ultimate ends that we theorize these more tangled side plots may play into could be done in a less bloated way.

    And I think this is a large part of why GRRM is struggling to finish his books, if he indeed ever does. He’s said as much himself, it’s gotten a bit out of hand and it’s become incredibly complex for him to juggle all of it. And this has been spilling into the reading experience, for me anyway.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope he pulls it off, but I also don’t think it’s a “You either do it GRRM’s way, or take the shortcuts the show did.” I know you weren’t implying this, but I think it bears noting that a middle ground is certainly possible where you remain true to the rules of the world GRRM has set up, but you cut back on the number of side plot lines and streamline the plot more.
     
  9. Donner Formerly Elektra1 (she/her/hers)

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    It feels like Quentyn's only role was to showcase the secret plot of Doran Martell. But to have the whole POV and then him getting roasted? Why? Unless I'm missing something (I haven't re-read that part) his whole journey and end could have been told by someone else and quicker.
     
  10. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    Well the thing is, you talk about Quentyn for instance, he’s not the main character of the Dornish plot, he’s just the inciting figure. Arianne is the protagonist of House Martell and the one whom through we learn about the Dornish plot. Quentyn is only in 4 chapters, and I don’t think he was harmful to GRRM’s plotting. Certainly the Knot was more of a result of the Dany stuff than it was anything Quentyn did,(which I would argue actually helped accelerate some things).

    And with a lot of these characters, I don’t think it’s them that’s ultimately slowing things down. Aeron Greyjoy, for instance is probably dead within 2 chapters. Jon Connington has been given a literal timer for how long he has to live which will make him act quicker. I’d be surprised if Barristan survives the Battle of Fire. Barristan himself is basically how George resolved the Knot, by making him a POV and giving us a protagonist to sort this **** out while Dany can get on with her own arc.

    The impression you’re giving me is that, you didn’t really like the number of POVs originally and you didn’t real give these new ones a chance because you just wanted the series to end. Maybe I’m reading into it, and if I am forgive me, but it seems like they’re scapegoats for your greater frustrations with the direction GRRM took the story.
     
  11. Infinity9999x Registered

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    That's more or less what I'm getting at. The Karstarks murdering the two Lannister children had a bit impact on the plot too, but we didn't need to make the two Lannister Children or the Karstarks POV characters to do it. We easily could have had Quentyn remain a non-pov character and still get everything he achieved done in a quicker way.
     
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  12. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    If you follow that chain of thought, I’d argue a good deal of the POVs in Books 1-3 could have been cut out. Why is Jamie or Davos necessary, for instance, when you can explain stuff offhandedly? You can do that, sure, but you don’t necessarily get a better story.
     
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  13. Donner Formerly Elektra1 (she/her/hers)

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    I hated seeing Davos as a chapter's title. I know he had important conversations, but he's a boring character to me.
     
  14. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    See I think he’s one of the best characters in the whole series. I vastly prefer him to, Brienne for instance.
     
  15. Donner Formerly Elektra1 (she/her/hers)

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    It's interesting who people are drawn to in these stories. Tumblr, for example, is full of opposing views on the characterization of Daenerys and Jon. The various interpretations of their actions are completely different and often competing.

    Who is your favourite?
     
  16. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    Of the POV characters? Jon, probably. Though I think the most well written chapters are probably Theon’s. He’s more pitiable than likeable, but I found them to be harrowing in a way I haven’t seen from many other novels.
     
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  17. Reek _____

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    aww thanks pal. the Reek chapters sure are amazing.
     
  18. Infinity9999x Registered

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    This is true. And it's hard at some points to discern who should and shouldn't get POV chapters. In general, I was annoyed at most of the POV chapters that were entirely new characters in books 4 and 5, if for no other reason than I had already invested a huge amount of time into the various other POV characters and I didn't care to read about these new people.

    And while many of them are short, like Aeron and Quentyn, these chapters start adding up, and soon you have many of these seemingly superfluous chapters that do little to advance the main plot.

    I would say, in general, the added POV chapters I didn't mind were the ones that had a stronger connection to the main story. I enjoyed Barristan's since most of his were in direct connection with Danny, and he was usually dropping some very important aspects of backstory that directly tied into the books main mystery with R+L=J.

    The ones I got annoyed at were ones that could have been dealt with in a quicker manner by not being POV, and also didn't add anything new thematically to the story. Quentyn being the biggest annoyance with this.

    Even new characters that were interesting, like Euron for example, I got annoyed by, because I think, plotting wise, it makes much more sense to introduce someone who is going to end up a main antagonist much earlier in the story than 3,000 pages in. The later two books have a very unfocused feeling to them, and it's in large part because he introduces all these new characters and they still have yet to have a clear purpose in the story.

    Which, again, I think points directly to why he's having such a big problem finishing the books. He let the world get too big, and I don't think he needed to. And I felt the reading experience suffered for it. Now, that means they're still very good books, but it knocked them down from the truly elevated material I felt the first three were. In my opinion of course.
     
  19. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    In 4 this is a problem, but most of 5 is Jon/Dany/Tyrion/Theon/Davos. So I can’t really say I agree too much there.

    See, I think AFFC is just a completely different novel from the rest. The tone is different, the pace is different, it’s much more about GRRM getting reflective and sort of mourning the carnage that happened in the previous book. I think that, moreso than the new characters, was the issue there. Because even stuff with established characters, the Sansa/Arya/Sam stuff, that’s not necessarily the most riveting material because he works at a much slower and solemn pace.

    But I will say this though, Euron was set up from book 1. He’s mentioned the very first time characters comment on Theon and his whole situation and the implications of his character are introduced in Bran’s first dream. And then with each successive novel they slowly bring it more to the forefront. It does get to the point where his absence and presence is noted if you pay close enough attention. Hell, Robb even talks about him during the Red Wedding.
     
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  20. Marvolo Registered

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    Jon. He means so well, and he is honorable and pragmatic unlike Ned. Westeros really doesnt deserve him.

    I like Dany too. I like her cold pragmatism, her spirit, and her fury some of the time. Honestly I dont think she went far enough at times considering the stakes.
     
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  21. Marvolo Registered

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    Hmmm, I just read an article about Mag's prophecy, and it pointed out something that greatly widens the pool of potential killers of Cersei. The prophecy in the books says, “The valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale throat and choke the life from you.” That part was cut from the show. Valonquar means "little brother".

    Funny thing is the prophecy says "the little brother". Not "your little brother". So it could be any little brother. There are a lot of characters in the show that are little brothers. Little brothers that arent Tyrion or Jaime:
    Sam
    Gendry
    The Hound
    Jon is an adopted little brother
    Theon
    ...and Euron.

    My money is on Euron choking her to death.
     
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  22. Donner Formerly Elektra1 (she/her/hers)

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    I can take Euron and even Quentyn, but I hate that an entire chapter was dedicated to Aeron Greyjoy. Preachers bother me.
     
  23. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    I grew to find sympathy for him on re-reads, because when you really look at the character carefully it quickly becomes apparent that this is a guy who is using hardcore religion as a coping mechanism to deal with the fact that he’s been ritualistically abused since childhood.

    He’s not a pleasant guy by any stretch, but I think there’s a sadness to this person who tries to desperately convince himself that he’s a new man, that he’s different and stronger because of his newfound faith that’ll help protect him. It’s utlimately a horror story because his abuser ends up usurping the very thing he’s been using a coping mechanism and turns it against him. Aeron is devoted to the Drowned God, but by the laws of the Drowned God Euron is now his king.
     
  24. Donner Formerly Elektra1 (she/her/hers)

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    Asha could have been queen but Aeron couldn't deal with a woman ruling the iron born. It's his own fault that Euron was crowned.

    Had they followed the rules of succession, which most of the folk seemed open to, the kingsmoot wouldn't have been necessary.

    I understand that he was abused as a child, but it doesn't excuse his actions as an adult, at least to me. That chapter introducing him is enraging.
     
  25. Roose Bolton Son of Katas

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    I don’t think there was ever an scenario where the Ironborn would have reasonably elected Asha, she was too progressive for that kind of culture. And more to the point, I don’t think Aeron believed that Asha could conceivably protect him and the Ironborn from Euron.
     

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