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  #91  
Old 04-28-2017, 08:33 AM
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I know about "Hold The Door"
I was like "what's that, did I forget about it?" and I looked it up. Huh. Not something that has happened in the books yet!

To me, the SOIAF books represent the pinnacle of popcorn reading, a story set in a wonderfully-crafted world where the pages fly by as people get betrayed and murdered with alarming regularity. I don't consider them to be great literature, but they are top-percentage pulp and I love them for that. Even though they sometimes stray into places or scenes that I don't care for, I've never had a hard time making it to the end of one of the books. Which is pretty impressive, given that I basically stopped reading books when my son was born 5 years ago.

I started watching the TV show and kept at it for a while, since I wanted to see the visual treatments they gave to the different places and because the casting was so strong. But the show revels in misery and shock in a way that I don't think the books really do and somewhere around the start of season 5 I found myself not wanting to continue. I've mostly managed to avoid future-book spoilers so far, to my great surprise.

It would be really neat if book 6 ever came out.
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  #92  
Old 04-28-2017, 08:35 AM
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-Sansa is by far the saddest the tales get so far, her chapters offer no respite for her life in captivity and it's really easy to feel for her. Everyone I've talked to said that, in the show, her obnoxious character of the first book is laid on really thick and they have a hard time sympathizing with the character after, but if it's anything like it is in the books, maybe the people I talk to are just heartless.
I think most people have come around on her by now.
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  #93  
Old 04-28-2017, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ĦHarlequinPanic! View Post
-Sansa is by far the saddest the tales get so far, her chapters offer no respite for her life in captivity and it's really easy to feel for her. Everyone I've talked to said that, in the show, her obnoxious character of the first book is laid on really thick and they have a hard time sympathizing with the character after, but if it's anything like it is in the books, maybe the people I talk to are just heartless.
Back when I was still reading the books (around 2006 or so?) book readers, at least in the places I happened across on the internet, hated Sansa. I thought she was the most genuinely sympathetic character in the series. Her problem in the first book is that she genuinely believes the world works the way her parents, especially her father, taught her it did. The fact that she can't see that its bullshit mostly comes down to her being 16, I think. The next couple books have her gradually feeling out the true nature of things and genuinely growing as a character. She is the only one of the Stark children that I think grows in any interesting way.

The disdain for her that I ran into seemingly everywhere contributed to me giving up on the series. That and the long wait between books that ultimately disappoint (this is the big one) and constant gushing about how much better this series is than other fantasy books from people who had never read any other fantasy books.
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  #94  
Old 04-28-2017, 09:12 AM
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I have no idea what the red wedding entails
Two of the wedding guests show up wearing the exact same red dress and it's suuuper embarrassing

Really tough stuff to read/watch because you just feel so bad for them
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  #95  
Old 04-28-2017, 09:17 AM
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I don't consider them to be great literature, but they are top-percentage pulp and I love them for that.
I've said this innumerable times, but although I don't consider George Martin to be a great writer, I do think he's a great storyteller. Despite my quibbles with books four and five and his (apparent) lack of motivation, he's put together a hell of a yarn. Echoing what others have said, I'd love to experience the end of it at some point.

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I have no idea what the red wedding entails
Well done avoiding spoilers on this. In this day and age that's akin to not knowing Luke's parentage or Keyser Soze's identity.
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  #96  
Old 04-28-2017, 09:26 AM
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Keyser Soze's identity.
cup
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  #97  
Old 04-28-2017, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
I was like "what's that, did I forget about it?" and I looked it up. Huh. Not something that has happened in the books yet!

To me, the SOIAF books represent the pinnacle of popcorn reading, a story set in a wonderfully-crafted world where the pages fly by as people get betrayed and murdered with alarming regularity. I don't consider them to be great literature, but they are top-percentage pulp and I love them for that. Even though they sometimes stray into places or scenes that I don't care for, I've never had a hard time making it to the end of one of the books. Which is pretty impressive, given that I basically stopped reading books when my son was born 5 years ago.
For sure, it's definitely an easy read with "workmanlike" language, but that's absolutely a-ok by me. I spend most of my reading with non-fiction and military history, so this is considerably less dense.
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  #98  
Old 05-04-2017, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ĦHarlequinPanic! View Post
-Sansa is by far the saddest the tales get so far, her chapters offer no respite for her life in captivity and it's really easy to feel for her. Everyone I've talked to said that, in the show, her obnoxious character of the first book is laid on really thick and they have a hard time sympathizing with the character after, but if it's anything like it is in the books, maybe the people I talk to are just heartless.
This was a problem with the tv show, at least the first season, where it showed the external actions of the characters without as much internal thought. Sansa and Ned both suffered for it (Stupid Ned Stark was a meme for a while). Without their internal monologue and thoughts and reactions, Ned's hangup on justice just looks stupid, and Sansa's bratty naivety just comes across as especially thickheaded. I feel like they got better about it as the show progressed, though? Maybe?
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  #99  
Old 05-04-2017, 10:36 AM
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I feel like the demographics of your average HBO's Game of Thrones viewer don't do Sansa any favors. She requires a little more empathy than your average 18-29 year old male has on hand.
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  #100  
Old 05-04-2017, 10:50 AM
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Also, she's a woman, which is a major strike for many of the core demographic (even if they don't realize it).

I do think a big problem for audience perception of Sansa, especially in the show, is that she's been afforded very few opportunities for personal agency. She's clearly growing more shrewd, but she's more or less a bargaining chip for other characters most of the time. Compare that Arya, who has more of an action heroine thing going on. Sansa's tale, and the path that's leading her to an outcome that very likely involves Littlefinger's downfall, is a lot more subtle than "vengeful blind ninja girl."
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  #101  
Old 05-05-2017, 02:31 PM
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Sansa is definitely a little bit Prince Hal, a little bit Prince Hamlet. Except instead of Falstaff mentoring her she has Lady Macbeth
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  #102  
Old 05-05-2017, 02:34 PM
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Whereas Arya owes much of her character arc to cheap paperbacks named "The [X]"
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  #103  
Old 05-05-2017, 02:36 PM
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And Ned Stark is a good cop in over his head called out for one last case by his old army buddy. These novels are dazzlingly postmodern
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  #104  
Old 05-15-2017, 05:26 AM
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A Clash Of Kings is finished, overall it certainly feels like a 'middle of the story' book: there's a lot of shake ups, but no one seems to be dealt anything truly fatal just yet (except for King Renly). Tons and tons of hooks to make me want to start the next book right away. Especially the promise of a wedding looming in the distance...

-Bran and Jon chapters are still rough, but the final section with Jon was great.

-Jaime and Catelyn interrogation scene was the most gripping portion of the book.

-Theon is still such a goddamn punk, but his priest uncle just vanished after some point in the story?

-I'm not entirely sure I grasped what happened in the spooky warlock house with Daenerys.

-So at this point everyone that wasn't a Stark in Winterfell is dead, right?

-Tyrion's past with the ruse involving the whore and his brother is awful, and it's weird that for how bitter and evil Cersei and Jaime clearly acts most of the time, you don't see all too much callousness from Tywin, where did all this naughty behavior come from!
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  #105  
Old 05-17-2017, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ĦHarlequinPanic! View Post
-So at this point everyone that wasn't a Stark in Winterfell is dead, right?
You'll get more details on the state of Winterfell, eventually. It might be a longer wait than you expect...

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Originally Posted by ĦHarlequinPanic! View Post
-Theon is still such a goddamn punk, but his priest uncle just vanished after some point in the story?
You'll get more of this character too, much to the chagrin of a vocal contingent of readers. (I like the book they complain about, but it's definitely the most divisive in the series...)

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[Y]ou don't see all too much callousness from Tywin
Do you remember Tysha?
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  #106  
Old 06-26-2017, 05:13 AM
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So Tywin wound up being a real piece-a work after all! but now hes gotten his.


Finished a Storm of Swords....whew All this time I figured the Red Wedding was going to refer to Joffrey's wedding, but I was swerved! Poor Catelyn, but at this point, it seems that her death was a mercy with all her suffering. And well, let's be honest, three books into the series and you start to come around to the fact that, really, the Starks just aren't equipped to thrive in this world of double-talk and political betrayal. They're too stubborn and proud. And Robb's an idiot.

I found the plotline with Stannis to be really captivating, the will he or won't he regarding the sacrifice with his son, and of course the continuing reinforcement that in this crazy world, Davos is the only person with a level head.

So much happened in this book! I can't see the next two living up to it.
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  #107  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:28 AM
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So much happened in this book! I can't see the next two living up to it.
It helps to remember that GRRM planned to have a five year time jump between books 3 and 4. Storm was supposed to be an exciting mid-point conclusion before beginning a second trilogy to finish the series. According to his old blog, he was significantly deep into the original book 4 when he realized he couldn't make it work. All of that was scrapped and restarted and eventually coalesced into the books we know as Feast and Dance.

So it hardly surprises that the next two books are far less exciting than Storm, but that doesn't make them any less of a slog.
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  #108  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:37 AM
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It helps to remember that GRRM planned to have a five year time jump between books 3 and 4.
Kind of?

He originally did not plan a time jump, then he tried to write a time jump and it didn't work, and then he went back to the original plan of no time jump.

I think there is a frequently an excessive emphasis on this one idea that never panned out in explaining away books 4 & 5.

No matter your evaluation of books 4 &5 (I think they're great), it's not because of deviation from the original plan, because the time jump that never happened was the deviation from the original plan.
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  #109  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:40 AM
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Either way the process of writing them turned out to be a gigantic and messy undertaking, and the series hasn't been the same since.
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  #110  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:45 AM
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There's no question he's struggled with the series after finishing book 3.

I don't think anyone would dispute that.
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  #111  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:50 AM
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The books as written are a deviation from the original plan, really. While there was no time jump in the initial plan, IIRC, the reason he tried the time jump at all is because he expected more time to pass between chapters. The characters that started as children were supposed to age over the course of the story, but this wasn't happening as rapidly as he intended because so many of his chapters were picking after hours and days rather than weeks and months.

I liked 4 and 5, though. They never felt like a slog to me.
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  #112  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:54 AM
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Yes, that's the full explanation, but that's quite different from the received wisdom that a time jump was the original plan and cutting that caused all the problems.

. . . you can also say that everything is a deviation from the original plan, because the 3 page pitch for the series exists and that's clearly not what happened. (<--Obviously there are major spoilers here for anyone not finished reading, because many things did go as planned.)
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  #113  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:58 AM
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It's hilarious that his original vision for the entire series was a HUGE story with 2400 pages max, and he's currently at 4500 with the ending still far in the distance.
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  #114  
Old 06-26-2017, 07:13 AM
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The best laid plans of Ice and Fire often go awry.
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  #115  
Old 06-26-2017, 12:48 PM
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Turns out that books often turn out differently than their authors planned!
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