1. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    A Song of Ice and Fire - thoughts [SPOILERS]

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Ulramar, Jun 17, 2014.

    [​IMG]

    So when Season 4 started I picked up the show through HBO's marathon, then I started the books about a day after. I'm just started A Storm of Swords this morning (that's just how big this damn series is).

    What does everyone think of it?

    Personally I love it, and I wish my writing was somewhere near George R.R. Martin's. He's now my favorite author, despite his bloodthirsty murder of our beloved characters.

    I love the complexity of it. There's an innumerable number of characters and houses. There's things added to it that aren't even a part of the books/show. Everyone remember the song from the Red Wedding? It's called "The Rains of Castamere" and there's like 20 different versions. For the Red Wedding version, go onto Youtube and type in "Red Wedding Song". It'll pop up. I love that George R.R. Martin created all these races and cultures (Valyrian, the Free Cities, Braavosian, Westerosian (???), Dothraki, etc. There's four different languages used in the show: English (Common Tongue), Dothraki, High Valyrian, Low Valyrian. It's just immense. He's created this huge world, and it doesn't feel like cliche fantasy.

    I love that no one is safe, although I know a lot of people hate that. SPOILERS (duh). Eddard Stark dies. Catalyn Stark, Robb Stark, all of Winterfell, Sandor Clegane, Jeoffry Baratheon/Lannister, etc. Too many people to name. There's probably more but I'm only up to what came out with the Season 4 finale and the beginning of A Storm of Swords.

    I love how it all intertwines. I like how Margerie's mother (or grandmother, that old woman who walks around with her in the show. Haven't gotten that far in the books and I didn't catch a name) was supposed to marry Maester Aemon Targaryen, then she said "haha nope" and found another guy. He jumped to the Night's Watch quickly. I like how (this is all in theory) apparently Rhaegar raped Lyanna Stark and she gave birth to Jon Snow. Ned covered it up saying that Jon was his bastard instead of telling the truth. Kinda makes the Daenarys (I botched that one bad) and Jon shippers just that awkward. Danny would be his aunt, although we've had more gruesome relationships in the past *coughs* Jaime and Cersei.

    That's all I got. My fingers are kind of sore for some reason, so I'll let someone else go on and on for a while.
     
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  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I LOVE!!!!!!
    A Song of Ice & Fire.
    ADIDASOIAF (Get it?)
    Just check my signature, I'm friggin' learning Dothraki!

    And actually, didn't Ned Stark sleep with a woman from Dorne who then threw herself off a cliff? Making him a Dornish prince I believe... Of course, that's all foreshadowing/speculation at all the hints and uncertainities.

    Oh, and PSA: Petyr is the main antagonist of the series, I swear.. anyone who can scare Varys must be evil.

    I like how Martin setup Ned Stark to be a symbol and theme leader for the entire series. A man of noble intentions and honorable conduct through and through, he is the only character who I believe never shown a "dark" side to him (despite doing things like fathering Jon Snow and hating Lannisters, though I'm sure he had very good reasons for doing so) and to contrast him was all these flawed characters that at the end of the first book cut his head off!
    I've always imagined him to be a show that the good will never survive in a world run by flawed and corrupt people.

    Or at least, that's what I read into it.
     
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  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I read the first book and part of the second, and then I realized that he may never finish the series because he keeps introducing new characters and subplots. I'm going to wait until he's completely done writing the series before I pick it up again. I'm actually really interested in seeing how he manages to end this thing. It can't be an easy task.

    I do watch the show, however. That I really like.
     
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  4. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    OMG you're learning Dothraki? Where can I learn it??????

    I don't know about the Dorne woman, if that's in the books I didn't see it. But that could also make sense.

    And yeah, Petyr is the only one truly playing the Game of Thrones, and he doesn't seem to want the Iron Throne from what I've seen. Only Sansa at this point. I could see Varys also being another main antagonist. He is also a huge double crosser, just not as much as Lord Baelish.

    And he actually did one bad (well not bad but stupid) thing. I guess it was episode 5 6 or 7 (somewhere in the first book then) where the villagers come in while he's sitting the Throne while Robert is hunting. The villagers say that Gregor Clegane raped and pillaged their villages and ordered his arrest. Then he had Grand Maester Pycelle send a raven to Casterly Rock ordering Tywin Lannister to answer for his crimes on sending the Mountain to raid the riverlands and if he didn't come he'd be arrested for treason against the throne. I mean, he is the Hand of the King, but that was a bad thing to do and very stupid. Even Petyr and Varys knew that. You can see the video of the scene on youtube.

    And the next book, The Winds of Winter, is going to be awesome (Winter is coming!!!). But "A Song of Spring" is going to be amazing and a mess. We'll see.
     
  5. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    @thirdwind
    There's only 2 more books to go, and he'll be done.
    However, it'll be a handful of years before he is done.
    He then states he'll work on different ideas for a while but imagines he'll go back to the world of aSoIaF later in his life and tell stories about different people and different plaecs.

    I think he's done introducing new characters, I mean winter is coming.. everyone is gonna die soon.

    @Ulramar
    Not sure if she was from Dorne but there was some allusions from other characters that Ned Stark had something to do with her before her suicide.

    No, Varys seems to be one of the few protagonis in the Game of Thrones ploline, he seems to be the only one with a strong interest in keeping everything controlled and good while everyone else plays their power and pride games. He states multiple times he serves the realm and shows it by helping Tyrion (Who's possibly the only good left in the series) and Ned Stark (Before he does the dumbest thing ever and warns Cercei that he's unto her). Now, he seems terrified that Petyr will "Rule over a kingdom of ash" (loose quote, I don't have his exact words). Varys also has no claim on the throne due to being a foreigner and basically a streetrat (before becoming spider), he'd have to kill half of Westeros before he could claim the throne.

    Petyr is definitealy after the throne, his remarks to Sansa at the Aery strongly suggest desire to rule over everyone. He says if you do things that make no sense or seem to work against you, it'll keep your enemies guessing and never sure of what you want. Also, no one consider Little Finger Lord Baelish a legitimate threat to their ancient house. He has a small holding his grandfather earned after the war against Targaerian rule. He's a jumpstart, with no real lands, incomes, or army. He's nothing compared to the other houses and that's why no one suspects him. He's a peasant dressed up as a noble to them. Also, when Tyrion becomes Master of Coin, briefly, he discovers that Petyr seemingly created money of thin air and was moving an alarming amount of resources around the kingdom that made little sense... he's preparing for something and it possibly could be he considers Daenerys a threat should she ever sail west from Mereen.

    Yeap, totally psyched for the future titles.

    You can learn Dothraki in a few places.
    There's a wiki dedicated to the fictional languages built for the TV adaptation of aSoIaF (Which was built by a real linguist based off the few words and phrases Martin put into the books). There's a wiki, youtube videos, and a forum dedicated to it. Just google it, you'll stumble upon on it soon enough.
     
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  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    My fear is that he'll die before he can finish the series. :(
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I hope he finishes the series. :[ He's the only one who can.

    I've never watched the TV shows, but I did attempt to read the first few pages of Game of Thrones. So many names and plot elements; how do you all keep it straight in your head? It'll take me a few years to get it set. That's just understanding the plot alone. Knowing the characters (and how to spell their name) are a different matter.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    So, quick question: Remind me where Arya got that iron coin she flashed at the end. I've forgotten.
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    From Jaqen, the dude who can change his face.
     
  10. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Arya is going to kill everyone. That is all that I know for sure. :D
     
  11. A.M.P.
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    That is the fear of many fans, that'll he die before finishing his work.. He is rather plump and advanced in age, it's a worry many have and why so many pester him to finish his story fast.. We don't want another Wheel of Time fiasco...

    Arya got the coin Jaqen H'gar, it's a valueless coin in terms of money but show it to the people of Bravos and they'll know what it means (I won't spoil anything)

    I admit, the book is rather daunting. G.R.R. Martin does very little hand holding. There are no expositionary characters or scenes made specifically to tell readers what's what (A la Hermione Granger). I believe it helps in immersion and simply implores the reader to think more about everything which adds to the story rather than detracts. It's a book based on massive world building, which may not be for everyone.

    It's similar to Steven Erikson's novels where there is a lot of fancy terms, cultures, religions, and characters that are spoken about but nothing is ever explained. You just gotta make a mental note and read on and piece it all together. I find the style very appealing and I believe I will try to write similarly to them two.

    @Pheonix
    Yeah... she's a troubled little girl.
    Might have something to do with seeing her entire family butchered in front of her multiple times... just maybe.
     
  12. HealSomeBabies
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    HealSomeBabies Member

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    In my opinion, GRRM does a MUCH better job at exposition than Steve Erikson. I wanted to like Gardens of the Moon, it just felt like a convoluted mess with too much Deus Ex Machina, random gods disguising themselves as other gods, and magical abilities characters pull out of their asses.

    Now to the matter at hand. I've heard rumors that Rheagar and Lyanna Stark were legitimately in love, and that she snuck out on her wedding day to be with Rheagar. Characters always said Lyanna was impulsive. This would make Robert into kind of a jealous asshole. Starting a rebellion, thousands of people losing their lives because Lyanna went with the man she loved. Of course King Aerys did kill Rickard and Brandon Stark ( Eddard's father and brother respectively), when they went to retrieve Lyanna, so he had to die regardless. So many twisted conflicts. Its so beyond black and white, good and evil.

    What makes this universe great is that there are no moral boundaries, no clear decisions. Its an addiction to tragedy, kinda makes you think.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I think like @thirdwind I'll properly return to the series once he finishes it, and doesn't pull a Stephen King with his Dark Tower series, in which he introduced himself as a character (no joke, look it up). I've read the first few books, and they were ok, I enjoyed them.

    They are easy to get lost in and the writing ranges from merely competent to actually pretty darn good I found; and I like the fact RR Martin is fearless in killing off characters, but ... is it just me, or does it come at a time when that character has ran out of use to the overall story? Not a criticism per-say from a story-telling perspective, it's just something I've noticed.

    Also, with the huge thickness of them it's easy to become passionate about them. You are investing a lot of time in those books!
     
  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I started the books with great enthusiasm ...then fell off the branch, along about book 4, when I realised there were still several already-published books ahead of me and he STILL wasn't anywhere near done.

    I think he's a good writer, if you take him chapter by chapter—he certainly kept my attention during the first couple of books. However, by book Three, I was starting to droop a bit. Characters died, new subplots were introduced, cliffhangers ensued, THOSE characters died, etc etc. Part of being a good writer is structuring your story, and keeping your readers on board. While he's succeeded with lots of people, he's also lost LOTS of people who were on board at the start. They've now jumped ship, just like me.

    If you watch how an actual TV soap opera proceeds, this is exactly the format. Actors are fired, their characters killed off, actors decide to leave the series but MIGHT come back, so their characters are carried off somewhere else for a while. Certainly at some point people struggle to keep track of who the fathers of the babies actually are, who is related to whom, and to what degree. I Am My Own Grandpa becomes fictional reality, if there is a long break in a particular storyline. Some folks lap up this kind of storytelling, others don't.

    Personally? I like the feeling that a story has structure, no matter how long the story might take to tell. Lord of the Rings had structure, even though it rambled a bit. I always felt Tolkien knew where he was going with the story AND the characters themselves. I felt the same about Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy ...and again, I started reading that before he'd actually finished writing it. But at no point did I ever think ...hey, this is never going to end.

    I very much doubt I'll pick the Song of Ice and Fire series up again. I'll just hear about how it ends—if it ends—and that will probably do it for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  15. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love that we don't have to cover spoilers in this thread. :D
    These two aren't dead. Isn't that nice? :p

    @A.M.P. there are three more books to go (maybe even more), not two. Unless this is a joke:
    And don't worry. All of you who are not reading books - Martin explained to series creators how the series should end in case he dies. But that doesn't resolve the question regarding books. :/

    I too am of opinion that Varys might actually be the only one whose goal is to preserve a functioning kingdom. He explains that nicely at the end of The dance with dragons.

    @HealSomeBabies I agree with you... I also think that Rhaegar and Lyanna were legitimately in love. If not else, rape doesn't suit well to Rhaegar's character, he was one of most loved nobles in Westeros and a skillful warrior if I remember correctly. He would have been a good king, but he had bad luck that his father was mad and Robert was madly in love with Lyanna...

    @jannert I was also thinking how will he end the series... All I know is that Martin said that he improvizes a great deal. He knows the fates of his characters, but he doesn't know how will he get there. So, he knows if he will kill Jaime or not, but he doesn't know what all will happen before he gets to that point. Sure, he knows the main twists and stuff, but not the minor plots. He also (jokingly) said that if he ever gets tired of Westeros, he can just throw that meteor from second season and kill everyone. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Did have a chuckle at your last sentence, @Poziga . That meteor would kill everyone—and everything—including his readership, if he ever decides to write another book. And he can kiss further sales of this particular saga goodbye as well.

    That's the trouble with a story this long. By now, people expect really REALLY great stuff of this series. (At least those who haven't wandered away, like me.) Prolong the ending and you risk disappointing people, because their own imaginations have already given it quite a whallop of an ending. They've imagined all sorts. Of course they're hoping the ending will be even BETTER than they've imagined. If it's a damp squib, it's such a letdown, after all this time. It's kind of like the Wizard of Oz. Get there and uncover him, and he's quite a letdown.

    The climax (not ending) of LOTR (the book) certainly did not disappoint. It's when Frodo stands at the crack of doom and announces that he's going to keep the ring after all. OMIGOD. I nearly died. Then Gollum bounds out, chews the finger off, falls into the fire...

    I actually had to walk away from LOTR at that point, I was so shaken. Of course it all made sense, and everything in the story had been bending towards that moment. And that's when I truly recognised Tolkien's storytelling knack. That was a cracker of a climax.

    I'd say, since Martin will have gone on for what's now looking like eight books (to Tolkien's three), he'd jolly well better have an equivalent kick up his sleeve. Or lots of people are going to be very very disappointed.
     
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  17. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i hope they dont kill Tyrion, i mean, ive only read the first book, but i kinda like his character...

    there was no way in hell that aSoIaF was going to be a trilogy, its too complicated
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I hope he does make quite a good ending, considering all the plot twists and character-killing he's been doing lately. The outcry if it's a crappy ending would be incalculable. This was a series that had been going on and off since the mid-1990s for goodness' sake. People have literally spent decades wondering what the ending will look like.
     
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  19. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    @jannert I also chuckled when I read that. He was joking of course. I wouldn't be surprised if some fanatic would try to kill him, if he finished the series that way...

    Another point to consider is also that not all people like the same characters. So creating a perfect ending is actually impossible. When one rootes for Daenerys to be the queen at the end, other wants to see her dead and Stannis to become the king... It's somewhat like How I met your mother - some people adored the ending, but some people thought it was revolting...
    But on the other hand, it is important to how it is done. Even if you don't like the ending but was masterfully made, the series is kept as a good memory afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
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  20. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tyrion thinks in terms of thr kingdom sometimes, why would Varys betray him?

    I knew about lady Stoneheart but i didnt expect Sandor to come back.
     
  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    As one who has not read the series, with this season 4 finale having come to a close, where in the written series are we, so to speak? Which book or which part of which book.
     
  22. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i believe its the end of book 4 (dont quote me on that, im not quite sure)
     
  23. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Ulramar I never wrote that Varys ever betrayed Tyrion. ;)
    I too am not so sure where is the series in relation to books. But like Chaos said, I think it's the end of fourth book, but i'm not sure... o_O
     
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  24. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    The show just finished A Storm of Swords... Third book.
     
  25. A.M.P.
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    There is still 2 books on the menu, but who knows if he'll NEED a few more.. he has shown a tendency to just keep writing.
    The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, according to the wiki.

    Although, judging from my reading and the amount left to read, it seems Daenerys will never take the Iron Throne.
    She'll either be queen of dragons in the eastern lands or she'll die... Or maybe Tyrion will convince her to return to Westeros immediately now that he is with her...
    Which would be ideal as the Ice Lords from the North are coming and with winter... It'll give her the opportunity she needs to take over.

    Stannis is gonna die.. God, I hope so. Mellisandre is somehow paving the way for someone else, I swear.
    He'll prolly kill a Ice King or something, fulfill his prophecy, and die.

    I actually forgot about the giant red meteor in the sky...
    G.R.R. Martin wouldn't live another day if he published it falling and killing people >.>
     
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