A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Bluebottle on Wed May 11, 2016 10:29 pm

Well, obviously. But George had very well publicized problems with aDwDs, and the show will have taken a lot of focus from well before its inception. Mostly though, it is to my mind the reason things haven't picked up with his writing. And I would tend to think Winds would be out by now if not for the show. So, to me its already had a proper impact. Then again, I would never have discovered this series but for the show. So, who knows. Shrugging

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Eldorion on Wed May 11, 2016 11:06 pm

GRRM hasn't been as forthcoming about the details of his writing process this time around (and who can blame him?) but I've always been highly skeptical of the idea that "cutting the Meereenese knot" meant that he was gonna start writing really fast. I know that's the common conception, but the way I look at is that not much has changed, as he's still dealing with a massive and unwieldy creation. Even if he's finally stopped adding new character and plotlines (which is far from a sure thing), trying to balance all the different elements gets harder the further along you go. GRRM had trouble figuring out how to get a bunch of characters to Meereen, but people think that he's going to write faster during the endgame where every plotline is converging on one or more others? If anything, he'll be going even slower, because he's facing even greater structural challenges now.

It's reassuring to be able to point at specific things like the five year gap or the Meereenese knot and say "oh, well that's why AFFC and ADWD took a long time, but he's past that now". But the nature of ASOIAF and the inherent difficulty in bringing huge, sprawling stories back together for a satisfying conclusion -- something we've talked about before in the context of ATLA -- means that in all likelihood similar issues are going to keep sprouting up with increasing regularity. And unlike Bryke with ATLA, GRRM does not have an outline to help guide him through this process.

I agree that the show has clearly slowed him down (though perhaps less so now with GRRM no longer contributing screenplays), but regardless of his other obligations and/or hobbies, I would expect the amount of effort required for each volume to continue to increase.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by halfwise on Wed May 11, 2016 11:59 pm

The penultimate book can't be easy. But I think the final book will be (comparitively) as he's been thinking about how things end up all along.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Bluebottle on Mon May 30, 2016 1:39 am


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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:10 am

A bunch of people have put together a reconstruction of the whole chapter, or what is purported to be. It reads like a GRRM chapter and has some fairly big names (fandom-wise) behind it so I'm inclined to take it as legit.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TOzYKnHHFS87I2B1Mx1xaF0zoR5pjdl5bLh9Fzi6Dts/edit

I freely admit that I never cared for the Iron Islands storyline from AFFC onwards, but ... no, I really don't need this in my life right now. I almost stopped part-way through ADWD cause of the Reek torture scenes but the forward momentum of plowing through an entire huge book kept me going. Well, that and I was invested in Theon/Reek as a character. Like, I get that I might feel differently when TWOW finally comes out, but I have better things to do than read this shit. And don't even start on "that's just how things were back then". >link< (not that I 100% agree with everything said here but it's a good introduction to the torture porn != realism argument)
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:34 pm

Finished the combined reading of AFFC and ADWD a few days ago, and I've got to agree with Blue - it's a completely different book. This time I was never bored, like I was when I read AFFC the first time. Even the Cersei chapters were OK, because they take you back to King's Landing and what goes on there, and there's so much going on everywhere. It's still not perfect, but I guess it can never be when there are so many storylines and characters involved, and there's always a character you want to read more about. Anyway, this is definitely the way to read AFFC and ADWD, changed the whole story in my opinion. A reading experience out of the ordinary, absolutely recommended Smile

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by halfwise on Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:31 pm

Hmm. Did you put numbered sticky notes on all the chapters before you began?

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:36 pm

I read it on a kindle, so I just switched between books. But there's no need to mark the chapters beforehand as long as you follow the order in blue's link a couple of pages back - bar a few exceptions it's very straight forward, all you need is both books at hand Smile

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:06 am

“Ser? My lady?” said Podrick. “Is a broken man an outlaw?”

“More or less,” Brienne answered.

Septon Meribald disagreed. “More less than more. There are many sorts of outlaws, just as there are many sorts of birds. A sandpiper and a sea eagle both have wings, but they are not the same. The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, soured by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous.

“Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide. Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. They’ve heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know.

“Then they get a taste of battle.

“For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they’ve been gutted by an axe.

“They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when that’s still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water.

“If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they’re fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it’s just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don’t know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they’re fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world…

“And the man breaks.

“He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them… but he should pity them as well.”
http://gotgifsandmusings.tumblr.com/post/145620796372/why-should-we-care-if-bad-people-get-hurt-isnt

Nuance, folks.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:32 am

Ringdrotten wrote:I read it on a kindle, so I just switched between books. But there's no need to mark the chapters beforehand as long as you follow the order in blue's link a couple of pages back - bar a few exceptions it's very straight forward, all you need is both books at hand Smile


Actually, the problem is that GRRM never was nice enough to label chapters such as "Tyrion 6". You have to count it up yourself. This has been my main annoyance: you never can find anything again. A couple descriptive words would have been nice "Tyrion and the dwarves" for example.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:05 am

Try this. Smile They haven't updated all the editons, but still..

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Chapters_Table_of_contents

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:04 am

Very helpful. Nod Would it have hurt George so much to do something similar? Rolling Eyes

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:49 pm

That was perhaps more helpful than my answer Laughing But as long as you make a mark where you last left off in either book you'll be fine Wink

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:57 am

Has anyone else here read the Dunk & Egg series? I wasn't quite ready to leave Westeros when I finished rereading ASOIAF, so I gave the series a shot. I almost liked these books better. They're (too) short, but very enjoyable. It feels almost like reading The Hobbit after having read LotR - lighter and more adventurous. I want more Smile

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:41 am

I really enjoyed the Dunk & Egg stories. I found "The Sworn Sword" really depressing in its depiction of minor feudal warfare though. The peasants in that story are generally background characters but their plight was highly unenviable. (I'm not sure that Martin's depiction of the brutalities of medieval life are necessarily as accurate as he imagines, though, nor the extent of the submissiveness of his peasants.) For the most part though I agree they are lighter and an easier read. I love delving into the history underlying a fleshed-out fictional world such as Martin's, but the characters are highly memorable and enjoyable to read in their own rights.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:14 pm

Yeah, The Sworn Sword was pretty depressing, but it did add a new dimension to Westeros that we don't see in GoT. And I loved reading about the Targaryens, and how different they all are. You can really see what was meant by the gods' "coin-flip" concerning that family. That, and it was nice to read about knights that were actually good, or true, for once. Like I said, it felt like reading The Hobbit, and I hope he finds the time and inspiration to finish the series in the future Smile

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:19 pm

Last I heard he put the fourth novella (which people had been calling "The She-Wolves of Winterfell" though apparently that's only a placeholder title) on hold until he finishes TWOW. His comments have seemed to imply that he plans on taking a break from mainline ASOIAF after that but given how that strategy worked out post-ADWD who knows if he will. Some of his ideas (like Fire and Blood, formerly the The GRRMarillion) are apparently on hold until the entire main series is complete.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:00 pm

In other words, we'll never see the ending of either series Laughing

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