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Safia al-Maaz

George R. R. Martin (possible spoilers)

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Depends on how you define "a lot", but he certainly kills off more than any other fantasy writer I have ever encountered.

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He doesn't really kill THAT much main characters. Most are still alive by book 4

 

Depends on how you define main character.  I think he kills a lot.

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Depends on how you define "a lot", but he certainly kills off more than any other fantasy writer I have ever encountered.
Have you not encountered Steven Erikson, then? Of course, Martin is far better at making them stay dead.

 

Is he the one who kills off a lot of his main characters?
I wouldn't say a lot, but he kills more than most and (far more importantly than sheer numbers) he does it to great effect.

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I researched this for the Wikipedia article which actually puts a number to it.

 

Erm, I can't work out how you do spoilers, so go check out the Wikipedia entry for A Song of Ice and Fire. It mentions it in the third paragraph.

 

So it could be argued that only one, real apparently story-critical character dies. Everyone else who dies I thought was fair game anyway.

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Wikipedia is pretty good at spoiling the entire storyline. Thank the Gods they put a nice big heading saying 'PLOT' before they start so I managed to save myself.

 

I am getting annoyed at avoiding all the spoilers for books/movies. Its as though I'm a criminal and I've trying to avoid the police who just happen to be everywhere.

 

Best thing is to read all popular books before they get famous I guess.

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Lol don't you just love it when we're late?

 

Anyway, I want to know if Martin is as good as RJ.  Does it compare in intricacy of plotlines?  Or the interest in the plot, is it as entertaining?  I've only read the first couple pages of Game of Thrones, but I like to know what I'm getting into before I read a book.  Any comments?

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Martin is a far better writer than RJ, imo. However, his style is VERY different. RJ is PG-13, Martin is R. Good vs. evil is not so obvious as it is in WoT, and there are scenes with more graphic violence and sex than you've seen in WoT.

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Well I prefer RJ as a writer. I haven't finished a Feast for Crows from Martin yet, which is the fourth book. I understand the next one is coming soon. The writing styles are indeed very different, I think while both are certainly epic fantasy, WoT is high fantasy which aSoIaF is not. So the latter is much more gritty. The books have some similar themes, but they handle them in very different ways. Now, I know WoT a hundred times better, but I think in WoT you get a more fleshed out picture of what you do know, not that you know everything by any means, but in aSoIaF there is more of a murky feel to everything, more unknowns. Though I suppose one should compare the current aSoIaF with WoT at only tSR or FoH done for similar length, since the WoT has also evolved quite a lot since (and in my opinion CoT is as good as a book as any, only aSoIaF hasn't yet had the time to evolve as much). Simply put, to the first perhaps simply i feel much more at home in WoT, especially with its characters, though aSoIaF is very good and I have no intention of not finishing it or not rereading it. ASoIaF has a much more abrupt quality, things happen with little preamble, exposition or explanation. Hope that helps  ;).

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Martin is a far better writer than RJ, imo. However, his style is VERY different. RJ is PG-13, Martin is R. Good vs. evil is not so obvious as it is in WoT, and there are scenes with more graphic violence and sex than you've seen in WoT.

 

Is that more in the later books, or is that in the first book as well? Just asking cause in WoT the sex scenes don't show up til the 5th book, which I assume is just from how the story line developed, but I think RJ also used the "sex scenes", however vague they may be, to maintain interest.   Does Martin do that?

 

EDIT: Wow, 10 pages into the book and you get a bloody fight scence!  I will assume that continues throughout the whole book... :P

 

And yes GF, that definitely helped a great deal, thank you!  If that is the case, I'm most likely going to prefer RJ as a writer as well, I'm not a huge fan of extremely graphic writing.  And obviously I am much more at home with RJ's writing as well :P

 

 

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I understand the next one is coming soon.
hopefully early next year.
I think while both are certainly epic fantasy, WoT is high fantasy which aSoIaF is not.
What's the difference?

 

I researched this for the Wikipedia article which actually puts a number to it.
Strictly speaking, this is incorrect. The wikipedia article mentions POV characters killed, not "main" characters. The two are not necessarily synonymous.

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I think while both are certainly epic fantasy, WoT is high fantasy which aSoIaF is not.
What's the difference?

Without searching for the definition, I understand the modifier 'high' in fantasy will mean that the work does not strive for for example a realistic depiction of the medieval society, but concentrates on what is important for the story while merely implying the rest. At least I remember seeing such a definition, looking at Wikipedia epic fantasy and high fantasy are treated as the same. Hard to pin down.

 

I see high fantasy as elevated above its own background somewhat, matters unimportant to the story exist only through implication, such as the holes dug in the ground for the 'jakes' in WoT, though of course you would realistically expect them to be there, and it is assumed that they are. How the pov character perceives the world is much more important in WoT than what is there for all to see. Much of the realism Martin gives directly in his writing is only implied or referenced by RJ in WoT. Like the difference between common, Plain and High chant: the information is given, but in different ways. Neither is poetry, but perhaps you could say RJ tends to write in Plain chant while Martin in common.

 

There is no question about both being epic fantasy. The work being epic will mean something other than the human survival in normal-to-them conditions is primarily written about, perhaps the extent to which this struggle is taken in to account is what makes it high or not high. But this is really just my opinion I suppose.

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Well, RJ himself considered ASOIAF high fantasy, and while he did not go into detail about what makes a work high fantasy, he mentioned it as contrary to "sword and sorcery" fantasy.

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I guess it depends on the usage of the word. I think you could differentiate between the two so that epic fantasy would be contrary to sword and sorcery. Looking at this, for example,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fantasy ,

although the article sees epic and high as the same, high fantasy can naturally be contrasted with low fantasy. On that scale I wouldn't call aSoIaF low, but not really high either, there is not as much of a sense in anyone that they are working for a greater good, though the series operates on such a level too. Whereas in WoT for many people, though not to all, good and evil exist concretely. Thus whereas the modifier epic means there's a grander scheme, the modifier high or low would tell where the main characters stand in it.

 

Though this last is also different from what I meant earlier, which was more about the level of abstraction used for realism. I think I will be happy to leave classifying genres to others. :P Anyway, this last applies to what I meant in the original sentence, colloquial use is different.  :P

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Martin is a far better writer than RJ, imo. However, his style is VERY different. RJ is PG-13, Martin is R. Good vs. evil is not so obvious as it is in WoT, and there are scenes with more graphic violence and sex than you've seen in WoT.

 

Is that more in the later books, or is that in the first book as well? Just asking cause in WoT the sex scenes don't show up til the 5th book, which I assume is just from how the story line developed, but I think RJ also used the "sex scenes", however vague they may be, to maintain interest.   Does Martin do that?

 

EDIT: Wow, 10 pages into the book and you get a bloody fight scence!  I will assume that continues throughout the whole book... :P

 

And yes GF, that definitely helped a great deal, thank you!  If that is the case, I'm most likely going to prefer RJ as a writer as well, I'm not a huge fan of extremely graphic writing.  And obviously I am much more at home with RJ's writing as well :P

 

 

 

The graphic sexual depictions begin with the first book. Within 5 chapters or so, you have (GRAPHIC DEPICTION) Martin describing a woman holding a man's seed within her (END GRAPHIC DEPICTION). And while that may not seem like so much, trust me when I say that is the least graphic it gets.

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Oh that's great... not a fan of that kind of writing... I like how RJ leaves things to the imagination.  I'm a sucker for romance, and I think leaving it for the reader to interpret is much more romantic than describing the actual... um... well yeah.  More graphic depictions aren't needed and i think they take away from the actual story. 

 

As for the high fantasy vs epic fantasy, I always assumed it was creating a fictional story in a world that is actually semi-believable but with the element of something unnatural.  Like, in WoT, it's in an old-fashioned what, 17-1800s era world? But you have Aes Sedai and Wolf Brothers and etc.  But I guess that technically would make Harry Potter high fantasy, so I no longer think that is right...

 

This is like that dead mules thing RJ mentioned!  He talks about it but doesnt define it!

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Safia, from the stuff ur posting here, I can just see you turning every page hesitantly, expecting an atomic bomb to blow up when you do! ;)

 

Don't be so worried over a freaking book! Its a great series, go ahead and read it. If you like it then go buy A Clash of Kings. If you don't then just leave it.

Simple as that.

 

Don't be so nervous over a book!

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One of the points ASOIAF tries to make is the difference between romance and real-life. I've read much more graphic sex scenes than in ASOIAF and it's not just dumped in as an entertaining filler for the reader. It goes a long way to explaining inter-character relations, the motivations behind certain actions and can be very crucial to the plot. I don't think it lessens them in anyway.

 

I think the main difference between RJ and GRRM is that GRRM is much less focused on the fantasy side of his work. It is a focus and it's very important but he incorporates it to make it an every day fact of his world where as the characters in WoT are much more in awe of the magic of the one power.

 

I do prefer GRRM but RJ has his place. They just have very different styles and aims for their books.

 

 

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Safia al-Maaz,

 

Although I prefer the WoT series, I think that Martin is a better writer than RJ. The twists and turns in ASoIaF are far more shocking, and generally less predictably than WoT. Also, for me, Martin take sa lot more chances and is more ruthless with his characters...he isn't afraid to kill or maim anyone unlike RJ, were most of the main characters are still goint after 11 books. This isn't a criticm of WoT or RJ, merely a recognition of Martin's writing.

 

As for the sexual content, there's a fair amount in the books, but I didn't find it off poutting. The story is slow to start (IMO) but once it gets going you'll be hooked.

 

All thes best,

 

Felicur

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