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A Memory of Light, or Dance with Dragons?


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ASOIAF does have some really creepy stuff in it when it comes to sex,

 

spoiler

An example of pedophilla would be, in the first book. About a quarter through, Drogo, I think his name is,(Haven't read the series for awhile) is about in his mid 20's or something like that and gets married and in vivd detail sleeps with Daenyre,(sorry for spelling) when she is just a teenager roughly 14-16 years old. Thats if I remeber correctly. There are numerous cases of this through the series. There is alot of incest and adultery and also prositition. And some very disturbing rape scenes.

 

The books don't have much of a magic system and you'll find yourself feeling like your reading historical fiction from middle age eourope. But its very good if you like feeling very sad and your jaw dropping down while reading something.

 

The violence is not too bad, if you can take RJ's gore then you can take Martin's which is only the next level.

 

And alot of charaters get killed or injured in very horrible ways

 

My two main problems with the series is that the sexuality becomes very disturbing throughout the books. Very.

 

And the the bad guys win alot. I know what Martin is trying to do. Show that not always do the good guys win in reality and they don't, but neither do the bad guys win all the time. He wants to show that the world is neutral. But the bad guys win so much that it becomes borderline sadism. And what happen to me is that I stopped becoming emotionally invested in characters because all the ones I did become invested into were killed. So I stop caring for them so I wouldn't feel bad when they eventually died.

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Yeah.. The sexual aspects tend to be pretty brutal and always graphic. But the pedophelia isn't as rampant as a reader might think. Fourteen was a marriageable age not so very long ago in our own western culture (my own grandmother was 15 when married in 1925) and is STILL to this day considered so in many cultures. Dany was 14 when sold to Drogo to be his wife. I think Caitlin was all of 15 when married to Ned Stark. His sister not much older than that, when "kidnapped" by Rhaegar and gave birth to Jon Snow ;).. OK, slight conjecture there. ;D

 

A lot of the sexual brutality, not all by any means, is related to the war over the whole of Westeros. Brutality I might add that is repeated every day in our world. And is commonly used to humiliate and de-humanize an enemies people. Not that one reads fantasy to be regaled with the grim realities of our own conflicts. 

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An example of pedophilla would be, in the first book. About a quarter through, Drogo, I think his name is,(Haven't read the series for awhile) is about in his mid 20's or something like that and gets married and in vivd detail sleeps with Daenyre,(sorry for spelling) when she is just a teenager roughly 14-16 years old.
Strictly speaking, not paedophilia.

 

There's many instances of old dudes lusting after very young teenage girls. In this time and culture those old dudes are pedaphiles.
By their own standards they are not, there is nothing abnormal about it. Also, strictly speaking paedophilia would only apply to pre-pubescents, attraction to adolescents is ephebophilia. This would cover Dany. Littlefinger's relationship with Sansa is non-sexual, and based on his attraction to her mother.

 

the world of WOT just feels more well-developed and expansive. Perhaps it's the length of the series, perhaps not.
Might have something to do with RJ spending a lot more time on worldbuilding compared to Martin.
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I've heaped much scorn on ASOIAF in recent posts, so I wanted to post something positive about the series.

 

One of my favorite characters of fantasy fiction is Tyrion Lannister. He is so much fun to read. I'm awaiting the next installment mainly because of him. And Arya. I just keep hoping the best for that poor kid, but what a great character. I really liked the entire Stark family, especially before the bad times and each kid had his own wolf (Winter IS Coming).

 

The characters are what make this series so interesting. It's dark, gritty, and sometimes difficult to read, but Martin can sure write good characters.

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Winter IS Coming.
Winter is Here. And is no-one else going to name Ser Jaime Lannister as a great character?
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ASOIAF has alot of good aspects to it but to my mind that bad aspects outweigh the good.  After listening to the first four books I don't think I will be listening to any more; apart from the fact that Martin is taking forever I just feel that the more graphic aspects have become the story instead of the story being graphic to illustrate a point or enrich a story.

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I've got to disagree here. Jordan is pretty carebear about 'grit' or whatever you want to call it; it's all fantasy violence and killing monsters, fades to black instead of sex, and so on. Martin, on the other hand, is far more realistic in his depiction of life. I don't think that makes one better than the other - it's like (in theory, though I wouldn't even put these two films in the same league, but bear with me) trying to compare Return of the King with Pulp Fiction.

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Winter IS Coming.
Winter is Here. And is no-one else going to name Ser Jaime Lannister as a great character?

 

I will agree that he is an incredibly written character, but I just can't get myself on the Jamie-Train.  Martin was so effective at painting Jamie as a horrendous villain in the earlier novel's, that the more recent developments in his character simply fall flat, to me (not wanting to divulge any spoilers).  After all he has done, I simply can't feel anything for his current situation and motivations.

 

I never saw ASoIaF as Fantasy, at least not as I see Fantasy.  To me, it reads more like Historical Fiction in a created world.  This is all personal preference, mind you, but I want to read about people who don't act with their own personal interest at heart; people who are heroic.  I give Martin props, as his writing is more realistic that most authors in this genre.  This, however is the precise reason his writing is less appealing than WoT, to me.  

 

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I do agree in most part how much a scum bag Jamie is, however when I thought of the three "sins" that seem to be what really make him bad, I've come to realise he has either come to regret and feel guilty over those things or has been punished for what he's done. I don't want to get into spoilers either so I'd have to continue that in PM if anyone wants my opinion on that.

 

Though Martin is alot more darker and muddier then Jordan's world I wouldn't say that Jordan's is even black/white in comparison. After a recent re-read I realised how some characters in WoT either a) Don't believe that Tarmon Gaidin is coming or b) Don't care that it is and they are NOT on DO or Light side.

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I never saw ASoIaF as Fantasy, at least not as I see Fantasy. To me, it reads more like Historical Fiction in a created world.
So created world, with magic and dragons, yet not how you see fantasy. One has to ask, how do you see fantasy?
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I never saw ASoIaF as Fantasy, at least not as I see Fantasy. To me, it reads more like Historical Fiction in a created world.
So created world, with magic and dragons, yet not how you see fantasy. One has to ask, how do you see fantasy?

 

Point taken.  Perhaps I should have said that I see ASoIaF as historical fiction set in a created fantasy world, as opposed to pure fantasy writing.  It is really a gut reaction for me, based less on the setting, which granted falls firmly in a fantasy setting, and more on how characters actually behave.  I have never been particurlarly fond of Anti-Heroes like Elric of Melnibone (pardon spelling), and similar characters.  In more traditional fantasy settings (IMO) like WoT and LotR, we see central characters like Rand and Frodo, sacrificing, giving of themselves for a public that is either unaware of the dangers they face, or, in some cases work actively against them.  They are Heroic.  At times in ASoIaF, I can't even tell who Martin considers his central character.  In Martin's writing, IMO, I see characters behaving exactly they way they would in the real world.  In WoT I see characters behaving the way the idealist in me wishes people would behave in the real world.  Sure, we see some selfless character in ASoIaF, but their fates tend to be fairly dire.  I read fantasy as an escape.  The tone of Martin's writing is too similar to the tone of much that is going on in the real world.

 

All of that being said, I still intend to read ADwD.  I am not awaiting its release with the same anticipation I have for AMoL.  I have been buying RJ's books on the day they come out for years.  I decided to wait for AFoC in paperback.  I expect I will do the same with ADwD. 

 

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Perhaps I should have said that I see ASoIaF as historical fiction set in a created fantasy world, as opposed to pure fantasy writing. It is really a gut reaction for me, based less on the setting, which granted falls firmly in a fantasy setting, and more on how characters actually behave.
Fantasy lays down no rules as to how characters behave.
At times in ASoIaF, I can't even tell who Martin considers his central character.
There isn't really a central character. Should there be?
In Martin's writing, IMO, I see characters behaving exactly they way they would in the real world. In WoT I see characters behaving the way the idealist in me wishes people would behave in the real world.
Perhaps what is needed is a less pessimistic view on your part of how people behave? We see plenty of good and bad actions in WoT, and heroic actions are not unheard of in the "real" world
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Perhaps I should have said that I see ASoIaF as historical fiction set in a created fantasy world, as opposed to pure fantasy writing. It is really a gut reaction for me, based less on the setting, which granted falls firmly in a fantasy setting, and more on how characters actually behave.
Fantasy lays down no rules as to how characters behave.

 

Fantasy lays down no rules, nor should it.  Character behavior in ASoIaF creates a less engaging story, for me, however.  I know a great many people find it an incredibly compelling story.  I find it less so...  Simply an opinion...

 

At times in ASoIaF, I can't even tell who Martin considers his central character.
There isn't really a central character. Should there be?

 

Not necessarily.  Again, personal preference.

 

 

In Martin's writing, IMO, I see characters behaving exactly they way they would in the real world. In WoT I see characters behaving the way the idealist in me wishes people would behave in the real world.
Perhaps what is needed is a less pessimistic view on your part of how people behave? We see plenty of good and bad actions in WoT, and heroic actions are not unheard of in the "real" world

 

Maybe so...  By my reading ASoIaF tends to focus more on negative, self-serving characters.  As I said, the Anti-Hero holds little appeal for me.  In my day to day life, I always strive to focus on the positive.  I find that it takes much more effort to be pessimistic.  That does not mean, however that I am blind to the negative aspects of the world.  I simply see more parallels between the darker motivations of our world and the world that Martin has created.  I never meant to imply that there is no heroism left in the world.  I recognize that it is this very darkness and grit that attracts many to Martin's writing, and I say more power to them.  I fully intend to read the series to conclusion.  It is well written, even if I find many of the themes less appealing.  I just won't be there when the book store opens on the day it is released.

 

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In WoT I see characters behaving the way the idealist in me wishes people would behave in the real world.   

 

 

Oh really? So the idealist in you is ok with things like torture, murder, slavery, to mention some things that are not that uncommon in WOT? I think you might be missing how much dark deeeds that actually happens in WOT, just because RJ is not as graphic as Martin. The main difference between Martin and RJ is not so much how people behave, but how the authors have chosen to describe it.

 

 

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The preceding two posts of Mr. Ares and Swigaro illustrate my point perfectly. MB will likely develop a preference for one over the other as the two styles of story telling, though both enjoyable to me, are strikingly different.

 

Quote from: Mr Ares on Today at 08:54:25 AM

Quote from: Swigaro on January 07, 2009, 08:37:10 AM

At times in ASoIaF, I can't even tell who Martin considers his central character.

There isn't really a central character. Should there be?

 

Not necessarily.  Again, personal preference. Precisely ;)

 

I find a or several central characters. The remaining Starks (I include Jon Snow) and Danaerys. The multiple POV style blurs the distinctions but these are pretty central to the story. There are some few others, one could include Tyrion and maybe I should. The loss of any of this handful of characters would alter the eventual outcome drastically .. IMO. The story does not appear to me to actually revolve around any others.

 

 

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In WoT I see characters behaving the way the idealist in me wishes people would behave in the real world.   

 

 

Oh really? So the idealist in you is ok with things like torture, murder, slavery, to mention some things that are not that uncommon in WOT? I think you might be missing how much dark deeeds that actually happens in WOT, just because RJ is not as graphic as Martin. The main difference between Martin and RJ is not so much how people behave, but how the authors have chosen to describe it.

 

 

 

Sure, dark things happen in WoT.  The central characters are fighting to save the world, however.  Most of the central characters in ASoIaF (Starks and a few others aside) are fighting for personal gain.  Again, it is personal opinion, but I see a vast difference in those motivations.  Yes torture, murder and slavery all occur in WoT.  Are we supposed to assume that RJ is suggesting that the way the Seanchan treat channelers is right?  I don't think so.  To me, the big difference is that WoT is about one character's journey from shepherd to savior, while Martin seems, thus far to have built a story around a group of characters, good, bad and indifferent who are vieing for dominance.  It is a question of stakes, as well.  If Rand fails, the world ends.  If one faction ends up winning over another in ASoIaF, the world will go on, it will just be under a different regime.  I am, I am sure neglecting the threat posed by The Others beyond the Wall, so their effect, by my reading, remains to be seen.  RJ's work is more in the "Traditional" Tolkien-esque style of story telling, where Martin is branching out into something new and less traditional.  Neither is inherently better or worse, I just find the one more compelling.

 

   

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Have you read Wheel of Time Swigaro because if you have it is a vast oversimplification to so WOT is about one character and ASOIAF is about many.  Have you noticed that there are some books that Rand is hardly in?  As for motivations of characters have you looked at the Aes Sedai or others?  Especially AS, all of them know by the third or forth book that TG is coming yet for the most part they are out for themselves.  As another poster said just because RJ is not always as graphic as Martin does not mean that WOT is less and unlike IAF wheel of time is close to done.

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[ To me, it reads more like Historical Fiction in a created world.  

 

I think you may see ASoIaF as historical fiction because it is, in part, historical fiction. The story drips with medieval England. Martin himself has said the story was influenced by England's "The War of the Roses". The war of Westeros is right out of the Hundred Year War (minus the longbows). I think Martin did extensive research on mediveal England and Europe and it comes across strong in the books.

 

Susanna Clack's "Johnathan Strange and Mister Norrel" is similar. It's alt-universe fantasy and set in England in the early 1800s with a magician fighting alongside The Duke of Wellington against Nepolean. But with the addition of many historic figures as minor characters, and the Dickens-like descriptions of 19th Century England, it reads like historical fiction. Audible has it listed in the historical fiction section. Great book, by the way.

 

 

 

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Sure, dark things happen in WoT.  The central characters are fighting to save the world, however.  Most of the central characters in ASoIaF (Starks and a few others aside) are fighting for personal gain.  Again, it is personal opinion, but I see a vast difference in those motivations.  Yes torture, murder and slavery all occur in WoT.  Are we supposed to assume that RJ is suggesting that the way the Seanchan treat channelers is right?  I don't think so.  To me, the big difference is that WoT is about one character's journey from shepherd to savior, while Martin seems, thus far to have built a story around a group of characters, good, bad and indifferent who are vieing for dominance.  It is a question of stakes, as well.  If Rand fails, the world ends.  If one faction ends up winning over another in ASoIaF, the world will go on, it will just be under a different regime.  I am, I am sure neglecting the threat posed by The Others beyond the Wall, so their effect, by my reading, remains to be seen.  RJ's work is more in the "Traditional" Tolkien-esque style of story telling, where Martin is branching out into something new and less traditional.  Neither is inherently better or worse, I just find the one more compelling.  

 

I think you are in for a surprise if you do not expect the coming clash with the Others to be an event that pretty much decides the faith of Westeros. Just as in WOT, there are prophecies strongly hinting at a key moment waiting just around the corner. Prophecies in ASOIAF are just even more obscure than in WOT.

 

As for those fighting for personal gain...Seanchan, the rebellion in Cairhien and tear, those who challenged Elayne for the throne, most lords in Rands army who are more focused on maneuvering to strengthen their own position, Shaido, whitecloaks before Galad, to some extent Elaida...Do I need to go on? ;D

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Point taken.  Perhaps I should have said that I see ASoIaF as historical fiction set in a created fantasy world, as opposed to pure fantasy writing.  It is really a gut reaction for me, based less on the setting, which granted falls firmly in a fantasy setting, and more on how characters actually behave.  I have never been particurlarly fond of Anti-Heroes like Elric of Melnibone (pardon spelling), and similar characters.  In more traditional fantasy settings (IMO) like WoT and LotR, we see central characters like Rand and Frodo, sacrificing, giving of themselves for a public that is either unaware of the dangers they face, or, in some cases work actively against them.  They are Heroic.  At times in ASoIaF, I can't even tell who Martin considers his central character.  In Martin's writing, IMO, I see characters behaving exactly they way they would in the real world.  In WoT I see characters behaving the way the idealist in me wishes people would behave in the real world.  Sure, we see some selfless character in ASoIaF, but their fates tend to be fairly dire.  I read fantasy as an escape.  The tone of Martin's writing is too similar to the tone of much that is going on in the real world.

 

 

 

I completely agree with Swigaro. Thats how I view ASOIAF. I read first three books, but I was fairly pissed after reading the first one. I read the other two out of spite and also because I am damn stuborn.I just couldn't let my money waste so I wasted my times as well.

 

I agree Martin is a very good writter. But I hate his series with a passion.It felt like I could easily read world history and bringing a dragon or two along with some vodoo and hocus focus and thus having the same effect ..... a fantasy series.

 

I can read Rise and fall of Roman Empire....with nice jucy blend of my own imagination , importing some magic.....viola...my own home made fantasy.

 

And yes, I read fantasy to escape reality for some time. I can't read a fantasy or any book, unless I like the central character, unless there is one.

 

No there isn't anything that says there has to be a central character...but I am not reading them unless there is. Also I like happy ending cause I am used to see so much unhappy and some time tragic ending in real life. Those of us who crave to see real love and happy endings in fantasy books are actually more aware of the harsh reality of the real world.Thats why we seek escape and writer like Marting doesn't help...But Robert Jordan does.  :)

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"A Song of Ice and Fire" is very dark and very adult.

 

Hmm. Then I can warmly recommend this book to you: The Steel Remains from Richard Morgan ;)

 

The two series are as different as night and day.

 

I have convinced myself of the contrary: RJ and GRRM are unique.

 

Epic fantasy = JRRT, RJ, GRRM (They stand pre-eminent among the others.)

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I happen to feel that Faile is out for her own self interests, namely Perrin. As far as she is concerned there is no TG. When we see Faile and Perrin in LoC shes actually hoping to never see Rand Al'Thor again, of course that doesn't happen.

 

Also the Illuminator that Mat is helping doesn't seem to care much about TG either, all she wants is her Dragons to be used on the Seachan. There are plenty of grey areas in WoT, though I do think aSoIaF is probably more grey. For me Martin's books are just too depressing.

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