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A song of Ice and Fire, discussion (spoilers)

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Of course, you can just read and like both of them. Robert Jordan was a huge fan of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, and George Martin wrote a respectful post after Jordan's death thanking him for turning on so many WoT fans to ASoIaF, which he didn't have to do. GRRM and Jordan were also friends, and at the one convention they appeared at together did a double-act where they asked the crowd to decide which of these events would happen first:

 

1) Completion of ASoIaF

2) Completion of WoT

3) Heat death of the universe

 

3) was the popular choice by a long way.

 

Seeing Jordan and Martin fans arguing with one another always seems pointless when we could join our forces together and bash Goodkind instead.

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Bakker is excellent, although the (deliberate) extreme and often violent misogyny is a bit off-putting, and the main bad guys being rapist evil aliens FROM SPACE is, if you think about it too much, quite silly. Erikson started off decent but fell apart later on, when he started repeating himself and using mysterious demigods, ubermages or new forms of magic to save the day at the last second in every other book. Mistborn is a very accomplished and enjoyable trilogy.

 

I haven't been on this board for a week, so I haven't had time to answer anything. Let me start with this bit:

 

Here's the amazon rating for Erikson (taken from the amazon author page):

 

****    Gardens of the Moon

****    Deadhouse Gates

****+ Memories of Ice

****    House of Chains

****    Midnight Tides

****    The Bonehunters

****+ Reaper's Gale

****    Toll the Hounds

*****  Dust of Dreams

 

So, it's all 4 stars or more. General opinion disagrees with your assertion that he fell apart. Now let's contrast this with WoT (to have another datapoint, again taken from the amazon author page):

 

****    The Eye of the World

****+ The Great Hunt

****    The Dragon Reborn

****    The Shadow Rising

****    The Fires of Heaven

****    Lord of Chaos

****    A Crown of Swords

***      The Path of Daggers

***      Winter's Heart

**        Crossroads of Twilight

***      Knife of Dreams

****+ The Gathering Storm

 

Books 8-11 are generally thought to be less satisfying, and readers are not afraid to vote accordingly.

 

Now let's look at ASOIAF (again taken from the amazon author page):

 

****+ A Game of Thrones

****+ A Clash of Kings

****+ A Storm of Swords

***      A Feast for Crows

 

So, while the first three books were received very well, the fourth one is below anything by Erikson and on par with the less satisfying PoD, WH, KoD.

 

So if you say that Erikson fell apart, what does that say about Martin?

 

PS Bakker doesn't have an author page (yet) so it's difficult to directly compare since one would have to aggregate all the votes for the different editions of his books.

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The later books of WoT to be fair are full of intrigue and deception, its just politically motivated and not a lot of people like to read about it.

 

I did..

 

I thought ASoIaF was boring, I was hoping for more magic usage but was disappointed with how little there was, although I did like the part about the Sullied rising up.

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Well, yeah, obviously I enjoyed the WoT books as well. I kept on reading and I'm happy for it. It was mostly to make the point that different books in a series can and will be rated differently by the readers. Anyway, the ratings are more about the general reception of a book than individual taste. The aSoIaF books leave me with an empty feeling. I didn't enjoy them in particular (and I read only the first 3 which all got good ratings). This is in contrast to WoT (I enjoyed even CoT although I recognize that some of the critics have valid points). I also enjoyed Bakker's series (I've read the first 3 books) and I very much enjoy Erikson right now (I'm now quite a bit into MoI). Goodkind, I've stopped reading after the first book.

 

I usually don't read genre all that much. As I said, I like to be challenged by what I read. With Jordan and WoT, it's this huge jigsaw puzzle. I get a similar feeling with Erikson. And I think you can often see how his daytime job in archaeology influenced his thinking. With Bakker, it's very interesting to figure out all the references to real life philosophical schools of thought. It's full of that and I think it's done very intelligently even down to most of the names. Goodkind's writing on the other hand, is plain dumb. With Martin, I think the writing itself is fine, most scenes are well crafted, but it's hollow for me. I guess you could read it for the plot or you might sympathize with one or the other character and hence that's how you might get engaged. That's not enough for me and that's why I didn't enjoy it too much. Maybe it's a question to those who like aSoIaF: what is it that Martin wants to tell us with his story?

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Martin is the subject of a number of organised internet 'hate campaigns' due to the length of time it has taken to release the fifth book in the series. As a result, the ratings for AFFC are seriously skewed by a bunch of trolls with serious entitlement issues tearing into it with glee to make some kind of weird point. It's actually a kind of backhanded compliment (people want a book so bad they go a bit nuts, like junkies or something), but it does lead to the ratings not being trustworthy.

 

Similarly, on the Malazanempire forum a few years ago there was dismay at the low ratings some of the books were getting (even the good ones), so an organised attempt was made to push the ratings up. To some extent fair enough, but the ease with which the ratings can be manipulated does make using them as the be-all and end-all ultimately dubious. The example of Robert Stanek (self-promoted author, has hundreds of Amazon accounts in different names, uses them to give his own books great reviews and tear down those of other authors) also shows this.

 

The early books are highly regarded because Erikson brought something new and interesting to the subgenre. His early books felt fresh and intriguing. Later books seem him running out of ideas and reusing previously established structures, ideas and formats. The freshness vanishes and is replaced by him recycling himself. He still does good battles, but his weaknesses become more marked. Notably it is the least action-driven of the books, TOLL THE HOUNDS, which seems to be the most disliked of the nine books to date. Erikson simply isn't as good at his 'deep themes' (which are often fairly shallow: "War is bad," "Family is good," "Ultracapitalist exploitation of former colonial subjects is just another form of slavery," although actually the last one isn't too bad, but a bit under-developed) as he is at having demigods lasering mountains to dust, which does resume on an even bigger scale in Book 9.

 

That said, AFFC is a somewhat troubled book, marked by problems with the POV structure (Martin starts messing around with it although it's not necessary) and the decision to pause the ongoing story narrative to answer some reader questions about the worldbuilding and examine the aftermath of the war from the POV of the common people. Whilst this is a reasonable response to the criticism of the first three books (everyone of note are nobles, we don't get much sense of how the commoners of the Seven Kingdoms live), it is also arguably not the right time to do it. AFFC does pick up and has an impressively messy ending, but it's certainly a stumble. Not of the CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT or TOLL THE HOUNDS magnitude, but certainly equal to one of the other weak books in both series.

 

"What is it that Martin wants to tell us with his story?"

 

The theme of the series is power. Different types of power, people fighting for it, or desperately unhappy with it, people using it for their own ends or just playing amusing games with it. How power interacts with different people and how that affects laws and is it worth the blood that is ultimately shed for it. The reader is asked who is in the right and who is in the wrong, and is it too uncomfortable to consider that there is no one answer to that question?

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I have to say, some of the things I enjoyed the most about Asoiaf was that there is no "evil" and "good". At the begining you think Jaime Lannister is the epitome of evil, pushing a small child out a window etc etc. but then towards the fourth book he becomes a different character. The same goes for the Ironmen, must say I appreciate them much more after the PoV's we've had from Victarion, he's one bad ass man.

 

Obviously there are examples of the contrary, both Cersei and Tywin Lannister have been ass holes throughout the story and Roose Bolton and his son are even worse. And the best example is by far Gregor Clegane, who is most definitely a monster.

 

What bothers me about the series though, is the constant depression I go through when reading it, all my favorite characters dying isn't good for me :p

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What bothers me about the series though, is the constant depression I go through when reading it, all my favorite characters dying isn't good for me :p

 

Yes it is! Put's hair on your chest! Makes you read other series and want to see more of your favorite characters die! Makes you feel like a grown up.

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What bothers me about the series though, is the constant depression I go through when reading it, all my favorite characters dying isn't good for me :p

 

Yes it is! Put's hair on your chest! Makes you read other series and want to see more of your favorite characters die! Makes you feel like a grown up.

 

But really, I was depressed for days after Eddard died :(

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Any idea when DWD will be released?

 

Its been done for a while as I understand, or at least mostly but never seen a release date or even an estimation.

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Any idea when DWD will be released?
Some time after GRRM has finished writing it. Possibly next year.

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Any idea when DWD will be released?

 

Approximately four months after GRRM announces he has completed it.

 

When that will be is unclear, but not too much further into the future, based on a conversation we had  in Belfast. He's hammering the final few chapters into their final shape right now and then he and his editors are going to decide if they're going to bring up a few chapters from Book 6 (which he's already started writing) into the end of ADWD so people don't have to wait under 3/5/72 years to find out what's going on with the likes of Sansa and Cersei after the end of AFFC.

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Its been years since I read GoT and I had forgotten the description of Dawn in Hallow's sig quote. Pale as milk glass huh? So the most famous sword in the realm is definitely not Valerian steel. Interesting. No idea what it signifies but definitely interesting.

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Its been years since I read GoT and I had forgotten the description of Dawn in Hallow's sig quote. Pale as milk glass huh? So the most famous sword in the realm is definitely not Valerian steel. Interesting. No idea what it signifies but definitely interesting.

 

Actually that's fairly common knowledge in Westeros. The sword Dawn was created by a shard from a falling star or some such, at the location now known as Starfall, the seat of house Dayne. It's the only sword in the world (that we know of) that can match a Valyrian steel sword.

 

Speaking of my sig though, that scene is epic :p

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I don't think Dawn is the most famous sword in Westeros though. It's hugely significant to Ned because he killed its wielder and took it back to his sister in Starfall (named for the meteorite which provided the ore to make the sword), but outside of Dorne I don't think people think about it a huge amount. Blackfyre, the ancestral Targaryen sword given to Aegon IV's eldest bastard son who then unleashed the bloodiest civil war in Westeros' history (before the War of the Usurper and the War of the Five Kings anyway), is probably more infamous as gave its name to Daemon Blackfyre's house, the war (the Blackfyre Rebellion) and the five generations of pretenders that came after him.

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Hey Wethead!!!

 

A friend sent me a link to that one Board where you had all that cool stuff from the party about the HBO Deal - Thankx! Great Work!

 

It was really interesting.

 

I have high hopes that it WILL definitely get picked up BECAUSE the HBO has a history (unlike non-cable networks) of actually recognizing Quality!

 

 

Fish

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Podcast interview here on the Television Zombies website with the guy behind the Winter is Coming website. They spend an hour discussing the books and the TV series, and mentioned WHEEL OF TIME as well in passing.

 

Best bit? When they realise that GAME OF THRONES' 'competition' will be LEGEND OF THE SEEKER and MERLIN. And thus it will not have any competition at all ;)

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Merlin is that bad? I have been thinking about looking into it, just because Merlin was a cool dude. But if it is on the same level as Seeker, I could find funnier ways to waste my time.

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Merlin is that bad? I have been thinking about looking into it, just because Merlin was a cool dude. But if it is on the same level as Seeker, I could find funnier ways to waste my time.

 

No, MERLIN is vastly superior to LotS. It gets away with its corniness because it is aimed at a much broader family audience. The biggest problem the series has that in both seasons aired so far we get a couple of interesting episodes up front, about eight episodes of filler (sometimes very enjoyable filler, but nevertheless stuff that is irrelevant to the main storyline) and then two to three really good episodes at the end of the season. Season 2, however, is a lot better than the first season, and the last three episodes are particularly good and actually change the paradigm of the entire series, which was way overdue. Season 3 has already been commissioned.

 

The comparison above was simply down to MERLIN being a family show and a bit lightweight in nature, whilst LotS is just cack. GoT, simply by virtue of being made by HBO, should in theory outshine both quite effortlessly.

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Saying that SoIaf will be competing with Merlin and LoS is like saying that the new Battlestar Galactica competed with Doctor Who. Totally diferent target audiences (I hope) SoIaF should be aimed solely at the adult audience, with plenty of sex and violence as well as not dumbing down the plot.

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Crossposting from the thread in the Seanchan forum:

 

HBO have given Game of Thrones a significant display of confidence, reporting that the footage they have seen so far is fantastic, that the performances are impressive, the budget they gave the pilot was huge (possibly the biggest of any show since Rome, if the $10 million figure is correct) and that they would be very surprised if they now didn't commission it. They also confirmed that the direwolves will be created using CGI to enhance real animals. It has also come to light that HBO have already made plans to book the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast for filming of the series for five years once the pick-up comes through. If the series is successful and goes the distance, they will presumably re-book the facility for another two years at that point.

 

They even went as far as to give a potential airdate: if Game of Thrones is picked up they will air it in March or April of 2011.

 

Final news on the series is expected in March this year.

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I'm excited and sad all at the same time.

 

I wanted HBO to do WoT, not ASoIaF. :(

 

So much more material with WoT...

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A big screen adaptation of WoT should be able to maintain a PG-13 rating. For aSoIaF it was pretty much HBO or nothing. No traditional studio would go for a special effects budget of this size knowing they're looking at an R rating.

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