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A song of Ice and Fire, discussion (spoilers)

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I was lurking on the asoiaf.westeros boards and I saw where people had posted synopsises(?) from Martin's public readings at various cons. I didn't bother reading them, thinking it would be better to wait on Martin than to read someone's incomplete notes of the readings, but the POV characters do tell a great deal just by their existence. He made a comment about the gravedigger theory as well.

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I never really liked aSoIaF. It always seemed too jumpy for me. With Jordan's work the story always made sense, even with all the point of views. Martins work always made me feel like a kid with ADD in a strobelight showroom.

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I was hoping/ thought that from the title of 'A Feast for Crows' the book would talk about how the Night's Watch came to power when everywhere else was failing, because they were the only group in Westeros not directly affected by the wars (get it... everyone calls them crows...). But the title was sadly literal. lol.

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I've just begun this series.  I am enjoying it greatly.  Interesting characters and rich histories.  Only a third of the way through Game of Thrones. Very pleased.

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Got this book for xmas last year and started reading it a few months ago. Just read the red wedding, wow these books are breaking my heart :(

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Got this book for xmas last year and started reading it a few months ago. Just read the red wedding, wow these books are breaking my heart :(

 

Yeah same, multiple of my favourite characters were either killed or captured. If there's one thing I want in the future books its for Jon "The Greatjon" Umber to beat Roose Bolton to a bloody pulp for his part in the plot that got his king and son killed.

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Yeah that would be great. From what I've seen of the Greatjon so far he's a really cool character who I'd love to see developed some more. I hated the Hound and Jaime (ofc) at first but it's really interesting how opinions on these characters change the more we see them. Would love to hear everyone's favourite and least favourites!

 

Faves: Robert! Tyrion, Bran, Sandor Clegane, Arya

 

Least faves: Littlefinger, Sansa, Stannis, Greyjoy, Walder Frey -.-

 

edit: best add Roose Bolton to that least faves list

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Faves: Jaime, Ned, Arya, Brienne... Littlefinger is my favorite villain, because who even knows if he actually is one, and he is ridiculously creepy.

 

Least faves: Sansa, Catelyn, Cersei. The royal ladies just irk me.

 

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Got this book for xmas last year and started reading it a few months ago. Just read the red wedding, wow these books are breaking my heart :(

Red Wedding, that was in Storm of Swords.

Storm of Swords I bought some time back.

The first 2 I got for Christmas some year.

 

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I have finished A Game of Thrones and I'd have to say my favorites main characters are Arya, Tyrion, and Jon. Ther were quite a few minor ones that I like as well.  Ser Jorah, Syrio, Ulf, Greatjohn.  There were quite afew that I despise.  I love to read about them but I just want to break something when I read about certain characters.  Good stuff.  Started A Clash of Kings this morning.

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I was introduced to ASoIaF by a co-wprker and have enjoyed it immensely. Particularly cool is how GRRM finds a way to make the "bad guys" likeable in their own way like Jamie's inner struggles and Tyrion's ambiguous loyalty. The death of characters, while sad when you get attached to them, provides a sense of realism to the series by demonstrating that not everything is tourneys and pretty castle feasts...a wonderful work.

 

Werthead appears to know GRRM (at least casually)and I hope that this statement doesn't offend. It does at least SEEM ridiculous for the amount of time GRRM is taking on his works. I have said it before elsewhere, that if I took 4-5 years between projects at my work, they'd fire me. I have had some experience with the creative muses (not writing, but in music) and I do understand that good creative works can't be rushed and that the artist wants them to be quality work. Seriously though, RJ dies. They get a replacement author. He gets caught up on ALL the WoT story AND puts out the next book in the series while GRRM is still writing ADWD??? Seriously? Maybe I don't understand the creative process as well as I think I do, but that just doesn't jibe somehow.

 

And, YES, it is like being a junkie, which I suppose should speak to the quality of GRRM's story, but it has been so long now, that I'm not entirely certain that I'm vested in this anymore. It's almost like after its been so long that the enthusiasm just leaves and to hear that each of the following books is likely to be 3-4 years between is really just plain aggravating. Sorry about the rant. Still love GRRM...for now...

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On the being fired angle, the comparison isn't entirely apt. If you work for a company you are expected to produce results of one kind or another for the company on a regular basis and if you don't deliver, you can be fired and replaced.

 

In GRRM's case, he is a freelancer working on creating and delivering a particular product that only he can create (and no-one else). He is also not being paid for working on that product, only when it has been delivered and started generating revenue for the company. So the situation isn't really comparable. If Bantam 'fired' GRRM he'd simply take his guaranteed-bestseller book and offer it to someone like Tor instead, who'd snap him up in five seconds flat.

 

The biggest problem with AFFC and ADWD has been in terms of structure, i.e. the big picture of how all the interconnecting storylines and characters work together to tell the story and deliver its conclusion. Jordan had structural problems as well, particularly around Books 8-11, and tried to get through them by writing his way out of it, putting some characters on hold and giving others filler material whilst working on the more important storylines for the major characters. That didn't work very well and took the series off a long way from its intended target before he could get back on track. Luckily the structural problems had been resolved in KoD and this enabled Jordan to put together a very clear and detailed outline for AMoL, which Sanderson is following (althought it is worth noting that Sanderson has identified a structural issue with the next book which will likely cause it to be delayed to 2011).

 

GRRM's structure is even more hideously complicated than WoT's and resolving the problems therein has taken a long, long time. The good news is that the problems seem to have mostly been kicked into shape, albeit with an inelegant solution (2/3s of ADWD being the flipside of AFFC and the rest pushing forwards the main storyline and catching up with at least some of the AFFC characters), and if it all works out the way it should, the last two books should be written more quickly, which is the plan anyway.

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It's a great series, A Song of Ice and Fire.  Can't go wrong reading it.  It is a little darker than WoT, and the themes can be disturbing to some though.  It sort of reminds me of the old classic Playstation RPG, Xenogears.  Both share the same, bleak, seemingly-hopeless themes.

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(crossposted from Entertainment):

 

A decision is expected on HBO picking up the full TV series within the next couple of weeks.

 

Anyone with a Facebook account who wants to add their support for the pilot being picked up can do so on the official HBO Facebook page here.

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um i just finished aFFC and i am confused. someone on this thread said that it is obvious that joanna lannister is jon snow's mother  :o did i miss something or is that someone's crazy pet theory?   

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um i just finished aFFC and i am confused. someone on this thread said that it is obvious that joanna lannister is jon snow's mother  :o did i miss something or is that someone's crazy pet theory?     

 

I think the referred theory is that Jon Snow's parents are actually Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and Eddard Stark raised Jon as his son so Robert wouldn't have Jon (the rightful Targaryen heir to the Iron Throne) killed.

 

It's a very popular theory, but it does have a number of flaws. Jon would have to be legitimate (so Rhaegar and Lyanna would have had to been married) and his current status as a member of the Night's Watch will have to be somehow revoked so he could inherit titles and lands.

 

The evidence for this theory in the books is that Ned found Lyanna dying in a 'bed of blood' (elsewhere in ASoIaF, a child-birthing bed is described as such) and Jon's parentage is shrouded in such unnecessary mystery. If Jon really is Ned's son by a serving woman callersed Wylla or by the (deceased) Lady Ashara Dayne, why doesn't Eddard just say as much?

 

Others hold that this theory is too obvious and GRRM is playing a double-bluff on us.

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Yeah, I'm thinking the series will definitely be picked up. Which is great news.

 

Now I just need to find books to read until Erikson/Martin/Wot comes out with the next installment.

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um i just finished aFFC and i am confused. someone on this thread said that it is obvious that joanna lannister is jon snow's mother  :o did i miss something or is that someone's crazy pet theory?     

I think this might have been me; but my theory is that Joanna Lannister was raped by King Aerys leading to Tyrion's birth, not Jon's. But I never said it was obvious; I realize its a pretty big stretch. There are several instances that hint that Tyrion is a Targ though. I think that the passage in CoK where Dany visits the House of the Undying and one of her visions is of a blue rose growing from a chink in a wall of ice pretty much seals the deal on Jon being Lyanna's son. Rhaegar certainly seems the most likely candidate for father. I guess we'll all find out together.

 

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A review of the new ASoIaF short story.

 

The Mystery Knight

 

Two years ago, the Great Spring Sickness swept through the Seven Kingdoms, killing tens of thousands and leaving the realm battered and fragile. Beyond the narrow sea, the defeated but not destroyed Blackfyre Pretenders remain a significant threat, whilst the Stark in Winterfell has called his banners to deal with another enemy. As the realm seethes in discontent, the quiet, bookish King Aerys I Targaryen sits the Iron Throne but leaves the realm to be ruled decisively by his Hand, Lord Brynden Rivers, 'Bloodraven', a kinslayer who is said to be accursed in the sight of the gods and men.

 

However, such concerns seem far away for Ser Duncan the Tall, a hedge knight, and his squire Egg, when they stop at the castle of Whitewalls where Lord Butterwell is celebrating his marriage. Hedge knights and lords alike gather to wish the couple well and partake in the celebratory tourney, but beneath the surface Dunk discovers intrigue and conspiracies, feuds dating back decades and plans that will reverberate for years to come. For at this tourney, there is more than one mystery knight...

 

The 'Tales of Dunk and Egg' are a series of novellas that take place in the wider world of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, decades before the events of the first novel in the series, A Game of Thrones. At this time the Targaryens are still secure (but not unopposed) on the Iron Throne and barely any of the characters from the main series have even been born. The most important event in Westeros' recent history is the Blackfyre Rebellion, when the eldest bastard son of King Aegon IV attempted to supplant his trueborn brother and seize the Iron Throne. He was defeated but he left behind brothers and sons to carry on the struggle. Readers of the novels will know that the 'Blackfyre Pretenders' remain a major problem for some considerable time, and from the prevalence of this backstory element in The Sworn Sword and now The Mystery Knight I'm going to hazard a guess their future exploits will also be chronicled in future instalments of the series (a fourth novella has been pencilled in for after A Dance with Dragons, and Martin projects as many as nine of the stories in total).

 

The Mystery Knight has been in gestation for a long period of time, with Martin completing most of the tale during the complex writing of A Feast for Crows before finally completing it for publication in the Warriors anthology (full review forthcoming). Surprisingly, for a story so long in the writing it's a pretty fast-paced tale, taking place over just a couple of days and focused on just a few core characters. At the same time there's some fairly complicated politicking going on, not to mention some excellent Easter eggs for fans of the main series (the excessively cautious nature of one character from the books is explained here by events that happened to his ancestor, for example) and several memorable characters that have to be drawn in a (relatively) constrained page-count.

 

Martin pulls this off surprisingly well. Of the three 'Dunk and Egg' tales published so far, The Mystery Knight comfortably slips into the middle in terms of quality. It lacks the elegant simplicity of The Hedge Knight but isn't as slight as The Sworn Sword. It also builds on the expositionary overload of The Sworn Sword, where the backstory about the Blackfyre Rebellion was fascinating but overdone compared to what was actually needed for the plot, whilst here it is actually essential to the story. There's more action, more intrigue and more carefully-nuanced characterisation than The Sworn Sword, but the story lacks the satisfying conclusion of The Hedge Knight, with an unusually neat ending by Martin's standards (although the final line is superb) that lacks the messy consequences he usually favours. There's also a slight leaning on prophetic dreams and visions (as indeed there also was in A Feast for Crows) that feels slightly over-convenient, considering the series' (relative) gritty realism in other areas.

 

The Mystery Knight (****) is a short but satisfying tale of the Seven Kingdoms that features many of Martin's hallmarks of solid writing, great characters, intrigue and action, but lacks the punch of The Hedge Knight and epic scope of the novels proper (although hinting intriguingly at a bigger picture beyond the confines of the story). The story will appear in Warriors, published by Tor Books next week. A UK publication deal has not yet been reached. A comic book version of the story is likely to appear, but not for two years (the period of the exclusivity contract on the stories in the collection).

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I'll weigh in on this thread. I remember seeing book suggestions threads from various websites, and ASoIaF was one of the more heavily recommended. It still took me awhile, but I finally decided to give it a shot... WoW. I grew up on WoT so don't know if anything will ever supplant as my favorite but ASoIaF stands, IMO, as one of the very best series I've ever read. Really looking forward to DWD. The great thing is that I got into the sereis recently, so I haven't had to endure the long wait for the next book  ;D

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...Am I the only person who got bored of these books by the second one?

 

No, that's a pretty consistent complaint about them. They have massive battles and action set-pieces (outstripping anything seen - so far - in WoT, but far fewer in number) but there's a lot of slow-burning intrigue, politics and characterisation to get there, which doesn't work for everyone.

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