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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
TreeJoe

Lifetime reader of Jordan - Just started A song of ice and fire series

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Hi all,

 

I'm 29 years old and began reading Jordan around 13 - so the majority of my life I have read Jordan's style within fantasy. I'm the type that's read the first 7 books about 15-20 times each. Throughout my life, I've read a variety of other fantasy/sci fi books - Feist, Orson Scott Card, etc.

 

For some reason, I truly never paid any attention to George RR Martin. So as I wait for the next Jordan series, I decide to check it out. On Amazon there are plenty of reviews that describe "A song of ice and fire" as grittier than tWoT and with a deeper view into evil. My favorite series challenged, I decided to pick up books 1 and 2 and see what the hub bub is all about.

 

I'm starting this thread to share my thoughts as I read it, rather than only afterwards. Today, I'm about 30-40 pages into Book 1 thus far. Here are my thoughts (remember, I'm really providing a direct comparison to tWoT here):

 

....

 

When I start the book, I become immediately frustrated by the author introducing about 15 names and characters within the first 5 pages. Who are these people? Why do I care about them? It took me out of the moment to try to remember who each was as described on a previous page. I remember back in tEotW we had Tam and Rand, which expanded several pages in to Mat and the Mayor, then Perrin, then a bit of Egwene, etc.....an even progression with a good setup. And not a whole lot of mystical terms introduced right away without explanation ("the Others", "The Wall", etc.)

 

Within 40 pages we've seen rape, the killing of an innocent, slavery, scheming, and plotting. And I find myself a tad intrigued, but there are already so many story lines that my interest is only skin deep thus far. I'm not developing any connections. The one I was most interested in was Dany (the exiled Dragon princess) - I read through her wedding evening with some interest.

 

But, at 40 pages in, I'm seeing the following storylines I'm already attempting to follow: 5 sons/daughters of Ned, the change to Winterfell keep, the dwarf, Dany and her brother and her new husband, the Queen and her lover, the Aerie peeps (can't remember their name). 3 major cultures have been revealed, and possibly 5-6 sub-cultures.

 

...

 

I have no problem with complexity, but when I look at what I just described I'm saying to myself, "Holy crap, no wonder I'm not too engaged yet."

 

...

 

And yet, I look forward to this evening and probably another 30-40 pages.

 

Feel free to comment as I continue onwards - I figured I'd try to capture my actual feelings as I enter into another saga.

 

Joe

Edited by Red2111

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I'm going to be starting this series soon myself, once I've finished my reread of KoD. I have to say I've got mixed feelings about it. I watched part of the first episode of the tv series and had to stop, there was just too much needless sex and nudity. But I was told on here that there's nothing too too detailed in the books, and anyway it should be skippable if it is too much.

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Hi all,

 

I'm 29 years old and began reading Jordan around 13 - so the majority of my life I have read Jordan's style within fantasy. I'm the type that's read the first 7 books about 15-20 times each. Throughout my life, I've read a variety of other fantasy/sci fi books - Feist, Orson Scott Card, etc.

 

For some reason, I truly never paid any attention to George RR Martin. So as I wait for the next Jordan series, I decide to check it out. On Amazon there are plenty of reviews that describe "A song of ice and fire" as grittier than tWoT and with a deeper view into evil. My favorite series challenged, I decided to pick up books 1 and 2 and see what the hub bub is all about.

 

I'm starting this thread to share my thoughts as I read it, rather than only afterwards. Today, I'm about 30-40 pages into Book 1 thus far. Here are my thoughts (remember, I'm really providing a direct comparison to tWoT here):

 

....

 

When I start the book, I become immediately frustrated by the author introducing about 15 names and characters within the first 5 pages. Who are these people? Why do I care about them? It took me out of the moment to try to remember who each was as described on a previous page. I remember back in tEotW we had Tam and Rand, which expanded several pages in to Mat and the Mayor, then Perrin, then a bit of Egwene, etc.....an even progression with a good setup. And not a whole lot of mystical terms introduced right away without explanation ("the Others", "The Wall", etc.)

 

Within 40 pages we've seen rape, the killing of an innocent, slavery, scheming, and plotting. And I find myself a tad intrigued, but there are already so many story lines that my interest is only skin deep thus far. I'm not developing any connections. The one I was most interested in was Dany (the exiled Dragon princess) - I read through her wedding evening with some interest.

 

But, at 40 pages in, I'm seeing the following storylines I'm already attempting to follow: 5 sons/daughters of Ned, the change to Winterfell keep, the dwarf, Dany and her brother and her new husband, the Queen and her lover, the Aerie peeps (can't remember their name). 3 major cultures have been revealed, and possibly 5-6 sub-cultures.

 

...

 

I have no problem with complexity, but when I look at what I just described I'm saying to myself, "Holy crap, no wonder I'm not too engaged yet."

 

...

 

And yet, I look forward to this evening and probably another 30-40 pages.

 

Feel free to comment as I continue onwards - I figured I'd try to capture my actual feelings as I enter into another saga.

 

Joe

 

I did about the same. Ive been a life long reader of Jordan myself. And sometime in the past, many years ago, I picked up and started to read A Game of Thrones. But I put it down after a few chapters, cant remember why. I think it was because I was much younger, and the book is actually a for an audience a BIT more mature. Anyway, it wasnt until I saw the series on TV. And I only saw the scene where Ned is beheading a man, and then they find the wolves. Not really paying attention to any names(I didnt look at the title of what I was watching, I was just flipping through and didnt know I was watching a TV series make of the book Game of Thrones) I thought, this seems familiar. I then looked at the TV INFO. I watched the rest of the episode, and loved it. I became a huge fan of the TV series, and still am.

 

Anyway, this made me go and dig out the book. It was much more intriguing now. I was older, and I liked the TV series. I found a few of the same complaints as you. but youll get use to it. It's just his style of writing. The books are really good, although I like the first two books best so far. Ive only read the first 4, not the 5th. But yes there are quite a few story-lines to follow, but mostly they all tie in somehow later in the books.

 

And like someone suggested. Dont get use to any ONE character. :)

 

Without giving the books away, the plot changes directions many times. But its interesting. This book is more about the Politics of war, in my opinion. Its a more mature version of things. He tries to convey how it would truely be during a time like this, with so many factions fighting for Rule.

 

It truely is about The Game of Thrones. And how its played.

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I was actually 100 pages in when I wrote the first post. My memory played tricks on me. Now I'm about ~250 pages in and much more engrossed. Each character is getting more defined time and development. There is less constant introduction of new characters, etc.

 

It is vastly more about politics and thinking process. I'm not going to say he's a great writer just yet by any means, but a few character development have been great and they do provoke personal interest in whats going to happen.

 

There is also very little battle or "action" in the traditional sense. No magic thus far either as far as the reader is aware.

 

At this stage, I won't be putting it down. It's engaged me. I have a long rainy weekend ahead of me - I assume I'll be at 500 pages by saturday night.

 

That being said, I have noticed a tendency I have with Jordan sometimes - I find myself skimming 2-3 paragraphs until the next part I want to read. Then I force myself to go back and read the actual details about the pennants flying above or whatnot....it's my first time reading the book, so I'm not allowed to skim :)

 

Joe

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I was actually 100 pages in when I wrote the first post. My memory played tricks on me. Now I'm about ~250 pages in and much more engrossed. Each character is getting more defined time and development. There is less constant introduction of new characters, etc.

 

It is vastly more about politics and thinking process. I'm not going to say he's a great writer just yet by any means, but a few character development have been great and they do provoke personal interest in whats going to happen.

 

There is also very little battle or "action" in the traditional sense. No magic thus far either as far as the reader is aware.

 

At this stage, I won't be putting it down. It's engaged me. I have a long rainy weekend ahead of me - I assume I'll be at 500 pages by saturday night.

 

That being said, I have noticed a tendency I have with Jordan sometimes - I find myself skimming 2-3 paragraphs until the next part I want to read. Then I force myself to go back and read the actual details about the pennants flying above or whatnot....it's my first time reading the book, so I'm not allowed to skim :)

 

Joe

 

George Martin as an author is by NO MEANS Robert Jordan. Not that, IN MY OPINION, many are. Not many Fantasy authors, anyway. And not many create worlds like Jordan does. With that said, the Game of Thrones books are really good in their own way. You're right, theres not as much "true battle" and "Action scenes", but he does sprinkle them throughout, and it works for the story. And you're right. This world doesnt have much magic. But keep reading. I wouldnt consider this a spoiler, but he does start to introduce other-wordly aspects such as magic as the books progress, but nothing on the scale of Wheel of Time. And he builds the story so that as it progresses you realize the TRUE BATTLE is much larger any one man or any one army or land. And he draws it all together nicely. I havent finished reading the series myself, but you realize early on that a much larger and grandiose battle between Good and Evil will eventually come to play. And Im def looking forward to it.

Edited by Brujah

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I didnt like the books.. really.

 

I'm halfway through clash of kings now.

 

GRRM has failed to maek me care about most characters - with the exception of jon snow and arya - and killed off some of the others i did like.

 

Theres some intersting stuff going on but i lose interest because i couldnt give a damn who wins teh throne because he hasnt made me care about enough about the baratheons/lannisters/greyjoys etc or the major characters in those houses.

 

do i bother to keep reading?

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I didnt like the books.. really.

 

I'm halfway through clash of kings now.

 

GRRM has failed to maek me care about most characters - with the exception of jon snow and arya - and killed off some of the others i did like.

 

Theres some intersting stuff going on but i lose interest because i couldnt give a damn who wins the throne because he hasnt made me care about enough about the baratheons/lannisters/greyjoys etc or the major characters in those houses.

 

do i bother to keep reading?

 

I couldnt agree more. The loss of too many of the main characters did piss me off. Jon Snow is def my fav. And I do like Arya's story, too. But I thought(dont want to spoil it for poster) the guy who died at the "red wedding" was gonna end up being the main char. It DEF pissed me off when he died. You do get the sense of not having anyone to invest your feelings into. And at some points the books seem very boring, but there are a few nice twists later on that def make the series worth reading.

Finding out who Jon's Mother is is def surprising. But finding out who Jon Snow REALLY is is even more surprising. Put it that way. There's also some new characters introduced later on that are interesting. And they are new to the books, but you already know some of their past. I dont want to spoil it further.

 

And as for who wins the throne, it kind of doesnt really matter. Theres a bigger picture unfolding, and a larger battle to be fought. In my opinion the main characters are Dany and Jon Snow. Martin just took the long way, hoping to build the picture of the land.

 

I'd keep reading. If just for the fact of finishing the series. It gets better. LOL It actually gets worse, THEN it gets better. A Clash of Kings does make you want to stop reading the series, but you learn that its just Martin's style. A Storm of Swords is really good. A Feast for Crows is kinda boring IMO, but thats because it sets up a lot of background and character development for the next book. In fact I think book 4 and 5 was suppose to be one book, but he broke it up saying "Hed rather tell the whole story of half the characters in book 4, and the other half in book 5, rather than making it one book and telling half the story of all the characters."

 

I cant remember exactly what Jaime Lannister is doing as of Book 2, and im not sure how far along you are into it, but his story goes in a direction you'd never expect, and becomes a very interesting story-line. Pretty much the whole world as you know it gets turned on its head leading up to the final book, which I havent read.

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Finished book 1 over the weekend. So aobut 800 pages in 4 days. Bout 100 pages ito Book 2 now.

 

I'm reading it voraciously, but because I seek out reading like a moth to a flame. Not because I'm entranced.

 

I usually have a near photographic memory, and the first book leaves me with just about a "bleh" and maybe a "Arya's got guts, Snow could be really cool (hehe), Dany's storyline took far too long to develop but I DID feel for her.."

 

And that's about it. Not much more than that. The entire 800 page book lacked any feeling of climax beyond a few minor ones like Dany's "Shadow dancing tent" scene. But the book itself had no climax to me.

 

I'm going to continue reading, but it best be improving soon :)

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really? i felt book 1 had a few climaxs in it Joe. there was Bran getting pushed out of the tower, Ned's Capture, Varys getting Crowned, Ned's decaptitation, and the birth of Danny's dragons.

 

btw, Jamie FTW :wub:

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What's up with the Jamie love?

 

Bran's attempted murder climatic? No, just a sudden significant scene. Ned's capture was anti-climactic to me - he was asking for it. Varys getting crownd?! that wasn't in the first book, damn you! :)

 

Ned's decapitation - it was so so. I liked how it was shown from the point of view of Arya while being distracted. But yes, mild climax.

 

Dany's dragons - yes, decent climax.

 

But you don't build books to have individual climaxes to me, especially not 800 page books. You build books to have world-changing climaxes (at least, the world insofar as you've built it).

 

In 800 pages, we had this:

 

- Eddard's a cool honorble dude who doesn't evolve to the realities of King's Landing, get's predictably beheaded after failing to prevent robert's death.

- Jon Snow goes to the Wall, develops a bit as a leader, helps become part of a new family. Doesn't do much else.

- Robb grows up quickly and begins to lead. Is basically a cool 15 year old.

- Sansa....she's as bad as the first 795 pages led her to be. Doesn't do anything surprising.

- Tyrion - one badass halfman. I like em! :)

- Catelyn - basically runs around the realm not getting what she wants while her family gets knocked off.

- Joffrey/Cersei: a son/mother duo who aren't that smart, don't do anything that genuinely evil, and are basically entirely self-interested. The mom gets Joff on the throne with a great deal of help, and that seems to have been her entire endgame. Now that she's there, she doesn't know what to do about it.

- Bran: gets crippled, shows indications of having powers, powers are not explored or developed at all. Doesn't really develop beyond that. Is a young bad-ass in waiting most likely.

- The gang of 6 direwolves: grow up, start ripping throats out and arms off, one gets killed, one has dissapeared. All seem smart. One of hte most interesting sub-plots is their role to me.

- Arya - Just a really cool young girl who is starting to show alot of promise. She's pretty interesting. Love the training with Syrio.

 

..

 

Read over that. That's what happened in EIGHT HUNDRED PAGES. It's alot of very skin deep stuff.

 

Put another way: in the ~800 pages of tEotW, compare what happened and how deep each event became.

 

Completely different writing styles, but you can measure satisfaction similarly, can you not?

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I'm half way through the third book, and I'd say that the books really are too different to "compete" Jordan is awesome, but very flawed at the same time. GRRM, I feel like the one above that it drags on a little too much, but you can't speed it up too much either...

 

Anyway, I like Arya, even though she needs to make a "leap" soon. Tyrion is of course great, and theeeen... The rest feel kind of meh, I'm looking forward to the Stannis story line, but perhaps not so many more.

 

Dany though, talk about a boring story line, and I'm so sick of her self righteous attitude "my throne by right, the rightful bla bla bla" and no one (so far) telling her that her father was an insane murderer...

 

Jaime is really growing on me though, but Robb should just die and have his story line done with.

 

Often the foreshadowing feel a little too obvious, but often I'm taken by surprise too...

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Jamie's storyline is probably my favorite except maybe for Arya or Tyrion. Dany has her rmoments. The rest are meh.

 

As to the pacing of the sotry, the first book more or less is all setup for the rest of the books.

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What's up with the Jamie love?

 

Varys getting crownd?! that wasn't in the first book, damn you! :)

 

no that happens in the 1st book cause Drogo is still alive and pours the molten gold on his head. i'm probably spelling Danny's bros name wrong, i haven't read the book in about a year and 1/2 tbh.

 

 

that Jamie love, becuase he's full of tiger blood and adonis DNA, thats why. really, you wont understand the Jamie love you'll find on the interwebz until book 3 when his back story is expounded on and his character is developed more. though you shoudl start to understand in book 2 and sympathize a bit with him.

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Oh, Ok, Yeah, Viserys' crowning was quite nice. I thought he got off too easy - I wanted to see him a bit more degraded.

 

I'm about 250 pages into book 2 now and I'm wondering if I'll buy the third book. I find myself forcing myself to continue reading - not a good sign.

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that Jamie love, becuase he's full of tiger blood and adonis DNA, thats why.

 

Winning. Although after finishing the second book, I have no Jaime love. He's come across to me as an evil villain.

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that Jamie love, becuase he's full of tiger blood and adonis DNA, thats why.

 

Winning. Although after finishing the second book, I have no Jaime love. He's come across to me as an evil villain.

 

Well you've only just finished the second book. I mean come on. Got to read ASoS.

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Jaime is really growing on me though, but Robb should just die and have his story line done with.

 

Be careful what you wish for. I like Robb. He was actually my second favorite next to Jon, and I thought Robb was gonna be the stories main character.

Reading these books and hoping for Wheel of Time is gonna leave you severely dissappointed. But I still like them. There are a few twists coming up, I'll leave you something to think about.

 

Who are Jon Snows parents? Think you know. I doubt you know either one. And Im not spoiling, because nothing Ive read confirms this(YET) but Im quite sure that Ned Start is NOT Jon Snows father. And Im also quite sure that Jon Snow is still INDEED a Stark. I get this because Ned doesnt want to talk to Jon about who his mother is, even as hes leaving for the wall. THis would have been THE TIME to tell him, unless its a story thats more complicated and one he cant know about yet. And Ned doesnt say to him as he's leaving "You ARE my son." He says, "You ARE a Stark."

 

Also, Im not finished with the series, but at the beginning of book 1 you know theres an evil force coming into the world from north of the wall(The Ice). And then the birth of the dragons at the end(The Fire.)

 

I predict that this series might wrap up very nicely with a huge battle between Danny's Dragons and anyone whom she can win to her side vs these Vampire Snow Creature Things, who we dont know much about.

Edited by Brujah

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that Jamie love, becuase he's full of tiger blood and adonis DNA, thats why.

 

Winning. Although after finishing the second book, I have no Jaime love. He's come across to me as an evil villain.

 

Jamie to me seems to be changing colors. Less Villain and More Hero, imo.

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One of my gripes with the series is that you already have a negative feeling towards the Targaryans because of the Mad King in book one. Then this is backed up with not so nice stories of Rhaegar(although an excellent warrior), and then of course Viserys. But I think some of them have to be given a chance. Dany seems to be quite different in many ways. And then you have Aemon Targaryan, the Maester on the Wall, who is obviously a good guy. And then there's.....you'll have to read and see.

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450 pages into book 2 - bout half way. Tyrion continues to be damn cool, Arya's and Dany's storylines are starting to get drawn out a bit, and Jon Snow is just an honorable dude that's got a cool sword we haven't seen in action and a direwolf who is just rearing for some combat.

 

And what's up with Theon? All the sudden he gets a bunch of his own chapters? And, um, his sister has made an appearance...that's about all I know so far so don't ruin it for me...

 

...

 

I think this book series is the equivalent of starting wheel of time in a chapter on Perrin in Book 10. It's decent, but it's full of people moping about not getting nearly as much done as you want.

 

...

 

If I continue on beyond book 2, it won't be because I'm eating up every page. It'll be because I just want to know the twists of Tyrion and Jon Snow.

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Joe, if you like Jon,Tyrion & Ayra's story lines then i suggest you keep reading becuase their plots are (for me atleast) the main reasons i enjoy the series so much (of course add in Jamie and Asha)

 

Theon goes on to become more of a Main character rather than side character, whcih is why he's gotten more PoV's in the 2nd book. since Asha has made an apperance, you'll be told why the focus is shifting to Theon soon.

 

Jon & Danny's plot lines will become even as far as pace and begin to slow down imo, but alot of great things happen that make them worth reading, especially with Jon.

 

 

just saying, even if you continue on in the series just to read Tyrion's story line, you wont be disappointed. the Imo never fails to dissapoint :laugh:

 

btw, Jamie FTW :wub:

 

*glares and sticks tongue out at Red*

 

*grins and hogs Jamie all to herself*

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One of my gripes with the series is that you already have a negative feeling towards the Targaryans because of the Mad King in book one. Then this is backed up with not so nice stories of Rhaegar(although an excellent warrior), and then of course Viserys. But I think some of them have to be given a chance. Dany seems to be quite different in many ways. And then you have Aemon Targaryan, the Maester on the Wall, who is obviously a good guy. And then there's.....you'll have to read and see.

 

I think that's a good thing. The reports about the Mad King and our encounters with Viserys make the Targaryens out to be 'bad guys'. But Daenerys is clearly one of the most moral people in the entire series, and we gradually learn more and more about Rhaegar that suggests the early negative stories may be propaganda and he was actually a good guy, just a bit obsessed and not thinking through the consequences of his actions. This makes the situation more interesting. The Targaryens are neither good nor bad, they're just people (and note that even Viserys has his good points and even Daenerys has done things that are ruthless and violent). The prequels, where we meet several more Targaryens, continue to show them to be a mix individuals.

 

The same with the Lannisters. They are presented as antagonists but we are clearly meant to sympathise with Tyrion and Jaime is shown in a more complex light later on. Some fans now even argue that the Lannisters are their favourite house because they are actually a reasonable house let down by one bad egg (Cersei) and one rather ruthless one (Tywin), but otherwise are not necessarily any worse than the Starks.

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