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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
TreeJoe

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

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It's not the arguing that bothered me as such. It's the fact that the noble didn't get straight to the point (it not being cold enough to kill people when they have furs/fires) to avoid the arguing.

 

Not trying to argue here. Since you're just starting to read ASoIaF, I was just trying to explain how the Night's Watch works. But then again, since you've already watched the HBO show, I guess you know that already. At any rate, I believe the prologue to AGot is a bit confusing because I also had trouble understanding who was who and what was going on during my first read. After reading the rest of the series (I've read all 5 books so far, now) and a reread, I understood that Royce IS being an ass, trying to impose his will on Will and Gared, not because he's a nobleman, but simply because he was the lead Ranger. Either way, IMO, the guy's an idiot on the book and the TV show, both lol.

 

And I think my issue with Jon Snow is that I find it hard to remember how young he is, because I watched a bit of the first episode of the TV series and he was older in that lol. So I have this image of him being a young man and then I read about him acting like an annoying brat and it kind of jars.

 

Yeah, for TV purposes (it's easier to film with older actors for a longer time, as they don't age as dramatically as young kids), HBO decided to add a few yrs. to Robert Baratheon's rebellion. Thus, every character's a good 4, 5 yrs. older in the show than in the book. Dany, for instance, looks a good 10 yrs. older than in the book lol. I understand how that makes it hard to keep in mind that Jon's that young, yep. He does a lot of growing as the books progress, though. IMO, he's a much better, deeper, all-around character than an Egwene al'Vere in TWoT for instance, based on the fact that both characters share similar story arcs. And we all know how generally disliked Egwene is, so I guess this holds true for Jon as well.

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Yeah, for TV purposes (it's easier to film with older actors for a longer time, as they don't age as dramatically as young kids), HBO decided to add a few yrs. to Robert Baratheon's rebellion. Thus, every character's a good 4, 5 yrs. older in the show than in the book. Dany, for instance, looks a good 10 yrs. older than in the book lol.

 

Well, that and the fact that it would have been illegal in the UK to film some of the scenes that were important to the plot - i.e. even if the actress playing Dany was over 18, just having her *character* supposed to be 13 years old would have made it illegal to portray her in sex scenes.

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Can I ask what the position of Septa is? I think that's how it's spelt.

 

It is a nun or priestess of the Seven. In noble households they serve as chaperone and tutor to the daughters.

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Can I ask what the position of Septa is? I think that's how it's spelt.

 

It is a nun or priestess of the Seven. In noble households they serve as chaperone and tutor to the daughters.

 

Oh right, but I thought there was a male one? In Tyrion's first chapter?

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Can I ask what the position of Septa is? I think that's how it's spelt.

 

It is a nun or priestess of the Seven. In noble households they serve as chaperone and tutor to the daughters.

 

Oh right, but I thought there was a male one? In Tyrion's first chapter?

 

The males are called Septons. Here is the Ice and Fire wiki page on it for you to check out...

 

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Septa

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Finished the 3rd book. So far, I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this series to anyone. The third book was over 1100 pages and had a few shocking events (the red wedding. arya and valar morghulis, jon snow in general). But it took 1100 pages to get to it.

 

It was a far better book but so far in the series I just feel....mildly entertained.

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So my battery was about to die on the last post. Let me go into a bit more depth.

 

Some may consider this personal style preferences, but I don't have a huge care for this series thus far. I almost certainly won't be re-reading it. Here's my assessment thus far:

 

There is alot of nuance or shades of grey throughout the series, but it's not any different from anywhere else - it's simply revealed more slowly. Individuals in every book series do things for their own reasons. The difference in this series is that the author decided to focus less on creating a new world and more on creating dozens upon dozens upon dozens of layered characters. So you get 3 very hefty books in and magical powers themselves are barely touched upon, diety-lore is almost absent besides surface-level stuff, and there's alot of "races" of men which are fairly meaningless ("They have the blood of the First Men in them.")

 

So the depth of the world, of the cultures, and of the histories is pretty shallow in my opinion considering I've got almost 3000 pages under my belt.

 

The characters themselves....well, some are awesome and others leave alot to be desired behind. 80% of the characters are selfish and semi-evil. Anyone whose truly honorable gets the shaft fairly quickly once they emerge as a serious character. Its as if the author decided ahead of time that honorable people would be more blind to their surroundings and would die off more frequently. The exceptions of Dany and Jon come to mind right now, but Jon at least only really came into his own in book 3.

 

Alot of the characters like Tywin Lannister just kinda piss me off. He's been a central Hand (hehe) in more assassinations, machinations, and coups than almost anyone else in the land. And everyone knows about him. He's evil with a polish, but everyone knows the guy is just someone who wants to be in charge but is at heart an evil bastard. He's no Littlefinger (Petyr Baelish) where no one truly knows where he stands - Tywin Lannister is acknowledged. And yet he's lived decades like this while guys like Starks drop like flies? Convenient.

 

Jaime's character is getting better, but it's almost like him tossing a 7 year old out the window was a mistake made by the author early on. It doesn't fit in with his character later on. He's a guy who pays his debts and was awesome with a sword and is all about getting up in someones face. But Bran's fall showed someone with no caring about an innocent - something Jaime later seems to care about regularly. Nonetheless, his kingslaying is understandable. His slaying of Jory of winterfell and such is fine and dandy, given the circumstances. But for all the things he explains and works within shades of grey, his action with Bran doesn't fit. It's so far over the other side....

 

Tyrion's storyline is probably the most consistent and nicely played, though Jon's is a close second. Arya's is also coming along nicely (I love the get together with the Hound). The ability to follow one character for more than 500 pages is welcome.

 

Also, I am so glad selmy barristan showed back up. I was gonna be pissed if they talked about him so much and then he dissapeared.

 

Joe

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So you get 3 very hefty books in and magical powers themselves are barely touched upon, diety-lore is almost absent besides surface-level stuff,

 

In terms of Gods, that changes as you move forward, Magic...GRRM had this to say.

 

That's something I like to reveal little by little.

 

I can tell you generally that when treating with magic in fantasy, you have to keep it magical. Many fantasy writers work out these detailed systems, and rules, and I think that's a mistake.

 

For magic to be effective in a literary sense, it has to be unknowable and strange and dangerous, with forces that can't be predicted or controlled. That makes it, I think, much more interesting and evocative. It functions as a symbol or metaphor of all the forces in the universe we don't understand and maybe never will.

 

So the depth of the world, of the cultures, and of the histories is pretty shallow in my opinion considering I've got almost 3000 pages under my belt.

 

I don't get this point seeing as how fundamental mysteries concerning the cultures and history of the Targaryen's is pretty much central to the entire story moving forward. To each his own I guess but the fact that were are just starting to get hints of what the "real threat" is can be considered very much a huge plus.

 

Alot of the characters like Tywin Lannister just kinda piss me off. He's been a central Hand (hehe) in more assassinations, machinations, and coups than almost anyone else in the land. And everyone knows about him. He's evil with a polish, but everyone knows the guy is just someone who wants to be in charge but is at heart an evil bastard.

 

He is very committed to the Lannisters success above all. With the families money and power and his smarts I don't see this as unrealistic. Also keep in mind he was very much shaped by his own Father and events younger in life. He really only went off the deep end when his wife died. Gerion Lannister once told Tyrion that the best part of Tywin died when his wife did. This is actually one of Martins strengths in that you can see how each character was shaped over the course of their lives.

 

Jaime's character is getting better, but it's almost like him tossing a 7 year old out the window was a mistake made by the author early on. It doesn't fit in with his character later on. He's a guy who pays his debts and was awesome with a sword and is all about getting up in someones face. But Bran's fall showed someone with no caring about an innocent - something Jaime later seems to care about regularly. Nonetheless, his kingslaying is understandable. His slaying of Jory of winterfell and such is fine and dandy, given the circumstances. But for all the things he explains and works within shades of grey, his action with Bran doesn't fit. It's so far over the other side....

 

Not at all when you consider he is finally growing up and maturing. The younger Jaimie cared only for glory, his sister and her love. Back then he would hold that above all else. What is the life of one boy compared to his children and sister being killed if the affair was found out by the King?

Edited by Suttree

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Suttree - I'm writing what I think as I read, not as I reflect necessarily. I'll respond from the back up.

 

Jaime's throwing of Bran off the table was within the same year, as far as i can tell of the timeline. So within one year he went from casually, without any hesitation, tossing a 7 year old out a window to a grown up who is no longer so casually evil? Hmm...

 

Re: Tywin - I was just saying he pisses me off :)

 

The lack of depth to the world/culture/magic/deities is specifically a critique of being 3000 pages in. Remember here, I had to complete 3 books that were released years apart to make these comments - that's an obscene standard in my mind.

 

But, I'm this far in, so onto the next book :)

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Jaime's throwing of Bran off the table was within the same year, as far as i can tell of the timeline. So within one year he went from casually, without any hesitation, tossing a 7 year old out a window to a grown up who is no longer so casually evil? Hmm...

 

Maybe I put a bit too much emphasis on the growing up part but recall he became a knight at a very young age so he is maturing as we read. I know that he is def changing from his early days in the Kinsguard. While his relationship withe Cersei continues to evolve as you get on in the series, at that point he was very much infatuated. That combined with one Stark life to save all his own children seems a small price to pay, especially considering how much the importance of family(Lannisters) has been instilled in him.

 

Hope you keep enjoying the series! The curtain continues to get slowly drawn back and I think you will find quite a bit of depth as you move forward.

Edited by Suttree

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I did enjoy Stannis showing up unexpectedly with great timing at a certain northern region. And I love the onion knight :)

 

Jaime's character has become very cool already. I don't quite buy the "in a period of 6 months, I went from cavalierly evil where I'd kill on a whim to a, at heart, honorable guy" transition - but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the character.

 

I'd hesitate to describe my reading of the first 3 books as "enjoyed" so much as "Weirdly need to keep reading while it feels tedious".

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Jaime's throwing of Bran off the table was within the same year, as far as i can tell of the timeline. So within one year he went from casually, without any hesitation, tossing a 7 year old out a window to a grown up who is no longer so casually evil? Hmm...

 

It's about two years, but yeah, a valid complaint, and one often made.

 

Jaime threw Bran out of the window as a direct, simple solution to the problem, the problem being one that would get him, his sister and his children all killed. As he says elsewhere, he lives for fighting and killing, so there being a massive civil war isn't particularly problematic to him, but certainly the idea of Cersei and the childrend dying bothers him. Later on, he undergoes a self-reassessment sparked by spending more than a year in captivity in Riverrun and also by his journey with Brienne: he sees in Brienne a representation of a 'true' knight and that certainly bothers him immensely, since he knows he falls short of the ideal.

 

In short, Jaime is searching for an identity and a person he can be, and for a long time being 'the Kingslayer' was his solution. As we see in both books and the TV show (a little more on the nose in the latter, as in his conversation with Tywin in episode 7, IIRC), that's not entirely enough for him and when other elements start unravelling, this notion of becoming a true knight and earning his white cloak raises its head and is something he embraces wholeheartedly.

 

Jaime is a complex character, definitely somewhat more complex than either of the 'bad guy' or 'bad guy comes good' tropes his story arc is reduced to.

 

The lack of depth to the world/culture/magic/deities is specifically a critique of being 3000 pages in. Remember here, I had to complete 3 books that were released years apart to make these comments - that's an obscene standard in my mind.

 

This may be down to personal preference. Worldbuilding is something that GRRM does very well, but it's something he does in depth in detailed areas (the history of Robert's Rebellion or the Targaryen dynasty, for example) but not something he does on the broad scale across the entire setting (like, say, Tolkien did). GRRM is also a firm believer in several maxims that run counter to the Tolkien/Jordan school of worldbuilding: he has no magic 'system' and does not believe it's always a healthy thing to have in a fantasy, since it tends to devalue the awe and mystery of magic as a force. He also likes the idea of maps trailing off at the edges and 'here be dragons' kind of stuff just off the edge of the known world. It's highly improbable we will ever get a world map or detailed information about other lands beyond where the story takes place. It's also the case that we will never find out if the gods are real or not, because religion is about faith, and several characters in the story are driven by religious faith (most notably Melisandre). Them finding out R'hllor or whatever is real would run counter to that idea.

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I did enjoy Stannis showing up unexpectedly with great timing at a certain northern region. And I love the onion knight :)

 

Jaime's character has become very cool already. I don't quite buy the "in a period of 6 months, I went from cavalierly evil where I'd kill on a whim to a, at heart, honorable guy" transition - but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the character.

 

I'd hesitate to describe my reading of the first 3 books as "enjoyed" so much as "Weirdly need to keep reading while it feels tedious".

 

 

aside from what Wert and others have said, i have to disagree with the underlined. Jamie has always had a sense of Honor, just not a selfless honor; but in his heart he is honorable and faithful. i say this, because of what we learn behind his motive for killing the Mad King (the character point for Jamie that acutally made me a sympathizer to his cause rather than a hater :laugh: )

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Rereading the part where Jamie tosses Bran out the window and having read more of Jaime's storyline, it's easy to see that Jaime took no pleasure in what he did. There was loathing in his voice when he spoke to Cersei just before he did it. I'm not saying Jaime's a great or moral guy, he's done evil things, but his character, as many in the series are, is very gray from a moral standpoint, not as black and white as it seems in the beginning. If there can be any possible understanding of Jaime's actions, it's that he was doing what he thought was the only thing necessary to save the woman he loves/his sister and his children (or it may be better to say her children, as while he doesn't have a deep relationship with them the woman he loves cares for them deeply). It was brash, but that defines much of Jaime's actions, and there are reasons why he's turned brash and cynical which are revealed as you go, not to spoil too much.

 

I'm a bit sad that you haven't taken to the series, but to each his own. I loved the political intrigue and character interactions and I was completely hooked. The series isn't without flaws, but the positives far outweighed them for me.

Edited by Agitel

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I had been reading the Wheel of Time for awhile, too, before I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire, but it's been awhile since I've read A Song of Ice and Fire, so I don't remember my first impression of it, but I do remember enjoying it somewhat, though I only got to read the first three books, which is why I'm hoping to get the box set soon so I can quickly catch back up and refresh my memory of the series.

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Have read all the way up to A Dance With Dragons. It is an excellent series when taken on its' own. However, when compared with Jordans work, it just doesn't stand up. Jordan apparently spent years doing research into different mythologies and legends before writing the WoT. Martin very obviosuly doesn't plan too far ahead. In a one sense that's a good thing because the books do give a feeling of anything could happen at any moment, but it does remain quite confusing throughout the series. I would suggest watching the TV show Game of Thrones. Its one of the best adaptations I have ever seen.

 

I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, and he will always be the father of fantasy in my opinion, but nothing written in the last 20-30 comes anywhere near matching The Wheel of Time.

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There are not fair comparisons. WoT is a more mainstream epic fantasy series. The Song is very much about challenging fantasy tropes...he called books where the main protagonists survive 'comfort fiction', please note he wasn't being critical of it - just that he wanted to challenge the cliches.

 

We are blessed to live in such times that two great series have come out.

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Have read all the way up to A Dance With Dragons. It is an excellent series when taken on its' own. However, when compared with Jordans work, it just doesn't stand up. Jordan apparently spent years doing research into different mythologies and legends before writing the WoT. Martin very obviosuly doesn't plan too far ahead. In a one sense that's a good thing because the books do give a feeling of anything could happen at any moment, but it does remain quite confusing throughout the series. I would suggest watching the TV show Game of Thrones. Its one of the best adaptations I have ever seen.

 

I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, and he will always be the father of fantasy in my opinion, but nothing written in the last 20-30 comes anywhere near matching The Wheel of Time.

 

Martin doesn't plan too far ahead? What?

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Martin has talked about two kinds of writers - the architect and the gardener. RJ was the typical architect, planning everything in advance, down to the smallest detail. Martin sees himself as a gardener. he knows where he is going, he has a general idea of how to get there, but he allows the path to the finish to be more organic.

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Martin has talked about two kinds of writers - the architect and the gardener. RJ was the typical architect, planning everything in advance, down to the smallest detail. Martin sees himself as a gardener. he knows where he is going, he has a general idea of how to get there, but he allows the path to the finish to be more organic.

 

Actually, based on their comments in interviews, I think both authors had a fairly similar planning style. Jordan also knew where the WoT series would end up, but not necessarily everything that would happen along the way. He allowed subplots and characters to develop organically as he drove the story forward from plot point to plot point. Arguably the problem he faced around the Book 8-11 period (and some might say GRRM has encountered a similar problem in Books 4-5 of ASoIaF) was that this organic growth resulted in some characters being out of step with others, resulting in the creation of filler material whilst other characters were maneuvered into position (we know Faile was never supposed to be a prisoner of the Shaido for almost four whole novels, as when that subplot kicked off he still thought the series was going to be ten books long).

 

The difference with the meticulous planning thing is that Jordan reached a point where he decided he needed a detailed outline to help bring everything to a close (even before his diagnosis with his illness), and then of course events required him to make those notes extremely detailed, even moreso than he had planned.

 

Because of the HBO series, GRRM has actually recently mapped out an outline for the rest of the series. Whether he'll feel the novels need to be bound to that as the TV series will remains unclear, but certainly it could be a good idea.

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For anyone who missed it, check out Leigh Butler's reaction to Ned's execution scene. Sure she isn't alone in thinking he was going to be the protagonist.

 

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/11/a-read-of-ice-and-fire-a-game-of-thrones-part-31

 

Pretty epic, just goes to show how deep rooted the mysteries are in this series in that we still have so many question integral to the main story left to be answered. I mean it's only now that the major players are even starting to fall inline!

Edited by Suttree

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I started reading this series pretty recently, too (I'm on A Feast for Crows atm), and loving it so far. As I've said in another thread, Littlefinger and Varys are tied for my two favourite fantasy characters of... well, ever.

 

I feel like I'm missing out on the appeal of some of the popular characters, though. I mean, I love Arya and Tyrion so far, and can understand why they're well liked characters. But I don't see why the big fan following of Jon and Jaime. I find them both pretty uninteresting as characters. I mean, I don't dislike them as such, and I have sympathy for their hardships, but I just find them pretty far down on the "interesting characters" scale. Maybe once I finish AFFC and ADWD I'll feel differently, does anyone think? Or is this just a case of me latching on to the weird characters again? XD

 

EDIT: As far as ASOIAF comparing to WoT, I enjoy them in different ways, and think the authors both have their own strengths.

 

For me, WoT is immersive because the world is so detailed- you have the different regional accents and speech styles, you have the world history, etc. ASOIAF doesn't seem to have this to quite the same extent, its a little more of a fantasy cliche world (mediaeval Europe style, patriarchy based system, etc).

 

ASOIAF is very different, for me- its still immersive, because the characters are engaging, there's an element of risk and reality that is less present in WoT -characters you like, or that have played major roles, can and will die- getting out of such situations via "Author protection" is a much rarer thing than in the WoT. Many characters fall into a grey middle ground- sympathetic characters still do bad things, and "bad guys", if you will, are actually reasonably effective at dispatching their enemies. I think its quite refreshing to read after much of Wheel of Time, if only because it's more unpredictable in terms of its characters and how the storyline will progress, comparatively speaking. On the other hand, I've yet to read a series, ASOIAF included, which worldbuilds quite as well as WoT.

Edited by Himiko

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