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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

graendalzooescapee

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  1. Did you not see this choice on the poll? You do know only the TV show and first book are called Game of Thrones right? How comedy is this considering Martin is one of the few fantasy authors, who even comes close to portraying a historically accurate representation of medieval society. It's not meant to be comedy. Martin isn't portraying a "historically accurate representation of medieval society". He's trying really, really hard to be shocking. Bashing in a baby's head and then raping the mother with its brains on your hands? Having sex with your brother in a church next to your father's dead body? That's not history. Acts like that weren't common around the time of the Wars of the Roses. That's pushing the envelope for the sake of pushing the envelope. As for the Lannisters there are many historical precedents to that in royal families. Really? Not counting ancient Egyptians or their imitators like the Ptolemys? In a church? Next to a putrid dead body? Of their father? My issue isn't that Martin includes disturbing material, or explicit (and generally pathological) sex, or what have you. It's that there is such an overwhelming concentration of it, and there are SO many details calculated to shock, that I don't think it does come off as realistic. Hideous things happen in the world--but not usually in such density, between a small number of people and only a few years. It all gets to feel a bit sadistic.
  2. Expanding on what someone else said in this thread, I think the big weak point of the WOT magic system is that people learn it too easily. Based on the descriptions we've seen, making a moderately complex weave seems to require about the level of memory and manual (mental?) dexterity of, say, playing a violin sonata. But an average AS knows hundreds of them, and started learning only around age 16-18, unlike a top violinist who would probably start playing by 5. And the majority are mastered in the 8-10 year period of being novice/Accepted. This has kind of ruined the test for the shawl for me on later readings, for example. What those women go through really shouldn't be possible. Could you play 100 violin sonatas under life-threatening stress? Without wrong notes or intonation problems?
  3. Did you not see this choice on the poll? You do know only the TV show and first book are called Game of Thrones right? How comedy is this considering Martin is one of the few fantasy authors, who even comes close to portraying a historically accurate representation of medieval society. It's not meant to be comedy. Martin isn't portraying a "historically accurate representation of medieval society". He's trying really, really hard to be shocking. Bashing in a baby's head and then raping the mother with its brains on your hands? Having sex with your brother in a church next to your father's dead body? That's not history. Acts like that weren't common around the time of the Wars of the Roses. That's pushing the envelope for the sake of pushing the envelope.
  4. Really? I'm pretty sure Egwene has "Like Me!" branded on her forehead. But my point is that we don't all acquiesce!
  5. I actually think this is why RJ's characters are so good judged relative to many other fantasy series. They defy expectations, and so they lead to dissent. That's what real people do--especially women. Most of the time in fantasy it's like the characters are wearing little signs that say "Like me!" "Don't like me!".
  6. I'm looking back at Martin now in advance of Dance with Dragons (because I really can't remember the plot), and while I'm more impressed with it than the first time around, I really don't think there's any comparison with WOT. Martin probably has nicer prose, and the "crab boiling" introduction of magic is extremely effective, but it falls short on just about every other measure as far as I can see. The characters are less distinctive, the worldbuilding is less creative (I mean, the Others are scary and all, but they're terribly cliched), and at the end of the day, the story just doesn't have a lot to say. I'm hard pressed to think of any big picture themes in it. Jordan worked with so many intellectual themes--historicity, realpolitik, and yes, gender, to name some of the most obvious--and I don't see an equivalent in Martin. He's really just telling a story. Telling it very well, but without much to say beyond the narrative. And I do think the "grittiness" is often gratuitous. It's not realistic. It's as though Martin has a list of atrocities in front of him and is trying to get them all in. Incest, check. Child murder, check. Brutal rape, check. Child marriage, check. Sick medical experimentation, check. And so on.
  7. I'm of the opinion that this has already happened.. in a way, in VoG. Rand (as Darth Rand) goes from Tear, and eventually ends up on Dragonmount, where he has his epiphany. When he comes down from the mountain he is Rand Sedai. Darth Rand is dead and gone. The new reborn Rand Sedai is an entity we haven't seen before - a being in whom LTT and TR-Rand are united, with all the memories of both and then some. It's a rebirth rather than a resurrection such as was forced on Birgitte, though. And he was away for three days (ToM p188). Before he left Tear, Nynaeve asked him (on Caddy's instructions) where Perrin was, because Caddy needed to get Tam who was with Perrin at the time. Eventually Rand gave Nyn this info, because he had a debt to her for caring when he could not (TGS p 697). Tam was the key to Rand regaining his sanity. So in a subtle way, Nyn did have a hand in Rand's rebirth. I'm cool with that. See, subtle. Not in lockstep with any real-world person or character's arc.
  8. I see "none" is picking up steam. I've never thought straightforward Rand=Jesus stuff worked, and the RJ quote included earlier in this thread just cements it. Really, all the hardcore Jesus parallelism is in the minds of unreliable characters (Masema, Taim). And, I swear, if Rand really lies dead for three days and is resurrected, I'm throwing AMOL across the room. I know there's the Nynaeve quote, but I hold out desperate hope that it's purely hyperbole. There hasn't been a single allusion in all of WOT so far that was that simpleminded, and it really better not climax with one. I mean, what does that end up meaning? That Jesus was the Age of Myths Dragon and was then reborn as Lews Therin? That's just. . .dumb. It would be so much more nuanced and complex if Rand was more a generalized Dying God like in The Golden Bough, which I can only assume RJ read. (Acceptable Wikipedia article if you don't know what I'm talking about. No, I didn't write it.) The connection between Rand and the Fisher King, and the "Dragon is one with the land" thing point in that direction. And the betrayal by a friend really isn't part of that myth group on the whole. (Full disclosure--I don't think the connections between Jesus and the Dying God in The Golden Bough work. At all. But I'm in the minority there so I can respect any author who disagrees with me and uses Jesus as one influence on a mythic character.)
  9. I have thought for a long time that something like this was the most philosophically satisfying ending. The grafting of an apocalyptic scenario onto a cyclical time model (especially when the apocalypse comes in the middle of the cycle) just isn't intellectually sound otherwise. And RJ gave enough hints--Herid Fel's speech, his comments on linear time in the audiobook interview--to indicate that he knew he was writing a paradox, rather than just falling into one. If I'm right, however, this is the part I'm really worried that BS will screw up. He's really not good at philosophy. The arguments in Way of Kings are pretty badly reasoned, for example.
  10. It's a very hard call, but I vote for TGS. What the heck is up with Aviendha's eyes? They're just splotches. But what do I care? I buy the hardcovers and promptly throw away the dust covers. So much more tasteful.
  11. Yeah, I did always see this coming. But I don't think that the way Moiraine expressed herself at the end of ToM was in character. I don't think she'd be that sentimental. Or that direct.
  12. Kind of depends on how fast you intend to read it. It's mostly typos/sentence structure issues, not narrative things. They disappear when reading at top speed for the story but really stick out if you try to spend time with the book.
  13. I'm getting less and less happy with BS as I re-read ToM. I loved it the first time through, reading at top speed, but if I read slower, then the quality of the writing really starts to drag at me. It has to be said--BS is a pretty bad prose stylist. He tends towards very bland word choices and sentence structure, and has a terrible habit of repeating vocabulary in close proximity, or even in the same sentence. Whenever I've read one of his solo books, I've had a period at the beginning of am-I-really-going-to-read-this before the story and characters take over. I'm not demanding prose of a Booker Prize standard, or an Ursula Le Guin standard. RJ couldn't write like that either. But he could construct a tight, witty sentence and choose words well, and I just don't see BS doing that. Some in TGS when he was obviously working harder on aping RJ (despite his claims to the contrary), but not anymore.
  14. Another vote for Asmodean. One of my absolute favorite characters in the series. I was too busy being annoyed that he died to care much who did it.
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