Amph A Song of Ice and Fire: Spoilers Allowed Discussion Thread (now with ADWD spoilers)

Discussion in 'Community' started by MarcusP2, Jun 28, 2011.

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  1. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    I finished it last night. Whilst I can understand why some people are disappointed with it, I enjoyed it very much. I especially enjoyed Theon's, Davos, Asha's, Jon's and Barristans chapters, whilst Tyrion's were solid. Connington, Jaime and Cersei also had good chapters, although I would have liked more of them. Dany's last couple of chapters really made up for her first few in terms of action and suspense. Arya's were dull for me, but then I didn't like her Faceless man training in AFFC either.

    What I really enjoyed from this book was all the background info and different perspectives we got on a variety of characters. Particularly, I was stoked with Jon's death scene, simply because it matches the prophecy of Azor Ahai so well. Similarly, it seems that Mirri Maez Durr's claim about Dany's ability to bare children has concluded, with Quentyn's death acting as the sun setting in the East.

    8.5/10 for me.
  2. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    star 6
    Mirri never made a prophecy about Dany not being able to bear children. Dany said, when Drogo was in zombiemode: When will Drogo return to me? The reply:
    When the sun sets in the East, when mountains turn to dust and blow away, when you bear a living child (which certainly hasn't happened.) So even if those conditions are fulfilled...does that mean Drogo is returning? I hope not.
  3. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Ah, I missed that. Cheers.
  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Just finished.

    You people are mocking me about Connington, yes? He raised the boy as a son. And there's not even anything to suggest sexual tension. In fact, if I'm not mistaken he had a wife before exile. Where are you people getting this?

    I actually enjoyed AFFC a great deal, and it was a relief for me when, in the last third of the book, we were able to get back to some of those more interesting stories. Even by my standards, though, plot progression was halting in this book. At times, it didn't even seem to be about anything. At this point, the Bran thing has stretched across four books and has had what must be hundreds of dedicated pages without any meaningful pay-off at all. He's learning to be a greenseer. Fine. I somehow doubt his character arc would have been impoverished by sparing us the details of the fifteenth permutation of the same dream, or without the mile-by-mile account of the journey from Winterfell. Enough. I found some of the writing weaker in this book as well. The whole "Daenerys confronts her ghosts" ending didn't work for me at all. It seemed lame, derivative, and I'm surprised we never saw Mufasa on a thunderhead lecturing about the Circle of Life while they were at it. Tyrion's decision to treat "wherever [prostitutes] go" as some sort of riddle of the sphinx, rather than a dismissive, defiant remark from a man he was about to kill is confusing, and frankly seems beneath even average intelligence, let alone someone as insightful as he's supposed to be.

    All that said, it was still enjoyable. The Bolton/Baratheon/Nightswatch contest for control of the North is a return to the realpolitik that GRRM excels at. "Reek" proved an interesting reversal of fortune for Theon Greyjoy. For all that I disliked it's conclusion, I found the difficulty of taming dragons and ruling Mereen to be interesting challenges that were natural consequences of her prior actions. As for the next one, I hope it. . .improves? I don't know.

    Final note for the moment, what exactly was Pycelle trying to express to Kevan about the Margaery/moon tea thing? Merely that he'd spoken up at Cersei's insistence? Or that he'd lied about the whole thing?
  5. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    star 6
    Who knows about Pycelle. I tend to think he was going to say that it was for someone else, but never spoke up about it because Cersei cut him off and he's scared of her.

    Also...Connington was gay for Rhaegar, not Aegon. His silver prince with the beautiful purple eyes, the man who should have been king that Elia didn't deserve etc. This has been confirmed, btw.

    Theon and the North were easily the highlight of the book, we could've done without a few Mereen chapters. Though I can't believe he held off detailing the Stannis battle...I really think Ramsay (if he even wrote that letter) is talking rubbish about killing Stannis, else where the heck are Theon, Asha and Jeyne?
  6. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    What? This is even more obscure than the Loras/Renly thing. Why does he consistently writes things that leaves the reader absolutely no hints of these supposed relationships, and then announce them after the fact?

    I'd agree, both about the North, both in regards to Bolton's bluff, and to disappointment at being denied any confrontation with Stannis (if one actually happened). Though on the other hand, I don't quite get the purpose of the move, either. The Crows were staying neutral up until then. If he hadn't defeated Stannis, how would he be served by inviting even more enemies down upon himself?

    Also, am I alone in thinking that Aegon's survival is not really very earth-shattering at all? His backers are exactly the same as Daenerys's. Those people are actively working to facilitate their cooperation. Aegon has also expressed an eagerness to work with his aunt. Meanwhile, Daenerys has been the most reluctant of all the contenders for the crown in this entire series. Her focus has been much more on finding a home/family than taking power. I see no reason why she would object to Aegon either. So, ultimately, what happened? She gained one additional ally that is for the most part as powerless as her other adherents.
  7. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    star 6
    His claim to the North rests a lot on having 'Arya', if he thinks she's at the Wall (which is a logical place to run given Jon is there and thats where Mance and his 'washerwomen' came from) he wants them to bring her back. But going to the Wall in this weather is foolhardy, so he wants them to come to him.

    Also, it was confirmed because someone asked him 'I read it as Jon Connington being gay. Is that right?' and he said 'Yes, that is what I intended.' Not random 'LOL Dumbledore's gay' years later.

    Also Loras/Renly was not obscure in the slightest.
  8. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Well, I'm looking hard, especially after you claimed it was there. I just can't see any hints at all.

    Also, can someone convince me how Rhaegar isn't John Edwards?
  9. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    Well John Edwards is still alive :p
  10. HL&S Magistrate Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2001
    star 6
    I got all five hardcovers of the books and am just about to finish book 1. So far I must say the series was very loyal to it. But I can't wait to start book two and so on.
  11. Sebulba-X •X C2 C3 MW RSA•

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 6
    Finished the book...throughly enjoyed it.

    Loved:
    - Dany taking off on the dragon...that scene gave me chills just like Ned's death, albeit the happier sort.
    - Bran hooking into the Weirwood Matrix (lol)...reaching out to Theon, and I suspect, Jon via the Raven (the bit where the Raven squawks his full name towards the end), and even almost grabbing Ned's attention in the past...Pretty sure this will be how Jon's parents will be revealed. As awesome as that is/was, I hope he's able to leave there eventually...spending centuries underground growing roots thru your skull would be a "bittersweat ending". :\
    - Theon's arc is great...while I doubt he'll ever get any sort of redemption from the House of Stark, I'm pulling for it anyway.
    - Tyrion as always

    Really wished Tyrion would have made it to Dany at the end of the book...along with the arrival of the Iron Fleet, but that battle should start soon enough in the next book...being bombarded with diseased corpses has a way of doing that.

    Didn't really dislike anything...sure I get tired of hearing what they eat as much as the next person, but as much as I want the characters to get where they're going, I'm enjoyed their journey quite a bit.
  12. Sebulba-X •X C2 C3 MW RSA•

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 6
    Interesting article about who's left to cast for Season 2...posting it here since the brief character descriptions are more spoilerish than they let on:

    http://tvovermind.zap2it.com/cable/hbo/game-of-thrones/8-characters-cast-game-thrones-season-2/84575
  13. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    And that list doesn't even mention Craster, Pyat Pree, Strong Belwas, Garlan Tyrell, or Ramsay Bolton.

    I have to agree, though. Mackenzie Cook would make a great Vargo Hoat.
  14. AmazingB Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2001
    star 7
    Just finished. Immediate thoughts:

    -The Theon/Bolton chapters were by far my favorite. Every chapter seemed to build and lead to later chapters, while not revealing too much, which I felt was the strength of the first three books and sorely lacking in AFFC.
    -The Davos chapters were great, too, but I found it disappointing they left off so quickly. Was hoping for at least some semblance of payoff.
    -The Tyrion chapters were awesome too, if only because Tyrion is awesome, but I found them lacking compared to the other books. I was really hoping he'd make it to Dany. Tyrion at court is much more enjoyable than Tyrion the pig-jouster.
    -The Jon and Dany chapters, more so than any others, felt like AFFC, in that there were a lot of them and nothing seemed to happen in most. "I don't want to talk to Melisandre. Hi Melisandre!" "I can't sleep with Daario." *sleeps with Daario*

    Things I was hoping for:

    -More Bran chapters. Only three, and the last one halfway through? So much build up and walking (holy crap the walking) in ASOS, and only one chapter with the three-eyed crow.
    -Something, anything, on the Blackfish. Yeah, he was in AFFC, but I don't want to have to wait for WoW for more Blackfish badassery.
    -I was kind of hoping this would be the book to introduce Howland Reed. He has to show up eventually (right?), seemed a book half-focused on the North would be the time to do it.

    Things I'm tired of thanks entirely to ADWD:

    -Cyvasse. I especially hate that it's italicized.
    -Everything Mereen. I was kind of hoping that between Quentyn Martell, Victarion, Tyrion, Jon Connington, and Barristan Selmy, that at some point Dany would turn her attention to Westeros. Or at the very least head for Qarth. Seems like the most interesting of the eastern cities.
    -"Wherever whores go." Almost as annoying as "I'm looking for a highborn maid of three-and-ten."

    Things that made me sad:

    -Jon's "death." Though I don't think he's really dead, or at least won't stay dead. Martin tends to not kill off characters during their own POV chapters (non-prologue and -epilogue division). Catelyn is the only character who has died during her own POV (Quentyn Martell technically died during Barristan Selmy's), and she was resurrected.
    -Jojen's imminent death.
    -Kevan Lannister dying after finally stepping out of Tywin's shadow. He was pretty awesome in AFFC. But at least Varys is back. Every time a new character was introduced, regardless of the location, I wondered if it might be Varys disguised, if only briefly.
    -I was hoping for more back story on Lyanna/Rhaegar. Barristan Selmy being with Dany, the Reeds and Bran (and my aforementioned hope that Howland Reed would make an appearance), I was hoping for something. Though we did find out why Ashara Dayne killed herself. I guess that's something.

    All in all, I enjoyed ADWD more than AFFC, but not quite as much as the first three. The political intrigue was at it's strongest in the first three. And I feel like AFFC and ADWD have been dragged down by pointless chapters while Martin maneuvers his pieces into place. With only two books left (hopefully), I want to believe everything is set up to start paying off various storylines. But now we have to wait a couple (hopefully) years to find out.


    Amazing.
  15. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    I pretty much agree with all of B's thoughts, and they tend to align with the majority opinion on the book that I've encountered.


    Also...it's the end of July, are we spoiler free now?
  16. AmazingB Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2001
    star 7
    Couple of the more open-ended things I've been thinking about:

    -When Melisandre is explaining the glamor to Jon, she casually mentions using a bag of finger bones. Given the emphasis GRRM put on Davos' luck, there could be a Davor glamor running around.
    -Gerion Lannister was referenced an awful lot in both AFFC and ADWD, with some other mentions previously. Characters who are presumed dead, but just disappeared, seem to have a habit of turning up alive.
    -I think Tommen's death was foreshadowed with reference to the cat scaring outside his window. GRRM doesn't just throw stuff like that in for no reason.


    Amazing.
  17. Coruscant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 6
    Now that it's August, I can share my thoughts about ADWD unencumbered by HTR.

    I want to start by saying I really, really enjoyed this book while I was reading it. With characters like Dany, Tyrion, and Jon, how could you not? When I was done with 80% of the Jon stuff, however, I really started to loathe his chapters and began actively rooting for his death. I saw the backstabbing coming from a mile away. And all in all, when I was 90% through the book, I began to enjoy it less and less as I realized that it wasn't going to properly climax. Take this quote from John Gardner's The Art of Fiction:

    A novel is like a symphony in that its closing movement echoes and resounds with all that has gone before. ... Toward the close of a novel, the writer brings back- directly or in the form of his characters' recollections- images, characters, events, and intellectual motifs encountered earlier. Unexpected connections begin to surface, hidden causes become plain; life becomes, however briefly and unstably, organized; the universe reveals itself, if only for the moment, as inexorably moral; the outcome of the various characters' actions is at last manifest; and we see the responsibility of free will. It is this closing orchestration that the novel exists for. [italics mine] If such a close does not come, for whatever theoretically good reason, we shut the book with feelings of dissatisfaction, as if cheated.


    For theoretically good reasons, GRRM had to move several chapters, already written, to the beginning of TWOW. The reason I've heard most is that the book would be too long to publish in one piece. But I really think the publishers should've found a way to publish it all as one big book. They really could have, because I've seen hardcover books bigger than ADWD.

    When Manderly tells Davos where to go, quite far from the end of the book, that's the last we see of him. We don't see him in Skagos, getting Bran.
    When Dany flies off on her dragon at the end of the second act, that's the last we see of her until the very last chapter. The titular character is absent for the closing orchestration.
    When Bolton and Stannis finally meet and the battle for the North is imminent, instead we get a letter that could be totally false and shortly after becomes a cheap cliffhanger.
    When Victarion consolidates his fleet and basically acquires a magic hand, and Meereen is within his sights, that's the last we see of him.
    When Tyrion is sitting outside the walls of Meereen and it finally becomes apparent that there is a plan that can see him on the other side of those walls, that's the last we see of him, too.

    When GRRM announced that Barristan Selmy would become a PoV character, I was intrigued. Why would this be necessary, I wondered. After reading ADWD, it's obvious. Selmy had to stand in for Dany for what was going on in Meereen. The resolution of Dany's story in ADWD is conducted in his four chapters, instead of the character's own.

    GRRM made a lot of noise about the trouble he had with the "Meereenese Knot," a point at which the story became exceedingly difficult to write. It seems to me he "solved" the knot by either 1.) not solving and untying the knot, and simply delaying the problem, as with Victarion and Tyrion, or 2.) removing the character of the hour entirely out of the picture.

    An argument could be made that ADWD is deliberately anti-climactic. That the fact that certain characters will not be united for the first time is the latest bitter twist in a series renowned for such things. But I don't think so. In the previous novels, the "outcome of the characters' actions" were clearly manifested. The twists were inherent in things actually happening. Ned lost his head, he didn't wander around the riverlands for months first. Mirri Maaz Duur took the soul of Khal Drogo and Dany smothered him with a pillow; Martin didn't simply end that storyline with Dany standing outside the tent as the maegi worked on Drogo. When Stannis sailed on King's Landing, we got a ****ing battle; it beg
  18. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Technically the trial will only be the Winds of Winter. :p

    Generally I agree, except about the 'Meerenese knot'. I think it was how to write all the characters so they arrived at the right time and in a logical fashion, and how to tie that in with events elsewhere so the timeline was correct.

    The trouble was if he resolved it to his satisfaction, which I think he did (right now Quentyn's gone, the dragons are free, Dany is about to return and Tyrion and Victarion are poised to strike, and the development of the battle starting and why was handled by Barristan)..he should have shown the damn final battle that is the resolution of the entire storyline. Same with Stannis and Winterfell.

    I would've gladly traded a few pages of food, turtle, and clothing descriptions for that.
  19. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Having not read GRRM's comments, I can't say I'm exactly sure what the "Mereenese knot" is supposed to be. If I had to guess, though, it's the problem of what to do with that setup, and more particularly how to have it resolve so that Daenerys can leave and move on. That being the case, it's my personal opinion, as I've expressed elsewhere, that he wrote himself into a corner. It's difficult to get her out because she has no real reason to leave. He developed quite a strong rationale for her to stay, and never over the course of a 900+ novel seriously challenged it. At the end of the day, there has to be more of a reason for her to leave than "everyone reading the books expects that's going to happen." Where is the internal logic and character motivation?
  20. Master_Jacen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2003
    star 6
    Hodor hodor hodor! Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor! Hodor hodor hodor hodor? Hodor Hodor! Hodor. Hodorhodorhodorohodor! Hodor hodor, hodor! Hodor.


    Hodor hodor,
    hodor.
  21. Coruscant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 6
    Hodor hodor hodor hodor, hodor hodor hodor hodor!
  22. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 7
    I'm all done with all the current books, but I have no idea where we're going now? Did I read correctly that there are to be two more? How long until the next one is published? Or will we be waiting years?
  23. AmazingB Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2001
    star 7
    I'm all done with all the current books, but I have no idea where we're going now? Did I read correctly that there are to be two more? How long until the next one is published? Or will we be waiting years?

    Two more are scheduled. Though with all the storylines that need resolving, as soon as they finished ADWD people were predicting that three more, at least, would be needed. From what I've read, GRRM has about 100 pages of The Winds of Winter completed, but he doesn't plan on getting back into writing it until next year. Assuming he can write the remaining books at the same pace as the first three, we might only be two years away from the next one, but I wouldn't count on it. I read something recently from one of his editors that some scenes were cut that would have resolved some of the cliffhangers because they were very involved and would have taken another year to write, which is frightening. I think the best hope is that HBO keeps renewing the show, which will force him to keep up.

    Amazing.
  24. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    He's already said he's not concerned about the show...he's already told them the general resolution of the plot so they can finish regardless of what happens with the books. [face_plain]

    3 years at an absolute minimum for the next I would suggest, but since hopefully he's back on the original track for the series it goes quicker than AFFC/ADWD did.
  25. Piltdown Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 5
    Get used to waiting, people.

    :(

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