Amph ASOIAF: "A Clash of Kings" Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapter Thirty-Two: Sansa

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    And here we go: Prologue

    Summary: a 3-man patrol on the Wall are massacred; or at least two of them are. The fate of the third man is obscure.

    Some Thoughts: Good atmosphere, and a very effective ending. But it's both slow and prolix, with sprinklings of back story. Signs for the future.

    For ye Fanboys: Ice Zombies!

    Where Have I Seen This Before? In quite a few horror movies.

    Grammatical Errors: 2

    The Department of Silly Names: Martin is not good at names and it starts right at the beginning. I don't mind "Ser" which is a patois corruption of "Sir"; I've seen it before. But Waymar? And he is introduced by his full name, which reminds me of the early Robert Ludlum book, "The Scarlatti Inheritance" in which Ludlum gave middle names to every character, including a bit-playing hit man. The effect was hilarious. Here it is merely awkward.

    Criminal Record: 2 murders.

    Rating: 4/5
  2. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Chapter One: Bran

    Summary: The fate of the third man becomes clear; and we meet a family.

    Some Thoughts: (1)Child POV is trickier than people think. In the hands of an artist like, say, Henry James (ie. "What Maisie Knew") it can be extraordinary. Here the POV of the seven-year-old is done without much imagination, and without the odd misunderstandings of adult behaviour that actual seven-year-olds frequently have.

    (2) We start with a variant of it was a dark and stormy night: "The morning had dawned clear and cold..."

    For ye Fanboys: A beheading!

    Where Have I Seen This Before? Dept: The wolf cub prophecy? "I, Claudius" actually.

    Grammatical Errors: 0

    Speaking Forsoothly: Someone actually says: "I like it not." I kid you not.

    The Department of Silly Names: The kid is named for a breakfast cereal. Mance Rayder? Subtle! Jory Cassel and Theon Greyjoy? Seriously? Just try and say the latter seven times quickly.

    What we learn: Background on Eddard Stark. (See: Richard, 3rd Duke of York)

    Criminal Record: 2 murders, 1 execution.

    Rating: 3/5
  3. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    So you're making an entire thread dedicated to how bad this series is. I admire your dedication if nothing else. :p

    I am confused on your issues with the names though. They seem fairly standard 'fantasy' names to me, certainly not any worse than Frodo or Glorfindel. And Bran's name is Brandon.
  4. hansen Force Ghost

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    You're not gonna win him over on the name issue by using examples from LotR, because he somehow hates that too.
  5. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Good on him. Frodo, Bilbo and Glorfindel are stupid names.

    I just don't think Brandon, Eddard, Waymar or Theon are anywhere close to that ridiculous. :p
  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    I like how there's a running count of grammatical errors, as if those carry any weight outside of academia and formal documentation.
  7. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    On a more serious note-

    Zaz, what sort of discussion are you trying to engender here? You seem to intend to:
    a) Insult Martin's prose
    b) Insult his names
    c) Insult his editing
    d) Call anyone that likes the the book fanboys
    e) Call everything in the book derivative, though not discuss why, or whether Martin does anything differently

    Then, despite saying nothing positive besides 'good ending', you give a rating of 4/5.

    Any chance you could actually discuss some of the shortcomings, as you perceive them, other than 'there was also a dead wolf in I Claudius' and 'Martin's names are silly.'? There could be a good thread here given the passion this series is usually regarded with, but this sort of post isn't going to help that along.

    On this name issue, do you think everyone should have names we would consider 'normal'? If not, what are the problems with the names as given?

    I actually tend to agree on the 'slow' issue, particularly for the majority of this book and most of the 4th. Both suffer from massive buildups with a flood of 'action' at the end, though of course not much resolution.
  8. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    What Marcus said. I mean, if you're going to claim Ned is some pastiche of Richard Duke of York, at least explain why. We're getting into the whole set of issues I brought up in the last thread.
  9. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Sure, the series has "silly" names, but it also has "normal" names like Robert, Jon, Sam, Jaime, etc. Nice job of focusing on only what you want to see, Nevermind.
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    I see; you wanted in-depth examination of why I don't like this series, but now you want to dictate how I do it. Sorry. My thread this time.

    Re: Silly names. So far my favorite is: "Argilac the Arrogant, the last Storm King". Sounds good, right? But think about it. Why was he called the last Storm King? Did he control the weather? And if so, did Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Water Spouts get together to oust him in favour of an autonomous collective? Whenever I think I might be in a fantasy realm, Martin's flat-footed names and silly world-building pulls me out of it. He says himself that the devil is in the details. No ****.

    You can read the material on Richard of York and decide for yourself.

  11. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    He was King of the Stormlands, an area on the coast prone to frequent thunderstorms. His castle was called Storm's End.

    I guess Louis XIV controlled the sun. :p
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    [face_laugh] I guess he did. Reminds me of Arglebargle IV from "Bored of the Rings".



  13. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

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    Nevermind: Hello. :) I said I'd like to read your thoughts on this series and I have so far.

    I like names. No, correction: I *love* names. I particularly like descriptive names like are often used in fantasy. Why do they bother you? Is it because you deem them unrealistic? American Indian names are descriptive of nature, personality, aspirations. They aren't unrealistic. I think descriptive names are used in fantasy to not only inform the reader about something of the character in question but to indicate that it's not set on Earth or at least the Earth we know. Why is that a detractor?

    I found it interesting that you suggested that I use names that 'seem less made up' in my drama set in England. I found that curious. As Egan, Jae, and Ilar aren't made up at all but they are of different linguistical origins which is intentional as many of my characters are not solely Caucasian.
  14. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Based on my limited knowledge of the Wars of the Roses, while yes, Ned hates his king's queen and a significant number of the court, he never wants the throne for himself. He doesn't want a war. He loves the king and wants him to remain on the throne.

    In fact, his biggest folly is not seizing the throne when he had the chance.
  15. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Hi, Dooku; that was merely a comment; it depends on what you want to achieve. If realism is your goal, then more standard names might be better. If it is to be a fantasy, then by all means. That's why I asked you that question.

    However: someone upthread commented on the names in LOTR. I'm not a giant fan of it (though "The Hobbit" remains one of my favorite books), but the names are consistent. Their slight absurdity don't bother me, because it's obviously deliberate. I doubt that's true here. For instance, in this same chapter, the huntsman is named Hullen, which is fine. He can get it right sometimes. (But something like 'Howland Reed' sounds like a name in a Edith Wharton novel.)

    Rowling does the same thing as Tolkien; nearly all the ordinary people in HP have slightly absurd names. The chief politician is named Cornelius Fudge, which is just right, somehow. The bad guys have ominous names. The grey area is occupied by the anti-heroes, Sirius Black and Severus Snape. Remus Lupin gives an impression of both the character's dilemma, and weakness.

    Only in the last book does her ear betray her somewhat: Kendra? And Pius Thicknesse is too much. Those two should have been edited out.

  16. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

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    Nevermind: Realism is my personal goal as my story is a tribute piece. Yet, a consideration worthy of noting is that what is standard names here in the US doesn't always match with the UK or other regions of the world. :)

    In my case, I usually name a character a name that fits his personality: Egan = Fiery One. My Liam tribute char is called this as a reflection of his passionate nature. He bears a Celtic forename and a Scottish surname. In my writing I indicate why as his part in the tale unfolds. And, yes, he is still Irish by birth.

    I'll grant you, other people's character names can strike anyone odd, silly, funny if we don't know the author's reasoning behind chosing them and even sometimes when we do. Even so, an author tends to have reasons for what they do. Whether others *understand* what it was, is up to perception.

    I like Remus Lupin not only the name connection to a wolf myth and a non-subtle clue that he may well be a werewolf all presented in a name. He's a great character. My fave in PoA, though I've only seen the film, not read the book.
  17. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Perhaps instead of analyzing something as being "silly" the first time you come across it in the text, why not hold off on your opinion until you have read more so you can see the context of that name? If you had waited, you would know all about the castle of Storm's End and its significance. But now you are just appearing to be foolish for the sake of being foolish. Same goes for your opinion of Theon Greyjoy.
  18. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    But Lupin is also rather a weak person in some ways, and Rowling's choice of name reflects that, too.

    Note: I have read this book before, folks. The first 300 pages or so are by far the best of it; but they are still not good.

    You said I couldn't 'just have an opinion', so you are getting the reasons in details. That you don't agree is fine. But my presentation of my opinion will be at my discretion, though I note your suggestions.
  19. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

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    Nevermind: You present the view that Remus Lupin as a name reflects the character's weakness. How is this so to you? I merely see the wolf connections. I'm curious to understand. :)
  20. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    One thing you've got to understand about this story is that things are revealed very gradually.

    Number one, Martin just drops you right into the center of his world. There's no buildup. It's just "here are the characters, GO!" So many things are mentioned matter-of-factly between the characters without any explanation or history. This is one of those series where you have to pay very close attention, as things are revealed piecemeal.

    Compare this to, say, Harry Potter. We see the introduction to magic through Harry's eyes, and because he is new to the concept, things have to be explained to him, and consequently, they are explained to the reader. And since Harry doesn't know anyone, pretty much every time Harry encounters someone, they say "Hi, I'm so-and-so, my whole family are wizards, and did you know...., etc."

    But in Game of Thrones, everyone already knows everyone, and they all know the history of their world. So we don't get the nice convenient exposition that Rowling wrote. And that adds to the realism of Martin's writing.

    Case in point, take a look at the Dany chapters. When I read the series for the first time, it took me a long time to realize just who Dany was and what her significance was. Many other series would state flat out "o hai, im Dany. My dad wuz king, but he died and my brother and I ran away from the people who killed him."
  21. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Yes, each chapter is an information dump. We will get into the problem of Bad Exposition in the next chapter.
  22. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Speaking as a member of a message board of a Star Wars fansite, I'm not totally sure we have a right to complain about bad exposition. "Here's some exposition!" "Now some action!" "More exposition! Exposition exposition! Your father's exposition!" "More action!" "More exposition! Hokey religions and ancient exposition are no match for a good exposition!" "Who's more foolish the fool or the exposition?" "Action stuff!" "I used to bullseye exposition like that, they're not bigger than 2 meters!" "Action!" "End!"
  23. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Martin does resemble Mr. Lucas rather a lot. [face_laugh]

  24. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Not even close. Martin is a genius when it comes to writing. Lucas has his strengths, but he is rather lazy in the writing department.
  25. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Well, no, I wanted an explanation of your feelings on the series. I don't particularly care how you do it, as long as you do it. Which, so far, you're not. It's the same "Ned is Richard of York because I say so. Figure it our yourself because I refuse to explain myself." I've read the material on Richard of York. He and Ned are both people vaguely involved in struggles over the throne. Almost none of the details line up. The only real link is that, once one has decided something is a pastiche of something else, one can always contort everything into the boxes as needed by playing fast and loose. So if you want to convince anybody, then explain yourself. Justify your assessment with some kind of reference to the text and the facts. Otherwise the obvious assumption is that either you can't justify it, or that you're not interested in justifying it, only in being able to claim authority while bashing the books. If you're not going to explain yourself, don't blame us for not buying your proclamations.