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. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    It would sort of defeat the point of the story though. Since these books aren't about the political intrigue, really.
  2. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Another example of you failing to read further in the text before analyzing. Septa isn't her name; it's her title.
  3. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Dany never comes alive as a character, as hard as he tries. I found her chapters a terrible slog the first time; they haven't improved any, either.

  4. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    And how far along have you read to know that Dany "never comes alive as a character"? Her journey is one of the best in the series. Again, try reading further before you judge.
  5. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Chapter Eight: Bran

    Summary: Bran's career as a voyeur comes to an abrupt end.

    Some Thoughts: The idea that the queen and her twin could carry on a 15-year incestuous relationship without discovery in the middle of a large royal court is fairly ridiculous; especially if their general security is as lax as it is here. I would think they'd desist while in a strange place, but that would be logical. Note: four poster beds were popular in medieval times for a reason. They were warm, and they afforded privacy. You know, like *curtains*. Not only do the Queen and her brother have sex, they discuss matters they both already know about (see: As You Know, Captain)

    For ye Fanboys: Kissing your sister.

    Where Have I Seen This Before? Dept: Egyptian royalty went in for it, as do the Whatevers, that molten-silver-haired and lilac-eyed lot who were unthroned, and now go about twisting their sister's nipples by way of expressing their displeasure.

    Grammatical Errors: The constant repetition is beginning to get to me.

    Speaking Forsoothly: "I tell you, he loves me not."

    Bad dialogue: "He's still in love with the sister, the insipid little dead sixteen-year-old."

    Purple Prose: "...sweet and cold as a winter peach."

    As You Know, Captain: Instead of calling his sister by her name, he calls her 'sister' and 'sweet sister' in case we've forgotten they are siblings. (Granted this is always a possibility, because keeping people straight around here isn't easy.)

    It's So Good I have to repeat it: "...but he was not afraid. How could he be afraid?" Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

    The Department of Silly Names: Jackpot! Serwyn of the Mirror Shield. Ser Ryam Redwyne. Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. The twins Ser Erryk and Ser Arryk (!) and my undoubted fave, Barristan the Bold.

    Characterization: Not much, except the Queen and Jaime's pillow talk is pretty absurd.

    What we learn: Voyeurism is dangerous.

    Not thinking it out: See: Some Thoughts.

    Criminal Record: 2 murders, 1 execution, incest, treason, attempted murder of a child.

    POVs to date: 5

    Bran's character arc to date: Watching Execution/Victim of attempted murder/
  6. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    I like some of Martin's names. :D

    Of the latest post I like: Barristan the Bold. :)
  7. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Yeah, I understand that, Dooku, but don't you think it sounds just a bit like a former Soviet republic? o_O Not Kazakhstan, but next door? Just saying.

    I forgot to answer your answer your question re: Remus Lupin, and it's just an impression.
  8. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Nevermind: Not really. I'm not well versed in history or geography. What country/area/republic does it remind you of?
  9. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Balochistan, a province of Pakistan, is the one I'm thinking of. Or Uzbekistan. Or something. It depends upon the time of day, I think. :)

  10. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Eh, to me it looks more like he took "barrister" and then changed it slightly.

    Nice to see this one was longer, it's definitely much improved over the previous chapters' posts, although still kind of a ways to go.
  11. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Interesting. :)

    So, are you saying that being able to draw similarities to real things, history, personal experience is a bad thing to you when it comes to fictional works? If so, why?
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Didn't say that at all. The series is derivative, but then all fantasy is, including Tolkien, who based his stories on folk tales, etc. Don't mind that element per se; just noting it.

    The historical stuff is a pretty common base-point since "The Lions of Al-Rassan" (which is based on Moorish Spain). I've seen the same material used quite effectively in modern dress non-fantasy: "The Wheel of Fortune" comes to mind. Martin uses bits and pieces here and there--nothing with any particular consistency, but it's quite recognizable. He does change it up--an example is the reason for the illegitimacy of the King's children--but they all do that. Good writers are quite common, but good plot-writers are not. That's why you can read excellent fanfics on the 'net, but when the same writers do an original, it's quite often lifeless. It's very strange; they seem to need a basic story to riff on. (And that's true of authors as brilliant as Shakespeare.) Here the basic story is given the faux-medieval treatment, and that's where things get dicey. I'm finding characterization an increasing problem, too. More than I remember, even. And the style is overwritten and often flat-footed. He *is* like Lucas in that he's got ye giant tin ear. Lucas does have a marvelous eye, though, which makes up for a lot.

    The best thing? There's no damn Elves. :)
  13. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I'd say the closest things to elves are the mentioned 'Children of the Forest', and they're extinct (maybe.)

    I wouldn't be shocked to see them show up or influence events in the last few books though.
  14. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    What is being flat-footed and a tin ear? :)

    Well, pretty much all stories are based somehow on Human experience so in that way there is nothing original to use...all we can do is the best we can to cause others to consider whatever our plot points/issues/messages are in a slightly fresh/new way. :)

  15. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    I think it was heavily implied that there are some Children still living on the Isle of Faces.
  16. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oh, damn. :p

    Dooku, what I'm trying to talk about here is sympathetic imagination, which I think every artist needs to have to be successful. I love reading history, and sometimes you can read a book in which previously inexplicable things suddenly do make sense, because the author can interpret them properly and put them in context. An example of that is the book "Young Melbourne" by David Cecil. It's a biography of the author's collateral ancestor, Queen's Victoria's first Prime Minister. Sounds dry, right? It isn't. The book reads like a really first-rate novel, and has some marvelous characters. Melbourne had a famously difficult wife, Lady Caroline Lamb, who nearly ruined his career because of a flaming affair she had with Lord Byron (yes, the poet). Yet Cecil handles her in a way that not only makes you understand her, but have sympathy for her, and Byron, too, despite their awful behaviour toward each other and toward her long-suffering and humiliated husband and his unfortunate wife.

    Online excerpts

    [Deep breath] You will see critics who say that you can't write about, say, the Afro-American experience unless you *are* one. Not if you have sympathetic imagination, IMO. Take Billie Holiday's signature song, "Strange Fruit".

    The lyrics:

    Strange Fruit

    Southern trees bear strange fruit,
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
    Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
    Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

    Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
    The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
    Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
    Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

    Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
    For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
    For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop,
    Here is a strange and bitter crop.

    Written by a Jewish school teacher from the Bronx named Abel Meeropol. Maybe he couldn't sing it like Holliday could, but he had the ability to *write* it, because of sympathetic imagination--he could envisage how it felt.

    In the case of the underlying story in AGOT, I don't think most people realize how very strong it is. The Howatch treatment, "The Wheel of Fortune" is nobody's idea of a great novel--the author's not an artist, technically--but it is a gripper, because she does have at least some s/i and a good story to tell. She does approximations of John of Gaunt and two Kings of England, in this case Richard II and Henry IV, and though I thought the Richard figure was eventually not entirely persuasive, the other two are. [This book is out of print, I think, but if you can get a copy...]

    A lot of people say that this book is addictive, and I think it's the plot. Unfortunately, Martin's style fights the plot the whole long way, eventually winning a Pyrrhic victory over it. I often see what he is trying for--he tries to use words for colour and mood. He's just not very good at it. When I say he has a tin ear, I mean nobody in the whole wide world talks like that, ever talked like that, will ever talk like that. And in descriptive passages, he undercuts often good attempts because he will use the wrong word or phrase, bringing you thuddingly out of the fantasy.

  17. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Gotta take an exception to this claim. It implies a sort of definitiveness that just isn't there. You can personally be put off by stylistic hangups, but unless you get the majority of people who read these books giving up and saying "Ugh, this style is dreadful, totally made me unable to dig the plot," then I'd hardly say the stylistic errors won. If anything, given the fact that most people who read the book stick around in spite of the syntax, you could claim it lost.

    Mind you, the exact same logic applies to truly horrendous vaporware reads (Oh hello Twilight), but I don't think it's fair to claim absoluteness in a wholly subjective medium based purely on your opinion. Opens up a tremendous can of worms, that.
  18. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    The majority of people wouldn't know good style if it hit them in the *****. Otherwise this wouldn't be so popular. I can't comment about Twilight, which I haven't read. (I guess a Chapter by Chapter on that one would be interesting, too, if non-PC. Remember, you are saying, essentially that popularity means quality.) It's very seldom true.

    Chapter Eight tomorrow.
  19. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    You know what? I was going to counter that I wasn't arguing popularity implies quality, but I think I will.

    Quality is subjective and thus subject to opinions. In democratic fields, majority opinion is equated with overall opinion. Therefore if the majority think something is of sufficiently high quality, it is. What other metric is there? What makes anyone's opinion somehow "more valid" than another's? Experience? If I need experience as a prerequisite to enjoy something, can I truly say I enjoyed it? Is it fair to discount the opinions of the uninitiated just because they're "outsiders" to the small circular structure of mental masturbation that is the critical realm?

    And then there's this
    So bloody what? What the hell even constitutes good style? Wit? Brevity? Conciseness? Word choice? Syntax? What makes one sentence "better" than another sentence? What objective standard makes, say, A Game of Thrones, worse than, say, Moby Dick? I argue that such a standard does not exist. And if more people enjoy AGoT than enjoy Moby Dick, why in the nine hells would you argue Moby Dick has more right to be called quality literature? Because your tastes are "superior"? I mean, I suppose I was 16 once as well but does anyone older than 20 outside of Portland, Oregon honestly believe they have a right to make that claim?

    So yes, I do think popularity implies quality, and if that's too horrifying a prospect for you, than I advise you to develop an objective standard. Good luck.
  20. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    I can't wait to read "Twilight", then. It must be the best book ever. [face_laugh]
  21. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Nevermind: thank you for clarifying what a tin ear is. :) Though I wouldn't label it Sympathatic imagination, from what you've said, I try to use it when I write, especially outside my personal experience. It's linked to my natural empathy, I think.

    Darthramza: What constitutes quality in a work is very subjective. Similar to Nevermind, for me, popularity is solemn indeed a good meter by which to measure it. Personally, I don't often hold the same views/standards/perceptions of soecity. Take AGOT and the Twilight Saga. Based off of reading reviews, I know I shan't bother reading either series as they don't appeal to me. Yet, I am very curious about what others think of things which is why I'm reading this thread and the reviews.

    Soecity does often act as though supposed 'majority opinion' equates the only opinion or at least the only one that matters and I don't hold to this reasoning.
  22. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Okay, but watch getting *too* involved with your characters. If you are too busy working out your own fantasies, you won't be in control of your plot. *Ahem*
  23. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Nevermind: Thank you for the warning but I'm very intimately invovled with everything that I write from characters to plot. Being very involved with one's characters doesn't automatically mean that one will lose/lack a strong plot. :)
  24. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Very true. However, you could also watch how you do the sex scenes, try to avoid porniness, and repetitive degradation; you don't want people to say that it's serving your fantasies instead of the plot. It should involve character, or a plot element, otherwise you're just pandering. *Ahem*


    A query: do you care about commercial viability?
  25. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Nevermind: I am *very* careful *indeed* how I handle my Intimacy scenes in my work, Sir! I don't appreciate the implication that I'm not when you haven't seen anything but my info sheet. [face_not_talking] I work *extremely* hard to have them linked to character and *healing*.

    No, money has never been a reason for why I write and now I will end my association with you as I don't relish being attacked. Good day, Sir!