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What books are you reading?

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30 Mar 2022 11:38 #331977 by Joebot
Replied by Joebot on topic What books are you reading?

n815e wrote: I haven’t read any GoT books because he hasn’t finished them yet.

But I love the show.
Watching it, I get involved in these deep plot lines and complex character lives, then they suddenly die.
And that may be engaging and that may put readers/viewers on edge about the future of anyone in the series. However, it struck me as really lazy writing, as though the author created these plots around characters and they are so complex that he didn’t know how to tie them up, so off with their heads.
And that makes it easy. You don’t have to figure out how to resolve plot lines when their protagonist is dead.


That may be true in the later books, but I don't think it was true at the beginning. If you look at (spoiler alert for a 25 year old book) Ned's death, it was meticulously plotted to lead the reader to that point for maximum gut-punch. He led you to believe there was going to be an "out" for Ned (send Ned to Wall, where he could reunite with Jon). I REALLY thought that was where the book was going. And then when it didn't ... holy shit. I don't think Martin did that because he didn't know what to do with Ned, so fuck 'im, I'll just kill him.

Now, by book 5 when Martin has totally lost the thread of his own narrative ... yeah, maybe. But the cast has also gotten so sprawling and unwieldy that he probably has to thin the herd a bit, to get the story back under control. Doesn't seem like that's ever going to happen though.
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30 Mar 2022 12:53 #331980 by jason10mm
I certainly think the POV chapter concept bloated the books since GRRM needs a specific POV character to be able to 'witness' an event directly and it gets difficult to have just a few characters cover every scene of interest.

I also think he has a hard time letting some characters just fade into obscurity. Arya COULD have disappeared across the waters, none of her stuff as a faceless one acolyte seems to have any real value to the story. Tyrion loitering around Danys city, etc, plenty of stuff that could have been BLUFed over a campfire chat but GRRM has lost the ability to allude to something momentous rather than exhaustively describe it.

I have virtually no enthusiasm for any more Westeros, particularly the dry "history of..." type stuff his team is churning out now. As much as I enjoyed the first three books, getting through AFFC and ADWD again would be tough knowing there may never be more than the show to wrap it up.

I'm actually really surprised he hasn't kicked it over to a ghost writer (admitting it or not) just to move stuff out. Plenty of folks can tie together his scenes if thats all he wants to focus on.

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30 Mar 2022 13:07 #331981 by Gary Sax
GRRM has said that he doesn't care, he would never let someone ghostwrite his book even if it meant it never finished.

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30 Mar 2022 13:47 #331982 by Kmann
Replied by Kmann on topic What books are you reading?

Gary Sax wrote: GRRM has said that he doesn't care, he would never let someone ghostwrite his book even if it meant it never finished.


Talk about flipping the bird to his fans. Between that attitude, his enthusiasm to write anything and everything except for his own book and the dire last season of the show I'm surprised there's any GoT fans left at all.

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30 Mar 2022 15:40 #331983 by Gary Sax
I don't go for most fan entitlement. That's exactly how I'd feel. If I die and don't finish, tough fucking shit.
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30 Mar 2022 16:00 #331984 by Not Sure
Nobody's going to be happy with an ending anyway, so forget it.

It's probably better to go out as an unfinished "what could have been" than to get a 9.9 on the landing and continually hear how it could have been better.

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30 Mar 2022 16:31 #331985 by fightcitymayor

Gary Sax wrote: I don't go for most fan entitlement. That's exactly how I'd feel. If I die and don't finish, tough fucking shit.

It feels like both sides could probably lower the temp a bit in their dialogue. No one should be chaining GRRM to a desk & whipping him until he produces the last two ASOIAF books. And conversely, a person who owes his entire career & financial well-being to the fans could probably show a little more grace & gratitude towards their input.

So there's your both-sides'ism for the day, enjoy! :P
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30 Mar 2022 16:57 #331986 by Gary Sax
The internet has forever burned away my feeling that there can be any actual healthy relationship between artists and fans, but I know where you're coming from.
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30 Mar 2022 17:44 #331987 by Jackwraith

jason10mm wrote: I also think he has a hard time letting some characters just fade into obscurity. Arya COULD have disappeared across the waters, none of her stuff as a faceless one acolyte seems to have any real value to the story. Tyrion loitering around Danys city, etc, plenty of stuff that could have been BLUFed over a campfire chat but GRRM has lost the ability to allude to something momentous rather than exhaustively describe it.


Arya and Tyrion are two of the most important characters to the story so I have not the first clue what you're suggesting here. If you don't like their storylines, fine. But suggesting that it's somehow a failing of Martin's for not just writing them off a cliff in the background is absurd. As joebot pointed out, there's also zero validity to the idea of Martin killing off characters that he doesn't know what to do with. Every step of Ned's path to death was predictable. So, likewise, was Robb's. The only difference between them was that Ned was a viewpoint character (who, by and large, have stayed alive because they're whom the story is about (see: Arya and Tyrion)) and Robb wasn't. Also, any number of "momentous" events took place off camera; not least many of the military events with Robb, his marriage, Tywin Lannister's relief of King's Landing (which we only saw the aftereffect of), and on and on. You could almost write another book about all the shit that Cersei does off-camera in the story which has a major impact on proceedings.

Everyone has their own opinion on the quality of the books. I wouldn't tell you that you have to agree that they're great because that's absurd. You like what you like. There is plenty of criticism to be voiced about the books, the storyline in general, and Martin's writing style. It just won't mesh with some people and you can certainly argue technical points. But there's about 10x the amount of utterly unfounded criticism about those same things.

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30 Mar 2022 19:37 #331988 by Sagrilarus
Another thread co-opted by Game of Thrones.

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30 Mar 2022 20:43 #331990 by n815e
Replied by n815e on topic What books are you reading?

Sagrilarus wrote: Another thread co-opted by Game of Thrones.


memegenerator.net/instance/48833654/yall...them-game-of-thrones

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31 Mar 2022 03:06 #331994 by Greg Aleknevicus

Gary Sax wrote: I don't go for most fan entitlement. That's exactly how I'd feel. If I die and don't finish, tough fucking shit.

If we were talking about stand-alone works, I'd be in full agreement with you. But with serialized/episodic works, I believe there's an unspoken promise on the part of the creator that they'll actually complete the story. Normally, there's no need to call out the creator on this "promise" because they usually have the desire and incentive to do so of their own accord. But this case isn't normal and I understand why fans are so upset.
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31 Mar 2022 18:14 #332016 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic What books are you reading?

Sagrilarus wrote: Another thread co-opted by Game of Thrones.

Can we kick Pat Rothfuss around then? The Kingkiller Chronicles were entertaining, especially if you want to find out exactly what your Marty Stu tolerance threshold is (hint: better be pretty high). But I was kind of hoping for an ending.
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31 Mar 2022 19:33 #332018 by dysjunct
In times of need, I like to return to this chestnut:

journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html
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01 Apr 2022 09:04 #332024 by jason10mm

Jackwraith wrote: Arya and Tyrion are two of the most important characters to the story so I have not the first clue what you're suggesting here. If you don't like their storylines, fine. But suggesting that it's somehow a failing of Martin's for not just writing them off a cliff in the background is absurd.


Eh, Arya and Tyrion both lost any influence they may have had and then ran off. We probably don't really need to know the specifics of Aryas time as a Faceless acolyte, she COULD have just reappeared back in Winterfell or wherever her storyline is going and all the training/blindness stuff just alluded to. Same with Tyrion. Do we need to SEE his travels across Essos? I think it would have been way more impactful if he just appeared at Dany's side and all the circus stuff was...alluded to.

Think about how he wrote Stoneheart or Clegane. They sorta appear in and out of other stories but we never get a long detailed narrative about their daily life. The show does this for Clegane IIRC with the whole Ian McShane bit.

Anyway, if GRRM had the output of a Hamilton, Erikson, certainly Sanderson, then I wouldn't mind a more meandering, detail heavy story that come out regularly. I'd welcome it even.

But for me, the real charm of those early books in ASOIAF was how they just hinted at events here and there and let the story come to those readers that really thought about it. Maybe that is really hard and time consuming to craft well, I don't know. But I do know that GRRM says he has real trouble moving all these characters to where he needs them to be so I'd think the best way to cut the Meereenese knot is to go light on detail about what folks are doing. Hell, just drop Winter on Westeros and ice everything for 5 years of book time, then pick up in media res with the White Walkers strolling through Dorne!

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