A Song of Ice and Fire

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Adacore » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:17 am UTC

Note that the spoiler above contains GoT (TV show) spoilers, some of which do not appear, or are different, in the books.

While I think some of your concerns are valid, I think you're reading a lot more into the Game of Thrones casting announcements than you should, especially in assessing the importance of the characters for future plot. It may be that characters that are quite important to the plot are simply going to be introduced later, for budgetary reasons, rather than that they've been cut entirely (thus indicating that they are not important). Or perhaps that they're just going to be referred to in expositionary dialogue by other characters, while not appearing on screen, for now.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Obby » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:33 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:Yay, I finally finished the books! It feels so good to traverse the Internet without fear of spoilers.

So here's a concern I have – spoilers for the show and all books:

Spoiler:
I'm worried that the show – or rather, the revelatory choices made by the show – seem to be limiting the dramatic possibilities of the books to an increasing extent. As one example, consider the possibility (mentioned by characters in the books) that Jeyne Westerling might be carrying Robb Stark's child. Not super likely (there's an implication that her parents were giving her moon tea), but an interesting possibility. But in the show, Robb's pregnant wife Talisa is killed at the Red Wedding – so we know, by the logic of adaptation, that Jeyne is certainly not carrying an heir, and that she herself is probably not going to do anything important in the last two books. Other examples are Jojen, Grenn and Pyp – now that they're dead in the show, we know that they're not going to do anything important in the books either, at least nothing that can't be pawned off on some other character. With none of the Stark children except Bran being shown to have skinchanging abilities on the show, we can infer that nothing crucial will come of those abilities in the books. And the most important change so far: with the confrontation between Jaime and Tyrion removed, in which Jaime reveals the truth about Tysha, and Tyrion reveals Cersei's infidelity and falsely confesses to Joffrey's murder, the show has drastically changed their motivations from that point, and rendered that part of the book less significant. We know that future confrontations between Tyrion and Jaime or between Jaime and Cersei over these issues either won't happen, or won't be very important when they do happen. When Tyrion asks "Where do whores go?", we can now guess that the answer to that question won't have any great bearing on the story.

But I'm even more concerned for the future seasons, based on what we know of the show's casting decisions. With the mounting evidence that Michelle Fairley isn't returning to the show, we can guess that Lady Stoneheart will remain peripheral to the story. (The books tease us with the possibility that Brienne is going to kill Jaime, but what's the likelihood that she would do that without a crazy dead lady forcing her hand?) With no casting announced for Arianne or Quentyn, and Trystane referred to as "heir to Dorne" in HBO materials, we know that Arianne isn't going to do anything that can't be given to one of the Sand Snakes, and that the ramifications of Quentyn's death won't be essential to the story either. Furthermore, Euron and Victarion haven't been announced, and the latter was specifically excluded from a Greyjoy family tree that HBO published online. So how important can the Iron Fleet's journey in ADwD really be? But what concerns me the most is the lack of announcements for Old or Young Griff: based on the speculation I've read, I have a sinking feeling that the entire Aegon plotline is going to be ignored by the show. If this is the case, then it tells us that a seemingly crucial plotline in the books is going to come to little. (After all, why confuse the viewers with the notion of an extra Targaryen – let alone the theories of his being a secret Blackfyre – if he's not going to win the throne in the end?) Then there's even the matter of R + L = J. Based on the books alone, I would say that this theory seems a near certainty. But on the show, talk of Rhaegar has been rare, and talk of Lyanna non-existent, after the first season – and to me, this seems analogous to the situation with Tysha. Most viewers of episode 4.10 wouldn't have been able to tell you who Tysha is, and most viewers surely won't be able to tell you who Lyanna is. It bugs me that this, one of the strongest pieces of evidence against the most popular fan theory of the franchise, comes not from anything in the books, but from creative decisions made by HBO.

Now to be clear, I don't at all think that D&D are exerting control over GRRM – it's pretty clear that he's already laid out the endgame and that he wouldn't be cowed by TV execs. Rather, my concern is that the show has, mainly by omission, revealed things about Martin's story that substantially lessen the uncertainty that one would feel as a book reader. Martin has said in interviews that the show and books may follow increasingly divergent paths to the same end, and it's true that in the past some casting decisions have been announced as late as October. But nonetheless, it seems to me that the cumulative effect of all the show's changes is to render half of the ongoing plotlines in the books rather less promising. Are my concerns justified?


I think you're perfectly valid in your concerns. However, GRRM has indicated multiple times that the books are not beholden to the show. The show is solidly in D&D's hands and it is up to them to resolve conflicts that are created due to changes from the books, GRRM will not be modifying the books to pick up on things that happened (or did not happen) in the show.

And Adacore brings up a good point about the budget as well. GRRM used to be a writer for television shows in the 80's, and has frequently complained about the "red tape" within that world that limits what gets shown. He says that he often times was forced to cut characters and plots and shorten things down to fit within the television model, and that all of the (as he perceived it) stripping of his creations drove him to novels. That's what ASoIaF is to him - his grand creation where he can tell as intricate of a story as he likes with as many characters and divergences as he likes, and no one can tell him "no". Given this, I think it stands to reason that not all of the changes from the books were done due to D&D just trying to adapt what they know about the future of the books to the current show plot, I would think at least some of them are from pressure from HBO telling them to keep the budget down, don't scare people away from the show with too many things going on at once, etc.

IMO, of course.

(Book 5 spoilers and future book speculation)
Spoiler:
That said, the show's omissions of certain events may well lead to changes needing to be made down the road - to the show, not the books. The biggest one, as you said, is the Tyrion & Jaime conversation. The motivations for Tyrion's actions throughout book 5 hinge very heavily on that conversation, and as such I think the show is going to have to change some of Tyrion's story to have it make sense.

And regarding plot lines not being important due to being omitted from the show - maybe, maybe not. If you recall the Quentin storyline, where he leaves from Dorne to travel to Dany and try and marry her and eventually gets turned into dumbass-a-que, a lot of people feel that this arc was basically pointless, but I believe that this story arc was put in to try and give motive to Dorne's backing of Aegon over Dany in the future books. Omitting him from the show now might make production of season 5/6 easier, but what happens when book 7 rolls around and now the show doesn't have a reason for Dorne to back Aegon? Something will need to change, and as before, GRRM has said he is not changing the books.


I hope that was clear enough, I'm a bit rushed right now and I feel like it came out in a stream-of-consciousness type thing.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Dark567 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:41 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:Yay, I finally finished the books! It feels so good to traverse the Internet without fear of spoilers.

So here's a concern I have – spoilers for the show and all books:

I'm going to do this inline for easy of reading.

Spoilers for tv and books, but also the prologue of TWOW
Spoiler:
Lazar wrote:I'm worried that the show – or rather, the revelatory choices made by the show – seem to be limiting the dramatic possibilities of the books to an increasing extent. As one example, consider the possibility (mentioned by characters in the books) that Jeyne Westerling might be carrying Robb Stark's child. Not super likely (there's an implication that her parents were giving her moon tea), but an interesting possibility. But in the show, Robb's pregnant wife Talisa is killed at the Red Wedding – so we know, by the logic of adaptation, that Jeyne is certainly not carrying an heir, and that she herself is probably not going to do anything important in the last two books.
The prologue of TWOW includes Jeyne Westerling as a character, possibly even as the POV. If you've paid attention to the prologues every POV dies. My guess is Jeyne gets offed quick


LSH and hints at who might replace her in the who
Spoiler:
But I'm even more concerned for the future seasons, based on what we know of the show's casting decisions. With the mounting evidence that Michelle Fairley isn't returning to the show, we can guess that Lady Stoneheart will remain peripheral to the story. (The books tease us with the possibility that Brienne is going to kill Jaime, but what's the likelihood that she would do that without a crazy dead lady forcing her hand?)

I can't imagine right now that LSH is completely going to be cut and if she is, it was for logistical consideration and not a creative decision. D&D love to shock people and that would be the biggest yet. If it was cut for logistical reasons, that sucks, but I'm sure they will try to figure out the best way forward(probably someone else coming back from the dead). Charles Dance is back in the show for season 5; how much would that be shock for everyone if he came back? Albeit it would have to be for a different set of motivations.


Popular book theory:
Spoiler:
Then there's even the matter of R + L = J. Based on the books alone, I would say that this theory seems a near certainty. But on the show, talk of Rhaegar has been rare, and talk of Lyanna non-existent, after the first season – and to me, this seems analogous to the situation with Tysha. Most viewers of episode 4.10 wouldn't have been able to tell you who Tysha is, and most viewers surely won't be able to tell you who Lyanna is. It bugs me that this, one of the strongest pieces of evidence against the most popular fan theory of the franchise, comes not from anything in the books, but from creative decisions made by HBO.
I disagree with this. This season Oberyn made multiple references to Rheager leaving his sister for "another woman". Its subtle, maybe too subtle, but its there. It would be hard to leave all of the hints in the book in the show without being much more obtuse about Jon's parentage. I mean, basically as soon as they have a tower of joy flashback or something it will basically confirm the theory, and they seem to want to avoid that for both book readers and the show for the time being.

In summary:
Spoiler:
Now to be clear, I don't at all think that D&D are exerting control over GRRM – it's pretty clear that he's already laid out the endgame and that he wouldn't be cowed by TV execs. Rather, my concern is that the show has, mainly by omission, revealed things about Martin's story that substantially lessen the uncertainty that one would feel as a book reader. Martin has said in interviews that the show and books may follow increasingly divergent paths to the same end, and it's true that in the past some casting decisions have been announced as late as October. But nonetheless, it seems to me that the cumulative effect of all the show's changes is to render half of the ongoing plotlines in the books rather less promising. Are my concerns justified?
Maybe? I'm concerned as well, but so far the shows writers have been pretty deft at handling the challenges thrown at them. Things like combining Edric Storm and Gendry into one character, handling Joffrey's Wedding etc. It doesn't get everything perfect, but I really believe that this is just about the best adaption that we could ever possibly get.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:31 pm UTC

Just starting book 4. I'm slightly concerned that, reading through the contents...

Spoiler:
There are no Jon or Tyrion chapters. What the actual... nice going, GRRM, write out the two most interesting characters just when interesting stuff was happening to them.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby WaterToFire » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:38 pm UTC

Books 4 and 5 happen mostly-concurrently, but are split in terms of region. Book 4 focuses on mainland Westeros, while book 5 has the east, beyond the wall, etc.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Dark567 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:46 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Just starting book 4. I'm slightly concerned that, reading through the contents...

Spoiler:
There are no Jon or Tyrion chapters. What the actual... nice going, GRRM, write out the two most interesting characters just when interesting stuff was happening to them.
Did you read the preamble? GRRM broke up book 4(kings landing, dorne, iron islands) and 5(the north, essos) geographically not chronologically. So basically books 4 and 5 happen at the same time, but just in locations.

That said I think people disparage way too many of the other characters for not being interesting. Sure everybody loves Tyrion, but Jaime, Cersei, Sansa, Arya, Arianne, Brienne, Sam, Victarion, Damphair, the high septon and Doran are all interesting varied characters.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby mosc » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:36 pm UTC

People who are just now reading book 4 can't complain about the POV characters. You didn't have to read it when it first came out and wait 6 YEARS for the other half of the story to come in book 5. You can just read them back to back like one massive volume without forgetting what happened on the other side of the world.

I don't think GRRM's 4 and 5 stand up well on their own but together they're just fine, if a little long. Like you want him to give you LESS? If this thing ever finishes, people shouldn't pause between 4 and 5 else they'll get too confused.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:54 pm UTC

If you're planning on reading book 5 anyway, you may wish to try reading them concurrently. Here is a recommended reading list that puts the two books in roughly chronological order (note: there are some spoilers farther down the page, but you can see the reading order without getting to them). There's a nice argument here (spoily) on why this order works better thematically as well.

FWIW, I think one of the most interesting things about AFfC is that virtually all of the action/intrigue is driven by female characters. Almost all of the male characters, even the POV ones, are essentially supporting characters in this book.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Dark567 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:17 pm UTC

I think reading them concurrently isn't a bad idea, after already reading them the first time. I think a concurrent read would spoil way to much of what its trying to do by showing the same event's from two different POVs.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Adacore » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:10 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:I think reading them concurrently isn't a bad idea, after already reading them the first time. I think a concurrent read would spoil way to much of what its trying to do by showing the same event's from two different POVs.

That particular reading order, that LaserGuy linked, seems to be trying fairly hard to preserve the intended flow and feel that GRRM put in when writing it. I don't think reading it that way as a first time reader would be too bad an idea (although I probably still wouldn't, myself).

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Lazar » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:26 am UTC

Yeah, I remain skeptical. Would it really have the intended thematic effect, for example, to read one prologue after the other before launching into the story? (There's also the fact – perhaps more trivial, but relevant if you prefer paper books – that you're likely to glance on spoilers by accident when reading chapters out of order.) When people ask "In what order should I read these books/watch these movies?", I think the best answer is almost always "in the order they were released".
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Adacore » Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:19 am UTC

Lazar wrote:I think the best answer is almost always "in the order they were released".

This is one of the few cases where this is genuinely debatable, though, because GRRM has been pretty clear that ADWD and ASOS were intended to be a single book, and that he isn't entirely happy with the geographical split - it was only used because a chronological split didn't provide a good structure for ASOS, leaving all the storylines dangling in the middle with no closure or internal narrative arc at all. Granted, if he'd decided not to use the geographical split, some of the chapters would probably have been written a little differently to rejig the flow of the books, but I think the opinion that a chronological reading is closer to the author's intentions could be a valid one.

I still think, and I've mentioned before, the 5-year thing is very interesting. I personally think the five-year-gap was too thoroughly planned into the story for the removal to have worked particularly well. There are numerous plotlines where making it weeks instead of years just doesn't make sense for the characters and where I expect them to go. There are clearly some, where a five year gap just doesn't work at all, which is why it had to be removed, but it's still ended up feeling very clunky to me, and I suspect it will make the actions and abilities of several characters less believable in the coming books than they would be if they'd had five years to adapt, learn and change.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby mosc » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:31 pm UTC

I agree. For all the skill and imaginative story telling that is in these books, the entire transition part of the story is a mess. Characters invariably settled into routines that were intended to last years before telling a different part of the story and combined with this geographical split of books 4 and 5 makes the whole thing a damn mess. Here's hoping book 6 cleans things up and re-focuses the story into a more coherent flow.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Obby » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:37 pm UTC

The flow of books 4 and 5 can also be explained because he was originally intending to have a big time gap in the story after book 3. After he got so far in to the writing of the original book 4, he realized that he'd have to explain so much of that time gap anyway that he couldn't leave it in there without confusing people, and so he started re-writing. Then he realized book 4 was going to be WAY too big, and split them up. This leaves him in an interesting position, since several of the chapters he's released early for book 6 (particularly "Mercy") have been written in some form or another for over a decade already due to all this.

As for reading book 4 and 5 concurrently, I have to say that I agree with Adacore. It's normally true that books should be read in the order in which they were released, but since those books were designed to be one book originally anyway it really doesn't hurt the flow of the books or spoil anything sooner than it would have been reading them on book after the other. I've read them both ways, and with the exception of one chapter in each book you're basically reading the chapters within each book in order like normal. There's no jumping around to, say, chapter 6 in ADWD, then chapter 15 in AFfC, then chapter 3 in ADWD, then chapter 5 in AFfC. For the most part you read 2-3 chapters in a book, then go to the other book and read 2-3 more, then go back and pick up right where your bookmark was in the last book. And it flows really well, I think.

Granted, I did not use the order provided at the Tower of the Hand site, I used the one posted by this blog: http://boiledleather.com/post/259025541 ... rder-for-a.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Lazar » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:34 am UTC

Re: my earlier post about adaptation issues, here's an interesting bit of speculation I just heard (spoilers for everything):

Spoiler:
Maybe the show is going to have Trystane be Aegon. Fostered in secret all these years by Doran, with a dramatic reveal to come late in season 5. This would help simplify the show continuity (they wouldn't need to bother getting him to Westeros, and they could speed up Tyrion's arrival in Meereen), and it would lessen the justifiably criticized "princeps ex machina" effect of book-Aegon's reveal. And it would be consistent with a) the fact that we've seen no casting news about Young Griff,* and b) the claims of a supposedly credible leaker on the westeros.org forums (which you're hearing, like, third-hand from me, so don't put any stock in them) that Aegon will be present in s5, but in an unexpected way. They've cast a dark-haired actor for Trystane, but that difference could easily be handwaved, given the fact that Aegon had a Dornish mother. The change could also compensate for Quentyn's absence from the show: in the book continuity, Dorne has reason to favor Aegon over Dany because Quentyn was rejected by Dany and burned by her dragons. In the show, Dorne will favor Aegon because Doran himself has been grooming him for rule. (Point against this theory: Arianne also appears to have been cut, so if Doran intends for Trystaegon to be king, then he'll have no heir. He could maybe legitimize one of the Sand Snakes, though.)

*It's been pointed out that even if they had merely announced the casting of a "Young Griff", it would have inevitably led to book readers blabbing to their show-only friends about who he really was.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Obby » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:17 pm UTC

So, has anyone started reading the World of Ice and Fire?

I received mine on Tuesday but have not had much chance to read it, but so far it's interesting. It starts off covering the ancient world and old history (I've only read through the Long Night, and what happens earlier), most of which has already been covered in the main series. From what I've seen online though it looks like there are a number of fairly interesting bits of information relating to the history of many of the characters. I'm looking forward to delving deeper.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Lazar » Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:52 pm UTC

ASOIAF Fleeting Thought:

Spoiler:
If Harold Strickland inherits the Vale and takes on the name of its great house, he'll be Harry Arryn.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:19 pm UTC

Just finished book 5. I am now all caught up! Sweet, I am now officially immune to spoilers!

Spoiler:
Can't believe Jon died. He was, like, the second most likeable character after Tyrion.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Dark567 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:42 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:immune to spoilers!

Eh. A lot of people have figured out very likely things in the next couple books, so in my view you can still be spoiled.

For example, I had(future spoiler)
Spoiler:
R+L=J
spoiled for me after reading and kinda sad about it, because I couldn't even imagine the shock I would feel if I would have discovered that as part of the process of reading it. I mean its probably the most impactful spoiler in the series.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby roband » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:49 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Just finished book 5. I am now all caught up! Sweet, I am now officially immune to spoilers!

Spoiler:
Can't believe Jon died. He was, like, the second most likeable character after Tyrion.

Spoiler:
Lots of people aren't convinced he's dead. There's lots of ways he could survive, in that universe.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:18 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:immune to spoilers!

Eh. A lot of people have figured out very likely things in the next couple books, so in my view you can still be spoiled.

For example, I had(future spoiler)
Spoiler:
R+L=J
spoiled for me after reading and kinda sad about it, because I couldn't even imagine the shock I would feel if I would have discovered that as part of the process of reading it. I mean its probably the most impactful spoiler in the series.


But that meta-spoiler just doesn't seem to important now that
Spoiler:
Jon is dead.


roband wrote:
Spoiler:
Lots of people aren't convinced he's dead. There's lots of ways he could survive, in that universe.


Spoiler:
I suppose it's possible he could come back as a non-evil white walker like Coldhands (who I'm fairly convinced is going to turn out to be Benjen Stark)? Or maybe Melisandre will use magic to heal him? The book was fairly explicit about him being stabbed by at least 4 knives, the first of which was to the gut. I don't see how he can survive that without magic.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:22 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Spoiler:
I suppose it's possible he could come back as a non-evil white walker like Coldhands (who I'm fairly convinced is going to turn out to be Benjen Stark)? Or maybe Melisandre will use magic to heal him? The book was fairly explicit about him being stabbed by at least 4 knives, the first of which was to the gut. I don't see how he can survive that without magic.


Spoiler:
Keep in mind that very few people that die "off screen" actually die. And the book didn't actually include a death scene. Just some stabbing and then cut to black. I'll be surprised if he dies and stays dead. So, either he survives his wounds or he dies and Melisandre brings him back.

Personally I think the latter more likely, since there's every reason to believe that dying would set Jon free of the Night's Watch oath.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:31 pm UTC

That's a good thought actually.

Spoiler:
Thoros, another red priest, certainly has the power to bring people back to life. I'd forgotten about him. Okay yeah, it now seems much more likely that Mel will save Jon. Strange though. Spawning a demon shadow baby requires a king's blood, but bringing a dead man back to life seems to be pretty much a free action.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby roband » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:52 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:That's a good thought actually.

Spoiler:
Thoros, another red priest, certainly has the power to bring people back to life. I'd forgotten about him. Okay yeah, it now seems much more likely that Mel will save Jon. Strange though. Spawning a demon shadow baby requires a king's blood, but bringing a dead man back to life seems to be pretty much a free action.

Spoiler:
Other than giving up a part of your own life, right? Thoros turned into a shell of a man.

Other speculation includes possibly warging into his wolf-dog, whose name I've forgotten. Then finding someway to come back in another/the same body.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Dark567 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:26 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Dark567 wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:immune to spoilers!

Eh. A lot of people have figured out very likely things in the next couple books, so in my view you can still be spoiled.

For example, I had(future spoiler)
Spoiler:
R+L=J
spoiled for me after reading and kinda sad about it, because I couldn't even imagine the shock I would feel if I would have discovered that as part of the process of reading it. I mean its probably the most impactful spoiler in the series.


But that meta-spoiler just doesn't seem to important now that
Spoiler:
Jon is dead.
I honestly think that Meta-Spoiler is the best evidence that
Spoiler:
Jon is not dead. Or at least won't stay that way.
GRRM spent a lot of time dropping subtle hints and leaving breadcrumbs. At this point its too important to leave undiscovered.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:48 pm UTC

Unless GRRM is trolling us all. It's a real possibility.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Yakk » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:01 pm UTC

Jon and the Night's Watch
Spoiler:
"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."

I take this to be a checklist of the things Jon will do after he dies.

Jon will take a wife, hold lands, father children, wear a crown and win glory.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:07 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Yeah, by the latter of the oath, he can do whatever the hell he likes so long as he's resuscitated after his heart stops beating. It's not really in the spirit of the oath though, and Jon seems like the sort of chap who would prefer to keep to the spirit of his promises rather than wriggle out on a technicality and be all like "fuck you guys, I'm technically correct; the best kind of correct".
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Dark567 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:20 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I pretty much believe by the end the Wall will have come down, the White Walkers will be fought back, and the nights watch won't need to exist. Which the combination of those should also free him from his.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Adacore » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:52 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Spoiler:
I pretty much believe by the end the Wall will have come down, the White Walkers will be fought back, and the nights watch won't need to exist. Which the combination of those should also free him from his.

Spoiler:
As I mentioned before, with Chekhov's big-ass horn around, the Wall is pretty much certain to come down.

That is, if GRRM ever finishes the damn books. He's running out of time - The Winds of Winter likely needs to be published by the end of the 2016 season of the TV show, which is just about feasible, but I really can't see A Dream of Spring materializing before material is needed for the show.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:58 am UTC

Adacore wrote:
Dark567 wrote:
Spoiler:
I pretty much believe by the end the Wall will have come down, the White Walkers will be fought back, and the nights watch won't need to exist. Which the combination of those should also free him from his.

Spoiler:
As I mentioned before, with Chekhov's big-ass horn around, the Wall is pretty much certain to come down.

That is, if GRRM ever finishes the damn books. He's running out of time - The Winds of Winter likely needs to be published by the end of the 2016 season of the TV show, which is just about feasible, but I really can't see A Dream of Spring materializing before material is needed for the show.


A) The showrunners know roughly what the endgame is intended to be

B) The real time limit isn't the show's schedule, but the author's lifespan - just ask Wheel of Time fans...

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Adacore » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:46 am UTC

I know, but I really want to read the books before I watch the show. It's not the end of the world, but it would be far preferable to me. I can't just put off watching the show (for half a decade or more), because my friends and I all watch it together.

It's just a little disquieting, because most of the educated guesses were that GRRM should be finished with book 6 around now, but there's been no word of it at all. It's his policy, of course, not to give updates on stuff like that (which I personally think is the wrong line to take, since other authors I follow manage to give perfectly reasonable and fairly frequent progress updates on their writing), but I'm beginning to worry that he's hit another 'knot', and will therefore require even more lengthy delays, extensive rewrites, and additional books, much as happened before A Feast for Crows. It took him 5-6 years to write those books, and they were 'difficult', so this book, if not 'difficult', should only take 2-3. It's already had three and a half. Of course, he's also been a lot more distracted by other projects lately, so maybe that's the issue.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Adam H » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:12 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:That is, if GRRM ever finishes the damn books. He's running out of time - The Winds of Winter likely needs to be published by the end of the 2016 season of the TV show, which is just about feasible, but I really can't see A Dream of Spring materializing before material is needed for the show.
Two bits of news/speculation:

1) They apparently have filmed Cersei's last chapter from Dance with Dragons (or last significant chapter that I remember, at least). Which to me implies that Season 6 will not only include Winds of Winter material, it will start with it.

2) Winds of Winter isn't scheduled to be released in 2015, according to a tweet by the publisher.

Take that however you want. I'm not providing links because I'm lazy and it's easily googleable.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:26 pm UTC

Adacore wrote: (which I personally think is the wrong line to take, since other authors I follow manage to give perfectly reasonable and fairly frequent progress updates on their writing)
GRRM used to do this, but was wrong so often that he decided to change it. The best we're going to get is updates around sample chapters.

I mean, yeah I wish I could read before the next few seasons, but at this point its just not reasonable and I can't really blame HBO or D&D for it, when GRRM started these discussions with HBO(in 2006) he basically thought there was no way he wouldn't be able to finish the series by the time the show premiered in 2011) and actually got to the point where it caught up with the books(2014/2015). I mean at this point he knew the show had a possibility to catch up for 9 years... Sorry George but its on you.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby mosc » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:05 pm UTC

another year of waiting, another sample chapter:
http://www.georgerrmartin.com/excerpt-f ... of-winter/
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:37 pm UTC

mosc wrote:another year of waiting, another sample chapter:
http://www.georgerrmartin.com/excerpt-f ... of-winter/


I have come to the realization that, as someone who doesn't make a living as an author, I write faster than Martin does. So what, like twenty years till he finishes the series?

It's a little depressing.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby mosc » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:01 pm UTC

I don't think that's true. He writes prolifically. If you've seen his blog in the past month or so he's on a crusade to protect the hugo awards from outraged writers who feel it's been taken over by fans who don't read books. GRRM does a lot of side projects and doesn't write for income anymore. The Ice and Fire series I think gets written and re-written which is the real source of delay.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby Lazar » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:00 am UTC

Okay, I have a question.

Spoiler:
At the start of the books, why are Varys and Illyrio supporting Viserys and Dany? We know from his talk with Kevan that he's always wanted to put Aegon on the throne. By ADWD his plan seems to be that Aegon should marry Dany before conquering Westeros, but what was the plan before Viserys died? He must have known that Viserys was a selfish and impetuous young man who would never meekly yield his claim to Aegon. So the possibilities seem to be:

a) Varys always intended for Viserys to die, and for Dany to become Aegon's bride. This seems like a workable concept, but even Varys couldn't have anticipated the particular circumstances that led to Drogo killing Viserys. So if the truth of things is that Varys was planning to kill Viserys, but Drogo beat him to it, but the death has largely the same consequences either way… that just seems weird in terms of storytelling logic.

b) Varys intended to put Viserys on the throne, and Viserys would (obviously) be such a terrible king that the people would then rise up in support of Aegon. (I didn't make this one up; some people have suggested it online.) It's… an interesting idea, but it seems a bit convoluted. He already thinks Robert is a terrible king, but apparently he's not quite terrible enough? And would people really want yet another Targ after two bad ones?

c) Varys intended to use Viserys as some kind of feint – perhaps in order to keep Robert focused on the wrong target, or maybe just to make the idea of surviving Targs more believable in people's minds. This seems to be the simplest alternative, but it leaves some things unanswered. Was he planning on killing Viserys and Dany later on, or did he not care what happened to them? Was he anticipating that they would pose no threat to Aegon because a Dothraki army would never cross the sea? And if Viserys and Dany were only ever meant to be decoys, then why would Viserys's death lead Varys to revise his plans for Aegon? Or maybe the hatching of the eggs was the crucial thing: Varys figures that a Targ with dragons can no longer be ignored.

So what do you guys think – is there something I'm overlooking? I think I'm leaning toward some form of option C, but I'm really not sure. Some people in online discussions have suggested that this whole thing is a symptom of GRRM's changing plans – that Varys and Illyrio really were supporting Viserys and/or Dany in AGOT, because he hadn't yet conceived of the Aegon plot. Do you think there's anything to that?
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby SlyReaper » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:49 am UTC

Lazar wrote:Okay, I have a question.

Spoiler:
At the start of the books, why are Varys and Illyrio supporting Viserys and Dany? We know from his talk with Kevan that he's always wanted to put Aegon on the throne. By ADWD his plan seems to be that Aegon should marry Dany before conquering Westeros, but what was the plan before Viserys died? He must have known that Viserys was a selfish and impetuous young man who would never meekly yield his claim to Aegon. So the possibilities seem to be:

a) Varys always intended for Viserys to die, and for Dany to become Aegon's bride. This seems like a workable concept, but even Varys couldn't have anticipated the particular circumstances that led to Drogo killing Viserys. So if the truth of things is that Varys was planning to kill Viserys, but Drogo beat him to it, but the death has largely the same consequences either way… that just seems weird in terms of storytelling logic.

b) Varys intended to put Viserys on the throne, and Viserys would (obviously) be such a terrible king that the people would then rise up in support of Aegon. (I didn't make this one up; some people have suggested it online.) It's… an interesting idea, but it seems a bit convoluted. He already thinks Robert is a terrible king, but apparently he's not quite terrible enough? And would people really want yet another Targ after two bad ones?

c) Varys intended to use Viserys as some kind of feint – perhaps in order to keep Robert focused on the wrong target, or maybe just to make the idea of surviving Targs more believable in people's minds. This seems to be the simplest alternative, but it leaves some things unanswered. Was he planning on killing Viserys and Dany later on, or did he not care what happened to them? Was he anticipating that they would pose no threat to Aegon because a Dothraki army would never cross the sea? And if Viserys and Dany were only ever meant to be decoys, then why would Viserys's death lead Varys to revise his plans for Aegon? Or maybe the hatching of the eggs was the crucial thing: Varys figures that a Targ with dragons can no longer be ignored.

So what do you guys think – is there something I'm overlooking? I think I'm leaning toward some form of option C, but I'm really not sure. Some people in online discussions have suggested that this whole thing is a symptom of GRRM's changing plans – that Varys and Illyrio really were supporting Viserys and/or Dany in AGOT, because he hadn't yet conceived of the Aegon plot. Do you think there's anything to that?


Option a isn't implausible.

Spoiler:
Varys and Illyrio will have known exactly what sort of character Viserys was, and what sort of character Drogo was. It would have been a fair bet that Viserys would eventually do something stupid enough to get himself killed. If he didn't, they could always have arranged something.
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Postby WaterToFire » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:05 pm UTC

Or another option:
Spoiler:
They were hedging their bets. If one or the other got themselves killed, they had a backup. If both lived, they would either get rid of the less-convenient one or work something out between them (have Viserys defer to Aegon's supposed primogeniture).


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