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asoiaf's place in cultural/literary history


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#1 space

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:16 PM

In my opinion (and clearly in the opinions of most posters here) ASOIAF is, although not yet complete, one of the greatest fictional stories ever told, with so many complexities and elements of brilliance....i'm just wondering 30-40-50 years from now what will ASOIAF's status in the world of literature be, will it go down as an all time american classic? a story reaching the same exalted status as LOTR (maybe even superseding it?) Will our future grand and great grand kids study it, and will it maintain a place in american culture along with other "timeless" masterpieces in literature and cinema...the godfather, citizen kane, star wars, a clockwork orange, etc etc

same question goes for the show...im not exaggerating when I say it is probably the greatest t.v. show I have ever watched (took over from the sopranos/dexter)... and almost everyone I know watches it between the ages of 20 and 80. I think it's place is already solidified as one of HBO, or premium cables greatest series ever, and is probably one of the most popular shows on tv...(well, maybe if you discount those stupid reality t.v. shows and competitions...god, i will never understand how people watch that garbage)

obviously we need to wait until the entire story is told...but how do you think history will view ASOIAF, (and the t.v. show game of thrones) in regards to other great pieces of american literature/ great t.v. shows

#2 Four-Eyed Crow

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:19 PM

Probably somewhere between the Twilight saga and Harry Potter.












I jest, I jest! Not up there with LotR yet, but much better than all its modern counterparts that I've read.

#3 Stickemwiththepointyend

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:32 PM

Will probably be compared to LOTR, and obviously fall short of the relevance that LOTR had, but I hope it will stand out as one of the best epic fantasy series of all time. Maybe the show will even have convinced a non fantasy-reading audience to give the books a go. But I still don't think the books themselves will have the widespread popularity LOTR had. And even then though I loved to be able to read Tolkien for my English exams, I'm still not really convinced you can call it literature.

As for the show, it's the best fantasy TV-show in history I think, and to me it's one of the best book adaptations to screen (be it TV or movie), but there are so many other excellent shows out there. But for anyone who wants to try fantasy, this series is my recommendation. (I still like Hobbs' Elderling realm series (Farseer, Fool and Liveship trilogies) better though, but that's just me)

#4 Dany Girl

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:37 PM

Well, I've never been able to get into LotR personally, the Hobbit bored me to tears in the first 3 chapters (never got passed there, although I feel I need to retry). So my personal opinion is that within the realm if fantasy it will surpass LotR as the best fantasy saga ever written.

Edited by Dany Girl, 25 July 2013 - 04:37 PM.


#5 mighty potato

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:43 PM

i actually enjoyed Reading and discussing ASOIAF more than i did LOTR

#6 Andrés Garcia

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:46 PM

I love the world that George R. R. Martin has created and I find myself visiting it quite often, not only as I read the books or watch the television show, but even when I shower, go to the store, and take long train rides. Imagining the different places of Westeros and the many varied lives lived there is greatly satisfying to me. Having said all that, however, I'm not kidding myself about the books' potential place in western canon. I know I risk stepping on quite a few toes by saying so, but this ain't exactly Kafka...

Edited by Andrés Garcia, 25 July 2013 - 04:50 PM.


#7 Lala

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:47 PM

i actually enjoyed Reading and discussing ASOIAF more than i did LOTR


I do as well.

LoTR will probably remain the most iconic fantasy series I've ever read, but it lacks the compelling female protagonists that, for me, are the most amazing part of ASoIaF. As a girl, I never could identify with Arwen (Eowyn? a bit, but she's essentially the only fleshed out female character) - but I see so much of myself in Sansa, Dany, Olenna, and even Cersei. And even the women I don't identify with - Arya, Brienne, Asha - are so realistic and lovable.

#8 Four-Eyed Crow

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:49 PM

I see so much of myself in . . . Cersei.


Seriously considering making this my signature.

#9 Lala

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:51 PM

Seriously considering making this my signature.


OTL

So out of context /crying.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':crying:' />

I mean more in the sense that I can be ... snobby and bitchy and selfish sometimes - just like I can be really catty and caustic like Olenna. But I'm fundamentally most like Sansa /blushing.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':blushing:' />

#10 Lonin

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 04:54 PM

I think we need to wait for the completion asoiaf. The first five books are a great start... I hope there will be a great finish.

#11 Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:04 PM

It will be used in schools maybe? If it does those students will be lucky.

#12 space

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:28 PM

I do as well.

LoTR will probably remain the most iconic fantasy series I've ever read, but it lacks the compelling female protagonists that, for me, are the most amazing part of ASoIaF. As a girl, I never could identify with Arwen (Eowyn? a bit, but she's essentially the only fleshed out female character) - but I see so much of myself in Sansa, Dany, Olenna, and even Cersei. And even the women I don't identify with - Arya, Brienne, Asha - are so realistic and lovable.

disclaimer: ive only watched the movies and never read the books (besides the hobbit)...and while I enjoy LOTR its nowhere near one of my favorites and it faces the same problems as most fantasy series...almost every character is two dimensional (i am the good elf!, and i am the good dwarf! i have a big beard, enjoy ale, and am a-sexual because there are no female dwarfs, or female anythings really for that matter, in middle earth) i find his ears girly and his blond hair pesky, har har! but we fight the orcs who are eeviiiiiill! they serve the evil lord sauron who comes from the land of evil where he eats evil food, sleeps in evil castles, hangs out with evil friends, and goes to evil partys! all while he tries to find evil things to make more evil everyday! hahaha! nevermind sexuality, character flaws, or greyish ambiguous morals you are with us or against us! My favorite character in the movie (and one of the only truly interesting characters) was boromir...and of course he died...everyone else in LOTR is basically brienne or gregor

also stories like LOTR are very predictable, by the time you get past the beginning (of the movie at least) you KNOW that sauron is going to lose, frodo is going to beat unimaginable odds (but no odds really) because you know he is going to win because he is good and sauron is evil, once you hear aragon is the "rightful king" you KNOW he will sit on the throne again and will rule "wisely and for the good of the kingdoms, forever and ever happily ever after"...because a king would never face morally ambiguous obstacles, ever...but then again I appreciate the story, enjoyed the movies and its importance in this realm of fantasy, but ASOIAF is a much deeper, intellectual, more adult and more complex story...but then again it will never have as large of an audience is it cant really appeal to children the way LOTR can

ASOIAF transcends the fantasy genre the way I see it, ive always liked fantasy but ive never been a huge fan or read any other epic fantasy series, and a lot of my friends that watch the show/read the books hate fantasy and go as far as to purposefully avoid things that fall into that category (my law school roommate never saw LOTR or even star wars for that matter) but watches the show and is currently reading/loving ASOIAF...so yes, maybe it will never reach the same status as LOTR...but I think they are in completely different categories...for example GOT has a lot more in common with a show like the sopranos then it does with probably any other fantasy series

#13 Nerolunar

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:31 PM

Depends on how GRMM wraps up the next books. If he does in a bad way, it will totally ruin the image.

#14 Victarion Chainbreaker

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:38 PM

When ASOIAF is finished, LOTR will forever after be a footnote.

#15 northernmonkey

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:51 PM

Well it's never going to be a literary classic. In terms of prose and dialogue it's maybe a bit simplistic. But it deserves to go down in history as the best fantasy book since LOTR.

As for the TV series, it'll be remembered along with the Wire and Breaking Bad as those TV shows that everyone kept going on about back in the day.

#16 winteristheseason

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:53 PM

I personally think that ASOIAF is bigger than LOTR in terms of realms, history and language. The book has definately earned its place in the epic-fantasy hall of fame.

#17 Daecon Dayne

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:56 PM

i actually enjoyed Reading and discussing ASOIAF more than i did LOTR


Agree. There's certainly a lot more to discuss, IMO. LOTR has a beautiful plethora of vocabulary, though.

Will our future grand and great grand kids study it


I doubt it'll take that long - Harry Potter has acquired its own courses at some universities within a decade of completion, and will likely find itself on the curriculum as a primary text for secondary-school literature (hell, it probably already is in places).

I'll be very surprised if there aren't university-level literature modules which focus on ASOIAF around 2020. It'll almost certainly be a primary text for literary studies at universities: a monstrous amount of literary theory and criticism can be applied to it all too easily. There's probably a tonne of other aspects to the series beyond literary studies, too. Plus, lecturers/teachers decide to some extent which texts are taught on their modules/curriculum/course; who wouldn't want to pick a series/novel which they already love? Especially considering the bounty of fresh perspectives and ideas which the series progressively introduces, on your third, fourth, or fifth reread.

#18 David Selig

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:57 PM

Let's not get carried away. There is very little chance it will be considered a literary classic in 50 years. It may well not even be a fantasy genre classic.

#19 mighty potato

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 06:00 PM

Let's not get carried away. There is very little chance it will be considered a literary classic in 50 years. It may well not even be a fantasy genre classic.


you're a negative person, you know , cheer up /cheers.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':cheers:' />

#20 northernmonkey

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 06:02 PM

I really doubt that any decent universities will be studying ASOIAF. It's absolutely brilliant, but what you see is what you get - it's a straightforward fantasy adventure story. You can't really study it in the same way you can Hemingway or Steinbeck.