I don't care what GRRM said or did not say, I am growing impatient with his inability to land this plane and finish his last two books. I think it is unfair to his fans and reading chapters piece meal at conventions is like feeding us crumbs. Reading his "not a blog" leads me to believe that he is more interested in his Santa Fe theater project, football and his sci fi works and everything else - and finishing ASoIaF has become an albatross for him. Such is the price of success.
D&D have done an excellent job and must be concerned that GRRM will not have the books ready when the HBO show finishes wiht the first five. So I think they are perfectly within their right to finish the story any way they want. That may be the only finish we ever see to the story.
As far as Garland and Willis go, I do not agree that they will be in the story against the Ironborn. None of us know what will happen but I see Marjorie being executed due to Cersei's plotting and Loras dying of his wounds. Then Garland and Willis will avenge their deaths by bringing Highgarden to the cause of either the fake Aegon or Stannis - or maybe even Dany. I think the Ironborn will not be important in the books or HBO after Victarion and Euron are defeated/killed.
But then again none of us know what will happen because GRRM will never finish the series. The best we can hope for is D&D gives us an ending that ties it all together.
I absolutely love Roy Dotrice's audiobooks. I don't know where the rest of you are coming from. I have listened to all 5 many times commuting back and forth long distances (in addition to reading the books when I am not driving). I own two of the audiobooks and will get the whole collection eventually. The others I check out from the library and download onto my iPod.
He does change Dany and Arya's voices in the last two books and that is jarring, but since I love what he does with everyone else I will give him a pass on those. I think he does Dolorous Ed the best and I love Selmy too. And I really like Tyrion and Jamie's welsh accents. He does Tywin Lannister very well too. Actually I think he does it all well (with the exception of what I noted above).
I am glad they fit him into the HBO series as the old pyromancer.
My fear is that they will not find a better reader for the 6th book and the lack of continuity will be a problem.
I am re-reading DWD for the whatever time.....actually listening to the audiobook while driving, and there is way too much Dany and Tyrion and not enough Arya/Sansa. Dany has to get the heck out of Mereern, she has been planted there too long.
I envision the bulk of TWOW being the Battle of Mereen and the Battle of Winterfell. So we will get a lot of Dany and Tyrion....and probably Jon, Theon and other POVs who can describe the battle up north.
I hope the Ironborn go away so I am ok with Vic dying, and I could do without the Dornish too, but I really want to see more Sansa and Arya which will most likely not happen if the two battles are the central focus.
I love Selmy and hope he does not die. I think he is the one who will tell Dany who to trust and who not to trust in Westeros. And he is probably the only one who will confirm a theory I suspect - that Tyrion is actually Aerys son with Joanna. That is why he will ride one of the three dragons.
What disturbs me the most is that GRRM has never avenged the RW. We do not really know what Jon's reaction is.....we just know that Jon knows that Rob is dead. I am waiting for GRRM to give us vengence for the RW. The North Remembers and so do we readers.
I do think that Robb wanting Jon to be his heir shows how close they were, alhtough that scene with the Will was cut out of the HBO series so maybe its a red herring. I think Jon related most to Ned because he truly believes he is his father and Robb and Arya were/are very important to him as well. I am re-listening to ADWD in the car and just got to the part where Mel tells Jon about Arya on a dying horse coming to find him and he gets the letter that Arya is marrying Bolton....and he fights his emotions because he technically does not have a sister anymore as a member of the Nights Watch. It is a little cold.
The Slynt execution does parallel Slynt's beheading of Ned. I wonder if Jon will be the one who brings down House Frey as well...... I think we will see more sorcery and the hand of Bloodraven in Book 6 as these events play themselves out.
I really wish GRRM would finish this thing...he posted on his blog all of this other stuff he is getting out in October...but of course not Book 6.
Excellent Apple, you are always right on! I have never considered why Varys killed Pycelle, I was just glad that he was dead. He gets on my nerves, the HBO Pycelle is very annoying in particular. But the book Pycelle is better dead as well. Varys continues to be a very intriguing character.
I wonder about the fake Aegon...maybe a Blackfyre and maybe another bastard child of either Aerys or Rhaegar. Maybe I missed this a thread on this but could he be R+L=A? Probably not.
Anyway, Quiathe warns Danny of the "mummers dragon" and we know that Varys was a child in a mummers show before he was "cut"....so Varys has much invested in Aegon, his "dragon". I am really interested in seeing how GRRM plays this one out.
i agree that the Iron Bank will have a bigger role in future books....that fits with the Faceless Men coming to Westeros (in addition to what seems to be some mission they have relating to dragons....)
Samwell, I think he is going to be Jon's #2 however this plays out. Stannis will not live and even though Tyrion would be the best hand I think he has too much bad history. A Lannister will not do. Or maybe a Manderly or even Mance Rayder depending on how the Battle for the North plays out. I think Mance Rayder is a possibility. Or Howland Reed.
I don't see Gendry and Sansa at all - Baratheon or not, she lives in an entirely different universe from him. Arya can adapt to that, I don't think Sansa can. I don't see that they would be attracted to each other. I hadn't thought about Sandor going up against Robert Strong but that may happen, he would only do it for Sansa though....so somehow her story must get entwined. I love Brienne and cannot stand the thought of her dying, but it does make sense that something with Brienne will make Jamie kill Cersei. I do believe he is the Valonqar. Unless its Tyrion when he returns with Danaerys. If Brienne dies maybe she will ask that Pod be the heir to Evenfall if her father does not wed again.....too many ifs and speculations. GRRM needs to finish the freakin' books!
I believed that the Will was critically important when reading the books. Then when the HBO series did not include it I began to wonder if it is a red herring. Why wasn't it included? In the HBO series Robb thought he was having a child....that was not in the book, Jeyne Westerling was unable to get pregnant because her witch of a mother fed her moon tea. I know the TV series is its own thing, but I would think that if the Will was that important to the Jon Snow arc that it would be included. The books seem to leave us with something going on in the Neck, the Will is there, Ned's bones are there, we are told Lady Stoneheart went there with the BWB.....but we don't see that in the show. So either the Will will make an appearance without having been introduced earlier or it is not that important to the Jon Snow story.