JNR

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  1. In the last edition of the thread, it was established that the app contains information that is not necessarily true, and that the app's creator believed to be incorrect in at least one case. (How many more such cases there may be, we do not know.) So that was an interesting discovery. Now, if we look at at that app passage... This seems quite a curious bit. If we believe it, it means that Aerys had a very good idea where Lyanna was at this time: the TOJ. So he obviously could have taken her hostage if he wanted to. Yet we know from canon that Aerys somehow did not take Lyanna hostage. He did not use Lyanna as leverage against the leaders of the Rebellion, Robert and Ned, who threatened his rule and his family's power and his life, and who were both intensely invested in Lyanna's safety. Well, that seems extraordinary, doesn't it? Granted, he was the Mad King, but he wasn't so mad that he failed to leverage Elia at the very same time, and for the very same reason (to improve his odds of victory in the Rebellion). From ASOS we have: So how do we explain this remarkable mental failure on Aerys' part? I'm really not sure...
  2. In the summer of 2015, I had a theory that TWOW would be finished in 7-10 months. (Turns out GRRM had the same theory at the same time, and we were both wildly wrong.)
  3. It's possible. The phrasing is a little clunky, though; I think if most of us were originally from, say, New York City, we wouldn't think of lessons we had learned long before New York City. And since Mel is thinking it, not saying it, we know she really believes it. Sure. However, we're talking about why the app says what it does. In the canon, you can see that various characters just think she's from Asshai -- hence the phrase "Melisandre of Asshai." For instance, Cressen thinks of her this way in his POV chapter in ACOK. Whereas in the app -- basically a database, no POV structure -- it looks as if it's supposed to be a straight-up fact that she is from Asshai. Not open to debate. But now we know that we can't simply read something in the app and assume it's a fact. Maybe it is, and maybe it's not. So, with the app just as with the canon, we are responsible for analyzing content against the sum total of relevant facts we have and then drawing our own conclusions, like good journalists have to do in vetting a story. That GRRM has two degrees in journalism, one with highest honors, means all this is extremely familiar territory for him and he baked it naturally into his writing. (I bet it's also what he has in mind in saying that journalism died with the Internet -- emerging news is no longer always vetted by professionals, and the actual professionals aren't always trusted.)
  4. From ADWD: As far as I can tell, the most obvious and common interpretation of this sentence is that she doesn't originate from Asshai. So it's not much of a spoiler. The app also has the quirk that unlike canonical chapters, or even the World book, it has no apparent POV through which information is filtered. From your remark about "spoilers," it seems the app instead tries to present information based on the estimated knowledge level of the fans. This makes the app epistemologically similar to the book appendices... which are almost certainly, by GRRM's design, not always correct, such as when they stoutly maintain Jon is Ned's bastard.
  5. You can't ask people to stop doing that which they naturally do best...
  6. It also contains numerous documented mistakes (example: Melisandre's place of origin being Asshai). GRRM's "material contributions" were, according to his minion on LJ, rendered without much interest on his part while he ate lunch. Notice that the testimony to the app given on that blog entry doesn't even come from GRRM, but from "the most iPhone-literate person in our office."
  7. Yes, it is. It's probably true that there is only one answer that the majority of online fans would currently find "satisfying" or "relevant to the story." However, unlike us, GRRM knows the entire story, which puts his concept of satisfaction or relevance in a fundamentally different ballpark from ours.
  8. Sure. It's nowhere close to having been proven. The last I heard, Jacobs' basic premise was that Jon's parents were Brandon and Ashara, and that Jon was conceived at Harrenhal, which of course contradicts the timeline. His response was that the timeline is trash and can therefore be rearranged in any way that suits his theories. Well, the canonical timeline is certainly incomplete. But most of what we have is not likely to be overturned by subsequent books, and certainly not rearranged.
  9. Hard to argue with this. And in many ways that are fundamentally different from the books. We know for sure the show has already been fundamentally different for years now and it's not suddenly going to morph into an accurate reflection of the canon.
  10. There's so much spin, I'm not even sure he's conscious of the influence in most cases. Which is why he says he only notices it "looking back" -- it just wasn't in his mind when he got started, in the way Tolkien was. For instance, this is the Marvel version of Laufey. He's the king of the frost giants. He is plainly nothing like either Balon Greyjoy or the canonical Popsicles (he's not made of ice, but is a giant humanoid about 30 feet tall, etc). The Marvel Ymir is made of ice, but is a primordial being about 1000 feet tall, has nothing to do with wights, and bears no physical resemblance to frost giants. The nearest parallel to this creature, in ASOIAF, is probably the Red Faith concept of the Great Other whose name may not be spoken, but obviously even that is very speculative.
  11. First, I think you're right that Bloodraven is not the 3EC. Well done. Second, beyond what you wrote, I think we get a clues about this from Bran's dreams in ACOK. Yes, he dreams about the 3EC, but he also dreams about a different entity: Which of these best fits Bloodraven? The tree, or the crow? Well, come on: And Bloodraven's whole goal has been to summon Bran to the cave. Of course he's been the one calling to Bran, as we find in Bran's dreams cited above. IMO it's not really a question: Bloodraven is the tree. Not the crow. Yes, Bran does think Bloodraven is the 3EC, but Bran is a small child who has not learned to think things through very well. We can do better, and we should. As to the true identity of the 3EC, I think that's fairly well implied in the above passages, plus Bran's coma dream.
  12. The most recent info on this I've heard is from August, when in his LJ, GRRM said three things, basically: 1. He thought Fire and Blood Volume 1 would be out in about a year and a half -- end of 2018 or so. 2. He thought it was possible TWOW would be published around the same time... but wasn't sure. 3. He said Fire and Blood was more of his "fake history," reinforcing the idea that it can't be trusted and minimizing the fan incentive to buy or read it (exactly as he did with the World book, in saying the fans couldn't know what parts of it to believe). Personally, I would rather he prioritize the novels over something he himself says is fake.
  13. Seems beyond doubt it's been that way with ASOIAF for this whole millennium. -- GRRM's afterword for ADWD, discussing both it and AFFC And TWOW is, of course, routinely described in his LJ as "son of Kong" -- the ultimate monkey on his back. So yes, this is about personal discipline needed to do the job for which he's been extremely well paid in advance (literally: that's what a book advance is). He is contractually obligated to do his job. If he doesn't do his job, it is wrong in at least that sense. I actually think his issue there is far too many POVs. If he could confine himself to fewer, he would have that much less story to tell, he could slice away a lot of narrative irrelevance, it would be clearer to him what his options are, and the books would be written, and would read, much faster. The first two books were written in this manner, and they are generally not seen as worse than the most recent two -- quite the opposite. POV disasters like Brienne in AFFC are just not allowed to occur. Each such post is an investment of time and energy. If we continue to invest in a series that will never be finished, when will we see a return on our investment?
  14. I would consider that a very optimistic projection, too. In AGOT, ACOK, ASOS, AFFC, and ADWD, he wrote about a third of his original story, as described in his 1993 summary letter. So when I ask myself what he is likely to do, in writing the remaining two-thirds of ASOIAF, I find myself thinking: "More of the same." And that does not bode well. I would rephrase this as: "If any of the sample chapters of TWOW don't advance the story, then something is deeply wrong. He has only 150 chapters left to finish the series if he's going to finish in two books." I'm not sure if you mean "wrong" in a moral or a factual sense. However, if he chooses to spend most of his time in this manner, fan interest in his work -- the existence of which beyond the sample chapters can't even be proven -- will unquestionably decline. So will his odds of ever winning the book Hugo he so obviously craves. So will the odds of his finishing the series.
  15. Ditto. I have read all the sample content from TWOW, which amounts to about 1/7th of the book, assuming it's about as long as ADWD or ASOS (and it can't be longer). That also means, since there are two books left in theory, that the TWOW sample chapters comprise about 1/14th of rest of the entire series. Do those chapters tell the story of 1/14th of the rest of the series? Not even close. Instead, GRRM spends far too much time on the Battle of Meereen... which relative to the series, simply can't be a very big deal. Since the books can't get bigger, that also means he won't finish in two more books, and unless he becomes a dramatically faster or more disciplined writer, the odds he will ever finish have plummeted. And he may possibly live to be a hundred, and finish. But I think the time has long since come for him to admit he needs a more disciplined approach, and to create and execute a strategy on that basis. Merely saying that he can't possibly (for instance) write five hundreds words a day because "things come up," and simultaneously turn out Fire and Blood Vol. 1 -- that is, hundreds of thousands of words about obscure Targaryens of interest to perhaps two percent of the fandom -- will never earn him the Best Book Hugo he craves. And the odds of ASOIAF ever being finished will continue to fall by the day.