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Ser Greg of House House

Is the text worth it, besides the artwork?

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My humble opinion on TWOIAF: the history-book format just doesn't mash with the ASOIAF atmosphere (it takes all the heart out of it), and it really isn't for me. I also don't want to step over any lines, but I understand why some people might refer to it as fan fiction, even if it technically isn't. The pictures look nice.



And that's coming from someone who only read the excerpts. I heard from others that if you read the excerpts, you should know what to expect- a whole book's worth of that. So if you like what you've seen so far, buy it.


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Oddly enough, I wasn't too impressed with the excerpts but I think they work better in the context of the full book. I definitely disagree about the style of the book not meshing with ASOIAF. If anything, it feels more genuine because it's written by maesters. Obviously one's opinion may vary on that. I personally think the style fits and works fairly well.

What is this "GRRM hate" site?

Why would anyone dedicate a site to something they hate? Must be Goodkind fans.

Heh, I think a lot of Goodkind fans have grown to dislike him too. I don't dislike any author on a personal level (I think that's ridiculous -- I don't personally know any of them) but I can definitely understand being disappointed when an author starts out with a fairly good story and then slowly kills it by extending it well beyond the length it was planned to be. Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series definitely has that problem. That and he just got insanely preachy and simplistic. He also had a tendency to systematically remove everything that made his earlier books worth reading (e.g., magic).

I know some ASOIAF fans think that GRRM is at that point now but I don't think the series is anywhere near that level yet. Sure, the last two books were a bit slower paced than A Storm of Swords. The slower pace was actually a lot like the first two books in the series. The Wheel of Time had a big issue with being over-extended. It had a different set of problems than The Sword of Truth but it became clear that Robert Jordan expanded things too much and in a fairly uncontrolled fashion. I don't think ASOIAF is there yet as the story has mostly remained focused on the game of thrones. We've just been seeing different sides of it.

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Oddly enough, I wasn't too impressed with the excerpts but I think they work better in the context of the full book. I definitely disagree about the style of the book not meshing with ASOIAF. If anything, it feels more genuine because it's written by maesters. Obviously one's opinion may vary on that. I personally think the style fits and works fairly well.

Heh, I think a lot of Goodkind fans have grown to dislike him too. I don't dislike any author on a personal level (I think that's ridiculous -- I don't personally know any of them) but I can definitely understand being disappointed when an author starts out with a fairly good story and then slowly kills it by extending it well beyond the length it was planned to be. Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series definitely has that problem. That and he just got insanely preachy and simplistic. He also had a tendency to systematically remove everything that made his earlier books worth reading (e.g., magic).

I know some ASOIAF fans think that GRRM is at that point now but I don't think the series is anywhere near that level yet. Sure, the last two books were a bit slower paced than A Storm of Swords. The slower pace was actually a lot like the first two books in the series. The Wheel of Time had a big issue with being over-extended. It had a different set of problems than The Sword of Truth but it became clear that Robert Jordan expanded things too much and in a fairly uncontrolled fashion. I don't think ASOIAF is there yet as the story has mostly remained focused on the game of thrones. We've just been seeing different sides of it.

Honestly, I don't know how anyone could read Goodkind and not think he was preachy and simplistic from the very beginning. I only made it about 60 pages into ASoT before I could no longer stand the elementary writing style and sanctimonious overtones. Richard has to be the most unlikable protagonist in fiction.

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Honestly, I don't know how anyone could read Goodkind and not think he was preachy and simplistic from the very beginning. I only made it about 60 pages into ASoT before I could no longer stand the elementary writing style and sanctimonious overtones. Richard has to be the most unlikable protagonist in fiction.

I'm definitely not defending Terry Goodkind. I grew to dislike his series quite a bit. I admit that his work is nowhere near the level of many other fantasy writers (including GRRM and Robert Jordan) but early on I found his main characters to be quite entertaining even if the story itself felt a little too generic. Stone of Tears and Faith of the Fallen are probably the best books in that series.

As the story progressed and he focused less on the characters that made his series stand out, the writing became significantly more preachy and simplistic. He even spent an entire book introducing a character that was nothing more than a plot device. So if you found the early books simplistic and preachy, imagine that feeling and multiply it by several factors of preachiness and simplicity for the later ones. I wish I was exaggerating. He probably had (at most) 6 books worth of story and it was dragged out to 11. Even the ending felt tacked on. Yes, I stuck with the series to the end, and like the TV show Lost, I wish I hadn't...

At least in the case of ASOIAF it seems like GRRM has a clear plan and an endgame in mind. Other than AFFC and ADWD throwing him off a bit, it seems like he's mostly stuck to that plan. The story is clearly built on top of what has come before and it doesn't feel like he's winging it with the big picture. Whether everyone will like it is another matter. ASOIAF is really on another whole level compared to SoT, though. I think the comparisons pretty much end beyond them both being fantasy and about war. I only brought up SoT and Goodkind because it was mentioned that the people posting the negative reviews are probably Goodkind fans. My gut reaction was, "Oh, he still has fans?" but thought a less confrontational approach would be better. ;)

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I'm definitely not defending Terry Goodkind. I grew to dislike his series quite a bit. I admit that his work is nowhere near the level of many other fantasy writers (including GRRM and Robert Jordan) but early on I found his main characters to be quite entertaining even if the story itself felt a little too generic. Stone of Tears and Faith of the Fallen are probably the best books in that series.

As the story progressed and he focused less on the characters that made his series stand out, the writing became significantly more preachy and simplistic. He even spent an entire book introducing a character that was nothing more than a plot device. So if you found the early books simplistic and preachy, imagine that feeling and multiply it by several factors of preachiness and simplicity for the later ones. I wish I was exaggerating. He probably had (at most) 6 books worth of story and it was dragged out to 11. Even the ending felt tacked on. Yes, I stuck with the series to the end, and like the TV show Lost, I wish I hadn't...

At least in the case of ASOIAF it seems like GRRM has a clear plan and an endgame in mind. Other than AFFC and ADWD throwing him off a bit, it seems like he's mostly stuck to that plan. The story is clearly built on top of what has come before and it doesn't feel like he's winging it with the big picture. Whether everyone will like it is another matter. ASOIAF is really on another whole level compared to SoT, though. I think the comparisons pretty much end beyond them both being fantasy and about war. I only brought up SoT and Goodkind because it was mentioned that the people posting the negative reviews are probably Goodkind fans. My gut reaction was, "Oh, he still has fans?" but thought a less confrontational approach would be better. ;)

Ha ha, I'm not even nice about it XD I can't believe people like him at all, but I understand feeling the need to stick with a story simply because you've gone so long with it.

Martin is a much, MUCH better writer. His problem is more with his storytelling, but at least his prose is readable. Goodkind was like reading some middle school paper.

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Ha ha, I'm not even nice about it XD I can't believe people like him at all, but I understand feeling the need to stick with a story simply because you've gone so long with it.

Martin is a much, MUCH better writer. His problem is more with his storytelling, but at least his prose is readable. Goodkind was like reading some middle school paper.

I stuck with it mainly for Zedd and Kahlan. Richard had his moments but he became pretty unlikeable by the end. Some of the supporting characters were good too. I even liked his approach to magic. The confessors felt pretty unique in a fantasy setting. The Mord-Sith were quite unique too, even if they were a little too S&M for my tastes. His villains, on the other hand, were basically more violent, more twisted versions of Darth Vader. Considering that Darth Vader hunted down and murdered all of the surviving Jedi, that's definitely saying something. Even the "I am your father!" subplot was kept.

Whatever the case, I definitely agree that GRRM is a much better writer. I think his storytelling is generally pretty solid too. He wavers on occasion but I think he gets it right more often than not. There are very few series that I've reread as many times as ASOIAF with the same desperate desire to see what happens next (even if I already know). The World of Ice & Fire is going to make rereads that much more rewarding I think.* I don't think I've ever been so excited to read fake history before. The Lord of the Rings is probably the only other example.

* My apologies for the thread derailing. That wasn't my intent.

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As far as I understood while reading the comments here and on the web, TWoIaF works like a sort of encyclopedia - though written in a matter that could be more enjoyable to the reader, with intentional bias and some misleading information.

Personally I don't see any reason to buy a book - supposed to be a compendium, as far as I can tell - that either doesn't have any mean or pretense of being complete (Not that it could. Asoiaf's story hasn't even ended yet) and that may or may not jab at fan theories without adding something exactly new on that regard that the series books alone can't manage to provide.

Since GRRM hasn't written it all (and the fact that Asoiaf hasn't ended yet), it's safe to assume that it contains either important things the reader is supposed to already know or minor info that the average reader could live without, since I refuse to believe that an author like GRRM would be so dishonest to put in a compendium book fundamental info without including them in his original story.

Unless I'm wrong, we are speaking about a compilation that it's intentionally partial, not totally written by the author and without a real reason to add something new that it's not marginal info or side notes.

Cohincidentally published in the meantime between the actual books while the tv series has most likely reached its peak. I guess that's what may irritate some people on the internet.

In my specific case I know it's not like that since despite being a low post user Ive been here for a while, I saw the wiki, the various SSM and the immense amount of time and details that occurred to put them all together while money or eventual speculation werent even on the horizon line. I write it down even if it should be so obvious and not even worth of mention, but I dont want my post to feel like mindless bashing because its definitely not.

What I question (and what some of these trolls may as well) is not the passion and not the amount of work, but its actual contents and their real necessity, or lack thereof.

If you are a huge fan it could be worth buying, but I guess it depends on the level of love you have for the series.

If someone feels I've been wrong or misleading please feel free to correct me.

Necessity? Who is talking about necessity?

Look, I was skeptical when I found out Martin wasn't writing it all. And yeah, I'm fairly certain Martin would never require owning this book for understanding ASOIF. And no, it's not a novel. On certain topics, there's little new. On others, there's a ton.

But reading this book was fucking fun. It was enjoyable. It provided well over $30 of entertainment value. It tells us about little monkey tail girl version of Azor Ahai. I mena, c'mon!

It's much more enjoyable than arguing about stupid shit on the internet. :)

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The book is a tad too expensive for my liking but otherwise it was a good read.



What I'd like to know is how much of it is complete fanfiction?



Was it a case of the authors making something up and GRRM approving it or was it the GRRM providing bits and pieces of history and the authors translating it into a story?


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The book is a tad too expensive for my liking but otherwise it was a good read.

What I'd like to know is how much of it is complete fanfiction?

Was it a case of the authors making something up and GRRM approving it or was it the GRRM providing bits and pieces of history and the authors translating it into a story?

I think it's a bit of both. GRRM saying a few things, they fill up the rest and he either approved it or not.

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George noted that calling it fan fiction would be "moronic". He didn't mince words.

Our AMA at Reddit explains the process here.

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Ok, that makes sense I suppose. If you don't mind me asking, Aegon marrying the Blackwood girl and Skagos having Obsidian. Was that something you made up was that GRRM's input?


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That's George. No way in hell would we have proposed additions to the Targaryen family tree. George has had Egg as married to Betha Blackwood since 1999 at the latest.

ETA: Let me add something, though. I don't mind the question about who generated a certain idea as a point of curiousity. But for many, it seems to be about "is it _really_ canon", and I'll just address that here: yes, this is all canonical work, and these are things that a maester in Westeros would understand and believe and write about. It doesn't matter if the seed of something came from Linda and I, or if it came from George, everything passed through his review and he kept or removed things as he felt best.

George notes that it was Phyllis Eisenstein who convinced him to have dragons in the books. Yet the dragons are canon -- and indeed central to the story -- despite that they weren't originally "his" idea. Same thing with our contributions to WoIaF.

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I take everything in the book as canon. The reason I asked, is that the chances of a detail influencing the main story becomes somewhat slimmer if the detail did not originate with GRRM himself especially as we are 5 books into the series.


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That's a fair reason to wonder about it. :)

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I can't get enough Targaryen history. They're like any crazed, entitled Italian renaissance family, put in charge of a whole continent.

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With regards to what's canon, does the same go for the artwork? Like, should we assume that whatever pictures are in the book are westeros paintings of real things?


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The art is out-of-world, in the sense that it's not in the maester's actual book, so... some of the art is very close to how George sees things, because he was heavily involved in directing the artists (Nasmith's castles, Villeneuve's mistresses of Aegon IV, Simonetti's Iron Throne), while others had less direct input and are more the artist's interpretation.

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The art can't be wholly canon, as it depicts young Tywin as having mousey- brown straight hair and blue eyes. I like the face and expression, but really? Why not use his canon description?! I actually really like everything else I have seen by the artist, and, weirdly enough, her other ASOIAF art usually looks pretty faithful to the text.

Also, Viserys I is depicted as having _dark_ hair and beard, which is quite a gaffe, IMHO, considering causes of the Dance.

I am also a bit unsure about the choice of portaits. Like, Elmo Tully and Forrest Frey, but no Visenya, Daemon Blackfyre, Bloodraven?

But otherwise, I have to admit that I was wrong about not wanting the art. This book is out of this world. It is generally a pity that so few adult books have illustrations nowadays, leave alone such beautiful ones.

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I waited a few days to review it Amazon, just so I could really get into it first, and my honest opinion is this: I love it! I bought the Kindle version and will definitely get the hardbound for my son for Xmas (and by Dec 26th, I will steal it ;-). I don't find $20/Kindle to be too much when compared to the fun I'll have reading it.

I think Elio & Linda (and George lol) did an amazing job with this (and the artwork is beautiful even in Kindle version). Well done guys, really.

Anyway, here's what I posted on Amazon:

I couldn't be happier! I bought the Kindle version (impatient person that I am) waited several days to write this review, just in case I was disappointed even a little -- but I an definitely not disappointed.

People are saying that you need to know what you're buying -- true! But isn't that true on all purchases? Come on, I'm sorry, but if you don't 'know what you're buying' -- that's on you. It's really clear what this book is, a great reference book written by a fictional maester, that gives us some back-stories we've been craving, as well as additional details on um... everything :-).

So here's the deal: If you're like a lot of us, you live for the re-read of ASOIAF books, it's your go-to series and you love catching little hints here and there (and learning new tiny details that aren't really so tiny after all ;-))... If this is you - there's no question you'll enjoy this!

If, instead, you're looking for another ASOIAF novel, well then perhaps it's time you read the description. This isn't it. We're all waiting for Book 6 (WoW) and this doesn't change that -- but what it *does* do, is give us more to hold us over.

I definitely recommend (and am ordering the hardbound for Xmas for my son)!

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