Livesundersink

Only 2 more books?

70 posts in this topic

Given how at the end of Dance Jon is still at the wall and is dead/dying, Dany is in the middle of bumf**k essos somewhere and previously had no plans to journey to westeros anytime soon and the lannisters are still in power in on the iron throne and war has come to westeros again the Euron and Faegon causing trouble. With all of this going is it will it be possible to bring the story to an end in just 2 books? even if both Winds and Dream are large volumes like Storm and Dance being 1000 pages each i just can't see the story coming to an end so soon when we have had 5 books building up to this conclusion with things only continuing to get worse for almost everyone.

Does anyone else agree with this?

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Maybe our idea of "ending" is just wrong? For example, most people consider defeating The Others as the ending, but that might not be the case.

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What is the 'end', though?

GRRM said it will be a bittersweet finish. To me, that indicates that it's not going to be a fairytale ending like LotR for example, where you had the feeling that everyone would live happily ever after.

Westeros was there before aGoT and will be there after aDoS. Two books should be enough to finish the particular story from the particular time in Westeros GRRM is showing us.

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The same topic was recently closed in the Winds of Winter forum; it's still in the top 5-10 topics on that board. I think there is some very salient points there in the early pages, especially. Many would agree that under the current pacing, assuming justice for most of the main storylines, it would indeed take more than 2 books to finish the story.

Personally, I see two trump cards that are playable/palatable for finishing the story in 2 books, without feeling rushed. The first, sounds like a great deal of fun to read, but wouldn't be my choice. If winter is a great deal more cataclysmic than we currently assume. Storylines can wrap up quickly if the end result is death. What if, after the first third of the book (mainly wrapping up Mereen fight, and Winterfell fight) WOW is just a wasteland romp of death and devastation. Winter, Army of Darkness, just crushes through everything. No one has proper stores because of war. Folks are just getting killed or starving or killing themselves ahead of the first two plights at every turn. The whole thing is like a horror movie. The pockets of humanity holding out across the map 'dream of spring' as some Hail Mary miracle they know will never come. Likely in this scenario, the miracle arrives, with Danny showing up in Westeros 1/3 of the way into ADOS with dragons and a fresh army with supplies and turns back the night.  Bittersweet is the Targ on the IT for 7 Kingdoms that have a population that's been reduced by 90% and is littered far and wide by the dead and formerly walking dead alike.

The other option for a 2 book resolution - that I favor - is Aegon is less a Quentyn-like throwaway plot moving character, and more of an answer to the knot. Obviously not the way GRRM originally envisioned the books - but then he also envisioned a trilogy and shipped Jon and Arya, so things change. I've heard how GRRM has said he knows the fates of certain main characters, but less-so the fates of the peripherals. But I've always taken that more in the important deaths that need to happen, and those who he expects will live through the end of the book. It never meant their paths were set in stone, just that they'd live (or not) to walk them. I think there's a fluidity to the story that extends beyond peripheral characters. The largest obstacle to a 2 book resolution is the timing it would take for Danny to finish up her stuff in Essos, get to Westeros, and then do what she needs to do there - without the story/plot shitting the bed. (exhibit 1: GOT)

If we eliminate the idea that she ever needs to step foot in Westeros, the timeline for 2 books clears up a great deal. In WOW the North Fights itself, and begins its fight  with the dead. (likely ending WOW on a bad note). In WOW, Aegon takes the throne and the Riverlands and Vale storylines can figure themselves out/get linked up with one another. And in WOW Danny can have her Dosh Khaleen vision quest and lots of drama and whatever. End result - she stops with her insipid usurper's dogs nonsense and realizes Essos has crowned her and loved her and she's not leaving her people. Because -lets be serious for a second- she should have zip, zero, and no illusion that if she leaves Slavers Bay she is turning her people over to Civil War, death, and slavery. There's no plot device I can think of that brings the whole slave-population of Slaver's Bay to Westeros by boat. 

ASOS then would be left with finishing Jon/et al winning the war vs the dead, rebuilding life in the north and the wall/wilding stuff. Aegon finishing a fight with Euron to stabilize the lower 6 kingdoms and bring peace. Danny essentially ending the Essos slave cartel by sacking Volantis with help of slave revolt, becoming a ruler of her new "7 kingdoms." (I don't know, just running with scissors now - figure a kingdom she rules stretching from Voltanis to Qarth with the Dothraki Sea as her northern border. (like "the north" in the Westeros 7k) Then just general winding down of the story, fleshing out the nebulous future and whatnot.

 

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1 hour ago, Livesundersink said:

i just can't see the story coming to an end so soon when we have had 5 books building up to this conclusion with things only continuing to get worse for almost everyone.

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention.

1 hour ago, BadWo1f said:

Maybe our idea of "ending" is just wrong? For example, most people consider defeating The Others as the ending, but that might not be the case.

This. Most people seem to think that this is the story of humanity defeating the Others. It isn't.

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9 hours ago, Livesundersink said:

With all of this going is it will it be possible to bring the story to an end in just 2 books?

I don't think it's likely.

But is it doable?  Sure.  Depending on the story he wants to tell.  If he uses shorter, more concise chapters, especially when dealing with secondary characters, he can cover alot of ground in a single 1000-page volume.  

He just has to let go of the idea that he can have maximum immersion, and maximum scope at the same time.  Something's got to give, or else he won't finish even in 12 more volumes.

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8 hours ago, JordanJH1993 said:

GRRM said it will be a bittersweet finish. To me, that indicates that it's not going to be a fairytale ending like LotR for example, where you had the feeling that everyone would live happily ever after.

This comment makes me wonder if you read LOTR.   In any event, GRRM considers LOTR's ending to be bittersweet.  The general thrust of his comments was far closer to "bittersweet like LOTR" than to "bittersweet unlike LOTR."

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23 hours ago, Damon_Tor said:

This. Most people seem to think that this is the story of humanity defeating the Others. It isn't.

Well he put the Others into the books and built up the threat of them arriving. It would not be very good if he put that into the room and then refused to do anything with it. So the war against thew Others has to be an element of the story.

15 hours ago, Lew Theobald said:

This comment makes me wonder if you read LOTR.   In any event, GRRM considers LOTR's ending to be bittersweet.  The general thrust of his comments was far closer to "bittersweet like LOTR" than to "bittersweet unlike LOTR."

^This. Whoever thinks that the LoTR has a  unambiguously "happy" ending, hasn't read the Lord of the Rings, plain and simple. Sure Sauron is defeated and Aragorn gets his kingdom, but Middle Earth irrevocably loses its magical element. There will never again be a Golden Wood or a Gandalf or walking trees or talking animals, the craftsmanship of the Dwarves and the beauty of the Elves fade from the world. Frodo never again recovers from his ordeal and Arwen found out first hand how brief mortal existence is, something she was not prepared for, at all. And there were still plenty of wars, falseness and brutality to go around. 

I blame the movies for this misconception. They made a lot of effort to show the "dark" side of Middle Earth's magic and Orcs and such, but failed to quite translate the beautiful or fairy tale aspects of it.

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On 8/5/2017 at 7:48 AM, Livesundersink said:

i just can't see the story coming to an end so soon when we have had 5 books building up to this conclusion with things only continuing to get worse for almost everyone.

Does anyone else agree with this?

Sure.  If by "worse," you don't mean "less happy for the characters," but "further removed from any kind of logical conclusion."  We are nowhere near a logical conclusion in any subplot.

The only way GRRM could wrap the series in two books would be to accelerate his storytelling so much that it'd resemble what we saw in AGOT.  

Example: in AGOT, Catelyn travels from Winterfell to King's Landing and we don't get a single pitstop chapter, though such a journey should have taken her months.  Boom!  She's there, and the plot rolls forward as a result.

But It's been a long, long time since GRRM wrote this efficiently, and I don't see any sign he's going back to it.  Since AFFC he instead focuses on slooooow transitions, because (a) they let him explore his world in a little more detail and (b) they let his characters muse over various factors, which GRRM sees as fleshing them out as people.

Davos' chapters in ADWD are a good example.  About all he accomplishes, really, is to find out that Rickon is on Skagos.  Somehow, GRRM spends four (!) chapters achieving this tiny feat.  Why?  Well, I think it's because those chapters let GRRM explore both White Harbor (a place his story has never gone before) and Davos.

But that kind of decisionmaking on GRRM's part, if it continues in TWOW and ADOS, is just never going to finish the series in two books.  And he's on record that only he will ever finish the series.  When you consider that he tends to take 1.5 more years for each book than he did for the last, it seems increasingly doubtful that ASOIAF -- if an eight-book saga at least -- will ever be finished.

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On 8/5/2017 at 7:48 AM, Livesundersink said:

Given how at the end of Dance Jon is still at the wall and is dead/dying, Dany is in the middle of bumf**k essos somewhere and previously had no plans to journey to westeros anytime soon and the lannisters are still in power in on the iron throne and war has come to westeros again the Euron and Faegon causing trouble. With all of this going is it will it be possible to bring the story to an end in just 2 books? even if both Winds and Dream are large volumes like Storm and Dance being 1000 pages each i just can't see the story coming to an end so soon when we have had 5 books building up to this conclusion with things only continuing to get worse for almost everyone.

Does anyone else agree with this?

It is entirely possible to wrap everything up in two books. We've got the Wall probably coming down, which will make things easier for the Others, dragons coming who can kill hundreds with one long breath of flame from the air, a potential greyscale plague looming, and plenty of warfare going on. What people survive all of that still have to contend with cold and starvation. Things are going to start moving a lot faster with so many character arcs colliding.

One book to finish up the bulk of the political crap and faction-based fighting with a sprinkling of the real threat mixed in, and the final book to deal with the last of the Iron Throne nonsense and make a desperate last stand against the Others, with possibly a bit of anti-climactic where-we-go-from-here from the survivors after the battles are done.

Could certainly be done. We just have to wait and see if it will be done. Sometimes the story dictates things the author didn't plan, so yes it could take more.

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On 5.08.2017 at 3:25 PM, JordanJH1993 said:

What is the 'end', though?

GRRM said it will be a bittersweet finish. To me, that indicates that it's not going to be a fairytale ending like LotR for example, where you had the feeling that everyone would live happily ever after.

Did you? Happily ever after? For everyone? Huh.

‘There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?’

Anyway, people treat that "bittersweet ending" as too much of a spoiler, while, in truth, that's the only kind of an ending this story can have! "Happy" went out the window with Ned's head (and if not that, then all the grim shit that happened after that). A full-on downer ending, OTOH, would leave both the reader and, I believe, the author, fiercely dissatisfied. So, bittersweet ending it is.

Back to the topic - GRRM could finish the series in two more books, if he made a conscientious effort. Among other things, prune without mercy several threads. "A Game of Thrones" had the feel of an epic work, but compared to the later books, it's positively spartan. Concentrate more on the core characters, and less on all those Greyjoys and Martells. Focus on KL, Winterfell and the Wall, fuck the Slavers Bay and the Stormlands and Dorne and the Iron Islands and wherever the hell Brienne is right now. Don't think of telling the complete story of every character already introduced, and be frugal with introducing new ones. Oh, and bring Dany to Westeros ASAP if not sooner. Frankly, it's already too late, but all the more reason to stop dragging feet already.

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It is possible to wrap up the story in two books and Martin seems more than capable of doing it without it seeming rushed. Having said that, I feel it may not be the best idea. I'm personally not a big fan of the iron islands and Tyrion in Essos storylines, but I loved reading the Brienne chapters and Dany's failed attempts to govern Mereen. So if Martin decides to streamline, he's going to disappoint some faction of his readers no matter what he decides to cut short.

While I definitely would want to get to the conclusion of the series as soon as possible, I think more than two more books would be the way to go to satisfactorily conclude all of the present storylines.

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In order to finish in two books, there are two events that need to happen by the middle of TWOW, or the 2/3 mark at the latest: the Wall comes down, or at least is under serious attack; and Dany arrives in Westeros, or Western Essos (Pentos, Braavos, etc.).  If this happens, it is possible to wrap things up in 2 books.  Otherwise,I have doubts.

Martin really needs to distill the story to its essentials, and concentrate on the principal characters (Starks, Lannisters, Dany, and Stannis).  Other stories need to be consolidated, wrapped up, or discarded.  This means Ironborn, Dorne, FM, Slavers Bay, BwB, and the like will either have to join other plots or get wound up.  I expect the Ironborn and Dorn to get consolidated with other stories, and the others to be left behind (and good riddance).  If he can get back to the essentials, it is possible.  That may be easier said that done,however, and may be what is taking so long (deciding which of his children to kill off, so to say).  

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1 hour ago, Apoplexy said:

It is possible to wrap up the story in two books and Martin seems more than capable of doing it without it seeming rushed. Having said that, I feel it may not be the best idea. I'm personally not a big fan of the iron islands and Tyrion in Essos storylines, but I loved reading the Brienne chapters and Dany's failed attempts to govern Mereen. So if Martin decides to streamline, he's going to disappoint some faction of his readers no matter what he decides to cut short.

The choice might be not between sooner and later, but between later and never. Between the story he would want to write and the story he can actually finish and deliver.

1 hour ago, Apoplexy said:

While I definitely would want to get to the conclusion of the series as soon as possible, I think more than two more books would be the way to go to satisfactorily conclude all of the present storylines.

The worst thing is, you might be right - where "right" means "seeing things the same way GRRM does". Seems he isn't satisfied with just doing it, or even just doing it well - it needs to be done perfectly perfect (like: the Meereneese knot and the delay it caused). Which it won't be, no matter what (was anyone particularly impressed with the knot's final resolution?).

If we are ever to see the words "The End", GRRM needs to stop being artist and start being craftsman.

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He could finish the ASOIAF series in two more books. He has his people in place with their cliffhangers.

 

GoT 800+ pages, 8 PoV’s, 72 chapters

CoK 969+ pages, 9 PoV’s, 69 chapters

SoS 1100+ pages, 10 PoV’s, 80 chapters

FfC 970+ pages, 12 PoV’s, 45 chapters

DwD, 950+ pages, 16 PoV’s, 72 chapters

 

This is a link in case I got my numbers incorrect.  http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Chapters_Table_of_contents

There is no such thing as perfection. No matter how he tells the story people are going to gripe. All he can do is tell his fictional story. Except, he is not merely a professional writer now. He is a businessman with many irons in the fire.

 

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I am a bit sceptical about finishing the story in a compelling way with just two more books. Even if the Others are never really a significant factor. Just looking at all the released preview chapters tells me there is still so much to come. I don't want him to discard or rush any storylines, every single one should come to a natural and logical conclusion.

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I suspect a lot of people are about to die in the next book so the story will be narrowed down and focused more on the endgame.

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On 8/5/2017 at 11:25 PM, JordanJH1993 said:

GRRM said it will be a bittersweet finish. To me, that indicates that it's not going to be a fairytale ending like LotR for example, where you had the feeling that everyone would live happily ever after.

Lord of the Rings has a bittersweet ending. The rings were preserving magic in Middle-Earth and the loss of the One Ring means that magic will slowly fade away. The Elves leave for the Undying Lands, leaving their forests to slowly decay away instead of remaining for an eternity in bliss. The Ents never find their wives, the Shire's beauty has fallen to the industry of Sauruman and Bilbo and Frodo are forever haunted by the call of the One Ring.

In the end, the hobbits who bore the rings also have to leave for the Undying Land. Of them, only Sam reached true closure and lived a truly happy life. Bilbo's hopes of another adventure never happened (although he did outlive "The Old Took" to be the oldest ever hobbit, but this achievement strained his mind and body), Frodo never settled and his wounds pained him for the rest of his life.

I think that aSoIaF will end in a similar bittersweet fashion. Defeating Sauron cost Middle-Earth its magic. Eventually, hobbits, dwarves, elves, dragons and eagles all leave middle-earth, leaving only humans behind.

aSoIaF could be like this: defeating the Others comes at the cost of the dragons, or the magics that held the Wall, or the sanity and power of the formerly powerful. The ones who saved the world may live their days tormented and wounded.

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19 hours ago, JNR said:

 

The only way GRRM could wrap the series in two books would be to accelerate his storytelling so much that it'd resemble what we saw in AGOT.  

Example: in AGOT, Catelyn travels from Winterfell to King's Landing and we don't get a single pitstop chapter, though such a journey should have taken her months.  Boom!  She's there, and the plot rolls forward as a result.

[....]

  And he's on record that only he will ever finish the series. 

I miss the way he wrote in GoT-SoS :( I don't care what Willas Tyrell eats for breakfast or what conversations Cersei has with her Myrish Swamp.

2.Nah, the show will finish the series at the very least. It will not be in book form and it will be severely abridged and les logical, but it will be a finale.

Now I haven't read most of the sample chapters, but what I have read  sounds exactly like more of ADWDFFC, plus remember his old statements that in the next book we will "explore" the lands beyond the Wall? "Exploring" doesn't sound very much like plot progression.

14 hours ago, Nevets said:

concentrate on the principal characters (Starks, Lannisters, Dany, and Stannis).

:lmao:

That aside...yeah, he'd need to do that. Not every Greyjoy needs a POV. Or any Greyjoy at all at this point, reallu/

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22 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

Well he put the Others into the books and built up the threat of them arriving. It would not be very good if he put that into the room and then refused to do anything with it. So the war against thew Others has to be an element of the story.

Satan appears to Christ, and features prominently in the backstory, but isn't defeated by Christ. All we get is a prophecy that he will someday be defeated Christ.

I never said they weren't an element of the story. They are. But the story isn't about them.

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