hallam

How to capture a wight with fewest casualties

97 posts in this topic

16 hours ago, ummester said:

Perhaps GRRM wanted his story to devolve into something more like Dragonlance all along, with less internal logic and dread and more action adventure - but I don't buy it, he seems a reasonably smart and consistent guy, so I think if he wanted to write a Dragonlance he would have started with the appropriate tone.

I honestly think GRRM himself hadn't worked out how to continuously introduce more magic while keeping his grounded, realistic tone.

Look at TPatQ. The idea was simple: the Dance of the Dragons is the Anarchy from English history, but since the fighting centers around dragons instead of castles it's all over in a years instead of decades. But as you go along, that idea works less and less. The story beats go from matching the historical ones perfectly to only sort of vaguely fitting, and by the end he can't even figure out how to end the story so he just gives us a "And then lots of other cool things happened in the last 6 months of the war" paragraph.

I think he's had the same problem, just bigger and broader, with ASoIaF. He threw in a bunch of both Lovecraftian and high-fantasy references around the edges of the story, but ultimately it's all background, and the story is about people and how their realistic internal conflicts create the external conflicts. Except that in the end, there's a dragon invasion and a zombie invasion and the gods (or whatever people are misinterpreting as gods) become more important and Euron has magic relics and so on. The story has to start to take both the fantasy and the horror as foreground, and that changes everything in ways he still hasn't figured out how to deal with. Turning the fourth book into two books that took a decade to write and slowed the plot down as much as possible delays the problem, but he can't keep doing that forever. ADwD is already a very different book than the first three novels (and is a good book for very different reasons), and there's no way the last two books won't be even more different if they're going to be any good, and I'm not sure even he knows how he's going to make it work.

Meanwhile, the show can't do that at all. They have to bring the fantasy and the horror center-stage now and end the story in two years, and do it without seeing how (or if…) GRRM pulls it off.

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On 8/16/2017 at 9:34 AM, Little Lady Mormont said:

What about Uncle Benjen? Would he could as a wight? 

George said technically Jon is a wight as well.  

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1 hour ago, falcotron said:

I honestly think GRRM himself hadn't worked out how to continuously introduce more magic while keeping his grounded, realistic tone.

Look at TPatQ. The idea was simple: the Dance of the Dragons is the Anarchy from English history, but since the fighting centers around dragons instead of castles it's all over in a years instead of decades. But as you go along, that idea works less and less. The story beats go from matching the historical ones perfectly to only sort of vaguely fitting, and by the end he can't even figure out how to end the story so he just gives us a "And then lots of other cool things happened in the last 6 months of the war" paragraph.

I think he's had the same problem, just bigger and broader, with ASoIaF. He threw in a bunch of both Lovecraftian and high-fantasy references around the edges of the story, but ultimately it's all background, and the story is about people and how their realistic internal conflicts create the external conflicts. Except that in the end, there's a dragon invasion and a zombie invasion and the gods (or whatever people are misinterpreting as gods) become more important and Euron has magic relics and so on. The story has to start to take both the fantasy and the horror as foreground, and that changes everything in ways he still hasn't figured out how to deal with. Turning the fourth book into two books that took a decade to write and slowed the plot down as much as possible delays the problem, but he can't keep doing that forever. ADwD is already a very different book than the first three novels (and is a good book for very different reasons), and there's no way the last two books won't be even more different if they're going to be any good, and I'm not sure even he knows how he's going to make it work.

Meanwhile, the show can't do that at all. They have to bring the fantasy and the horror center-stage now and end the story in two years, and do it without seeing how (or if…) GRRM pulls it off.

My honest opinion is that GRRM has painted himself into a corner and there won't be any more books after the next one. Assuming we even get the next one that is...

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1 hour ago, Green Knight said:

My honest opinion is that GRRM has painted himself into a corner and there won't be any more books after the next one. Assuming we even get the next one that is...

I agree.  I wish he would wireframe the story, hire a team of writers and let them fill in the details and double check for repetitions and continuity.  GRRM would perform final edits and push back anything he did not like 100%.  It wouldn't be too far from the practice of one person drawing a comic or anime and a team inking it.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Col Cinders said:

I agree.  I wish he would wireframe the story, hire a team of writers and let them fill in the details and double check for repetitions and continuity.  GRRM would perform final edits and push back anything he did not like 100%.  It wouldn't be too far from the practice of one person drawing a comic or anime and a team inking it.

I agree with you. That would be great if he would do that just to at least get the story finished and give us - the book fans - some closure. But I seriously doubt he would. He has more money than he knows what to do with already, so there's no motivation there; and bringing in a team to help him finish it would be a pretty big blow to the ego. An admission of defeat that he couldn't complete it on his own.

It's his signature story. I can't imagine him allowing something like that to happen. I think he'd rather go down in history as having died while "working on it". Dying before it could be completed sounds better than admitting you couldn't finish it on your own and needed to bring in others to help.

Edited by Green Knight

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15 minutes ago, Green Knight said:

I agree with you. That would be great if he would do that just to at least get the story finished and give us - the book fans - some closure. But I seriously doubt he would. He has more money than he knows what to do with already, so there's no motivation there; and bringing in a team to help him finish it would be a pretty big blow to the ego. An admission of defeat that he couldn't complete it on his own.

It's his signature story. I can't imagine him allowing something like that to happen. I think he'd rather go down in history as having died while "working on it". Dying before it could be completed sounds better than admitting you couldn't finish it on your own and needed to bring in others to help.

He's clearly more interested in writing other stories in that world than finishing the saga. After promising not to write anything else until he finishes the novels, he wrote The Rogue Prince, The Princess and the Queen, and Sons of the Dragon, and now he says part 1 of Fire and Blood is mostly done and will be out shortly after Winds, and we know he's going right back to She-Wolves of Winterfell or a replacement Dunk & Egg story after that.

Maybe what he should do is write a F+B style history of ASoIaF, get that published, and then come back and write the novels when he feels like it, instead of feeling pressured to do the novels or nothing. (Even better if he'd sketched it out and given the outline to D&D a few years ago instead of continuing to insist he can finish the novels any day now.)

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Easy Answer:

Don't.

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Oh back to the thread title...

If you went to Dragonstone to get dragon glass for fighting the undead and then you left Dragonstone to purposely go past the wall would you oh I don't know take some dragon glass weapons with you?  I know this sounds foolish but hey why not bring a few you know just in case you might want to kill an undead WW or something.  Maybe even a quiver of dragon glass tipped arrows?  nah that would be just silly.

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57 minutes ago, Col Cinders said:

Oh back to the thread title...

If you went to Dragonstone to get dragon glass for fighting the undead and then you left Dragonstone to purposely go past the wall would you oh I don't know take some dragon glass weapons with you?  I know this sounds foolish but hey why not bring a few you know just in case you might want to kill an undead WW or something.  Maybe even a quiver of dragon glass tipped arrows?  nah that would be just silly.

Ha Ha! I was thinking the same thing. The show is fun to watch but my suspension of disbelief is sorely being tested with every new episode. Who comes up with this stuff? :D

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1 hour ago, Pandean said:

Easy Answer:

Don't.

I'm confused. Who were you responding to? Don't what? 

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45 minutes ago, Green Knight said:

I'm confused. Who were you responding to? Don't what? 

It was a (poor) joke.

"How to capture a wight with the fewest casualties"

Answer: Don't.

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2 minutes ago, Pandean said:

It was a (poor) joke.

"How to capture a wight with the fewest casualties"

Answer: Don't.

Ha Ha!:D 

For me, it's not even the idea of capturing the wight that is so stupid. I could see where that might even be a semi viable option if you were trying to convince a reasonable person who flat out refuses to believe they exist without proof. But we are talking about Cersei. To begin with, she already has a zombie body guard so what is so hard to believe about an army of undead soldiers?

Secondly, and most importantly, again - she is Cersei. She doesn't give a rat's fuzzy ass crack what you bring her. They aren't going to change her mind. The only thing she cares about is the Iron Throne and destroying her enemies. The whole plot line is simply idiotic. . .

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9 hours ago, falcotron said:

I honestly think GRRM himself hadn't worked out how to continuously introduce more magic while keeping his grounded, realistic tone.

Look at TPatQ. The idea was simple: the Dance of the Dragons is the Anarchy from English history, but since the fighting centers around dragons instead of castles it's all over in a years instead of decades. But as you go along, that idea works less and less. The story beats go from matching the historical ones perfectly to only sort of vaguely fitting, and by the end he can't even figure out how to end the story so he just gives us a "And then lots of other cool things happened in the last 6 months of the war" paragraph.

I think he's had the same problem, just bigger and broader, with ASoIaF. He threw in a bunch of both Lovecraftian and high-fantasy references around the edges of the story, but ultimately it's all background, and the story is about people and how their realistic internal conflicts create the external conflicts. Except that in the end, there's a dragon invasion and a zombie invasion and the gods (or whatever people are misinterpreting as gods) become more important and Euron has magic relics and so on. The story has to start to take both the fantasy and the horror as foreground, and that changes everything in ways he still hasn't figured out how to deal with. Turning the fourth book into two books that took a decade to write and slowed the plot down as much as possible delays the problem, but he can't keep doing that forever. ADwD is already a very different book than the first three novels (and is a good book for very different reasons), and there's no way the last two books won't be even more different if they're going to be any good, and I'm not sure even he knows how he's going to make it work.

Meanwhile, the show can't do that at all. They have to bring the fantasy and the horror center-stage now and end the story in two years, and do it without seeing how (or if…) GRRM pulls it off.

I agree with your analysis but don't think it is impossible to do - all that is required is a logical imagination. However, a logical imagination always leads no place good with realistic human institutions and magic. He needs to reference the way the world reacts to things like Dr Manhattan in Watchmen (strange I used the same example for and against) and it is not positive.

Like it makes no sense that show Davos is so accepting of Jon, a man raised from the dead by a Red Priestess he deeply distrusts. It made no sense he even asked her to do it. The story would have made more sense if she snuck in and did it herself, trying to reclaim her own faith like Thoros did with Beric.

The other thing is that the story needs to decide exactly what it's fantasy is. I read an article once, can't remember the details, but it suggested literature that deals with the extra-normal falls into basic groups - Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror - separated by how the extra normal is represented. Sci Fi to be understood, Fantasy to be marvelled over and Horror to be feared. I thought ASoIaF was going down the horror route, with all the extra normal ending up as something to be feared, or at least misunderstood. But Dany's dragons seem somewhere in between fantasy and horror, as do the White Walkers now.

It's all becoming tonally and logically inconsistent, which is doubly noticeable because it started so well.

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7 hours ago, Col Cinders said:

Oh back to the thread title...

If you went to Dragonstone to get dragon glass for fighting the undead and then you left Dragonstone to purposely go past the wall would you oh I don't know take some dragon glass weapons with you?  I know this sounds foolish but hey why not bring a few you know just in case you might want to kill an undead WW or something.  Maybe even a quiver of dragon glass tipped arrows?  nah that would be just silly.

They did...... Valyrian steel.

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On 8/17/2017 at 9:32 PM, Col Cinders said:

Genius!

Just need a kit from ACME and a sign that reads, "Free Bitch Seed" :D

I like the way you think. Complete with an anvil dangling above the pile of seeds. :D

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8 hours ago, Samwell_Tarly said:

They did...... Valyrian steel.

I haven't seen the episode yet but isn't Jon the only one equipped with valyrian? 

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11 hours ago, ummester said:

I agree with your analysis but don't think it is impossible to do - all that is required is a logical imagination. However, a logical imagination always leads no place good with realistic human institutions and magic. He needs to reference the way the world reacts to things like Dr Manhattan in Watchmen (strange I used the same example for and against) and it is not positive.

Like it makes no sense that show Davos is so accepting of Jon, a man raised from the dead by a Red Priestess he deeply distrusts. It made no sense he even asked her to do it. The story would have made more sense if she snuck in and did it herself, trying to reclaim her own faith like Thoros did with Beric.

The other thing is that the story needs to decide exactly what it's fantasy is. I read an article once, can't remember the details, but it suggested literature that deals with the extra-normal falls into basic groups - Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror - separated by how the extra normal is represented. Sci Fi to be understood, Fantasy to be marvelled over and Horror to be feared. I thought ASoIaF was going down the horror route, with all the extra normal ending up as something to be feared, or at least misunderstood. But Dany's dragons seem somewhere in between fantasy and horror, as do the White Walkers now.

It's all becoming tonally and logically inconsistent, which is doubly noticeable because it started so well.

I appreciate your analysis but I don't think you can pigeonhole someone's storyline like that. To seperate a story into those three basic and seperate categories is to dictate what someone can or can't do with his own tale. Why shouldn't or couldn't you have elements of all three? I'm not picking on you personally so don't take this the wrong way but that article you sighted is just someone's opinion. Doesn't mean it's cannon. I don't think anyone should limit anyone else's creativity. That's what it sounds like the author of that article is doing by categorizing fantasy like that. The LOTR trilogy is a good example of both horror and fantasy mixed as just one example. There are tons of others in both literature and film in my opinion. . . 

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15 hours ago, ummester said:

The other thing is that the story needs to decide exactly what it's fantasy is. I read an article once, can't remember the details, but it suggested literature that deals with the extra-normal falls into basic groups - Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror - separated by how the extra normal is represented. Sci Fi to be understood, Fantasy to be marvelled over and Horror to be feared. I thought ASoIaF was going down the horror route, with all the extra normal ending up as something to be feared, or at least misunderstood. But Dany's dragons seem somewhere in between fantasy and horror, as do the White Walkers now.

It's all becoming tonally and logically inconsistent, which is doubly noticeable because it started so well.

As for the understood/marveled/feared distinction, you brought up Alan Moore, so I'll paraphrase him: Marvel and fear are both just awe seen through different neuroses, and anyone who isn't afraid of Marvelman is fooling himself. Yes, the dragons are fantastic and marvelous, but they should be scary (that's why we'll never know whether they ate that little girl or not). And yes, the White Walkers are scary, but they should also be marvelous. They're both awesome (in the pre-1980s sense of the term), and I think that comes across, in both versions. So, I don't think this is the problem at all.

I think the real reason the story started off well is that the fantasy and horror were kept in the background, and used with a light touch. Really, they're mainly there to trick you into reading quasi-historical personal and political fiction and realizing how much you enjoyed it (and to aid GRRM in his imagination—"How could William's conquest be different in an interesting way?" is a much worse question than "How would William's conquest have been different if he'd had three dragons and nobody else had any?"). Very few of us would have read a book on an alternate-history take on the Plantagenets, but what we all loved about AGoT was all the stuff with Tywin, Varys, LF, Renly, Ned, Cat, etc., not the fact that GRRM had come up with a cool twist on zombies.

The problem is that the story is inexorably turning into a story where the dragons and the Others are central to everything that happens, while the game of thrones is becoming almost a distraction. That's a major shift in tone, and it's one that has to be planned out and executed carefully. The show seems to be just jerking in fits and starts from one to the other, while the novels seem to be putting the shift off as long as possible. (The latter strategy could certainly work—I personally can't see how to engineer the shift in tone between ADwD and TWoW to pull it off, but then I couldn't have written AGoT either; I'm not an award-winning fantasist who's been struggling near-full-time with the question for years… But we don't yet know that it will.)

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4 hours ago, Green Knight said:

I haven't seen the episode yet but isn't Jon the only one equipped with valyrian? 

I'm 99% sure Jorahs two daggers he uses are like make shift dragon glass ones

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