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WhatAnArtist!

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  1. In my experience, it's critics that are the ones that will trash something based on its ideological/political undertones, not the regular fans.
  2. A while ago I had a dream that I went to a book-shop and picked up The Winds of Winter, which was so large it had to be divided into two volumes like Storm. I was so indescribably happy to get those books. When I woke up, I felt like crying.
  3. I don't think there's enough work to be had on the Iron Islands for the "masters and nobles" to "labor with their hands". Multiple PoVs have described the Iron Islands as being mostly barren and unfertile land. That's why almost all of the nobles become captains and sail the seas instead.
  4. One of the many reasons why Jaime's PoV is my favourite in the whole series is because how every single relationship he has dramatically changes between just two books, but it never feels forced or rushed. His character development feels so naturally written, you almost don't notice a lot of the changes at first, but on re-reads it becomes more apparent.
  5. Except that's outlawed, and the only lords that still follow it have to do it in complete secrecy because of how taboo it is. That's very different from the wildlings basing their entire marriage system on a literal rape culture. Just saying "Yes, integration is the only correct thing" is just as simplistic as saying "Integration should not be tried".
  6. I think it's important to make a distinction between disgusting and disturbing, so that's why I'm going to agree with @Falcon2909. I think the various atrocities of characters like Ramsay, Euron, etc. are more accurately described as disturbing rather than disgusting.
  7. I don't know about any objective judgements, but in my own personal opinion it's gotta be Arianne. Based on the absolutely exhaustive lengths that Martin goes to describe her physical appearance, I think he probably agrees too. Arianne is like a check-list of every single thing I find attractive in a woman. I certainly do not blame poor Ser Arys for dishonouring his vows.
  8. Having just finished my re-read of the series, and having nothing better to do, I decided to make a list of where each chapter takes place, out of mild curiosity to see how evenly - or not so evenly - the chapters are spread out across the known world that Martin created. Here's the totals for each of the five books, and then I'll provide a grand total at the end. Note: I considered making King's Landing its own separate category because so many chapters take place there, but I wanted to be consistent by keeping things to the larger region. A Game of Thrones: The Crownlands | 22 chapters The North | 19 chapters The Riverlands | 9 chapters The Dothraki Sea | 8 chapters The Wall | 6 chapters The Vale | 5 chapters Beyond the Wall | 2 chapters The Free Cities | 2 chapters A Clash of Kings: The Crownlands | 28 chapters The Riverlands | 12 chapters The North | 11 chapters Beyond the Wall | 7 chapters The Red Waste | 5 chapters The Stormlands | 3 chapters The Iron Islands | 2 chapters The Wall | 1 chapter The Reach | 1 chapter A Storm of Swords The Riverlands | 26 chapters The Crownlands | 25 chapters Beyond the Wall | 9 chapters The Wall | 9 chapters Slaver's Bay | 5 chapters The North | 4 chapters The Vale | 3 chapters The Summer Sea | 1 chapter A Feast for Crows The Crownlands | 18 chapters The Riverlands | 8 chapters The Iron Islands | 4 chapters Dorne | 4 chapters The Free Cities | 4 chapters The Vale | 3 chapters The Reach | 3 chapters The Wall | 1 chapter The North | 1 chapter A Dance with Dragons Slaver's Bay | 21 chapters The North | 13 chapters The Wall | 11 chapters The Free Cities | 11 chapters Beyond the Wall | 6 chapters The Crownlands | 3 chapters The Summer Sea | 2 chapters The Vale | 1 chapter The Riverlands | 1 chapter The Stormlands | 1 chapter Dorne | 1 chapter The Dothraki Sea | 1 chapter Grand totals: The Crownlands | 86 chapters The Riverlands | 56 chapters The North | 46 chapters The Wall | 28 chapters Slaver's Bay | 26 chapters Beyond the Wall | 24 chapters The Free Cities | 17 chapters The Vale | 12 chapters The Dothraki Sea | 9 chapters The Iron Islands | 6 chapters Dorne | 5 chapters The Red Waste | 5 chapters The Stormlands | 4 chapters The Reach | 4 chapters The Summer Sea | 3 chapters As you can see, the Crownlands and the Riverlands dominate this series. There are 331 chapters in this series, and 142 of them take place in these two regions, which is 42%. Despite the Crownlands and the Riverlands being among the most geographically small regions of Westeros, almost half of the series' chapters take place here, and for the Crownlands its overwhelmingly focused on one city. Despite being the homelands of the major houses of the Tyrells and Baratheons respectively, the Reach and the Stormlands have only four chapters each taking place in these regions, not even as many combined as take place in the Dothraki Sea. The Iron Islands and Dorne have fewer chapters than I initially expected. There's only 6 Iron Islands chapters - two in Clash and four in Feast - and 5 Dorne chapters - 4 in Feast and one in Dance. Even in the book that theoretically was supposed to flesh out these regions - A Feast for Crows - they barely show up compared to other places. A Dance with Dragons is the only book in the series where there are more chapters that take place in Essos than any other single region, because of the influx of PoVs to that continent. Before Dance there was only ever one PoV in Essos at a time - Dany in the first three books, and Arya in Feast*, but Dance sees an unusual high of 7 different PoVs there throughout the book - Arya, Tyrion, Connington, Quentyn, Daenerys, Barristan, and Victarian. A Dance with Dragons is the book that covers the most separate regions - 12 - while A Game of Thrones and A Storm of Swords - are tied last with only 8 regions. I blame the overwhelming focus on the multiple Riverlands travelogue story-arcs in Storm. That said, quite a few of the regions shown in Dance are only one-off chapters, e.g. the Riverlands, the Stormlands, Dorne, the Dothraki Sea. * Okay Sam had one chapter in Braavos, but still.
  9. I think Varys wins the prize here. His whole "WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!" shtick rings very hollow when he's gone out of his way several times to destabilise regimes that were actually ensuring peace and resolving problems. He likes to think he's above petty politics, but he's not. He just cloaks his cheerleading for one side under the guise of some superior morality.
  10. Warning, long post The first time I read it, back in 2012, I was bored by how long things took to get anywhere, and then how it ended before much of it even paid off, but going back into the book knowing that it's essentially filled with a ton of cliffhangers with no proper conclusions for a lot of the storylines, I can appreciate the other aspects of the book, the non-plot ones. Just like in Feast, the book focuses more on worldbuilding and character development, which is something I appreciate a lot more now than I did a decade ago. I liked Jon and Dany's struggles to rule a divided and angry people in very difficult places, having to maintain their composure despite feeling like they don't actually have any idea what the right thing to do is. It's like the opposite of Cersie's arc in Feast, where she has total confidence in herself, but constantly makes terrible decisions. Jon's final chapter is definitely one of the best chapters in the entire series, with events constantly escalating until they explode in violence and suddenly cut off. Knowing he'll almost certainly be resurrected takes away a lot of the power of this chapter, but it's still a thrilling read. Jon's storyline was definitely my favourite of the three main characters, though I appreciated Tyrion's storyline a lot more on this re-read. His chapters with Illyrio, Griff and co. are full of very interesting dialogue that's directly relevant to the events in Westeros, and even when he's around less interesting characters (e.g. Penny, Jorah) there's still a ton of valuable worldbuilding in a part of the world that was practically ignored by Martin until this point. The descriptions of the locales in western Essos were so vivid, I can still picture the scenes so clearly, the mists and ruins of the Sorrows, the colourful lamp-lit streets of Selhorys at dusk, the old and decaying grandeur of Volantis. Martin's descriptive prose really shines in this chapters, even if they're sometimes very slow-paced and meandering. Tyrion's character-arc is also probably the best that Martin has ever written. Seeing Tyrion very gradually transform from a depressed, suicidal, hateful man that just wants to end it all into some semblance of his old self outside the walls of Meereen is very satisfying to read. Dany's story suffers from the fact that Slaver's Bay is an abysmally awful setting, but it's not as bad as in Storm. The place feels a little less cartoonish because of more nuanced characters like Skahaz and the Green Grace. But I actually enjoyed the Meereen storyline more after Dany left, and Barristan was left to pick up the pieces. A lot of people complain that his character is bland and his storyline is unnecessary, but I really liked seeing him transform from a simple old knight to a "kingbreaker" and a Queen's Hand. The chapter where he arrests Reznak is incredibly badass and cool. I can understand why the actor that played Barristan was devastated when his character was killed off before this. Quentyn sucks. I can't really come up with any praise for his chapters, they're boring and so is he. I think that was maybe Martin's point, but it still doesn't make for enjoyable reading. Victarian is.... Victarian. Not much to say about him. He's a big, dumb, violent brute. Sometimes pretty entertaining in his stupidity, but he embodies pretty much every bad trait of the ironborn, which is sometimes a chore to read about. The fact that he keeps thinking he can outsmart Euron is genuinely hilarious though. Arya is never a character I've liked, and her chapters here are no different. Braavos is an interesting city but I don't like that we have to see it through Arya's perspective. I despise her. On the topic of Starks, I've never really cared for Bran, but his story here is a hell of a lot more interesting than in any other book. All three of his chapters have this subtly creepy and eerie feel about them, like he's unknowingly getting closer and closer to some truly dark and messed up things, but you don't quite know what it is. Very well written. It was really nice seeing Davos again, Westeros's most down-to-earth and decent PoV character. His scene with the Lord of the Sisters, and both of his scenes with Manderly were fantastic. Davos's sense of honour and loyalty to Stannis keeps making me love him more with each passing chapter. Melisandre's chapter was interesting but does feel a bit out-of-place since there's only one of them. I'm assuming there'll be more in Winds, which I look forward to. She's a fascinating and mysterious character, especially since Martin has said she's the most misunderstood character in the series. Theon's storyline is unarguably one of the greatest Martin has ever written in the series, and I don't think many people would disagree with that. There really isn't anything else to add to it, everyone knows why it's so great. Asha is meh as a character. Her PoV is only worthwhile because she's our eyes on King Stannis's northern campaign. I do kind of ship her and Ser Justin though. Jaime's single chapter is probably my favourite chapter in the book. It's a direct continuation of my favourite storyline in the whole series - Jaime's riverlands campaign in Feast - I loved seeing him continue to act like an honourable knight, and his meeting with Lord Tytos 'Chad' Blackwood is just wonderful - like a direct contrast and polar opposite to his failed meeting with the Blackfish. Jaime's complete lack of respect for Bracken was fun too. The ending made me really sad though - seeing Jaime so happy to see Brienne, and not knowing that she's leading him into a trap. Pretty heartbreaking. Just like the above-mentioned Jaime chapter, Cersei's two chapters should have been included in Feast, since it's the perfect ending to her story-arc, from both a structural and thematic perspective. The walk of shame chapter was a mini-masterpiece of character writing. Areo has a chapter, although it'd be more accurate to say there's a chapter, and Areo happens to be standing in the corner while it happens. I like Doran, and am undecided on Arianne (I'm glad she finally has some respect for Doran though), but my intense hatred of the Sand Snakes brings this chapter down in my eyes. I can't believe Doran is trusting these jokes with anything. .....oh yeah, and there's Connington. I forgot about him. That dour, stern, and utterly humourless bore. His storyline itself is one of the most interesting and potentially exciting ones in the series, it's just a shame that the guy we're seeing it through is Jon Connington. Gods, what a bore. Arianne will be drier than a Dornish desert if she has to marry him. Overall, I really love A Dance with Dragons after this re-read. It's that extremely rare case of a fantasy book being both wide and deep as an ocean. I recognise the criticisms - too many cliffhangers, barely any conclusions, too meandering and self-indulgent - but I love it because of just how meandering and self-indulgent it is. Just like Feast, this is a deep-dive into both the world of Westeros and Essos, as well as its characters and their psychological journeys. Martin wanted to write something deeper, darker, and more thought-provoking than the original trilogy, and I think he succeeded brilliantly. This book is just so bloody massive and deep and vast, there's so much to take from it.
  11. I agree that they were poorly written plotlines - D&D were bad writers in general - but I don't agree with your sentiment that writers should write only what fans want to see. That's just fan-service, it's not real storytelling. As soon as a writer refuses to write something because he's scared of how people will respond, he loses integrity and credibility.
  12. Isn't Theon being kept chained in Stannis's chamber? Might be a bit hard for him to see anything. Asha definitely could see it, though, since she's been allowed freedom of movement in the camp.
  13. I think it comes down to the deeply ingrained respect for one's elders that's present in the ironborn. There's the conflict between respecting their elders as their culture demands, but also staying true to their culture's other values. This is a conflict present in some countries in our own world too.
  14. Moqorro straight-up tells Victarian to his face that he worships a "demon god" that is a servant to the Others, so I doubt he'd be willing to help Victarian win in the end.
  15. One disappointing thing about Cersei's Feast storyline is how there's barely any fun or interesting characters left in King's Landing for her to interact with. The best potential interactions - with Tyrion, Tywin, Joffrey, Varys, Littlefinger, etc. - were impossible because all of them were gone before we got her PoV. Instead we're left with the meagre leavings of the likes of Pycelle, the Kettleblacks, Taena, Qyburn, etc. Most definitely the B-team of King's Landing characters.
  16. Ned Stark is like.... the last lord that would ever kick out family from his home so long as he was there.
  17. I agree. I see the Royces sort of like the Blackwoods - they're not one of the Great Houses, and they don't show up all that often, but everything we've seen of them makes me respect them for their honour and decency. The series needs houses like that - not everyone should be filled with lying cretins, cowards and schemers.
  18. Agreed. As much as I like all three characters, and want them to succeed, from a purely rational perspective they aren't in good positions at all and Nestoris made a truly awful financial investment, seeing as how there's a very high chance it will be a failed venture. Nestoris should have just gone to the Tyrells after being rebuffed by Cersei.
  19. I think it's mostly just the magic-heavy stuff that he'll be having trouble with. Winds will almost certainly be a far more magic-heavy book than any others in the series, and the supernatural is a realm where Martin hasn't focused thus far, and I think he's probably facing challenges with making it as interesting and nuanced as the political storylines. I'd almost be willing to bet money that he's specifically stuck with the Others, with not wanting to make them cartoonish villains that are uninteresting.
  20. Ned Stark & Mance Rayder Ned Stark & Stannis Baratheon Ned Stark & Tywin Lannister Stannis Baratheon & Tywin Lannister Daenerys Targaryen & Tywin Lannister Daenyerys Targaryen & Doran Martell
  21. Agreed. Robb wouldn't demean Asha for this reason - he was too chivalrous for that - but as the son of Ned Stark, I don't think he'd view it as befitting the honour of a great lord to marry a woman with Asha's sexual history.
  22. How early do you think this was? As soon as war broke out? His loss at the Green Fork?
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