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Greg B

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  1. Yes, and it had the added feature of also being ridiculous. Daenerys decides she must "learn to rule" before she can become queen of Westeros. How will she "learn to rule"? She will...rule a conquered foreign city-state backed by an occupying army. Brilliant! To add insult to injury, after all the brutal slog of aDwD, what do we get? Daenerys realizes that "Meereen will never be her home" and she should have left Meereen and returned to Westeros, as Jorah advised! “I wanted to rest, to laugh, to plant trees and see them grow. I am only a young girl.” [Delirious, she has evidently forgotten the whole idea was to "learn to rule" by ruling the occupied foreign city-state.] No. You are the blood of the dragon. The whispering was growing fainter, as if Ser Jorah were falling farther behind. Dragons plant no trees. Remember that. Remember who you are, what you were made to be. Remember your words. “Fire and Blood,” Daenerys told the swaying grass. [Oh gods if only you'd remembered that 2,000 pages earlier...] Ahhhhhhhh!!! We had to suffer through the whole bloody "knot" and the metric ton of crap it produced only for Daenerys to wind up exactly where she should have been at the end of Storm! I guess it really is a "knot" since we wind up right back where we were... It's so freaking awful and tragic it's literally painful to think about.
  2. Greg B

    The Regret of Killing Characters

    Well, presumably Noye was respected by the wildlings because he died fighting Mag the Mighty. If he hadn't died in such an epic battle, he wouldn't be as respected. So that strikes me as somewhat circular. In any case, if Jon hadn't been assassinated in full view of everyone, the "little scrap" between Wun-Wun and Patrek wouldn't necessarily escalate into a full-blown massacre.
  3. I don't know, but someone should send this thread to Martin's editor.
  4. Greg B

    The Regret of Killing Characters

    Jon, possibly. Upon re-reading that last "Jon" chapter, Martin realizes there's no plausible way that Wun-Wun and the wildlings don't just go ahead and kill every MFer in Castle Black born south of the wall after Jon's murder. Alternatively, one of R or L. Keeping one of them alive would have cleaned the mess up quite neatly.
  5. Greg B

    The role of Jon Snow in TWoW

    In the hypothetical that we will see tWoW, and assuming Jon is resurrected (by magic or author's fiat), one assumes he will be revived into a situation where most of the Night's Watch has been slaughtered. After all, a slaughter was imminent even in the moments before the Night's Watch murdered Jon. Since the Night's Watch no longer exists and Jon suffered a psychotic break before being murdered, he's free to assume his rightful place as the Night King and march south with the army of the dead to exact vengeance against Ramsay. Tragically, the death of Ramsay won't satiate the dark frenzy and he will continue marauding across the North, slaying Sansa and destroying the strength of the Vale and the remnants of Stannis's army before finally meeting his end (again) in Drogon's fiery breath.
  6. Bless you, children. The issues his "gardening" created in the first three books were plot holes, retcons, and an exploding plot. The pacing was solid -- masterful, even, given the vast scope and ambition. Exploding plots are awesome while they're exploding! In the subsequent books, his gardening has caused him to completely lose the narrative spine of his saga. It's not that the pacing is poor, it's that there isn't any. The author is literally writing chapters of characters walking around, going nowhere from a narrative perspective (or creating new ones), simply to keep events that do need to happen for the story lined up temporally. It's, like, anti-pacing. "Gardening" is great for character-driven stories, and characterization/social world-building are where Martin really excels. It's not great for many-thousand-page intricately plotted epics. The two approaches -- plotting and pantsing -- aren't equally sound given his vision and goals for aSoIaF. I've been saying for years that tWoW was dicey and that there was essentially no chance of aDoS. For years, I've said he should just move on. Even if we'd known nothing about his experience writing them, it was obvious from the last two books that he was grinding. It must be horrible, and he's fortunate enough that he doesn't need to do it. Life's too short, and he probably has many other wonderful stories to tell. I'm not angry about it -- I just feel bad for the guy. It's tragic. He had a chance to create a genre masterwork, and it just got away from him. Fortunately, he's still wealthy and talented and has many opportunities, both creatively and in life as a whole. He shouldn't waste it trying to grind his way out of the thicket of weeds he's gardened himself into. Even if the edges are beautiful in the end, there's still going to be a nasty thicket in the middle of it all. Move on.
  7. You may be subconsciously repressing that "It was Littlefinger all along" plot twist (to use the term generously). I do that sometimes. But this is the same Petyr who, it turns out, instigated the murder of Jon Arryn by his wife, Lysa Arryn, and then persuaded her to write a letter to the Starks implicating the Lannisters in her husband's death, specifically to incite conflict between the houses when Ned was inevitably named as the replacement for the guy Petyr conspired to murder.
  8. Wow, I'm not even certain we'll get books! I've thought a bit about how Martin could fill this hole, and I really haven't come up with anything plausible. That doesn't mean Martin couldn't, of course, if he were inclined to do so. But setting everything else aside, there had to have been a point when Rhaegar and Lyanna were together, after Rickard and Brandon were dead, presumably after Jon Arryn has refused the king's order to execute Ned and Robert, and it's clear what is about to come. And at that point, Rhaegar leaves his new bride and rides off to kill what's left of her family, and Lyanna remains silent all through the war, knowing that either her husband or her brother, or both, are going to die, until Ned eventually finds her on her deathbed. It's a big hole.
  9. M'kay. Legally, technically, Rickard (and Robert) might have had a grievance. Still might have been nice of Lyanna to let her family know what was going on before they got themselves burned. Might have been noble for Rhaegar to mention it to someone. Maybe they didn't anticipate a civil war, but set that aside. It's almost as if they spent months never even considering their own future. Maybe they planned to hide away in the Tower of Joy the rest of their lives. It's almost as if the author never really gave any thought to what they were doing or thinking all that time...
  10. A lie of omission, and a fairly substantial one at that! Kinda rude to let the realm descend into a catastrophic civil war while you're off on your months-long honeymoon.
  11. Like the characters in the story, it's best not to think about GRRM's post-AGOT retcon that riddled the first book with plot holes.
  12. I'd put money on it. She's going out just like Lyanna did.
  13. Greg B

    [Spoilers] EP704 Discussion

    Arya fights with Super Death God Assassin Magic and people are arguing about the physics of rapiers and broadswords. Okay.
  14. Greg B

    [Spoilers] EP701

    I thought the conflict between Jon and Sansa was very well done. They both have a point, from their own perspectives. Jon hails from the Ned Stark School of Honor and Even-Handedness, while Sansa learned politics from the family that exterminated House Reyne to the last man, woman and child. I'm not sure who is (more) right. I lean toward Jon, but he's not setting a very good example for other ambitious Northern lords. And I know he knows these petty ambitions don't matter anymore, but that doesn't mean the ambitious Northern lords know it.
  15. Greg B

    [Spoilers] EP610

    He doesn't have to be stern or indefatigable. He just has to say, "Lord Tyrell will remove his army from the city" because the High Sparrow, Cersei, and/or Margaery told him to, and then Mace will remove his army from the city. He didn't have to be stern or indefatigable when he walked out of the Great Sept and stood with the High Sparrow against Mace, Jamie and Tyrell army, either. I mean, Loras and Margaery were in the dungeons for who knows how long. What did Mace do? Nothing, that's what. He only brought in his troops when Cersei and Jamie put him up to it. What did he do on the steps of the Great Sept, with his strength behind him, when his son and heir remained in the dungeons? Nothing, that's what. What is the evidence that, regardless of all this, the Tyrell army remained in the city? There is no evidence. And yet, you assume the army remained and that it is therefore a plot hole because the army didn't hang Cersei after she blew up House Tyrell. It's rather odd. You're starting to remind me of my grandmother with the "dears."
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