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Posts posted by protar

  1. So as a battle this was a great battle sequence (two great battle sequences actually!) It was a lot better directed than Hardhome imo, this had a nice balance of smoother combat scenes like the one shot at the beginning of the battle, and more chaotic fighting. The scene with Jon nearly being trampled to death captured the claustrophobia of what that would be like brilliantly. The carnage didn't seem gratuitous to me as it often does in the show - it was a realistic look at just how horrific such a battle would be. The piles of bodies made for a haunting image. Seeing Ramsay get his comeuppance was very cathartic. 

    But as a piece in the narrative this was not a great episode. The progression of the battle was cliche - they fight, they're losing, then the cavalry arrives and they win, with a one on one confrontation between the hero and the villain as a coda. We even get a little rip off of the black gates of mordor. It feels like an unearned battle as well. If Sansa had just told Jon that LF was coming, they could have waited just a little while and the battle would have been won with minimal losses. It's a huge plot hole. I hate hate hate plots which hinge on miscommunication where there is no reason for characters to not communicate. I saw someone arguing in another forum that Sansa didn't want to risk Jon turning down LF's help...but Jon is desperate enough to accept almost anyone's help. And does he even know about LF? We also hadn't seen Ramsay for a few episodes which I think lessened the impact - there wasn't the build up to the battle that we had for the Wall and the Blackwater. Plus there was no reason given for why they had to attack now. 

    So as a contextless battle it's fun to watch (and even then cliche) but in the greater scope this is nothing special.

  2. Ian McShane was a fun cameo - shame he was only in it for one episode. Guess he just wanted to be part of the show. Loved Lyanna Mormont. That kid has sass.

    There's still precious little actual plot development though. I feel like each episode is merely a promise of what is going to happen next. But each episode pushes it off further and further. Jon and Sansa are still trying to get Northern Lords to support them, Cersei and the Tyrells are still worrying about the High Sparrow, other plot lines are absent. The only major progression here is Arya being stabbed and of course the Hound's return. 

  3. I gave it a 5 just because it was exciting to watch at the end and season 6 hasn't been quite so bad as Season 5. But still a lot that didn't make sense. The Kingsmoot made very little sense. Why can Euron just confess to killing Balon and then announce his intentions to kill Yara and Theon and no one gives a damn? Does kinslaying mean nothing? It's the same "no one liked this guy anyway" excuse they used for Doran's death. 

    The revelation regarding the origins of the White Walkers was given very little weight. Hodor's origin story was given more screen time and importance! And don't get me wrong that was a cool scene and I was genuinely sad to see Hodor (and Summer) go. But I feel like they really undersold a reveal we've been waiting for for so long.

    The play scene was a little long for my liking. I'm always aware of how strapped this show is for time. So it felt like D+D self-indulging in being "meta". 

  4. They mentioned in an article that after they received so much criticism after Season 1, they stopped visiting. I even did a support thread for them. They didn't do well in season 5 and many folks have, "lowered expectations" for season six.  We shall see. 


    But they have to know despite our criticism or support of their work, I am glad that there is a show to talk about.  


    It's a shame they received so much criticism in season 1 which was actually brilliant. Maybe they might have listened to later complaints a bit more if that hadn't happened. 

  5. protar, you're discussing with a troll. A lame one.

    Probably. But, some people genuinely think AFFC and DWD completely suck. Like how many people complain about Tyrion's story in Dance? But I just don't get it. Tyrion's story in Dance is some of the best stuff I've ever read. There's intrigue, mystery, magic, a game changing twist and a lot of character depth. Martin isn't afraid to take his protagonists into truly dark places. And it just boggles my mind how someone can read the Aegon reveal and then read Aegon immediately conquering the strongest castle in Westeros and just go "meh. Not important." As certain as I am that Lord Eddard is a troll, given how rude and inflammatory he's being, a lot of people genuinely have that opinion. I get some of the complaints with Feast/Dance, but others...not so much.

  6. If a lot of people attach meaning to something, this thing then becomes meaningful and aquires meaning in totally subjective ways. Shakespeare is the best example. The Tempest has been interpreted in myriad ways (post-colonial, feministic, etc..) and the literature written about it fills libraries. Different cultures and ages attach meaning in different ways. Picasso's Guernica might well be interpreted totally different than today in a hundred years. And that won't be better or worse than today, only different. Because all art is subjective.

    So back to the topic - I loved the season's finale and subjectively rate it a 10. I think people who rated it a 1 have shitty taste and are self-righteous whiners and nerdy book-apologists who are in desperate denial about the glaring drop in quality in Feast and Dance and try to shift blame to the show in a pitiful attempt to exonerate GRRM. But hey, that's just me :)

    Look, I consider Feast to be my least favourite book in the series but...I really don't get people who think that the last two books are awful. What makes you think they're so bad? Because they're slow? Because they introduce new characters (as if books never do that)?

    I think they could have done with some trimming, and I probably would have shifted the POVs around to include some more of the fan favourites in AFFC. But once you get over your bitterness about Tyrion not being in Feast, it's really a great book with some of the best scenes in the series. You didn't like Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. ???

  7. No but getting good reviews and getting a mostly positive reception from fans and critics does. And that's the situation this show is in.

    Quality is subjective. You can only measure the amount of people that have favorable subjective opinions. Just like millions would say you have bad taste for thinking the beatles suck.

    You're right that critical response is probably a good indicator of quality. But there's a few good reasons why Thrones continues to get good response from critics:

    > The show used to be really good. Season 1 was almost unanimously considered brilliant, S2 and 3 were very good. Most people liked S4 even. This is the first season were it's been really terrible. It's no surprise that not everyone has caught on.

    > It's a fantasy show, and I think that that sadly causes expectations to be lowered. The fact that GoT manages to pass the very low bar most people have for high fantasy means it doesn't fall under as much scrutiny as other shows.

    > The production values are very high. Even critics can be blown away by great CGI to an extent. Especially on television where it's a rarity. Likewise the acting is usually great. In general, each individual scene tends to be watch able, but the show fails as a coherent whole.

    > It has a large sprawling plot, which I think genuinely just bamboozles most of the audience, even critics, and causes them to fail to notice the lack of logic and the inconsistencies. If most people aren't analysing the show too deep, it's easy to miss some of the plot holes.

    > The last two books are divisive. This provides a scape goat for the show. Show much of the critical hype surrounding Season 5 revolved around taking a dump on Feast and Dance.

    And even with all of that, the critics are starting to air concerns about the show. Two more seasons down the line, and mark my words - this show won't be the darling of the critics any more.

  8. I will never comprehend why people seem to think Aegon, Arianne, Euron etc. are filler, just because they were introduced late. I mean, early ADWD is just over halfway through the series. Is that too late to introduce new characters?

    And about Dorne - There's a huge amount of character development and family dynamics in there. I find it fascinating. There is far more depth in Dorne in the books than in the show, even if you choose to not like/ignore said depth.

  9. “Tik-Tok” (Kesha) has sold more copies than any Beatles single.

    Hence, Kesha is a better artist than the Beatles. :dunno:

    And yes, I'm sure D&D will be able to choose their future projects. But I doubt any author would want them to adapt their works again.

    I don't appreciate you comparing Kesha to D+D. :box: :P

    But yes, popularity does not equal success.

    I really can't wait until D+D get to make their own IP. I'll be sitting here watching it crash and burn, laughing maniacally.

  10. I agree with you on the pale mare and war with other cities. Does the show ever mention that the attacks stopped? If yes, I must have missed it, because to me the Harpies we're still a big topic. I mean they were basically the reason why Dany thought she has to "integrate" into Meereenese culture more, marry a noble guy and open the fightings pits...

    So maybe in the show she had a short breather, but to me if was just a question of time until the Harpies would strike again.

    They specifically mention that the attacks have stopped yes. So basically by the time Tyrion ends up in Meereen, Dany has achieved peace. So this is basically just random action.

  11. Don't think that Dany has won much in Meereen at all. She lost Barristan Selmy. And even though they should have been able to observe dozens of dead harpies after the attacks and from that learn how to find them before they strike, nothing has been shown yet.

    The attack did not appear random to me. What bothers me more is the comical fighting from the Gladiators and how the hell hundreds of Harpies were able to carry both weapons and gold masks unnoticed into the Arena, as well as the incredibly low number of Unsullied around.

    Yeah she lost Barristan. That doesn't change the fact that she'd won at this point. The Harpy Attacks had stopped, there was no pale mare, no impending war with half of Essos, she really seemed to have pretty good control over her dragons. So what exactly is the point of Daznak's? The Harpies just randomly attack after weeks of doing nothing - and to what end? They're killing random Meereenese nobility even though they're supposed to support the return of the Meereenese nobility to power. And where's the thematic resonance with Dany? She hasn't lost her connection with her dragons or anything, this is just a random dragon turning up and ugh.

  12. I gave it a generous three. Mostly that was for the disgusting treatment of Stannis and the awful resolution to the Dornish story. Daznak's was decent enough to watch, but it feels unearned at this point. Dany had basically won in Meereen at this point in the show, so a random sons of the harpy attack and Drogon's appearance just felt like random diabolos ex machina to me.

  13. Another thing: I'm no authority on literature to stick my neck out for George, but y'all should remember that some of the books we call "classics" now were deemed "pulp" when they were published by the coeval people. OTOH, i have plenty of reason to suspect that GoT will be seen as the "TV show that could've been the GOAT, but wasted itself".

    I have no doubt that if ASOIAF had been written 50 years ago, and didn't have any magic, it's position as a literary classic would not be in dispute.

  14. Fans become fans because something delivers what they want and fans generally know exactly what they want, which is more of the same. Changing something dramatically 4/7 the of the way in is not in line with delivering fans what they want.

    And I have clarified this before - it's not about the speed, or even missing the characters that fans have gotten used to (but that can be a deal breaker for many) - it's about the narrative becoming less connected, which makes it feel less intelligent. Books 1-3 were tightly woven narratives, where every little thing mattered to another little thing. Even if books 4 & 5 prove to be tightly woven with books 6 & 7 by the time they come out, they are still less tightly woven with books 1-3. The narrative is not structured consistently across all books, or all seasons of the show and, even if fans don't quite know why things stop feeling the same because of this, they will recognize that things feel different and become less involved as a result.

    I disagree here as well. The narrative threads throughout Clash and Storm are often very disparate. If anything Dance is the most closely interwoven book since A Game of Thrones n my view. As for how connected the books are with each other, I still think Feast and Dance are closely interwoven with the previous books. They have a different tone yes - that is entirely deliberate imo, they are supposed to be the aftermath of the war. But those two tones complement each other very well.

  15. Yes, I've read stories that introduced new characters in its late stages, but I've never read a story like AFFC that puts the main characters on the back burner and make the new characters the center of the book.

    Well first of all I completely agree that Feast could have done with more familiar faces. Second of all Wheel of Time does it (Rand appears in all books but in at least one only barely). Third of all it's an exaggeration to say that Feast makes the Ironborn and Dornish the centre of the book: It has Cersei, Jaime, Sansa, Arya, Sam, Brienne (and Asha) as POVs. 4th of all if it bothers you that much there are several combined Feast/Dance reading orders out there.

  16. :lmao:

    I did not think by any stretch of the imagination that Feast would ever be considered a great piece of literature in anybody's mind. Actually I do not think any of this can be considered great literature. The first book is a really good set up book, but after that it is hit and miss. I did like ACoK and I liked ASoS, but I still do not think they could possibly be considered great literature. Obviously I was wrong.

    There is no shame in reading something that is not great literature. Hey give me a good murder mystery and I am as happy as a clam, even though I do not consider them great literature. I like lots of books. I must like them considering how many I read in a year, but I do not make the mistake of thinking they are great literature, just because I happen to enjoy them. I mean GRRM is a lot of fun at times. He keeps you guessing, and he does lots of surprising things, but the writing is not great literature.

    Still you did make me smile today.

    I don't understand this mindset. If I enjoy a book or a series of books a lot, and it holds up under scrutiny then it is great literature. That is all it needs to be. I don't get this position where people can absolutely love a book series (often writing thousands of posts on a forum about it) but because it doesn't fit some nebulous criteria of a "classic" or "great literature" they will refuse to call it anything more than pulpy fun.

    ASOIAF has an engaging story, which is rich enough to sustain multiple rereads. Hell, you could write a dissertation on each of the main characters. So far as I'm concerned that's enough to put it in the category of great literature. I've gotten far more enjoyment and introspection out of ASOIAF then I could ever get out of Of Mice and Men. What do you consider great literature?

  17. If they are slower then it means either the pace or complexity must have decreased. This does not mean they are bad books but it does mean there is 'less' story in them then the books that came before.

    If fans get used to a series of books delivering a certain amount, it is fair that fans continue to expect it and are disappointed with half being delivered in twice the time. The same is also true for the show, if you get used to a certain level of political complexity, internal logic and cleverness of dialogue, it's fair enough for a show fan to notice these things are absent or changed.

    What is most important here, I think, is that the books started to deliver less first. The show would have been better than the books if it continued to deliver on a standard set by the first 4 seasons, but it hasn't and has effectively followed suit, if not in exactly the same way - boring vs stupid.

    Another thing, of course, is that the joint minds of fans on forum like this have probably come up with better options to push the narrative in the books and show forward than what either GRRM or D&D have. Once you read, or even think of, some of those options, you can be disappointed with less. The issue I find with this is that the fans on forums are just doing it out of interest, it's not their job - but if they can come up with better narrative options and resolutions to the story than GRRM or D&D, you gotta wonder if either of them are worth their acclaim.

    I do not think it is fair for fans to expect each book to be just as fast and packed full as say, Storm of Swords. Some parts of the story are going to be slower. Feast probably takes it too far more my personal tastes, but there is nothing wrong with a couple of books in a series being slower.

  18. It's not a matter of having the attention span for a longer story, it is a matter of expecting story not going backwards in tone, pace, or complexity. Once the standard has been set, allowing for minor hiccups, a story should continue to live up to itself.

    How exactly is it going backwards in any of those things? Feast and Dance are slower yes. Are series' not allowed to have slower parts? I think that Feast and Dance are minor hiccups because though flawed, they are still very good books.

  19. Unfortunately, it wouldn't have. The big disappointment of Dance next to its sluggish pace were exactly Tyrion, Jon and Dany - or "where do whores go", "counting sausages" and "sitting on my arse in Meereen". Those three major characters went from enthralling to pedestrian, from complex and varied to one-dimensional and boring. Martin simply didn't know what to do with them any more and it showed. Let's hope D&D can reverse this grievous lapse and give us all a satisfying conclusion.

    I disagree. Again, the books could have done with some editing but there is plenty of great stuff in there. Personally I found Tyrion's chapters especially enthralling, by far the best travelogue in the series and filled with great characterisation as Tyrion slips to his darkest point. Feast and Dance have loads of stuff that would make for great television. Imagine Peter Dinklage actually allowed to act and play a proper anti-hero. Jon and Dany have some great stuff as well, struggling with learning to rule, having to make the best decisions out of a host of bad options.

    None of S5s flaws have much, if anything to do with the flaws of the books so far as I'm concerned. With two books combined into ten episodes the slow pace of Feast and Dance should have been completely negated. Somehow D+D managed to come up with an even slower plot stripped of any characterisation and emotional impact.

  20. LOL. So when we think Dance is a bloated mess we "don't have the attention span for a longer story" and we "should stop reading"? Yeah, sure. (The Yellow Pages aren't boring, you just don't have the attention span for it, dude!)

    Let me reverse your insipid assumption and advice: It seems to me like you just don't have the aesthetic ability to appreciate good television. It's probably time to stop watching.

    If you don't like the pace of Dance and Feast I completely understand that. I think they were slow myself. But Ummester seems to just be complaining about the fact that AFFC/DWD introduced new major characters. Plenty of stories introduce new characters and plots late on, often integral elements. That isn't poor writing. If you want a more compact story then ASOIAF isn't for you. That's your subjective opinion, not a valid criticism of the novels.

    Honestly I think the problem was not that new characters were introduced late on, but that Feast did not have enough of the old characters to go along with it. No Tyrion, no Jon, no Dany - a whole book with the big three missing. If Martin had shifted around what POVs were in what book I think it would have been received far better.

  21. You can have it both ways. The source can be shit and the deviations the show takes from them can also be shit.

    You can do a shit painting of a bird. And I can go, I'm going to do a better painting, of the same bird - but mine turns out shit also :)

    I'm not going to get into specific differences - just the overall narrative structure, complexity and connectedness was greater in books 1-3, seasons 1-4. A tight plot became lose, in both book and show. The show is trying to make the meandering looseness of the books seem more urgent, but cutting out some elements, inserting some fan service and favoring Tyrion but the result is something that is disconnected and often lacks plausibility.

    Boring vs stupid - these are the options for what ASoIaF/GoTs has become - which is sad, because they both started tight and intelligent. You can say that the show's stupidity is the culmination of bad writing by the show runners but one can also claim the boring and meandering books that are AFFC and ADWD represent a lack of organisation, discipline and planning on GRRMs part as a writer.

    Oh and re the Martells - too little too late. This saga doesn't need an all new family just after mid way through the overall plot. That's actually pretty clumsy storytelling. I'm starting to think GRRM should never have tried to expand past 3 or 4 books and the show should have been organised around 5 seasons. The easiest way to ruin something is to make it go on to long, which GoTs/ASoIaF seems to have done.

    Fuck the Martells, really - Obyren was in a cool scene with the Mountain and there is backstory to justify why, that's all that is needed. What is needed is conclusion for the primary characters Jon. Dany, Tyrion, Arya, Bran and secondary Jamie, Cersie, Sansa, Theon, Stannis - as well as conclusion for the villainous characters like Roose, Ramsay, LF and Walder, resolution for the IT, along with the world and magics growing in it like Others and dragons. Everything else is ultimately superfluous and detracts from the tale remaining tight and focused.

    Well see this is where I fundamentally disagree with you. The latter two books were not shit. Feast was my least favourite book admittedly, but even that is a great piece of literature. And Dance is one of my favourite books, second or third place depending on how nostalgic I'm feeling for A Game of Thrones.

    As for the Martells, plenty of franchises introduce new elements late into the game - later than the Martells. We don't visit Gondor until RotK, the Deathly Hallows aren't introduced until...well the Deathly Hallows. The Martells are - in my view - interesting and engaging characters and important new players in the game. That is what matters.

    It seems to me like you just don't have the attention span for a longer story. Feast and Dance? That stuff is the plot now. There is stuff to criticise about them but when you're just fundamentally disliking the main plot, it's probably time to stop reading.

    The only nugget of truth in your post is that a lot of the material in the latter two books is not suited to television. But there is a lot that is. So the options were not between stupid and boring. Trim the fat, combine the two books into 1 and a half seasons, make the best season yet. That's all they had to do.

  22. it can be worse for both reasons.

    Book purists have been bitching from the beginning, they have an inflated sense of the books and their own importance. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and the "Worst.Episode. Ever." gang are no different.

    So you think it's just a coincidence that people have been pointing out these same flaws - plot holes, inconsistent characterisation, sexism, shock value, uneven pace - for years?

  23. Re the show definitely finishing and the books not - yep, I tend to agree.

    Re this season being lower quality than other seasons, yep, I also tend to agree - but it was to be expected. This is the season with the shittiest source, that is also deviating from a lot of that source, to plot it's own route to the conclusion.

    You can't have it both ways - either this season is worse because it's following the "bad" source material, or it's worse because it is deviating. To me it is clearly doing more of the latter.

    A proper season combining Feast/Dance could have been amazing. Even though they are widely regarded as Martin's weakest books they are still very good books, treasure troves of rich character development and with enough exciting plot points that with some of the fat trimmed they could have made an action packed 10 episodes. We have the Martells - a new family very distinct from the rest - seeking revenge, a new claimant to the throne revealing himself, Dany riding her dragons for the first time, Jon getting stabbed etc. etc.

    ETA: As for "everyone has shit days" I'm sorry but the problems that have been plaguing this Season have been pointed out by book purists since S2. Earlier even. This isn't just a bad season, it's the culmination of 5 years of increasingly poor writing.

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