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The Scabbard Of the Morning

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  1. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    Agreed. This is why for example I found Brienne's chapters in AFFC to be mostly unnecessarily. They aren't badly written, but the people who defend it always bring up "But it shows the devastation of the Riverlands and the true horrors of war" as a defense. My response has always been that we already got that from Arya's chapters in ACOK. We didn't need another 5 chapters of it. You can't just meander and ignore plot progression for the sake of "theme", your themes has to work within the confines of you plot and your characters. Only the last Brienne chapter involved any real plot progression, everything else should have been left on the cutting room floor.
  2. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    Yes, the problem isn't that Quentyn's chapters or Victarions or Brienne's chapter's are bad. I think they'd have made interest reads as separate novellas on their own. But they don't form a coherent narrative arc with the other chapters and all they do is damaging the pacing of the main storyline.. Imagine if there is a whole separate Act of MacBeth where Shakespeare wrote about some side adventure of Malcolm on his way to England. Sure, it maybe well written, and maybe we learn more about Malcolm and he's an interesting character. But the story is not about Malcolm, it's about MacBeth, and whatever we learned about Malcolm doesnt' really affect the main story. That act needs to be cut from the play.
  3. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    My entire theory premises on the idea that the change in Dany's plot is primarily what made not skipping the 5 years necessary. If Dany's story is about how she successfully navigated the Meereen political scene and is ready to invade Westeros at the beginning of ADWD, then you can skip the 5 year process and just address some important plot points in some flashback scenes. But if her story is about the failures of intervensionism and cultural imperialism. Then you can't have her ready to invade at the beging of ADWD, because if she is ready to invade then it hasn't been a failure at all. So you have to tell the whole story of her quagmire and how she gets out of it (or runs from it). Everything really crystalized for me the other day when I realized what the real Meereenese knot was, because it became clear to me that he never solved it in ADWD, and the reason he's struggling with TWOW is that he's still trying to solve it. The real Meereenese knot is that he became enamored with the quagmire cautionary tale, which casted his protagonist Dany in the antagonist role, and now he can't get her back into the protagonist that the reader can root for and a hero for that Final Act.
  4. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    It's my opinion that the whole thing happned because of the real world and Martin's left leaning politics affecting his writing. When he wrote ASOS in 1999-2000. Dany's actions more closely mirror the modern day progressive abolionist. And his original plan was the Dany successfully rules Meereen in th 5 year gap, and having done that she turns her eyes on Westeros by the beginning of ADWD (the originally conceived book 4). However, by the time he started to write ADWD, 9-11 and then the Iraq War happened, and the left-leaning narrative on the US invasion in Iraq became one of cultural imperialism, and Dany's occupation of Meereen became problematic for Martin. So he decided instead of portraying it as a successful intervension by Dany (thus viewed as supporting the Iraq War) he decided to change course and now portray it as Dany stuck a quagmire (thus viewed as a cautionary tale on cultural imperialism). I think this change, more than anything else, wrecked Dany's storyline and her character development. Dany's character is not at where he originally envisioned her to be when she launches her Westeros invasion. And the Meereenese knot really has been him trying to get her to that point.
  5. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    The 5 year gap is the perfect way to "wrap it up".
  6. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    Well, maybe that's the reason she'll make Tyrion Hand, and will marry Jon Snow (as the TV show suggests), both acts would be attempts to surround herself with people who do know Westeros instead charging in blindly. I would have no problem with that as a character arc for her, she's still in her teens and certainly still capable of growth.
  7. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    It doesn't have to negate her arc, her arc could just be that she learns that good intentions are not enough. That no matter how bad things seem, meddling without knowing what you're doing can always make it worse.
  8. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    But I think a version of that is already going to happen, the battle of fire is going to leave Meereen a pile of ashes of ruin.
  9. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    Well as somebody else pointed out, it's a lot more than 10 chapters if you include all the other people either on their way there, or already there. Quentyn, Barristan, Tyrion, Victarion,etc. All of their purpose is to take place in the Meereen plot, which even by the end of the book, has not actually happened yet, all of it has been about waiting for the Meereenese plot to happen, but very little has happened. Meereen is not in substantially a different position as it was when the book started. There is a conflict in the city with the former slavers and former masters and threatens to disstabilize Dany's regime. There is a hostile force in Slaver's Bay that wants to end Dany's regime. That is true in the begining of ADWD and still true at the end of ADWD.
  10. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    But that's exactly the problem, he spent half the book there and we have yet to see much on how it shapes her at all. Furthermore, we don't need to see all of it in exquisite detail to see how it shapes her. We got 2 paragraphs about Viserys and how a life on the run has shaped him in AGOT, and we can fill in the blanks and understand his development as a character. We got one page from Samwell describing his life at Hornhill, and we understand how he came to be the person he is.
  11. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    It's 2 books, they are long enough for me to judge them on their own. I didn't need to watch Revenge of the Sith to know that Phantom Menace and AOTC were awful. I did give Lucas the benefit of the doubt after Phantom. But after 2 movies, I stopped.
  12. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    So your argument is "I can't imagine a good writer like GRRM writing filler so I have to operate on faith that all these things which walks like filler and talks like filler are, in fact, not filler." I'm sorry, I'm just not willing to go there. GRRM is a good writer, but good writers screw up all the time, especially when they go big time and start ignoring other peoples' editorial input.
  13. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    I knew when I said "nobdy cares about Meereen" there is going to be somebody who jumps in with "I care, I care, look at me!". Yeah, you care, good for you and the 5% of the readership you represent. And by the way, nobody to going to Meereen or Essos. That's not what the story has ever been about, and even without the benefit of knowing the general plot from the TV show, I could have said with confidence that your scenario of everyone going there is absurd and will not happen.
  14. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    I think the only hope I have for it is that whenever the story finally leaves Mereen it will pick up again. I'm of the opinion that the problem with most of the story is caused by Mereen, the reason why other parts of plot can't get started is that it requires Mereen to be done before they can start. Furthermore despite GRRM's valiant effort he can't get the readers to be invested in Mereen. No one actually cares about what happens Mereen, we just all want it to be over with And all of the chapters spent on it just feels like wasted time to the reader. One of the main reasons I agree with the view that he should have kept the 5 year gap is that then we'd have skipped all of Mereen, and started the story again when Dany is ready to invade. But GRRM decided he wanted to write a story about the struggles of a foreign occupation force, probably because it was a timely topic at the time with the US invasion of Iraq and and Afghanistan. Once again it just shows storytellers should not try too hard to be "relevant", because what is timely and relevant can change very quickly. The best way to be timely and relevant is actually to be timeless, and deal with universal human struggles and transcend what the "hot issue" is at the moment, and forcing these timely elements into one's story can actually derail it,.
  15. The Scabbard Of the Morning

    What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

    A big, long, unfinished book. I would like it much better had he put in the ending that was originally intended.
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