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JNR

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  1. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    It's possible, but bear in mind he said that in 2011. That was a point well before the show had become a global phenomenon, and the size of the fanbase exploded, and so did global analysis of various puzzles, such as Jon's parents. Also, he's done various interviews since in which he's asked about these topics. This is quite a recent one, from about ten months ago: This is the same thing he's always said on this topic, so yes, he's got an ending in mind. This is interesting too: Hopefully? Really? So he didn't know, a mere ten months ago, when season seven was almost finished being aired, whether the show and books would end the same way. That is quite a telling statement. (He also says in that interview that he really hasn't much been involved in the show since season four.) Then we come to this, which is the real kicker: I think this is more or less in the same vein as the bit I quoted above from 2011 about "pulling a Lost." He just wants the series ending to be seen as kickass, instead of bleh. He doesn't want us saying "Who dropped this turd on my doorstep?" So he's trying to perfect his writing in a broad, abstract sense... but the consequence of his perfectionism is that no book has been published at all, nor will be in 2018, and God knows whether he'll finish ASOIAF in two books (or at all). So it seems to me the outcome of his perfectionism, to date anyway, doesn't rise to the level of the Lost ending, which for all its faults did at least exist. However, I optimistically reserve the right to radically alter this opinion on turning the last page of TWOW.
  2. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    Obviously none of us can know for sure. But I think so; I believed him all those times he said he knew where he was going, and that it was only the route that was changing, and I still do. If so, he always had the big picture. His musing is more a matter of detail. Example: Which brings us to: This I think is the case. That is, he worries that 1) He will not write it well enough to live up to his own expectations... which at this point are pretty epic, having been called "the American Tolkien," etc. 2) In certain cases (such as Jon's parents) he knows the fanbase has become religious in endorsing a particular idea or set of them, and he also knows they think the show has spoiled the books, instead of being a fundamentally different universe from the books. Still I think if he just does what he considers a good job on the two final books... implements his long-planned solutions to all the mysteries (which will blow Lost out of the water)... and (above all) doesn't let the series drag on forever either in book count or time to completion... then he'll be pleased with the outcome.
  3. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    Yeah, the outcome you describe is one GRRM has been afraid of since at least 2011: But his concern on this point seems to overlook the more likely outcome... ...which is that the pitchforks and torches will come out because he doesn't finish ASOIAF in any conventional sense. And there will be more of both than if he had just followed through with the planned solutions to his various mysteries in two good books. Hopefully he won't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.
  4. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    Pretty sure it's a reference to Lost... the ending of which GRRM compared, rather aptly, to a bag of turds someone had dropped on his doorstep. Of course, it's an open question whether fans of a given project would rather have (1) a bag of turds or (2) no ending whatever. I'm not sure Lost fans then were unhappier than ASOIAF fans now.
  5. JNR

    Will Jon come back to life?

    Odds are extremely high that either Jon isn't dead, or he'll be resurrected. A Barnes and Noble interview about ten years ago had GRRM stating, when asked directly by a fan, that Jon will eventually find out his true parentage. Well, he obviously hasn't yet. So. This interview was scrubbed from the B&N site because, of course, it's a huge spoiler that Jon isn't permanently dead. But there are references to it online (several on Reddit).
  6. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    Theoretically that does make sense. However, from a plot standpoint this would result in the instant death of anyone at all close to the Wall, and I doubt GRRM is prepared to kill all the Watch and wildlings at a stroke. Take a look at a map. There were free folk literally all over the place beyond the Wall... more than a hundred thousand of them, some even on the Frozen Shore... but immediately south of the Wall, we find: • Brandon's Gift. No people. • The new Gift. No people. • Eventually, lands controlled by houses like Umbers. Damned few people, especially after the recent war. • The North generally, which is a vast empty land where Bran and company could walk for days and barely see a soul. This is far less populated a region than beyond the Wall was, and also larger to explore. As the Popsicles and wights spread out east and west, covering Westeros, they will gain little for their efforts, but the process will give the South time to find out what's happened to the Wall and respond. So it'll be a quick plot, but not one that takes the Popsicles anywhere near the Neck in one book.
  7. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    I agree with all this except that I think in theory it could happen even before ADOS. That is, an efficient writer who stuck to target wordcounts could, in TWOW, roll out (1) Dany's invasion in the south and (2) the Wall falling in the North. All that would be done by the epilogue. Then in ADOS, the first half of the book would revolve around a joint North/South response to the Popsicles/wights. All the subplots and POVs would converge in the North. ~500 pages allocated to that. The second half, another ~500 pages, always assuming the Popsicles lost, would be the aftermath stuff, that GRRM admires so much from Tolkien: But pulling all that off in two books? That is architecture. GRRM is a gardener. Eight books does seem more probable especially if he wants to do anything similar to the above aftermath sequence, where he walks the reader through the devastation created by the second Long Night at the double scale of both the Westerosi civilization and as seen through the individual POVs.
  8. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    Yeah, we just see this differently. I don't think the Horn of Joramun is connected to the hammer of the waters historically, or that there will be any seismic activity that damages the Wall. It doesn't seem to me there are enough to make it south of the Neck in one book. A few thousand free folk (assuming the wights spread east and west to the garrisons, enough to kill them all)... then they hit the completely depopulated double Gift, a huge area... then the area south of that, which is already heavily depleted thanks to the War of Five Kings... is not likely to suffice. And even in book one, we are told the North is a vast empty land, nothing like the South. I think the Popsicles and wights will blow a lot of time doing all that as the southron world of men (having learned what happened at the Wall) develops and executes a response, so hopefully we'll still get a fairly zippy plot. If you mean decayed ancient corpses, decades or centuries old, could be raised, I can't really picture that. If that were possible, obviously the entire region beyond the Wall would have been completely overrun by the millions of corpses that died centuries or millennia ago, and all that would have happened in the first book. The Popsicles seem to me to be dependent on relatively recent corpses. It remains to be seen. However, if they do, they didn't spend the first five books pursuing that goal in a very efficient way, which is why they have yet even to make it to the Wall.
  9. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    What is our understanding, though? My understanding is just: "This stuff happened thousands of years ago, at a time there was no system of formal documents except runes on rocks, so the facts are hard to establish." There are all sorts of possibilities. For instance, that there was an epic battle the Popsicles lost, and some of the survivors of it subsequently formed the Night's Watch as a formal order... so subsequent songs about those same men having once ridden out to fight the Popsicles were true, yet those men weren't yet the Watch at that time.
  10. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    Also, re Dany and what she considers home, this from her very last chapter is interesting: Here she is literally starving and lost and alone. She's so desperate she considers eating grass and ants. Naturally she thinks of Meereen, which is the most local place that could solve her problems: a place she can get food, shelter, friends. But the same exact chapter shows us what she considers home when she is not starving and lost and alone: Because if you fly north of Meereen, and home is to the west... then Meereen quite obviously can't be home. Home is, in her mind, someplace far to the west of Slaver's Bay.
  11. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    There's certainly a canonical hint that such was the case. But, of course, this is just a song made up later (how much later?), and as with so much discussed in Heresy, we have no way to know whether such a thing happened or not.
  12. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    How do you know where the Popsicles will attack, or that it will only be at one point, or that even if it is at one point, they won't, on the southern side, spread out east and west? I think it's very likely, based on their behavior of the last five books, that that's just what they'll do. Making a beeline from A to B has never been their thing, whereas spreading over the continent and overcoming anything and anyone they find is their thing. And personally, I don't think the issue is going to be that the Wall literally vanishes or similar; that just seems preposterous to me. It's three hundred miles of ice seven hundred feet high and it's not going anywhere. The failure of the ward, I think, is going to be the failure of the Wall. This has historically been my expectation too. And then, I thought, ADOS would represent a finale in the North, and following a relatively brief denouement, the series would end. Lately I'm starting to wonder if GRRM is instead going to try to do a super-extended, Tolkienian aftermath sequence, though, based on his gushing opinion of what JRRT did in the Return of the King re the Scouring of the Shire. If that happens, then obviously GRRM is going to have to compress his story even more to make room for that very long aftermath sequence inside the last two books, and thus, TWOW would have to be even faster and more interesting a read than I expected. But this would require GRRM to write in a much more efficient manner than he has in the TWOW sample chapters, so I wonder if, instead, he's just going to decide there will be eight books, so he can do his lengthy aftermath stuff. Which... gah. Yeah, I'm talking about big-picture strategy that requires knowledge of the size and layout and power structure of the continent of Westeros. If they haven't got a map, they haven't got writing, and have no idea what lies south of the Wall, and know little/nothing about human government or power... then the odds they will proceed immediately to Winterfell or the South... having somehow gotten past the Wall, are close to zero. They will instead do more or less exactly what they did north of the Wall. So should the Wall fall, that is going to create a shockwave as the news of it finds its way south, which is not going to remain idle. The Popsicles and wights will be trying to scrub the entire North of resistance, and this will give what Tolkien called "the world of men" enough time to build some sort of strategy and response. In any case, the odds of the Popsicles and wights somehow scrubbing the entire North of resistance and then heading south of the Neck, in one book that covers only a few months or a year, appear to be remarkably low. Which I think we agree about.
  13. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    Well, it depends on what different readers care about, of course. As they spread out east and west, they will almost certainly be attacking the garrisons at Wall castles. Do we care? What if any POVs will be there? We can't know yet. I would care, if for instance Jon were alive and at Eastwatch; I can't speak for others. Next phase, once the Wall is lost, would presumably be places like Last Hearth. Who's there at that point in a future book? Will readers care? Will GRRM bother writing such chapters, or just telling us that happened with a line of dialogue from someone who knows? Dunno. If Davos finds and retrieves Rickon and is returning south over land and is attacked by Popsicles and wights, will readers care? Maybe we'll find out. However, as the North expands geographically east and west in accordance with the map, the Blue-Eyed Bunch aren't likely to ignore all that territory any more than they ignored the full area beyond the Wall... which was the major reason behind their sluggish progress in the last five books. As they spread out, their progress south will inevitably decline, just as it did before. I don't either; if anything GRRM seems to have his hands remarkably full finishing in only two books. (This is particularly true if he means to emulate his favorite bit of LOTR, the Scouring of the Shire, and go into some detail not just about the Dance with Dragons, and the War for the Dawn, but their aftermath and consequences... the staggering damage done to Westeros and its people as a result. Tolkien spent hundreds of pages on the aftermath of his war, and I wonder if GRRM means to as well.) But none of that requires him to put the Popsicles and wights in the south, or shift the main stage to Essos, which simply couldn't work logistically. Instead, I think GRRM will just make the North the main stage of the story. Which is to say, southron POV characters and military force will move north, belatedly perceiving the peril to their entire continent when they learn of the fall of the Wall, to bolster whatever resistance is left (free folk, Watch remnants, etc). This will accelerate the overall plot without requiring the Popsicles and wights to have some sort of psychic knowledge of Westeros or human politics (which they show zero sign of having at present)... or transforming them all into Usain Bolt clones who can now miraculously cover millions of square miles of the North in a fraction of the time they needed to cover much less territory beyond the Wall over the previous five books.
  14. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    And as for the bogus notion that GRRM will never confirm Jon's parents, we have this Rolling Stone exchange: "Until I get to it in the books." Uh huh. I see. Of course, that interview was done in 2014, three years after ADWD came out... so I'm sure some nut will argue it's outdated and that GRRM has changed his mind since then and that he will never confirm Jon's parentage in the books, and the nut will say he knows that because of what ADWD says. And we'll all think: Too much nut, not enough coco.
  15. JNR

    Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

    You still don't seem to get it. Look: You aren't arguing with us. You're arguing with GRRM. Your standard routine is this: 1. Propose something goofy 2. Others then point out GRRM contradicted you outright, and more than once 3. You say that GRRM's contradiction is "outdated" 4. You assert he must have "changed his mind," and he just never told anybody that 5. How do you know he changed his mind? Well, you apparently have a psychic link to him. It sure isn't coming from the canon. Dany never says anything like: "I intend to spend my life in Essos," but quite the opposite. From ADWD... the most recent book... we have such blatant bits as: So you see, you are arguing that all this... means Dany is never going to Westeros. Really? You're arguing with GRRM, not us. 6. Why didn't he tell us he changed his mind about Dany going to Westeros? Your case is that "he doesn't want to give away a major twist." 7. Why, then, did he originally tell us, over and over, that certain things were going to happen, such as Dany going to Westeros? Wasn't that giving away his future plot? Er... uh... you have no answer to that. You see how it goes. You keep arguing with GRRM, and you keep losing, because he's the world's leading authority on these books, and you... aren't. You've really never been arguing with us at all. It's not that we owned you. It's that GRRM did, and you didn't realize that, because you aren't up to speed on his long history of SSMs, and you don't really seem to care what he wrote in ADWD either.
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