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JNR

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  1. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    I think it'll depend on whether he can wrap it in two more books. I think he knows the same thing. If he gets TWOW out the door next year, and there's only one more book, I suspect he can finish ASOIAF. But if he needs an eighth novel, that will pretty much shut the door on all hope IMO. No, but depending on how good/bad the books were, I might be happier. It's such a shame seeing such outstandingly good setup and development in the novels shunted off to his psychological back burner in favor of crappy HBO prequels that, at best, will make him some money he doesn't need... leading in time to the series going completely unfinished, and his promises to the book fans all being broken.
  2. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    There's not much improvement. Jordan, just like GRRM, originally conceived of his work as a trilogy and it was marketed and sold on that basis. Then it got completely out of his control, leading to post-trilogy books that (to be honest) bored his audience, much as AFFC bored most of us. ADWD, though better, isn't up to the first three. One key difference is that Jordan did write according to a plan, meaning that each book had the intended contents and ended as planned. GRRM isn't at all good at this, leading to books like ADWD in which the ending is arbitrarily decided based on total length (not what has happened). Entire chapters he had meant for ADWD were instead postponed until the next book. I think Tolkien did quite a good job. His books are tightly written and never feature such extended sequences of near-total irrelevance as we get in the last two ASOIAF books. (This is why LOTR is not even as long as ASOS... Tolkien was efficient.) What distinguishes GRRM's POV technique for me is that he is so meticulous about continuity. Characters only ever know what they should know at that point in time, they get things wrong in ways that match their natures, and the prose style also subtly changes to reflect their personalities (eg Bran chapters are written more simplistically than Tyrion chapters). GRRM always keeps careful track of who knows what and that information guides everything they say and do. Tolkien didn't bother with any of this -- if he said a thing happened in any given chapter, featuring any given characters, it was just true, and the reader could confidently assume it was true. It really doesn't matter in LOTR who said what and there is no effort to adjust the prose to suit the POV, either.
  3. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    Good question. IMO it comes down to authorial definition. Tolkien for instance did not define LOTR as three books in his own head; that was a consequence of publisher decisions. To him it was one continuous story. Foundation began as a bunch of short stories for Astounding and was compiled into novels. Dune and HP are both true novel series, each conceived as its own thing and written and published on that basis. ASOIAF is closer to the Tolkien model, as you say, although GRRM certainly knew it would be published as standalone novels and that's how it was sold by his agent. He thought there would be three books, and we have to chuckle at that.
  4. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    Good answer. Robots of Dawn was written long after the third book (Second Foundation) and is possibly his best novel. Can't agree there. I think the fourth book is exactly where she lost control of what she was doing (it was twice as long, full of irrelevance, and not as good). That one is also the one that beat ASOS for the Best Novel Hugo. I don't agree with GRRM about everything, but on that, yes, he has a really legit grievance.
  5. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    Almost everything does. But GRRM does not set up complex puzzles of this sort for no reason. Whatever else we want to conclude about Jon's parentage, it's objectively true that GRRM went to great lengths to do these two things: 1) Tell us nothing conclusive about where Lyanna went, what she did, and with whom during the entire Rebellion 2) Create the illusion that he had told us -- an illusion which completely fooled most fans, including Ran Pulling off those double goals meant carefully arranging and phrasing literally thousands of details throughout almost two million words of five huge books. This was so much work for GRRM, Jon's true parentage is not likely to be as meaningless as Jon's favorite pair of socks, and it's not solely about his mother. In the end I think we'll see there's a purpose to it (just not the purpose of putting Jon on the throne or anything similar). The problem there is that he never originally meant to end AGOT with Dany's eggs hatching. He thought it would go much further into the story. The egg-hatching was a hacked substitute, forced by GRRM's typical failure to contain his wordcount. Ask him to describe a Jersey pizza in 500 words, and he'll blow those 500 just on the parmesan he sprinkles on top.
  6. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    As inept and surreal as that was, it's about the only way I can imagine it happening at all. All kings in the history of Westeros have ascended to the throne via a claim based on either military conquest or genetic inheritance. Bran seems a very doubtful bet for both. What does that leave? I think it'll be relevant by making certain things easier for Jon, but that's just a guess. It would be interesting to see a poll of Westeros/Reddit asking whether we'll see an overt Dark Lord in the last two books, since the show had one and most fans are convinced the show spoiled the books on all important points. I'm not sure what the poll results would be, but I am sure there won't be any such entity, and that by the last page of TWOW, it will be overwhemingly clear the show did not spoil the books on all important points. Instead, it did exactly what GRRM explicitly told us it would do about eight years ago: it got increasingly different from the books with every season.
  7. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    Well, that's just it. He hasn't really repudiated it, or called it fan-fiction; he's just said HBO's version is different from the story he's writing. So what does that mean? It's up to us to decide. To put a sharper edge on the distinction, here are some basic concepts I confidently predict D&D and the book fanbase, including this site, got completely wrong: 1. Bran never becomes King of Westeros in the books 2. Jon is not the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna in the books 3. The origin of the Others, as provided on the show, is fundamentally different in the books Additionally, I also point out this recent remark from GRRM: This IMO conclusively shows any Short Timeline theory is wrong. As I've suggested various times, the timeline is long. So for instance when in AGOT we are told the Wall has been around eight thousand years, we would do better to accept that rough estimate than doubt it.
  8. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    Yes, you'd think he'd focus on that -- that HBO's turn is over, so now he gets to do a proper job with the story he personally conceived and created. As for fan pressure, HBO lowered the bar so much he could hardly do worse... unless he fails to finish the series at all. The best quote on this subject comes from GRRM himself: He can still get it right, at least in the minds of the fanbase he cares about most. That would be us -- the book readers, the people who know Varys can't teleport. Maybe some of us won't be happy with this revelation or that revelation, but they will all have been set up, they will all make sense, and continuity will be preserved, as opposed to the bullshit buffet that HBO served us.
  9. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    That was a general comment on working with Hollywood: However, I think we can be pretty sure it does apply to GOT, because it does to all shows. A Q rating is basically just audience appeal; Hollywood management always likes to dial in more of popular characters when it can. And beyond that -- which is certainly true -- it's irrefutable that the show and books must be fundamentally different in key ways, because many important things that happened on the show just couldn't possibly happen in the books. GRRM's favorite example to make that point is character deaths, but that's barely just a start. I'll just point to the radical alterations to the storylines of Sansa and Brienne and try not to die laughing. We might define Heresy as a meta-theory that says "The show got it fucking wrong, and so did almost all the fans." That meta-theory will be proven correct, for the most part. It is a little hard to feel sorry for him re fan expectations, because previously he was heard moaning about how the whole world had left Westeros behind... what with the show ending... and thus was leaving him all alone.
  10. JNR

    Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

    Well, in a way. What he said was: It would be reasonable to interpret this to mean GOT only shortened his future story too much to be faithful. All the same, I'm quite sure they deviated from his future story in major, basic ways. To me it's only a question of whether he told them most of his future revelations, and they chose to do different ones... or he simply did not tell them at all. I lean toward the second. If by "right direction" you mean "we're assuming the show got it wrong and exploring more probable alternatives," I agree with that. The last season, and in particular the series finale, was so inept it qualified as accidental comedy. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, one would have to have a heart of stone to wave goodbye to the show without laughing.
  11. This would be meaningful if we could show these "most learned available witnesses" -- I suppose you're thinking of people like Melisandre or Salladhor Saan or the Ghost of High Heart -- had actually read the actual prophecies in the original language. Not a very high bar to clear... but we can't even manage that much. We just don't know. Such characters talk about the prophecies, so they've at least heard of them, but beyond that we have little idea how much they know. Suppose we consider Benerro an authority. About him, we're told: Well, if so, he clearly does not consider Dany's three dragons to be Lightbringer. He knows about Dany and her dragons, and yet he is still talking about a sword. So anyone who thinks Lightbringer = three dragons can only think Benerro is wrong, and thus, is impeaching his authority. What he says about omens is open to doubt. Melisandre in particular is a doubtful authority because we explicitly see her fudge the truth in her POV chapter: If I have to guess, what Mel sees in the flames, on this and other subjects, is quite accurate. She sees the correct towers. It's her interpretations that steer her wrong, as they do here because she wants to sound confident to Jon We should not be as easily fooled as she is because we don't need to impress Jon, as she does. Finally, to draw the comparison with Rhaegar/Lyanna, let me point out that the RLJ camp is quite comfortable impeaching authorities and does so all the time. For instance, Bran explicitly says Lyanna was kidnapped and raped. No one in that chapter contradicts him. But he is easily impeached; he wasn't even born at the time Lyanna was alive, and is only repeating what he was told by someone else. Robert says the same, and Ned never contradicts him. But does that mean Ned agrees? Certainly not. We don't get his thoughts. We know Robert has his own motives to believe and say what he does, just as Benerro does, just as the Ghost does, and just as Aemon does. But their level of expertise/honesty is extremely hard to establish, and some of them have been shown wrong before, such as Aemon -- he can't be right in thinking Rhaegar was the PtwP if Dany is, or vice versa. We can apply the same reasoning to the discussion of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Meera and Jojen weren't even born yet! They have no real authority, and like Bran, are only repeating something they have been told. Judging from Meera's ease rattling off such a long and detailed tale (the longest in all of canon!) they were probably told that story exactly as we get it from Meera. That is, with no solution provided. The typical fan premise that they know who the mystery knight was, or even that they would have the same guess, has little/no foundation. As usual, GRRM has left that subject ambiguous and while I hope we'll eventually get an explanation for that story, I'm not at all confident. He has far bigger fish to fry in the next two books. That'd be a great question for someone to ask GRRM at a convention, though: "Will we eventually learn the identity of the mystery knight at Harrenhal?" I don't believe it's ever been asked in a published SSM.
  12. It's not really logic; you just believe whatever suits you, assign it 100% probability, and then proceed to draw other conclusions on that basis. That's the general approach on this site -- or perhaps I should say the General approach. Heresy's always been different in acknowledging areas of uncertainty and admitting that concepts taken for granted elsewhere probably don't deserve the usual level of confidence. So as a case study, let's consider this: Show me the actual prophetic text in canon where the two prophecies are written out. Once you do that, we can create a complete list of markers, and analyze these markers to see if they are "the same." Surely that'd be the logical approach. Unfortunately you can't show me any such thing, because GRRM never gave us the prophetic text in either case. What you've cited, instead, is what the canon does provide: half-assed discussion about the prophecies by various characters who, like us, may only have heard about it. This is what scientists would call anecdotal evidence. Not quite worthless, but pretty shaky turf on which to build anything. (It's also very much like the situation with Rhaegar and Lyanna's missing time in the Rebellion -- a thing we've heard of, in various ways from various people, but about which we have zero direct information. Yet most fans can't stop themselves from jumping to conclusions and expressing those conclusions as if they were absolute truth.) So here's a prophecy of my own. If ASOIAF is ever finished, we will learn that what people said about X is not always worth a damn, and rarely if ever justifies drawing absolute conclusions about X.
  13. I note that in order to persuade Sam that Mel was wrong, Aemon... said Mel was wrong, walking Sam through his reasoning: Where was his laconic quality then? And really, Jon seems to have applied his own critical thinking to Mel in ways that have nothing to do with Aemon's homework assignment. For instance: Not to mention: It's remarkable how easily she fools people, even so. And when she conflates the PtwP and AAR, she is doing so again.
  14. You've interpreted a reptilian life form as a handheld metal weapon forged from ore. Interesting. (Reminds me a bit of Apple Martini, who once explained to me that Lightbringer was in fact a paramilitary body of men who live at the Wall.) Not at all. Those markers are so easily explained, they could apply to tens of thousands of individuals born at the same approximate time. There are also really basic distinctions between the two prophecies you seem to want to ignore. Fundamentally, Azor Ahai is a messiah of the red faith, whereas the PtwP has nothing to do with religion, and is only an entity that has been of interest to the Targ family for generations. Which of course is why other than Mel, you never hear red priests mention the PtwP at all (and her motive to conflate them is obvious). Azor Ahai forges wields a burning sword, and is supposed to save the world in a time of growing darkness and cold. Meanwhile, the PtwP... er... uh... well, how awkward! It seems the PtwP is never said to wield a burning sword, and no future role is supplied in canon at all... except of course by Melisandre, the sole person who confuses the two. (Though many fans appear to be persuaded by her, reminding me of Selyse.) On the word of a woods witch, Rhaella and Aerys were forced to marry to yield (eventually) the PtwP. Why? Was it to save the world in a time of cold and darkness, really? Did Jaehaerys ever even believe in such a thing as a Second Long Night? Is this a fixation of Targs going back generations? I sure don't recall such references in canon. Maybe someone can find some...
  15. I'm afraid I haven't seen much sign of Dany wielding the most defining and consistent attribute of the AAR myth -- the sword. Still don't recall Dany wielding a burning sword on this occasion. Or any occasion. This illustrates the problem of trying to work without the actual text. It might be that the PtwP prophecy reads something like That would give us lots of room to maneuver. We could read that to mean "birth" or "conception" or even something like "the destined person won't become the prince until the bleeding star shows up." But as it is, we just don't know. We've seen Benerro make claims about AAR without ever mentioning the PtwP. Mel's outlook seems doubtful to me for many reasons, not least of them that she is convinced Stannis is both PtwP and AAR and I'm confident she is wrong on both points. And once again, we must ponder why Instead, he gave Jon a homework assignment and never mentioned Mel's name once. Quite a roundabout way of making such a simple point, unless it's not so simple.
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