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How would you rate episode 410?

How would you rate episode 410?  

1,079 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your rating from 1-10, with 10 being the highest/best

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      60
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      21
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      23
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      27
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      62
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      76
    • 7
      122
    • 8
      179
    • 9
      248
    • 10
      259


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Would like to know what you find amateurish about Martin's pacing or narration. Don't get me wrong, I'm never "insulted" because of someone's honest opinion about my favorite author, no matter how strongly you dislike him. And it does look like you really dislike Martin, because you did say he's "far from a great writer", and that certain aspects of his writing is amateurish. That's why I'd be interested to find out about particular complaints of yours.

I said "it felt almost-amateurish" not amateurish. I do like Martin; I just tend to be critical in most things. I've been quite a large fan of the series ever since picked up CoK as a child and I'm rereading the series for the umteenth time at the moment.

The pacing itself seems very non-deliberate at times. This is moreso in the last 2 books. GoT and CoK feel extremely well thought out and structured. SoS is close but the pacing does seem to falter slightly towards the beginning. As for FfC and DwD, I feel the problems with pacing are quite clear. One example: The ending of Feast didn't feel like an ending in any sense; when I saw "Meanwhile, Back on the Wall", I was fully expecting a final chapter.

As far as narration, I regularly get the feeling it slips into omniscient view from the established restricted PoVs. There are several passages where a lengthy description overpowers what a character would believably notice. It's not overly regular but when it does occur, it just breaks my suspension of disbelief.

Anyway, just because I notice some, what I view as, faults in the writing, I still really enjoy the series.

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As far as narration, I regularly get the feeling it slips into omniscient view from the established restricted PoVs. There are several passages where a lengthy description overpowers what a character would believably notice. It's not overly regular but when it does occur, it just breaks my suspension of disbelief.

For me it's the other way around: I'm not a fan of narration becoming too personal. Like, it's OK if a character curses or uses words like "cunt", be it in dialogue or in own mind. But when foul language is found in a narration, it diminishes the `neutral` aspect of the narration for me, and since this isn't a first person narration, I like it to remain as neutral as possible. Now, having said that, I do understand this whole "close third person" narration is a very tricky thing, especially if an author joggles with so many different POVs, so I give GRRM some slack. And it's not like I'm too bothered by that in the first place. All in all, wouldn't agree that its some serious mistake nor "almost amateurish". Considering he manages to satisfy both people like you and people like me, with all of our obvious difference and differing tastes, I'd say GRRM is not without considerable skills in regards to narration.

I just tend to be critical in most things.

So do I, which is why, during my first reading of ASOIAF, I was so surprised at how few complaints I actually have. Like, I expected a genre literature, and found something that is way better than genre literature.

The pacing itself seems very non-deliberate at times. This is moreso in the last 2 books. GoT and CoK feel extremely well thought out and structured. SoS is close but the pacing does seem to falter slightly towards the beginning. As for FfC and DwD, I feel the problems with pacing are quite clear. One example: The ending of Feast didn't feel like an ending in any sense; when I saw "Meanwhile, Back on the Wall", I was fully expecting a final chapter.

In regards to "action" (in a very broad sense of the word), you could say that the pace is uneven. However, even the slowest chapters, like Bran's chapters in ACOK before Theon's invasion or certain Dany's and Sansa's chapter from the beginning of ASOS, do have their purpose and they reveal so much about the characters, or settings, or, even more important, about the general circumstances (societies and cultures) the story takes place in. For my taste, GRRM builds the tension perfectly, and everything's heading toward the culmination which happens in the later half of the book.

What you say about the ending is not the product of pace, but of various factors that don't necessarily have anything to do with the book itself. Granted, it was not the happiest point at which to end the book, but once the series is finished, I'm sure nobody will have a problem with it. As for the actual pacing of AFFC and ADWD, I really don't share the popular opinion that "nothing happens" in those two books. On the contrary, a lot of things happen, only not the things that were widely expected (like Dany's invasion, for example). They are pretty different books from the first three, but I happen to like a less wide but certainly deeper look at things in AFFC, and then thematically the most unified book that is ADWD. Because of the crazy rich plot in the first three books, somewhat different approach was needed for some finer looks at Westeros and Esoss. In another words, in AFFC and ADWD it became much clearer that ASOIAF is way more than just a character study it's often described as.

I like GRRM's writing a lot, but he falls into the trap of describing everything. Sometimes he describes literally every item of clothing in the room, and I just zone out. He seems to enjoy writing the sensory detail more than telling the story. AFfC/ADwD was marred by poor editing and some bad characters, who were neither interesting nor likable. The whole queenmaker subplot was ridiculous. Were we honestly supposed to believe that Arianne and her merry band of misfits thought they could bring down the Lannisters and dethrone Tommen? Arys Oakheart would have known better. Don't even get me started on travelogue!

Have you read Marquez? He's a much more detailed in his descriptions than Martin is. What about Tolstoy? Same thing. Or Orhan Pamuk and his "My Name is Red", which is a brilliant book, but full of descriptions of even the tiniest details. Or Umberto Eco and his "The Name of the Rose". These are examples just from the top of my head, of widely beloved and acclaimed authors and books that are more detailed than GRRM is. Not that being detailed is something bad. On the contrary, details may provide a precious insight into the world and the setting and the culture, and I'd say GRRM's descriptions are seldom gratuitous.

About queenmaker, Dorne is probably the least favorite part of the saga for me, because I still see no purpose for it in the story (apart from Oberyn, who made a great impact in a lot of ways). And yet, I still didn't find that subplot ridiculous. The plan was not very realistic, but its very realistic to have people follow some unrealistic plans. It happens in real life all the time, it happened in actual history time and again, and it happened in ASOIAF. And sometimes even unrealistic plans succeed, like Cersei's coup - which is also a realistic possibility, because out of so unrealistic scenarios, some will have to be realized. And truth be told, Arianne's plan wasn't so unrealistic. With The North in such a mess, Riverlands and other parts of the realm devastated by war, and Iron Island in open rebellion, the Dorne is, along with The Vale, by far the strongest province, Had Doran backed her plan, it would create a great headache for whoever sits on the Iron Throne, and especially for more and more delusional Cersei. The weakest part of Arianne's plan is that she lacks Doran's support, but, given their family's dynamics, that was also not suprorising.

As for the travelogue, I assume you're talking about Brienne's chapters. Again, that is where I disagree with the general fandom. Those chapters are not about Brienne, but about the destruction that came with the war. Pre-modern wars and their aftermaths were rarely depicted, and possibly never so strongly as here. If Martin wanted to show what the realm looks like after such a gigantic carnage that was The War of the Five Kings - and I happen to think that was precisely his intention - then he has done a very good job in AFFC, especially with Brienne's chapters, not the least because of her idealistic and naive personality that stands in stark contrast with what she sees.

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For me it's the other way around: I'm not a fan of narration becoming too personal. Like, it's OK if a character curses or uses words like "cunt", be it in dialogue or in own mind.

I guess you misunderstand that..he uses cunt and cock/member...... because they are the terms for the genitals that do not have a root in latin.

I wondered myself why he uses cunt, but it seems that he does it, because vagina is a pretty formal latin term.

The characters do not use cunt as diminutive term, but actually as a rather neutral one.

Just to let you know ;)

And same with "fuck". What other word should he use as verb for having sex? Procreating? Now that sounds sexy and erotic. Let's procreate! :lol:

I'm not mocking you, it just seems that there is a misunderstanding..

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I meant that and Tyrion's magical boat. I agree that those chapters helped show the effects of the bigger pieces of the story. I disagree that they showed those effects in a good or merely pleasant manner. I think that those decisions show that GRRM is a good but great writer. I think he failed to find a good way to tell the stories about the Others, the dragons, and magic in general. That's why he writes so much about politics. It's easier than putting a POV character in the midst of the Others.

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I guess you misunderstand that..he uses cunt and cock/member...... because they are the terms for the genitals that do not have a root in latin.

I wondered myself why he uses cunt, but it seems that he does it, because vagina is a pretty formal latin term.

The characters do not use cunt as diminutive term, but actually as a rather neutral one.

Just to let you know ;)

And same with "fuck". What other word should he use as verb for having sex? Procreating? Now that sounds sexy and erotic. Let's procreate! :lol:

I'm not mocking you, it just seems that there is a misunderstanding..

I think "guards her cunt" was pretty derogatory, but the other poster complained that those words creep into the portions of the books where the reader can't really tell whether the writer slipped into the role of an omniscient narrator.

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I meant that and Tyrion's magical boat. I agree that those chapters helped show the effects of the bigger pieces of the story. I disagree that they showed those effects in a good or merely pleasant manner. I think that those decisions show that GRRM is a good but great writer. I think he failed to find a good way to tell the stories about the Others, the dragons, and magic in general. That's why he writes so much about politics. It's easier than putting a POV character in the midst of the Others.

That's definitely a problem with the books, and something that is an advantage to the show. Not being beholden to specific POVs really allows us to see characters in ways we never did before. The Tyrells are more fleshed out, as are characters like Missandei and Greyworm. We actually get to know them without bias, and to see how they act when they are alone. Seeing the White Walker was big, and it finally have us just enough information about the Others to make us still think of them as a big threat...something that has gotten pushed down in the last two books for more politicking.

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Why do we have to assume things? Why can't the show clearly explain them? If we want to criticize something we can only work with what we are given. The facts. And it's a fact that it was never explained how Tyrion can navigate through the secret dungeons. I think that it's a perfectly valid criticism, even though it can easily be ignored.

Holy sh*t.

They have to spell out the most obvious things??

The list of valueless posts and nitpicking continues.

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9/10 for great television.

My favourite parts were the Child of the Forest and the skeletal Others because I always enjoy the fantastic and the fey; Brienne's fight with the Hound because it was tense and exciting sicne its outcome was unknown and not in the books; Arya's boat ride to swelling choral accompaniment because there has to be some joy even in the grimmest life. The grief of the father of the child burned by Drogon was moving.

I can patiently wait for the undead Stoneheart. I do not mind Tysha being combined with Shae on television.

I do wish that the knights in this show looked more traditionally knightly, that is to say, I wish they wore heraldric surcoats and colours. Stannis's knights looked very drab and dull. I much prefer a more mediaeval appearance for a knightly charge.

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Holy sh*t.

They have to spell out the most obvious things??

The list of valueless posts and nitpicking continues.

Please do tell me where it was obviously explained how Tyrion knew his way around the tunnels?

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Please do tell me where it was obviously explained how Tyrion knew his way around the tunnels?

Varys map Blackwater

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Varys map Blackwater

Yup. We watched Blackwater just before 409 came out and my housemates automatically assumed Tyrion would escape with Varys through the tunnels.

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I guess you misunderstand that..he uses cunt and cock/member...... because they are the terms for the genitals that do not have a root in latin.

I wondered myself why he uses cunt, but it seems that he does it, because vagina is a pretty formal latin term.

The characters do not use cunt as diminutive term, but actually as a rather neutral one.

Just to let you know ;)

And same with "fuck". What other word should he use as verb for having sex? Procreating? Now that sounds sexy and erotic. Let's procreate! :lol:

I'm not mocking you, it just seems that there is a misunderstanding..

I understand non-Latin angle completely. In fact, you just reminded me of that ridiculous TV dialogue between Tyrion and Jaime, about different forms of murders - regicide, patricide, fratricide and so on. One more testament to the show's poor writing.

But, I wasn't talking about that. What I had in mind is preserving neutrality as much as possible, even while describing highly intimate situations like sex. GRRM managed it just fine in ACOK, especially in Dany's chapters, which are centered around her very sexual relationship with Drogo. All those scenes are very sexual and intimate, and yet, as far as I can remember, not once did GRRM use words like "cunt" or "cock" in them. My problem with using those words is that they are inevitably intimate. Most probably, no objective narration would ever use such language. When the characters use them, fine. When narration uses them, not so much. But, again, it's just a nitpicking, and a very subjective complaint. If I was his editor, I'd suggest to him to use some other expressions, but I wouldn't make a big deal out of it.

I meant that and Tyrion's magical boat. I agree that those chapters helped show the effects of the bigger pieces of the story. I disagree that they showed those effects in a good or merely pleasant manner. I think that those decisions show that GRRM is a good but great writer. I think he failed to find a good way to tell the stories about the Others, the dragons, and magic in general. That's why he writes so much about politics. It's easier than putting a POV character in the midst of the Others.

Sorry, but first I have to tell you, its somewhat strange if you completely ignore big parts of my reply to your previous post, and instead just move to the next complaint. You said queenmaker subplot is ridiculous. I replied by explaining why I don't find it ridiculous. You said Martin puts too many details in his prose. I pointed to other authors that put even more details in their stories. To both of my points you had nothing to say. You just moved to another set of complaints. Is that how you want to discuss things: you keep on bringing more and more complaints, and I keep on rebutting them? Honestly, I'm not interested in that kind of "debate", because it looks like you just feel the need to bash GRRM a little, especially if you think he's focused on politics because he's opting for the easier way out. Don't know your taste in literature and your prerogatives, so, for all I know, you may be legitimately disappointed by what you consider is too much politics and too little magic. But: 1) that has nothing to do with me, nor anyone who isn't you - there's nothing to discuss there, because it's a matter of personal taste, not an opinion; and 2) calling ASOIAF politics easier than the alternative is not an opinion I can find serious.

Several years ago, an expert in legal history did an interview with GRRM, focus of which was the legal system of 7K. The interviewer admitted that GRRM's knowledge on the matter of medieval legal systems surpasses his own. How many writers receive that kind of praise? (Last year someone posted a link to the podcast with an interview, if someone can find it I'd be grateful.) Tom Holland, a well-known historian, is an ASOIAF fanatic who never neglects to mention how fascinated he is with the universe GRRM created, which he, Holland, describes as heavily rooted in historical realities and at the same time very imaginative. Another historian, Stephen Atewell, runs a site called "The Race for the Iron Throne", in which he meticulously analyzes ASOIAF, chapter by chapter, by comparing it to the actual historical facts and data. Not to mention that, for a male, writing characters like Cersei, Sansa, Cat (all very feminine, in their own respective ways) had to be a monstrous task. Regardless of what will GRRM ultimately do with The Others and how is he going to approach them, what he accomplished so far with political intrigue, character development, social studies and yes, even magic (Bran's entire arc), is hardly easier than anything.

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That's definitely a problem with the books, and something that is an advantage to the show. Not being beholden to specific POVs really allows us to see characters in ways we never did before. The Tyrells are more fleshed out, as are characters like Missandei and Greyworm. We actually get to know them without bias, and to see how they act when they are alone. Seeing the White Walker was big, and it finally have us just enough information about the Others to make us still think of them as a big threat...something that has gotten pushed down in the last two books for more politicking.

1) POV structure is really not a limiting factor. It doesn't take anything away from the story. On the contrary, in hands of a skilled writer, especially the one able to joggle multiple POVs, it adds new layers to the story, like characters' intimacy and feelings. Nothing is lost because of a POV structure of the books. The very backstory of Jon's parentage is a testament to that, along with countless other subtly planted perspectives that enable a reader to look at the plot and characters from different angles. In truth, it is the show that is infinitely weaker in that regard, because it looks like D&D are preoccupied with inventing scenes for character that don't have POV chapter in the books, but they fail to depict the world and the culture of ASOIAF.

2) Tyrells are more fleshed out in the show? Really?! Even though some important members of the family are cut? Again, you seem to be confusing more screen time with more fleshed out. Please, for the love of god, tell me how is TV Margaery "more fleshed out" than her book original. What is it that we know about TV Margaery, that justifies so much screen time wasted on her? Not only that she's as shallow as anyone, she's also drastically inconsistent: in season 2, she's an immoral slut who proposes a menage a trois with her husband and his lover/her brother; in season 4, she's shocked that someone killed Joff, and that her granny had a role in it. And what about Loras? Is he "more fleshed out" in the show as well?!

3) What was big about seeing White Walkers? What info did we get there?

4) Your posts are getting more and more entertaining, ever since you "explained" in that other thread why do you prefer TV Sandor over book Sandor. By the way, where do you place TV Sandor? Is he among the characters you find "more fleshed out"?

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Miodrag:


To make a last point about the description of genitalia:


We had to read "The Reader" in school. Like not each for his own, but like everyone read a line aloud. And not that the book was an atrocity to read anyway, but Schlink is horrible at writing erotic stuff. Not that it was supposed to be erotic, but it was just awkward. Even if one would read it in private, but he used the german scientific term for penis, "Glied"(literally "member"). And that is quite a read, I can tell you that.


Not that no one ever would say or write that word(I wonder why it even exists), but if there was written "Schwanz" or any other slightly derogatory or more common term for his reproductive organ, I would have appreciated it.


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I understand non-Latin angle completely. In fact, you just reminded me of that ridiculous TV dialogue between Tyrion and Jaime, about different forms of murders - regicide, patricide, fratricide and so on. One more testament to the show's poor writing.

But, I wasn't talking about that. What I had in mind is preserving neutrality as much as possible, even while describing highly intimate situations like sex. GRRM managed it just fine in ACOK, especially in Dany's chapters, which are centered around her very sexual relationship with Drogo. All those scenes are very sexual and intimate, and yet, as far as I can remember, not once did GRRM use words like "cunt" or "cock" in them. My problem with using those words is that they are inevitably intimate. Most probably, no objective narration would ever use such language. When the characters use them, fine. When narration uses them, not so much. But, again, it's just a nitpicking, and a very subjective complaint. If I was his editor, I'd suggest to him to use some other expressions, but I wouldn't make a big deal out of it.

Sorry, but first I have to tell you, its somewhat strange if you completely ignore big parts of my reply to your previous post, and instead just move to the next complaint. You said queenmaker subplot is ridiculous. I replied by explaining why I don't find it ridiculous. You said Martin puts too many details in his prose. I pointed to other authors that put even more details in their stories. To both of my points you had nothing to say. You just moved to another set of complaints. Is that how you want to discuss things: you keep on bringing more and more complaints, and I keep on rebutting them? Honestly, I'm not interested in that kind of "debate", because it looks like you just feel the need to bash GRRM a little, especially if you think he's focused on politics because he's opting for the easier way out. Don't know your taste in literature and your prerogatives, so, for all I know, you may be legitimately disappointed by what you consider is too much politics and too little magic. But: 1) that has nothing to do with me, nor anyone who isn't you - there's nothing to discuss there, because it's a matter of personal taste, not an opinion; and 2) calling ASOIAF politics easier than the alternative is not an opinion I can find serious.

Several years ago, an expert in legal history did an interview with GRRM, focus of which was the legal system of 7K. The interviewer admitted that GRRM's knowledge on the matter of medieval legal systems surpasses his own. How many writers receive that kind of praise? (Last year someone posted a link to the podcast with an interview, if someone can find it I'd be grateful.) Tom Holland, a well-known historian, is an ASOIAF fanatic who never neglects to mention how fascinated he is with the universe GRRM created, which he, Holland, describes as heavily rooted in historical realities and at the same time very imaginative. Another historian, Stephen Atewell, runs a site called "The Race for the Iron Throne", in which he meticulously analyzes ASOIAF, chapter by chapter, by comparing it to the actual historical facts and data. Not to mention that, for a male, writing characters like Cersei, Sansa, Cat (all very feminine, in their own respective ways) had to be a monstrous task. Regardless of what will GRRM ultimately do with The Others and how is he going to approach them, what he accomplished so far with political intrigue, character development, social studies and yes, even magic (Bran's entire arc), is hardly easier than anything.

We were discussing why people might think that that GRRM is a good but not great writer. I don't have time to go through every line of your post and show you how I agree or disagree. I don't have an obsession for one type of literature. I pick books based on recommendations. If i like the book, I'll read another. Unfortunately, I don't have time to read for pleasure. I enjoyed ASoIaF, and I want to read TWoW. I just don't think GRRM is a great writer. He's a very good writer, but he seems to have some problems telling the story.

GRRM writes good characters, and he develops them well. My central complaint would be that he focuses on the world building aspect to the detriment of his story. That's why I defend the show. It tells the story rather than focusing on details that I don't find all that interesting. I'm honestly not bashing GRRM or his books, even AFfC/ADwD. I think you misunderstand my point. I never said he spends too much time on politics. I said he writes more on politics because he hasn't--possibly can't--find a way to fully explain the Others in the POV format. If you don't think the format limits him, I don't know what to say. I hope this is more responsive.

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. The grief of the father of the child burned by Drogon was moving.

.

On rewatch I was surprised at how short that scene was ... I don't think I breathed through it the first time. The actor said IIRC he went off and cried for 20 min after which sounds about right.

When he tried to straighten out the skull onto the rest of the body it was so sad.

Edited by rmholt

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said he writes more on politics because he hasn't--possibly can't--find a way to fully explain the Others in the POV format. If you don't think the format limits him, I don't know what to say. I hope this is more responsive.

Faulkner and Kesey did OK with that style and I like GRRMs use of it too. Every style has rules. Limits are only those of the authors for any style.

If he wants to tell more about the Others well he's writing F/SF, he invented them and can find a way to tell us whatever needs telling.

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On rewatch I was surprised at how short that scene was ... I don't think I breathed through it the first time. The actor said IIRC he went off and cried for 20 min after which sounds about right.

When he tried to straighten out the skull onto the rest of the body it was so sad.

What people do/say for a little bit of extra publicity. . .

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What people do/say for a little bit of extra publicity. . .

I hope this is just a failed attempt at humor.

That quote was incredibly hard to relocate but you can see it here http://poetry.rapgenius.com/3327031

The man has fewer twitter followers than *I* do

Edited by rmholt

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