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Black Crow

Heresy 208 Winter is Coming

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

This has been around on the dark side of the web for a while:

 

Continuing the most imaginative and ambitious epic fantasy since The Lord of the Rings Winter has come at last and no man can say whether it will ever go again. The Wall is broken, the cold dead legions are coming south, and the people of the Seven Kingdoms turn to their queen to protect them. But Daenerys Targaryen is learning what Robert Baratheon learned before her; that it is one thing to win a throne and quite another to sit on one. Before she can hope to defeat the Others, Dany knows she must unite the broken realm behind her. Wolf and lion must hunt together, maester and greenseer work as one, all the blood feuds must be put aside, the bitter rivals and sworn enemies join hands. The Winds of Winter tells the story of Dany’s fight to save her new-won kingdom, of two desperate journeys beyond the known world in to the very hearts of ice and fire, and of the final climactic battle at Winterfell, with life itself in the balance.

Aside from the journeys to the hearts of ice and fire, that doesn't sound credible at all.

If this is the best you've got, I'm even more convinced I'm right. :D

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5 hours ago, Black Crow said:

This has been around on the dark side of the web for a while:

 

Continuing the most imaginative and ambitious epic fantasy since The Lord of the Rings Winter has come at last and no man can say whether it will ever go again. The Wall is broken, the cold dead legions are coming south, and the people of the Seven Kingdoms turn to their queen to protect them. But Daenerys Targaryen is learning what Robert Baratheon learned before her; that it is one thing to win a throne and quite another to sit on one. Before she can hope to defeat the Others, Dany knows she must unite the broken realm behind her. Wolf and lion must hunt together, maester and greenseer work as one, all the blood feuds must be put aside, the bitter rivals and sworn enemies join hands. The Winds of Winter tells the story of Dany’s fight to save her new-won kingdom, of two desperate journeys beyond the known world in to the very hearts of ice and fire, and of the final climactic battle at Winterfell, with life itself in the balance.

There must always be a Stark in Winterfell...

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6 hours ago, Black Crow said:

This has been around on the dark side of the web for a while:

 

Continuing the most imaginative and ambitious epic fantasy since The Lord of the Rings Winter has come at last and no man can say whether it will ever go again. The Wall is broken, the cold dead legions are coming south, and the people of the Seven Kingdoms turn to their queen to protect them. But Daenerys Targaryen is learning what Robert Baratheon learned before her; that it is one thing to win a throne and quite another to sit on one. Before she can hope to defeat the Others, Dany knows she must unite the broken realm behind her. Wolf and lion must hunt together, maester and greenseer work as one, all the blood feuds must be put aside, the bitter rivals and sworn enemies join hands. The Winds of Winter tells the story of Dany’s fight to save her new-won kingdom, of two desperate journeys beyond the known world in to the very hearts of ice and fire, and of the final climactic battle at Winterfell, with life itself in the balance.

Eek! It has been a while since I've seen this pop up. I don't know that it was ever confirmed as "real", or at least written by GRRM himself, right? (I am being totally honest)

The last I read (and it has been a while) is that this was a placeholder type blurb written by another source? I could have missed any updates, though.

https://www.bookdepository.com/Winds-Winter-George-Martin/9780002247412

I do like the "maester and greenseer" work as one idea. That is something I have thought would have to happen for a while through Bran alone as the "Knight of the Mind", or a Bran and Sam partnership.

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2 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I don't know that it was ever confirmed as "real", or at least written by GRRM himself, right? (I am being totally honest)

Right.

However, this is definitely confirmed as real and written by GRRM:

Quote

Each of the conflicts presents a major threat to the peace of my imaginary realm, the Seven Kingdoms

Quote

The greatest danger of all, however, comes from the north, from the icy wastes beyond the Wall, where half-forgotten demons out of legend, the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead and the neverborn and prepare to ride down on the winds of winter to extinguish everything that we would call "life." The only thing that stands between the Seven Kingdoms and and endless night is the Wall, and a handful of men in black called the Night's Watch. Their story will be the heart of my third volume, The Winds of Winter.

This still certainly seems to be the idea (though many of the details have evolved, like the number of books in the series, sigh).  Note his emphasis on the Seven Kingdoms.

Of course he could change his mind, but the concept that the Seven Kingdoms are the primary stage appears irrevocably baked into the narrative to me. 

There are also major narrative problem with any alternative.  For instance, the Popsicles are far, far too slow; in a million and a half words so far, they have yet even to make it as far south as the Wall.  Unless they all become meth addicts/track stars, they aren't going to conquer Westeros, build ice ships (a thing they show no sign of having developed), and then sail to Essos inside the next two books.

And then there's this: We have never heard, in any myths or legends in any book, that the Popsicles made it to Essos in the original Long Night.  It seems a certain matter that they were stopped in Westeros and very likely will be again, though not easily.

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http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/5431/
 

Quote

There's been an interesting discussion on our forum concerning "orientalism" as it's expressed in your work, and one question it's led to among readers is whether you've ever considered a foreign point of view characters in Essos, to give a different window into events there.

 No, this story is about Westeros. Those other lands are important only as they reflect on Westeros.

This is a straightforward and succinct statement of intent on the author's part.

In addition, I don't think it's a given that all things "Fire related" hold Essos as their point of origin.
 

4 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Eek! It has been a while since I've seen this pop up. I don't know that it was ever confirmed as "real", or at least written by GRRM himself, right? (I am being totally honest)

The last I read (and it has been a while) is that this was a placeholder type blurb written by another source? I could have missed any updates, though.

If I'm not mistaken, it's a blurb that first showed up on the German Amazon site. I personally find it highly dubious, and don't think it should be cited as though it is coming from the author; there seems a fair possibility that it was someone's attempt at speculative fan fiction for their placeholder blurb, and is about as reliable as the placeholder release date that was also attached.

That said, it does remind me of the jacket blurbs for aCoK and aSoS; both have this slightly off quality to them, as though they were created from old synopses that GRRM had sent his publishers before the books were finalized. They're not inaccurate, per se, but some of the things they emphasize, and the way they portray the story (and the intent of the novels) is...I don't know, just strange to me.

Edited by Matthew.

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10 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

If I'm not mistaken, it's a blurb that first showed up on the German Amazon site. I personally find it highly dubious, and don't think it should be cited as though it is coming from the author; there seems a fair possibility that it was someone's attempt at speculative fan fiction for their placeholder blurb, and is about as reliable as the placeholder release date that was also attached.

I wouldn't care too much about the infamous german book cover summary fuck ups, if the text is from pre 2000. GRRM's german connections speak for themself, in more than one circumstance.  

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4 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Eek! It has been a while since I've seen this pop up. I don't know that it was ever confirmed as "real", or at least written by GRRM himself, right? (I am being totally honest)

The last I read (and it has been a while) is that this was a placeholder type blurb written by another source? I could have missed any updates, though.

https://www.bookdepository.com/Winds-Winter-George-Martin/9780002247412

I do like the "maester and greenseer" work as one idea. That is something I have thought would have to happen for a while through Bran alone as the "Knight of the Mind", or a Bran and Sam partnership.

This seems like the track that D&D have followed so far.

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1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

This is a straightforward and succinct statement of intent on the author's part.

I think you are reading a bit too much into that statement. The question was about orientalism and PoV characters from Essos, not about where the endgame will take place. A story about the fall of Westeros and the displacement of its people is still a story about Westeros.

The exodus theory fits with what is written on the page, especially with AFFC and ADwD, the most recent books. Ultimately George can take the story in any number of places, but this is as solid an option as any of them. The text should count for more than cherry picked interview quotes and an old outline from 1993 that was already heavily altered. :P

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30 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

I think you are reading a bit too much into that statement. The question was about orientalism and PoV characters from Essos, not about where the endgame will take place. A story about the fall of Westeros and the displacement of its people is still a story about Westeros.

The exodus theory fits with what is written on the page, especially with AFFC and ADwD, the most recent books. Ultimately George can take the story in any number of places, but this is as solid an option as any of them. The text should count for more than cherry picked interview quotes and an old outline from 1993 that was already heavily altered. :P

While I think it's entirely possible that a part of the population will flee east; I'm doubtful that a large part of the population will have access to resources available to get across the Narrow Sea.  I think it more likely that those who can't leave will flee south to Dorne; just as Osha and company intended when they met up with Bran.

There is also a long history of disbelief in the snarks and grumpkins north of the Wall; so why would anyone believe tales of the Others at this point?  The wildlings know what they are fleeing; but what of the population at large much further south?  I imagine that most of the population will be unprepared for an invastion of white walkers and their dead army if they make it past the Wall.

It may be that Essos will be affected by the cold as well, that the cold may not be confined to Westeros.  North of Essos is the Shivering Sea.  Ghost grass has already sprung up in Qaarth.

 

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32 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

I think you are reading a bit too much into that statement. The question was about orientalism and PoV characters from Essos, not about where the endgame will take place. A story about the fall of Westeros and the displacement of its people is still a story about Westeros.

The exodus theory fits with what is written on the page, especially with AFFC and ADwD, the most recent books. Ultimately George can take the story in any number of places, but this is as solid an option as any of them. The text should count for more than cherry picked interview quotes and an old outline from 1993 that was already heavily altered. :P

I don't disagree that the story can be taken a number of places, and that the text should take precedence over ssms, but the text is what is setting my expectations--my expectations being that there is too much unresolved business with Winterfell, the Iron Throne, the Green Men/Isle of Faces, etc.

Furthermore, and I apologize in advance to any Heretics that have heard this verbatim sentiment in the last several threads, but I think certain mysteries - dragonglass, the Last Hero's dragonsteel, Moat Cailin, House Dayne and Dawn, as well as the SSM where Martin says "there were dragons all over, once" - suggest that Fire magic may not be so disconnected from events in Westeros as it appears.

I also think things will be settled in Westeros because, despite the occasional suggestion to the contrary, I think these are rather traditional books in their storytelling and themes, that they are not all that subversive or revolutionary.

On the storytelling front, I think GRRM feels compelled to "pay off" the Other story in appropriately climactic and traditional fashion, and I suspect he intends to do the same when it comes to leadership in Westeros; for all that these novels highlight what is wrong with Knighthood and feudalism, I don't think GRRM has the courage to destroy his fictional institutions. Instead, I think he'll go the tepid route of knighthood and leadership being 'redeemed' rather than destroyed.

Which is a long winded way of saying that I don't think that what you suggest could not follow naturally on what has come before, only that I think it proposes a far more non-traditional story than what GRRM is actually telling.

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13 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Aint gonna happen.

Fire may be based out east, but this is about Westeros, the Wall, Winterfell and about the Starks [and their Icy little secret] :commie:

Asshai is the location of interest outside Westeros.  Grrm said we wouldn't go there, but would find out what happened there.  We have hints dragons were created there, and I suspect it is tied to AA and the seasons being off.

I wonder if the Daynes and Targaryens are descended from people there, which is why they share features.  If they traveled east, they could end up in Starfall, and those traveling west found dragons in the 14 flames.  This also fits with the idea of Lightbringer being Dawn.

Whatever happened there was important,  not sure how it relates to the final battle being in Westeros,  but I bet that it does.

 

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1 hour ago, Matthew. said:


I also think things will be settled in Westeros because, despite the occasional suggestion to the contrary, I think these are rather traditional books in their storytelling and themes, that they are not all that subversive or revolutionary.
 

:agree:

In story-telling terms there are far too many things which need to be resolved in Westeros and nowhere else

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For the sake of the argument, let's stop doubting George for a second and assume the following premises are true:

1. Two more books are enough to finish the series.

2. Plot elements and character development from AFFC and ADwD are meaningful and will pay off in the future.

How do you reconcile your idea that Dany needs to arrive to Westeros for the endgame of the series with all the plot points being set up for her in ADwD and her character becoming increasingly more dedicated to her current subjects? Why is the Slaver's Bay story so intricate? Why tie the Tattered Prince to Pentos, when he could have been a throwaway character? Why even indirectly build up Norvos and place Mellario Martell there if we're never going to see it? Why develop Volantis and establish factions there that are both for and against Dany? Why stress the magnitude of Dany's actions in Slaver's Bay, as is done in Tyrion VI?

Quote

This arrogant child has taken it upon herself to smash the slave trade, but that traffic was never confined to Slaver's Bay. It was part of the sea of trade that spanned the world, and the dragon queen has clouded the water.

Why set all of this up if Dany is compelled by plot reasons to go to Westeros as fast as possible? It's not like George didn't have any idea what the story was about when he wrote ADwD. Throughout Dany's chapters, he seems to defy the idea of prioritizing Westeros over her duty to her new subjects. Are we expecting this character development to be erased? Dany's arc would be broken if she doesn't resolve the issues with slavery that have been so important to her in her last two books (you can argue from the start) before leaving Essos.

On the other hand, nothing needs to be resolved in Westeros, other than the Battle of Ice, Cersei vs Aegon and the invasion of the Others. If Winterfell and/or the Iron Throne are lost, it will be tragic, but the stories regarding them will be "resolved". Death has a way of wrapping things in a nice bow. Call it tragedy, call cautionary tale.

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I think all of Essos grew out of control in GRRM'S garden.   Dany needed to arrive home, so she needed somewhere to arrive from.  Engaging in world building means creating details for a larger continent than Westeros,  including history,  current plots and characters.  As the series got longer than planned,  Essos got more detailed and more happened there, and that trend will continue until GRRM can prune a path for Dany to get home.  But she will get home for the end game,  if GRRM lives long and writes fast.

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8 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I think these are rather traditional books in their storytelling and themes, that they are not all that subversive or revolutionary.

It's an interesting discussion, but if it's to be had, I think it should be had in the context of the fantasy genre as it existed when GRRM designed and began ASOIAF -- not as it exists now, more than a quarter century later.  

In 1991, when he wrote the first chapter, Wheel of Time was the leading fantasy series.  If that series is traditional, ASOIAF is... something else.

6 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Why set all of this up if Dany is compelled by plot reasons to go to Westeros as fast as possible? It's not like George didn't have any idea what the story was about when he wrote ADwD.

Nobody's suggested that he has taken a short path to getting Dany to Westeros.  Many of us in fact have bemoaned over the years the sad truth that Dany seemingly cannot be compelled to move even if one is standing behind her equipped with a horsewhip and a bullhorn.  

GRRM's motive to anchor her in Meereen was (at least according to him, in interviews) a desire to explore the complexities of governing (sometimes known in Heresy as "Aragorn's tax policies") and to age up some of the younger characters, presumably including Dany, whom he at one point saw as too young to "save the world."

This interview, published two years after ADWD came out, is typical.

Quote

And that has been interesting, you know. Jon Snow as Lord Commander. Dany as Queen, struggling with rule... [Like] Tolkien — in Return of the King, Aragorn comes back and becomes king, and then [we read that] "he ruled wisely for three hundred years." Okay, fine. It is easy to write that sentence, “He ruled wisely”.  What does that mean, he ruled wisely? What were his tax policies?

And

Quote

I came up with the idea of the five-year gap. "Time is not passing here as I want it to pass, so I will jump forward five years in time." And I will come back to these characters when they're a little more grown up.

Then he tried to do the gap, couldn't, and decided he would write out the gap, which he also couldn't manage to do satisfactorily, so now he's reconciled himself to the reality that these characters are going to be a little younger than he intended.  

But it doesn't mean Dany is going to sit tight in Essos for the rest of the series.  Arguments that the canon suggests Essos is her future seem to ignore quite a bit of the canon, such as her HOTU visions.

I do think it would in a sense be innovative for GRRM simply to abandon Westeros to the Popsicles... in fact, arguably analogous to his own surrender in letting the show pass the books.  But most fans were more annoyed by that surrender rather than impressed with the ostensible innovation.

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51 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

I just wanted to point out that GRRM not always resolves his story. 

Depends how you define his story. He has said that certain major themes will be resolved and answers revealed [including Jon's parentage] but I'd be very disappointed if all the questions were answered and all of the many plot lines resolved. Part of this gardening business is to let some things grow whose real purpose is to entertain and fascinate and interact but ultimately to conceal and divert our attention from what's truly important.

In the 1993 synopsis for example Jon's parentage appears no big deal beyond getting him inside Arya's knickers. Since publication however R+L=J has become one of the most dominant themes of discussion. Is it actually a far bigger deal than in the synopsis or is GRRM happy to nurture the theory and so divert attention from more important things?

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

Nobody's suggested that he has taken a short path to getting Dany to Westeros. Many of us in fact have bemoaned over the years the sad truth that Dany seemingly cannot be compelled to move even if one is standing behind her equipped with a horsewhip and a bullhorn.  

GRRM's motive to anchor her in Meereen was (at least according to him, in interviews) a desire to explore the complexities of governing (sometimes known in Heresy as "Aragorn's tax policies") and to age up some of the younger characters, presumably including Dany, whom he at one point saw as too young to "save the world."

Then he tried to do the gap, couldn't, and decided he would write out the gap, which he also couldn't manage to do satisfactorily, so now he's reconciled himself to the reality that these characters are going to be a little younger than he intended.  

But it doesn't mean Dany is going to sit tight in Essos for the rest of the series.  Arguments that the canon suggests Essos is her future seem to ignore quite a bit of the canon, such as her HOTU visions.

What I'm trying to say is that maybe you are taking actual plot and character development for filler and stagnation because it doesn't align with your expectations of where the story will go. Abandon those expectations and you are left with a pretty compelling story, but one that hints at a conquest of Essos instead.

I don't think there is any point in the books where the narrative actually commits to Dany reaching Westeros. Certainly not the HOTU visions, I just checked (they do hint at Braavos, though). There is a lot of suggestion, that's true, but George is a master of suggesting things that he eventually subverts. Like Arya seeing her family again.

The strongest argument you can make for it is that Dany wants to go to Westeros. But is this showing us what will actually happen, or what she has to give up? The arc her character has in ADwD is reminiscent of the classic Hero's Journey, where the Hero matures and achieves her goal by giving up the want and focusing on the need. In Dany's case, in order to be a Queen, she wants to go to Westeros, but what she actually needs is to learn how to rule her own people.

It would be weird for her character to do a 180° after all this development and say "Nope, I'm going to abandon all I worked for and go follow my pipe dream in Westeros." Especially after George made a point of showing us she isn't willing to do that when she was offered the ships from Qarth.

Of course, this doesn't mean the character has to abandon her plans to retake Westeros altogether, only delay them until she conquers Essos and eradicates slavery. We know it's either one or the other because the series only has two books left, but Dany doesn't know that. After all, the Stallion who Mounts the World moniker implies control over both continents (or Essos only, since that's the world the Dothraki know, but certainly not Westeros only).

And starting with Essos makes sense if she's going to get the Dothraki. They're not going to follow her unquestioningly like the Unsullied... She has little to offer compared to how much she'll ask of them, even without abandoning their homeland and sailing across the Poison Water. They will have to accept a 14 years old girl as a ruler, stop raping and pillaging, stop fighting each other and free their slaves... Why not just slay the dragon and keep her as a sex slave? No, if she's going to unite the khalasars, she has to offer them a cause they actually believe in, and that can only be Essos. The Dothraki have a debt to pay to Qohor, and the Free Cities' vulnerability to a united khalasar has long been foreshadowed.

13 hours ago, LynnS said:

While I think it's entirely possible that a part of the population will flee east; I'm doubtful that a large part of the population will have access to resources available to get across the Narrow Sea.  I think it more likely that those who can't leave will flee south to Dorne; just as Osha and company intended when they met up with Bran.

There is also a long history of disbelief in the snarks and grumpkins north of the Wall; so why would anyone believe tales of the Others at this point?  The wildlings know what they are fleeing; but what of the population at large much further south?  I imagine that most of the population will be unprepared for an invastion of white walkers and their dead army if they make it past the Wall.

Answering to this now since I omitted to last night.

No doubt some people will flee south, but the Riverlands are a death trap (we learned from Brienne's and Jaime's chapters that there is no food and there are dead everywhere, which is very convenient for the Others, less so for the living) and the south will be at war, which will be raging on until the last moment for exactly reason you mentioned, people won't believe the warnings, certainly not Cersei. Those who do get south though will probably rally under Aegon, and this would be the last group to leave. The vast majority of the population in Westeros will die, though.

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Depends how you define his story. He has said that certain major themes will be resolved and answers revealed [including Jon's parentage] but I'd be very disappointed if all the questions were answered and all of the many plot lines resolved. Part of this gardening business is to let some things grow whose real purpose is to entertain and fascinate and interact but ultimately to conceal and divert our attention from what's truly important.

He can set up Dany's invasion from all perspectives including answers to the most important themes. But the actually invasion is then up to the reader. As I said, he has left stories open in the past. And the Dany story would be the best defined story in the book, best established to be left open. 

Edited by SirArthur

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20 hours ago, LynnS said:

While I think it's entirely possible that a part of the population will flee east; I'm doubtful that a large part of the population will have access to resources available to get across the Narrow Sea.  I think it more likely that those who can't leave will flee south to Dorne; just as Osha and company intended when they met up with Bran.

There is also a long history of disbelief in the snarks and grumpkins north of the Wall; so why would anyone believe tales of the Others at this point?  The wildlings know what they are fleeing; but what of the population at large much further south?  I imagine that most of the population will be unprepared for an invastion of white walkers and their dead army if they make it past the Wall.

It may be that Essos will be affected by the cold as well, that the cold may not be confined to Westeros.  North of Essos is the Shivering Sea.  Ghost grass has already sprung up in Qaarth.

 

Apologies for the dodgy formatting

http://web.archive.org/web/20001005212114/eventhorizon.com/sfzine/chats/transcripts/031899.html

Mr Martin, why does Westeros seem the only place effected by the Others and the long winters? The other parts of the world seem not to care.

GRRM

Westeros is not the only place affected, but it's affected most strongly, because it's the only landmass that extends that far north. The other continent is bounded to the north by an icy polar sea.

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