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

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32 minutes ago, The Scabbard Of the Morning said:

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

But then, what is she going to Westeros for?  LOL, she knows even less about Westeros than she did about Slaver's Bay?!  So, she's leaving a pile of rubble due to her bad judgment, and still blithely going on to try a second time???How can she be a hero unless her ultimate fate is to sacrifice herself somehow because she sucks at ruling?  Me personally, I would be very, very happy with that as an ending, because I believe that she sucks at ruling and her judgment is not consistent enough to be running a country....but I feel pretty strongly that GRRM doesn't see her as a bad ruler, only a ruler who has made a few mistakes in her learning curve...I guess we will see come May when the thing that can't be mentioned gives the ending.

Edited by Cas Stark

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If the city is destroyed or everyone in it dies, I find it very convenient that Dany was taken far away while this happens. Realize, whatever is happening in Meereen, it's happening WITHOUT Dany. She won't be responsible to the reader because she wasn't there to save the day. Martin removed her from the situation for a reason, not to have her quickly return and not miss anything.

 

I think the point will be, however it's done, that there is nothing left to rule. Dany will be free to head to Westeros. And Martin can write it in a way that doesn't make her look like she is abandoning anyone.

Edited by Big Daddy

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28 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

But then, what is she going to Westeros for?  LOL, she knows even less about Westeros than she did about Slaver's Bay?!  So, she's leaving a pile of rubble due to her bad judgment, and still blithely going on to try a second time???How can she be a hero unless her ultimate fate is to sacrifice herself somehow because she sucks at ruling?  Me personally, I would be very, very happy with that as an ending, because I believe that she sucks at ruling and her judgment is not consistent enough to be running a country....but I feel pretty strongly that GRRM doesn't see her as a bad ruler, only a ruler who has made a few mistakes in her learning curve...I guess we will see come May when the thing that can't be mentioned gives the ending.

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

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13 minutes ago, The Scabbard Of the Morning said:

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

That will still negate her arc, so we find out that she's good at conquering, but can't rule for s** and so she gives over the duties of being a ruler to her husband and her hand?  I can't see that is how the story will end, but maybe I will get my wish and she will die a heroic death after having realized that since the dragon doesn't plant, she is not for Westeros.  Either that or helps beat the Others and then flies away to Old Valyria on Drogon.  But her staying in a position of authority but delegating everything to others....I'd say that would be a poor end to her story.

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I think that Tyrion will sort out Meereen while Daenerys is with the Dothraki, obtaining their support.  Once Meereen is sorted out, she will be free to leave for Westeros.  No way does she go to Qarth, Volantis, etc. to eradicate slavery there.  It would take too long, and many readers would likely rebel.  (Heck, my patience was tested by her chapters in ADWD.

Tyrion can also be her adviser and possibly emissary with regards to Westeros, as he knows it a lot better than she does.  She would still be the boss, though, and the one with the army.

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Winning the Dothraki to her way of doing things will have a significant impact on the slave trade. They are not the only source of ‘fresh’ slaves but they are a major source, so removing that is going to harm slavery significantly. And if they see her as some kind of Messiah they could very well enforce her anti-slavery stance in her absence. That would deal with both the slavery issue and the difficulties of transporting so many dothraki across the narrow sea. I think this may be the likely course of events, though it’s likely to take time for her to win the Dothraki so commence your critiques of that :P 

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41 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Winning the Dothraki to her way of doing things will have a significant impact on the slave trade. They are not the only source of ‘fresh’ slaves but they are a major source, so removing that is going to harm slavery significantly. And if they see her as some kind of Messiah they could very well enforce her anti-slavery stance in her absence. That would deal with both the slavery issue and the difficulties of transporting so many dothraki across the narrow sea. I think this may be the likely course of events, though it’s likely to take time for her to win the Dothraki so commence your critiques of that :P 

I imagine all of that will happen, but they still need something to replace the slave economy, or everyone will starve, and also something that would prevent the slaver families from hiring mercenaries or others in Essos to take the place of the Dothraki in managing the slave trade.

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54 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Winning the Dothraki to her way of doing things will have a significant impact on the slave trade. They are not the only source of ‘fresh’ slaves but they are a major source, so removing that is going to harm slavery significantly. And if they see her as some kind of Messiah they could very well enforce her anti-slavery stance in her absence. That would deal with both the slavery issue and the difficulties of transporting so many dothraki across the narrow sea. I think this may be the likely course of events, though it’s likely to take time for her to win the Dothraki so commence your critiques of that :P 

While it would slow down the slave trade, it would not eliminate it.  Naath, for instance, is nowhere near the Dothraki. 

The slavers would probably simply start breeding their own, as well.  In the real world, the transportation of slaves from Africa was effectively banned in the early 1800s, which did nothing to slow it down in America or elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere.  It took the Civil War to do that.

However, becoming a messiah would certainly eliminate the problem of getting the Dothraki to cross the ocean, and would (hopefully) keep them on their best behavior during any conquests.

Edited by Nevets

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I think you misunderstands me on the Messiah thing. The idea being she would leave many behind in Essos who would prevent the Slaver cities simply rising again once Dany leaves. She could take a small contingent of Dothraki for her conquest.

I agree that they aren’t the sole source of slaves, which is why I mentioned them ‘enforcing’ dany’s anti slavery stance; they would put down large scale slavery wherever possible

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25 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I think you misunderstands me on the Messiah thing. The idea being she would leave many behind in Essos who would prevent the Slaver cities simply rising again once Dany leaves. She could take a small contingent of Dothraki for her conquest.

I agree that they aren’t the sole source of slaves, which is why I mentioned them ‘enforcing’ dany’s anti slavery stance; they would put down large scale slavery wherever possible

But the only messianic prophecy in Dothraki culture is the Stallion Who Mounts the World. How would she "mount the world" if she skips Essos? Essos is pretty much the only "world" they know, everything else is just vaguely there.

Edited by The Coconut God

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On 11/26/2018 at 5:43 PM, Cas Stark said:

That is what should happen, but if that does happen, it negates Dany's entire arc in Meereen, because she will have left it worse than she found it, I mean, it's nice, I guess that dead people are 'free' but they probably would have preferred to be alive, which is why I think we will get a deux es machina type of ending that allows Meereen to be stable and on the mend when she leaves, otherwise, she's just a 100% useless ruler whose good intentions destroyed an entire region, that isn't heroic.  But, as I've been saying for years, he wrote himself into a bad corner with Meereen, not the "knot" he obsessed over, of who is where when, but having made Dany fail so spectacularly, it has become unrealistic that she pulls victory from the ashes of her many defeats. 

Um, you may be doing GRRM an injustice if you think in these 'either' and 'or's. (Like in your above post either Meereen ends stable and on the mend or the entire region entirely destroyed.)

It seems to me that GRRM is trying to avoid such notions as overly simplistic and instead goes for a more nuanced and open approach. Where actions have not one consequence and outcome but many, some of them rather unforeseen, some good and many bad. And thus while Meereen will definitely be influenced and changed by Dany not all this change will be good (and not all of it will be bad either) and it in fact may be hard to decide and a reason for endless debates if the region will be better off or worse overall.

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50 minutes ago, Amris said:

Um, you may be doing GRRM an injustice if you think in these 'either' and 'or's. (Like in your above post either Meereen ends stable and on the mend or the entire region entirely destroyed.)

It seems to me that GRRM is trying to avoid such notions as overly simplistic and instead goes for a more nuanced and open approach. Where actions have not one consequence and outcome but many, some of them rather unforeseen, some good and many bad. And thus while Meereen will definitely be influenced and changed by Dany not all this change will be good (and not all of it will be bad either) and it in fact may be hard to decide and a reason for endless debates if the region will be better off or worse overall.

I'm not sure destroyed vs. on track to improve is really an either/or black/white situation.  Yes the author can leave Meereen's fate ambiguous, but the story isn't about Meereen or slavery or Essos, Dany is one of the main characters, and so how well or poorly her rule in Meereen turns out is going to play a big part in evaluating her character and overall journey.  I would also argue that an 'ambiguous' end is tantamount to a failure.  If she conquers Meereen, upends the economic and social system, then leaves for her 'real' priority, anything less than stable with a hopeful future has to be counted a failure, IMO. But then to my mind, what he has already done with Dany's character has nearly destroyed her, she has poor judgement, makes snap, emotional decisions and lacks the presence of mind for long term strategic planning.

So we will have to agree to disagree on whether or not Martin needlessly wrote himself another huge set of problems to overcome [that are secondary to the main story!] in how he has so far presented Dany and Meereen.  I feel her spectacular failure was unnecessary and harmful to her overall arc, especially if she's supposed to end as a 'hero'.  Now, if she repents of her privileged outlook and sacrifices her life to save Westeros, that would change the perspective on Meereen.  It will still have been a massive waste of time and words that should have been cut by 30%, but with that type of ending, then failure in Meereen has significant meaning for her and her future choices. 

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I'm repeating myself here, but it's still my opinion, that the characters in Essos and whose moving toward Dany are the one damaged most by skipping the 5-years-gap:

GRRM clearly didn't think about the way on what is going to happen till everybody has arrived in Meereen and taken his or her position. He knew who and how and in which mindset they have to be when the five years are over, but he hasn't fleshed out the details for himself and is now struggling to show how they ended where. And because he has to make sure the time continuum is at least mostly intact, Dany has to wait "in real time" while the other are moving, doing essentially ... nothing. That's what damaged her arc in ADWD the most. IMHO

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No one, including GRRM, will ever convince me that the root of the problem of the series going off the rails, losing steam, the author losing control of the story and material did not start with the abandonment of the 5 year gap. This is when the massive rewrites began.  This is when the pace of his writing slowed to a crawl.  This is when abundant filler and repetitive action appeared in the story.

Yes, it works seamlessly for some of our characters, 'okay' for most of the rest, and would be challenging for a very small number, pretty much Jon and Stannis only.  I will always believe that coming up with a handful of solutions for them, even if they were imperfect is much better outcome than having every character stuck on a treadmill to nowhere for now 18 years, 2 books and still waiting for the story to regain momentum.

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8 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

No one, including GRRM, will ever convince me that the root of the problem of the series going off the rails, losing steam, the author losing control of the story and material did not start with the abandonment of the 5 year gap. This is when the massive rewrites began.  This is when the pace of his writing slowed to a crawl.  This is when abundant filler and repetitive action appeared in the story.

Yes, it works seamlessly for some of our characters, 'okay' for most of the rest, and would be challenging for a very small number, pretty much Jon and Stannis only.  I will always believe that coming up with a handful of solutions for them, even if they were imperfect is much better outcome than having every character stuck on a treadmill to nowhere for now 18 years, 2 books and still waiting for the story to regain momentum.

You assume there was some story there after the gap just waiting to be written, but that's exactly the problem... there wasn't.

George had a good grasp of the War of the Five Kings, he was inspired to write about that, and probably knew the tone of the ending and where he wanted the main characters to be in relation to each other at that point. But everything in between? He probably didn't even think about it until he had to wrestle with it. Otherwise, ironically, he probably wouldn't have set up the gap the way he did to begin with.

He was hoping to have a buffer that would allow him to change his characters and introduce new elements to the story when needed, sure, but he always had to flesh out the second arc from next to scratch. The long wait was and continues to be caused by iterating on a story he knew less about going in than he did about the Wot5K.

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12 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

You assume there was some story there after the gap just waiting to be written, but that's exactly the problem... there wasn't.

George had a good grasp of the War of the Five Kings, he was inspired to write about that, and probably knew the tone of the ending and where he wanted the main characters to be in relation to each other at that point. But everything in between? He probably didn't even think about it until he had to wrestle with it. Otherwise, ironically, he probably wouldn't have set up the gap the way he did to begin with.

He was hoping to have a buffer that would allow him to change his characters and introduce new elements to the story when needed, sure, but he always had to flesh out the second arc from next to scratch. The long wait was and continues to be caused by iterating on a story he knew less about going in than he did about the Wot5K.

It has been 18 years, that is long enough to flesh out the rest of the story.  Now, maybe he should have ended with the war of five kings and just done a long epilogue or something if he didn't have any real interest in covering Dany's invasion and the battle with the Others, I can't say.  But there has been plenty and more time since Swords came out for him to think through the rest of the character arcs and what happens, so lack of time to create and flesh out the rest of the story isn't the problem here.

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4 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

It has been 18 years, that is long enough to flesh out the rest of the story.  Now, maybe he should have ended with the war of five kings and just done a long epilogue or something if he didn't have any real interest in covering Dany's invasion and the battle with the Others, I can't say.  But there has been plenty and more time since Swords came out for him to think through the rest of the character arcs and what happens, so lack of time to create and flesh out the rest of the story isn't the problem here.

You know part of the issue, I think is Martin's unwillingness to let the War of the 5 Kings arc go. I know characters in universe often talk about how the war is over, but let's all be honest, it really isn't. Sure Rob and Renly were killed off and their forces either destroyed or joined the cause of other sides, but Stannis and the Iron Born were never defeated. I mean sure Balon is killed, but he's basically replaced over night and the Iron Born are more deadlier than ever before under Euron's control. Stannis meanwhile only has a few thousand followers, but has easily gotten more page time than any of the other kings, which really seems to stand out to me that GRRM isn't quite done with him yet; even if the show says otherwise. Also with Faegon coming into the mix, that basically replaces one of the two fallen sides and if the Lannisters and the Tyrells have a falling out, like all signs are pointing to, we'll be right back to having a 5 way civil war again. One could also argue that the Faith Militant has already replaced one of those sides though, because you know those yoyo's will be causing trouble for everyone unless Cirsie just blows them all up, like she did in the show.

 

This whole War of the 5 Kings business really should have been wrapped up by now, so we could focus on Dany's coming to Westeros and The Others, at this stage of the game.

Edited by sifth

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9 minutes ago, sifth said:

You know part of the issue, I think is Martin unwillingness to let the War of the 5 Kings arc go. I know characters in universe often talk about how the war is over, but let's all be honest, it really isn't. Sure Rob and Renly were killed off and their forces either destroyed or joined the cause of other sides, but Stannis and the Iron Born were never defeated. I mean sure Balon is killed, but he's basically replaced over night and the Iron Born are more deadlier than ever before under Euron's control. Stannis meanwhile only has a few thousand followers, but has easily gotten more page time than any of the other kings, which really seems to stand out to me that GRRM isn't quite done with him yet; even if the show says otherwise. Also with Faegon coming into the mix, that basically replaces one of the two fallen sides and if the Lannisters and the Tyrells have a falling out, like all signs are pointing to, we'll be right back to having a 5 way civil war again. One could also argue that the Faith Militant has already replaced one of those sides though, because you know those yoyo's will be causing trouble for everyone unless Cirsie just blows them all up, like she did in the show.

 

This whole War of the 5 Kings business really should have been wrapped up by now, so we could focus on Dany's coming to Westeros and The Others, at this stage of the game.

Yes, I think you might have something there.  His real interest has always been the war of the roses  five kings and the political angle and historical parallels, which is why he expanded that "first book" into 5 books and still counting. This could be part of the reason for the combined expansion+slow down, he's not as vested or interested in the last 2/3.  But still, it HAS been 18 years, time enough to find some workable solutions so at least he could move on and do other things that he actually wants to do, Dunk & Egg, more novellas or whatever.

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