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

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15 hours ago, Trefayne said:

I agree. There are certain characters that GRRM doesn't seem to want to write from their POV that would seem to require it from a storytelling frame of reference. I would think that Stannis would be a fascinating character to write internally, but we just get him through the impressions of others. Lots of others to be sure, so we get a pretty full picture. I think GRRM is handling Euron in the same way. Aeron is Euron's Davos and Asha and Victarion (and a few other side characters) fill in the rest of the portrait.

Actually, I would say that Aeron's is both Euron's Davos and Euron's Melisandre.

24 minutes ago, Lady Anna said:

Yeah, following the logic of the first 3 books being the first act of the story this should be a 9-volume series. That's why I don't agree with some saying Aegon came out of nowhere because his story would have been book 2 of the trilogy; however, that should mean his story should fill 3 books, just like the Lannister vs Stark conflict (originally book 1). But that's clearly not happening. So the pacing and structure of this series is way off. And there's only 2 more books remaining so he's attempting to include both the 2nd Dance and the war with the others in just two volumes. Why?

Well, keeping it real, I'm getting the impression that he's trying to include the Second Dance, the War with the Others, the mysteries of the Song of Ice and Fire, whatever the hell Euron is going to do and the big, scary aftermath all in A Dream of Spring.

Or should I say, A Pipedream for Spring

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45 minutes ago, Lady Anna said:

Yeah, following the logic of the first 3 books being the first act of the story this should be a 9-volume series. That's why I don't agree with some saying Aegon came out of nowhere because his story would have been book 2 of the trilogy; however, that should mean his story should fill 3 books, just like the Lannister vs Stark conflict (originally book 1). But that's clearly not happening. So the pacing and structure of this series is way off. And there's only 2 more books remaining so he's attempting to include both the 2nd Dance and the war with the others in just two volumes. Why?

Yes, Aegon being central to the middle 3 books would work much better, and yes the pacing is way off, whether it ends up being a 6,7,8 book series.  Even considering it a 9 book series, books 4 and 5 were still slow and meandering, in the alleged plan he has now of 7 books, the lack of momentum is nearly inexplicable.

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15 minutes ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Actually, I would say that Aeron's is both Euron's Davos and Euron's Melisandre.

Well then, that would mean that GRRM is getting downright economical and my literary therapist says I'm not ready for a shock like that. :eek: :stunned:

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Trefayne said:

Well then, that would mean that GRRM is getting downright economical and my literary therapist says I'm not ready for a shock like that. :eek: :stunned:

 

Well, there is a sexual history between Euron and Aeron. It's just a very ugly one.

Euron is an athiest, yet he seems to want to always surround himself with priests, shamans, and religious people. Like Stannis; who makes it a point to acknowledge the fact that he is not a believer but he appreciates - and even reveres - the presence of Melisandre and her Queen's Men.

But yeah, the parallels between Aeron and Melisandre are pretty clear. The biggest difference between the two of them is that Melisandre's god and Melisandre's power is very real whereas Aeron has no power and Aeron's god is fictional (at best) or a complete Cthulian evil mechanism that Euron plans to exploit (at worst).

Edited by Jabar of House Titan

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3 minutes ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Well, there is a sexual history between Euron and Aeron. Euron is an athiest, yet he seems to want to always surround himself with priests, shamans and religious people 

But yeah, the parallels between Aeron and Melisandre are pretty clear. The biggest difference between the two of them is that Melisandre's god and Melisandre's power is very real whereas Aeron has no power and Aeron's god is fictional (at best) or a complete Cthulian evil mechanism that Euron plans to exploit (at worst).

Oh sure. I just said Aeron was Euron's Davos because Lady McGuffin isn't really a POV (yet?). Her one chapter filled a void because Davos and Sam were elsewhere and Jon's POV wouldn't do.

For now I kind of see Euron as the Anti-High Sparrow. He's using people's faith to get them to do what he wants, so he's playing the tune they want to hear. It would be interesting if those two ever met on page.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Trefayne said:

Oh sure. I just said Aeron was Euron's Davos because Lady McGuffin isn't really a POV (yet?). Her one chapter filled a void because Davos and Sam were elsewhere and Jon's POV wouldn't do.

For now I kind of see Euron as the Anti-High Sparrow. He's using people's faith to get them to do what he wants, so he's playing the tune they want to hear. It would be interesting if those two ever met on page.

2

Jon's POV actually could have worked for the "Rattleshirt is Mance reveal" and Melisandre's visions of Bran and Bloodraven. The readers would have picked up on it but Melisandre wouldn't have a clue and Jon would do nothing but think wistfully about Bran and Summer.

She's definitely going to be a POV

Edited by Jabar of House Titan

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9 hours ago, Trefayne said:

Because it is actually six volumes, not nine. Books four and five were really one book. One incredibly long, meandering book. I'm thinking that part of his problem is that he can't find a good cut off place again where everyone is in good position. There are arcs that will seem like they just stop mid stride. This is the only reason we have AFfC at all.

I know the plan was never writing 9 volumes. But structurally why spend 3 books of a 6 book series on a single conflict (generally speaking) when you still have two other arcs to write about, both of which are much larger in significance to the bigger story? I mean of course he knew he was never gonna write 9 books but then why still include Aegon when that storyline is going to be, it seems, heavily condensed and streamlined for the plot's sake? I'm just wondering aloud here. I guess he just had to include Aegon and the second Dance but how can it not look lopsided when the second ''Dance'' is just going to take like 500 pages (or whatever) , as well as the war with the Others, while the Lannisters vs Stark arc took almost 3000. And like you said, what about the multiple arcs currently in place? ASOS only resolved a few things, and that was pretty much the last time some arcs were closed. I think the problems started much sooner than Feast tbh

Idk...I believe it's possible to write it all in 2 more books, but it's just not going to be concise or perfectly lined up....kinda like the show (which btw, if i may add, i'm sort of glad it may get to have the last laugh after all lol).

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On 8/6/2018 at 4:30 PM, Amris said:

I have a theory on why GRRM added the Victarion and Aeron POVs and I think it has to do with your first sentence above:

It seems that Victarion and Aeron are the spotlights GRRM uses to illuminate Euron and build him up as a major villain without making him a POV himself.

Now I get that you are suggesting why did he not stick with for instance the Asha POV and tell it there. The reason is, I believe, that a second hand mentioning of this stuff by Asha would have had a lesser emotional impact. Someone telling someone elses experiences through hearsay (horrible as they may be) is more removed and thus insulates the reader from the full blast.

If Euron was "just another character" that wouldn't matter. But if we assume that GRRM wants Euron to become one of the top antagonists he may well have felt a more forceful treatment was in order.

I can see the advantages of this method but like you I still have a problem with it:

My problem is that when I as a reader (believe that I) notice that a POV is really only an instrument to enhance another story (Euron's) but goes nowhere in and off itself I feel less motivated to follow it.

Now one can ask why did GRRM choose this indirect approach (telling Euron through Vic and Aeron) instead of telling Euron's story directly. There are several reasons I can think of:

Quite possibly some mysteries would be unveiled too soon if we got Euron's thoughts.

The second possibility is that GRRM went a little overboard with Euron but tries to hide that by telling from a more removed angle. What I mean is that GRRM has claimed that villains aren't really guys who get up in the morning, twirling their moustaches and asking themselves 'what evil can I do today?'. Instead in his view they are the heroes in their own stories.

Euron however seems to be pretty exactly that: A moustache-twirling supervillain who gets up in the morning in order to do the maximum evil possible.

Now what?

I have a suspicion that GRRM - though he knows and has even said that real villains are not like that - secretly has some love for these types of character anyway (his love of superhero stories seems to indicate that too). Since I like superhero stuff myself I find nothing wrong with this. However it is possible GRRM feels a little guilty about this and thus does not dare to reveal Euron too closely. Instead choosing to rather telling about him from a supposedly safer distance 'second hand'.

Wow, I love your take on this!!!  In fact, I have to agree with every point you make.  I guess I got a little caught up, in what you also mention, than when a point of view character appears to be mainly a support character, we readers have less inclination to root for or against them or feel anything much, but yeah, spot on in my opinion!

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Posted (edited)
On 8/3/2018 at 5:13 PM, Cas Stark said:

or 4.  Winds. Winds. Spring. Spring.  

*Back to the op, I remain fully convinced that the thing that made him lose his grip was abandoning the 5 year gap.  That's when the massive rewriting and the problems with timing came up, and when he started adding povs to take up space while the main characters treaded water until he figured out how to move it forward w/no gap.

Not sure if I am basing my agreement here on rationality or instinct but that is my gut feeling too.  I think when he decided against the gap, he felt compelled to fill in the blanks and with an imagination like his the thing just got more and more complex and populated! lol

Just something that has jumped at my mind; some of our characters are still stuck on a part of a multi-arch (Tyrion, Arya...) or in training (Arya, Sansa).  We know there will be a pay off but since these processes are by their own nature slow, I take that George did not push himself at the end of ADWD to hurry those processes, which means time in the books.

Fair enough a lot of the stuff could be immediately "wrappable" but not a lot.   Stannis could die, say, since it appear he is not the prince who was promised... for argument sake! lol, now the Faegon issue needs a resolution.  That cannot be built to be abandoned...  In fact not that much can be wrapped up right away, Rickon and Manderley and Skagos mayhaps...

I did mention Tyrion and Arya.  I believe they have a 3 way arch unlike most of the others.  They started off sympathetic with quarks, both highlighy charistmatic, love them or loath them or chose which one lol.  They descended, mainly due to circumstances, into much darker places, in different ways.  I believe he is suffering from a nervous breakdown and her, not sure, but possibly PTSD for both lol.  Now, betting on this 1000 gold dragons, they are both coming up!!!  Something will eventually propell them back up.   They will carry the huge psychological scars of their respective pains and actions but up they are coming up and they will find a just quest that would keep them going (The Others maybe???)  But that takes time... Although, IMHO TWOW should suffice to put them both at groung level.

Cersei etc, Margaery, the Sparrows, wrappable in TWOW, I think.  Possibly even Stoneheart.

Now, Sansa.  It would make little sense sending her to the Vale under LF if not to train her, which is clear anyway is doing.  But that is not a 6 month job.  Hence, although a lot more unconvincing, it would have worked with the 5 year gap, if us readers were prepared to believed that she had gotten shrewed... Same with Tyrion and Arya, after 5 years of derrange drunkeness / training as an assassin, here they come, all fresh from the shower lol!  So yes, this 5 year lack of gap made George dwell on their myseries etc and where they were and more new characters to assist them.  Now, in fairness, Arya's time with the FM didn' come with a huge boring cast.  Yet, I found most of her chacters hard to read in that period.  For all its mysteries I found the House of B&W mainly boring to read.  Could just be me though....

So, what do you guys think has to happen to progress this plot???

Over the War of the 5 kings, kings kept dropping like flies, i.e. wrapping, condensing.  Sorry, Stannis's fans but since he is unlikely to win this, let's get rid (lol, only talking for the sake of wrapping up this mamoth). Theon is possibly likely to serve some purpose but I'd say Bolton and his bastard have made their mark and can possibly go too.  Mance would depend on what the Others are really about and what he may, even subconsciouly know...

Mereen- for the love of God, enough of that!!!   Dany with khalasar or not back there and onto Westeros!  That war is unwinable long-term and it stalls the plot to the point that if she doesn't get a move on, we will die of old age (readers) hearing her petitioners.  She has made her mark, she has shown slaves ambition and means, cannot win them all and to supervise it, it means her life there, never moving far away.

Cersei - dead by the end of the book, me thinks but if she loses maybe house arrest at Casterly if she wins she has no power unless she sides up with Euron, which could be interesting.  She could live till TWOW...

Jaime and Brienne - romance and honour but not till ADOS but for now they have to wrap up Lady Stoneheart

Arya - give the elbow to the faceless and get herself back to Westeros

Tyrion - sober up, spit up some vile for good and become a player again (in a different team) and recover your old sense of humour.

Jon - warg, warg, warg (hate warging chapters though) and lead!

Sansa - you are almost there.  Her chapters, including the ones is ASOS are "confusing."  One minute she says how kind LF is to her, the next, or the previous one reflects how horrified she is at his actions lol  George is playing us with this character.

Now, of course we still got unresolved stuff like Margaery and the Tyrells in general, Myrcella, Tommen...  The prophecy seems straight forward here with Cersei's children and Margaery is not so vital that she couldn't die.

Also apart from the NK, children of the forest etc info which I cannot wait for, I guess explanations must be given about Quaith, Mel's powers etc but I would have thought it would fit fine to reveal that in the last book.

Edited by Morgana Lannister

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6 hours ago, Morgana Lannister said:

So, what do you guys think has to happen to progress this plot???

Like I've been saying both here and more recently on reddit, there is at least one radical solution that would condense the story enough to fit in two more books: the invasion of the Others needs to be so overwhelming that Jon can't hope to fight them, and has to take his people to Braavos on the Manderly Fleet instead.

It is much easier to move Jon to Essos than to shuffle back the three major characters that  are already there. Besides, I don't think it would be particularly good for the series if it had so many filler arcs that serve to "educate" the characters but ultimately don't have any other impact on the plot. Dany needs to finish her anti-slavery arc. Arya's story needs to grown from her affiliation to the Faceless Men and the political interests of Braavos. Tyrion needs to find Tysha, who is conveniently at the Happy Port. Currently there is nothing compelling for them to do in Westeros, if they get there a new story would have to be set up, which would take even more pages.

An Exodus to Essos following Jon's (and later Sansa's) story combined with a Conquest following Dany and Tyrion would solve the very good point @Lady Anna brought up about pacing by reducing Feast, Dance, Winds and Dream to a single arc focused on the eastern continent. Instead of being the main focus, the Long Night threat can be a side-story told in fewer chapters told through the eyes of Jaime, Brienne and Bran as they reenact the Last Hero myth.

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It doesn't look like Winds will be out next year after all.... GRRM was asked if he has any scheduled readings in the future and he replied:

Quote

I am not reading at Not ConJoseII. I may do readings next year in Dublin, or at other conventions, but that’s too far in advance to worry about. I do enjoy reading, but I’ve already read so many different chapters from WINDS, I want to save some for the book.

If he thinks he might be reading from WINDS next August, that's pretty much scraps my hope that the book is nearly done :crying:

 

Source: http://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/2018/08/06/worldcon-time/

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^ This just further cements it that this series will never be finished by GRRM, Winds might come out around 2020, but Dance and a potential and likely needed book 8 and 9 are never gonna come out. Just watch the TV ending and make whatever peace you can with the series after it.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

It doesn't look like Winds will be out next year after all.... GRRM was asked if he has any scheduled readings in the future and he replied:

If he thinks he might be reading from WINDS next August, that's pretty much scraps my hope that the book is nearly done :crying:

 

Source: http://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/2018/08/06/worldcon-time/

So he lied.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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16 hours ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

It doesn't look like Winds will be out next year after all.... GRRM was asked if he has any scheduled readings in the future and he replied:

If he thinks he might be reading from WINDS next August, that's pretty much scraps my hope that the book is nearly done :crying:

 

Source: http://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/2018/08/06/worldcon-time/

 

He could have meant that he thinks he will be able to do readings again at the WorldCon in 2019 because Winds will be out by then (because he wouldn't be reading from Winds at that point, but from Dream)...but even if that's what he meant, his estimates have proven to be completely worthless, so it's not something to feel positive about in the slightest.  

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On 8/9/2018 at 8:40 AM, The Coconut God said:

Like I've been saying both here and more recently on reddit, there is at least one radical solution that would condense the story enough to fit in two more books: the invasion of the Others needs to be so overwhelming that Jon can't hope to fight them, and has to take his people to Braavos on the Manderly Fleet instead.

In that case, I'd rather prefer the Others to just shrivel up and disappear instead. Subvert the expectations, have the isolated heroes who are the only ones to see the "real threat" actually be wrong. Wouldn't that be refreshing? Fantasy stories about a dark and dangerous presence coming from abroad to threaten human civilization are a dime a dozen; what ASOIAF has been best at is showing realistic conflict within human civilization. Or at least, as realistic as you get it while adding dragons. I'm going as far as to say that the Others have added nothing to the story at large outside of the Night's Watch storyline and some ancient Stark traditions/beliefs so far, and I'm fine with it staying that way. Their entire involvement in Westeros could feasibly be solved by Jon and co., or they could even just vanish without a trace and leave Jon and co. wondering whether their experiences were really real or what just happened.

It's probably an unrealistic long shot, but drastic cuts to the story like that could be necessary for Martin to get back on track. If not the Others, then somebody else. Cut their arc as brutally as that of Rob Stark. Have Euron die in a freak storm and the Ironborn invasion crumble without a leadership. Cersei could stumble down a staircase in a drunken stupour, the final thought running through her head the second before it smashes against the flagstones being "Wait, the prophecy...". End Arya's next chapter with "And then Arya Stark become no one", and have that be the last thing we ever hear from her. Have Daenerys realize she's about to send a foreign, ill-equipped army away from their homelands to conquer a continent she has never set foot in and doesn't know two squats about, while most of the population of a much bigger continent she has lived in all her life reveres her as their mother, conqueror and eternal ruler. Plus, the bigger continent in general has better climate and less petty infighting, she should totally ditch the Westeros idea and become queen of Essos instead. If necessary, kill Tyrion mid-sentence.

One of the integral moments that pushed the Game of Thrones franchise to stardom, signalling that it was different and bold and not afraid to break conventions, happened as Eddard Stark got his head chopped off. The "main hero" was killed brutally and summarily. It was a turning point shocked the world, leaving many thinking "Wait, it's not doing this? I thought it was going to be like... but what about... shouldn't he...". It would be aligned the spirit of that moment to do the same to an entire huge character arc. Take a huge chunk of those theories about intrigues and confrontations and wars and encounters and chop their head off. Not just by killing a main character, but by killing a character integral to that arc, to the point that everything in it falls apart.

We all wanted to see how Eddard could get out of his mess, avenge Robert and restore order to the Iron Throne. He didn't, he was executed and his arc ended there and then. Likewise, we all want to see the Others invade and wreak havoc on the land. Have them not do that, end their arc in a brutal swing of the pen (or a flat "what."), it'd free up tons of time for the other storylines instead. It'd be a drastic way to get the series finished in two books, and totally according to its spirit. If it gets Winds out before the end of the next decade, bring on the anticlimax.

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@Kyll.Ing. I wouldn't say Ned's story didn't have an arc, it did, just not the one readers were tricked into expecting. The Exodus scenario also allows meaningful arcs for the main characters; Jon and Dany's arcs would both be about learning that being a good king or queen is about having a people, not a land. Dany won't retake the kingdom of her father, but she will revolutionize the lives of countless people by abolishing slavery; Jon won't be King in the North or King of Westeros, but  he will save the wildlings and the northmen from utter destruction. That's still emotionally gratifying, and in tune with the characters' choices so far (Jon gave up Winterfell, Dany stayed in Mereen, etc).

George's plot twist are subversive, but not random. I don't think he should cut what's easier to cut, but on the contrary, double down on the so called "filler" from Feast and Dance to show the readers all that stuff actually matters.

I don't think he will cut out the Others (although it's an interesting alternative) because they are a Chekhov's gun and a metaphor for global warming; a tool that can be used to great effect. However, Dany reaching Westeros and Jon leading an Aragorn-style defense of the North are not absolutely necessary; they are just pipe dreams for the reader, exactly like Ned avenging Robert or Arya being reunited with her family.

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I'm not sure his comment about reading chapters can be taken as strong evidence he won't be finished with Winds by next Aug, although I don't expect him to get it out in 2019 at all.

I hope he doesn't lean in to the filler from the last two books , if he does that the saga will balloon to more than 9 books needed.

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On 8/9/2018 at 8:57 PM, Angel Eyes said:

So he lied.

He never said 2019, he said 2016!

On 8/10/2018 at 2:57 AM, Ser Wun Wun said:

 

He could have meant that he thinks he will be able to do readings again at the WorldCon in 2019 because Winds will be out by then (because he wouldn't be reading from Winds at that point, but from Dream)...but even if that's what he meant, his estimates have proven to be completely worthless, so it's not something to feel positive about in the slightest.  

I asked him if Winds will be out before or after the next WorldCon. My comment did not appear, and the comment section is now closed. I guess he doesn't want to answer that. 

3 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

I'm not sure his comment about reading chapters can be taken as strong evidence he won't be finished with Winds by next Aug, although I don't expect him to get it out in 2019 at all.

I hope he doesn't lean in to the filler from the last two books , if he does that the saga will balloon to more than 9 books needed.

I guess he might be following up the arcs of most of the characters. I guess he changed his plans. Years ago he said a lot of the characters would die in Winds. TBH not all of the deaths in the earlier books were emotionally impactful, Arys and Quentyn for instance. I guess he'll add more "filler" to develop the characters before killing them in the last book.

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On 8/9/2018 at 7:40 AM, The Coconut God said:

Like I've been saying both here and more recently on reddit, there is at least one radical solution that would condense the story enough to fit in two more books: the invasion of the Others needs to be so overwhelming that Jon can't hope to fight them, and has to take his people to Braavos on the Manderly Fleet instead.

It is much easier to move Jon to Essos than to shuffle back the three major characters that  are already there. Besides, I don't think it would be particularly good for the series if it had so many filler arcs that serve to "educate" the characters but ultimately don't have any other impact on the plot. Dany needs to finish her anti-slavery arc. Arya's story needs to grown from her affiliation to the Faceless Men and the political interests of Braavos. Tyrion needs to find Tysha, who is conveniently at the Happy Port. Currently there is nothing compelling for them to do in Westeros, if they get there a new story would have to be set up, which would take even more pages.

An Exodus to Essos following Jon's (and later Sansa's) story combined with a Conquest following Dany and Tyrion would solve the very good point @Lady Anna brought up about pacing by reducing Feast, Dance, Winds and Dream to a single arc focused on the eastern continent. Instead of being the main focus, the Long Night threat can be a side-story told in fewer chapters told through the eyes of Jaime, Brienne and Bran as they reenact the Last Hero myth.

I read your thread that you linked to and it's very interesting! I think it fits and it would be an unexpected ending for a lot of fans, and refreshing. I don't know why but we're always (at least I am) sort of convinced that the climax of the series will take place in the North, at the Wall, that we end up blind to other possiblities.

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22 hours ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

He never said 2019, he said 2016!

I asked him if Winds will be out before or after the next WorldCon. My comment did not appear, and the comment section is now closed. I guess he doesn't want to answer that. 

I guess he might be following up the arcs of most of the characters. I guess he changed his plans. Years ago he said a lot of the characters would die in Winds. TBH not all of the deaths in the earlier books were emotionally impactful, Arys and Quentyn for instance. I guess he'll add more "filler" to develop the characters before killing them in the last book.

My point still stands. Whenever he says a release date, he lies.

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