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Heresy 213 Death aint what it used to be

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Welcome to Heresy 213, the latest version of the long-running and sometimes rather quirky thread where we take an in-depth look at the story and in particular what GRRM has referred to as the real conflict, not the Game of Thrones, but the Song of Ice and Fire and the true nature of apparent threat which lies in the North, hidden in the Haunted Forest and those magical Otherlands which lie beyond the Wall.

The thread is called Heresy because with The Wall, the Watch and a Heresy, back in 2011, we miserable heretics were the first to challenge the orthodoxy that the Wall is the last best hope of mankind; to question whether the three-fingered tree-huggers really are the kindly elves Bran once thought them to be and above all question also the popular assumption that Jon Snow is some bloke prophesied way out east and known there as Azor Ahai, who is going to ride out of the sunrise on a dragon, save the world by immolating the Icy lot and then ascend the Iron Throne to reign over dust and ashes. Instead we’re increasingly wondering whether the Starks themselves might have a rather dark [but forgotten] secret in their past, which some of us are beginning to suspect may be tall and gaunt, with characteristic long Stark faces and are very very cold. Winter after all is coming and it aint going to be pretty when it does.

 We don’t all of us agree on this, or anything else for that matter, but as a free-ranging discussion group within Westeros we can safely claim to have been around for a while now and discussed an awful lot of stuff over the years since the thread cycle started in late 2011. Some of the ideas have been overtaken by events and some seemingly confirmed by GRRM’s increasingly sparse SSMs and by the earlier stages of the mummers’ version before it firmly moved into weird fan-fiction.

However GRRM has also told us that when it comes to writing he is very much a gardener and this thread cycle follows that style, preferring the discussion to be free-ranging and organic in nature rather than fixed in tram lines.

So dig in, enjoy yourself and if it comes to a fight just remember the local house rules; stick to the written text, have respect for the ideas of others and above all conduct the debate with great good humour.

 

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Five central characters will make it through all three volumes, however, growing from children to adults and changing the world and themselves in the process. In a sense, my trilogy is almost a generational saga, telling the life stories of these five characters, three men and two women. The five key players are Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and three of the children of Winterfell, Arya, Bran, and the bastard Jon Snow.

http://www.newrepubl...artin-interview#
“You have to turn on the computer, and just look at the scene,” he said, “and suddenly Jon Snow is in the forest and there are enemies after him and what is he gonna eat and what is your next sentence, what is your next word?” 

Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until the secret of Jon's true parentage is finally revealed in the last book

 

Oh you think he's dead do you?

 

 

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7 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Oh you think he's dead do you?

I think we know, factually, that he isn't dead in a permanent sense. 

The B&N interview from circa 2009, now scrubbed from the Net, had a fan asking "Will Jon ever find out who his parents are?" and GRRM responding in the affirmative in simple, unambiguous terms.

Since Jon hasn't found out yet, we know he will return to the story, and he'll fundamentally stil be himself, too, or he couldn't learn this information.  (Nobody's going to tell Ghost who Jon's parents are.)

Someone should ask him at a convention why he starved ASOIAF to death, though.  I wonder what he'd say.

Quote

Oh, you think it's dead, do you?

 

 

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Maybe they're all dead ...

Oh, wrong show, that was LOST.

Looking back, and of course you cannot / should not compare a tv show to a series of books, my favorite show was criticized for its ending, but at least it had one.

But back to the topic: if the story is about Tyrion, Jon, Daenerys, Arya and Bran, maybe they all died and came back?

Bran was pushed out of the window, and came back as the three-eyed crow.

Daenerys walked into the funeral pyre and came back as the mother of dragons.

Arya died in the house of black and white and returned as noone wearing the face of Arya Stark.

Tyrion drowned in the Rhoyne (sp?) and returned as the old man of the river.

Jon got stabbed by his brothers and will return as?

Sounds like American Gods, Marvel edition.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, alienarea said:

Maybe they're all dead ...

Oh, wrong show, that was LOST.

Looking back, and of course you cannot / should not compare a tv show to a series of books, my favorite show was criticized for its ending, but at least it had one.

But back to the topic: if the story is about Tyrion, Jon, Daenerys, Arya and Bran, maybe they all died and came back?

Bran was pushed out of the window, and came back as the three-eyed crow.

Daenerys walked into the funeral pyre and came back as the mother of dragons.

Arya died in the house of black and white and returned as noone wearing the face of Arya Stark.

Tyrion drowned in the Rhoyne (sp?) and returned as the old man of the river.

Jon got stabbed by his brothers and will return as?

Sounds like American Gods, Marvel edition.

 

 

I started to read that, but I started losing interest fairly early into it.  Do you think I should give it a second try?

Edited by Frey family reunion

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

Since Jon hasn't found out yet, we know he will return to the story, and he'll fundamentally still be himself, too, or he couldn't learn this information. 

Well exactly. If he is a mere wight, whether of Ice or Fire [and I very much doubt the latter] his parentage will be of no interest to him

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14 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I started to read that, but I started losing interest fairly early into it.  Do you think I should give it a second try?

No, it's crap. 

Liked the soundtrack of the tv series, though. Mark Lanegan is now the man in black.

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26 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I started to read that, but I started losing interest fairly early into it.  Do you think I should give it a second try?

I didn't.  Quit somewhere in the middle, I think.  Or maybe I did finish it - I actually don't remember.

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9 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Oh you think he's dead do you?

Once again (since it's fresh in the mind)... I submit this old thread for consideration:

(An OP that originally grew out of an old Heresy conversation.)

 

Underscoring certain points of emphasis in GRRM's story, I'd say it's not overstating things to observe that the life/death status of any particular character in ASOIAF varies as a function of POV.  Whether that be the POV(s) of other characters, or the POV of the reader.

 

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19 minutes ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

I didn't.  Quit somewhere in the middle, I think.  Or maybe I did finish it - I actually don't remember.

Not really a glowing recommendation.  I've always thought Neil Gaiman was a bit overrated. 

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12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Well exactly. If he is a mere wight, whether of Ice or Fire [and I very much doubt the latter] his parentage will be of no interest to him

Just to amplify why I believe that any resurrection which may be required is more likely to be accomplished by Ice rather than Fire:

Yeah, OK Mel is on site and can do weird stuff, and although we haven't actually seen her raise the dead her fellow red priest Thoros did it.

Against that, however, using her seems just a little bit obvious, and far more importantly perpetuates a unicameral reading of the text which quite frankly isn't justified. This is the Song of Ice and Fire and thus far we haven't really encountered a protagonist for the latter. We've seen what happens to those raised or transformed by Fire from Danaerys on down but the other lot are a complete mystery, with just a hint but no more from Coldhands the Russian and we need to see the other side; the process and the consequences.

Because the books haven't advanced so far the Mummers ducked the issue by creating their non-canonical Nights King, but I believe that we miserable readers are going to get a very different story revolving around Jon.

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47 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Because the books haven't advanced so far the Mummers ducked the issue by creating their non-canonical Nights King, but I believe that we miserable readers are going to get a very different story revolving around Jon.

There is an interview from June last year with Benioff, which has one rather interesting line:

In George’s books so much of the story takes place in the characters’ minds. That’s one of the weaknesses of television compared to fiction—what people are thinking cannot be conveyed as easily, other by than having long voiceover monologues, which are boring.

Now the reverse is interesting. There are some long voiceover monologues in the show (like Bran's narration) which raises the question: is it important that it is told or thought by Bran ?

Also the Night King's existence suggest that Martin does not know yet where the story goes. And the show tried to solve it by another approach:

About three years ago we realized we were probably going to catch up based on his rate of progress and our rate, and we visited him and we got a sense of where he was going. [...] As TV writer and producer, you have to be an architect. There’s no organic way of doing it.

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As for the Night’s King (the form I prefer), in the books he is a legendary figure, akin to Lann the Clever and Brandon the Builder, and no more likely to have survived to the present day than they have. 

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We've seen this before, and it seems to imply the show Night’s King is not in the books.  But it might also imply he is, and Bran the Builder is as well. 

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1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

As for the Night’s King (the form I prefer), in the books he is a legendary figure, akin to Lann the Clever and Brandon the Builder, and no more likely to have survived to the present day than they have. 

 

1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

We've seen this before, and it seems to imply the show Night’s King is not in the books.  But it might also imply he is, and Bran the Builder is as well. 

I don't think the Night's King is alive in the books (besides in the trees maybe). The point was more about the architecture approach. Most people use a pattern if they design things and then make small changes to the pattern. The Night King is just a architectural pattern approach with smothed edges. In an ironic way they gardnered the Night King as a pattern into the show and watched where it went. (It went nowhere).

Edited by SirArthur

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20 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I started to read that, but I started losing interest fairly early into it.  Do you think I should give it a second try?

It exhibits Gaiman's strengths (line-level phrasing, command of global mythology, innovation) but also his weaknesses (tendency to lose his way in a long story in which he can't hold it all in his head at once, anticlimax that isn't either anti enough or climax enough).

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6 hours ago, SirArthur said:

In George’s books so much of the story takes place in the characters’ minds. That’s one of the weaknesses of television compared to fiction—what people are thinking cannot be conveyed as easily, other by than having long voiceover monologues, which are boring.

Mr. Benioff has clearly never seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Quote

Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.

 

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6 hours ago, SirArthur said:

Also the Night King's existence suggest that Martin does not know yet where the story goes.

Well, I think it suggests quite a different thing: that Benioff and Weiss only got, at best, table scraps from GRRM about his future books.

We know GRRM gave them exactly three "holy shit" moments, and we also know that two of the three involve characters Hodor and Shireen -- not exactly star players. I think that's a measure of just how guarded GRRM really was.

And because D&D were forced to make command decisions to get the show on the air, they frequently jumped to conclusions that will turn out to have been ludicrously wrong.  Just as they did in countless other areas, like geography, travel time, continuity, plausibility, etc.

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

Well, I think it suggests quite a different thing: that Benioff and Weiss only got, at best, table scraps from GRRM about his future books.

Quite, and that's where the architectural solution referred to by SirArthur comes in. The Night's King presented by the Mummers is a Manx cat which they have created to provide a two-dimensional protagonist to fill in for something much more complicated and subtle which they either haven't been told of or at least not been told enough of and which as they admit isn't capable of translation to television.

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4 hours ago, Black Crow said:

The Night's King presented by the Mummers is a Manx cat which they have created to provide a two-dimensional protagonist to fill in for something much more complicated and subtle which they either haven't been told of or at least not been told enough of

Classically Hollywood thing to do, yes.  Voldemort's got to be stirred in there somewhere; best get it done early.

In fact, I think we can deduce with reasonable confidence that D&D were never even told who Jon's parents were.  Because if they had been, that would certainly have been a "holy shit" moment of its own (the oblivious show audience not being remotely as conscious of fan theories as we are). 

And we know Jon's parents can't be on that list, because

Quote

 

And the third shocking moment?

“… is from the very end.” Benioff teased.

 

Which, of course, is going to be

Spoiler

Dany's death

...though I doubt that's going to shock any regular reader of Heresy.  I was smacking myself on the forehead and complaining how obvious D&D had made it waaaay back in season two, with their radically rewritten and simplified HOTU visions.

Spoiler

I mean, seriously.  In her last vision,  Dany meets her dead husband and dead baby and asks: "Am I dead?"  Really!  She does!  Rewatch and see.

 

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