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Mwm

Martin and Tolkien; why are both their main narratives the proverbial footnote in their imaginary histories?

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Posted (edited)

Why do you think both authors shelved the bigger events as prelude instead of making the narrative about them? Less challenging in structure?

Edited by Mwm

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Tolkien's main work is the Silmarillion complex. That's what he cared about. LotR is just a weird epilogue to the main work grown out of a sequel to the Hobbit that exploded.

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Posted (edited)

 

I am not sure if Asoiaf storyline is of  less importance than any of the periods described in the Fire&Blood or will be in second edition, those events seem possible to change entire World much more so than even the greatest crisis like the Dance of Dragons did.

I am more wondering, when comparing it to The Silmarillion why there is so much incomplete important information  about events in Fire&Blood or "TWOIAF"?

 For example  questions how did Maegor die, what did letter to Aegon contain, and contradicting reports during the Dying of the Dragons) in  The Silmarillion there is omnipotent view over the story told as it "really" happened and for better or worse there is closure.

Trying to emulate real world historical writings and other sources  has it's advantages, probably fans will continue debating about finding the truth for long time  or  readers will form their own opinion based on their own preconceptions.

Though the lack of answers, muddies whole story and leaves lot of it unsatisfying.  

It is possible that it is left as sort of synopsis for screenplays (considering his work in that field) and as boon for those who adapt it may add various changes or surprises (though I would prefer authors own view of how the story really unfolded).

Edited by Eltharion21

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14 minutes ago, Eltharion21 said:

 

I am not sure if Asoiaf storyline is of  less importance than any of the periods described in the Fire&Blood or will be in second edition, those events seem possible to change entire World much more so than even the greatest crisis like the Dance of Dragons did.

I am more wondering, when comparing it to The Silmarillion why there is so much incomplete important information  about events in Fire&Blood or "TWOIAF"?

 For example  questions how did Maegor die, what did letter to Aegon contain, and contradicting reports during the Dying of the Dragons) in  The Silmarillion there is omnipotent view over the story told as it "really" happened and for better or worse there is closure.

Trying to emulate real world historical writings and other sources  has it's advantages, probably fans will continue debating about finding the truth for long time  or  readers will form their own opinion based on their own preconceptions.

Though the lack of answers, muddies whole story and leaves lot of it unsatisfying.  

It is possible that it is left as sort of synopsis for screenplays (considering his work in that field) and as boon for those who adapt it may add various changes or surprises (though I would prefer authors own view of how the story really unfolded).

Silmarillion isn't so much 'history book's like Fire and Blood, it's much more creation myth (and beyond). So there is no real cause to have any dangling threads, unanswered questions or obscurities, because it's not written from the POV of someone with limited knowledge.

Both have their advantages of course :) And even Tolkein has his unanswered questions which leave an air of mystery (one of the most prominent of course being what happened to the entwives, other examples being the Blue Wizards and wtf is Tom Bombadil)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Silmarillion isn't so much 'history book's like Fire and Blood, it's much more creation myth (and beyond). So there is no real cause to have any dangling threads, unanswered questions or obscurities, because it's not written from the POV of someone with limited knowledge.

Both have their advantages of course :) And even Tolkein has his unanswered questions which leave an air of mystery (one of the most prominent of course being what happened to the entwives, other examples being the Blue Wizards and wtf is Tom Bombadil)

 I don't try to say that any is superior to other, just that I prefer more information like in Asoiaf with Pov chapters, even though some may be from "unreliable narrator" there is more nuance, heart and soul in story of people involved and knowing their motives.

Beyond higher miseries of the world or magic for which  I don't have problem for being unanswered and find that it adds to novel. Motivations, choices and resolutions  of characters are things that left me mostly unsatisfied.

For example in Silmarillion following story-line with Sons of Feanor: We know who left Dior's children to die, and how two of the sons repented for that act, and they later spared Elrond and Elros. We know they were guided by their Oath .

If written in style Fire&Blood their deaths would be pinned on Maedhros  or sparing the children would be seen as taking hostages.

 F&B mostly that suffers are characters in some situations and the conclusion of major narratives like in Maegors case or Rhaenys fate it is my opinion that story would be braver without so many unknowns.

Edited by Eltharion21

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3 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

 

I am not sure if Asoiaf storyline is of  less importance than any of the periods described in the Fire&Blood or will be in second edition, those events seem possible to change entire World much more so than even the greatest crisis like the Dance of Dragons did.

I am more wondering, when comparing it to The Silmarillion why there is so much incomplete important information  about events in Fire&Blood or "TWOIAF"?

 For example  questions how did Maegor die, what did letter to Aegon contain, and contradicting reports during the Dying of the Dragons) in  The Silmarillion there is omnipotent view over the story told as it "really" happened and for better or worse there is closure.

Trying to emulate real world historical writings and other sources  has it's advantages, probably fans will continue debating about finding the truth for long time  or  readers will form their own opinion based on their own preconceptions.

Though the lack of answers, muddies whole story and leaves lot of it unsatisfying.  

It is possible that it is left as sort of synopsis for screenplays (considering his work in that field) and as boon for those who adapt it may add various changes or surprises (though I would prefer authors own view of how the story really unfolded).

Well, on sheer scale it is. Dance was a far bigger and bloodier war than that of the five kings; and of course had quadruple the amount of dragons actually fighting. And of course, what about Valyria?

When first reading world of ice and fire, I remember thinking why the fuck am I reading a POV about Theon Greyjoy and Sansa Stark in the main narrative.

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War of the five kings is only first part of events that we are seeing through Pov's ( supposedly the first three books are roughly 1/3rd of the series)

Dance of dragons had lasted but 2 years , though lot of interesting things happen before and few after it. it had many dragons true but it was much more limited to Crownlands, Riverlands , Reach and Westerlands, it was also much more limited in scope and engagement, especially since lot of main houses involved survived though weakened. It had as it consequence dying much of the dragons mostly.

 But in Asoiaf new dragons are born into the World, there is the threat for survival with the Long Night and Return of Others, Red God, besides usual Westerosi dynastic feuds or rebellions (which are most interesting to me), Wildlings, Ironborn, Dothraki, return of Golden Company, Braavos, Pentos, Dorne, possible slave uprisings throughout the East ,seeing Children of the forest and Bloodraven who had part in lot of events previously.

Those and many magical elements from Povs have more weight than in my opinion than different periods of rule of Targaryen or even Ancient First Men events because they combine all those elements .

 Grrm's main series has much more in it , though it needs completion to reach it's full potential.

Valyria would be certainly great story , though themes that would be worked on there might be similar in terms with Numenor their rise and fall, though I feel they would be mostly self contained with some ties to the Ice part of the story.

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1 hour ago, Mwm said:

Well, on sheer scale it is. Dance was a far bigger and bloodier war than that of the five kings; and of course had quadruple the amount of dragons actually fighting. And of course, what about Valyria?

When first reading world of ice and fire, I remember thinking why the fuck am I reading a POV about Theon Greyjoy and Sansa Stark in the main narrative.

War of the five kings is only first part of events that we are seeing through Pov's ( supposedly the first three books are roughly 1/3rd of the series).

Dance of dragons had lasted but 2 years , though lot of interesting things happen before and few after it. There were lot of  dragons true but it was much more limited to Crownlands, Riverlands , Reach and Westerlands. It was also much more limited in scope and engagement, especially since lot of main houses involved survived though weakened. It had as it consequence dying much of the dragons mostly.

 But in Asoiaf new dragons are born into the World, there is the threat for survival with the Long Night and Return of Others, Red God, besides usual Westerosi dynastic feuds or rebellions (which are most interesting to me), Wildlings, Ironborn, Dothraki, return of Golden Company, Braavos, Pentos, Dorne, possible slave uprisings throughout the East ,seeing Children of the forest and Bloodraven who had part in lot of events previously.

Those and many magical elements from Povs have more weight than in my opinion than different periods of rule of Targaryen or even Ancient First Men events because they combine all those elements .

 GrrM's main series has much more in it , though it needs completion to reach it's full potential.

Valyria would be certainly great story , though themes that would be worked on there might be similar in terms with Numenor their rise and fall, and I feel they would be mostly self contained with only some ties to the Ice part of the story.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Eltharion21 said:

War of the five kings is only first part of events that we are seeing through Pov's ( supposedly the first three books are roughly 1/3rd of the series).

Dance of dragons had lasted but 2 years , though lot of interesting things happen before and few after it. There were lot of  dragons true but it was much more limited to Crownlands, Riverlands , Reach and Westerlands. It was also much more limited in scope and engagement, especially since lot of main houses involved survived though weakened. It had as it consequence dying much of the dragons mostly.

 But in Asoiaf new dragons are born into the World, there is the threat for survival with the Long Night and Return of Others, Red God, besides usual Westerosi dynastic feuds or rebellions (which are most interesting to me), Wildlings, Ironborn, Dothraki, return of Golden Company, Braavos, Pentos, Dorne, possible slave uprisings throughout the East ,seeing Children of the forest and Bloodraven who had part in lot of events previously.

Those and many magical elements from Povs have more weight than in my opinion than different periods of rule of Targaryen or even Ancient First Men events because they combine all those elements .

 GrrM's main series has much more in it , though it needs completion to reach it's full potential.

Valyria would be certainly great story , though themes that would be worked on there might be similar in terms with Numenor their rise and fall, and I feel they would be mostly self contained with only some ties to the Ice part of the story.

You make a good point in how a lot of factors go into ASOIAF, BUT none of them currently have the grandeur of past events. You mentioned the threat of the others, but we've barely seen them, there certainly hasn't been another long night yet; its looks like we're not going to be spending that much time in winter either since snow just started to fall and the series is almost over. Dragons being born into the world; Aegon burned castles, Dany locked them up and chose to stay in Meereen. Didn't Martin say there might be another Dance between Dany and Aegon; with only three dragons?!

We've only got two more books to go, and he's supposed to make good on the scale of previous escapades?

It is indeed just a matter of opinion, but I do wonder if Martin tends to favorite the small scale stuff.

Edited by Mwm

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2 minutes ago, Mwm said:

You make a good point in how a lot of factors go into ASOIAF, BUT none of them currently have the grandeur of past events. You mentioned the threat of the others, but we've barely seen them, there certainly hasn't been another long night yet. Dragons being born into the world; Aegon burned castles, Dany locked them up and chose to stay in Meereen. Didn't Martin say there might be another Dance between Dany and Aegon; with only three dragons?!

We've only got two more books to go, and he's supposed to make good on the scale of previous escapades?

It is indeed just a matter of opinion, but I do wonder if Martin tends to favorite the small scale stuff.

In many inteviews on youtube  he mentions Faulner's words here is the quote from https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/07/george-rr-martin-on-sex-fantasy-and-a-dance-with-dragons/241738/

Quote

I've always agreed with William Faulkner—he said that the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about. I've always taken that as my guiding principle, and the rest is just set dressing. I mean, you can have a dragon, you can have a science fiction story set on a distant planet with aliens and starships, you can have a western about a gunslinger, or a mystery novel about a private eye, or even literary fiction—and ultimately you're still writing about the human heart in conflict with itself. So that's the way I try to approach this thing. And while I may work within a genre, I've never liked to be bound by them. I have a lot of fun in frustrating genre expectations, using a bit of this or a bit of that, and doing something that hasn't been done before.

 

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15 hours ago, Mwm said:

I knew he said that....and there’s plenty of that in the histories.

Yep I understand you, as I recall he also frequently says in interviews that "The Scouring of the Shire" as one of more brilliant parts of Tolkien's trilogy and I personally also find it to have less impact than War of the Ring ( I might need to reread it though), in the end it is his story. 

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