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Demetri

GRRM's (Brief) Thoughts on the Final Episode

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I feel people are interpreting too much into a blogpost. Why would there be a reason to list that name and not this name? That would be too much work as the argument here is about all those other characters existing in the books. And ‚Aegon VI‘ might just be the way George refers to him in his (non-existing I know) character spreadsheet. It might also be a clue, but it might as well also just be a „doylist“ reference, from the view of the author, not in-story.

Again, I feel you read too much into that single word. (But I know that is what is being done on this forum... :))

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49 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

But AWOIAF says: "The pretender Haegon I Blackfyre died in the aftermath of battle, slain treacherously after he had given up his  sword". The case of "Haegon I", who was raised in Tyrosh and never set a foot in Westeros before his failed invasion attempt, is not that different from our "Aegon VI". And after that, we are told Bittersteel "crowned Haegon’s eldest son as King Daemon III Blackfyre in Tyrosh"

Sure, pretender kings also can have numerals. It is also Viserys III, although he never sat on any throne. But the point is that Prince Aegon simply isn't a pretender king yet. He is just a prince, a person poised to claim a throne, but somebody who has yet to reveal and declare himself. By the time ADwD ends this simply hasn't happened yet. Storm's End hasn't fallen and Aegon hasn't declared himself yet. 

49 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

FWIW, I always refer to the character as "Aegon VI". I've seen many other 'ardent readers' do this. Prince Aegon makes it harder to disambiguate (it could refer to many other Aegons that have held this title).

Sure, but that's just colloquial use. It is factually wrong to refer to a prince who only intends to lay claim to a throne as a pretender when that hasn't happened yet. 

And I can only urge anybody who may have a chance to see the appendix of TWoW before publication to try to dissuade George from using something along the lines of 'The King at Storm's End' for Aegon's appendix section. He isn't pretending to be a king yet, and thus such an appendix titled that way would not accurately reflect the state of affairs at the end of ADwD. Many readers (me included) first read the appendices before starting with the book precisely because it is supposed not to spoil the book but only cover the events up to the beginning of the book. At least that's how it was up until ADwD.

For what it's worth, in the German edition we called the Aegon appendix for the second volumes of ADwD 'The rightful heir to the Iron Throne?' reflecting the development up until 'The Lost Lord', but avoiding the idea of giving the guy some sort of specific rank. After all, it made little sense to list him and Jon Connington, etc. as mystery people when the official story was out. At least that's the case when the appendices are supposed to be a help to the reader and not confuse him or her.

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Eh, maybe I've changed over my years of involvement as a fan of this series, but my take on things.... at least we got an ending from the show. We can split hairs over every stray comment Martin makes as to having deeper meaning about the books ending, but until we actually see another book the show is all the ending we have. Maybe we'll get something else, and better from the books. I hope we do. But until I see a publication date, I'm not holding my breath.

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4 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

Eh, maybe I've changed over my years of involvement as a fan of this series, but my take on things.... at least we got an ending from the show. We can split hairs over every stray comment Martin makes as to having deeper meaning about the books ending, but until we actually see another book the show is all the ending we have. Maybe we'll get something else, and better from the books. I hope we do. But until I see a publication date, I'm not holding my breath.

The larger points, in my mind, are:

1) GRRM straight up confirmed Jon's parentage. We know he doesn't lie to try to throw us off the trail, though he might try to distract or confused. To me, this is an unprecedented amount of candor. It wasn't so long ago that GRRM wouldn't even discuss the books at a show event so as not to provide spoilers. All history indicates that he views spoilers with disdain and ire. And yet he is confirming a spoiler for book readers by confirming a plot point in the show. In my opinion, it isn't as much about the actual reveal itself as it is the mindset surrounding it. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen him VOLUNTEER a spoiler explicitly (no inference necessary.) I'm somewhat curious if this is a mindset change and if so, why? 

This reveal was way out of character for him. When the Aegon issue is juxtaposed with Jon's parentage, it makes it seem like he's stating Aegon VI as legitimate because Jon's parentage was stated just as matter-of-factly as Aegon VI was. I did omit the Aegon quote accidentally (my bad and thank you to the person who supplied it!) But to me that sounds more like the doublespeak of GRRM that I'm used to as there remains some ambiguity regarding what it means to be a character called Aegon VI. This contrasts with the Jon reveal which was stated unequivocally. We know GRRM likes to portray the opinions/deeds of others as fact, it's part of his writing, so someone recognizing Aegon or even Aegon recognizing himself could warrant calling him Aegon VI. That's certainly going to be the name signing the letters sent across the realm. 

2) I'm with you on the "will we get the book" thing and it bothers me. As a result, I tend to be a bit optimistic and naive when GRRM says he's writing. That optimism drives me to perceive a mindset change represented in that post. My take (again, optimistic) is that he wants to explain why the number of daughters O'Hara had actually matters and he wants to explain that desperately. I'm not saying he'll be using the show as a counterpoint to undermine, but he knows that it's out there. 

3) The story about the dinner with D&D and guessing Jon's mother is an old one. GRRM tells lots of old stories in blogs, interviews etc. Perhaps the story means something different to him now than it did at the onset of the show. I certainly hope so. I think the fact that he just straight up stated that Lyanna is Jon's mother is a form of accepting that there are some similarities and his willingness to accept that they exist. This inherently means that a "different" version exists in book form.

My hope is that each time he mentions O'Hara he is reminded that unless he writes his version that we'll know exactly how many children O'Hara because we only have one version of the story: the show. Yes, I'm being very idealistic, but you have to admit that at least some things about this blog post are wildly different than things we've seen from him before.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Demetri said:

 

My hope is that each time he mentions O'Hara he is reminded that unless he writes his version that we'll know exactly how many children O'Hara because we only have one version of the story: the show. Yes, I'm being very idealistic, but you have to admit that at least some things about this blog post are wildly different than things we've seen from him before.

You have completely misunderstood the meaning of O'Hara. It is the complete oposite. With O'Hara George is saying (and he even explained that quite a few times) that it is nonsense to ask which of the fictional characters or plots are the real ones. None of them. They don't exist. 

"How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life: she was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story" - GRRM, notablog, 18.05.2015

Edited by T and A

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2 hours ago, T and A said:

You have completely misunderstood the meaning of O'Hara. It is the complete oposite. With O'Hara George is saying (and he even explained that quite a few times) that it is nonsense to ask which of the fictional characters or plots are the real ones. None of them. They don't exist. 

"How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life: she was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story" - GRRM, notablog, 18.05.2015

Here George is, at least in public, trying to downplay things. A version of 'Hamlet' were Horatio killed Hamlet and Hamlet's father killed Hamlet's uncle wouldn't be 'Hamlet' anymore, would it?

There is a point when the differences are get to big for something to be described as 'telling the same story'. We might all differ where that point is, but knowing the differences between show and books where a comparison is possible I really cannot agree that these two mediums are 'telling the same story'. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, T and A said:

You have completely misunderstood the meaning of O'Hara. It is the complete oposite. With O'Hara George is saying (and he even explained that quite a few times) that it is nonsense to ask which of the fictional characters or plots are the real ones. None of them. They don't exist. 

"How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life: she was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story" - GRRM, notablog, 18.05.2015

It's terribly sad for an artist to disrespect his own art like that, both in refusing, as the creator of the story, to even call his own story the canon, and instead giving this fairly dumb analogy, which I'm not sure why he thinks it is so brilliant, that none of it matters because it's all fictional and there is no canon.  I'm sure if someone had asked Margaret Mitchell how many children Scarlett O'Hara had she would  have said 3.  

Edited by Cas Stark

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Posted (edited)

GRRM has done multiple interviews where he has implied that the books and the show will basically have the same ending in broad strokes but will be different for minor characters. This blog post, where he starts talking about Lady Stoneheart, Jeyne Poole, etc. is really no different.

Honestly, though, any negative reaction from book fans to the ending is the meltdown over D&D revealing that Stannis burns Shireen in the books all over again. They'll tell themselves that it will be different in the books, and nothing GRRM says could convince them otherwise:

Dany fans will tell themselves that Dany's actions in the books will be entirely sympathetic and that her heel turn in the show is Hollywood nonsense.

Tyrion haters will tell themselves that Tyrion being the endgame Hand is a D&D contrivance because he's their fave.

Disappointed Braime shippers will tell themselves that Jaime truly loves Brienne and would never choose Cersei over her.

...And so on.

Edited by Newstar

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Newstar said:

Disappointed Braime shippers will tell themselves that Jaime truly loves Brienne and would never choose Cersei over her.

I think this one could go either way. Jaime turning back into Cersei's loyal pet was so abrupt in the show that it wouldn't surprise me if all D&D knew is that "Jaime and Cersei die together". 

I mean, Jaime already abandoned Cersei to her fate in the books, and that was with her literally begging him to come back and save her. 

Edited by Jamie Lannister

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Here George is, at least in public, trying to downplay things. A version of 'Hamlet' were Horatio killed Hamlet and Hamlet's father killed Hamlet's uncle wouldn't be 'Hamlet' anymore, would it?

There is a point when the differences are get to big for something to be described as 'telling the same story'. We might all differ where that point is, but knowing the differences between show and books where a comparison is possible I really cannot agree that these two mediums are 'telling the same story'. 

Additionally, the same guy who might actually intend to say "they're fictional, who cares?" has said time and time again that these characters are part of him and are kind of a living, breathing aspect of his psyche. When discussing the selection of actors and actresses and asked if those selections have changed his personal perception of those characters he has always, without hesitation said no. He's always given the actors/actresses their due as talented, but he always says something like "they're part of it."

I disagree with the idea that Martin is saying that his characters are fictional and thus their fates don't matter. That's not how I've ever seen him treat characters and that isn't consistent with what seems like heartfelt sentiments about how characters despite the fact that he obviously knows they're fictional and he's driving the sleigh. When asked if he enjoyed killing his characters he said "No, I don't. I do think it needs to be done. Valar Morghulis, all men must die. It is a part of life and all art must reflect life." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cspPt3-PFjw

 

"When you see an actor like Peter Dinklage bringing Tyrion Lannister to life, who's a character I've lived with for 15 years. Suddenly seeing him walking around and talking, his facial expressions, it's all like right from my head." Later, "I love all my characters, but Tyrion has been my favorite...I love Arya too. They're all my children and you have to love all your children. Even the bratty children who don't have any table manners and cry all night." On asked about feeling sentimental: "Always. It's like a mourning process. But the story makes its own demands and you have to follow the story." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnzG-NuuEF4

Sure, he has this stupid Scarlett O'Hara line, but when he's not using canned dialogue and when he's speaking more freely and organically, he doesn't seem to act like the characters "Don't exist." Of course, they don't, but for a good author they absolutely have to exist in some capacity.

3 hours ago, T and A said:

You have completely misunderstood the meaning of O'Hara. It is the complete oposite. With O'Hara George is saying (and he even explained that quite a few times) that it is nonsense to ask which of the fictional characters or plots are the real ones. None of them. They don't exist. 

"How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life: she was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story" - GRRM, notablog, 18.05.2015

Which is why I disagree with you here, ma'am/sir. Things that "never existed" don't "come to life" and aren't the recipient of sentiments like "They're all my children and you have to love all your children." That quote goes further and suggests that some of his children are "bratty" with bad "table manners" which I took to mean that they can be difficult to the narrative, or that they make their own demands on the story (which he says verbatim later in the quote.) I find that much more convincing evidence of his emotional investment (or past investment, if you're a cynic) in his characters than one of the more often used explanations in his arsenal. GRRM is great at telling the same stories and saying the same things. Sometimes it is almost like he's got a script and I think we have to naturally question how thoughtful or far the metaphor goes when it is countervailed by expressing love for characters that don't exist and who bend him to their will as the story demands.

 I don't really think he has a great point with the O'Hara analogy but I think it fits a very narrow meaning: because the characters are fictional, they have no true factual history. Instead, various creative minds (bahahaha) impose that on them. Authors/Writers should not be discouraged from using a character in a way that fits THEIR story due to anything besides the demands of that story. During one comic on panel he focuses more on the "which is true" part. His statement that "neither are true, she never existed" doesn't really seem to impact most of what he's saying. He laughed after "SHE NEVER EXISTED" because that doesn't seem to be of much impact. Keep in mind that he often also talks about the ripple effect in TV v. Show. We know that they don't exist and have no objectively "true" story (the question/answer is also framed as "Which is true, books or show?" Therefore it is, by definition, impossible to tell a fictional character's story and not have it be "true." 

He might well be saying that neither are true. But I think he's saying that neither are false because it is fictional content, that both tellings spring from the same template of a character which has different forms (different amount of children) in different tellings of the story. 

But that is difficult to reconcile with how deeply he lives with these characters. He's even said that Peter Dinklage's amazing portrayal doesn't shake the concept that he has in his mind of the story. He has a concept of his "true" characters even if they are fictional. I think he's being carefully diplomatic here and giving the show its creative due as he gave them his fictional, didn't really exist characters.

As a result, I think the latter part of the quote is really the key, the "two different tellings of the same story." I take him to mean that the show and the books each use the characters as they see fit and that it inherently can't be wrong because the characters are fictional and have no inherent truth or humanity that would demand a certain path of storytelling.

Why? Because they are tools of the artist which is only okay because they do not exist. If they did exist, then there would only be one truthful way to tell the story. But since there isn't an objectively truthful story for these characters, differences that exist in the two different tellings are perfectly fine and each represent something as real as you can craft out of make-believe characters.

Finally, I'll end with a quote that I think betrays GRRM's true feelings:  "A story or character should change. The events that happen change us. People who get married or get divorced or have a love affair or they go off to war and have experiences, these things change them, they change who they are. I always feel the same should be true for fictional characters or comic book characters. If something is going to happen it should change you and affect you and make you different. That's, to my mind, the art of good storytelling." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjreiP50DG8 (from 2018 at 1:10:10 mark or so) 

GRRM has stated over and over again that he endeavors to have vibrant, complex, human characters. I very much think that he believes his version of the characters (is the true version (again, he's said innumerable times that he has had a concrete conception of these characters in his mind for decades and that the TV version does not affect his conception.) He's just kind enough, or realistic enough, to realize that he gave other creative minds (bahahahaha) license to make their version of the character that's true to their setting. My apologies if I misunderstood your point or if lack of initial clarity made you misunderstand mine. 

I simply think that saying that characters don't matter because they don't exist is a gross simplification and a way of preserving two Aryas, two Jons et al. with each version having legitimacy.

 

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1 hour ago, Newstar said:

GRRM has done multiple interviews where he has implied that the books and the show will basically have the same ending in broad strokes but will be different for minor characters. This blog post, where he starts talking about Lady Stoneheart, Jeyne Poole, etc. is really no different.

I wonder how you must have felt by seeing Sansa becoming QITN. 

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1 hour ago, Newstar said:

GRRM has done multiple interviews where he has implied that the books and the show will basically have the same ending in broad strokes but will be different for minor characters. This blog post, where he starts talking about Lady Stoneheart, Jeyne Poole, etc. is really no different.

Honestly, though, any negative reaction from book fans to the ending is the meltdown over D&D revealing that Stannis burns Shireen in the books all over again. They'll tell themselves that it will be different in the books, and nothing GRRM says could convince them otherwise:

Dany fans will tell themselves that Dany's actions in the books will be entirely sympathetic and that her heel turn in the show is Hollywood nonsense.

Tyrion haters will tell themselves that Tyrion being the endgame Hand is a D&D contrivance because he's their fave.

Disappointed Braime shippers will tell themselves that Jaime truly loves Brienne and would never choose Cersei over her.

...And so on.

I think George has all but stated that doesnt happen. Stannis doesnt kill his daughter in the books.

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Every time he addresses the books in his blog, I end up feeling a bit irritated.  Especially when he lists the multitude of other things he has going on.  I do happen to think he will finish tWoW.  I seriously doubt aDoS will be released by him.  Especially when he reiterated recently that he hasn't even started aDoS (rejecting the notion that he has been doing some work on both). Maybe it'll be released posthumously, completed by someone else.  This may be dumb, but this is the primary reason I haven't read the books.  I feel irritated now, and I haven't even read them!  I hate reading unfinished series'.  

I feel relieved that the show is over and I know how it all ends.  But disappointed that I may never see what GRRM really intended as far as how it all came about.  I don't want to start the series, get involved, and then want to pull my hair out every time I hear about a new project he is working on (more than I already do now). 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jamie Lannister said:

I think this one could go either way. Jaime turning back into Cersei's loyal pet was so abrupt in the show that it wouldn't surprise me if all D&D knew is that "Jaime and Cersei die together". 

I mean, Jaime already abandoned Cersei to her fate in the books, and that was with her literally begging him to come back and save her. 

and don't forget that book Jaime is not aware of Cersei'ns cnspirations to kill him XDXDXD

even if JBis not as "strong" there s no way that in the books does a similar thing to that or we get to see sth as stupidly bad written as...that

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Here George is, at least in public, trying to downplay things. A version of 'Hamlet' were Horatio killed Hamlet and Hamlet's father killed Hamlet's uncle wouldn't be 'Hamlet' anymore, would it?

There is a point when the differences are get to big for something to be described as 'telling the same story'. We might all differ where that point is, but knowing the differences between show and books where a comparison is possible I really cannot agree that these two mediums are 'telling the same story'. 

That, I think, is not the point George is trying to make. Sure, Game of Thrones and ASOIAF differ. They have to. The damn books are not out yet (and it is for once not D&D's fault, mind you), they must differ. What he says is, that it is the wrong question to ask, which version is the true one. Since none of the storys is real, you can argue all day long. You won't have an objective answer. Because they differ, all it matters is how people view what is the "right" version. Friends of mine have never read ASOIAF, yet they have lived with Kit Harringtons character of Jon Snow for over 8 years. They have emotions for those characters and have shed tears through his journey. For them, he is real. For them he is Jon Snow. Does this make Jon Snow from the show not real? There are more show watchers than book readers. It is a nonsensiqual question.  For George, Jon Snow is the boy, he has in his head, for my best friend, who has never read the books, it is Kit Harringtons "Jon Snow". Same goes for the story of course. I can not tell you, which story is the real one, and nor can George. It is the story you have in your head. Both storys are out there. Both storys are in the mind of people. Both storys are just as real as the other. That is, what Georges statement is all about. 

Edited by T and A

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One thing that also bugs me is how for some characters this didn t feel like an end. 

Are we never going to know what Drogon did with Danny's body? If it will seek revenge? Start a dragon family somewhere? It feels so stupid for a author that disliked Lost to leave such an open end for Danny and Drogon... 

Then what is Jon doing? Joining the NW? Joining the wildlings by breaking his vows? Does he have a reason to go with the wildlings? ( and I Don t believe the wildlings will go north of the wall in the middle of winter when they have lands in the gift and so much free space in the north...) 

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Posted (edited)

Additionally if Martin claims that book would be mostly similar and differentiate with something trivial as number of children,  raises huge question of actual importance in non-adapted characters or merged rather badly in main protagonists:  Tyrell's, Victarion, Dorne, Aeron, whole side casts of Vale, Stannis story merged with Jon, Sansa and Jeyne, Aegon, Illyrio, Connigton, Davos on Skagos and Rickon, Lady Stoneheart, Brown Ben Plumm, Golden Company ect...

If result of Dorne characters and Tyrell would be supposedly evident in show finale, them being wiped out and Bronn becoming Lord of Highgarden or some new random Prince of Dorne, it doesn't give hope or any confidence in value of those storylines, kinda like with that of Quentyn Martell in the actual novel.

Edited by Eltharion21

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23 minutes ago, Eltharion21 said:

Additionally if Martin claims that book would be mostly similar and differentiate with something trivial as number of children,  raises huge question of actual importance in non-adapted characters or merged rather badly in main protagonists:  Tyrell's, Victarion, Dorne, Aeron, whole side casts of Vale, Stannis story merged with Jon, Sansa and Jeyne, Aegon, Illyrio, Connigton, Davos on Skagos and Rickon, Lady Stoneheart, Brown Ben Plumm, Golden Company ect...

If result of Dorne characters and Tyrell would be supposedly evident in show finale, them being wiped out and Bronn becoming Lord of Highgarden or some new random Prince of Dorne, it doesn't give hope or any confidence in value of those storylines, kinda like with that of Quentyn Martell in the actual novel.

People tend to forget the backlash that Feast and Dance got after the two were published, precesely for the characters introduced and the ongoing of the story, way before the show was even a thing. Those two books weren't neccesseraly the masterpieces some people here act like they were. Yeah, sure, some likes these books, but a huge fanbase also didn't.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Alayne's Shadow. said:

I wonder how you must have felt by seeing Sansa becoming QITN. 

I wonder how you must have felt realizing Sansa is permanently separated from her surviving family and friends and will be alone forever. Not great, I’m guessing. :) Sansa fans are always on about how all Sansa cares about is her family and how she wants love more than anything. She doesn’t get either in the end and ends up like Cersei 2.0. Her coronation dress was great, though.

As for me, I’m feeling pretty great about never having to listen to another shipper insist that Jonsa or SanSan is endgame ever again. Thank God. 

7 hours ago, lysmonger said:

I think George has all but stated that doesnt happen. Stannis doesnt kill his daughter in the books.

Lol, nope. GRRM never said or implied anything of the sort. D&D said that Stannis burning Shireen came from GRRM.

Edited by Newstar

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Acting like that blog post amounted to revealing anything is...well, I'd say wow, but I suppose not surprising considering the stuff that goes on here.  I also like how this thread includes a page arguing if grammar merits a spoiler.  Davos would be so proud.

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