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miyuki

Do you like Feast and Dance?

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On 8/14/2019 at 8:48 PM, miyuki said:

Going through older threads here in this website, I've noted that many people think that "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons" are much less enjoyable, if not outright boring books compared to the earlier books in GRRM's series. Most likely this kind of thread was once made already, but has any re-read or anything else changed your opinion over the years? Or have you always liked them, or always and forever hated them? If you don't like them, is it because of something other than "nothing happens"?

Personally, I've always loved the 4th and 5th book. 

I think they are different books from the first 3. As a first read they aren't that great but they are really good retreads. 

I think their worth will be decided on how important they are to the events in the last books. Because if the end is similar to the TV series then these 2 books become really bad. 

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1 hour ago, divica said:

I think their worth will be decided on how important they are to the events in the last books.

This is your answer.

Feast & Dance are transitional books. They move the plot from the largely resolved War of the Five Kings which dominated the first three volumes to whatever the endgame is going to be.

People who already made up their minds about the endgame before Feast & Dance were even published tend not to like them. To them, many of the newly introduced plot points are "filler" because they don't move the story along in the direction they "know" it "must" follow.

People who like to read between the lines and theorize, such as myself, tend to enjoy Feast & Dance more than the other books because they are still open ended and therefore allow us to play with the puzzle pieces and construct a multitude of potential scenarios from them.

If Winds makes good use of the plot points set up in Feast & Dance (even subverting long standing expectations about the endgame if it has to), naysayers will have to concede that everything was necessary for the story after all. They may get a new enjoyment out of a re-read, since obviously they would have missed the point of the books the first time.

If the plot points are dropped or hastily resolved in a manner that makes them seem superfluous, then it will be hard for people to take those books seriously even if they originally enjoyed them, much like the show is now hard to watch because of the poor ending.

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Feast suffers from the problem of having too many new characters and plots introduced. This isn't too much of a problem in rereads because you are familiar with the characters and understand their place in the plot a bit better, and you're probably not reading as impatiently since you have already been through it before anyway. But a big problem is that 22/46 chapters are Dorne, Iron Islands, Brienne and Sam, I cared about none of those things when I first read the books. I definitely have grown to like those a lot more now, especially the Iron Islands and Brienne plots, but I've got to admit I don't like Sam's chapters in that book.

The other stuff: 24/46 chapters, is Arya, Sansa, Cersei and Jaime, and I did like all of that when I first read it, and still like it now.

ADwD is a book I will defend to the death and then some. Would it have been better if we could have had Meereen and Winterfell in this instead of Winds? Maybe, but it was getting to the point where he could not put more stuff in the book, and honestly I enjoyed the buildup enough that I don't really care as much about getting the "payoff" in the form of battles.

I think Dance actually stands out from the other books as to just how much depth and character is going on. Not to say that the other books don't have that, just that I think Dance has more, and does it better. There is a crazy amount of analysis of Dance on the internet, mostly focused on the big 3 (Jon, Dany and Tyrion), but there's also a lot around more minor characters as well: Theon's brilliant chapters, Davos's short but amazing journey, Quentyn's arc in Slaver's Bay. The book even managed to make me care about JonCon and Aegon more than I think it should have been able to.

Specifically regarding Dany, I think she is a character that hasn't had much interesting going on since AGoT, and even in that book I didn't care too much for her TBH. I feel like her ACoK chapters were pretty pointless, in ASoS she conquers 3 cities, but I never found that very captivating or interesting to read, given that she just kind of rolls over everyone without facing too many obstacles. ADwD makes her ASoS arc better, because we see that the decisions she made in that book are now having real consequences for her, and she is having to do things she doesn't want to do in order to deal with them.

So overall I would say that AFfC is probably slightly below the other books for me, but ADwD is my favourite.

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21 minutes ago, Ser Arthur Hightower said:

Feast suffers from the problem of having too many new characters and plots introduced. This isn't too much of a problem in rereads because you are familiar with the characters and understand their place in the plot a bit better, and you're probably not reading as impatiently since you have already been through it before anyway. But a big problem is that 22/46 chapters are Dorne, Iron Islands, Brienne and Sam, I cared about none of those things when I first read the books. I definitely have grown to like those a lot more now, especially the Iron Islands and Brienne plots, but I've got to admit I don't like Sam's chapters in that book.

The other stuff: 24/46 chapters, is Arya, Sansa, Cersei and Jaime, and I did like all of that when I first read it, and still like it now.

ADwD is a book I will defend to the death and then some. Would it have been better if we could have had Meereen and Winterfell in this instead of Winds? Maybe, but it was getting to the point where he could not put more stuff in the book, and honestly I enjoyed the buildup enough that I don't really care as much about getting the "payoff" in the form of battles.

I think Dance actually stands out from the other books as to just how much depth and character is going on. Not to say that the other books don't have that, just that I think Dance has more, and does it better. There is a crazy amount of analysis of Dance on the internet, mostly focused on the big 3 (Jon, Dany and Tyrion), but there's also a lot around more minor characters as well: Theon's brilliant chapters, Davos's short but amazing journey, Quentyn's arc in Slaver's Bay. The book even managed to make me care about JonCon and Aegon more than I think it should have been able to.

Specifically regarding Dany, I think she is a character that hasn't had much interesting going on since AGoT, and even in that book I didn't care too much for her TBH. I feel like her ACoK chapters were pretty pointless, in ASoS she conquers 3 cities, but I never found that very captivating or interesting to read, given that she just kind of rolls over everyone without facing too many obstacles. ADwD makes her ASoS arc better, because we see that the decisions she made in that book are now having real consequences for her, and she is having to do things she doesn't want to do in order to deal with them.

So overall I would say that AFfC is probably slightly below the other books for me, but ADwD is my favourite.

 

It’s going to create enormous structural problems having to put those battle in TWOW. Four battles is a lot of material to cut. I’d go as far as to say that Tyrion, Arron, Sam, Vic, Barristan, Theon and Asha’s ADWD were not concluded in Dance. Plus he’s going to have to rewrite large sections of them to remind us all what happened in Dance since it’s not following directly on from previous chapters in the same book.

Presumably George wanted to, like in Clash, resolve these battles and properly set the stage for the next chapter. For example, how are all the personalities at Mereen going to mesh. So it’s not just the battles but also the resolution and setting the stage for Winds which has not done.

I was watching a video by Linda and they suspected that George intends to do a time skip to Age Bran and Arya up. I would not be surprised if he settles all these battles and then does the jump.

I d be willing to bet that almost all of the problems George has stems from having to cram part 3 of Dance with Dragons into another novel. Really he should have either restructured the novel to get a complete story or published the resolution to Dance as a separate novel. 

My point is that I don’t get the defence of “well these are character driven novels you can’t complain about the lack of plot” when they’re clearly heavily geared towards these big set piece battles and towards completing each characters mini arc. So the plot is important. George just did not finish ADWD.

He really has been writing Dance with Dragons for 18 years.

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3 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

People who like to read between the lines and theorize, such as myself, tend to enjoy Feast & Dance more than the other books because they are still open ended and therefore allow us to play with the puzzle pieces and construct a multitude of potential scenarios from them.

I agree with this - this is also why I like to read Feast and Dance again and again and again.

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I didn't like Feast at all.  I don't care for Sansa.  I'm not interested in the story unless my favorite characters are present. 

Dance is tied with Game for the best books in the series.  The first time Daenerys rode Drogon in Meereen is a favorite scene of mine.  I got goose bumps and read it over and over to savor the moment. 

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I read the first book GoT about 4 years ago and then quit as my wife wanted to watch the series on TV instead.  After the series ended I picked up A Clash of Kings and have been enthralled since.  I've read the differing opinions of Feast and Dance prior to getting to them, but I absolutely loved Feast and am currently about 200 pages into Dance.  Feast was the first time I was finally able to break free of hbo's visual imagery, and the story just bloomed in so many unexpected ways.  I loved it.  

It's important to see Cersei's utter incompetence as a leader and her over confident belief that she is as good or better than her father.  It's important to hear about LSH/BwB/Wolves around the riverlands from 3rd party sources.  It's important to see Brienne's journey from dense log to finally figuring it out on the noose.  It's important to see Jamie keeping his oaths to Cat, and burning Cersei's letter.  There was lots of growth in Feast, so much wonderful content.

 

I know what's waiting for me as I continue through Dance, and I'm OK with it.  We know what's been pushed out to WINDS, so all this meandering people talk about will all come full circle.  

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I like them a lot.  

I will say though, if I would have read these live and had to wait for Feast, and then endure the wait for Dragons, I would have loathed Feast.

 

If I have one complaint, It is Dance With Dragons' last 25%.  So much Meereen content and political machinations.  Also too much Wall/Jon for what was necessary.  For the first time in the 5 books, I felt like there was too much/waste.  The last Davos chapter was amazing and made me cheer out loud.  Nothing after that and it was chapter 30 out of 73. 

 

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Liked them more when re reading using a suggested Feast/Dance sequence I came across on the Tower of the Hand page. 

Still though, not as well written as the first 3 books. 

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10 hours ago, spearson said:

I read the first book GoT about 4 years ago and then quit as my wife wanted to watch the series on TV instead.  After the series ended I picked up A Clash of Kings and have been enthralled since.  I've read the differing opinions of Feast and Dance prior to getting to them, but I absolutely loved Feast and am currently about 200 pages into Dance.  Feast was the first time I was finally able to break free of hbo's visual imagery, and the story just bloomed in so many unexpected ways.  I loved it.  

It's important to see Cersei's utter incompetence as a leader and her over confident belief that she is as good or better than her father.  It's important to hear about LSH/BwB/Wolves around the riverlands from 3rd party sources.  It's important to see Brienne's journey from dense log to finally figuring it out on the noose.  It's important to see Jamie keeping his oaths to Cat, and burning Cersei's letter.  There was lots of growth in Feast, so much wonderful content.

 

I know what's waiting for me as I continue through Dance, and I'm OK with it.  We know what's been pushed out to WINDS, so all this meandering people talk about will all come full circle.  

I completely agree. I think people who decide to read the books will be so pleasantly surprised by Feast just like I did. 

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20 hours ago, spearson said:

I read the first book GoT about 4 years ago and then quit as my wife wanted to watch the series on TV instead.  After the series ended I picked up A Clash of Kings and have been enthralled since.  I've read the differing opinions of Feast and Dance prior to getting to them, but I absolutely loved Feast and am currently about 200 pages into Dance.  Feast was the first time I was finally able to break free of hbo's visual imagery, and the story just bloomed in so many unexpected ways.  I loved it.  

It's important to see Cersei's utter incompetence as a leader and her over confident belief that she is as good or better than her father.  It's important to hear about LSH/BwB/Wolves around the riverlands from 3rd party sources.  It's important to see Brienne's journey from dense log to finally figuring it out on the noose.  It's important to see Jamie keeping his oaths to Cat, and burning Cersei's letter.  There was lots of growth in Feast, so much wonderful content.

 

I know what's waiting for me as I continue through Dance, and I'm OK with it.  We know what's been pushed out to WINDS, so all this meandering people talk about will all come full circle.  

It often seems that people who read the books AFTER watching the show enjoy Feast and Dance a lot. I guess it's mainly because the show went off rails just when it was about to adapt those books, so reading them and finding out that the plot is a lot less cringe than in the series will boost the opinion.

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I initially disliked Feast. I started reading it all excited, then I went into WTF mode as new POVs kept being introduced and none of the original ones made it into (Tyrion, Dany, Jon). I felt like I was left twisting in the wind. Years later, though, and several re-reads later, I've come to really appreciate the book. 

The political landscape in both books is really complicated and it will be interesting to see how everything shakes out moving forward. If nothing else, I think they are two pretty good set up books.

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Another thing that pissed me off about them is that I was waiting to hear about Oberyn and Catelyns recoveries from their injuries in Storm and felt I got no resolution there

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I love both, they are my favorite actually. Imo all the books have their highs and lows in POV's but for me the worst were Arya's POVs in ACOK. 

The thing with the books is that it depends on what part of his story arc each character is. Rare;y all the characters are in a very inteteresting point of their story so it's kind of expected for some chapters to be less exciting than others in every book.

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On 8/14/2019 at 3:48 PM, miyuki said:

Going through older threads here in this website, I've noted that many people think that "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons" are much less enjoyable, if not outright boring books compared to the earlier books in GRRM's series. Most likely this kind of thread was once made already, but has any re-read or anything else changed your opinion over the years? Or have you always liked them, or always and forever hated them? If you don't like them, is it because of something other than "nothing happens"?

Personally, I've always loved the 4th and 5th book. 

I personally like the last book but I definitely feel that the Meereen plot could have been shorter and less sluggish and still set the stage for Daenarys. He has set it up to make the next book start off with a bang across all fronts but having such a long time between books makes all the cliffhangers more frustrating than exciting.

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I liked them more after re-reads, but still think it was an error to expand the story beyond Lannisters and Starks. And as much as I like Asha, the only Greyjoy we need is Theon. Dance and Feast were obviously 5 year gap filler. 

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41 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I liked them more after re-reads, but still think it was an error to expand the story beyond Lannisters and Starks. And as much as I like Asha, the only Greyjoy we need is Theon. Dance and Feast were obviously 5 year gap filler. 

He had to expand beyond them, why do you think it’s called the 7 kingdoms? Do you think the other kingdoms have no say in what happens in their lands?

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20 minutes ago, Crona said:

He had to expand beyond them, why do you think it’s called the 7 kingdoms? Do you think the other kingdoms have no say in what happens in their lands?

But did he have to make it so large in the first place? He wonders why it had to be 7, he admits he clearly bit off more than he could chew. And I think the central conflict of the series is Lannister/Stark/Targaryen anyway, and that's what grabbed my interest in the beginning. 

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Just now, Rose of Red Lake said:

But did he have to make it so large in the first place? He wonders why it had to be 7, he admits he clearly bit off more than he could chew. And I think the central conflict of the series is Lannister/Stark/Targaryen anyway, and that's what grabbed my interest in the beginning. 

Westeros is not that large, besides I like Stannis more than the Targs, Lannisters and Starks but this is just my opinion. Also it wouldn’t make sense because since the first book Varys has been planning against the main families, and for the series to go on without Varys revealing his main plan wouldn’t make sense to me. Not to mention the Reach, Dorne, Vale, and the Iron Islands were active during the time of Tywin’s and Robb’s struggle and without them much of the story in the first three books would not have the same. Now that Tywin and Robb are gone and both families are weak, it’s only natural the other houses will close in.

I quite like the POVs and I think they positioned to show a lot of the storylines such as Euron in Oldtown, Stannis against Roose, and the battle in Meeren. 

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