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miyuki

Do you like Feast and Dance?

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On 8/21/2019 at 2:04 PM, Tagganaro said:

I agree with this so much.  I can appreciate AFFC a little more on reread, but I'm still mostly just bored by it.  The 22 chapters you mentioned are for the most part completely uninteresting to me (I'd say out of them, only the King's Moot really captured by attention).  The Brienne stuff I liked a lot more on reread, but that's not saying much.  I went from actively hating it to just being mostly bored by it.  And don't get me started on Aeron, Arys and Aereo even having POVs.

ADWD is much more enjoyable for me because the Dany, Jon, Theon chapters are really good and although the Tyrion stuff can drag at times, I really enjoyed his time with Jon Con and Aegon and it ends with a bang with him joining the Second Sons.  I do have to knock down ADWD because it doesn't get to the battles of Mereen and Winterfell, and instead wastes too much time on Quentyn, Areo (only 1 POV I think but still annoying), Victarion (I enjoyed these chapters but still think pointless), Barristan and Jon Con.  

Yeah, Arys should not have had a POV. That was not only completely unnecessary but it was bad editing. You already had a soiled knight character in Jaime and a one-off chapter in the prologue. Why another?

I feel like the Arys POV and Areo POV chapters should have been given to Arianne. Especially the Arys POV since Arianne is literally the focal point of that entire chapter.

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46 minutes ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Yeah, Arys should not have had a POV. That was not only completely unnecessary but it was bad editing. You already had a soiled knight character in Jaime and a one-off chapter in the prologue. Why another?

I feel like the Arys POV and Areo POV chapters should have been given to Arianne. Especially the Arys POV since Arianne is literally the focal point of that entire chapter.

If I remember correctly then the whole point of Arys' chapter was so that the motivation behind him marching to death later on would make more sense. But I agree - the Arys POV, should have easily been Arianne's.

As for Aero - we need somebody to be present in TWOW when Balon Swann goes to meet Myrcella and Darkstar, but Arianne is elsewhere, so it can't be her. I am also convinced that it's from those Aero chapters in TWOW that we will learn more about Lyanna, Daynes and the Tower of Joy, because Darkstar is a Dayne, they are in Dorne and unlike in the show, Bran needs his trees to look into past and there aren't any in Dorne. So Aero could easily go from one of the most boring POV's to the most discussed one after the next book (I hope this is the case).

Pretty much same with Aeron Damphair. His POVs in Feast could have easily been narrated by Victarion. But in the Winds, we need someone near Euron to tell the story and Vicky is far away in Slaver's Bay. By the looks of Aeron's sample chapter from the Winds, it seems like this storyline is going to be madly epic, so just like Aero, Aeron's POV chapters can go from Why-Are-These-Here to some of the best and most discussed chapters in the whole series.

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On 8/22/2019 at 12:27 PM, The Fresh PtwP said:

Really had to think about this one! I think Feast is more consistently "bad" but Dance has some things unforgivable for how overall "good" of a book it is...which kinda makes Dance worse. Like Dany's flight chapter is amazing. It's also her only good PoV in the book. Tyrion started and finished strong but Penny and Jorah make the middle chapters a struggle. 

They are 'bad' in different ways.  Feast is 'bad' because it lacks any coherence or story arc except for Cersei, and because it is a random assortment of chapters, mostly of people no one cares about, doing things that are largely irrelevant. 

Dance is 'bad' in a different way, Dance is bad because, while it has a lot of action and actual important things happen to main characters, it is super bloated with extraneous detail, heaped upon extraneous detail, and even putting the detail aside, it also has much repetitive and irrelevant action, even though it's happening to the main characters.  

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1 minute ago, miyuki said:

If I remember correctly then the whole point of Arys' chapter was so that the motivation behind him marching to death later on would make more sense. But I agree - the Arys POV, should have easily been Arianne's.

As for Aero - we need somebody to be present in TWOW when Balon Swann goes to meet Myrcella and Darkstar, but Arianne is elsewhere, so it can't be her. I am also convinced that it's from those Aero chapters in TWOW that we will learn more about Lyanna, Daynes and the Tower of Joy, because Darkstar is a Dayne, they are in Dorne and unlike in the show, Bran needs his trees to look into past and there aren't any in Dorne. So Aero could easily go from one of the most boring POV's to the most discussed one after the next book (I hope this is the case).

Pretty much same with Aeron Damphair. His POVs in Feast could have easily been narrated by Victarion. But in the Winds, we need someone near Euron to tell the story and Vicky is far away in Slaver's Bay. By the looks of Aeron's sample chapter from the Winds, it seems like this storyline is going to be madly epic, so just like Aero, Aeron's POV chapters can go from Why-Are-These-Here to some of the best and most discussed chapters in the whole series.

There are weirwood trees in Dorne. They are all located in the Red Mountains. There's not that many of them there to begin with but they are all concentrated in the Red Mountains.

I agree on Areo and Aeron. Those POVs are useful. But I feel like Areo POV in Feast (The Captain of the Guards chapter) could have been an Arianne chapter. If Arianne was a stand-in for Areo, it would have helped flesh out her troubled relationship with her father and Areo both while also detailing how she feels about the people of Dorne and her cousins. The Areo POV in Dance (The Watcher) would have been his first POV chapter.

But yeah, I totally am with you on the bold part. I feel like the revelation of Jon's parentage is going to happen in two or three chapters with Bran and Areo as the POV. Like Areo Hotah goes to Starfall godswood in Areo III which leads into Bran V which takes place both in the cave, in the godswood of Starfall and in the past. Areo IV picks it up from there and puts a little bow on it. And Bran spends the rest of his chapters ruminating about it. Let's say something else happens in Bran VII that makes Bran have this pressing NEED to tell Jon.

And if Areo knows, then the secret of Jon's parentage getting out may not be entirely Sansa's fault.

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2 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

They are 'bad' in different ways.  Feast is 'bad' because it lacks any coherence or story arc except for Cersei, and because it is a random assortment of chapters, mostly of people no one cares about, doing things that are largely irrelevant. 

Dance is 'bad' in a different way, Dance is bad because, while it has a lot of action and actual important things happen to main characters, it is super bloated with extraneous detail, heaped upon extraneous detail, and even putting the detail aside, it also has much repetitive and irrelevant action, even though it's happening to the main characters.  

Good point.

Because I hated Tyrion's chapters in Dance. He had what? 12 or 13 chapters? It could have easily been reduced to 10. Ruthlessly edited, it could have been halved to 6 or 7 which would leave us with that many more pages to go off of.

But I disagree about Feast. Feast has four main story arc:

  1. Cersei's tenure as Queen Regent
  2. Jaime's post-war efforts in the Riverlands
  3. the Queenmaking in Dorne
  4. the Kingsmoot on the Iron Islands.

Everyone else (namely Samwell and Brienne) are either supporting one of those four arcs or are independently constructing the bridge that connects part one of the story (War of the Five Kings) to part two of the story (The Long Night).

So, basically, the Jaime arc is the epilogue of the War of the Five Kings story told in the first three books. And the Cersei and Dorne arcs are the intermission, the bridge for the next story arc. They also serve to further color, fill out and refine themes and plots from the first half of the story: namely that ruling is very different from scheming/warring and that secrets are myths because someone always finds out and tells.

The Ironborn arc does a bit of double-dipping as it sets up the next big conflicts in the next story arcs (Kingsmoot 2.0, Theon's comeback, Euron's megalomania and sorcery, the heartache of Victarion, Aeron's crisis of faith, Yara's ambitions) and works as an epilogue for the Ironborn contribution in War of the Five Kings story.

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1 hour ago, miyuki said:

If I remember correctly then the whole point of Arys' chapter was so that the motivation behind him marching to death later on would make more sense. But I agree - the Arys POV, should have easily been Arianne's.

As for Aero - we need somebody to be present in TWOW when Balon Swann goes to meet Myrcella and Darkstar, but Arianne is elsewhere, so it can't be her. I am also convinced that it's from those Aero chapters in TWOW that we will learn more about Lyanna, Daynes and the Tower of Joy, because Darkstar is a Dayne, they are in Dorne and unlike in the show, Bran needs his trees to look into past and there aren't any in Dorne. So Aero could easily go from one of the most boring POV's to the most discussed one after the next book (I hope this is the case).

Pretty much same with Aeron Damphair. His POVs in Feast could have easily been narrated by Victarion. But in the Winds, we need someone near Euron to tell the story and Vicky is far away in Slaver's Bay. By the looks of Aeron's sample chapter from the Winds, it seems like this storyline is going to be madly epic, so just like Aero, Aeron's POV chapters can go from Why-Are-These-Here to some of the best and most discussed chapters in the whole series.

This tends to be my issue in a nutshell- GRRM is expanding the story and the POVS to tell stories that he wants to tell, rather than working with what he's got.  I know it may be somewhat impossible, but instead of expanding POVS he should be simplifying and condensing.  If he can't get a POV to a location that he wants to tell a story from that's part of the problem IMO and the major reason why AFFC and ADWD are so bloated with little movement on the main story arc front.  I could maybe understand adding one POV each for Iron Islands and Dorne, but the multiple POVs are a major reason why ADWD couldn't even fit the battles in that it was clearly building towards.  

I understand your point but by adding these POVs with future stories in mind for TWOW he is only continuing to expand the series which has already gotten out of control.  But I will retract some of my criticism if Aeron and Areo become great POVs.  

2 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Yeah, Arys should not have had a POV. That was not only completely unnecessary but it was bad editing. You already had a soiled knight character in Jaime and a one-off chapter in the prologue. Why another?

I feel like the Arys POV and Areo POV chapters should have been given to Arianne. Especially the Arys POV since Arianne is literally the focal point of that entire chapter.

As I said above, I would be more forgiving of Dorne if it was simplified to a single new POV such as Arriane.  This makes sense to me.  Arys and Quentyn POVs bother me since they are literally dead-end and could easily have been added to existing Arriane and Dany chapters, cutting out the fat and cutting down on total pages.

 

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Feast and Dance each are basically stacks of well-written chapters that fail to add up to good books. If the series ever gets finished people probably won't mind but it is a problem now.

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5 hours ago, Loge said:

Feast and Dance each are basically stacks of well-written chapters that fail to add up to good books. If the series ever gets finished people probably won't mind but it is a problem now.

This.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Loge said:

Feast and Dance each are basically stacks of well-written chapters that fail to add up to good books. If the series ever gets finished people probably won't mind but it is a problem now.

There's quite a few not so well written chapters as well that are just bloated with excess text.  It seems very common for successful writers to have bloated writing later on, probably their editors lose the will to challenge them on their writing. 

And even the best writers need good editors.

Edited by argonak

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No, not really. People keep saying it’s better if you combine them or it’s better on a reread, but I can’t imagine that would change my opinion on the books. My main problems concern the filler, the plots that went nowhere, too much focus on new, uninteresting characters, lack of a proper climax, and my belief that those two books completely derailed the story and killed any chance Martin had at finishing.

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On 8/14/2019 at 9:48 PM, miyuki said:

 

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

Yes. I will say I prefer AFfC to ADwD, because I find AFfC more unified thematically. ADwD's first half shares a lot with it, in terms of its thematics, but the second half drifts as the plot begins to move past the AFfC timeframe. Which is fine and necessary, but still, it's why I prefer one to the other.

AFfC and ADwD have several of the most beautiful or atmospheric passages in the whole of the series, as well.

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My main issue on a first read of Feast in particular was just a lot of confusion about who people were, and their significance to the plot. I found a lot of the Dorne stuff boring and confusing. It took me forever to finish it the first time. 

The second time I read it I'd resolved the characters and plotlines in my mind and it was a much more enjoyable read. Still not my fav. A storm of swords is the best/most exciting book in the series imo

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Posted (edited)

Here’s how I’ve come to think of it. If you start with 1996’s A Game of Thrones and read each subsequent GRRM publication, a very satisfying worldbuilding exercise and literary experience begins to unfold:


ACT ONE

1.1 A Game of Thrones
1.2 The Hedge Knight
1.3 A Clash of Kings
1.4 A Storm of Swords


ACT TWO

2.1 Dreamsongs
2.2 The Sworn Sword
2.3 A Feast for Crows
2.4 The Mystery Knight
2.5 A Dance with Dragons
2.6 Fire & Blood
2.7 The World of Ice & Fire
2.8 The Winds of Winter


ACT THREE
(who knows, but GRRM currently promises:)

3.1 Dunk & Egg 4
3.2 A Dream of Spring


Act Two is definitely a MUCH slower build-up than Act One, and of course it remains to be seen just exactly how satisfactory the payoff will be, but it really seems to this reader that each and every one of these writings has been a part of Martin’s progress towards telling the main story.

AFfC was a bit of a bitter pill to swallow after waiting 5 years and expecting another home run of the caliber of ASoS, but upon re-read in the above context I have found it very enjoyable in its own right. I feel like from having read Dreamsongs and the D&E stories and F&B that I better know how to read between the lines, how to connect the dots, what sort of story elements to expect in TWoW. And like others have said, AFfC becomes a satisfactory read once you get what it’s about and you can see how its themes unify and the trajectory of its arcs.

Edited by Falconer

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I think of it as three acts because of George’s original outline, which I’m sure you’ve all seen, so I expect in general

1. War of the Five Kings
2. The Dance of the Dragons (Aegon vs. Daenerys/Dothraki invasion)
3. The Long Night (Others invasion)

I will also mention at this point that the expanded reading order makes the series very daunting to try to get into for new readers, but, I stick by it. Rather than simplifying it, I encourage them to read Act One only, as a very satisfying, self-contained “Original Trilogy” - a masterpiece of literature and of worldbuilding in its own right. That approach not only negates the complaint of the series being too long, but also of the series being unfinished.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ran said:

Yes. I will say I prefer AFfC to ADwD, because I find AFfC more unified thematically. ADwD's first half shares a lot with it, in terms of its thematics, but the second half drifts as the plot begins to move past the AFfC timeframe. Which is fine and necessary, but still, it's why I prefer one to the other.

AFfC and ADwD have several of the most beautiful or atmospheric passages in the whole of the series, as well.

Reading Feast for Crows was like trying to watch a movie whose producers decided it needed to be filmed in the dark. Alien comes to mind and it has been happening for years, the dark lightlessness --- straining to see and hear what was happening only to be bombarded with an extremely loud sound track.

I will agree however that martin trying to weave his short stories into a saga bears/bares merit.

Edited by Clegane'sPup
removed a plural

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On 8/26/2019 at 9:42 PM, Cas Stark said:

Feast is 'bad' because it lacks any coherence or story arc except for Cersei, and because it is a random assortment of chapters, mostly of people no one cares about, doing things that are largely irrelevant. 

How is this true? Feast has The King's Landing power game and faith rising, the introduction of Dorne and all the plots of the South, The Rise of Euron, introduction of the Greyjoys and Yara's struggles. Jaimie's transformation of character and his post war effords (including Blackfish), a glimpse at The Citadel, Brienne and Lady Stoneheart, Arya's arc in Bravos is the core of her character (on where she will end up), the plots of The Vale. How are these not important? In a politcal entity like Westeros, with 9 kingdoms how could you progress the story without knowing what half of them are doing?

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34 minutes ago, Dreadscythe95 said:

Yara's

In mister martin's asoiaf there is no Yara.

There is however an Asha.

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8 hours ago, Clegane'sPup said:

In mister martin's asoiaf there is no Yara.

There is however an Asha.

Oh no you are right.  How could I do this mistake. :bang:

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Chapter for chapter, they're probably better than the early books, but they definitely lack the structure of the early ones. I think it's better to see them as just a part of one epic narrative than stand alone books in their own right. The end of Dance seems to be "well this is about as long as this can go, better cut off here". 

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On 8/14/2019 at 12:48 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. 

Yes, they are good. on the first read feast kinda sucked because there was no tyrion, dany or any other character I was used to. The second read was awesome 

 

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