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Ghost7272

WoIaF versus the Silmarillion

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The World of Ice and Fire has worldbuilding as its primary purpose. The only reason anyone would want to read it is if you first read ASOIAF and wanted more background.

The Silmarillion wasn't about worldbuilding for LOTR. It existed decades before LOTR, and was a stand-alone work in its own right.

As Ser Scot says, it's apples and steaks.

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7 hours ago, Ghost7272 said:

The World of Ice and Fire versus The Silmarillion... which book is superior at worldbuilding?

The Silmarillion without a doubt. I suspect even the authors of TWoIaF wouldn't contest that. Just a feeling.

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9 hours ago, Ghost7272 said:

The World of Ice and Fire versus The Silmarillion... which book is superior at worldbuilding?

Look one post up for the definitive answer to your question.

:)

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8 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

You’re comparing apples to steaks.

Ah, but which one is the apple and which one is the steak?!?

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5 hours ago, DMC said:

Ah, but which one is the apple and which one is the steak?!?

Well that all depends on whether one prefers apples or steaks... 

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2 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Well that all depends on whether one prefers apples or steaks... 

Sometimes I want an apple. Sometimes I want a steak. 

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when people say worldbuilding, do they really mean to say setting, or is it more precisely a reference to the particular rhetorical disclosure and development of that setting?

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Speaking for myself, I'll take the Silmarillion any day over the GRRMarillion. Despite all his gripes about Aragorn's tax policy when it came time for GRRM to put his money where his mouth is he spent more page-space on sex and gossip than he did on actual history and policy.

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I'd say "GRRMarillioN" definitely has more sex, gossip, and policy than The Silmarillion. Pengolodh the Wise is a much more solid chronicler than Yandel and Gyldayn on the history score, though, but he has the slight advantage of being thousands of years old and personal witness to or personally familiar with witnesses to things going all the way back to the forging of the Silmarils.

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@Ran

Technically speaking you are correct. I was just disappointed with Fire & Blood in that:

1) We got nothing on the actual politics of Viserys I's reign

2) Most of Jaehaerys I's reign was covered in a single chapter whereas his regency alone got almost as much page-space 

3) The reforms and renovations of Jaehaerys I get covered in mere paragraphs. I was hoping GRRM would give us actual details about how the pre-Conquest Seven Kingdoms differed in their laws, what and where were the roads/bridges Jaehaerys I built located, and why does KL still stink after Jaehaerys I improved its sanitation. (With regards to the above, there could gave been a footnote saying that no one bothered restoring Jaehaerys I's renovations after the damage caused by the riots and Storming of the Dragonpit. Similarly, there could have been a footnote saying that the bridges were destroyed by both the Blacks and Greens to deny each other their usage, which would have continued the theme of the Dance being between two equally bad factions ruining all of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne's hard work.)

Of course, I have other issues with Fire & Blood beyond the above but I'll bring those up later.

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On 11/4/2019 at 10:06 PM, sologdin said:

when people say worldbuilding, do they really mean to say setting, or is it more precisely a reference to the particular rhetorical disclosure and development of that setting?

I think in the case of the OP's query, they mean more the latter than the former, but I can't say for sure. Certainly, worldbuilding as a concept is about the process of constructing an imaginary setting... yet it seems to me it's impossible to really separate out the construction from the actual revelation of that world. So much of the impression of a setting is bound up in how it's presented.

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The Silmarillion has a map (and more in Unfinished Tales) and Fire & Blood inexplicably does not, which automatically tilts things in favour of The Silmarillion. I also feel the comparison isn't very apt: The Silmarillion is grand mythology which slowly segues into history whilst covering ~30,000 years in 450 pages, whilst WoIaF is just history by itself and takes twice as long to cover 130 years. I really enjoyed Fire & Blood, but it's an optional extra to the ASoIaF saga, whilst The Silmarillion is a crucial piece of the Middle-earth series.

Something interesting in F&B is the sheer mortality rate of noblewomen in Westeros in childbirth, which seems to be several times that of the historical norm (and IIRC GRRM has said in the past that the rate should be lower, as the maesters are more knowledgeable about such matters than real medieval doctors). The Targaryens seem to have a particular issue with it, which is intriguing and may hint at a wider genetic issue.

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@Werthead

The mortality thing is another one of my issues. I personally feel that GRRM kills off female characters through childbirth either because he's too lazy to think of interesting stories for them or because he only conceives of them as walking wombs to give birth to the really important characters. Also, I feel he compressed the Targaryen family tree to a ridiculous degree. Jaehaerys should have had way more grandchildren. Would it have hurt for Prince Aegon to live, or for Daella to have at least one more child, or for Viserra to die riding through White Harbor after marrying a Manderley and having a kid or three?

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