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Ser Leftwich

Have posters actually read the books?

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With many threads posted in the last few years, I have to ask the question "Have the posters actually read the books?"   With a mostly anecdotal opinion, I would have to say, no. Posts are mostly not based on the text, period.  Mostly they are questions about the text based on erroneous ideas/'head-cannon" ideas (things that never actually happened), or are 'What Ifs' which are fan-fic discussions about what would be different, if AAA happened to have not died at time XXX and/or BBBB was left handed therefore the fight would have been different, or if Hoster ate mutton instead of beef at a meal before talking to Rickard, then the discussion was different and then would not have agreed to the marriage then ... AKA fan-fic. 

Analysis of what happened in the text seems to have gone away. Please try to bring it back.

1) Quote the text. (Multiple quotes from different parties/characters can help solidify an argument.)

2) Please discuss what actually happen in the books, not 'head-cannon.' (Just like journalism, multiple quotes of an event/action makes it more likely to have actually happened.)

3) Give back up of quotes/ideas. (There are multiple POVs, it is often unsure as to what actually happened.)

4) Quote the text, again! (Yes, this needs to be repeated, because people don't get it. "Your idea/question/opinion is not clear to most other people on this forum, therefore you have to make it clear in six or seven different ways. Quote the text and explain what you mean.)

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It's been nearly a decade since the release of Dance. During such long span of time, it's easy that some people forget a few particulars or, the Seven forbids, confuse some characterizations with the ones from the tv adaptation. Also, it's not easy to come up with new topics that haven't been discussed before.

In any case, rather than complain about other people's posts not suiting your preferences, I'd recommend you to initiate new ones. I'm sure any new solid discussion backed up with quotes will be welcomed! :)

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Yeah, we have reached the point where pretty much everything has been discussed again and again and again. There is pretty much nothing new or interesting left to explore. We are even way beyond the phase when people start to see fringe conspiracies, connecting dots that aren't even there.

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57 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, we have reached the point where pretty much everything has been discussed again and again and again. There is pretty much nothing new or interesting left to explore. We are even way beyond the phase when people start to see fringe conspiracies, connecting dots that aren't even there.

For what it's worth, discussing the story with people like you can still feel interesting and fulfilling. There's a real satisfaction in discussing your passions with those who are as heavily invested as yourself.

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8 hours ago, Ser Leftwich said:

With many threads posted in the last few years, I have to ask the question "Have the posters actually read the books?"   With a mostly anecdotal opinion, I would have to say, no. Posts are mostly not based on the text, period.  Mostly they are questions about the text based on erroneous ideas/'head-cannon" ideas (things that never actually happened), or are 'What Ifs' which are fan-fic discussions about what would be different, if AAA happened to have not died at time XXX and/or BBBB was left handed therefore the fight would have been different, or if Hoster ate mutton instead of beef at a meal before talking to Rickard, then the discussion was different and then would not have agreed to the marriage then ... AKA fan-fic. 

Analysis of what happened in the text seems to have gone away. Please try to bring it back.

1) Quote the text. (Multiple quotes from different parties/characters can help solidify an argument.)

2) Please discuss what actually happen in the books, not 'head-cannon.' (Just like journalism, multiple quotes of an event/action makes it more likely to have actually happened.)

3) Give back up of quotes/ideas. (There are multiple POVs, it is often unsure as to what actually happened.)

4) Quote the text, again! (Yes, this needs to be repeated, because people don't get it. "Your idea/question/opinion is not clear to most other people on this forum, therefore you have to make it clear in six or seven different ways. Quote the text and explain what you mean.)

The problem with quoting text is that it is often misleading or downright wrong. That's the beauty of it, actually; with a PoV you don't get actual literal truth in the text, not even in the narrated text, just what the particular PoV believes is the truth. And just like with the Sealord's cat, this causes readers to assume things based on what they are told, rather than what their eyes see, their ears hear . . .

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1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

The problem with quoting text is that it is often misleading or downright wrong. That's the beauty of it, actually; with a PoV you don't get actual literal truth in the text, not even in the narrated text, just what the particular PoV believes is the truth. And just like with the Sealord's cat, this causes readers to assume things based on what they are told, rather than what their eyes see, their ears hear . . .

I completely agree. The subtly of multiple PoVs makes it so that we as readers can sometimes actually get verification (or exclusion) of an event because more than one PoV can confirm or deny that something happened. Or sometimes we still can't even with multiple PoVs.  If it is unsure, posters should try to convey that in their questions.

All I am hoping for is better formed questions, trying to take out some bias and assumptions.

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Human curiosity is not intrigued by discussing things that already happen. It is intrigued by things that could happen , things we don´t know. Thats why people like to discuss about possible theories , what if situations and so instead of discussing something we already know about.

 

Anyway this is ASOIAF discussion section , people are free to discuss anything they want ( as long as it doesn´t break forum rules), if you don´t like it just leave it and find one you like , or create one of your own.

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1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

with a PoV you don't get actual literal truth in the text, not even in the narrated text, just what the particular PoV believes is the truth. And just like with the Sealord's cat, this causes readers to assume things based on what they are told, rather than what their eyes see, their ears hear . . .

That would be the Rashomon effect but to be fair it's fairly underused. We never see a POV character see something else then what was happening, just them focusing on different details. Like we have Sam and Jon's conversation told from 2 different POV's but it is the same thing just with the focus on different things. It would be fun if in TWOW or ADOS we see characters seeing actually different things due to their own predispositions.

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So the answer to almost any “why did” question can always be “Because the author wrote it that way to serve the plot or make a statement of some kind. “


That’s cool and all but the characters in this body of work are typically pretty complex and the fantasy world they live in is equally complex.  
 

I feel that Why Did questions help readers to  understand the setting , character motivations, and events of the novels. 

The “because GRRM” answer is unsatisfying for many.  Sometimes the threads of the type being discussed here generate legitimate literary analysis, with quoted text and everything.  
 

I mean let’s approach this from the opposite extreme .  If every single thread in here was a thesis-length, dissertation-quality analysis of why the author of the actions of a fictional character set in a nonexistent world written about in the twentieth century should be excoriated for violating the presumptive sensibilities of twenty first century readers ... this forum would see far less activity and be a decidedly drearier demense-  albeit  one possessed of a higher standard of literary excellence. 

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2 hours ago, Reekazoid said:

I mean let’s approach this from the opposite extreme .  If every single thread in here was a thesis-length, dissertation-quality analysis of why the author of the actions of a fictional character set in a nonexistent world written about in the twentieth century should be excoriated for violating the presumptive sensibilities of twenty first century readers ... this forum would see far less activity and be a decidedly drearier demense-  albeit  one possessed of a higher standard of literary excellence. 

You made some very good points... and so did @Ser Leftwich and @Floki of the Ironborn. And it’s down to personal preferences, at least to a degree. For instance, I can’t stand “what if” threads... mind you, by “can’t stand” I mean only that if I see a thread header like that, I won’t even bother reading the OP. “What if Ned told Robert about the twincest?”; “What if Littlefinger didn’t betray Ned?”; “What if Sansa pushed Joffrey off the battlements?”; “What if Bran had never saw Jaime and Cersei?”. You get the gist. Because the answer will invariably be, “we would be reading a different story”. 

And sure, the fact that we haven’t had a new book in almost 9 years plays a part. Most things have been discussed unto death. That said, though, there are still interesting convos to be had... there’s still much that we don’t know, much that hasn’t been confirmed, etc. And even if some of these topics have been done to death, like the Pink Letter, Jon’s parentage, and others, it is still possible to have interesting discussions about them. @three-eyed monkey had a few threads recently on old subjects that were great and interesting. More interesting is that he’s gonna be buying many drinks to yours truly, but that’s a different topic. :P

@The Fattest Leech had a very interesting thread about the NW a while back, and @sweetsunray too, about the Others. @Lyanna<3Rhaegar had an interesting discussion going even more recently. But the main problem is, these are few and far between, and it’s nearly impossible nowadays for any thread to not turn into a moronic Jon/Stark hate thread. Pretty disheartening IMO. 

 

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30 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

You made some very good points... and so did @Ser Leftwich and @Floki of the Ironborn. And it’s down to personal preferences, at least to a degree. For instance, I can’t stand “what if” threads... mind you, by “can’t stand” I mean only that if I see a thread header like that, I won’t even bother reading the OP. “What if Ned told Robert about the twincest?”; “What if Littlefinger didn’t betray Ned?”; “What if Sansa pushed Joffrey off the battlements?”; “What if Bran had never saw Jaime and Cersei?”. You get the gist. Because the answer will invariably be, “we would be reading a different story”. 

And sure, the fact that we haven’t had a new book in almost 9 years plays a part. Most things have been discussed unto death. That said, though, there are still interesting convos to be had... there’s still much that we don’t know, much that hasn’t been confirmed, etc. And even if some of these topics have been done to death, like the Pink Letter, Jon’s parentage, and others, it is still possible to have interesting discussions about them. @three-eyed monkey had a few threads recently on old subjects that were great and interesting. More interesting is that he’s gonna be buying many drinks to yours truly, but that’s a different topic. :P

@The Fattest Leech had a very interesting thread about the NW a while back, and @sweetsunray too, about the Others. @Lyanna<3Rhaegar had an interesting discussion going even more recently. But the main problem is, these are few and far between, and it’s nearly impossible nowadays for any thread to not turn into a moronic Jon/Stark hate thread. Pretty disheartening IMO. 

 

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the 'what if' threads. I do think they are spawned from a lack of new info though. The most frustrating thing to me, as you said, is every thread turning into a Stark hate thread. 

I don't mind discussing things that have already been discussed though, especially if it's been long enough ago that I don't remember much of the previous discussion :rofl:

 

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

You made some very good points... and so did @Ser Leftwich and @Floki of the Ironborn. And it’s down to personal preferences, at least to a degree. For instance, I can’t stand “what if” threads... mind you, by “can’t stand” I mean only that if I see a thread header like that, I won’t even bother reading the OP. “What if Ned told Robert about the twincest?”; “What if Littlefinger didn’t betray Ned?”; “What if Sansa pushed Joffrey off the battlements?”; “What if Bran had never saw Jaime and Cersei?”. You get the gist. Because the answer will invariably be, “we would be reading a different story”. 

I like what if threads only, because often they can help you to understand the world better (and sometimes the characters as well- to me it's interesting to hear other ppl's opinion, about how certain character would have behaved, if the situation had been different). And for me the world is just a super interesting and important element of asoiaf and helps you to understand the charaters and story better. But then I understand, that ppl, who have been analyzing the books for years, already know everything about the world. Or at least all the basics.

Edited by Nagini's Neville

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15 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I don't mind discussing things that have already been discussed though, especially if it's been long enough ago that I don't remember much of the previous discussion :rofl:

And if you have the discussion with different ppl it becomes a new one and also it's just fun for the ones discussing- maybe not so much for the readers. 

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, we have reached the point where pretty much everything has been discussed again and again and again. There is pretty much nothing new or interesting left to explore.

No that is not true. There are plenty of new things to explore, its just some people don't want to go there for whatever reasons.

There is a whole new dark layer of ASOIAF never explored before ... for example:

Dark Side spoilers ... may break some hearts for those who have worked hard on it over the years, sorry in advance - HOTU

Spoiler

House of the UNDYING ... "child of storm" ... you guys think the visions of HOTU is about Daenerys Stormborn?? HA!
Feed into your Dark Sides and re-explore the HOTU visions on your own!

. . . three heads has the dragon . . . the ghost chorus yammered inside her skull with never a lip moving, never a breath stirring the still blue air. . . . mother of dragons . . . child of storm . . . The whispers became a swirling song. . . . three fires must you light . . . one for life and one for death and one to love . . . Her own heart was beating in unison to the one that floated before her, blue and corrupt . . . three mounts must you ride . . . one to bed and one to dread and one to love . . . The voices were growing louder, she realized, and it seemed her heart was slowing, and even her breath. . . . three treasons will you know . . . once for blood and once for gold and once for love . . .

Like I said ... plenty of new things to discover.

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36 minutes ago, Nagini's Neville said:

I like what if threads only, because often they can help you to understand the world better (and sometimes the characters as well- to me it's interesting to hear other ppl's opinion, about how certain character would have behaved, if the situation had been different). And for me the world is just a super interesting and important element of asoiaf and helps you to understand the charaters and story better. But then I understand, that ppl, who have been analyzing the books for years, already know everything about the world. Or at least all the basics.

I don’t see it that way... because, really, think about it... “what if” threads don’t really give you actual info on the story or characters or anything. They only inform you about what poster X or Y think about the story and the characters. I think I do see where you’re getting at though, which is to say, with more people weighing in about different things, you do get a broader array of opinions and therefore you’ve got more to draw on and form an opinion of your own. I still find these threads to be borderline annoying and never read them. :dunno:

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9 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

For what it's worth, discussing the story with people like you can still feel interesting and fulfilling. There's a real satisfaction in discussing your passions with those who are as heavily invested as yourself.

Sure, and the best discussions seem to come about when people had the time to reread a book once or twice, i.e. mostly 1-3 years or so after it originally came out (or after they read it).

I'd say it was this way with AFfC and with ADwD.

Original reactions/discussion focus far too much on the actual plot and have people still cope with how the new book changed their expectance of the overall plot.

For example, if you check the discussions about Aegon shortly after ADwD came out then there was a pretty strong section of the fandom trying to view him only as some sort of failure that would quickly die - it took quite some time until most, if not all, people acknowledged that he might be a very crucial plot element for the remainder of the story. A similar thing happened with Euron back in AFfC.

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In general, (pun intended) topics can be classified as

  1. Which one is the better fighter: x or y?
  2. What if ... ?
  3. X was justified/not justified (aka morality threads)
  4. Theories
    1. for potential answers to mysteries
    2. rethinking a mystery people believe to have been answered already
  5. Predictions

I found the first 3 of interest mostly at a time when I began to post here, though I leaned towards the moral-threads over the "fighter" and "what if" threads. But the more I reread, the less I cared about that, and became far more interested in dissecting George's writing style (took about a year of posting). At some point your mind is made up after discussing several characters and their plots, one way or the other, and one just moves on to another level, a meta-level, to expand the understanding of the story. Of course there are always those readers who are stuck forever in the moral thread posting to announce how much they hate the Starks.  ;)

 

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33 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I don’t see it that way... because, really, think about it... “what if” threads don’t really give you actual info on the story or characters or anything. They only inform you about what poster X or Y think about the story and the characters. I think I do see where you’re getting at though, which is to say, with more people weighing in about different things, you do get a broader array of opinions and therefore you’ve got more to draw on and form an opinion of your own. I still find these threads to be borderline annoying and never read them. :dunno:

yeah, I just think you probably know the books much better than me, I have not consistently reread them over the years and just recently started reading posts/theories online, so others' opinions are still new, interesting and surprising to me and often give me stuff to think about, that I hadn't considered before. But "what if" threads can be annoying - I totally get your point, especially if the scenario doesn't give you readers' opinions about the world or the characters like in the scenarios you've mentioned. More interesting scenarios for me would be "how would have Ygritte reacted, if Jon hadn't given in, when it came to sleeping with her? Would she have sold him out to Mance?" "How would Ned have done/behaved on the wall?" "What would Sandor have done, if Sansa just refused to/wasn't able to sing?" "how would have Cat acted towards jon, if she knew he was ned's nephew?" 

Of course those scenarios don't truly give you more info on the characters, but it's interesting to me to see, how others perceive them. but I get how this can be annoying, if you read that over and over again, especially, if those threads escalate so often into irrational hate threads, without any textual backup.

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Posted (edited)

It looks like every regular on this forum has read every book in the series as well as the extra volumes.  I have.  People will come to different conclusions and will naturally have different opinions.  We are all biased to some degree.  I like Daenerys Targaryen and most of the people in her story arc.  I don't like the Starks, the north, and the  story arcs involving them.  

Edited by Prince Rhaego's Soul

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DISAGREE that there are many posters here who have not read the books.

AGREE that there is alot of head-canon, and inability to distinguish to distinguish favored theories from what is actually in the text.

DISAGREE that there should be rules about quoting.  Let the discussion monitor itself.

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