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GRRM's draft of the last two Brienne chapters recovered from Russian translation

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In the first edition of Russian AFFC (published in Feb. 2007), the translation of the last two Brienne chapters is based on an earlier draft, thus allowing us to see GRRM's initial take of Brienne's storyline. And there are HUGE differences!

Basically, in the Russian version Brienne VII and VIII are one chapter, and many plots like Brienne fighting Rorge & Biter, Thoros's talk with Brienne are not present. There are also some interesting details about BWB's plan, including monologue of a Red Wedding survivor. Last but not the least, Brienne's cliffhanger moment is also entirely different.

So let's take a look at this not-so-well-known draft chapter from Russia. The following quotes are all translated from Russian, using sentences from GRRM's dictionary whenever possible, in order to "reconstruct" his original writing. My translation is mostly based on Flighty's translation back in 2013 and only has a few small improvements. You can also view the original Russian version here, and please tell me if you find any translation errors!

The chapter begins with "They came upon the first corpse a mile from the crossroads" and the first half is almost the same as what we read in AFFC Brienne VII except in a few tiny places. The only not-so-tiny difference in this part is the exchange with Willow:

 

Quote

 

“She’s dead,” the boy said. “The lions hanged her.”
“And who hanged all the others?” asked Ser Hyle Hunt. “You have here gallows grow like mushrooms.”
“The other outlaws,” explained the girl Willow. “By which road did you come?”
“Along the river, from Saltpans,” said Brienne.
“Then you saw it. These hanged men have killed and burned there. Only there were more of them.” Willow was staring at her, in a way that she knew well. “If you’re a lady, why are you wearing chainmail?”

 

Compare with the version in English book:

 

Quote

 

“She’s dead,” the boy said. “The lions hanged her.”
“Hanging seems your favorite sport in these parts,” said Ser Hyle Hunt. “Would that I had some land hereabouts. I’d plant hemp, sell rope, and make my fortune.”
“All these children,” Brienne said to the girl Willow. “Are they your … sisters? Brothers? Kin and cousins?”
“No.” Willow was staring at her, in a way that she knew well. “They’re just … I don’t know … the sparrows bring them here, sometimes. Others find their own way. If you’re a woman, why are you dressed up like a man?”

 

The real interesting thing happens when Brienne heard someone is coming at the inn. And the outlaws coming were not Rorge & Biter...

 

Quote

 

They are not his sons. Stannis told it true, that day he met with Renly. Joffrey and Tommen were never Robert’s sons. This boy, though …

“There's nothing to stare at me,” said Gendry.

“You do not understand. Maybe you…” But then she heard Dog barking, loud and frantic. “Put out the fire,” she told Gendry. “We have guests.” Without looking whether he obeyed her or not, she took up her sword and came to the door of the smithy. The first riders came splashing through the puddles into the yard, two in a row. Beneath the patter of the rain and Dog’s barking, she could hear the faint clink of swords and mail from beneath their ragged cloaks. Bending down behind a broken cart, she began to count them. Lightning sparkled when she counted to twenty, illuminating a shiny dog’s head with pressed ears and steel teeth shining.

It can't be the Hound, but the one who wears his helmet is probably no less dangerous than the real one. Remembering what she saw at Saltpans, she unsheathed Oathkeeper. The children, she thought. The thunder boomed, and in the following silence she heard the splashes behind her back. “To arms,” she said quietly. “It’s the outlaws.”

“So are we.” Turning around, Brienne had only time to see the club a heartbeat before it fell.

The lightning struck again, this time in her head. Rain, the inn, the riders, Gendry…the darkness absorbed everything and then sucked it into its funnel.

The rest was a nightmare.

She was in Renly’s tent again, seeing how the candles are guttering out, feeling the wind from nowhere, shivering at the sudden cold.

“Cold,” Renly said, and a shadow moved without a man to cast it, and the king’s blood came washing through the green steel of his gorget.

She was twelve again, sweating in a silk gown, waiting to meet the boy arranged for her to marry. They’d never met before, but everyone was saying he’s a brave boy and sure to be a famous champion when he becomes a knight. He was older than Brienne, but father had told her it was even better. He was approaching, holding a rose in his hand, red as his hair. When he saw Brienne, his face went red too. She tried to greet him as she had been instructed, to thank him for his visit and invite him to the castle, but the words stuck in her throat. Finally she managed to ask whether the rose is meant for her. “I’ve brought it to my bride,” he answered, “but I see a cow. Do cows eat flowers? Take it then.” He tossed the rose at her feet and galloped away. The griffins on his cloak rippled behind his shoulders, and her lord father was sending curses to his back.

Again she saw the ruined castle at the Whispers, that she’d been dreaming so much lately, and once again she was fighting the Bloody Mummers, but now there weren’t three of them but the whole thirty. As soon as she killed one, two more crawled out of the well. After Shagwell, Timeon and Pyg came Richard Farrow, Big Ben Bushy, Will the Stork and the others, even Mark Mullendore with his monkey. When she killed them, the bloody-red roses grew from their wounds and reached out to her with thorns.

She was riding through a gloomy wood, laying facedown across a horse with her wrists and ankles lashed together. The air was damp, the ground cloaked in mist. Her head pounded with every step. She could hear voices, but all she could see was the earth beneath the horse’s hooves. When the shafts of pale dawn light started to slant through the trees some people dragged her down from the horse, put her on her feet, slipped a noose about her neck, and tossed the other end of the rope over a thick limb.

“She’s waking up,” said someone, a girl, judging by the voice.

I am looking for a girl, Brienne remembered. A highborn maid of three-and-ten, with blue eyes and auburn hair. But the girl before her was nothing like that. Very tall, thin as a skeleton, and much older. Brown hair, brown eyes, plain. Willow, six years older. “You’re the sister, ” Brienne said. It was painful to talk, thunder rolled over her head. “The innkeep.”

“Yes, I’m Long Jeyne Heddle. So what?”

“My companions,” said Brienne, barely moving her tongue. Someone stuffed her mouth with wet wool. Maybe she’s still dreaming? “Septon Meribald is an honest, holy man. Podrick is just a boy, and Ser Hyle has never harmed you. And Dog. What did you do with Dog?” Only then did she realize she had not heard the barking for a long time.

“The dog is fine and goes upon its way, so do the others,” said the girl. “We need only you.”

“Do you think we would harm a septon’s dog?” asked the one-eyed man in a rusted helm. “Who do you take us for?”

“Robbers and murderers.” Brienne tried to slip free from the ropes, but the effort only made her headache worse. “I saw the helm when the lightning flashed…the snarling dog’s head.”

“You can have another look, if you wish,” said the brawny men with a hard face of a soldier. His thick brown beard was spangled with raindrops. He was clad in rusted rings. Longsword and dirk hung on a studded leather belt. Top of all that he wore a torn, dirty yellow cloak. Holding a helm in the crook of his arm, he put in onto his head and stared at Brienne through the eyeholes. “That’s the last thing you see in this world, traitor. If you believe in gods, pray to them.”

I will not beg, Brienne told herself, but the desperate will to live has driven her to address the girl, Long Jeyne. She is too young to be so hard.…

“I was a guest under your roof. We broke bread with your sister.”

Jeyne was untouched. “After the Red Wedding guest right don’t mean much in the riverlands.”

“Yes… I know about the Red Wedding.”

“Do you?” A aged northerner in a sheepskin cloak moved closer to Brienne. “I doubt it. Only those who were there know. It was raining then… just as now. The Freys put up tents for us, three huge feast tents. And they rolled out casks of mead, ale, and wine. We had ridden a long way, soaked and frozen, so we crowded in those tents, to get warm and have a drink… and the Freys were drinking with us, and laughing and singing and gambling. Outside the rain was lashing down, and it was warm and cozy in the tent, and the Freys were rolling up more and more casks…”

Tears were streaming down the northerner’s face. “Gods forgive me. Ale on an empty belly went straight to my head, and the Freys wouldn’t stop proposing toasts - to Lord Edmure, to the Young Wolf, to Queen Jeyne… Lord Bolton placed his men around the edges of the camp, so that no foe would take us unawares. It was hot and stuffy, I remember, everyone was jostling around those casks. I felt an urge to take a piss so I went into the rain, plodded down to the river, and relived myself in the reeds. Then I slipped in the mud and fell – that saved my life. So I lay there, listening to the music from the castles, drums, horns, pipes, over the water the sound was so clear. I must have dozed off then, for it was the screams that woke me up. I clambered up the bank, and what did I see – the tents were all brought down and burning. All three, and there were hundreds of people inside. I saw, and it was the Freys who’d set fire to them and now were shooting at every bulge on the canvas. A few escaped and took the fight, and it was Bolton’s men who came slashing at them, along with the Freys. That's when I realized we were doomed. I hid in the reeds, may the gods forgive me. And the whole time the music was playing, and so loud, louder than the screams of men burning alive. So don’t tell me about the Red Wedding. Nobody can know except those who have heard this music.”

His bitter voice made Brienne shiver. “I’m sorry for all who died there, but what does it have to do with me? I wasn’t anywhere near.”

“It’s your masters the Lannisters who made that mess,” said the one-eyed man. “With the Boltons and the Freys.”

“They are not my masters.”

“Of course not. They just gave you this sword for no reason. And the parchment with the seal of the boy king, too.”

“The name of this sword is Oathkeeper. I’m looking for…” She almost said my sister, but something told her she shouldn’t lie to these people. “A highborn maid of three-and-ten. She has blue eyes and auburn hair.”

“We are looking for her too,” said another man, younger than the others. His voice was frosted with the accents of the north. “We know who you are, Lady Brienne. We know who you are looking for and whom you serve. You’d never believe how many friends we have – at Duskendale, Maidenpool, King’s Landing, even at the Twins. When the news about your quest reached us…it's no coincidence that you're standing here with a noose about your neck, milady. You shall answer for your crimes.”

“Crimes? What have I done?”

“You are a traitor and an oathbreaker.”

“That’s not true!” All her life she’s strived only for one thing – to be a perfect knight, valiant and true. “To whom have I been false?”

“To her.”

Everyone parted, and the grey-cloaked woman came forward, with only her eyes visible under the hood.

“Are you the Silent Sister?” Brienne spoke. “Then I beg you – send my bones to Evenfall, to my lord father…” The last courage has left her. Silent Sisters are the handmaidens of the Stranger, the servants of the death itself.

“Bugger you lord father,” said the man in the yellow cloak. “You’ll rot with the others. As for m’lady, sometimes she’s called the Silent Sister, but she has the other names as well – Stoneheart, Mother Merciless, The Hangwoman…”

The grey woman grasped her neck with a milk-white hand, as if she meant to throttle herself. Instead she spoke . . . if these sounds could be called a speech. The halting voice seemed to come not from her mouth, but from her throat.

“She’s hard to understand without a habit,” said the man in the yellow cloak. “She’s asking do you remember her.”

“Remember? But I…”

The woman lowered her hood and unwound the grey wool scarf from her face. Her hair was dry and brittle. Her skin was the color of sour milk with corpse spots. One cheek was rotten through, revealing the teeth inside the hole, but that was not the worst part. Her whole face, from eyes to jaw, was torn sharply by the claws of some beast. Black oil oozed from the unhealed wounds. She took up her throat again, with her fingers pinched a monstrous scar on it, and squeezed out some more sounds.“She’s asking do you recognize her now.”

Brienne nodded, shocked by the terrible, monstrous, unbelievable sight. She was so beautiful… Mother have mercy, what did they do to her? Brienne couldn’t look at her but didn’t dare to take her eyes away.

“Lady Catelyn,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “What… what did they do to you?”

“They killed her,” said the northerner. Brienne has never heard so much sorrow in a man’s voice. “Slashed her throat from ear to ear, so the head hardly held in place.”

“Death and striving for a noble cause,” muttered Long Jeyne, “they don’t mean so much as they used to.”

“When we found her by the river Lady Catelyn was three days dead. Thoros said it had been too long and refused to give her the kiss of life, so Lord Beric put his lips to hers instead, and the flame of life passed from him to her, and our brotherhood broke… but the war goes on.”

“Enough, Harwin. Do we mean to hang the ugly bitch or talk her to death?” The one-eyed man snatched the end of the rope from the other outlaw and gave a yank. The rope dug into skin, lifting Brienne upward. If this is another dream, it is time for me to awaken. If this is real, it is time for me to die. From somewhere afar she heard the clapping of wings. The carrion crows are coming to feast at her corpse. About a dozen already are circling over her head, but for carrion crows these birds are too large. Ravens, smiled Brienne. How odd. No, it is a dream, and now she will awake.

 

 

So that's the end, which completely blows my mind! A simple summary of the differences:

  • Brienne didn't meet Rorge & Biter. It's unclear who raided Saltpans. Probably still Rorge, but could also be Lemoncloak. If it's still Rorge raided Saltpans, then Lemoncloak probably killed him off stage and claimed Hound's helm.

  • Gendry knocked Brienne out.

  • Brienne's face and body didn't get hurt.

  • Pod and Ser Hyle were released together with Septon Meribald. Them, Thoros and Gendry didn't appear in the second half, as we've seen in AFFC Brienne VIII.

  • Brienne didn't dream of Jaime in her fevre dream.

  • Long Jeyne Heddle was unkind to her since there was no Brienne saving the children action.

  • There's no Thoros's talking about the fall of BWB, only a single description "our brotherhood broke...but the war goes on".

  • A survivor talked about the details of Red Wedding. Bolton men were arranged around the camp as guards.

  • According to Harwin, BWB have friends at Duskendale, Maidenpool, King’s Landing, and even the Twins. They heard Brienne was searching for Sansa and captured her intentionally.

  • Lady Stoneheart's face was more terrible in the draft.

  • Lady Stoneheart didn't have Robb's crown.

  • LSH didn't ask to have Jaime killed.

  • Brienne didn't have the choice of sword or noose. And she only wanted to die in the end. It seems she was to be saved by Bran/Bloodraven.

All in all, this chapter reads like a parallel world of "what if Lemoncloak return to the Inn before Rorge?"


Thanks to Flighty at jaimebrienne.org for translation, and Narwen at 7kingdoms.ru for information.

Edited by zionius

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BTW, this chapter was also discussed here a decade ago, but that thread seems to be lost. I wonder if someone saved it.

Edited by zionius

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17 minutes ago, zionius said:

In the first edition of Russian AFFC (published in Feb. 2007), the translation of the last two Brienne chapters is based on an earlier draft, thus allowing us to see GRRM's initial take of Brienne's storyline. And there are HUGE differences!

Basically, in the Russian version Brienne VII and VIII are one chapter, and many plots like Brienne fighting Rorge & Biter, Thoros's talk with Brienne are not present. There are also some interesting details about BWB's plan, including monologue of a Red Wedding survivor. Last but not the least, Brienne's cliffhanger moment is also entirely different.

So let's take a look at this not-so-well-known draft chapter from Russia. The following quotes are all translated from Russian, using sentences from GRRM's dictionary whenever possible, in order to "reconstruct" his original writing. My translation is mostly based on Flighty's translation back in 2013 and only has a few small improvements. You can also view the original Russian version here, and please tell me if you find any translation errors!

The chapter begins with "They came upon the first corpse a mile from the crossroads" and the first half is almost the same as what we read in AFFC Brienne VII except in a few tiny places. The only not-so-tiny difference in this part is the exchange with Willow:

 

Compare with the version in English book:

 

The real interesting thing happens when Brienne heard someone is coming at the inn. And the outlaws coming were not Rorge & Biter...

 

 

So that's the end, which completely blows my mind! A simple summary of the differences:

  • Brienne didn't meet Rorge & Biter. It's unclear who raided Saltpans. Probably still Rorge, but could also be Lemoncloak. If it's still Rorge raided Saltpans, then Lemoncloak probably killed him off stage and claimed Hound's helm.

  • Gendry knocked Brienne out.

  • Brienne's face and body didn't get hurt.

  • Pod and Ser Hyle were released together with Septon Meribald. Them, Thoros and Gendry didn't appear in the second half, as we've seen in AFFC Brienne VIII.

  • Brienne didn't dream of Jaime in her fevre dream.

  • Long Jeyne Heddle was unkind to her since there was no Brienne saving the children action.

  • There's no Thoros's talking about the fall of BWB, only a single description "our brotherhood broke...but the war goes on".

  • A survivor talked about the details of Red Wedding. Bolton men were arranged around the camp as guards.

  • According to Harwin, BWB have friends at Duskendale, Maidenpool, King’s Landing, and even the Twins. They heard Brienne was searching for Sansa and captured her intentionally.

  • Lady Stoneheart's face was more terrible in the draft.

  • Lady Stoneheart didn't have Robb's crown.

  • LSH didn't ask to have Jaime killed.

  • Brienne didn't have the choice of sword or noose. And she only wanted to die in the end. It seems she was to be saved by Bran/Bloodraven.

All in all, this chapter reads like a parallel world of "what if Lemoncloak return to the Inn before Rorge?"


Thanks to Flighty at jaimebrienne.org for translation, and Narwen at 7kingdoms.ru for information.

Interesting how GRRM got rid of the Red Wedding survivor. Was it because it'd be too obvious that House Bolton and House Frey were complicit in the massacre together?

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This rewrite is fairly typical with GRRM, increasing the stakes and drama in chapters, and in particular focusing on choices of characters and their consequences. Brienne is pretty much a passive figure in all of this, as compared to what GRRM actually did with it.

As to the northerner, yes, I think George probably decided he was unnecessary.

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1 minute ago, Ran said:

This rewrite is fairly typical with GRRM, increasing the stakes and drama in chapters, and in particular focusing on choices of characters and their consequences. Brienne is pretty much a passive figure in all of this, as compared to what GRRM actually did with it.

As to the northerner, yes, I think George probably decided he was unnecessary.

Admittedly, it’s interesting to know how Roose managed to avoid his men getting drunk without it looking suspicious.

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43 minutes ago, Ran said:

This rewrite is fairly typical with GRRM, increasing the stakes and drama in chapters, and in particular focusing on choices of characters and their consequences. Brienne is pretty much a passive figure in all of this, as compared to what GRRM actually did with it.

As to the northerner, yes, I think George probably decided he was unnecessary.

But how did an early draft end up getting published? Did GRRM submit it for publication before changing his mind?

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40 minutes ago, Ran said:

This rewrite is fairly typical with GRRM, increasing the stakes and drama in chapters, and in particular focusing on choices of characters and their consequences. Brienne is pretty much a passive figure in all of this, as compared to what GRRM actually did with it.

As to the northerner, yes, I think George probably decided he was unnecessary.

We get a similar thing for the Dany plot in the original outline or the differences between the Tyrion and Dany sample chapters from ADwD we heard about in the 2000s and the final versions as well as many of the themes George used and used again in his earlier, for instance the 'freaks underground' motif we have in 'Dark, Dark Are the Tunnels' and 'In the House of the Worm' in very different degrees of complexity. Basically the latter story is a more complex rewrite of the former.

For ASoIaF we can definitely conclude that George's constant rewrites are what make the book series as complex and interesting as it is. If he were actually rush through the novels we would get a basic plot sceleton which wouldn't be particularly interesting.

That said, what we can take from those draft chapters is that we can expect the outlaws in the Riverlands to play and important and very crucial role in the future in destroying the Lannisters and Freys in the Riverlands - something which is there in a much more subtle degree in the finished book.

Quite a few readers don't really seem to grasp what George wants to do with Catelyn - who, as a person actually resurrected from the dead, counts pretty much as a (semi-)divine figure, some kind of avenging angel anti-Jesus. That is what he tried to establish by the fact that the outlaws all convert to R'hllor in droves ... because that's a religion that works.

48 minutes ago, James Steller said:

Admittedly, it’s interesting to know how Roose managed to avoid his men getting drunk without it looking suspicious.

I guess we might get further insight into the mechanics of the Red Wedding later on, when the Freys are taken out. The idea of there being outlaw spies at the Twins themselves is noteworthy, too - something I expect to turn out to be true in the future books as well. After all, not only are the Freys a quarrelsome lot, but there are living servants and smallfolk at the Twins, too, and very few people there should be generally happy what their masters pulled off. Even those who didn't lose friends and family in the bloodbath.

8 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

But how did an early draft end up getting published? Did GRRM submit it for publication before changing his mind?

I'd expect that they handed out an earlier draft to start the translation. Apparently there are also considerable minor differences between the English and American editions of some of the books, based on the fact that up until AFfC the books were published earlier in the UK than in the US - meaning last minute minor corrections/changes wouldn't have necessarily found their way into the published version.

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57 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

But how did an early draft end up getting published? Did GRRM submit it for publication before changing his mind?

Similar things happened on F&B, when various translation are all based on an earlier draft, so they could publish at the same day as the English book.

Eg. in the following three translations, Grand Maester Clegg all came to KL "20 years later", but that would cause conflict with later story, so in the English version he came to KL "many years later".

https://imgur.com/a/6Xcjkdr

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What zionius said. The general idea when George sent the drafts was that some or even most chapters he sent were "locked in", but then by the final draft he had changed his mind, or discovered an error or what have you. And then the foreign publishers, in some cases, didn't have time to match their translated text to the final draft, or didn't care to push their release date, or simply did not care too much about it at all. So you get these subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences.

One of the weird things about publishing is that there's no "versioning" system used by big publishers. If there was a place where the main publisher could push corrections and updates to foreign rights holders, it'd be relatively easy to keep all these texts consistent. I mean, even internally, Random House does not have such a thing for their own use. They're still operating like it's the early 20th century in some respects (this is not just RH, it's all the big publishers.)

Edited by Ran

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8 minutes ago, Ran said:

One of the weird things about publishing is that there's no "versioning" system used by big publishers. If there was a place where the main publisher could push corrections and updates to foreign rights holders, it'd be relatively easy to keep all these texts consistent. I mean, even internally, Random House does not have such a thing for their own use. They're still operating like it's the early 20th century in some respects (this is not just RH, it's all the big publishers.)

Yes, I've done translation work for the GOT S1-8 guidebook, and the proof file they sent me, half a year after the book is published, is completely different from the real book. It is clearly written before S8 aired and contains zero info of s8. So i downloaded a pirated book instead to start my translation XD

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Does anyone else think that Bran talking through ravens to interact with the story is too Harry Potterish for what we expect from ASOIAF? I am glad that GRRM removed that deus ex machina in this instant. People are very quick to jump to the conclusion that Theon will be saved by the same deux ex machina but they do not pay attention to why GRRM removed it from Brienne in the first place: because it is bad writing. It is much better to give some agency to the characters. Even if GRRM might have thought that option for saving Theon, I think he will find another way as it happened with Brienne.

This also points another major problem with Bran. If GRRM's original intentions for the ways Bran impacting the story are some game-breaking deux ex machina which he can't put into the story, how will bRaN tHE bRoKeN have the bEsT StoRy?

Edited by Mithras

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52 minutes ago, Mithras said:

Does anyone else think that Bran talking through ravens to interact with the story is too Harry Potterish for what we expect from ASOIAF?

Not really. I mean, we've had Mormont's talking raven since AGoT, which may or may not be Bloodraven. 

Edited by Takiedevushkikakzvezdy

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2 hours ago, Mithras said:

Does anyone else think that Bran talking through ravens to interact with the story is too Harry Potterish for what we expect from ASOIAF? I am glad that GRRM removed that deus ex machina in this instant. People are very quick to jump to the conclusion that Theon will be saved by the same deux ex machina but they do not pay attention to why GRRM removed it from Brienne in the first place: because it is bad writing. It is much better to give some agency to the characters. Even if GRRM might have thought that option for saving Theon, I think he will find another way as it happened with Brienne.

This also points another major problem with Bran. If GRRM's original intentions for the ways Bran impacting the story are some game-breaking deux ex machina which he can't put into the story, how will bRaN tHE bRoKeN have the bEsT StoRy?

I think he left it out here, because Bran's voyage to Bloodraven's cave was cut from aFfC entirely and moved towards aDwD. I do suspect that he will use and intends to use Bran to intervene in other POVs, such as Theon's at the Ice Lakes and Jaime in front of the slender weirwood at Riverrun after the Red Wedding 2.0. George set up Bran in Theon's plot by having him interact already in Theon's chapters at WF in aDwD. There's no reason to believe Bran will cease doing that via a weirwood on an island in the middle of an iced lake, especially since Theon's last interaction with Bran via weirwood at WF was about Theon's wish to die mercifully and be free from Ramsay. It also makes sense in Jaime's arc, since Bran's first dream awakening follows from Jaime's act to throw him from the tower and this was a nightmate that haunted Bran as far as aSoS. The event triangle of Bran-Jaime and Cat was set up in aCoK in Jaime's prison cell at Riverrun, when Jaime confesses freely what he did to Cat, the same day she learned that Bran and Rickon were dead. Add Jaime realizing who was behind the catspaw (Joffrey), Cat's wounds on her hands, and Bran being able to know and see the truth of that plot (imho likely Cersei who manipulated Joffrey after she learned of Joffrey's argument with Tyrion on the subject of sending a "dog to kill a dog"), and instead of LS beheading Jaime in front of the ww like Robb once did with Karstark, Bran's intervention via tree, breaks her and sends Jaime on his way to Casterly Rock where I expect Cersei to retreat shortly before Aegon takes KL. We have another weirwood at CR, and that would be the third ww-Bran intervention with Bran facing Cersei herself. Bran will judge as Ned once predicted one day.  

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19 hours ago, zionius said:

Brienne's face and body didn't get hurt.

 

19 hours ago, zionius said:

Lady Stoneheart's face was more terrible in the draft.

LS's draft wounds like the rotting cheek were transferred to Brienne. That's interesting, because it makes Brienne an extension of LS in some way.

I've recently had a debate on whether Jeyne Heddle and Gendry were truly part of the BwB. I consider both as agents of the BwB. Someone else questioned whether that was the case. This draft puts Jeyne Heddle and Gendry very strongly in the BwB camp.

As for the broken BwB. I notice that Thoros was entirely absent. It seems to me that initially George wanted to write the BwB under LS as some people who were only loyal to Beric having left entirely, but having gained support with the smallfolk (the mentioning of the spying network) + survivors of Robb's army. In the current version only Edric Dayne is truly missing. Thoros is still part of the BwB though fawning romantic over the days with Beric, giving the impression that the BwB is broken and has little support on the surface, but Thoros is a bit of a hypocrit - Beric hanged men without much trial too (see Arya's witness account of the hangings of Bloody Mummers), and they always stripped the dead of their armor and helmets and swords (same scene - waste not, want not). In Jaime's POV we get the hints that there is a large network of smallfolk at work against Freys and Lannisters and in support of LS's BwB, at least in the Riverlands. There have been speculations that some lost factions of Robb's army that didn't even make it across the Trident to get to the RW have still wandered the Riverlands and have joined the BwB. I'd say this is still the case. So the make-up of the BwB would be the same in both versions, but George kept it more under wraps in the final version, rather than blatantly showing it already in Brienne's final aFfC chapter before Jaime gets captured.

It's interesting they're saying they're also looking for Sansa. It seems to have shifted to looking for Arya. But it raises the possibility that the Mad Mouse is one of those seeking Sansa for LS.

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2 hours ago, Mithras said:

Does anyone else think that Bran talking through ravens to interact with the story is too Harry Potterish for what we expect from ASOIAF? I am glad that GRRM removed that deus ex machina in this instant. People are very quick to jump to the conclusion that Theon will be saved by the same deux ex machina but they do not pay attention to why GRRM removed it from Brienne in the first place: because it is bad writing. It is much better to give some agency to the characters. Even if GRRM might have thought that option for saving Theon, I think he will find another way as it happened with Brienne.

This also points another major problem with Bran. If GRRM's original intentions for the ways Bran impacting the story are some game-breaking deux ex machina which he can't put into the story, how will bRaN tHE bRoKeN have the bEsT StoRy?

Well, while avoiding the confusion between abomination and the canon series, the 'weirwood net' is the largest, living, historic library in that world, and that is a pretty frickin' amazing story ;)

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That’s pretty intense stuff though, in my opinion much more of an intense horror compared to how it actually played out

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On 10/25/2020 at 5:24 PM, Lord Varys said:

For ASoIaF we can definitely conclude that George's constant rewrites are what make the book series as complex and interesting as it is. If he were actually rush through the novels we would get a basic plot skeleton which wouldn't be particularly interesting.

The story as outlined in the 1993 pitch letter. would definitely be much less interesting.

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4 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

The story as outlined in the 1993 pitch letter. would definitely be much less interesting.

That is what I mentioned with the Dany story from the outline (which is actually a clichéd joke compared to what we got, despite the fact that it is still roughly the same story). One should expect ASoIaF to continue to become more complex and refined this way ... and that kind of thing can have rather severe butterfly effects along the way.

Just think how Jaime changed from the outline/AGoT to ADwD. This character is definitely not going to go down the same way now than he would have as 'Evil Jaime' from the outline. And as complexity adds more layers and subplots various characters - even core characters - might go into different directions than originally intended.

George isn't the kind of writer who forces a character to go down a certain road if the way things went down so far make it impossible/unrealistic that the character behaves in a certain way (e.g. the Shrouded Lord episode being cut despite it apparently being a chapter/plot line George enjoyed very much).

On 10/25/2020 at 6:47 PM, zionius said:

Yes, I've done translation work for the GOT S1-8 guidebook, and the proof file they sent me, half a year after the book is published, is completely different from the real book. It is clearly written before S8 aired and contains zero info of s8. So i downloaded a pirated book instead to start my translation XD

That kind of thing only works when you don't have to work on the translation prior to publication in the original language. But it is a common practice when the original publisher isn't all that forthcoming...

But there certainly also are publishers who care enough about manuscript to communicate them ... and who also insist that such changes are included in the translation because they actually do care about the content of their books.

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