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Benioff and Weiss didn’t necessarily make problems, they just made things worse

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On 1/28/2021 at 7:14 AM, Rose of Red Lake said:

GRRM says he LOVES a good medieval tourney. Just like Sansa. But she has to get the romanticism beat out of her while the author gets to play around with his tourney action figures. I guess it's because she's living the "reality" of the story but...come on. It's also a story. Okay I'll stop before this gets too postmodern.

I've always found it a bit amusing how KL "turned out" to be this complete opposite to the ideals in the songs, while WF is pretty much the idealized celtic countryside castle from the songs lol - KL just happens to be a decadent hellhole, but S's knight fantasies aren't themselves unrealistic; not sure if the "lesson" was supposed to be sth else, but yeah

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On 1/27/2021 at 11:45 PM, Angel Eyes said:

 

GRRM seems to think that there is something wrong with the songs and stories; every minstrel or singer is either an asshole (Marillion, Dareon) or gets horribly tortured (Blue Bard), or both. People who like songs and stories get their idealism beaten out of them (Sansa, Loras, Arya, Bran, the list goes on). And occasionally they get turned into brown (Symon). I guess I take exception to that as a musician myself.

 

Music is haram.

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On 1/4/2021 at 6:36 PM, Apoplexy said:

I largely agree with the above three points. I would add Daenerys stumbling upon the dragons to the plot contrivances. While we don't know what exactly made the eggs hatch, I don't think Dany did anything special to hatch them. She was grieving (her captor really) and in the process just happened upon nuclear weapons.

One of my gripes about the series has been how sex is portrayed as a means of gaining power or control. The sex scenes in the books are devoid of almost all intimacy, like pornography. The show kept up with that theme. 

 

Which brings me to my biggest gripes about the series, the cynicism and nihilism. Almost at all stages in the books, it's the schemers that win the day. Because Ned got killed, any kind of morals and principles are viewed with contempt. Arya becomes an assasin, Sansa turns into LF, Brienne is almost killed and ends up leading her friend Jaime to be captured. Even Jaime started out idealistic, but his experience with Aerys made him extremely bitter. This is my opinion, but had Jaime not hardened with time, he probably would not have been so co-dependent on Cersei. He may have escaped her toxic influence and made better choices. Any character that tries to take some principled stance pays for it badly.

In fact thats why I think the books will have an ending as unsatisfying as the show. And I'm dreading it.

1) Well I mean that was obv a sacrificial ritual, she knew about it from Targ lore... right?

However the fact that she gets the eggs to begin with, from Illyrio no less, would mean that either it was his and Varys' plan, or if not then the entire narrative is broken and can be thrown to the dogs - the show obv failed to pick up on that, starting with s7 the notion that Varys made the dragons happen clearly wasn't on the radar anymore.

 

2) Idk what "intimacy" or "pornography" are supposed to mean here - the brothel scenes were mainly funny and "saucy", others were unpleasant, and the romantic ones like Robb/Talisa were romantic; not sure how that is unfitting?

 

However I don't really wanna get into all this strange puritanism floating around parts of the fandom, I mainly wanted to comment on the 1st point lol

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On 7/26/2021 at 3:15 PM, Pink Fat Rast said:

but S's knight fantasies aren't themselves unrealistic; not sure if the "lesson" was supposed to be sth else, but yeah

Sansa's knightly fantasies aren't unrealistic. Just outdated.

Her romanticization of southern courts are more or less the same thing as Jon's romanticization of the Night's Watch, Arya's romanticization of war and Bran's romanticization of magic and knights.

Sansa and Jon were just behind the times. Arya and Bran were the ones being unrealistic and "dumb."

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12 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

Sansa and Jon were just behind the times.

And apparently very bad at geography.

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6 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

Sansa's knightly fantasies aren't unrealistic. Just outdated.

Her romanticization of southern courts are more or less the same thing as Jon's romanticization of the Night's Watch, Arya's romanticization of war and Bran's romanticization of magic and knights.

Sansa and Jon were just behind the times. Arya and Bran were the ones being unrealistic and "dumb."

Yeah but obv GRRM was obsessed with refuting "Disney's and Tolkien's idealism" so those examples are him building that intention into the plot lol - what I find amusing or maybe don't quite understand is how the Norf got largely spared that treatment (the assholes get executed by Robb or defect to the South so they don't count lol); 

I guess the next iconoclastic fantasy writer is gonna have some kid growing up on stories about the idyllic celtic grass North and then finding out that they're  really a bunch of nasty hairy barbarians and the smug aristo south is not so bad after all. idk

 

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11 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

Yeah but obv GRRM was obsessed with refuting "Disney's and Tolkien's idealism" so those examples are him building that intention into the plot lol - what I find amusing or maybe don't quite understand is how the Norf got largely spared that treatment (the assholes get executed by Robb or defect to the South so they don't count lol); 

I guess the next iconoclastic fantasy writer is gonna have some kid growing up on stories about the idyllic celtic grass North and then finding out that they're  really a bunch of nasty hairy barbarians and the smug aristo south is not so bad after all. idk

 

TBH, Martin probably overdoes the barbarism.  The kind of total warfare he describes was usually the kind directed at heretics and infidels who could be exterminated with their families, because it was God's will, rather than the more restrained form of war that usually prevailed among nobles fighting each other.    Although it's loosely based off the War of the Roses, civilians generally got off a lot more lightly in that war than is the case here.  Tolkien didn't go in for detailed descriptions of cruelty, but he didn't shy away from the brutality of war, either.  

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

TBH, Martin probably overdoes the barbarism.  The kind of total warfare he describes was usually the kind directed at heretics and infidels who could be exterminated with their families, because it was God's will, rather than the more restrained form of war that usually prevailed among nobles fighting each other.    Although it's loosely based off the War of the Roses, civilians generally got off a lot more lightly in that war than is the case here.  Tolkien didn't go in for detailed descriptions of cruelty, but he didn't shy away from the brutality of war, either.  

Fall of Nargothrond, people.

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46 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Fall of Nargothrond, people.

Exactly.

6 hours ago, SeanF said:

TBH, Martin probably overdoes the barbarism.  The kind of total warfare he describes was usually the kind directed at heretics and infidels who could be exterminated with their families, because it was God's will, rather than the more restrained form of war that usually prevailed among nobles fighting each other.    Although it's loosely based off the War of the Roses, civilians generally got off a lot more lightly in that war than is the case here.  Tolkien didn't go in for detailed descriptions of cruelty, but he didn't shy away from the brutality of war, either.  

I think you and @Pink Fat Rast are not taking into account that both the War of the Five Kings and the Lannister-Baratheon dynasty as it were are unusual.

Tywin, Lysa, the Mountain, Ramsay, Joffrey, Cersei, Euron, Littlefinger, Amory Lorch, Walder Frey and Tyrion (and to an extent, Robert Baratheon and pre-Storm Jaime) are exceptionally cruel and exploitative and unprofessional people. Since they are extremely powerful political figures, this has a big impact on the wars and politics of the era.

I don't think he overdoes the barbarism. I think he is making the series more and more barbaric to make a point. Kinslaying, violating guest right, kingslaying, wholesale destruction of civilians and lands, the torture and murder of children, etc. are all egregious, sacrilegious things that the Westerosi public thought unconscionable. However, in ASOIAF, these are becoming very commonplace.

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39 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

Exactly.

I think you and @Pink Fat Rast are not taking into account that both the War of the Five Kings and the Lannister-Baratheon dynasty as it were are unusual.

Tywin, Lysa, the Mountain, Ramsay, Joffrey, Cersei, Euron, Littlefinger, Amory Lorch, Walder Frey and Tyrion (and to an extent, Robert Baratheon and pre-Storm Jaime) are exceptionally cruel and exploitative and unprofessional people. Since they are extremely powerful political figures, this has a big impact on the wars and politics of the era.

I don't think he overdoes the barbarism. I think he is making the series more and more barbaric to make a point. Kinslaying, violating guest right, kingslaying, wholesale destruction of civilians and lands, the torture and murder of children, etc. are all egregious, sacrilegious things that the Westerosi public thought unconscionable. However, in ASOIAF, these are becoming very commonplace.

Fair point.  These people have violated moral norms.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, BlackLightning said:

Exactly.

I think you and @Pink Fat Rast are not taking into account that both the War of the Five Kings and the Lannister-Baratheon dynasty as it were are unusual.

Tywin, Lysa, the Mountain, Ramsay, Joffrey, Cersei, Euron, Littlefinger, Amory Lorch, Walder Frey and Tyrion (and to an extent, Robert Baratheon and pre-Storm Jaime) are exceptionally cruel and exploitative and unprofessional people. Since they are extremely powerful political figures, this has a big impact on the wars and politics of the era.

I don't think he overdoes the barbarism. I think he is making the series more and more barbaric to make a point. Kinslaying, violating guest right, kingslaying, wholesale destruction of civilians and lands, the torture and murder of children, etc. are all egregious, sacrilegious things that the Westerosi public thought unconscionable. However, in ASOIAF, these are becoming very commonplace.

I thought the Targs did it every now and then, i.e. the bad seed ones among them? I'm muddy and rusty on what happened pre-MadKing though.

Either way in a certain way this is of limited relevance, because while post-Targ Westeros is this short 20 years long (?) blip in that continent's history, what it represents in the out-of-universe context is a depiction of Medieval Europe and in particular Britain and its Celts-Anglosaxons conflicts;

and just like Braveheart depicts Wallace and his clan as the good guys (not inaccurately so, from what I know?) and the English oppressors as evil but with some good guys in the royal court, the North here is fundamentally noble under the Starks and all their loyalists and admirers, while the South is kind of good while ruled by Ned's buddy, but then becomes evil when taken over by the stereotypical smug RP aristo-clan.

My point is that I've kinda got a bit of a beef with GRRM constantly talking about "deconstructing the Lotr / high fantasy idealism" while really just presenting a familiar Braveheart setting and breaking no major ground in that department - all the Lotr comparisons and talk about "grey morality" (a typical feature for period movies of this kind) make no sense to me;

and these points raised in the recent posts here, about whether KL, the NW etc. are "fundamentally harsh" or just "harsh at the present moment, due to decline", well I think in some sense this leads back to Martin's cognitive dissonances in this general area - ultimately, in-canon, NW used to be valiant heroes but then declined into a penis colony (sry couldn't resist, I'm dumb), and KL used to be good under the good Targ apples, however the whole misguided subtext of those elements being there so that GRRM could tell the world about the real midldle ages and how they "weren't like Disney" can't really be overlooked I think.

 

Been a bit of a pet peeve of mine over the years lol

Edited by Pink Fat Rast

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Posted (edited)
On 7/28/2021 at 8:20 PM, Pink Fat Rast said:

Yeah but obv GRRM was obsessed with refuting "Disney's and Tolkien's idealism" so those examples are him building that intention into the plot lol - what I find amusing or maybe don't quite understand is how the Norf got largely spared that treatment (the assholes get executed by Robb or defect to the South so they don't count lol); 

I guess the next iconoclastic fantasy writer is gonna have some kid growing up on stories about the idyllic celtic grass North and then finding out that they're  really a bunch of nasty hairy barbarians and the smug aristo south is not so bad after all. idk

 

At least Tolkien's women are mostly not power-hungry schemers whose idea of morality is upside-down like at the end of the show. I had a thread contrasting D&D's women with power with Tolkien's.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

At least Tolkien's women are mostly not power-hungry schemers whose idea of morality is upside-down like at the end of the show. I had a thread contrasting D&D's women with power with Tolkien's.

I don't think these comparisons are particularly warranted, given how Lotr and Asoiaf really barely resemble each other;

however, well, Galadriel would've prob succumbed to the ring just like Frodo, Boromir and Isildur did had she taken it, so there's that - the parallels pretty much end there though;

 

Daenerys is Stockholm'd, gets into power and veneration in a traumatized vindictive and immature state; commits 1st atrocity to avenge Drogo; tries to do good politics, but it proves too chaotic any fails sp she goes f it; much more specific situation than just "woman crazy lol".

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2 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

I don't think these comparisons are particularly warranted, given how Lotr and Asoiaf really barely resemble each other;

however, well, Galadriel would've prob succumbed to the ring just like Frodo, Boromir and Isildur did had she taken it, so there's that - the parallels pretty much end there though;

 

Daenerys is Stockholm'd, gets into power and veneration in a traumatized vindictive and immature state; commits 1st atrocity to avenge Drogo; tries to do good politics, but it proves too chaotic any fails sp she goes f it; much more specific situation than just "woman crazy lol".

Well Martin and by extension D&D are trying to deconstruct Tolkien, are they not? You said so yourself at post #66.

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48 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Well Martin and by extension D&D are trying to deconstruct Tolkien, are they not? You said so yourself at post #66.

Well they keep saying they do, but they just do completely other stuff instead - stuff that resembles other works and genres much more than Lotr (so i.e. Starks vs Tywinjoffrey is like Wallace vs. Longshanks or Boudicca vs Nero, but has nothing in common with Rohan and Gondor; Daenerys s1 is Cannibal Holocaust 2 etc.).

There's a certain cognitive dissonance going on there, because one moment he'll say "I killed Ned so no one felt safe, you never think Frodogorn will die", and then elsewhere he'll say "there's a bunch of adventure novels where thd patriarch dies and the sin avenges him, so I made the son fail and die then too" - those are the lucid moments where he'll accurately talk about his sources and reasons etc., whereas the whole "decomstructing Lotr" comes off like more of a fix idea that has little to do with Asoiaf's actual content.

 

Maybe sth he once contemplated doing before veering off in other directions, not sure.

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I think The First Law, by Joe Abercrombie, and the first three volumes of The Black Company series, by Glen Cook, are more clearly deconstructions of LOTR than ASOIAF is.

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5 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I think The First Law, by Joe Abercrombie, and the first three volumes of The Black Company series, by Glen Cook, are more clearly deconstructions of LOTR than ASOIAF is.

Hm, I'll check those out...

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Posted (edited)
On 7/30/2021 at 3:21 PM, Pink Fat Rast said:

Well they keep saying they do, but they just do completely other stuff instead - stuff that resembles other works and genres much more than Lotr (so i.e. Starks vs Tywinjoffrey is like Wallace vs. Longshanks or Boudicca vs Nero, but has nothing in common with Rohan and Gondor; Daenerys s1 is Cannibal Holocaust 2 etc.).

There's a certain cognitive dissonance going on there, because one moment he'll say "I killed Ned so no one felt safe, you never think Frodogorn will die", and then elsewhere he'll say "there's a bunch of adventure novels where thd patriarch dies and the sin avenges him, so I made the son fail and die then too" - those are the lucid moments where he'll accurately talk about his sources and reasons etc., whereas the whole "decomstructing Lotr" comes off like more of a fix idea that has little to do with Asoiaf's actual content.

 

Maybe sth he once contemplated doing before veering off in other directions, not sure.

So... GRRM subverted expectations because it was what was expected? This is what I mean about Benioff and Weiss taking things that were introduced by GRRM and amping them up to an undesirable conclusion.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

So... GRRM subverted expectations because it was what was expected? This is what I mean about Benioff and Weiss taking things that were introduced by GRRM and amping them up to an undesirable conclusion.

Well idk the whole "subversion" thing, if there is one area where there *is* a direct Lotr resemblance, then it's the battles with their rescue-at-the-lowest-point endings - and in that area, not much was "subverted" at all was it?

Jon at least had a chance to fight the NK - Aragorn and Gandalf didn't even get that;

Jon, Daenerys, and Arya are all built up as possible "chosen ones" and 1 of the 3 does the job - tough for the Jon/Dany stans, but otherwise quite straightforward high fantasy...

 

Same with Daenerys going bad - the Dark Phoenix parallels have always been obvious, and then she's been built up as kind of a coin-toss zealot fanatic from the start: MMD of course, that wineseller bit from the books, the build-up throughout s7-8;

so again, nothing really "subverted", this was like one of the few coin toss scenarios that could've been predicted. Like A goes bad, B goes good; or maybe the other way around... ah ok it happened that way around. Lol

 

Done sloppily and with lots of plot holes of course, but that's obvious anyway lol

 

As to your "amplified the flaws from the books", well idk one of the potential fundamental "flaws" that I seem to see in GRRM is what I wrote above - that cognitive dissonance, contradictory notions about what the core ideas are, behind the setting, the way the plot goes, the way that world works, what other works it comments on and what those comments are etc.

Like the Others - oh "it's not the ultra evll orc army", but then he outright says it's a global warming stand-in... so in that case it *is* an all-destructive orc army, caused by humans or CotF somehow (show went the Golem route obviously)? Does he have a unified concept of what he wants to do, or is it a conflict between these different concepts?

 

Then the whole Hollywood victories plot armor vs. cynicism or realism - so that universe has (hard to rely on) prophecies, future visions, and possibly has bad luck curses (Mel's leeches): does this mean in-universe plot armor, or its opposite, the tragedy/slasher plot un-armor, exist and are added on top of the non-magical "realistic randomness and consequences/power/watchyourback" default?

Drogo dies from a cut - however that also leads to Daenerys becoming kween, so that's still "straight ahead fantasy" isn't it? Drogo dies a "realistic death", but very much with a purpose. Was that in-universe magic at work, or does he just want to write a relatively structured plot? Does he know for sure himself, does he have a consistent unified vision on what it is that he's doing?

 

So I'm nowhere close to being sure in Martin's case - but D&D obviously *were* scatterbrained to the extreme, and the show was the result; if Grrm is too, to a smaller extent, then your thesis may be true; I'm quite confused about it all myself though atm lol

Edited by Pink Fat Rast

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On 8/1/2021 at 7:03 PM, Pink Fat Rast said:

Well idk the whole "subversion" thing, if there is one area where there *is* a direct Lotr resemblance, then it's the battles with their rescue-at-the-lowest-point endings - and in that area, not much was "subverted" at all was it?

Jon at least had a chance to fight the NK - Aragorn and Gandalf didn't even get that;

Jon, Daenerys, and Arya are all built up as possible "chosen ones" and 1 of the 3 does the job - tough for the Jon/Dany stans, but otherwise quite straightforward high fantasy...

 

Aragorn and Gandalf never meant to win, their army at the Black Gate was a distraction so that Frodo and Sam could get the Ring up Mount Doom and destroy it.

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