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Just now, Daeron the Daring said:

To me that's Brienne. She would be pretty exciting to me if he was another interesting character roaming the realm, but as a POV? Uhh. 

Brienne, Arya, Sam and Jon had the least interesting POVs. Dany's plot got old after a few chapters (ooh, misbehaving dragons wee, political problems, weee). We don't need anymore than one POV to check up on all of them but Jon and Dany. 

1 minute ago, Brynden"Bloodraven" Rivers said:

I feel like Arya changes a lot. She realizes that killing that is not for personal gain. Her Faceless man arc is pretty boring but her BwB arc is fun. 

It's fun, but it takes, what 25 chapters over two books. Brienne's chapters, though boring, illustrated how bad the war was for the Riverlands and there weren't half as many Brienne chapters as Arya chapters. Her arc is frankly cliched and old. 

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1 hour ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

The series was at its best in a dance with dragons as of now. 

Speak for yourself

Speak for yourself? Ofc that's what I'm doing and that's precisely the reason for this thread. No need to do backseat modding.

Curious what would be your arguments for ADWD ahead of original Trilogy.

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1 hour ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

Dorne chapters aren't so bad, even though I dislike the Sand Snakes, especially Obara for who I have a special disdain. Arianne is quite a nuanced character, and Aeroh Hotah provide an unique POV with him being not native to Westeros and him remaining quiet for most of his chapters allowing a greater focus on observation of the other characters. 

I mostly like the Dorne chapters, but I do have some complaints.

Number One is that AFFC needed some more Dorne chapters to flesh out the setting, the characters, and readers' investment in the plot. Arguably there could even have been a little bit of Dorne introduced in ASOS, but I'll let that go. As it is, there are a lot of big plot movements, most notably Arienne's queenmaker plot, that just seems foolish from the outset.

And Darkstar! I don't quite think of him as the anime edge lord that most people do, but his being dangerous is not well established, nor is why she would include him in on the plot if he is so dangerous. Is it truly because she finds him attractive? Maybe I could buy the decision more if there was more setup on that front. Spotted Sylva and the rest? They're all just names. They have no meaning because it's our first exposure to these people. A few more chapters would have helped a lot.

Number Two is that the Sand Snakes are so transparently destructive. They're not characters" they're walking time bombs! What specific damage they'll try to do might be interesting for plot purposes in other POVs, but in terms of their characterization, and Dorne overall, it's unsatisfying.

Related, Number Three is that we never see anything from Doran's point of view. Obviously, GRRM wants to keep his reasoning hidden, at least until the Princess in the Tower chapter. But I think the Aero Hotah chapter in ADWD would have been much better served as a Doran chapter. Those Sand Snakes are such obviously bad co-conspirators, I need some sort of reasoning from Doran's perspective to justify it. If not to provide clear logic, then at least some emotional stakes in the decision. As it stands, Doran just comes off as obviously foolish, and hardly sympathetic.

Number Four is that Aero Hotah as a character is underdeveloped. I like the idea of his background as a Norvoshi, but this is hardly explored. For the aforementioned ADWD chapter, he is almost literally a camera observing what's going on. He's just a plot convenience at this point.

 

Edited by Phylum of Alexandria
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We need more chapters/material in Dorne.

If the Long Night is to be this global event, we needed more POV characters and expanded characaters in Essos and Sothryos

21 hours ago, WhatAnArtist! said:

Totally agreed. Compared to the rest of the Stark family, she's such a tired stereotype. The whole "girl with a haunted past that defies societal norms to become a fighter/assassin/rogue" is so lame and cliche.

While I agree, I will say that - to be fair - the trope that is Arya is a relatively recent mid '00s phenomena. It's played out now but I doubt that it was a thing back when Storm came out in 2000.

GRRM is a bit of a trendsetter.

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All the history pre conquest and most of it after are just exist simply to supplement the character arcs and themes of the current novels or are just purely parallels. For example, there is no real story of the historic Azor Ahai beyond what is in the text, GRRM hasn't thought one up because there's no need to, it serves no purpose. More information about the historic Azor Ahai will be only forthcoming if GRRM feels an arc or theme would be served by more AA info, and that isn't ever going to be very specific details.

The Bloodstone Emperor is another example. He's just a Euron parallel, that's the whole point of him. GRRM took a bunch of Euron properties, what he's done and is going to do, and made a parallel in the form of a historic character, and that's all there is to it.

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11 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I mostly like the Dorne chapters, but I do have some complaints.

Number One is that AFFC needed some more Dorne chapters to flesh out the setting, the characters, and readers' investment in the plot. Arguably there could even have been a little bit of Dorne introduced in ASOS, but I'll let that go. As it is, there are a lot of big plot movements, most notably Arienne's queenmaker plot, that just seems foolish from the outset.

And Darkstar! I don't quite think of him as the anime edge lord that most people do, but his being dangerous is not well established, nor is why she would include him in on the plot if he is so dangerous. Is it truly because she finds him attractive? Maybe I could buy the decision more if there was more setup on that front. Spotted Sylva and the rest? They're all just names. They have no meaning because it's our first exposure to these people. A few more chapters would have helped a lot.

Number Two is that the Sand Snakes are so transparently destructive. They're not characters" they're walking time bombs! What specific damage they'll try to do might be interesting for plot purposes in other POVs, but in terms of their characterization, and Dorne overall, it's unsatisfying.

Related, Number Three is that we never see anything from Doran's point of view. Obviously, GRRM wants to keep his reasoning hidden, at least until the Princess in the Tower chapter. But I think the Aero Hotah chapter in ADWD would have been much better served as a Doran chapter. Those Sand Snakes are such obviously bad co-conspirators, I need some sort of reasoning from Doran's perspective to justify it. If not to provide clear logic, then at least some emotional stakes in the decision. As it stands, Doran just comes off as obviously foolish, and hardly sympathetic.

Number Four is that Aero Hotah as a character is underdeveloped. I like the idea of his background as a Norvoshi, but this is hardly explored. For the aforementioned ADWD chapter, he is almost literally a camera observing what's going on. He's just a plot convenience at this point.

 

Well things can be helped if we get sand snakes pov in twow. Specifically Nymeria and tyene. 

I know it seems strange since the author said he won't add more pov but how many years and rewrites ago was this? 

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49 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

While I agree, I will say that - to be fair - the trope that is Arya is a relatively recent mid '00s phenomena. It's played out now but I doubt that it was a thing back when Storm came out in 2000.

GRRM is a bit of a trendsetter.

Arya's trope is more generic than that. She's basically the stock character for "a girl that's not like all the other girls but like to fight and burb and roll in the mud with the boyz". I'd say it's been used to excess since like the 1970s.

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9 hours ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

Well things can be helped if we get sand snakes pov in twow. Specifically Nymeria and tyene. 

I know it seems strange since the author said he won't add more pov but how many years and rewrites ago was this? 

Overall, I would be delighted if GRRM were to break his rule about no new POV characters. Maybe finally get a chance to have an Essosi or Naathi point of view?

 Now, the prospect of Sand Snake chapters? That all depends on execution.

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9 hours ago, The Jingo said:

Arya's trope is more generic than that. She's basically the stock character for "a girl that's not like all the other girls but like to fight and burb and roll in the mud with the boyz". I'd say it's been used to excess since like the 1970s.

Certainly, when Arya starts out, she is like that. When I read Book 1, I thought of Lyra from Northern Lights/Golden Compass. But...Lyra never spent time in a medieval concentration camp or learned sorcerous skills from an ancient death cult. There are certainly some unique paths that Arya takes.

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17 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Overall, I would be delighted if GRRM were to break his rule about no new POV characters. Maybe finally get a chance to have an Essosi or Naathi point of view?

 Now, the prospect of Sand Snake chapters? That all depends on execution.

I would really like there to be an POV character that stays behind in Essos so that we can find out how the Long Night affects Essos, how the Essosi view the deteriorating events in Westeros and how effective the policies of Team Daenerys are long-term

I'm not a fan of Sand Snake POV chapters. We already have enough POVs covering that ground. If we are to get a new POV, I want a fresh perspective on new ground.

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1) Cersei, Aeron and Sansa are my favorite characters (in that order). I believe Cersei is the best written character in the series (I do not think this is that unpopular tho). I also like how both Aeron and Sansa are written. The first time I read the books, my knowledge of the English language was not as fluent, so I completely missed the hints about Euron's abuse towards Aeron and the reveal in the Forsaken was a surprise. 

2) FfC is one of my favorites in the series.

3) I love the Greyjoy plot. 

4) I like Dorne as well (though less than Greyjoys), but Phylum of Alexandria made a valid criticism I had never thought of before. It would have had a bigger impact had Dorne been introduced earlier. We first got to Pyke and saw the Ironborn through Theon in ACoK. Something similar should have happened with Dorne. Perhaps an extra chapter of Arys Oakheart about how he and Myrcella meet the Martells.

5) I think Jon Snow is a boring character. I enjoy to read about the wall and the wildlings, but he is a boring character imo. Sam can be pretty boring too.

6)I think Daenerys is also a boring character whose arc so far has been too one-sided. I loved her in AGoT, but I felt that after that, her story became so much more boring than it could have been. I like Slaver's Bay in terms of it's look and description (I imagined Astapor as a quite beautiful city in ASoS), but dislike how comically bad and evil they were. There was no moral grayness and I felt like Daenerys had little depth. She felt like the typical American cliche superhero saving the poor and the weak.  Do not get me wrong, I am in no way defending slavers. I just thought that the Slaver's Bay should have had more depth to it.

I do think Dany will snap at one point and become more ruthless (or even more villanous by the end), but the books so far have presented her as a "good" character whose enemies were all bad. I think Dance improved upon this a little with how she made bad decisions and how she abandoned Astapor. I hope she faces someone who the reader can see as righteous.

7) Speaking of Dany, I do not want her nowhere near Westeros. I know it will happen, but I cannot help, but think that the Westerosi have suffered enough from war and do not need Dothraki pillaging and raping as well as dragons burning everything and everyone.

8) I love all magic and prophecies in the series( especially Maggie, whose prophecy became self-fulfilling the moment Cersei heard her words). I enjoy the way GRRM implemented them in the story. I also love political plots equally (except for Mereen at a few points).

9) I do not know if this is unpopular, but Tyrion became unlikable and annoying after ASoS. I do not want him to be a dragonrider.

10) I do not believe pre-feast Cersei is completely stupid and she can be clever. I just think she does better when she is under someone who can keep her in check (like Tywin for instance). A lot of her plans might not work out as intended, but she is by no means stupid. She simply is not as smart as Tyrion, hence her losses. This does change in Feast after Joff's death where she began being paranoid and without any authority figure began acting reckless. 

11) I know R+L=J is true, but I do not want it to be. The hints are there, I understand. It is an odd way of thinking since it is not even revealed yet, but it would be too... predictable? Especially if Jon is somehow Azor Ahai (which I do not think at the moment).

12) I believe Jon is dead and Mel will resurrect him, but he will be a changed man. I will not be surprised if he mimics the Night King legend (the one during Age of Heroes) in some way.

13) I do not think Azor Ahai is a single person. Not only does dragon have three heads and there are three dragons, but I would not be surprised if Azor Ahai ends up being the whole Westeros which comes together to defeat the Others.

14) I want Young Griff to be the real deal.

15) The only secret Targ theory I like is Cersei and Jaime. It would create a delicious irony on Tywin who would have hated his only true child.

16) In similar fashion, I enjoy lemongate. (I never cosider this to be a secret Targ theory, but correct me if I am wrong).

17) Catelyn is among my favorite characters and is one of the most realistic characters in the books. All of her mistakes are understandable, considering her position and character. All of her mistakes make her human. And I do not blame her for disliking Jon Snow and think a lot of people who hate her for it simply like Jon and do not realize that not many women would be comfortable with a child of their husband's affair in their household (because that's what Jon is in her eyes).


 

This is all I can think of right now.

Edit: grammar and stuff

Edited by Raven Princling
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On 11/9/2021 at 7:44 AM, Phylum of Alexandria said:

Certainly, when Arya starts out, she is like that. When I read Book 1, I thought of Lyra from Northern Lights/Golden Compass. But...Lyra never spent time in a medieval concentration camp or learned sorcerous skills from an ancient death cult. There are certainly some unique paths that Arya takes.

I certainly think Arya could have been a little older, but Arya has the most unique path. Its through Arya's eyes that we see what wars and "mad lords" have really done to the land they rule. She has seen more terrible things than most of the other characters combined. I like Arya and Bran. 

My unpopular opinion was that reaction to the TV series had a deep emotional impact on Martin. He justifies how he feels by telling everyone they are separate things, and they are, but I think that took an already slow pace and made it terrifyingly slow. So unless everyone reacts well to Winds of Winter, it could be the death knell for the series actually finishing. Nothing will slow down writing more than having to comb through 1500 pages and ask yourself where did they go wrong, how can I avoid making those mistakes, especially if major plot points were not initially different.

My second is that I hope Winter is sort of a coming out party for Bran. Would love to see Bran warg into a dragon. 

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4 hours ago, remiel6 said:

My unpopular opinion was that reaction to the TV series had a deep emotional impact on Martin. He justifies how he feels by telling everyone they are separate things, and they are, but I think that took an already slow pace and made it terrifyingly slow. So unless everyone reacts well to Winds of Winter, it could be the death knell for the series actually finishing. Nothing will slow down writing more than having to comb through 1500 pages and ask yourself where did they go wrong, how can I avoid making those mistakes, especially if major plot points were not initially different.

I think Martin has actually admitted as much. He's said that the TV show was great for recognition and acclaim, but terrible for his writing process. And as the show relied less and less on his input, he's distanced himself from it as much as his contract will allow. 

One thing the show did do is demonstrate how poorly something like this could be executed when rushed. So I think fans will really appreciate Winds whenever it does come out, because it will show so much more care in its construction than what HBO gave them. Of course, as someone who never liked the show, I can't really speak for most fans, so who knows. :)

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On 11/8/2021 at 11:56 PM, chrisdaw said:

All the history pre conquest and most of it after are just exist simply to supplement the character arcs and themes of the current novels or are just purely parallels. For example, there is no real story of the historic Azor Ahai beyond what is in the text, GRRM hasn't thought one up because there's no need to, it serves no purpose. More information about the historic Azor Ahai will be only forthcoming if GRRM feels an arc or theme would be served by more AA info, and that isn't ever going to be very specific details.

The Bloodstone Emperor is another example. He's just a Euron parallel, that's the whole point of him. GRRM took a bunch of Euron properties, what he's done and is going to do, and made a parallel in the form of a historic character, and that's all there is to it.

I agree that Azor Ahai is not a fully developed character with an arc, and that the myths and background stories are there primarily to prime readers for the main plots of the series. But it's a little more complicated than what you're saying. While Euron is clearly giving off some Bloodstone Emperor and possible Night's King vibes, I don't think it's quite right to say that the BE myth and Night's King exists simply to herald Euron in the main story.

Note that Azor Ahai's forging of Lightbringer involves killing a woman and cracking the moon, which sounds a lot like the BE killing the Amethyst Empress, worshiping a stone that fell from the sky, and ushering in the long night.

Stannis is someone who consciously tries to fulfill the Azor Ahai archetype, but his likely sacrifice of his daughter to fight the Others will almost certainly end in tragic failure and rightfully perceived villainy. Not for nothing does Stannis also exhibit some heavy Night's King vibes.

Martin uses these myths to wrestle with the duality of power and his own ambivalence about powerful men and women. People like Dany and Stannis skirt the line between heroism and villainy (Stannis more than Dany, at least so far), while Euron fully embraces the villain archetype.

The myths themselves act as a sort of prism of human nature, contradictions and all.

Edited by Phylum of Alexandria
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20 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I think Martin has actually admitted as much. He's said that the TV show was great for recognition and acclaim, but terrible for his writing process. And as the show relied less and less on his input, he's distanced himself from it as much as his contract will allow. 

One thing the show did do is demonstrate how poorly something like this could be executed when rushed. So I think fans will really appreciate Winds whenever it does come out, because it will show so much more care in its construction than what HBO gave them. Of course, as someone who never liked the show, I can't really speak for most fans, so who knows. :)

I think the Stannis and Ramsey plot is a perfect example of things being rushed. The reckoning Stannis faces in the book is much more potent than the one in the series. The series rushed things, the book has not. Also having POV characters with Stannis really helps. Also the Tyrian plot in the book vs. the one in the series. The series was enjoyable, but took so many short cuts that it wound up cutting really important things out, Aegon. I still can't believe they just cut him out.

 

As someone who grew up in Minnesota, the book feels like winter to me. We've all been in snow storms like this, perhaps not as severe, but a snow storm can grind on your mentality as it drags on. 

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