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How the Five-Year Gap Would Have Changed ASOIAF


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On 4/24/2022 at 3:41 PM, LynnS said:

It is interesting that some chapters that we have read were written with an age progression in mind for some characters.

And now that GRRM decided not to go forward with the age progression, the scene with 11-year-old Arya and Raff the Sweetling in the Mercy chapter becomes really creepy. GRRM has said that he is rewriting some of the sample chapters, and I really hope that this part gets reworked.

Edited by Takiedevushkikakzvezdy
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35 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

And now that GRRM decided not to go forward with the age progression, the scene with 11-year-old Arya and Raff the Sweetling in the Mercy chapter becomes really creepy. GRRM has said that he is rewriting some of the sample chapters, and I really hope that this part gets reworked.

Unless that was the point...

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4 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

And now that GRRM decided not to go forward with the age progression, the scene with 11-year-old Arya and Raff the Sweetling in the Mercy chapter becomes really creepy. GRRM has said that he is rewriting some of the sample chapters, and I really hope that this part gets reworked.

As @Angel Eyes puts it, being creepy may be the point.  I think we are supposed to be disturbed and worried about her.  It shows what a fucked up mess she is becoming, or in danger of becoming.  And, to be honest, if she were much older, it would lose much of its impact, and simply become sad and depressing. 

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Maybe the implication is supposed to be that Raff is a pedophile, but it’s hard to believe that an 11-year-old could convincingly pose as a femme fatale, which is how Mercy is written in her seduction of Raff. I already find the Faceless Men rather silly in concept, and this just stretches the believability even more. 

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2 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Maybe the implication is supposed to be that Raff is a pedophile, but it’s hard to believe that an 11-year-old could convincingly pose as a femme fatale, which is how Mercy is written in her seduction of Raff. I already find the Faceless Men rather silly in concept, and this just stretches the believability even more. 

Actually she comes across as an 11-year-old who is way out of her depth.  A femme fatale she ain't. She got really, really lucky. And the Faceless Men had nothing to do with it.  In fact, I expect them to be somewhat displeased, at the very least. 

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1 minute ago, Nevets said:

Actually she comes across as an 11-year-old who is way out of her depth.  A femme fatale she ain't. She got really, really lucky. And the Faceless Men had nothing to do with it.  In fact, I expect them to be somewhat displeased, at the very least. 

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the chapter would have been better if she was 16, not 11. Would an 11-year-old even think to try to seduce a grown man, or feel confident enough to do so?

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2 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the chapter would have been better if she was 16, not 11. Would an 11-year-old even think to try to seduce a grown man, or feel confident enough to do so?

It would make more sense if she learned it at the theater over the course of a few years. 

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Just now, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

It would make more sense if she learned it at the theater over the course of a few years. 

Exactly. The Arya we see in Mercy is only a few weeks older than when we last saw her in ADWD. The plot line is too condensed.

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9 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Exactly. The Arya we see in Mercy is only a few weeks older than when we last saw her in ADWD. The plot line is too condensed.

We don't know that. It reads like a few months imo. 

Like, yes the scenes are weird, 

Quote

“If there is anything you want, anything at all… “

The two guardsmen exchanged a look. Then the handsome one reached out and touched her breast. “Anything?“

“You’re disgusting,” said the older man.

“Why? If this Izembaro wants to be hospitable, it would be rude to refuse.” He gave her nipple a tweak through the fabric of her dress, just the way the dwarf had done when she was fixing his cock for him. “Mummers are the next best thing to whores.”

“Might be, but this one is a child.”

Raff is clearly a sick fuck (what a surprise! He was super normal in Harrenhal)

But I really don't find Arya perverted here, just murderous. What I do find perverted is her Joffrey like understanding of mercy. In clear contrast to what she learned from Sandor and the house of black&white cookie

Quote

“Mercy,” she said. “My name is Mercy. Can you say it?”

“Mercy,” he said.

 

Edited by Hugorfonics
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4 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

We don't know that. It reads like a few months imo. 

Like, yes the scenes are weird, 

Raff is clearly a sick fuck (what a surprise! He was super normal in Harrenhal)

But I really don't find Arya perverted here, just murderous. What I do find perverted is her Joffrey like understanding of mercy. In clear contrast to what she learned from Sandor and the house of black&white cookie

 

That’s still not a lot of time. All we know is that it’s after Cersei’s trial, since she sends Harys Swyft to secure a loan. 

But yes, Arya’s murdering is disturbing. We’re so used to it now that it barely gets mentioned.

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18 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

It would make more sense if she learned it at the theater over the course of a few years. 

I tend to agree, though I think even a year or so in that environment would have been helpful. 

 

21 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the chapter would have been better if she was 16, not 11. Would an 11-year-old even think to try to seduce a grown man, or feel confident enough to do so?

In her previous chapters, she has come across as being pretty precocious, and is clearly familiar with the mechanics of sexual activity, so her thinking of using it isn't too much of a stretch.  And it's clear she isn't confident of success.  It's more a case of desperation and rushed planning. 

As I said before, she got really lucky.  If this were a role-playing game, she would be rolling a bunch of sixes.

And to be honest, I am about as disturbed by her killing someone at 11 as I am about her using the promise of sex to do so.

Edited by Nevets
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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

That’s still not a lot of time. All we know is that it’s after Cersei’s trial, since she sends Harys Swyft to secure a loan

How do we know that? It was Keaven who sent Swyft in the epilogue. (I'm pretty sure)

1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

But yes, Arya’s murdering is disturbing. We’re so used to it now that it barely gets mentioned.

I find the mutation of the word mercy to be the most disturbing

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

And it's clear she isn't confident of success

Word, as opposed to Alayne who's only like 1 year older in twow?

She's not as promiscuous as Mercy but it's still a bit much for a 13 year old

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  • 2 months later...

I think that more than the 5 year gap, it would have been better to let more time pass DURING the story (instead of less than 1 year for each book, with feast and dance happening simultaneously). Which makes sense, as in this world it's quite .... difficult to travel great distances unless you have dragons, and considering the big amount of events (including a war) it's difficult to believe it all happened in 2-3 years.

Edited by Zzz_243
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17 minutes ago, Zzz_243 said:

I think that more than the 5 year gap, it would have been better to let more time pass DURING the story (instead of less than 1 year for each book, with feast and dance happening simultaneously). Which makes sense, as in this world it's quite .... difficult to travel great distances unless you have dragons, and considering the big amount of events (including a war) it's difficult to believe it all happened in 2-3 years.

That's for any war in the books; the Dance of the Dragons is the longest war in the last 200 years (minus the Blackfyre Rebellions) and it only lasts two-three years tops. Robert's Rebellion lasts two at the most.

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I am ambivalent about ages of Stark children and especially Daenerys, on the one hand it heightened emotional impact and was necessary for some aspects of the story, Sansa not being beddable in the AGOT is the foremost of them, while on the other hand some of the characters do seem young for the roles thrust upon them. Daenerys and Stark boys could all have been a bit older and still fulfill the same roles and make for a more pleasurable and realistic read, even though story works fine just as it is.

That said age ship has sailed long ago and five year gap was by far the worst notion Martin ever had, it would be atrocious and degrade the quality and the flow of the writing by a lot, I can't fathom how people think constant flashbacks would work out in the context of realistic and believable character development. There was no good way to implement it, yeah it sounds fine for characters to have the time to cut their teeth on ruling (Jon, Daenerys) assassinating (Arya) intriguing (Sansa) greenseering (Bran) or maestering (Sam) but the narrative up until end of ASOS made it clear there is no time, winter is coming, said the Stark words. But it goes further, years of improvement are antithetical to the overall tone, where inexperienced youths must sink or swim in the face of calamities beyond their understanding. Not to mention they already had plenty of practice in the choice domains so additional skill threatens to make them too competent for the stakes of the story. 

Martin made a right choice there to work with what he has, but that being said his insistence on filling the timeline to the brim with major characters minor adventures is really grinding my gears in ADWD, young ones could have easily gain some sufficient additional knowledge and experience off stage while Stannis marches, Victarion sails or Arienne, Davos and Cersei chill in confinement. Say Jon ships Sam and next chapter is like five months had passed since Sam left, of course we knew Jon did some ruling in the mean time, he wasn't just chilling in LC Tower drinking mulled wine, Stannis isn't likely to report every step to Jon so whole North business could have been made to work nicely. News do travel slowly and armies even more so and that fact allows for such luxuries while maintaining tight overall schedule.

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