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Your Opinions 3: Is GRRM a "bad writer?"


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Our third thread covering your opinions about GRRM. Sadly, the second thread has been locked at 21 pages. 

Do continue, y'all. 

@The Bard of Banefort, @EggBlue, @Takiedevushkikakzvezdy, @James Arryn, @Groo, @sifth 

 

Link to the second thread, just to help pick back up:

 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
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I was in the process of making a point about how impossible it seems for me, to finish this story in just two novels, when the last thread was locked. At the moment however, I honestly forget the point I was trying to make. Probably something to do with me hating Fageon and how the plot seems to come out of nowhere, lol

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One thing I didn't mention before (at least on here) were the Sand Snakes. 

Not in regards to their characterization, but their power levels. They were introduced in AFFC in three RPG class levels. Obara is the heavy hitter melee class, Nymeria is the mid-tier assassin type, and Tyene is the mage/courtesan class. 

Kind of like the mercenaries, thieves, and courtesan factions from Assassin's Creed. One fights direct, the other through indirect methods, and the last prefers to avoid conflict all together. 

Being as they were introduced in the same order as an RPG slider, I cannot help but imagine Martin has played some D&D.  

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I always thought the highlight of George’s series would be how the politics of Westeros have been controlled by two schemers. Littlefinger and Varys.

Two men at each side of the board. Controlling their pawns and playing the game of thrones.

Although that Baelish plot armour must be as thick as Valyrian steel. Arguably the guy with the thickest plot armour in the series.

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47 minutes ago, butterweedstrover said:

One thing I didn't mention before (at least on here) were the Sand Snakes. 

Not in regards to their characterization, but their power levels. They were introduced in AFFC in three RPG class levels. Obara is the heavy hitter melee class, Nymeria is the mid-tier assassin type, and Tyene is the mage/courtesan class. 

Kind of like the mercenaries, thieves, and courtesan factions from Assassin's Creed. One fights direct, the other through indirect methods, and the last prefers to avoid conflict all together. 

Being as they were introduced in the same order as an RPG slider, I cannot help but imagine Martin has played some D&D.  

They’re like some stereotypical superhero group. Cringe af.

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2 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

You tagged six people, and there are six members of the Justice League in the movie. Just a geeky joke on my part. Please carry on. :)

Mesa Jar Jar Binks understand now. 

My specialty is nowhere near superheroes.....it tends towards Star Wars and LOTR and Red Rising and obviously ASOIAF. Woefully under-educated in that field. 

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Given our current cultural climate, it would not surprise me if future books include soliloquies about forgiveness and not judging our ancestors too harshly. George is an old-school liberal hippie (although you could argue that the hippies were the most self-righteous of them all, even though I don’t think George is) and he was blogging quite a bit about these ideas in 2020, which was the year he said he wrote the most. Not to mention that, speaking from personal experience, you can’t really study history without accepting that a person is capable of both very bad and very good things. You’re not going to get much out of it if you consider every person who was alive before you were born a monster, which is unfortunately how some people see the world.
 

George has touched on debates that historians have in previous books. I always thought the Hound’s trial in ASOS was a good analysis on the concept of collective responsibility, for instance. He is responsible for his own actions (and says as much when he’s on his “death bed” at the end of the book) but we as readers have seen what the Mountain and Tywin and their accomplices are like, and know that they’re a force too big for one person to take down.

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2 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Given our current cultural climate, it would not surprise me if future books include soliloquies about forgiveness and not judging our ancestors too harshly.

The issue here is that forgiveness is much more common at the individual level rather than the collective level. For example, it's much easier to picture Jon forgiving Ilyn Payne for cutting off Ned's head than it is to picture the North forgiving the Freys for the Red Wedding.

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5 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Given our current cultural climate, it would not surprise me if future books include soliloquies about forgiveness and not judging our ancestors too harshly. George is an old-school liberal hippie (although you could argue that the hippies were the most self-righteous of them all, even though I don’t think George is) and he was blogging quite a bit about these ideas in 2020, which was the year he said he wrote the most. Not to mention that, speaking from personal experience, you can’t really study history without accepting that a person is capable of both very bad and very good things. You’re not going to get much out of it if you consider every person who was alive before you were born a monster, which is unfortunately how some people see the world.
 

George has touched on debates that historians have in previous books. I always thought the Hound’s trial in ASOS was a good analysis on the concept of collective responsibility, for instance. He is responsible for his own actions (and says as much when he’s on his “death bed” at the end of the book) but we as readers have seen what the Mountain and Tywin and their accomplices are like, and know that they’re a force too big for one person to take down.

I strongly believe that the problems of Westeros (and the East) are caused by having systems where a small number have untrammelled power over the rest, with the only checks on power being assassination, death in battle or slave revolt.

It makes no difference whether power is wielded by Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, Martells etc. , unless the system is reformed.  And, reforming the system is unlikely to be achieved wholly peacefully. In some places lords and slave owners will be put to the sword, giving reformers in other places examples to point to, why peaceful change is essential.

It’s one of many reasons why I so disliked the show’s ending.  Things aren’t going to be put right just because Bran, Sansa, Tyrion, Sam, Bronn are in charge, along with a bunch of lords who view the smallfolk as livestock.

 

Edited by SeanF
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9 hours ago, butterweedstrover said:

Being as they were introduced in the same order as an RPG slider, I cannot help but imagine Martin has played some D&D.  

The whole Captain of the Guards chapter feels like an RPG level, which was a bit disappointing coming off of ASOS. I expected better from GRRM.

Edited by Takiedevushkikakzvezdy
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11 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

Our third thread covering your opinions about GRRM. Sadly, the second thread has been locked at 21 pages. 

Do continue, y'all. 

@The Bard of Banefort, @EggBlue, @Takiedevushkikakzvezdy, @James Arryn, @Groo, @sifth 

 

Link to the second thread, just to help pick back up:

 

thinking how a new member would react to "is GRRM a "Bad Writer"?" threads in a GRRM fan club is hilarious 

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Since everyone has been piling on AFFC (and I already said my point about the Maribald speech) I think it is better written than ADWD. 

Some of my problems with Dance are less technical and more personal, but they exist nonetheless.  

1. Magic Systems: The prologue felt like it was written by Brandon Sanderson. I hate rule based magic systems that feel like they were stripped from a video game. 

2. World-building as a substitute for characterization  

Number 2 needs some explaining since I am thinking about one scene in particular. I said before the dialogue is a highlight of Martin's writing and while I don't like his descriptions or exposition dumps, the dialogue always feels organic and even funny at times. 

The conversation between Asha and Tristifer Botley was one that grated on my nerves because of a more technical issue. In this scene Asha is stuck in Deepwood Motte and is concerned about returning to the Iron Islands least she is forced to marry Erik (the fat lord). 

Supposedly Tristifer is smart and this conversation is a way to show his intelligence by having him come up with some third option or a way to travel back to the Islands without facing the marriage proposal, or something. Instead what we get is a lore dump about some old kings and their methods (created from whole cloth) to give some legal loophole. 

Not only does this function as a get out of jail free card, it is another excuse for a boring lore dump, and two people who are familiar with their native history would not speak to one another like this. It is as if it is being said for sake of the reader, and I think lore dumps (especially about extraneous details) are against the principles of storytelling.  

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8 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Has anyone calculated how long it would take Dany and her army to reach King’s Landing?

It would be an epic troll if Dany is still in Meereen by the end of TWOW.

Given the number of problems still facing Meereen, I'd say it's a miracle if Dany is even leaving for Westeros by the end of the next novel.

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46 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

I find it strange that nobody in the story seems to give a hoot about the young lord of Starfall being missing. Especially Doran, since the Daynes are his sworn bannermen.

I would presume that since it's probably common knowledge that Ned is/was Beric's squire, and so they sort of wrote him off as KIA or MIA. 

That's my headcanon. 

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