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Your Opinions 5: Is GRRM a "bad writer?"


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Anyone else find Jon's arc in the second book to mostly be a waste of time. I mean it helps set up a few things, for the follow up book, but it feels like a lot of his story is just GRRM stalling for time. Same with Dany in that second novel. Jon team up with the Half Hand at the end was cool, but everything before was really boring. Same with Dany's arc, before trip to the House of the Undying. That's just me though.

Edited by sifth
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Something I asked in the last thread right before it got locked was if anyone knows when George first started saying in interviews that he knows the endgame for all of the major characters. He seemed to be working the kinks out for some of them in the first two books (Sansa, Jaime, etc.), so I’m curious when he started laying the groundwork for the characters’ full arcs. At their core, all the characters long for some form of love and belonging, but that means something different for each of them.

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57 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Something I asked in the last thread right before it got locked was if anyone knows when George first started saying in interviews that he knows the endgame for all of the major characters. He seemed to be working the kinks out for some of them in the first two books (Sansa, Jaime, etc.), so I’m curious when he started laying the groundwork for the characters’ full arcs. At their core, all the characters long for some form of love and belonging, but that means something different for each of them.

I've gotten the impression that Sansa wasn't really a major character at the start and essentially grew into her role.  I have my doubts about Jaime as well, especially as he barely appears in the first two books.

Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon, Arya, and Bran have pretty clear arcs from the start.  Theon and Cersei do to some extent as well.  Those nine are really the core.

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6 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

For this one, maybe pick apart the worldbuilding a bit? 

One thing I tought about lately is how little sense it makes that the North has been holding no naval power for the past centuries. Then I tought maybe George wanted the northmen not to be associated with vikings, and decided to take away their ships. Understandable, but still doesn't make much sense in-world-wise.

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7 hours ago, sifth said:

Anyone else find Jon's arc in the second book to mostly be a waste of time. I mean it helps set up a few things, for the follow up book, but it feels like a lot of his story is just GRRM stalling for time.

I don't really have a strong opinion about it, but it's generally well regarded in the fandom, and one of the big complaints about season 2 of the show is how they butchered Jon's arc from the book.

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5 hours ago, Nevets said:

I've gotten the impression that Sansa wasn't really a major character at the start and essentially grew into her role.  I have my doubts about Jaime as well, especially as he barely appears in the first two books.

Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon, Arya, and Bran have pretty clear arcs from the start.  Theon and Cersei do to some extent as well.  Those nine are really the core.

Well if we're going back to the original story, Sansa was suppose to betray the Starks and side with Joffrey in his war against them. Somewhere along the way, GRRM choose to not make Sansa a villain, but you can tell the seeds for it were there in her early chapters, like when she sides with Joffrey, during the butchers boy incident and during the Hands Tourney, where she has almost no feeling, after seeing a man get killed in front of her. Somewhere along the way, he felt Sansa worked better as a victim of Joffrey's cruelty and as a means of showing us the effect it had on people.

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4 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

One thing I tought about lately is how little sense it makes that the North has been holding no naval power for the past centuries. Then I tought maybe George wanted the northmen not to be associated with vikings, and decided to take away their ships. Understandable, but still doesn't make much sense in-world-wise.

I’ve been saying this for years. Moat Cailin’s value is seriously undermined by virtue of the North having 2 enormous coasts and several arterial rivers and, between the Burner and Lamprey’s nascent efforts, no navy to speak of. Ships travel much faster than men on foot or even horseback for extended use, and that leaves the North pretty wide open for anyone with naval power.

OTOH major medieval amphibious assaults in RL were pretty rare/hard to pull off, but with ASOIAF’s millennia of ~ unchanging technology it would certainly have been figured out long ago. It just makes no sense for a powerful kingdom to leave itself totally vulnerable to anyone with ships for century after century. I also don’t understand how they fought for the Sisters, which seems to have taken place after Bran the Burner. 

Edited by James Arryn
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Is it just me or do the long seasons sort of get ignored in GRRM’s history books. Like I never recall a major war ever being delayed or ending completely because of a 5 year winter or anything close to that happening.

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22 minutes ago, sifth said:

Is it just me or do the long seasons sort of get ignored in GRRM’s history books. Like I never recall a major war ever being delayed or ending completely because of a 5 year winter or anything close to that happening.

Yeah, we get that the North is used to it, but how do places like the Reach deal with long winters?

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2 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Yeah, we get that the North is used to it, but how do places like the Reach deal with long winters?

I don’t think the south, especially the Deep South, really gets the effects of winter. KL “infrequently” gets snow, farther south it ranges from rare to ~ never. 
 

https://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Effects_of_Winter/

I know there’s more to winter than snow, but I think that the south is relatively unaffected by the change in seasons. 

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10 hours ago, sifth said:

Anyone else find Jon's arc in the second book to mostly be a waste of time. I mean it helps set up a few things, for the follow up book, but it feels like a lot of his story is just GRRM stalling for time. Same with Dany in that second novel. Jon team up with the Half Hand at the end was cool, but everything before was really boring. Same with Dany's arc, before trip to the House of the Undying. That's just me though.

In Jon's case I guess it was a continuation of Jon's broken pedestal towards the Night's Watch (starting in the first book) that someone who he looked up to and trusted (Jeor Mormont) abetting someone who breaks the laws of the land (Craster sacrifices his sons to the Others).

 

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1 hour ago, sifth said:

Is it just me or do the long seasons sort of get ignored in GRRM’s history books. Like I never recall a major war ever being delayed or ending completely because of a 5 year winter or anything close to that happening.

There was one example of this. The approaching winter prevented Cregan Stark from bringing his troops down to aid Rhaenyra sooner. If he had, she may have survived.

2 hours ago, sifth said:

Well if we're going back to the original story, Sansa was suppose to betray the Starks and side with Joffrey in his war against them. Somewhere along the way, GRRM choose to not make Sansa a villain, but you can tell the seeds for it were there in her early chapters, like when she sides with Joffrey, during the butchers boy incident and during the Hands Tourney, where she has almost no feeling, after seeing a man get killed in front of her. Somewhere along the way, he felt Sansa worked better as a victim of Joffrey's cruelty and as a means of showing us the effect it had on people.

Yeah, her and Jaime changed dramatically between the first and second book. Jaime went from being the future evil king to not wanting anything to do with politics. 

That outline really helped clarify some of the early decisions George made in AGOT.

Edited by The Bard of Banefort
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17 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Didn't it start snowing in KL in the epilogue of ADWD?

Don’t remember, but I think we are meant to assume that this will not be a normal winter coming, even for a long one. 

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3 hours ago, sifth said:

Well if we're going back to the original story, Sansa was suppose to betray the Starks and side with Joffrey in his war against them. Somewhere along the way, GRRM choose to not make Sansa a villain, but you can tell the seeds for it were there in her early chapters, like when she sides with Joffrey, during the butchers boy incident and during the Hands Tourney, where she has almost no feeling, after seeing a man get killed in front of her. Somewhere along the way, he felt Sansa worked better as a victim of Joffrey's cruelty and as a means of showing us the effect it had on people.

And then the show took the villainous Sansa idea and ran with it in the final season.

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41 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

And then the show took the villainous Sansa idea and ran with it in the final season.

It did? Are you thinking Sansa pushed for Jon’s exile out of self-interest? Imo all of her worst acts, lying about Arya/Joff, betraying Ned, etc. happen in Book 1 and since then she has been at worst kinda selfish and sometimes improbably fanciful…ie typical young teen. What did she do in the show that was so villainous? The biggest deviation the show made so far as I can see was compounding her suffering by a factor of sideways 8 with Ramsay. 

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2 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

It did? Are you thinking Sansa pushed for Jon’s exile out of self-interest? Imo all of her worst acts, lying about Arya/Joff, betraying Ned, etc. happen in Book 1 and since then she has been at worst kinda selfish and sometimes improbably fanciful…ie typical young teen. What did she do in the show that was so villainous? The biggest deviation the show made so far as I can see was compounding her suffering by a factor of sideways 8 with Ramsay. 

Well first off, the push for Northern independence in the face of extinction is all sorts of stupid (she wasn't even willing to accept help from outside forces), and is openly hostile towards Daenerys even though Daenerys hadn't done anything to her, which borders on too dumb to live considering Daenerys could have Sansa go up in smoke if she felt like it (and Sansa's supposed to be the smart politician at this point. Then she breaks her promise to Jon to not tell anybody of his parentage by telling Tyrion, knowing he'd run and tell somebody (in this case Varys) and undermine Daenerys, leading to the decimation of half Daenerys' remaining forces (including Missandei's execution) and the razing of King's Landing, which led to Daenerys' death and Jon's exile. And she shows not a hint of remorse over any of this. I was sympathetic towards Sansa for most of the books and the show, but it really evaporated in the last season.

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

Well first off, the push for Northern independence in the face of extinction is all sorts of stupid (she wasn't even willing to accept help from outside forces), and is openly hostile towards Daenerys even though Daenerys hadn't done anything to her, which borders on too dumb to live considering Daenerys could have Sansa go up in smoke if she felt like it (and Sansa's supposed to be the smart politician at this point. Then she breaks her promise to Jon to not tell anybody of his parentage by telling Tyrion, knowing he'd run and tell somebody (in this case Varys) and undermine Daenerys, leading to the decimation of half Daenerys' remaining forces (including Missandei's execution) and the razing of King's Landing, which led to Daenerys' death and Jon's exile. And she shows not a hint of remorse over any of this. I was sympathetic towards Sansa for most of the books and the show, but it really evaporated in the last season.

Show Sansa’s arc would be that of a villain in most tales, but I think it was bad writing.

Her efforts to destroy Daenerys could have easily handed victory to Cersei or the Others.

She held back information about the Vale knights from Jon, which Sophie Turner said was because she was seeking the credit for victory.  She lied about her aunt’s death, and willingly married the son of the man who murdered her father and brother.  She first wound Jon up about Rickon, before writing him off.  She came close to killing Arya.

But, I think the two D’s thought this was all evidence of growing political subtlety.  They saw Cersei and LF as people to emulate.

Edited by SeanF
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