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


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20 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

It wasn't GRRM. He stopped working on the show during the season 4 process

Wasn’t he still a producer?

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8 hours ago, sifth said:

I think the biggest issue with Dany’s madness is just how sudden it happens. In 6 episodes she goes from being a hero queen who frees slaves, to basically being a Nazi. Not entirely sure who thought that was a good idea, but I hope it wasn’t GRRM.

In The Bells, she takes off on Drogon as Joan of Arc, and lands as Hitler.
If we ever get the books, I’m sure the city will burn, as she and her soldiers fight their through (someone has to ignite all that wildfire), and I’m sure it will be horrifying, but also in accord with military norms in this world (eg Bitterbridge and Tumbleton).

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9 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

As I understood it, he meant that the fates of minor characters will be different, but not the major ones.

So you telling me he was like: "Well, no point waiting for my books and reading em, it's gonna be the same". Thanks, no.

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5 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

So you telling me he was like: "Well, no point waiting for my books and reading em, it's gonna be the same". Thanks, no.

I think that's his interpretation of Martin's statements. George has very obviously not said that the journeys of the characters and the contexts of what happens to them are exactly the same between the show and the books. Here's a quote from George where he indicates they went in some different directions than his own plans, and he considers his ending for the series distinct from that of the TV show:

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 That made it a little strange because now the show was ahead of me and the show was going in somewhat different directions. So, I’m still working on the book, but you’ll see my ending when that comes out.

He's also called GoT's "an ending", but it's not "the ending".

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Yea, but that brutal winter, in The Dance of the Dragon, seems to conveniently only effect The North. Given the way GRRM likes to portray winter as the worst thing ever, I find it very strange that it never effects any of the major areas on the map, that aren't the North. That seems to be my biggest issue to be honest, winter seems to mostly have no effect on the continent in the history books, aside from the land the Starks and Night Watch come from.

Also I'm still beyond confused if the long seasons happen in Essos and other places on the map. They never really seem to be talked about.

 

There does seem to be a misapprehension about the length of the seasons and also the location of Westeros on the planet.

Most seasons do not last many years. Based on Tyrion experiencing 8 winters in 16 years (plus he was born at the tail end of a ninth), it appears that an average length of season in the world is more like 6 months than 3 years. Maybe Tyrion went through an unusual period of short seasons, but even so it implies that the length of the seasons is more like 9-12 months. The "seasons always last years" thing comes from the marketing for the TV show. The longest season we know of, the Long Night, lasted "a generation," so if we assume that was literally 25 years, that would have been absolutely devastating, almost wiping out the human race and causing massive famine, and indeed we hear that in the stories. The 9-year summer that opens the series is held to be incredibly unusual, not the norm.

Westeros is also huge on a north-south basis (3,000 miles from the Wall to the south coast of Dorne). If Winterfell is somewhere around the latitude of York (which it would need to be, to put the tree line north of the Wall where it should be), that puts King's Landing somewhere between San Francisco and Cairo on latitude and Dorne firmly on the same latitude as the northern Sahara Desert. Asshai is virtually on the equator (and this is all assuming a planet slightly larger than Earth). Seasonal variations become less distinctive as you head closer to the equator, and GRRM has said several times that in the average winter, the North gets a fair bit of snow, the Vale a fair bit but mostly because of altitude and the Riverlands a lot less. It's rare for King's Landing to get anything more than frost or a very light snow and Dorne never sees snow at all. It's only when you get a really bad winter that you start seeing snow in KL and Dorne, which is why the snow coming down on KL at the end of ADWD is a huge deal.

The entirety of Essos is located at a more southerly latitude than Westeros, curving from the latitude of the Vale (at its furthest north) to the equator and possibly beyond (around Asshai). The seasons definitely impact Essos - we see the Dothraki Sea drying up in ADWD and the canals of Braavos freezing over, but it's less of a concern. Most of the civilised areas we know of are located quite far to the south as well (Slaver's Bay is around the latitude of Florida, Qarth around Senegal). 

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1996 was a different era and the bastard boy as secret prince still wasn’t worn out.

 

Oh, it very much was (that was still 20 years after The Sword of Shannara codified shitty fantasy cliches). Reviews of fantasy novels at the time were priceless, usually tearing strips out of them for even sniffing at the idea of a hidden prince or magic sword. AGoT got (mostly) good reviews for subverting those ideas, up to a point.

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I am surprised that Viserys never called Robert the Kinslayer; The Usurper is one thing, but why not slap Robert with the biggest crime one can think of outside of breaking guest right?

The blood relationship between Robert and the Targaryens gave him a claim to the throne, but it was also apart enough to apparently "not count" as kinslaying per se. Also, whilst Robert killed Rhaegar, he didn't kill Aerys, who was a generation closer to him in the relationship. Finally, Robert killed Rhaegar in open combat, he didn't stab him whilst he was undefended, which probably counts as a different kind of thing.

I also suspect it would have been confusing to be cursing the "Kingslayer" and "Kinslayer" in the same breath when they're different people. Viserys is also trying to rally support from the rulers in Essos, where they really don't seem to give a shit about kinslaying but they do seem more concerned about usurping.

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Tywin was absent from King's Landing until ASoS, so I don't think he even noticed how twisted Joffrey was until it was too late.

Tyrion spent years in KL pre-AGoT, enough to know the head of Jon Arryn's household guard passingly well.

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As I understood it, he meant that the fates of minor characters will be different, but not the major ones.

He told Benioff and Weiss the fate of the major characters, but couldn't with the minor ones because he didn't know (he had no idea about the ultimate fate of Bronn, for example).

Whether Benioff and Weiss listened to him and used the exact same fates for the characters, or something similar but different in the details, or completely different remains unknown.

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1 hour ago, Daeron the Daring said:

So you telling me he was like: "Well, no point waiting for my books and reading em, it's gonna be the same". Thanks, no.

Well, yes, for the most part. He thought for a long time that he would finish the books before the show caught up with him, and the fact that it did catch up is an "accident", of sorts. This is what he said on 60 minutes the day before season 8 premiered:

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Interviewer: Do you worry that some fans will have Dan and David's ending in their mind's eye? Would that be a disappointment to you?

GRRM: I don't think Dan and Dave's ending is going to be that different from my ending, because of the conversations we had. But on some secondary characters there may be differences.

So the fates of the main characters will almost definitely be the same, based on his own words here.

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27 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Well, yes, for the most part. He thought for a long time that he would finish the books before the show caught up with him, and the fact that it did catch up is an "accident", of sorts. This is what he said on 60 minutes the day before season 8 premiered:

So the fates of the main characters will almost definitely be the same, based on his own words here.

But see @Ran 's comment above.

We do know for certain that Sansa won't marry Ramsay Bolton;  Sansa won't flee to Castle Black, or  fight a battle with Jon against Ramsay;  Varys won't team up with Daenerys;  Arya won't kill the Night King;  there won't be the daft wight hunt, North of the Wall;  that Cersei's fate will be very different;  that Tyrion is a completely different person in show and books, and that has a major bearing on his character arc.  And the Long Night won't be decided in a single night. That Lady Stonheart, Arianne, Jon Connington, and fAegon have important parts to play in the story.  All of those things seem to me to have a significant bearing on the ending of the tale. 

Edited by SeanF
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40 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Well, yes, for the most part. He thought for a long time that he would finish the books before the show caught up with him, and the fact that it did catch up is an "accident", of sorts. This is what he said on 60 minutes the day before season 8 premiered:

So the fates of the main characters will almost definitely be the same, based on his own words here.

Based on his own words there, we can obviously see he had no clue what was gonna happen in S8, since he based his argument on the conversations he had with Dan and David, not what he saw on his screen or on any script.

And I assume he referred to the time the show actually catched up to him, and he had his 'famous' conversation with D and D about how he imagined things after that.

And not to say that the reason we waited so long for S8 is bc the original story got leaked, and they drastically changed it.

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51 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

So the fates of the main characters will almost definitely be the same, based on his own words here.

He states that he thought (long pre-S8) their fates will be the same because he told D&D what their fates were and anticipated them following his outline. Of course, he also thought they'd make the show go for 10 seasons and take 3 seasons to cover AFFC and ADWD faithfully, which very much never happened.

As we know, D&D often deviated from the books when they felt they had a better idea, or at least an idea that was more concise and wouldn't require them to introduce 12 new characters, let alone from a much looser outline with GRRM himself still not 100% committed to various outcomes.

Effectively trying to discern whether the fates of the major characters will be the same as in the HBO series or not is futile at this juncture. There is insufficient information to know for sure.

Edited by Werthead
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4 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Well, yes, for the most part. He thought for a long time that he would finish the books before the show caught up with him, and the fact that it did catch up is an "accident", of sorts. This is what he said on 60 minutes the day before season 8 premiered:

So the fates of the main characters will almost definitely be the same, based on his own words here.

This is why I think Arya might actually sail off into the sunset in the end. George likes to foreshadow the fates of characters with historical characters, and I think he could have added Elissa Farman to FnB for that reason (much like how he added another Daenerys who died of something called “the Shivers”). Arya did start talking about going “west of Westeros” back in S7.

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7 hours ago, SeanF said:

In The Bells, she takes off on Drogon as Joan of Arc, and lands as Hitler.
If we ever get the books, I’m sure the city will burn, as she and her soldiers fight their through (someone has to ignite all that wildfire), and I’m sure it will be horrifying, but also in accord with military norms in this world (eg Bitterbridge and Tumbleton).

Like everything else, it was a bit rushed, but Joan of Aercys talked a LOT about burning cities, massacring cities/peoples and actually had already committed atrocities. In the show she had already burned captive soldiers alive for remaining faithful. Before you burn your first city you haven’t burned a city yet, but if we were caught completely off guard that’s partly on us.
 

Every time she threatened to burn cities we told ourselves that was just her trying to live up to the role destiny had given her, trying to appear tough, not reflective of her true person…but that was our own rationale. If we weren’t already sympathetic, we would have taken her at her word. For example we know from Jaime’s own internal monologue that he doubts he could have gone through with the baby trebuchet, but because he’s not nearly as sympathetic it’s commonly held against him as something he ~ did because he threatened it. 

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

This is why I think Arya might actually sail off into the sunset in the end. George likes to foreshadow the fates of characters with historical characters, and I think he could have added Elissa Farman to FnB for that reason (much like how he added another Daenerys who died of something called “the Shivers”). Arya did start talking about going “west of Westeros” back in S7.

Not only that, but the fates of the Stark children on the show matches the names of their direwolves. 

Lady: Sansa becomes Lady of Winterfell.

Nymeria: Arya goes on a long journey, like queen Nymeria.

Shaggydog: Rickon being seen as the heir to Winterfell doesn't lead to anything (a shaggy dog story.

Summer: Bran leads the realm towards the next summer.

etc...

So this could definitely be true for the books as well.

Edited by Takiedevushkikakzvezdy
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10 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Not only that, but the fates of the Stark children on the show matches the names of their direwolves. 

Lady: Sansa becomes Lady of Winterfell.

Nymeria: Arya goes on a long journey, like queen Nymeria.

Shaggydog: Rickon being seen as the heir to Winterfell doesn't lead to anything (a shaggy dog story)

etc...

So this could definitely be true for the books as well.

Further proof that Bran isn’t going to be an evil god-king: he’s Summer.

Jon is resurrected, aka a Ghost.

Grey Wind is a bit harder, but I guess it also has a bit of a ghost-y feel to it. 

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46 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

Like everything else, it was a bit rushed, but Joan of Aercys talked a LOT about burning cities, massacring cities/peoples and actually had already committed atrocities. In the show she had already burned captive soldiers alive for remaining faithful. Before you burn your first city you haven’t burned a city yet, but if we were caught completely off guard that’s partly on us.
 

Every time she threatened to burn cities we told ourselves that was just her trying to live up to the role destiny had given her, trying to appear tough, not reflective of her true person…but that was our own rationale. If we weren’t already sympathetic, we would have taken her at her word. For example we know from Jaime’s own internal monologue that he doubts he could have gone through with the baby trebuchet, but because he’s not nearly as sympathetic it’s commonly held against him as something he ~ did because he threatened it. 

Everything she  did, prio  to the sack of Kings Landing, was entirely normative, for a military leader in her world.  In fact, she had been pretty lenient, compared to the majority of them.  Those who died at her hands were not the smallfolk, but, rather,  leaders with a ton of innocent blood on their hands. Saying that the Tarlys were killed "for remaining faithful" is a remarkably generous assessment of people who were traitors, murderers, and oathbreakers, who sided with a usurper for their own gain.  

The Freys, and Boltons, perished for similar behaviour.  Jon said he would have executed Karstark and Umber for treason, had they survived the Battle of the Bastards.

Jaime already has form for child murder, and his father did tell him, never to make a threat unless you're prepared to carry it out.

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3 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Everything she did  to the sack of Kings Landing was entirely normative, for a military leader in her world.  In fact, she had been pretty lenient, compared to the majority of them.  Those who died at her hands were not the smallfolk, but, rather,  leaders with a ton of innocent blood on their hands. Saying that the Tarlys were killed "for remaining faithful" is a remarkably generous assessment of people who were traitors, murderers, and oathbreakers, who sided with a usurper for their own gain.  

Jaime already has form for child murder, and his father did tell him, never to make a threat unless you're prepared to carry it out.

First off, Dany had already killed more people than Jaime before KL. In fact his biggest ‘form’ was saving KL. But if you’re going to base it on norms, than others had sacked cities, so that’s just more norm. 
 

And the Tarly’s were faithful. Whom had they betrayed? What oaths had they broken? Dany demanded they break their oaths and turn traitor and they refused.
 

This is the kind of projected subjectivity I’m talking about, but if you want to look at it that way just call KL a city of traitors and oath breakers and give Dany the right to avenge her family and Missandrei. Herotodus tells us that the history of war is the history of payback. 

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9 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

First off, Dany had already killed more people than Jaime before KL. In fact his biggest ‘form’ was saving KL. But if you’re going to base it on norms, than others had sacked cities, so that’s just more norm. 
 

And the Tarly’s were faithful. Whom had they betrayed? What oaths had they broken? Dany demanded they break their oaths and turn traitor and they refused.
 

This is the kind of projected subjectivity I’m talking about, but if you want to look at it that way just call KL a city of traitors and oath breakers and give Dany the right to avenge her family and Missandrei. Herotodus tells us that the history of war is the history of payback. 

Daenerys had killed people, prior to Kings Landing.  If you're arguing for pure pacifism, then yes, she can be condemned (as can every other character). But,  I don't think that's a reasonable standard in this setting.  Jaime commanded a large part of the Lannister army that brutalised the peasants in the Riverlands.  Daenerys brutalised Eastern slavers.  I think the latter is more justifiable than the former.

The Tarlys betrayed the Tyrells.  They sacked their castle, killed their former comrades in arms, and sided with the murderer of their liege lord and his family.  And, forced their liege lady to drink poison.  If Daenerys could not save her allies, she sure as hell ought to avenge them.  Even in the modern world, Randyll and Dickon would have gone before a firing squad.

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