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


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25 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Anyone who has ever written an essay in school knows that.

I’m lucky enough to enjoy writing.

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3 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

The fact that he basically ripped the North apart in a matter of weeks with a plan he pulled out of his ass, and has apparently beaten Stannis (until TWOW is published, if TWOW gets published). The fact that he's still alive due to all the stuff he's done speaks to a large amount of plot armor (though not quite at show!Ramsay levels). You'd expect him to have faced the consequences for that, but no.

Let's see the two big ones:

  • Somehow taking out Lady Hornwood's guard singlehandedly (or Lady Hornwood being stupid enough to travel alone), forcing him to marry her, and then receiving her title as Lord of the Hornwood
  • Massacring the force relieving Winterfell despite being outnumbered 3-1 and losing only 30 men tops, then sacking Winterfell
  • Plus the fact that he, probably the most untrustworthy known bastard in the last several decades (outside of Joffrey), gets legitimized while other, more sympathetic bastards don't (Mya, Gendry, Edric, Jon) have to stay in line, is a big example of life isn't fair. He's just climbed because... well, plot.

 

Oh, okay: I just couldn't decide wether you refer to him as someone wearing plot armor or someone George will make fall deeeeep.

Thou I can imagine Ramsay go full rogue even after he's stripped of his titles and lordships, surviving for much longer than most readers do, but I can't see him ultimately getting away.

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On 6/30/2022 at 10:26 AM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Anyone who has ever written an essay in school knows that.

Unless the teacher posts an example essay, and you essentially use its framework and some evidence to help you get a 92/100. Not that I did that, though. I would never.  ;) 

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Worldbuilding: I would have expected the North, to have coastal defenses since they've frequently had to deal with Ironborn raids over the years. Instead, the west coast winds up being easy pickings whenever the Ironborn feel like it.

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7 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

Worldbuilding: I would have expected the North, to have coastal defenses since they've frequently had to deal with Ironborn raids over the years. Instead, the west coast winds up being easy pickings whenever the Ironborn feel like it.

Also, if raiding Wildlings can cross the wall unnoticed, why wouldn't they cross over in larger numbers, reopen one of the sealed, abandoned gates and march through?

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2 hours ago, alienarea said:

Also, if raiding Wildlings can cross the wall unnoticed, why wouldn't they cross over in larger numbers, reopen one of the sealed, abandoned gates and march through?

Abandoned gates are filled with ice and rocks.

10 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

Worldbuilding: I would have expected the North, to have coastal defenses since they've frequently had to deal with Ironborn raids over the years. Instead, the west coast winds up being easy pickings whenever the Ironborn feel like it.

I already said in this thread that the North should be a big naval power, but George likely didn't go with it because he didn't want to make the northmen viking-like.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, alienarea said:

Also, if raiding Wildlings can cross the wall unnoticed, why wouldn't they cross over in larger numbers, reopen one of the sealed, abandoned gates and march through?

They'd die probably. No chance even if they make it 10 miles south. 

Edited by butterweedstrover
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On 6/26/2022 at 3:31 AM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

I mean, George did say that his ending won't be that much different from the show's ending. 

 

On 6/28/2022 at 6:23 AM, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

That was from his blog. I was mostly talking about this clip, relevant part at 2:16:

 

Ok I stand corrected.

I think he's not telling the truth though out of fear of possibly spoiling his future work.

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14 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Abandoned gates are filled with ice and rocks.

I already said in this thread that the North should be a big naval power, but George likely didn't go with it because he didn't want to make the northmen viking-like.

Or at least some sort of coastal defense system.

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3 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Southron lords have never been interested in the north, so there isn't much to defend it from, aside from the Ironborn. And I don't think you need a lot of resources for that.

Well, more than what the North did to repel Balon.

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3 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

Or at least some sort of coastal defense system.

The North is too huge to properly conquer without local help.

 

 

2 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Southron lords have never been interested in the north, so there isn't much to defend it from, aside from the Ironborn. And I don't think you need a lot of resources for that.

They have, they simply choose to attack through the Neck for some old reason. 

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On 6/20/2022 at 8:29 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

Back to George as a writer, I don’t want to jump on the hate train, but he looks worse with every new spin-off show announcement. I’m sure he would have finished the books if he was able to, but in a way readers were conned. I do feel a bit foolish for thinking the books will still come out after 11 years.

On 6/20/2022 at 8:41 PM, SeanF said:

Yes, I feel much the same way.  I got sucked into the books in 2011, but increasingly think “what was the point?”

2000 or so here.  I've been reconciled for quite a while to the idea that he won't finish the story.

There's a few things that stand out for me. 

First, there was an interview some years ago where he talked about his gardener approach and how part of the enjoyment for him as a writer was seeing how the shoots he planted and tended turned out - sometimes in quite unexpected fashion - but that when he knew where it was all headed and how it would end up he tended to lose interest.

Second, when talking about ASOIAF he mentioned how he just knew that, having sent Ned to KL with an expectation that he would uncover the threat to Robert, he had to kill Ned and then, having set Robb on the path to avenging Ned, he just had to kill Robb too.  The show ending has made me think again that he has taken the same approach with Dany: that having set the expectation that she will be Rhaegar's heir rather than Aerys's, he just had to turn her into Aerys (and have Jon fulfil the role of Azor Ahai by killing Nissa Nissa to save the world from...Nissa Nissa :wacko:).  The wrongfooting that works mid-series because there is still the chance that the heroes will triumph (or be avenged) doesn't work at story's end particularly when the heroes turn bad and I think he knows this sort of ending will be unsatisfying so is not motivated to finish.

Third, he is obviously still invested heavily in the world of Westeros and sees this in a broader sense as his artistic legacy with ASOIAF merely one part and the lead in to creating and realising that world.  He began his career with screenplays as well as novels IIRC so has always been interested in both media and is as interested in spin-off shows as side novels and prequels that bring his world to life and reach as wide an audience as possible. It's not that finishing ASOIAF is not worthwhile, it's that he has a broader ambition and higher priorities.

On 6/21/2022 at 7:45 PM, SeanF said:

I think, Mercy.  Another guard expresses disgust at how young Raff likes them.

It is.  Arya/Mercy lures Raff away by offering herself "we're to make the guests welcome" (sic).  Raff is interested, the other guard is brusquely dismissive, "she's too young", but Raff is not deterred.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

2000 or so here.  I've been reconciled for quite a while to the idea that he won't finish the story.

There's a few things that stand out for me. 

First, there was an interview some years ago where he talked about his gardener approach and how part of the enjoyment for him as a writer was seeing how the shoots he planted and tended turned out - sometimes in quite unexpected fashion - but that when he knew where it was all headed and how it would end up he tended to lose interest.

Second, when talking about ASOIAF he mentioned how he just knew that, having sent Ned to KL with an expectation that he would uncover the threat to Robert, he had to kill Ned and then, having set Robb on the path to avenging Ned, he just had to kill Robb too.  The show ending has made me think again that he has taken the same approach with Dany: that having set the expectation that she will be Rhaegar's heir rather than Aerys's, he just had to turn her into Aerys (and have Jon fulfil the role of Azor Ahai by killing Nissa Nissa to save the world from...Nissa Nissa :wacko:).  The wrongfooting that works mid-series because there is still the chance that the heroes will triumph (or be avenged) doesn't work at story's end particularly when the heroes turn bad and I think he knows this sort of ending will be unsatisfying so is not motivated to finish.

Third, he is obviously still invested heavily in the world of Westeros and sees this in a broader sense as his artistic legacy with ASOIAF merely one part and the lead in to creating and realising that world.  He began his career with screenplays as well as novels IIRC so has always been interested in both media and is as interested in spin-off shows as side novels and prequels that bring his world to life and reach as wide an audience as possible. It's not that finishing ASOIAF is not worthwhile, it's that he has a broader ambition and higher priorities.

It is.  Arya/Mercy lures Raff away by offering herself "we're to make the guests welcome" (sic).  Raff is interested, the other guard is brusquely dismissive, "she's too young", but Raff is not deterred.

If that's the ending, I'm sure he knows now that he's going to get blasted by most of the readership.  But, it would be strange that he would not have anticipated this in advance of Season 8.  It's not just Dany who got trashed after all;  Jon was trashed as well. (And, while it may have seemed edgy and subversive back in 1993, boyfriend putting down girlfriend like Old Yeller just comes over horribly in 2022).  He may say he's writing the ending he wants, but in reality, no author wants their readers to think their ending sucked donkey balls. 

There can't be many readers who actually want bad endings for Jon and Dany, combined with good endings for Tyrion, Samwell, Bran, Sansa and Bronn.  That's a very small niche of the readership.

Edited by SeanF
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On 7/4/2022 at 10:16 AM, frenin said:

They have, they simply choose to attack through the Neck for some old reason. 

Because amphibious warfare and supply chain management is a nightmare

Especially before the WWII

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

It's not just Dany who got trashed after all;  Jon was trashed as well. (And, while it may have seemed edgy and subversive back in 1993, boyfriend putting down girlfriend like Old Yeller just comes over horribly in 2022).

Well, instead of being boyfriend puts down girlfriend because he "don't want it" like the TV show, it'll be husband puts down pregnant wife because she and his cousins have different goals and belief systems.

Which is infinitely worse...

That being said, I'm a big fan of Shakespearean tragedy so I'm not truly opposed to an ending similar to Othello in which Tyrion (aka Iago) manipulating Jon (aka Othello) into killing Daenerys (aka Desdemona) only for Tyrion to be caught completely off-guard by Bran (aka Cassio) who takes Iago down and assumes command as Othello's successor.

I don't mind that kind of ending. It just has to be written well.

What I will have a problem with is if:

  • Bran becomes an detachedly and apathetically malevolent god-king that has less than zero personality
  • Daenerys becomes some sort of bloodthirsty, overly-religious psycho with no self-awareness and no common sense who never did anything out of the goodness of her heart a day in her life
  • Tyrion gets away with it
  • and so on and so on
1 hour ago, the trees have eyes said:

The wrongfooting that works mid-series because there is still the chance that the heroes will triumph (or be avenged) doesn't work at story's end particularly when the heroes turn bad and I think he knows this sort of ending will be unsatisfying so is not motivated to finish.

If the heroes turn bad

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1 hour ago, BlackLightning said:

Because amphibious warfare and supply chain management is a nightmare

Especially before the WWII

Well, instead of being boyfriend puts down girlfriend because he "don't want it" like the TV show, it'll be husband puts down pregnant wife because she and his cousins have different goals and belief systems.

Which is infinitely worse...

That being said, I'm a big fan of Shakespearean tragedy so I'm not truly opposed to an ending similar to Othello in which Tyrion (aka Iago) manipulating Jon (aka Othello) into killing Daenerys (aka Desdemona) only for Tyrion to be caught completely off-guard by Bran (aka Cassio) who takes Iago down and assumes command as Othello's successor.

I don't mind that kind of ending. It just has to be written well.

What I will have a problem with is if:

  • Bran becomes an detachedly and apathetically malevolent god-king that has less than zero personality
  • Daenerys becomes some sort of bloodthirsty, overly-religious psycho with no self-awareness and no common sense who never did anything out of the goodness of her heart a day in her life
  • Tyrion gets away with it
  • and so on and so on

If the heroes turn bad

Samwell of course, ought to be portrayed as vile, cowardly, and perverted.

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

There can't be many readers who actually want bad endings for Jon and Dany

I actually can't imagine both having bad endings. I could see Jon die more than Daenerys, but both? Mhm. 

Neither? Unlikely, One of them? Possibly. Both? Unthinkable. To me. 

Daenerys is the savior type, but Jon is the self-sacrificing type. I think he learned that from Qhorin Halfhand.

1 hour ago, BlackLightning said:

That being said, I'm a big fan of Shakespearean tragedy so I'm not truly opposed to an ending similar to Othello in which Tyrion (aka Iago) manipulating Jon (aka Othello) into killing Daenerys (aka Desdemona) only for Tyrion to be caught completely off-guard by Bran (aka Cassio) who takes Iago down and assumes command as Othello's successor.

Shaekspearean tragedy sounds good, but with the amount of characters, you can't really take out to many poeple. The longer the story and bigger the setup, the harder it is. The most succesful movie I've seen that succeeded with this was The Departed, but it burned down the bridges behind its dead characters. The ones it didn't hurt to this day. That movie has no shame.

The reason people like Ned and Robb had to die is that the story was just starting or that it started because of their death. Even thou the death of Robb was anticlimactic.

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On 7/4/2022 at 4:16 PM, frenin said:

The North is too huge to properly conquer without local help.

 

 

They have, they simply choose to attack through the Neck for some old reason. 

White Harbour and the coasts could be devastated by Ironborn and Eastern slavers.

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